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Archive for December 28th, 2005

End-of-Wednesday Update

Wednesday, December 28th, 2005

Days don’t always go as planned, but sometimes they unfold just fine on their own!

I taught my private student on the west side of town, which went very nicely… then I had time to go to Threadbear which is close to her apartment. Too fun! I haven’t been there nearly enough lately, and I had an hour today.

I saw a bunch of folks who work there and who I really love spending time with. I saw Tenna and Linda from a spinning group I visited once, and who I run into time and again at fibery places. I saw my dear dear friend Sharon P/Knitknacks. I chatted with other folks whose faces are comforting and familiar but for some reason whose names I don’t recall right this minute. It was a wonderful, social butterfly hour and I loved every second.

yarnI got to show and tell my completed scribble lace and half-knit Bloom shawl. Oohs and aahs all around! I bought a ball of some wonderful brushed mohair that has been screaming at me from clear across town, that it wants to be *my* Bloom shawl. (I mean, this yarn is almost identical to the yarn in my absolutely-favorite all-time best sweater.)

You see, it’s a shame but the Bloom shawl I’m knitting now… it’s beautiful and soft and warm and lovely, but (shhh, don’t tell) it’s not bright enough for me. The colors range from dark cobalt to dark magenta, sometimes medium magenta, a touch (but not enough) of some aqua/turquoise, and (gasp) some brown.

It is very pretty, great yarn, great pattern, but brown? How did I think I could keep that for my own? I was in love with the cobalt and magenta and turquoise, but they are all in the wrong proportions I think. I’m still excited to be knitting it so I’ll plug ahead and then see what to do next.

It is starting to whisper to me that it wants to live somewhere other than my house and I think I know what it is getting ready to say. However, cast on around 2:30pm on Monday and I’m literally half way through the knitting (this speed pleases me greatly). I’m not doing an edging on it, so this will be a less-than-a-week project. Gotta love that.

The Noro Blossom yarn I’m using is 40gm skeins for $10 a piece. It called for 5 skeins, but it was merely 3 rows short of half a shawl when I ran out of the second skein. Um, guess I will bind off 3 rows too soon! You can not tell at all. So I’ll do the other side until two skeins are used up, and return one skein. That takes it into a more reasonable price for a gift knit, too.

The brushed mohair (Filatura Di Crosa Multicolor, see photo) changes color very slowly, similar to the Noro yarns. It has a larger yarn core than most brushed mohairs… though it seems a little less fuzzy than some other mohairs. The great news? It’s $11.50 a 50gm ball and it has 198 yards per ball! Because of the fuzziness/brushed texture, I’m fairly confident I’ll like it at the huge gauge specified for this shawl (size 15 needles). I only bought one ball, thinking I’d swatch first, but looks like I’m going to need only 2 balls for my Bloom. Score!!!

(OK, Matt thinks I may need a knit-along strand with this yarn on size 15’s. We’ll deal with that if the test ball doesn’t look as good as I expect, when the swatch is blocked. I bet if he *is* right, that I can find a decent knit along in my stash.)

OK, so then I went to Foster Center where all my CityKidz knitters were apparently on vacation. I sat alone knitting, so it could be worse. Tomorrow we’ll try to Kool-Aid dye again. If nobody comes tomorrow, I’ll just plan to do the dyeing next week instead. I have not had an empty knitting classroom in what seems like forever. It was very odd.

After Foster Center I popped over the 5 blocks or so to Rae’s Yarn Boutique. She just sent out her class schedules last night, so I happened to be there just as people were coming in asking about the classes, several of which are mine. I met Carol, Becky, Michele and Sarah (I hope I spelled everyone’s name right). We chatted toe up socks, afterthought/ peasant/ replaceable heels, working with handspun yarns, felting, Watercolor bags, you name it. Great fun.

And after closing time, I got to check out Elise’s shadow knit shawl, on tiny needles in tiny wooly yarn, very much like the one I plan to knit and already have the yarn for. (After I do the fast and furious second Bloom shawl, right?) And she’s got the most amazing pair of gloves she’s making for her beloved. They are beautiful and incredibly creatively well-crafted, with adjustments that will fit him just perfectly. How kind and sweet this gift will be.

I went home intending to dye wool in the basement. However, for some reason I feel really dragged out… not flu but it’s as if I ate something I was quite allergic to and I’m slowing to a halt. A nap sounds better than anything else in the world! So instead of dyeing, I’m at the computer, drinking tea. I’ll play a few tunes with Brian and go to bed early. Tomorrow is another day, right?

Pluggin’ Away

Wednesday, December 28th, 2005

CityKidzWowie, sometimes I get really clear about how labor-intensive my work is. Yesterday my helper and I worked for five hours, she was winding yarn and I was making polymer clay buttons among other things. We got a lot accomplished, but there is so much left to do, it’s daunting.

I’m excited because we got my new sockyarn (fingering weight, 80% wool/ 20% nylon) made up into skeins. I think we have only 11 skeins (100gm, enough for a pair of socks) so it no doubt will go quickly… now the question is what colors shall I place on this precious cargo? It’s exciting.

CityKidzI’ve got 3 testers now on the button-top hat, I’m grateful because each seems to offer a different vantage point and that’s exactly what I need. Looks like I’ll have some hat kits in the next batch of for-sale merchandise, which will be next week now the way the workflow looks. My helper is coming again on Saturday for a few hours before holiday festivities start. Hopefully I’ll have a lot of dyed yarns for her to skein up for sale at that time.

We’ve got several new dyed batches of Cushy ColorSport (DK), this time in smaller quantities rather than sweater quantities. And another washable DK in a gorgeous hot pink/magenta/purple colorway, a yarn I’ve never tried before. Very soft, less bouncy than the Cushy Colorsport but very nice on its own merits. I’ve done some ColorSport in something-like-solids (actually several colors of dye are applied to give interest, but one color is what the eye sees), because I’m always just amazed at how fast those colorways sell. I guess if you like cables or lace, or other textures, a colorway that is primarily one color will show off the detailed knitting work you’ve done.

CityKidzIn addition to the yarns, I’ve handpainted several angora berets, and those are really wonderful so they will be on the sale pages next week. I’m also preparing to handpaint a few commercially-produced sweaters, we’ll see how that goes.

And the buttons! Woohoo, they are such fun.

In knitting news, I’m making great progress on the bloom shawl. A friend called last night, and my phone has a cord so I had to sit still as we chatted for perhaps an hour. I now have knit 7+ sections out of the 18 it will eventually sport. I’m already envisioning this shawl in a fuzzy mohair. I remember seeing a color-changing mohair at Threadbear in several wonderful colorways, I may have to think about that option because the shawl appears extremely wearable. It just appears that it will sit on the shoulders without trying to fall off, a great design.

Wednesday and Thursday this week, I’ll be dyeing yarn with Kool Aid at CityKidz Knit! program at Foster Community Center. It should be great fun, it always is. I’m not sure how many kids I’ll have. Sometimes I end up with kids I’ve never met before, on these holiday break weeks. We’ll see what happens, one moment at a time here.

Off to work.

Photos: 1&2) These I took in early December and misplaced in the conversion to my new hard drive. Whew, found ’em! Here’s a group of some of my regular kids (and four of their grownups, three of whom often hang out and knit with us, a real special treat). And one of my kiddos, with her first garter-stitch wristwarmer. 3) A messy pile of yarns after dyeing (somehow the colors are not right on (too dark on my screen, so just a hint of things to come), waiting for labels and good photos for the website. Waiting for more yarn buddies to join them…