Random thoughts of a fiber enthusiast - mostly fiber related, sometimes coherent

Month: April 2003

Pi Shawl

Here’s how I’ve been spending my time …


This is knitted on US 5 needles with a 2 ply handspun yarn: one strand of alpaca roving (AlpacaPalooza from Cedar Wind Ranch. The blend is called Chocolate Parfait — part chocolate brown and part creamy white, donated by Checkov, Tawnee, and Divinity. I let it sit in the closet of a year because I was afraid that I wouldn’t do it justice (I bought it 2 months after I learned to spin). This month, I sat down and decided that it was now or never.

Then, as a reward for finishing the taxes on time (April 15th at 3 pm. Whew, thank goodness for electronic filing — no trying to find parking and standing in line at the post office), I started the Pi Shawl from Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitter’s Almanac. I’ve just started the 3rd, and final, pattern block. With the flight down to California for the interview on Friday, there is a good chance that I will be finished with it by our 15th wedding anniversary next week.

We’ll see. I haven’t decided what to do about the edging yet. And this weekend will be busy with the Natural Dyeing with Norman Kennedy Workshop.

Glorius Fiber Time

Since I’ve started my leave of absence, I’ve been busing filling it with lots of fiber activities and not much time to blog. But it’s been fun and satisfying.

Last weekend was AlpacaPalooza. I bought this beautiful grey alpaca fleece that received 2nd place in the fleece show. It lost by 1 point and it was docked for low annual fleece production by the animal (La Jolla from Alapacas from Mars). I can live with that. I gave the locks a test spin with my drop spindle and came up with a beautiful dark grey yarn at 32 wpi. It is soooo soft and light that it’s like a cloud — the typical stormy Seattle sky. I’m thinking a shawl.

Martin also “talked” me into buying a grey woven alpaca shawl (he had to push really hard, ha!). It is 40″x82″. Can you see a recurring theme here? I love greys.

Tuesday was a grueling full day of interviews for a different position within my current company. Strangely enough, I want that position now more after the interviews than before. Now I’m scared. It’s a new team that has full executive level support, that’s both the good and the bad news. A lot of exposure here. Everyone will be watching, including The Street.

I had another phone interview with another large internet company down in California. It’s for the same position that I just left. But it’s a brand new team that I would have the say in building and hiring — AND, get this, it has full management support and budget to go with. What a difference. I think a trip to California is in the stars for the next week or two for another set of grueling interviews.

Now, I have to jump in the shower and head off to Shepherd’s Extravaganza for the Judith MacKenzie’s Dyeing for Color workshop. I’ve signed up for 2 other workshops during the show and the Norman Kennedy Natural Dye workshop later this month. I can’t wait.

I wish I can do this all the time — but if I don’t work, how will I pay for all these workshops, fibers and tools? Can’t something be worked out?

Timber Frame – Fini


Lookee here! It’s finally done. I finished the second arm hole, neck and weaving in the ends last night. It fits perfectly! I didn’t have to modify the neck like I thought. It wasn’t too small for my fat head after all.

What I would do differently next time …

  • Make the overall length a big longer, probably just by another 2 inches. I measured for a favorited cropped sweatshirt, which is fine if I’m making a that cropped sweater I wanted (next project), but a vest should be a wee bit longer to cover the small of my back while sitting down (okay, good posture would also solve that one).
  • Make the width a wee bit bigger too. It’s a little too fitted for a normal vest (and losing some weight would help here too).
  • Instead of 1.5″ of ribbing for the neck and arm holes, I would go with 1″ — scale everything down. It’s currently the same length as the ribbing around the bottom, and I think the scale is off. But that’s what they recommended in the pattern book.
  • Be a little more careful about stitching a straight line/even curves so that the arm holes match. I was so careful about pinning the cutouts so that I have an even number of “bars” on either side of the neck line, but then when I stitched, I shifted one stitch. Now the pattern is off.In any case, the “fitted” part is perfect to go under my armoured jacket (for my scooter). Since that is a fitted jacket, I can’t wear anything too bulky underneath it. So, the vest, despite the above, is perfect for its intended purpose. It has the added advantage of being double layered (fairisle) so that if I don’t decide to zip the jacket all the way to the neck, I won’t get as chilled.

    All in all, I’m quite happy with the results and glad for the practice before the Kilim jacket.

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