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

Month: August 2004 Page 1 of 2

New Office

Warning: Absolutely no knitting content ahead.

Middle of last week, I moved from one building in my office complex to the other, while my business customers moved down the street. It’s inconvenient as heck. But now, I have a good excuse to take a 10 minute walk each way in this beautiful weather. California is much more conducive to this than when I was working in downtown Seattle. Besides, the streets are flat around here, whereas I had to go up and down the steep hills of downtown Seattle between the buildings — not to mention the rain.

It’s also amazing how attached one can get to those Toto Washlets and a warm toilet seat. The new building has just the plain old toilets. And what a shock it is when you sit down on an ice cold toilet seat! And the nice, soft, warm cleansing with the fluff cycle afterwards. I know, TMI. But I have to tell you, there is absolutely nothing like it when you are feeling yucky during your monthly cycle.

Oh well, I can always hold it and run back to the other building if I have the need. Besides, I have to go back to the other building to get my tea. Just drink and pee, pee and drink.

Okay, I’m exhausted and feeling punchy.

There’s been no knitting content. I’ve come to the sad conclusion that 2 of the sweaters I’m working on just isn’t doing it. I just don’t like how the sweater is working out with the handspun silk/merino. The more I think about it, the less I like it. The best thing for it is to rip it out, re-skein, and wash. The second sweater is with the pink/green singles. I blindly followed a vest recipe pattern. I should have gone with my gut when I thought that the underarm decreases wouldn’t work. The shoulder doesn’t have enough stitches for my taste.

So, both require frogging. I just don’t have it in me to do it right now.

May you all have nice warm toidy seats.

Still plugging away

Yes, I’m still here. I haven’t really had the time nor the energy to post much during the last couple of weeks. Things have been crazy, both at home and at work. For those of you who know where I work, it’s not what you think. It’s just regular, old, everyday, work. Although, the other stuff has been a big distraction. But, in general, it’s been work as usual. And plain busy.

And on the home front. It’s been nerve wracking. Martin’s Dad went back into the hospital on Tuesday, with dizziness and loss of motor skills. It turns out that it was a combination of dehydration and the return of a brain tumor. We went through this, right about this time last year. It was resolved with rehydrating him (he just won’t drink water), and steroids. The 3 cm tumor has now shrunk down to a size where the doctors aren’t worried too much about it. Just continue steroid treatment and keep hydrated. Why aren’t they worried? Well, it’s sitting on the brain stem. Cutting would be more dangerous than just keeping an eye on it. He was released from the hospital on Friday afternoon.

While Martin was on the phone with his brother, who just took his Dad home, I got word from my Dad that my stepmother was just diagnosed with Leukemia. She goes in for chemo on Monday.

Add that to the madness at work, it hasn’t been a very good week.

Navajo Plied skein

But I have been doing some fiber stuff. Here’s a skein of yarn that I spun and navajo plied. The roving is from Color Me! (colorway Playful), back with Michaela was still running Spinster’s Cottage. There’s enough for a child’s sweater or some socks for me. I haven’t decided what to do with it yet.


And I finally finished Martin’s socks that I started months ago. I had to rip one of them back, because it was too long. And they ended up in a knitting kit that I took with me to the yacht club to work on during lulls in various functions. Unfortunately, I haven’t been to the club that much recently, and when I have, it’s been to work the event. (Northern California Jr. Olympics in Sailing was last weekend, where I was part of the kitchen crew that made dinner for 70 Jr. Olympians and their family. Whew!) Anyway, it was a great time, and these socks are finally done. I absolutely love this yarn (Mountain Colors Bearfoot). Note to self: make an entry on the yarn at WiseNeedle.

Lincoln/Corriedale battWhat else have I been up to? I’ve been playing with my drum carder that I received last March (ordered from Fiberworks April 2003). Over on the left is what one of the batts look like. I put some of the lincoln/corriedale cross that I had through the drumcarder, just to see what it would do. I was advised against it, due to the staple length, but I wanted to see exactly why. Well, now I know. The staple length on this is around 4-5″ long. It’s nearly impossible to get a clean break on the fiber on the drum to start pulling it off. But it sure it pretty, isn’t it? I didn’t fully load the drum, and it came out at 1.25 oz. (approx 40 grams). I think I could make up 3 oz batts with this. Of course, it all depends on the fiber.

Navajo weaving on a tapestry loomSomeone asked me where I found the room for a navajo loom. Well, I’m actually using a tapestry loom that I borrowed from the instructor. To give you some scale reference, the weaving area is approximately 14″ wide and 16″ tall. The total loom size is about 2 feet wide by 3 feet tall (? guessing here; too lazy to go to the other room with a tape measure). As you can see, with all the other stuff going on, I haven’t been working much on it. However, I am loving it. It just take a bit more concentration that I don’t have right now.

I’ll be posting again when I can.

Good reads

cable-scarf.jpgI was reading Amy‘s entry on reading your knitting and it reminded me of this scarf on the left, circa 1993-1995.

I first saw this scarf when I was working in downtown Boston during a particularly nasty winter (one of the 5 record snow winters in the 7 winters that we lived there). One of the ladies at work wore this beautiful scarf that she purchased on her last trip to Ireland. I asked if I could borrow it over lunch one day, and charted it out. Took the chart home, and knitted this scarf up in a wekeend, and had something nice and warm to wear for the rest of the winter, while waiting for the Green Line in Brookline

If I were to do this all over again, I would make the 2 cables on the sides mirror image of each other. Other than that, I’m pretty pleased with it. My version of the scarf has 11 repeats and is 8 inches wide and 5 feet long, plus the fringe. I think the original had 13 repeats, but she was a tall person. I am not.

See pattern detail. And if you have broadband (or the patience), here’s the high resolution picture of the pattern detail, embedded cat hair and all.

Can you read and transcribe this pattern?

Unfortunately, I didn’t keep the project notes for this scarf. Or if I did, it’s been 4 or more moves since. I wouldn’t even begin to know where to look for it. But the good thing about being able to read your knitting, you can recreate just about anything.

08-thick-thin.jpgBack to the present. I have not been thrilled with anything on my knitting needles lately. I would knit a couple of rows, and I would get bored. So I’ve been spinning. Once I got started with the thick and thin spinning, I couldn’t stop. I looked around to see what else I had sitting around, and I found the rovings I bought 2 springs ago. I had already split it and prepped it for spinning, but I decided to split it yet again, to be closer to the size that I wanted the spun yarn to be.

Blue/green: superwash merino from Paradise Fibers; 8.5 oz.; 770 yds.
pastels: 50s wool from Banana Belt Yarns; 14 oz.; 640 yds.

Currently plying up another hand-painted roving: I spun it fine and am plying it using navajo plying method. Pictures later this week.

…and if you’ve made it this far, yes, I realize that the picture of the scarf detail is “upside down.” Just stand on your head while you read and transcribe.

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