Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Yarn Along: Sweater Edition

{Yarn Along with Ginny today, sharing current knits and reads. Will you join us?}

I finished the Shapely Boyfriend Cardigan! I could practically shout it from the rooftops. I started that Cardigan back in January (!!!) and it is finally complete after a few time-outs and slogging through those sleeves. The button band was done in no time and I ran out and bought buttons for it last week. Now- to put the buttons on, weave in ends and get it blocked so that I can actually wear it... The pattern itself is wonderful and fine- it was my own short-comings (mostly impatience with sleeves) that made this project take 10 months for no good reason.

I also cast on for Ender's Soledad Sweater this week. He is very excited and keeps checking to be sure I am primarily working on his sweater. It starts with the sleeves (getting the hard-for-me part out of the way) so I am carrying sleeve #1 with me everywhere to get the inches on there quickly. 'm knitting the sleeves with magic loop instead of DPNs for the first time, and while I'm still getting used to it, I'm thinking magic loop may be the way to go on sleeves for me for now on. I love my DPNs, but for sleeves it just... well, I need something magical to help me through them.

I have a super crazy goal to get his sweater as far as possible by November 30 (the crazy part is hoping that it is mostly done by then) so that I can cast on for Ezra's Soledad December 1 and have them both completely finished by Christmas. I haven't promised them as Christmas sweaters, but I'm secretly hoping for that.

In reading, the boys and I just finished listening to The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. They really enjoyed it, so much that we are listening to it again. I'm still working slowly through Emma by Jane Austen on the kindle, but mostly because my reading time has all but disappeared lately due to extra stuff in our schedule. It will all clear up by the end of the month and then I'll be able to catch up on things again.

I'm also working through Maggie Casey's Start Spinning again, this time as a new wheel spinner. Did you hear the news? Lola joined our family over the weekend, so creative time is being poured into her as I learn how to use her.

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Little Story

I originally planned to tell you a little tale of my recent finishing kick amongst projects in my knitting basket, but another little story happened that has to come first- a distraction, if you will.

Early Saturday morning I woke up to my husband telling me I needed to get up and get ready to go. Now, we had no plans for this particular Saturday, which doesn't happen often around here, so I was very confused. Plus it was very early. Way too early to get up on a Saturday with no plans. He went on to tell me how he had arranged for me to go to a spinning class and spend a bit on fiber, but I needed to get moving because it's about an hour drive to the nearest shop that teaches spinning. I was still a little confused, but happy and I got in the shower while he told me exactly what was going on. He had a list ready of what I needed to bring to class, had already packed what he knew to pack, and had even put the shop address into the GPS for me.

So I got in the car and drove and spent the entire time excited to get some more time spinning on the Lendrum in a class since I won't be able to buy a wheel for awhile. I thought through fiber and what I have in my minuscule stash at home so that I could look at some different fibers this time.

I signed in for class and got a little bit more information about exactly what the class was. It was a sampling class, a "step 2" for new spinners. They assumed you'd spun for a little while and needed a few basic questions answered, but then we would be given time to try out a few different fibers and also to work on short draw, long draw, and spinning from the fold.

I told the instructor that I've been spinning on a drop spindle for the last 9 months and that the class was a surprise and I wasn't sure I would be able to attempt different techniques during class since I haven't spun on a wheel since last February. She was very kind and smiled and said, "I'm sure you're hands will only take a few minutes to adjust to the wheel versus the drop spindle." I told her I wanted to be sure to sit at a Lendrum since it's the wheel I'm planning to buy in the future, and she assured me that could be arranged.

And then we went to the classroom, where a Lendrum sat in front of the first chair, with a red ribbon and a name tag made out to me.

My husband is known for sneaky fiber-related gifts, and he did it again- I was so very surprised. We had talked quite recently about being able to get the wheel in May or June, just in time for my birthday and another round of Tour de Fleece, so I was not at all expecting a wheel for Christmas... especially in November.

Her name is Lola, to join a long line of geeky references- it's just the way we name things around here. I spun on her in class all morning Saturday, and my boys were all gracious enough to allow me to spin on her during family movie night on Saturday. I spun a little more yesterday afternoon during Ellie's nap, and my... she is so wonderful. The singles I've spun so far are not super consistent, but better than I thought they would be. I'm sticking with short draw at the moment, but I'm going to make sure to practice some long draw in the near future.

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