On Saturday evening, I finished my handspun laceweight shawl. It took me a day or so to get around to soaking and blocking it, but I finally did so. Then, I took a rather sad photo.
The light is crap, but it does look pretty true to color I think. The yarn is handspun, the pattern is Pyropa. It has little beads throughout, and I do rather like those even though they don’t show up too well in the photo.
This brings me to 90% of my yearly goal, this is project 36 out of 40.
I am pleased that I got this one done, I am nervous about the last 3 projects. Maybe if I get some weaving finished, that’ll help. But, weaving time has been not so forthcoming. I’ll try for this weekend. I do have my work lunchtime project that is nearing completion, so I know I’ll at least have that one done. I guess the other factor is that I could probably take a little time off in the upcoming months so that’ll provide me with a little more crafting time. On the other hand, I generally spend the deep winter time off deep cleaning the house. We’ll see how it goes!
Last night was another long night of coughing. I am hoping it turns out I am over the true worst of it now. It got so bad that Mr. Ink, who always goes to bed much later than I do, came in and asked if there was ANYTHING he could do to help. Even offered to go out and get some nyquil or cough suppressant. I am really hoping that the coughing means everything is now draining, and that’s why I was feeling particularly miserable.
So, what’s been really nice during this rather prolonged cold process is that I’ve had a piece of knitting that has really captured all my attention when I am resting. Now, yesterday I was feeling pretty good (until the evening coughing began) so I was highly productive. I’d told Mr. Ink that my plan was to be highly productive while being inside and introverted. I did a bunch of laundry. I packed away my summer clothing and laundered and folded and put away my winter clothing. I did some basement rearranging and sorting. I did some sorting in the main areas of the house and a whole bunch of clean up. I walked the dogs, though they were still quite exhausted from our previous day’s activities. I made myself soup for lunch and made apple crisp for dessert with Miss Butterfly. It really was an all-around lovely and productive day.
And in the midst of those moments, I knit.
This is about halfway through the day, I am well into the third color here. By the end of the day, I’d made it into the fourth color. That color is really just a deeper shade of the third color. My interest does not seem to be waning in any way at all. Since the shawl just gets larger and larger, the rows are longer and longer. I rather enjoy the rhythm of the lace at this point. I cannot memorize the pattern completely, but I just need a prompt every line of the pattern and I am off and running. I need to make more like this!
Here’s a quick tale of handspun yarn. A very long time ago I made some handspun singles out of a beautiful blue wool/silk blend. I loved it so much that I always wanted to knit it as singles into something gorgeous and lace. After many years went by, I decided it was time to knit with it, so I wound that yarn into a cake. This was about this time last year. I tried a few patterns but never got past the first row or two, and then our very new to us puppy Rose got hold of that yarn cake and ripped the heck out of it.
So, I salvaged as much as I could and set it aside.
The reality was that I already knew it wasn’t going to knit well into a project as singles. And that ended up being especially true once Rose had worked her magic. I had already been thinking I should ply it with something else in order to make it a better yarn. But, it took me another year or so to end up doing that.
Once I had all the blue singles complete, I figured they’d pair nicely with a wool/silk blue single! Here are the singles on spindles I’d been working on:
Once plied with the wool/silk, I ended up with 925 yards of 2 ply.
The only trouble? Somewhere along the line it looks like I managed to spin a single “backwards” to what I expected and it seems like the bulk of this is an opposing 2-ply yarn. Which isn’t a problem for the project I have in mind. The project I have in mind also requires more like 1700 yards, so this is not enough. No matter, I have more blue singles on spindles and more blue batts, and I don’t think it’s overly necessary to have these singles and the new ones match perfectly for the project I have in mind. I also have 2 bumps of commercial blue/black/white fiber if I really can’t manage to finish with what I have between this yarn, the singles, and the other blue batts waiting to be spun. But I think I’ll probably be ok even without breaking into the commercial fiber. In any case, it’s nice to have a spin where I have a project in mind, that’s fun!
That’s it from here today, we are on day 5 of our colds, and Mr. Ink coughed all night so I am not feeling particularly rested. The show must go on!
I am on day 3 with this lace project, still sick, and I stayed home from work today. And boy I am glad I did! I hear the irritation of my staff when one arrives sick and should have stayed home, I don’t want that directed at me! The mornings are full of coughing, the mid-mornings are full of sore throat and wanting to sleep. It’s “just” a cold, but even a cold is highly irritating.
So, I am resting and working on my laceweight project and really enjoying it. Though, I am getting a bit bored at this point. At least I’ve worked myself into the next color. Here’s the yesterday photo next to today’s photo.
Progress has certainly been made. For the record, today’s photo is more the actual color of the yarn. I took yesterday’s photo pretty late in the day.
Yesterday was definitely a day in which we didn’t do much at all. I was very ok with that. We managed to get to a store to get some shoes for Miss Butterfly. I had a coupon that was expiring that day and wanted to be able to use it when we got her much needed new shoes. Sadly, since they were name brand, the coupon didn’t work anyhow. On the other hand, her shoes were on sale, so it worked out in the end. She’s been wearing the same pair of sneakers since the 8th grade and the soles were peeling away from the shoe. She loves those sneakers so she didn’t tell me about this for a time. Not until it got too bad. I am hoping we have found a pair she can love for the next few years. Other than that, it was hang out with the dogs, knit, and nap. I’ll do more of the same today, but without the shopping.
That’s it from here. I’ve got some handspun yarn to show off soon. I finished it last week but didn’t have the motivation to pull it off the wheel once I got sick. That being said, I may already have a project picked out for it, so that could be fun!
This time it wasn’t allergies.
