Thursday, November 10, 2011

Design inspiration...

I've been looking at how I design lately.  If I'm given a direction I can run with it.  For the Isabella d'Este socks Clara asked for strong lace.  I think I accomplished it.  Usually I see something that lights a spark.  A shirt with a detail that I love, an amazing yarn that tells me what it wants to be.  A shape our color, it can be anything.

Frequently the finished design is nothing like what I originally envisioned, occasionally although inspired an idea will fight me to the bitter end, like the yarn I got at my first Maryland Sheep and Wool that really wants to be a jacketish cardigan but has rebelled against 3 designs and has languished in the stash for years.  I occasionally resurrect it and try something else but so far I think it is determined to just be yarn. (yes, I speak of yarn as if it were alive and sentient, and I don't see a problem with that)

Right now I'm finishing a silk sweater. All the fun details are done, I know exactly how I'm finishing it.  It requires very little thought from here on.  My mind wanders to future projects and the drape of the silk in my hands is inspiring me.  I think a series of silk sweaters may be on the horizon.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Thought I should post...

Just a quick post to say a few things.

Yes, this is my blog. I wrote the Isabella d'Este pattern in Knitter's Book of Socks.

I'm thinking I should post more often since people seem to be stopping by ever since the book came out.

Maybe I'll try weekly...no guarantees...either on content or frequency...I'll try.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

1) How long have you been spinning?
I've been Spinning for just over a year now.

2) Are you a beginner, novice, or experienced spinner?
I'd say I'm experienced I've tried just about everything I've been able to get my hads on, both fibers and techniques.

3) Do you spin on a drop spindle or wheel, or both?
Both, Most of my spinning is on my wheel but I like to take a spindle with me when I travel and such.

4) What types and weights of drop spindles (or what type of spinning wheel(s) ) do you currently own?
The only spindles I currently own are one's I've made my self, I bought one but I eventually learned I didn't like how it spun so I gave it away. I haven't weighed them but one is lighter and good for a moderate lace weight and the other is what I would classify as a basic mid weight spindle. If you look in my archives you can see I also have 2 wheels, an Kromski Minstrel and a Majacraft Little Gem II.

5) What type of fibers have you spun with before?
Many different wools, alpaca, angora, silk, tencel, bamboo, ingeo, latte(the only one I hated so far)... and others. If I come across something I haven't spun before and I can afford it I'll usually buy a couple ounces to try out.

6) What fibers do you prefer to spin with?
Anything soft,

7) What fibers do you dislike?
Hand pained with high contrast. They eithe muddy up or stripe when spun, neither of which I prefer for most yarns

8) Do you prefer natural colored fibers, or handpainted/dyed fiber?
Dyed heathery colors are my favorites.

9) Would you prefer all one type of roving or smaller amounts of different types to sample?
All one type so I have enough to makesomething with it.

10) What are you favorite colors?
Pink, I love pinks, especially nice dusty roses. But I also like blues and muted greens.

11) What colors do you dislike?
Anything too bright.

12) What would you like to do with your handspun yarn, or what do you plan to do with it?
Most of my yarn (handspun or store bought) usually sits around and marintes before telling me what it wants to be. I usually make patterns up as I knit or follow guidelines, recipes or ideas more than actual patterns

13) What spinning projects are you currently working on?
I'm trying to finish up all of my in progress things right now. I'm plying some lace weight border liecester and finishing some Merino singles on the wheels. On my spindle is some dark BFL.

14) Do you have a wishlist?
yes but not online or anything...

15) What are your other favorite hobbies?
knitting and spinning of course

16) Do you have any allergies (pet, smoke, food, fiber,etc...)?
No pet allergies, Fiber and smoke never mix IMHO and food allergies are only to things like watermelon and tomatos.

17) What is your preferred shipping method (USPS, UPS, FedEx)?
What ever works best for you works for me, they will all deliver straight to my door step.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Ok, who is going and does anyone want to meet up? Is there a get together already planned that I'm not aware of? I'll be there on Saturday.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Irrational Irregular Knitting

My knitting lately has been fairly sporadic and uncontrolled. I started the CTH Sockapaloooza socks. I have one sock done and one almost ready for a heel (toe up). At that point I decided I had plenty of time and started a pair of socks for me. They are a viny leafy lace pattern in Schaeffer Anne. I love them (well it actually).

