Wednesday, 25 February 2015

What To Do...

With all those little balls of scrap yarn that accumulate in the wake of projects.
I've been knitting stuff for Johanne's ranch shop for a few years now, and all those little bits have been building up. Taking inventory, I found I had 8 or 9 colours of her 2-ply yarn in little balls, and the scale confirmed there was enough for a pair of fingerless mittens.

So with the help of the scale, I sorted it all into approximately equal quantities of each colour in two piles, one for each mitt.

Looks a mess, right? What do we do with it? Arranging things in a gradient order of some sort always helps, I find. (I've been arranging things in rainbow order, gradient order, whatever, since before I started school. I think it's a compulsion.)

A quick swatch suggested that I would have at least enough for 3-4 rows in each colour, more in a stranded pattern. The dark browns had the most, so I figured that would be cuff and trim, and I let the rest percolate a bit. Finally decided on a 4 row pattern repeat with the colours shading in and out along the gradient, and cast on to start.

I think I like the way it's coming out; now it'll just be a question of hoping the colours hold out properly to keep the sequence going. And the weaving in of the ends will be a chore. But hey, as a method for not wasting yarn, it'll do!

While my ideas were percolating for the mitts, I started a new project. I probably "should" have been spinning, or sewing quilt seams, or frogging something in my frog bag - you know, dealing with the things that are already on the to-do list - but I didn't want to do any of those. I wanted to start a new cross-stitch. So I did. I've had this cross-stitch kit around for years, and finishing Frederick last year means I can start something new, right? And the colours are just what I want for the space over my table, now occupied with a print of pansies in blues and yellows, and my dishes are mostly blue and white...As my friend Deb would say, 'Justify, justify, justify!'

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Ticking Things Off The List

It's always nice to feel progress is being made. I keep feeling like things aren't getting done as fast as I'd like, but once I started adding up the last few weeks, it's not so bad.

All three pairs of socks for the cousins are now done, blocked, labeled, and wrapped up, ready to pass along.

And there is a pair of mittens and a pair of fingerless mitts done and ready to bring to Jo at the Ranch the next time I go. Right now I'm working on a pair of baby socks to add to that pile, and they go fast enough that they should be done by tomorrow.

I finally got the yarn on the wheel finished and plied - it's cormo that I dyed with bedstraw, walnut, and indigo. Not sure I like the texture of the wool, but we shall see how it is after washing. 

No thanks to the Julia, who makes it very obvious she dislikes me spinning by running out and flopping down in front of the wheel when I'm trying to use it. 

At least this time she was far enough from the wheel that I could work - sometimes she's right against the wheel like a hit-and-run accident, so I have to stop. Well, she won't be getting away with it for the next little while. Jo's cria rovings are the next thing to spin, and there's a lot of it. Probably close to a kilo. I'm glad it spins easily, but it will still take a while.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Winter Doings

Groundhog day, and sufficiently overcast and snowy that I doubt any groundhogs around here managed to see their shadow. Heck, you'd probably have to shovel out their holes before they could come up.

However, groundhog or no groundhog, February means that winter's half over, and it's all downhill from here. The days are getting noticeably longer, even if sundown still sneaks up quickly each day.

Out to Chantal's for a the-tricot aka a knitting get-together this past week. I had to take a picture of the rug she's been working on to show off. It was done on her floor loom, but reminds me of the Saori weaving I've seen people do, and it was woven with rag strips in tapestry, based on the landscape sketch at the top of the rug. Just, you know, kind of a neat idea.

And I'm officially done the second pair of the cousins' socks, and started on the third and last (and shortest) pair. Pair 2 is a little big on me, but still looks better on me than flat out for pictures.

When pair 3 is done, I have to clear my wheel to do some spinning for the Ranch as well as some knitting to restock there. I will have to try and sneak some sewing in along with, or the quilt top Mom and I were planning to finish this winter will get left behind yet again...sigh...5 months off work over winter and still not enough time to do everything!