Two Left Needles

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November 2007 - Posts

Remember this handspun?

Spunky Eclectic merino/silk in Thunderstorm

Spunky Eclectic merino/silk in Thunderstorm. Last seen unwashed back in June. What a difference a wash and a whack makes.

Spunky Eclectic merino/silk in Thunderstorm

One thing Ravelry is giving me an itching to do is knit up more of my handspun. I want to knit this:

Spunky Eclectic merino/silk in Thunderstorm

into something yummy. I have 2 ideas:

  • Shetland Triangle from Wrap Style
  • the lacy Skater's Top that is designed to go over the Skater's Undertop I'm knitting now (though I don't want to wear them together)

Speaking of the Skater's Undertop, Ravelry also helped me find photos. Veronik Avery has some in her flickr set (Undertop and Lacy Top).

Spunky Eclectic merino/silk in Thunderstorm

I have 520 yards in 3.7 oz. I made a reasonably-sized Flower Basket Shawl out of one skein of Handmaiden Sea Silk (440 yards in 3.5 oz), so I think the shawl would be fine yardage-wise. I'm not sure how the striping nature of handspun would work out, but it's a simple pattern.

The Skater's Top uses 2 skeins of Rowan Kid Silk Haze, which is 458 yards in 1.75 oz. I have more yardage, but I find it hard to believe that my little skein will be enough for a top, even a lacy one.

What do you think? Which would you start?

Spunky Eclectic merino/silk in Thunderstorm


Shortly before Rhinebeck, I took Laurie's "challenge" to heart and thought hard about what Rhinebeck knitting I might bring. I don't knit socks enough to stalk indie-dyer websites. What did I have that was unique? And then it hit me: handdyed handspun self-striping chain-plied yarn in fiery colors. What could be more fitting?

Navajo-plied Sunfires

Naturally, I was too preoccupied with Lily to knit a single stitch.

Navajo-plied Sunfires

The yarn stayed in my bag until 2 nights ago. And started to become socks:

Sunfires Fantastic - in progress

The pattern is Welt Fantastic from Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks. I'm not sure if the pattern interferes with seeing the color gradations from light to dark and back again. Here's the other side:

Sunfires Fantastic - in progress

What do you think? Patterned? Plain?

I'm still super-motivated to knit the Skater's Undertop. The yarn is Debbie Bliss wool/cotton that I bought at Webs two years ago. Only slightly marinated (I have things much older in the stash). It feels very cotton-y, but at 50% wool, it's the most wool I've been knitting with lately, so it feels like r-e-l-i-e-f to my hands.

I'm to the armpits on the body:

Skater's Undertop - in progress

and have started sleeve one:

Skater's Undertop - in progress

I love the simple cable detail, and how it carries up over the shoulder to the neck. I also appreciate the in-the-round construction. I like the shape/fit and know this is something that will become part of my wardrobe, even with the wool content (I just won't wear it at home). And the mostly-stockinette knitting is perfect for my current state-of-mind. Ah yes, and the anticipation of the first sweater post-pregnancy. All these keep me going at a good clip.

I know I won't be comfortable with a belly-baring top or 3/4 sleeves so I'm adding length to the body and the sleeves. I've been trying it on as I go, too. I really want this to fit well.

I must be desperate for contact with wool because I picked up Trellis this weekend and doubled my progress:

Trellis - in progress

Sorry for the crappy photo.

I'm getting used to the 7-into-5 stitches, which require knitting the same 7 stitches together 3 times. Addi Lace needles come in handy for these manoevers. But I'm not digging the short rows (I took out a repeat because of my limited yardage. Who buys only 1 ounce of laceweight? Who??). It's hard to get into a rhythm before the row ends and then I have to figure out how to start the next one. Somehow I can't memorize the first few stitches of each row, but I'm golden after that. I feel like this is a project I'm finishing to finish, because I want to use the yarn. Which is fine. It will be beautiful. I just wish I could enjoy the process more.