At the same time as all of this I was spinning up the rest of the yarn for the 2nd sock pal sock. I realized when I finished that there was no way I could knit socks for my sock pal out of the handspun I had spun. It wasn't going to be enough yarn. I had completely underestimated the amount of yarn for her foot size. I have small fairly narrow feet, hers are bigger in both dimensions.

So we are down to only one pair for my sock pal with 1.5 finished socks, and 2 weeks to finish. This is easy, I'll set aside my socks and knit the other half of hers... That was until this morning. I woke up with a completely irrational NEED to knit myself a new top for Maryland Sheep and Wool. I grabbed yarn and needles out of the stash before work. I knit a swatch at lunch. Hopefully by the time I get home it will tell me what type of tank top it wants to be. If not I'll have to swatch with a different yarn (yes, the swatch usually tells me what it wants to be, and no, I don't think this is crazy).

So lets do the math here, 2 weeks-1 tank top - .5 socks = ?? Also in that time I have set a deadline for all the final kitchen stuff to be finished (except the cabinet doors which are beyond my control, we can talk about that fiasco later), and I have to clean the house for my sister who is coming to visit for MDSW (I don't have to but cleaning for guests is the only reason my house ever really gets fully cleaned all at once).

Oh, and I started karate a couple weeks ago which is 2-3 days a week which means I have less free time than did. (I'm not complaining about this. I'm really liking karate, its fun, challenging, and I'm already noticing an increase in strength and flexibility, and a decrease in my hips)

Oh and work is a bit crazy, in multiple way but primarily because we have a huge new web application set to go live on June 6.

Anyone out there know where I could buy a few extra weeks worth of time?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Results

I don't think I mentioned this here but I just got back from vegas and I'm still recovering. I think I slept maybe 4 or 5 hours a night (morning actually) while there. We had a ton of fun but it will probably take me a while to recover. I have pictures and will tell you about the trip later in the week.

As for the poll results, they were very interesting I watched them carefuly it started with one vote for the CTH. Then about 11 for the handspun with silk and then there was another shift and we now havea final total of 13 for the handspun with silk, 6 for the handspun alone, 6 for the CTH, and one vote for other.

So I think I made a decision that will please my pal. Since she doesn't like tall socks I think I can knit her 2 pairs, one handspun with silk and one CTH. I will even have enough yarn from both to easily make myself some too (either short ones or with contrasting heels/toes).

That gives me 6 weeks for 2 pairs of socks and spinning for one sock. The spinning is maybe 1/3 of the way done for the second sock and should maybe take another week. I usually can knit 1 sock a week so I should have time to spare, especially since they will be short socks. The CTH socks will have some lace and the handspun/silk ones will be more plain to let the sheen of the silk stand out.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Sockapaloooza poll

(Edited to add pictures)

So I've been experimenting with some things for sckapaoooza. My sock pal was sorta vague she likes "verigated, or stipes". No mention of patterning, lace or other preferences. I've bought some Cherry Tree Hill yarn in Spring Frost, this is the same base yarn as Koigu just dyed and distributed by a different company. I was thinking maybe something with some lace on the cuffs.

Then I started spinning some handpainted finn roving that I got at the Knitters Review retreat in November. It's mainly pink with blues, greens, and some colors in between. I have enough for 2 pairs of socks. I split my roving in 2 so I wil be able to theoretically have 2 matching skeins. But no matter how even my spinning and knitting handspun socks will likely be slightly fraternal in nature.

I spun up about 1 sock worth so far and navajo plied it into a 3 ply that looks like the colors are going to form slowly changing stripes. I knit up a tiny little swatch and decided it looked good but was a little finer than most sock yarns, it worked well on size 0 needles.

I have about 5 million yards of cobweb weight silk that I got for almost no money last year at MDSW. The woman didn't believe I would ever use it and sold the 5 oz hank to me for $10. So I knit another little swatch carrying the silk with the handspun. The silk adds some strength and beefs up the yarn just a bit while also adding a pretty sheen to it. I'd still knit it on size 0.

So here is the poll:

What yarn should I use?
Cherry tree hill
Handspun by itself
Handspun with silk
Get new yarn (specify in comments)
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Thanks for the help!