Monday, April 09, 2012

Knitting and migraines

Spring is often migraine season for me. I think the weather/pressure changes trigger the headaches and once they get a grip, it's tough to break free. I had another late last night. It kept me awake until about 3 AM so I am a bit fuzzy and sleep deprived today.

I worked on the test shawl yesterday, I worked on the abyssal scarf and a bit on wingspan. Then in the evening I cast on for another of Melanie's Lovers Lane hats. (yes, I am OK with yet another project on the needles) I used the same yarn but a different colorway. This one is shades of teal, left over yarn from a sweater I made last year. I like it so far.

I alos did some spinning yesterday. I worked on babydoll Southdown fiber. It came in a batt. It's very soft and fluffy. I was surprised to find out how much twist I had to add to keep it together, but it seems to be spinning up nicely. I have 8 oz. of a nice brown color and hope to make a pair of socks eventually.

I hope you had a good Holiday. I enjoyed mine.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Test Shawl Status

The Spiral Shawl has been my main knitting project for a while. This is the test knit shawl I mentioned a while ago. You can see in the photo below how well this is going to sit on the shoulders - the construction has it curling around the neck and growing in all directions. I had to put it on several needles in order to really spread it out to show the shape and to get a good measurement. I have about 1.5 inches to knit and then I will add the last increase section.   The color, BTW is way off. It's really a deep green but wants to look blue in the photos. I have no idea why, since it's natural light. Sigh.

You can get an idea of the construction from the way the lighter bits indicate a change in direction.

Here is a closer up view of the lifted double increases. 

Melanie gave this yarn to me a while ago. She purchased it to make a shawl for her SIL (I think) but didn't like the way the yarn behaved in the pattern she had chosen. She wasn't happy with other patterns either. I liked the yarn a lot, so now I get to play with it.  ; ))

The pattern is Abyssal. It's a variant of feather and fan to start, with lots of stockinette, using short rows for shaping. With such a variegated yarn, I don't care for garter stitch. I think this will work well.  

We had hoped to get out on the boat for fishing today but the winds prevented that. I don't consider dealing with 15 mph winds with gusts to 30 to be a fun time. bummer.

I am off to do laundry, check the roof for further leaks and hopefully to ply (successfully) my shetland roving that I spun on the wheel yesterday.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

I am alive. Truly

I just get busy and run out of time at the end of the day to post. I've been getting up at 5 AM for work, so bedtime is 10 PM. When you finish dinner and dishes at 8 PM, that doesn't leave a lot of time.

I have been knitting on the test knit shawl for Erica almost exclusively in order to not be late with completion. I have settled into a rhythm with the increases, so even though the rows are long, they are going faster than in the earlier phases. Pretty soon I will be at the last increase section, then just a bit more knitting and it will be time for the lace edge.

Masham - the spinners study group on Ravelry is studying Masham this month. I had some that I had purchased a while ago and started spindle spinning it. I decided to try spinning the rest on the wheel and did that yesterday. It was a dream to spin, easy to draft, smooth and soft in my hands.

 It has a nice halo to it when spun, though I think that halo is what accounts for the prickle factor it has. I had planned to use it for mitts though I had planned to make the cuffs with something softer because my wrists are very sensitive to the prickle factor.
 All of those plans are over now. I was winding it into a center pull ball for plying purposes. The partially wound ball flew off the ball winder and never recovered. I tried to ply it but was beaten into submission by the tangles of singles. When I did manage to get some untangled, the singles drifted apart. Bummer. I really liked that stuff.  Sigh.

I finished plying my beautiful laceweight yarn, skeined and washed it. It's hanging in the basement drying. I think it was worth the work and the wait. ; )

 It looks even better now that I have washed it and it dried nicely. It seems to be perfectly balanced and evenly spun and plied. I am so psyched! This might just get entered in some fairs this year.

The garden is planted - at least most of it. I plan some sequential plantings of the corn and green beans, so I left room for that in the garden. No more freezes, please, Mother Nature.