Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Your Daily Dose of Fiber In One Sitting

Hey kids. Sorry I've been so lax about babbling random nonsense at you. Grab a snack & a drink, hit the bathroom, then let's get right down to it, shall we?

I made it to 39 years old with only minor damage, thanks for asking. My birthday was nice & quiet & the cake was NOT a lie. My friend Paul who is an awesome cook, made Pork Florentine for my birthday dinner, as I am a slave to the swineflesh. It was, of course, delicious, with asparagus & wild rice. Mom made me lemon bars & Paul bought a Carvel strawberry ice cream cake that was quite good.

Writing: I am thinking of rifling through my older blogs & picking out OBG's (Oldies But Goodies) editing & reposting them. I think it will give me practice in editing, obviously, but also trying to have a less tangential way of writing. Maybe not, as the old saw is that you should write what you know & there are very few people who know more about rambling on about nothing much like I do. But to tell stories to a bunch of strangers over the intarwebs, I need to be less scattered so I don't get a Greek Chorus of “WTF?” & accompanying baroo faces.

Onto the Fiber Nerdery!

Embroidery is going slow, as I've only been doing it for a few months & nature of the beast. Working on a steampunk sampler, just a cog with some varied stitches circling it. I'm working from the outside in. If I should be working from the inside out,don't tell me, my illusions are all I have right now. No, seriously, once I finish the outer twiddly bits I shall work from center outward on the actual cog itself as it's obviously the central motif. Varying shades of brown, gold & copper with a little kicka-POW of electric blue.

Knitting; I so love it, but I need more focus, definitely. I need to throw down some stash-busting basic knits, finish some secret prezzies (shifty eyes) and hammer out some designs so I can start pimping them online, as this 'broke while doing something I'm right tired of insteada broke doing something I love' schtick is working my last nerve. I have a brief fingerless glove-hat recipe here, cause I'm original like that. Yer mileage may vary:

Sandy's Basic Recipe for Hats & Fingerless Gloves

  • Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted Weight (85% wool 15% mohair) color of your choice and/or yarn that you like that swatches up the same. I knit from tight to on gauge, loose knitting makes me all spitty
    #7 circulars in 16” & 8” or DNPs

Hat (fits my 23” squash head snugly):

  • CO 72, join for round, PM to denote begin/end of round making sure not to twist your stitches
  • 1”-2” k2, p2 ribbing, depending on whether you want to roll this up for extra ear-warmth
  • 4”-5” stockinette or until you narc out from boredom
  • k6, k2tog to PM, then k5, k2tog next row &c.
  • BO when you get to 8 or less stitches, thread tail through final stitches & pull tight, weaving in ends

  • Gloves (make 2 unless you only have 1 hand for whatever reason, fits my 8-9” paws/man hands snugly)
  • CO 28 join for round, PM to denote begin/end of round making sure not to twist your stitches
  • 6 rows k2, p2
  • 7-8 rows stockinette
  • This is where it gets a little hinky:
    Now knit/purl back and forth for the thumb hole, slipping the first stitch of each row, 9-11 rows in all, thumb size depending
  • on the last row k2tog to join back into the round & KFB (knit front & back of next stitch to get back to 28 stitches.
  • 2 more rows stockinette, then 5 rows k2, p2, binding off in pattern, weaving in stitches, &c

Spinning: So, Paul was @ the local Saturday Arts' Market recently (overpriced tchotchkes galore). He texted me to let me know there was a woman there with her spinning wheel. I am learning to spin on a Spindolyn & enjoy it immensely. It's one of the only spinning options available to me due to space/financial restraints & with a little patience (stop laughing) I can actually spin quite a bit on it before it has to be unloaded off the shaft. So I shimmied down there to see her in action, stopping here & there to pat people's dogs & kvetch about the heat. The spinning lady (I'm sorry her name escapes me but the company/LLC/whathaveyou is called Canterbury Spinning. After chatting her up a bit & throwing some of the Gordon charm at her, she dug briefly in a Rubbermaid container & handed me a big fistful of mohair wool. SCORE! Thinks I, & giggling maniacally I crammed it in a ziplock bag I had handy & scampered home. While I am not a mom, I do have several 'mom' purses which, as I have theorized before is probably the D&D basis for the item 'Bag of Holding' in which people can store up to a ton of equipment & suchlike & pull it out as needed.

O to the MG. This was an uncarded clot of wool, straight off the goat. Lovely shine & beautiful crimp, but...It was tangled. It had random foliage in it. The goat it came from coulda done with a Selsen Blue dip, as there is a lot of dander in it. But I forged onward. Using my own hairbrush I began plucking & twitiching & prying this mess apart. Being one of life's 'Pickers' this was actually quite fun for me. And before you ask, no, I'm not using that hairbrush for myself again, I never really used it in the first place, which is why I commandeered it for duty.

This fistful of wool turned into a cookie tin about 3” deep & 7” across full of shiny white floof, like milkweed seed tufts, silky & dainty. Spinning it has been completely different from spinning the Colonial top I've been working with. First off, no one will tell me what sheep it comes from, so I'm as clueless as you. But the Colonial spins up with at least an arm's length of draft before I have to wind on. It's easy to see that the Mohair comes from a goat because it's STUBBORN & FUZZY, SRSLY. It's a short draft and even with all the pre-drafting it's a bit of a struggle. I'm assuming the minimal processing (koff) is the issue & a commercial/professionally prepared top will go a lot smoother. But, oh, it's shiny & foofy & coming up from a flat white in the tin to a pretty creamy white in a laceweight 'S' twist. & I still have about a 1/3 of a handful to clean & draft.

All right. I'm off to do arty things & write. That is all.

1 comment:

Moonie said...

1. Ah luvs yer babbles, Sandy!

2.I still can't knit, sry.

3. No, it's got nothing to do with the processing, mohair is a beeyotchki like that.