Chewing Gum

I picked up Anne again, after several weeks hiatus. Why did I wait so long? Well, that second row of each chart is a bitch. (First one is always a solid color. The second row is the one that established the pattern.) It usually takes me upwards of 5 attempts before I get the stitch counts exactly right. I usually end up back at the steek when I figure out that I’m off by one or more stitches. Careful counting as I go along doesn’t seem to help. Placing stitch markers as I go also doesn’t help, because I still end up with a missing or extra stitch somewhere along the way. (I seem to have problems counting to 6 or 8 or whatever.)

But once I get past that first row, I just fly along and the world is perfect. I was taking lessons learned from my first full chart series and applying it to the second repeat — don’t pull as tightly when I strand the colors. Let it “give” a little. See? No puckering!

Anne

The new repeat is smooth as silk, even without blocking.

The observant amongst you will rub your eyes, and say, “Hmm…Something’s not right, Ann.” And you’d be right. While I was making sure that I was as loose as someone on Percocet, I was, well, knitting as loosely as someone on Percocet. The stitch gauge was still okay because there just wasn’t much room for the fiber to go, except up. Yup, the row gauge was way off.

So, I leave you with this…

Anne

Back to square one.

I did learn something the second time around though. Count and place the stitch markers during the first row (solid color row). It’s easier to find out if you came out at the right place at the end of a repeat then at the end of the round. And if you count and place the markers during that first row, you aren’t trying do colors at the same time.

Believe it. I was never able to walk, talk and chew gum without biting myself inside my cheek. Break it down. Do one thing at a time. It saves time.

Busy As a Bee (aka Too Many WIPs)

I’ve been lax about posting lately. Work’s been busy, but I’ve been busy with my fibers as well. Want proof? Warning, a lot of photos to follow.

Lorna's Laces Purple Iris

This is about 1152 yards of Lorna’s Laces, Purple Iris, approximately fingering weight, 2 plied. I bought it from Lamb’s Ear so long ago that I’ve lost track of when. I pulled it out when I wanted some mindless spinning. It’s a little darker than I expected. I have no idea what I will use it for.

Cormo Fingering Weight

This is about 12 oz of the Cormo that I bought from Sue Reuser at the Retzlaff Winery in June. I bought about 26 oz total of the pin drafted roving. It was prepared by Morro Fleece Works. I love Shari’s fiber prep, so I might have gone a little overboard with the purchase. I forgot the yardage. I have it scribbled down somewhere around here. I’ll count again when I have the rest of it spun up, then I can decide what to do with it.

Cormo Lace Weight

This is the remainder of the first bag of Cormo. It’s approximately 1.25 oz of lace (cobweb?) weight 2 plied yarn. The singles were about 60 wpi, the finished yarn is about 40-45 wpi. The dime is in there for scale. There’s about 550 yards. Enough for a small scarf. I think I will make a small Estonian shawl or scarf with this.

Shetland Seas

This is about 798 yards of Shetland/Tussah (90/10), colorway Shetland Seas. I bought the wool from Nancy Jane Campbell at Dixon Lamb Town. It’s spun to sport weight.

Blue Bunny Fibers, Blue Faced Leicester, Forest Deep

Lastly, here is some 2 plied blue faced leicester from Black Bunny Fibers, colorway Forest Deep, spun about fingering/sport weight. I don’t have the yardage, but it should be enough for a pair of socks.

Do you see a pattern here? I’ve been doing a lot of “just because” spinning. Completely mindless without any thought of what I’m going to do with it, with the exception of the lace weight cormo. And would you believe that this is only about half of the yarn that I’ve spun up in the last couple of months? This is all that I have the energy to post about (read, too lazy to look up the provenance of the rest of it just now).

I was at a neighborhood soiree last night, talking with the hostess. She is a drumming instructor. Her specialty is ethnic drumming. We were talking about how soothing it is to drum to an inner rhythm. That’s what I’ve been doing with my spinning. I’ve been spinning to my inner rhythm. Cheaper than therapy, and it’s immediate. No appointments necessary. Okay, “cheap” is relative. This obsession with fiber is anything but cheap, but, hey. All of this was already in the house!
That was just the spinning. My current passion is Anne Bolelyn from Alice Starmore’s Tudor Roses. Here’s my progress.

Anne Bolelyn

I’ve completed the first repeat of all 4 charts. I started it about Labor Day Weekend, at the beginning of September. Each night, I think, I’ll just knit a few rows. Next thing I know, it’s time for bed.

With this sweater, I’ve abandoned all other knit projects currently in my work basket, including the Anarchist sweater. Although, I better get cranking on the 2 baby sweaters before Martin’s nieces’s twins pop out. What do I call them? Grand nephews? I’m too young to be “grand” anything, except just “grand.”