Friday, March 20, 2009

The Eyes have it

The Eye of Jupiter took on a bit of a life of its own over the past few months, and has left me with much yarn and fiber to play with.
First, my socks (which for some odd reason, I just can't get done! Perhaps in subconscious protest due to the fact I don't want the show to be done?). Briefly, I am knitting them in the Classica merino/nylon base, they were started over a year ago (I'm just not a quick sock knitter), toe up, plain foot, scrap yarn for afterthought heel, Crusoe pattern for the cuff, two-at-a-time, magic-loop. And I somehow managed, once I picked them up again for "karate knitting", to knit the two socks together. See those little crossed over threads?

Yeah, not good. So a-tinking I went. How on earth did I knit 4 rows without noticing the socks were joined?
Then, there was the tam from my last post. It will be winging its way overseas to a friend who will get a kick -- and hopefully a lift -- from the bright colors.
Lastly, while vending at Spa, a customer in my booth pointed to this colorway stating that, "yeah, but when you spin it, it will look like mud." Being the obsessive person I am, I had to spin some for myself.
As with most space-dyed tops, the spinner actually has many options. The preparation can be stripped out randomly and plied together with little forethought, which may result in "mud" or can create a pleasant blending of colors, depending on the colors present in the top. It can be spun as a single, chain-plied to preserve stretches of color, or stripped in a conscious effort to manipulate the colors. I took a small length of the colorway and broke it out into color sections in an a-b-c-d fashion (yellow-red-orange-blue) as it was painted. Then, I took one length and split it in quarters and spun them in the same a-b-c-d order. Then I took another section and spun without splitting a-b-c-d fashion on a seperate bobbin, and then plied these together.
The result?
No mud!

I knit a fairly large swatch to show all the color shifts.

I do think if I were to make a larger garment, I would only strip the top in half, rather than quarters, to get longer sections of color, but I do think this technique would be great for entrelac. I am debating frogging the sample to make Quant. Or I just may have to spin out some other colorways to play with. What a hardship, huh?
(oh yeah, and guess what? I have a new wheel!! more on the next post)

Friday, March 06, 2009

Back in the Saddle

Ok, so it has been a long hard winter (but hooray! today is the first day of Spring!). Ice storms, snow storms, illnessafterillnessafterillness. I have been laid-out sick four times -- twice with a stomach bug -- since Christmas, and the kids too many times to count. And when they haven't been home either sick or on another accursed snow day (and I haven't been confined to bed or the couch) I have been DYEING. While one wouldn't know it from stock in the Etsy shop, my little business has kept me very busy. I had the good fortune of being "Harlotted" for my homage to Battlestar Galactica (only 3 -- strike that -- 1! episode left!!) which certainly had me hoping while I was also trying to prepare for NETA Spa Knit and Spin. Busy, busy, busy!
In my silence, I have also been knitting. A lot. In fact I completed nearly two sweaters. The first of which is a major UGH -- made of Patons Bella on size huge needles I attempted to alter the pattern given for the yarn to knit in the round, top-down raglan with waist shaping.

Well, the neck is too tight, the shaping pulls in too much and shows too much belly, I completely messed up the increases, but did find a creative way to stitch over and make them look a bit more matching, but all in all this will be frogged. Buh-bye. I hate it, feel fat in it, and it hurt to knit on big needles with such bulky, heavy yarn. So much for stash busting.
The second sweater more than made up for this one, tho! I knit Francis Revisited in Artful Yarns Fragrance in a lovely deep teal and can't stop wearing it.

It fits beautifully, I love the collar (I didn't tack it down and knit it all on the large size needle. Worked just fine) and the yarn was delightful to work with. Love it!!
Sadly, I haven't felt perky enough for a photo shoot, so all you get is a poorly lit shot of it blocking with inaccurate color, but it is proof of completion!
I have also managed to crank out a few small samples knit with Sereknity Yarn.
(Again, I haven't hauled out the light box, so these photos may be lacking in the color accuracy department, although not too bad.)
First a lovely mitten created form the free chart for Swirly Mittens using a generic wool/nylon sock form the stash and a new color, Rainbow Ripple on the Shimmer base. LOVE THIS MITTEN.

I have cast on for number 2 and will get back to it soon (I swear!). I fear my little girl will run off with them when they are done.
Then, another new color, Winter of my Discontent (told you it has been a rough one) dyed on Perfect Sock and knit up into the Good Luck Cowl.

I used a size 6 needle as I didn't have a 5 in the correct length and it worked out perfectly, lightly blocked. The girl has stolen this one repeatedly.
I also had a remnant skein of Eye of Jupiter in Perfect and knit up a super quick little tam -- La Parisenne Beret by SockPixie.

Fun and easy, and I only used the one color as I wanted to see what the colorway would do. I do wish I had gone down a needle size or two for the ribbing, and perhaps knit it a bit longer. Unblocked, the hat wasn't slouchy enough, and blocked, the ribbing lost its stretch. BUT, it still sits nice and cute and casual on my head (esp. since I have a lot of hair) I just worry it will fall off, although it hasn't yet.
And lastly, I have started Wisteria! I love, love, love this pattern, although my own inattention and attempting to knit on it when I really, really shouldn't has lead to some tinking, I am nearly past the cable yoke section.

Yay! I am using the discontinued Adrienne Vitadini yarn Natasha in a so-pale-it-almost-isn't-a-color green. This yarn has so much life in it. It is very springy, the fabric is soft and spongy, and the halo just lovely. I love the soft effect it gives to the cables. mmmmm. I'm using size seven needles to get gauge (or so my swatch tells me) and knitting a size 40 1/2.
(Man -- wrote this post a week ago, and it has sat here waiting for pictures. So many new things to tell already! Tomorrow? Maybe even again today!)