Random Ravelings

Thoughts on knitting, yarn, writing, and life, as the mood strikes me.

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Location: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Two Gloves Done!

At 5pm (EST) on Sunday, February 26 (today) I wove in the last end on the second of the two Flying Geese Gloves. They are officially done!

Here they are:

And, for a change of pace, we have daffodils. In February. These flowers first opened this past Thursday, this picture was taken on Saturday.

That's it for now. I'll do a debriefing on this whole Olympic Knitting process in a day or two.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I'm still knitting

I'm still knitting, in spite of the lack of postings here. Just busy. It's funny how blogging uses up time I could be knitting. Here's some of what's been going on lately.

First, the Gloves

On Sunday night, at about 8pm, I finished the right glove of the pair (the back is shown here), including weaving in ends, and then cast on for the left glove.

The left glove is progessing nicely. I just put the thumb gore stitches on hold to finish the hand (on my lunch break).

Can I finish by Sunday night? I think so. It'll be tight, but I think there's still enough time left. By my calculations I probably have around 10 hours of knitting (and finishing) left. I've got around an inch of knitting left on the hand, then start taking off stitches for the fingers, and then work each finger and the thumb. The fingers took about an hour and a half each on the first glove, so that's around 7.5 hours for five of them. Allow another 1-2 hours for the rest of the hand and setting up the fingers, and some time for the finishing.

Stay tuned, I'll try and post a little more often.

The String Eating Dog, part 2

Jazzy, sweet dog that she is, presented me with evidence of futher depradations on fiber (Part One is here) on Wednesday morning (after I was awake for once). Upon inspection of vulnerable textiles (rugs), I found a small throw rug with a relatively small portion missing along one edge. The rug is small one, about the size of a small doormat, and appears to be a piece of a remnant of industrial type carpeting (low pile) that had been bound off on the edges. It's pretty stiff, and invulnerable to doggy depradations (or so I thought). It turns out that this was again one of this rugs made with a continuous yarn that's pulled up into rows of short loops, and Jazzy apparently worked a bit loose and then kept pulling. I think it's nylon. Couldn't have been pleasant.

Why does she do this? I'm not sure, but since it only seems to happen when I'm not home, I suspect it's a stress behavior. I'll have to explore this a bit further.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

No Pictures Yet

... but I did cast on for the Flying Geese Gloves on Friday evening, while watching the (recorded) opening ceremonies for the Olympics. Cast on and started the ribbing on the first glove, knitting perhaps an inch or so before I got too sleepy and had to go to bed. Finished the ribbing and started on the patterned part of the glove Saturday.

It's been snowing here. Not a lot of snow compared to some parts of the country, but enough to make things interesting. It snows overnight, then mostly melts off during the day, while still snowing. Today we've had snow showers on and off all day, while last night's two-three inches of snow has pretty much all melted off.

I mention this because I've been thinking about the as-yet-unfinished wool mittens wool mittens which would be really nice to have finished right now. My only other mittens are a much lighter pair knit out of Lion Brand Wool-Ease (i.e. mostly acrylic) and when they get wet, they get wet. And cold. And with this cold, wet snow we've been getting, that's not fun.

Anyway, I've been debating taking the time from the gloves to try and finish the mittens. The compromise I'm considering will be that AFTER I've knit some on the gloves on a given day, and feel I'm on track to finish them (both of them) on time, then I can give myself permission to work on the mittens. On the other hand, it's going to be warming up again in a few days, so it won't matter so much then.

Now, since it's about 5pm and I've not done any knitting today yet, I think it's time I actually got back to those gloves!

Monday, February 06, 2006

My Dad Went to New Zealand ...

... and brought back yarn!

My father and step-mother just got back from a cruise and vacation to New Zealand. First the five-week cruise, including stops in South America and islands in the South Pacific. Followed by an extended visit to New Zealand.

I admit to dropping broad hints about wool and New Zealand before they left, so the New Zealand yarn wasn't a total surprise. But they also sent me some alpaca yarn they bought in Ecuador, complete with a picture of a rather homely alpaca on the label. The alpaca yarn (actual fiber content not listed) is a tweedy green, quite pretty and soft; it appears to be about sport weight. The New Zealand yarn is Naturally Tussock Aran 10ply, being 85% New Zealand wool and 15% polyester, in off-white with a darker strand plied in. It looks like it will produce a kind of tweedy effect when knitted up.

On the left is the Tussock from New Zealand, on the right is the alpaca from Ecuador. Photographed outside on a cloudy day, hoping to get a better image of the colors.

No ideas yet what I'll knit out of either of these, though there looks to be enough for a sweater, or equivalent out of each of them. I'm just enjoying the idea of having yarn that came from the other side of the planet!

As Ready As I'm Gonna Get

For the Knittimg Olympics that is (see link on sidebar). Over the weekend, I finished two gauge samples for the gloves. The first in the wonderfully soft Tiur (Dalegarn), a luscious mohair and wool blend. The second in Regia fingering weight sock yarn. Both were in blue and white. Both were tubes of 60 stitches around - not what I'd call little, but large enough to see what I'm doing and count the stitches, and included both stranded patterns used in the gloves: Flying Geese and Salt and Pepper. Both were getting a gauge of around 10-11 stitches per inch.

Now, the pattern calls for 9 stitches per inch. On the other hand, the pattern is also for a men's size, so I figure if I'm getting a bit tighter gauge, the gloves might actually fit me. If not, I'll find someone who can wear them.

The big choice, which yarn? I've decided to go with the Regia sock yarn. I like the way the patterns show up in that yarn better than the Tiur, and I like the feel of the fabric better as well.

So, having decided on a pattern, a yarn and needle sizes, practiced the stitch patterns and two-handed stranded knitting, I don't think there's much more to be done until Friday, when I can officially cast on for this project.

So, in the meantime, I'm working on a pair of socks (Wildfoote Handpaint in dark blues and greens), a hat for a friend going through chemo, and yes, I'm still working on mitten number two (almost up to the hand dereases).

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Women Knitting

While knitting is often a solitary pursuit, most knitters do enjoy meeting with other knitters, to knit and to chat. Sometimes more talking gets done than knitting, but no one seems to mind all that much. I'm in a small group, as yet un-named, that meets once a month. We held our fourth gathering tonight, claiming a corner of a local Starbucks. The attendance is still small, which is good, because if we get many more knitters, we'll have to find a larger space.

Liza and Karan are working on a prayer shawl and an Alice Starmore sweater, respectively. Karan is one of the organizers of this gathering. Her co-conspirator, April, was unable to join us tonight due to illness.

Here, Kim is knitting on a sock. The remains of a sunset were visible through the window behind her, but didn't show up at all in this picture.

While Katherine is knitting an alpaca lace shawl. (Please forgive me if I've misspelled your name, I forgot to ask you the correct spelling.) She was also helping a new knitter learn to cast on (not pictured, at her request).

Here's my mitten (second mitten), in progress. [Thanks Kim, for taking the picture.]

And finally, the front (or back) of Karan's sweater. The cables don't show up very well in this picture though.