Thursday, February 26, 2009

I Spun!

I spun for 10 minutes. I've been missing the spinning bigtime - I made myself stop back in November to force myself to work on the holiday knitting - but it's been so long that I was having a hard time getting going again.
Ten minutes a day. I can do that.

Here's a closeup of the roving. The color is more true on the bobbin above, but this pic shows the lovely striations of color in this roving. I was at the LYS a while back and spied this on the shelf. I only picked it up to look closer at the color. I swear. Seriously. But when the time came to set it back down, I couldn't make my hand open to release it. My fingers had a will of their own - Not. Letting. Go.

So, I took it home with me. Clearly, what other choice did I have? It was either buy the roving, or amputate my hand...
I fell asleep in the middle of casting on for the thrummed mitten last night. Madman would have taken my picture if he could have found the camera. Proof that I really am trying to knit in my sleep. I finished the cast-on this morning and will be able to get a few rows in before I have to head in to work.

I haven't put up any chicken pictures lately - but here's a view from our deck out to the chicken coop. And we've had another foot of snow since this picture was taken.
I am so sick of winter...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Holy Crap, we have achieved chart!

After copious amounts of head-thudding, I finally managed to persuade a spreadsheet to show what I want. It's too big to fit on one page, and refuses to print in landscape mode, but at least the thumb is in the right place and it's roughly mitten-shaped with the pointy bit at the top where it belongs.
Now to attempt knitting from it. If that works, I'll share.
If not, it's back to the head pounding. At least I've gotten good at that.

Still no chart. Though I now have some interesting lumps on my head...

I've gotta take a break from this charting madness. I could just do this so easily with a sheet of graph paper and a felt-tip marker... Why, oh, why isn't it just as simple to do it in a post-able format?
I knew I wasn't going to like the 21st century.

In the meantime, I've been looking at pretty pictures here. Love Drops Designs (Garnstudio) - more fabulous patterns than you can shake a circular at! I started out looking for a pattern for a vest; I've got some lovely yarn that was Christmassed at me and a vest seemed like a good plan.
Then, of course, I got distracted. I found this slipper pattern - and I am seriously in love! I don't actually need another pair of slippers, but I won't let that stop me from making another pair of slippers. It's all about the process, after all.
And while I was peeking around, I found what might be the perfect pattern for my handspun Cotswold.
Cardigan? Check. Simple lines? Check. Classic style? Check. Gauge matches my swatch? Check. Go check it out! (Is it okay to post their photo here? I don't know the rules...)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Charts 'R Not Us

Spent the whole afternoon trying to cobble together a chart for the thrummed mittens. It's a wonder that designers don't ask 80 kabillion dollars for a pattern...
I'm sure I was doing it the hard way. (Is there any other way?) And I'm also sure there's some geewhiz-spiffy software out there that would make my life 100 percent easier, but since I can't afford it anyway, I'll have to stick with the slamming-my-head-on-the-desk-using-Paint system for at least a while.

Hey, look... Tiny image. Go figure.

I'll try that trick again with a .png file this time.
Hallelujah! That's a little better...

On the plus side of life, I have homemade pizza in progress for supper. At least there'll be one positive thing about my day!
(ETA: *facepalm* I just realized there's an error in the top of the chart. *sigh* )

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hey, this is Number 100!

Wow. Guess I should have planned something special...

Oh, well.

Zipping along with Annemor #8.
The yarn is KnitPicks Essential, which I got last fall along with the Selbuvotter book. I like the look of the multi (named Princess? Something like that. Yep, just checked: Princess Multi) with the black. Some of the purples are a little dark, but it gives a subtle effect to the patterning which I'm enjoying.
It's really hard to stop knitting these little gems. I want to keep going for "just one more row" to watch the pattern developing. I was up till midnight last night, one-more-rowing.
I'm at the point now where I start knitting the fingers. Hello, yarn ends...

Still working on charting the thrummed mitten. I'll knit mitten #2 from the chart, to make sure I haven't led anyone astray, then post the pattern.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

One warm hand, anyway...

Step by step, inch by inch...

Here's an inside view of the thrummy goodness. I pulled some of the fiber aside near the top of the mitten so the backside of the colorwork shows.

Ta-da! I finished the first mitten! And you'll notice I finally got that silly little millimeter smarter and knit the left hand first so I could take a picture without swearing at myself...
World's Warmest Mittens, how I do love thee!

And so, to celebrate, I cast on my next Selbuvotter project. After much dithering (with the emphasis on the much) I finally made a choice. Annemor #8 is officially underway.

Notice the yarn barf at the bottom of the picture. Argh...

And quick question: Anyone know why I can get nice big pictures from Flickr, but my Picasa pics are little bitty? Thanks!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Another version of the World's Warmest Mittens

This is my latest mitten endeavor. I'm knitting thrummed colorwork mittens again, this time with a much simpler pattern.

This pair is for ME!! (Yeah, it's purple. What can I say...)

I started with my new favorite tubular cast on. (For a fabulous tutorial, go here. Tech-Knitting is the best site ever. I've been knitting for more than 40 years, and I still learn new and wonderful things on that site. Browse and enjoy!) Then I knit a nice long cuff to keep the wind out, then started a simple color pattern, with thrums at all the crossroads. You can see the thumb gusset on the top right.

Speaking of thrums, Knitting Daily is running a bunch of posts on thrums at this point, though I almost fritzed out when I saw their advice on "making thrums" - they were bringing the ends in to the middle of the thrum, making a loop at each end. Now why on earth would anyone want to purposely make a bunch of fingercatchers in their mittens!?!?! Not. Good. Advice.

If anyone expresses interest, I'll chart out the pattern for these.

Monday, February 2, 2009

She has arrived...

Finally got some pictures taken of the Ice Queen.It's hard to take pics of myself in the guest bathroom mirror. (First I had to wash the mirror...)
I must have taken 30 different photos, and changed the camera's batteries 3 times.
This one shows how it started to wear a little thin:
"We are not amused."

And continuing in my "Masked Avenger" persona...

Pattern: Ice Queen, by Rosemary Hill
Yarn: Classic Elite Lace Mohair (Mohair/Wool, 196 yds, 1.5 oz) 1 ball, plus a little of another. (I didn't run out on the bind off, as Laurie predicted, but only because I had already run out with about an inch left to knit) (And I would like to try Kid Silk Haze someday, but this is what is available locally)
Needles: My favorite unknown-maker size 6. This is a circular needle that I've had for 25 years - all plastic, very pointy tips which are also a little bit flexible. I love this knitting needle, but have no idea where I got it or who made it)
Mods: I complete ignored the beads bit. I could only foresee whining if I tried to put in the beads, and I don't like beads anyway. Maybe if I knit this again someday, I'll dance with beads.