Friday, March 16, 2007

Cable prep, and a happy moment in the fabric store.

As you may or may not be aware, Fiona Ellis is coming to Woven Art in May. She is the author of the book "Inspired Cable Knits," which inspired my eternal "Vikon" sweater (which is coming along, coming along, thanks for asking). I am really picky about knitting patterns, so when I say that this is a lovely book that's the equivalent of a normal person hopping up and down with knitting fever. The inestimable Harlot reviewed it when it first came out, and is much more eloquent on the subject than I am.

So I'm sure that you're all going to get on the phone as soon as you're done reading this, and reserve your spot in her class. Here's the thing though, you really should be quasi comfortable with cables if you're going to get the most bang for your knitting dollar. Nancy asked me if I would teach a cable prep class in April so that everyone who wants to take Fiona's classes will have the skills they need. I'm happy to announce that I finished the sample this morning! So here it is:
Please forgive my crappy corkboard. The purse is about 6" square, just big enough for a wallet or an impluse yarn buy. Here's a picture of the back, which is really more representational of what we will be doing in class.For those of you who haven't been seduced by cables, let me assure you that this is a simple one. The class is only 3 hours long, and I promise you'll be cabling along like a pro by the end of it. The decreases on the flap are a little complicated, but if you get to that point and are intimidated by it, then you can continue it as a lovely Aran'll get more practice that way anyway. So here's hoping that I see you all on April 15th at 1:00.


I had to stop at the big box fabric store yesterday to buy some matching thread for a quilt that I'm binding. There might be people who can go into a fabric store and buy a spool of thread without looking around, but I am not one of them. I had to make a detour in the quilting section and look what I saw:A whole shelf full of skull fabric! I estimate that I've got until next summer to stock up on fabric, since after Pirates mach III comes out this skull/pirate mania is going to die a sudden death. But isn't it exciting that it's there for stocking up on?

Ragnar...stash the skulls while you can.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Resurrection of a sweater...

I tried to work on Celtic, really I did.

I did the knitting from two skeins thing so that instead of one line between the two colors there are now lots of lines between the two that's not fair, it's nice and blended and I'm going to leave it that way. I'm also going to blend in all the new skeins so as to prevent this from happening again...and these are rather short skeins so that's going to be a lot of blending. Whinge whinge...sorry. So I was all set to fall back in love with my beautiful sweater when I noticed It (capital letter is deliberate...). It is one of those mistakes that plague the distracted aran knitter...yes, it's too horrible to contemplate but there it was, a miscrossed cable....and what's worse, a miscrossed cable in the middle of all that blending. Pah! Excuse the crappy photo, but who can take the effort to take a nice photo of a mistake? Cable knitting is like weaving. They're supposed to go over-under-over-under, not over-over like the one in the photo. However Nancy absolved me from caring about it, so I'm ignoring it. It's going to be the mistake that no one but me will notice, but that I will compulsively point out to people. So I blithely continued on...failing to refer to the cable chart since I'm an old pro and know all about cable knitting...except I forgot this was a particularly picky cable pattern and has lots of hidden little then I got to tear out again. I worked on it for three hours at the knit-in yesterday and made a total progress of 4 rows. Bugger bugger. Back in the bag with you, you bastard.

So instead I'm concentrating on the "Inspired by Inspired Cable Knits" "Vicon" sweater. You may remember Vicon as the "free wool" (imagine a bunch of unwashed hippy kids with signs reading "free the wool!") sweater. Quick summary, the wool was free, I started spinning it before I had a spinning wheel...I like three ply better than two ply because I'm a masochist...and three years later... Look! It's a spindle full of three ply handspun, possibly the last spindle full of three ply handspun...although I've jinxed that because I said it in public. I've learned a lot about spinning during this sweater, I have many skeins of free wool that are spun, but can not be used in this sweater because they aren't to gauge...who knew?

And here's a skein ready to be taken off the swift and washed. I don't have a niddy noddy, not because I don't want one, who wouldn't want something called a niddy noddy, but because everytime I go to buy one I think...niddy noddy or 8 more ounces of merino? But I stole this fancy swift from a friend who never uses it...technically I'm storing it for her...but basically I stole it. We call it "the space swift" and someday it will get a post of it's own. Notice how I calculated the exact surface area of the table that needed to be cleared and cleared not a centimeter more? That's my version of good housekeeping.

Two Skeins! Ready for washing....

Forgive me for wallowing in this, but it's just so damn exciting when there is yarn for this sweater. That's the problem. I knit manically on it when I have yarn, and then I run out of yarn and spin for three months while the sweater languishes in it's box. I do have hope that this will be the last of it though. These two skeins should finish the last sweater, and then I'll block it, and sew it all together...there's still the hood, but I think I'll be able to knit that out of some of the finer spun wool that couldn't be used in the body of the sweater. I'm sort of anxious to finish it, since Fiona Ellis, author of the book that inspired the sweater is coming to woven art in May. I don't think I'll show it to her since I used a different cable pattern, and had to totally redesign the sweater, but it is basically her pattern, and I'd like to have it done before I meet her.

Washed and dried...and actually I meant to post this last week so I've already started knitting on gauge thank you very much, and I think I'm breaking my bad habit of over spinning since this yarn seems a bit fluffier than the last bunch. I was prevented from posting earlier because of an impromptu road trip...Manimal and I went out to Connecticut last weekend to pick up a robot...

Ragnar...fresh out of witty taglines.