Saturday, November 05, 2005

Such a busy little bee! Bzz, bzz bzz, bzz bzz.

You know, I was out every night this week except Friday, so you might think I have a life, but you would be mistaken. No one with an active social life could do this much knitting. In fact, looking at what I've done this week, I'm starting to feel a little pathetic... note to self: must get friends. That is, friends who are not enablers. I think in mid-90's psycho-talk it would be called "co-dependent." Although I'm not sure, I never understood that term.

Anyway, last Saturday, I cast on for the Aran Pocket Shawl from Folk Shawls, a rectangular shawl with patch pockets set near both ends. Here's a closeup of the pattern. It's a simple basketweave with a seed stitch in between.

Yes, that is the Jamieson's DK I bought for a lacy cardigan, but it's really not cut out for lace. You were all too kind to point it out to me at the time, but I knew it in my heart anyway. I just thought it was too purty to pass up. It's much more suited for project like this. Of course, since I was changing the shawl's gauge from aran to light worsted I needed a few more skeins, so I did a little loophole shopping (I can buy new yarn if it's needed to complete a destashing project, remember?)

On Saturday night, while enjoying the Hitchcock film festival on the telly, I whipped up a quick little hat from Sally Melville's The Knit Stitch. One less skein of cream-colored Lopi in the stash! I envision lots of these hats in the future. 2 hours, a partial skein of wool, gifts for everyone!

On Sunday I worked on Rogue's hood. I know I am, like, the only knitter east of the Mississippi who has not yet made a Rogue, and this has been said a billion times before, but just in case anyone missed the point, these are some fun cables. You know how some patterns get boring and you're just waiting for a cable twist to liven things up? There is never a boring moment on this hood. In fact, there's not much downtime in the entire sweater pattern. No stockinette snore here!

Oh, my Rogue has no pockets because I didn't take enough needles to Canada with me (and we were 2.5 hours from the nearest mall).

On Wednesday, I went to Knit and Chat, where I got to spend some quality time with Melanie and Michelle.

On Thursday, I had to head north for my annual flu shot, so I figured I'd keep going all the way to Cambridge to Minds Eye Yarns. I've never been there before and I was not disappointed. Yes, it was way out of the way (no, my flu shot was not in downtown Boston, just shut up) but I've been jonesing for some new wool to spin and any reason to visit The People's Republic is a good reason to me.

It's been so long since I picked up my spindle that I was afraid I'd forgotten how, so I bought some plain cream wool top to practice on. Except there's nothing plain about this cream wool, it is just fluffy glossy goodness and entirely delightful. So soft! So creamy! So easy to spin!

Caution: do not stare directly at the sheen. Staring directly at the sheen causes immediate and complete loss of wallet control.

I mean, so easy to spin. I've already filled one toilet paper storage roll and have a half-spindle more. I dreamt about spinning this wool last night. Wait, it gets worse. In my dream, I was spinning at the grocery store. Please don't analyze that.

Then, this gorgeous variegated red wool top caught my eye. My only disappointment is that there were only 8 oz available.

Here's a spinning question for my spinning friends: it has been my experience that you start out with lustrous roving, and you spin it up and the yarn you create still has that luster, then you wash it and it's flat and dull and the luster is gone. What's up with that? Am I washing it wrong?


Laurie said...

I don't have an answer for you. Is it perhaps that the yarn loses some of the twist, and gets fuzzier, thus showing as less sheen? Just guessing.

Jackie said...

Don't worry, you're not the only one this side of the Mississippi who hasn't made Rogue, though I am eyeing for a good project after Christmas. I love how the cables stand out on yours with the light colored yarn :)

claudia said...

Yarn from roving doesn't really need to be "washed" so much as blocked.

I would tie my newly born and twisty skein up nicely (at least 4 figure-eight ties) then toss in the washing machine with warm water to soak. If I felt that it needed a bit of washing, I'd add a drop or two of shampoo (put this in after you've filled the basin/washer with water -- you don't want suds), but it usually doesn't need it. Rinse once if you are using shampoo. I also might a bit of hair conditioner (put a little bit on your fingers and swish around in the water) to the bath (in a separate rinse if you are using shampoo). This makes the yarn smell nice and softens it a bit.

Hope that helps.

You can always soak some of your flat yarn in water with a bit of conditioner added to see if it will make a difference.

I think by virtue of the twist in the yarn, it will catch light differently than the untwisted roving. But a nice shiny roving shouldn't make a dead yarn.

Anonymous said...

You isit my blog: I visit yours.

That roving, from Ashland Bay, suffers a loss of interest when it is spun too finely, in my experience. Try leaving the single a little fatter, try for a worsted rather than a sport weight in your finished yarn, and I suspect you'll see more of what you loved about it in the first place.

julia fc