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Further adventures in knitting April 21, 2008

Posted by jeninmaine in knitting.
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Okay, crafty talk, I’ve owed some photos for a while and now that I have my lens back (hooray!) I can take pictures again that are worth a damn.

First of all, I mentioned I was going to knit up some Acorn Socks and I honestly did start. The problem is I picked a yarn that I thought would be fine enough, Schaefer Anne, only it seems kind of stiff knitted up and I’m not completely happy with it. That and while it is a really gorgeous colorway, the yarn itself is splitty as hell so it’s a real pain when working the lace pattern. The last straw is that it seems like I might be making too large of a size (I’m knitting a medium based on the measurement of the middle of my foot but now I’m thinking I may be a small) so I’m not sure how much longer I’m going to fiddle with it. We’ll see.

Acorn Rib Socks

Pattern: Acorn Rib Socks at suzisknits.com
Yarn: Anne by Schaefer Yarn Company in Julia Child

Second of all I am trying really hard to love the whole “magic loop” concept. I really am. I don’t know what my deal is but I just haven’t fallen for it yet. I decided to try it out with that skein of Tess’ Designer Yarns Super Socks & Baby and cast on for a generic hat, and I like how the colors are working up, but so far I’m just sort of “eh” about it. I had to frog and cast on again about three times so maybe that’s what is stopping me from warming up to it.

Oh, Magic Loop.

Pattern: Making it up as I go along
Yarn: Super Socks & Baby by Tess’ Designer Yarns in Spring Garden

In order to feel somewhat successful I started another pair of socks that I’ve actually owed to someone for a long time. You see, I had this yarn kicking around and I had even started a generic cuff-down stockinette sock that was boring as hell so I had abandoned it long, long ago. I frogged all that and tried to find something inspiring to use it for. The other day I was reading some posts to the ElJay knitting community and someone had made these Swirl Socks – when I saw the pattern I said, “That’s it!”

So far the pattern is working up very quickly and easily. It’s a little boring but it’s just enough that the sock has some style yet the pattern isn’t completely lost in the colors of the yarn. I just hope these will be the right size as my recipient has larger feet than I, I believe, but a lot of this is guesswork. The pattern calls for US1 needles but the yarn calls for US3 needles so I’m using US2s and hoping for the best. The resulting fabric is very thick and warm, these will be lovely boot socks or great just for wearing around the house on chilly evenings.

Swirl Socks

Swirl Socks

Pattern: Swirl Socks
Yarn: Meilenweit Mega Boots Stretch by Lana Grossa, Color 704

In Silly Things That Make Me Happy, I have two words for you: fabric shaver.

I <3 you, fabric shaver!

I finally bought one of these things, opting for the larger one I could find, and I love the durned thing. I’ve shaved my wool Keen clogs and they look like new. It even worked on the Jayne Hat I made for myself but my kidlet appropriated instead. This thing has been through two hard Winters on the playground and resembled some sort of fuzzy animal before I took the shaver to it, and now it looks like I just knit it – the only proof is in the pompom and the raw ends on the earflaps.

Jayne Cobb Hat

Jayne Cobb Hat

Pattern: Jayne Cobb Hat
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay 100% Wool Color 102

Ooo lookie lookie! January 25, 2008

Posted by jeninmaine in spinning.
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I finally, finally got around to bidding goodbye to the Ashford Traditional I was renting from the fiber gallery. It was really hard to bid it farewell but I was determined to make a change before the baby arrives.

Sitting in my living room right now, fresh out of the box…

…the Louet S-51DT

Eek! How exciting!

It still stuns me that I can walk out of there for $5 a week with a brand new wheel. It feels like stealing.

I actually got to assemble it (quite simple) and I am the first one to use it! I’ve only spun on it for a few minutes but it is fast, fast, fast. It comes with a high-speed flyer that’s going to take some getting used to – I haven’t yet gotten the hang of the sliding hook doohickey. It’s very different from the Ashford Traditional. It’s much higher so I can’t sit on the couch and spin. I think I’m going to need to get a stool or something, so that’s kind of a bummer. It is very, very solid, however – while the Ashford was needing some tightening, the Louet is bolted together, the pieces fit into deep slots, and it has very few parts so I don’t see it getting creaky on me at all, ever. And as I mentioned, that thing really flies.

I wanted to get my hands on something truly different so I can compare brands, especially before the bebeh-to-be makes her appearance as I’ll be at home a lot immediately afterward. The jury is still out, I’m going to give the Louet a week before forming any opinions.

(yay!)