That’s right, Mr. Ink and I are both sick. On Friday I thought “Gosh, my allergies are really acting up today!” But, by the evening I knew it wasn’t allergies. Yesterday morning we took Rose to the dog park to make sure she had a whole bunch of running time so we could relax. I did chores around the house when I could and then worked on my knitting. Mr. Ink planted things. Then he asked me if I wanted to go on a bike ride. Which caused me to exclaim “You and me do sickness VERY differently!”
Later on, I realized why. We do sickness differently because I have asthma and he does not. Any sickness means my lungs are shot and even climbing stairs can make me need an inhaler. He does not have this issue.
I decided that I needed a new project for a cold. I decided on the Pyropa pattern with some handspun laceweight singles. Seemed like something I could sink my teeth into when feeling like I wanted to ignore the symptoms.
I know you can’t really see the lace pattern without it being blocked but it’s very pretty! I am enjoying the choice. The handspun is a gradient so I am looking forward to the other colors that appear as I continue. I am working on my sock project as well when I am wanting something a little less taxing on the brain, but it has been fun to have something complicated at the moment.
I finished another weaving project. As is typical, I learned a thing or two. First of all, calculate and then recalculate. On this one, I somehow managed to calculate my warp too short to accommodate the amount of weft I had available. I have about half the weft left over and I have a rather short scarf. It’s disappointing. Particularly disappointing because I had another ball of warp yarn available! So, instead of using up two stash yarns, I used half of two stash yarns. Ugh.
The scarf itself is awfully pretty. No regrets there!
I don’t have anything on the loom right now. I don’t even have anything on the warping board right now. I need to either pick out a pattern to work on, or choose another interesting yarn to use with a regular weave, or wait for new warp cotton yarn I have arriving next week. Not sure which I’ll end up choosing.
With this finished project, I am now at 73% of my goal of 40 projects this year. I currently have two pairs of socks, a stocking, and a part of a stole on the needles. I also have it in my head to make a few fun items that should knit up pretty fast. I am currently feeling good about that goal.
About the goal of under 100 stashed yarns? Not as good. I have brought in a few weaving cotton yarns that I need to get listed in stash. I’ve made great progress, and I really don’t think I have purchased yarns that I haven’t used immediately this year, and the weaving tends to eat stash quickly. But, often I’ll use a yarn that I can’t completely remove from stash since I didn’t use it ALL. Plus, there’s the influx when I do get around to spinning.
I do need to do another serious stash shake out, it’s always good to remove and rearrange to make sure I am remembering the things I have. I did do a craft room clean up recently so I’d have more room to do that shake out. But haven’t done the shake out yet. Perhaps today, if it rains.
In any case, this is what my crafting looks like today. 🙂
A short list of things that make me feel dumb. In no particular order.
- Gauge. I finished the sock I had been working on all weekend. I put it on, it was WAY too large. Decided that was fine, it would fit Mr. Ink. I asked him to try it on. I started the second sock. It is way smaller, a much more appropriate size for the needles I am using. It’ll fit me. Gauge makes me feel dumb. Or maybe, it’s tension that makes me feel dumb.
- Allergies. Spoiler alert-it was just allergies. I started to feel better by Saturday evening after spending all day indoors. Hung out with friends outside Saturday evening, sneezed all morning. I refuse to let allergies stop my life right now, so I am going to have to just accept that sneezy, snotty, itchy, and fog brained are part of my life right now.
- Work. There’s just so much going on and I am just desperately trying to remember eveything that needs to be done that I don’t have much space for anything else. I spent all week avoiding the issues with my loom because I didn’t have the brain power to figure it out because work was too busy.
- Learning something new. This morning I went downstairs to my loom trying to work out what the heck was wrong with it. Prior to doing so, I looked up types of looms trying to figure out what I have so I could figure out the issue at hand. Then I went downstairs, got under my loom, and pressed on the working treadles to teach myself how the darn thing worked in the first place. I still couldn’t figure out the bum treadle, so I pressed and lifted it while looking at the side of the loom. Turns out, the rope that needs to connect to the treadle to make the shafts move had come unhooked. Easy fix. I felt pretty dumb not having been able to work that out right from the start!
On the bright side, this means I finally got the opportunity to tie up the loom the way I wanted to. It’s still just a simple weave, but I’ve got each harness hooked up to the outside treadles, in hopes I’ll get used to using both feet. I had just been using my right foot for the last project.
Details: The warp is cotton, it’s Rowan Cotton Glace I had in stash. Sadly, I couldn’t remove this yarn from stash since I still have one more ball left. But, I am glad that I was able to get some stash moved out of my cabinet even so. The weft is a chain ply handspun I spun quite a few years ago. I am loving how it is weaving up so far.
Things I am learning with this project. First of all, I need to be more careful about the selvage warp threads, I’ve got two always together on the edges now. This isn’t how things are supposed to be! But it’s how they are going to be as I am not going back. So, when figuring out where to begin, I need to take those warp threads into account.
Another thing, I need to not be afraid to add more waste weft to the start of the project, and I need to be ok with pulling those edges a little tighter when adding the waste weft. At the moment, I am getting some pretty ugly inches at the beginning before I get into a decent groove. Allowing myself more waste space would definitely help this.
Warp tension is another thing I need improvement on. Just because I feel like all the warp threads are tight doesn’t mean I don’t have to go back and check one more time. I can see where I didn’t, and it is a little too obvious for my own comfort level.
I am very happy to have had a little bit of time to weave today. We have dog park and a bike ride planned for later today so I’ll lose a lot of crafting time, but gain time with other hobbies. Stay tuned, I’ll go into more detail about the sock that has gauge issues in a different post.