I've made some progress on Scott's Cobblestone. This is an older picture:

Cobblestone - in progress

I'm almost to the armpits now. The cotton/silk is hard on my hands so I work on it in spurts. Wanting to get this done for Scott keeps me going. Also, occasionally, guilt.

I started Honeymoon Cami in April 2006, lost steam, then got pregnant and wasn't sure I'd be able to wear it afterwards, so it sat. After I got a question on it on Ravelry, I pulled it out to check gauge. I realized I didn't have that much more to go, and that it seemed like it not only would still fit, but would also be flattering. And the colors are great. But perhaps most importantly, I'd be able to quickly reduce my WIP count to squeeze in another project. So I finished it. More non-wool: SWTC Bamboo. Everything is sewn up, just needs a quick block.

Honeymoon Cami - in progress

That Cute Flirty Skirt is knit, washed and blocked. Before:

That Cute Flirty Skirt - in progress


That Cute Flirty Skirt

Look how much darker it got!

Just kidding. I almost wore this at Rhinebeck. In the hotel room, with Scott's help, I cable-plied some yarn to make the waist-tie. I even remembered to bring a slip. The only problem was... shoes. Picture the above with slip-on cloggy mocs and handknit ankle socks. Dor-kay.

I finished it to have something handknit to wear to Rhinebeck, and to show Anne. But after I realized I couldn't wear it, I forgot to even mention it to her.  :(

And Cheeky never got a "started" or "in progress" post before all the pieces were knitted up:

Cheeky - in progress

My first time working with Mission Falls 1824 cotton and I find it quite nice. For cotton. This is the 12 month size so I hope Lily will be able to wear it for more than a month or two. Motivation: something cute for her to wear. Lack of motivation (for sewing it up): knowing it's too big for her anyway.

Different projects, different motivations. What motivates you?

Thanks for your kind words about Gram. They were virtual hugs, understanding pats, sympathetic looks and squeezed hands that shored my spirits. I'm glad that so many of you mentioned you could feel my affection for Gram through my previous posts. Somehow that makes me feel better. And you're right, when I have this to enjoy:



there are more smiles in my day.

I feel so behind -- Rhinebeck (where I had a wonderful time and wished I could have spent more time with people but was so glad just to be there), Rhinebeck goodies (3 fleeces!), knitting (That Cute Flirty Skirt is done! and I was so crazy about the cabled Layered Skater's Undertop from Veronik Avery's Knitting Classic Style that I immediately bought the book -- we're reading it above -- raided the stash, swatched, and cast on), spinning (many squishy skeins to share), and even a little fleece washing (um, did I mention the 3 Rhinebeck fleeces?) and drumcarding! Maybe this long weekend is a good time to catch up?

On sleep. Hahaha.

Here's a teaser of things to come:

Drumcarding fun

The 3 rovings in front are white 100's merino and dbpg silk in blues. Would you believe it's the same blue silk as this carder 'speriment???

Darker roving in back is charcoal merino/silk, dbpg silk in reds, white alpaca fleece washed by moi, and white cashmere! Sooooooft.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

It's been a while and there's been a lot going on. But the reason I'm back today is one of the reasons I've been away.

Gram died. October 31. She was getting worse over the summer, bounced back for a short time, caught pneumonia one day and gone the next. It's been a heart-wrenching 3 year journey with the Alzheimer's, and I'm glad she is now at peace.

Lily met her twice, at 3.5 weeks and then a couple of weeks before Gram passed away. At the last meeting they really hit it off. Lily wanted to jump on Gram and play. They held hands and made faces at each other. The memory still makes me smile.

I was afraid I would totally freak out when I saw her at the wake, but I didn't. I thought I would totally fall apart at the funeral but I didn't. When I cried after the funeral, Lily tried to cheer me up by smiling and reaching for my face. Inside I still feel screaming and writhing agony that comes and goes. I've been mourning her for a couple of years as she's been slowly fading away. I'm glad I knew her before the Alzheimer's.

She has enriched my life, been the grandmother I couldn't have, and I've been able to do for her as I couldn't for my own grandparents. She will be very much missed, and her memory will live on through us.

Me n Gram, Thanksgiving 2006
Thanksgiving 2006