It’s Preppy Yarn!

pink/grey 2ply yarnI’ve just finished plying the last of the pink rovings. The pink was much harder to spin than the grey was because someone had cut the roving with (gasp!) scissors. I finally learned that it’s better to just pull the cut ends off and throw it away instead of trying to spin it. It makes an awful, lumpy mess. It wasn’t too horrible once is was plied because it balanced out a little, but still not something that I would want to repeat.

End result? About 500 yards each of pink and grey 2-ply that is between sport and worsted weight. Just enough to make a cropped sweater for me! Of course, I can’t start on it until after all the Christmas knitting is done.

On the vest … I’m almost finished with the back. EliSpot decided that it was a nice spot to take her afternoon nap on. At least it’s nice and warm now. I’m a little tired from spinning and plying so I think I’ll leave it for tomorrow.

I went to Lamb’s Ear Yarn and Fiber and picked up some Lorna’s Laces rovings. I couldn’t decide between 2 colorways, so I bought both. Purple Iris and Tahoe. About 10 ounces each.

Of course, I couldn’t resist picking up 2 skeins of Lorna’s Laces Sport Weight yarn. Two more last minute Christmas knitting projects. Mum on the project because it’s a surprise. I have 10 more days. Plenty of time, right?


Hooray! I realized that I didn’t have to use CGI but can use JavaScript to create my knit increase calculator. Anyway, it’s done. Give it a whirl.

I’ll be moving it to somewhere else, once I’ve revamped my web pages, but for now, it will do.

Still working on the vest. I’ve finished the sleeve decreases in the back. Just need to finish knitting the back with Brown Sheep and then I can start the fun with Kureyon on the front!


Yes, I’m a geek at heart. I built a little perl script yesterday (honest, this is related to knitting) that will create a knit “pattern” for an increase row, based on 2 input values: number of starting stitches, and the number of stitches that you want to add.

For example, if you want to increase 12 stitches evenly across a row with 93 stitches, it will produce the following:

k2, inc 1, (k8, inc 1) 11 times, k3
Ending with a total of 105 stitches

You will, of course, substitute in your pattern into this knit row. If you are doing a k1, p1 ribbing, then instead of k2 to start, you would k1, p1 before the first increase.

I got the idea when I saw a post in one of the Yahoo!Groups Mailing Lists asking about where to find a “calculator” on the web. And I thought, how hard would it be to build one? It’s just a math equation, right?

Anyway. I think it’s pretty nifty. Now, I just need to figure out how to do some cgi programming so that I can run this via a web browser instead of needing to log into my server to run the script.

Yeah, I was the one in 8th grade who spent hours trying to create a generic BASIC program on my old Atari 600 to do my algebra homework that I could have finished in minutes if I had just done it by hand. But what would have been the fun in that? (That should also give you an idea of how old I am … who out there even remembers that Atari actually was competing with Apple for the home computer market?)

On Call

Being on call is a drag. You can’t leave town. You can’t plan for events that take all day or goes late into the night. You just never know when disaster will strike. You can hope that you will have the hours from noon to 5 free, because, if all goes well, that’s the “quiet” time between Japan and Europe reporting hours. Sigh. The perils of working for an international company.

On the plus side, a lot of this is “hurry up and wait.” You get paged. Most times, there’s not much you can do after the initial troubleshooting, alerting the right parties of the issues, and wait … and wait.

What can I do? KNIT! I tried spinning, but I can’t really do that in front of the computer and periodically hit the refresh button to see the status of the current jobs. It’s much easier to do this with a knitting project.

Although, I suppose I can invent some sort of music stand type of thing for my laptop and put it next to the spinning wheel …

After spinning the silk, I got into the spinning mood. I found some mill end rovings in my stash and started working on those. I finished up 9 oz of a brown/white roving that turned into this really pretty light grey ragg 2-ply yarn (about 500 yards). It was really soft and wonderful to spin. I have no idea what is in it. Merino? Perhaps some alpaca? Luscious.

There’s about 8-9 oz of pink roving of the same stuff. I’m about half way through spinning the singles on that.

I told Martin that I am thinking about making a cropped sweater for myself with the yarn. Although it would be first time I would wear pink and grey since my preppy period during the freshman college days. Martin thinks I’m joking.

As I said, spinning and computer work don’t really go together. So, I started a sweater vest with Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted and Kureyon. This is a Christmas present (Martin helped me pick out the colors). I’ve been putting it off. It shouldn’t take long, since I already made one similar for Martin’s Birthday and it took about 7 days. I should have plenty of time to finish it.

Spinning Again!

purple tussah silk 2-ply

I’m spinning again! I had forgotten how much I enjoy spinning silk. I spun the little bit of purple dyed tussah silk that I had left from a previous project (about 2/3 oz) into 186 yards of 2 ply yarn. I spun the single yesterday, and plied it this evening. Absolute joy. This is exactly what the doctor ordered. A bit of enjoyable, relaxing spinning.

I mixed 2 or 3 different Jacquard Acid Dye to get the purple I wanted. The dye didn’t completely blend and took up differently on different parts of the roving. But I love it. It added quite a bit of depth to the color. And it also kept the rovings from getting boring because of the slight variations. (I did say that I have a low boredom threshold, didn’t I?)

Now, it’s whetted my appetite for more spinning. I’ve got to restrain myself until I get more Christmas presents done!

On the down side, I just got an email about the guild meeting next week — it’s not a plain old gift exchange, but a handmade Christmas ornament exchange. Sigh. Now what do I do? What can I knit the silk into for an ornament? a pair of mini-mittens? I’ve never tried that. Could be fun. There’s always mini-socks too. But mittens would be different. The thumbs would not be fun though. Need more thought.

Maybe I should spin to help get the creative juices flowing … or spin some wool to make the ornament out of. Hmm …

It’s been a productive weekend. I finished Ian’s scarf too. I was told that it is the wishbone pattern from Barbara Walker’s book. But when I looked it up, the wishbone is a cable and looks nothing like this. This is a faux cable, made via a series of make 1s and decreases. No extra needles and pretty fast to make. Only 8 rows in the repeat.

The scarf is about 8″ wide by 45″ long. As long as the 3 balls of alpaca I had in my stash would take me. (Heirloom Alpaca, 8 ply, shade 972)

The dyed in the wool fleece turned out beautifully! Doesn’t it look like fall foliage? I’m actually pretty excited about carding it out, spinning it and see what happens. See, selective amnesia is already setting in and I haven’t even started to card yet!