aswim in knits

Friday, May 30, 2008

the end of an era

Have I mentioned before that I don't like change? Yeah, I really don't, especially when it's not in my control.

This afternoon, my long-time across-the-hall/over-the-cubicle-walls/lets-go-knit-at-lunchtime colleague moved out.

Stapler-love (by The Feminist Mafia)

She's got some really great things happening, and exciting new opportunities ....

Stapler-conflict (by The Feminist Mafia)

Still, my stapler's gonna be lonely.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

what I did on my long weekend

This weekend was the Massachusetts Sheep and Wool Festival, a lovely fiber festival in my home state. I did not go.

Instead, Thom and I cleaned the house. We have been extraordinarily lazy recently, and the house was a pit of filth. Every pot was dirty, as were all of the drinking glasses. The dust bunnies under the beds were the size of softballs.

And the lawn ... well, the lawn is the bane of my home-owning existence. I'm rather afraid of gas-powered lawn-mowers (big! noisy! sharp blades!) and therefore have very little interest in learning how to use ours. And my darling husband is no more fond of them than I am, although he's not a scaredy-cat like me. After we he the landscapers that were there to remove the pool from the backyard mowed for the first time this year, a friend who lives in another part of town said "hey, I was over by your house and saw that you guys cut the lawn this week!" It was embarrassingly bad. Now it's merely a little scruffy looking. That I can live with.

So, we devoted this weekend to some serious cleaning. And, thanks to George Bush's misguided economic stimulus package, we splurged on a new vacuum cleaner. A Dyson DC25. And by "we", I do mean "Thom." He is the vacuumer-in-chief in our household. I use the vacuum cleaner about as often as the lawnmower.
Before you think that I am a total pig, I'll have you know that I do all of the laundry and ironing, most of the organizing tasks, and most of the bathroom cleaning. Anyways, we now have a sparkling clean house. Except for the craft room. I didn't touch that one yet!!

Since I didn't get to hang out with friends at the festival, I did treat myself to a little bit of spinning time at night.

This is a 70/30 merino/tencel blend that I picked up at Mind's Eye Yarns last year. I got 12 ounces with no particular plans for it. It's a lovely purple, very vibrant. It's a true purple -- not blue-ish or pink-ish, just purple.

merino tencel blend (by aswim in knits)

This weekend, I pulled it out of the stash and after some sampling, I determined that it wanted to be a laceweight 2-ply.
sampling (by aswim in knits)

Who am I to argue?
singles for laceweight 2-ply (by aswim in knits)

I'm sure I won't need all 12 ounces!! I'll see what kind of yardage I get from 4 ounces, and pick a pattern. If I need more, then I can spin more.

So, since I've never knit a lace shawl or stole, I'm open to suggestions. I have no fear of lace, and I've knit lace in sweaters and socks. Beth, Carole, Terry, Cheryl, anyone else who likes lace ... any recommendations?

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

how many times can I blog about the same thing?

Apparently, several! (I swear, Carole, this really is a new post!)

I finished the cowl that I showed you yesterday. I put it on in the car this morning so that I could take a photo, and I haven't taken it off yet! It's warm and snuggly and I lurve it. This surprises me greatly, since I didn't think I was a cowl person. Now I want to make cowls out of all my single skeins!
handspun cowl (by aswim in knits)

This one was really simple. A tube, about 20" around, with seed stitch borders. I threw in a row of decreases in the middle (decreased about 10% of the stitches) so that the top would be snugger and the bottom would flare over my collar bones. I love the stripeyness.

cowl edge (by aswim in knits)

And a gratuitous closeup.
cowl closeup (by aswim in knits)

There might well be more cowls in my future.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

from start to finish

Tonight, I go back to school. I've enjoyed a lovely two-week vacation, but now the summer session is upon us. I have one course to take for 6 weeks, and then an independent study for the next 6 weeks, and then I'm done!

Over my break I was busy with fibery stuff. I went to NHS&W, but was struck with a terrible case of camnesia, so no photos to share.

I finished up some secret knitting, which was my last remaining WIP! (We'll not speak of the UFOs, though.)

So, with a clean slate, I got busy with some other things...

Last week, I showed you this fiber (BFL top from FatCatKnits that I got in a destash from MudCreek Kari) and the yarn that it turned into.
Fat Cat Knits (by aswim in knits)BFL handspun (by aswim in knits)

This week, I took the yarn out for a night on the town (pictured below getting up close and personal with some handspun from Ms. Obsession du Jour).
it's a handspun party (by aswim in knits)

And, because JulieFrick has amazing powers of persuasion, I cast on for a cowl. Mmm, stripey.
handspun cowl (by aswim in knits)

More WIPs to follow at a later date.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

sometimes I surprise myself

Just before going to the NH Sheep and Wool Festival this weekend, I decided that I ought to finish up what was on the wheel.

I started with this BFL top from Fat Cat Knits:

Fat Cat Knits (by aswim in knits)

And made this yarn:

BFL handspun (by aswim in knits)

All the details are Raveled here.

I didn't love the colors of the fiber, but wanted to explore outside of my typical comfort zone. I like the spun yarn better than the unspun fiber. I swatched a little bit last night, and I think like how it looks. Maybe a cowl, à la JulieFrick? Or fingerless mittens. Or maybe a scarf like Caro's beautiful not-Noro one.


Thursday, May 08, 2008

sweet anticipation

Every once in a while I feel like life is getting just a bit crazy, and I need to refocus. But, since I can't control most of the things that are making my head spin right now, I'm taking it out on my knitting. I decided that I needed to clear the decks, clean the slate, start anew ... and get rid of all my WIPs!

For the past three weeks, I've been devoting all my knitting time to two projects. One is done, but needs a photo shoot. The other one is close to being done, but it's seekrit, so I can't show you. Once I finish this second project, all my WIPs will be FOs! (In the interest of full disclosure, I do have one sock toe that should be ripped and an ancient UFO sweater, but I'm not counting either as a WIP... )

While project monogamy is good for creating FO's -- go figure! -- I'm dreaming of other knits. I'm hankering to knit up my rainbow of socks next. Last night I wound the red yarn. Mmmm ....


Sunday, May 04, 2008

things to do when I graduate

I'm half an exam away from finishing this semester, and only have 2 more summer classes left before I finish my degree. There are so many things I want to do that I keep putting off until I'm done with school ...

1) sew curtains for the bedrooms, office, and bathroom.

2) exercise more regularly.

3) explore where in my area I can buy local produce, dairy, eggs, etc. I'm totally inspired by the photos Maryse, Elisa, and Ashley have posted recently, as well as the discussion about local foods that seems to be all over the blogosphere recently.

4) read for fun. Read a whole bunch of books that I stumbled across in grad school and never read. Read some of the classics that I missed as an undergrad/high school student.

5) Spin more.

6) Spend more time with friends.

7) Go on vacation with Thom. We've talked about Iceland for a few years, and he even told me that I can bring back several pounds of wool.

8) Cook more.

9) Have kid(s). I think. Not quite yet, but someday soon, I hope.

I guess if I want to do all of this, I'd best get back to my exam now.