Nath Knits

and should probably be doing something else.


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Pressure!

I’ve been issued a challenge – the lovely and talented Kim, who works in the same office as me, though not with me (long story) has also been a little lax about posting in her blog (go see!), so we made a deal.  We both have to post once a week.  Let’s see how long that lasts.

It’s spring!  Well, it’s supposed to be spring, but we got nailed with 26 cm of snow last Wednesday, so all the nice little tulip and crocus shoots got buried, as well as my general springy good mood.  Really, it was depressing.  And it was so cold for a week that things just started thawing again yesterday.

I started my garden during March Break two weeks ago, and only about a third of the stuff has sprouted, so I’m a little worried.  I might have to start again with newer seeds.  Also depressing.

But life isn’t all gloominess!  No, I’ve been exercising my butt off (let’s hope that’s more literal than metaphorical)!  Well,  you know, relatively, compared to my usual couch-potato self.  I’m swimming 1.5-2km twice a week, and going to a spin class and a kundalini yoga class once a week, and stretching a lot in between because something is sore pretty much all the time.  It feels good.  My pants fit better.  And except for the crazy early mornings, I feel very energetic  most times.

It’s been fairly unproductive, knitting- and crochet-wise.  Just not feeling the love, lately, though I like all the stuff I’m working on.  I’m nearly done the crocheted afghan I made for canned goods – all that’s left is joining all the squares and dealing with all the ends.   The commissioned aran sweater is also mostly done (just one sleeve, joining the pieces and the buttonbands and collar left).  I started a sweater for Dr. Thingo.  And I’ve finished everything but the blocking on a scarf I made out of TFA yarn.  I haven’t really taken pictures of anything except one poncho I whipped up in a day, upon request for a chilly baby:

A baby poncho pattern by Drops – I modified the neck to make it a turtleneck.  I used some sock yarn from the stash, three strands at a time.  Modeled here by Beary (we’re good at original names around here)

What I have been doing a lot of is spinning.  After I sold my wheel a few weeks ago, I was all eager to get a new one.  On a trip to Toronto, I went to Lettuce Knit (lovely store – check it out when you’re in town)with my friend, as she said they had wheels there.  I found out they rent their wheels for a week, to be able to try them out.  Which is an excellent idea, but not practical, so I might go back.  I did end up picking up a large spindle, for plying, and Respect the Spindle.  It changed my whole outlook on spindle spinning, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since!  And spinning.  I experimented a little:

On the right, are three skeins of Lofty Fibres out of a colour called something like Sunshine Through Clouds.  I wish I’d kept the label – I really like the colour and will get more if she ever makes it again.  It’s BFL and lovely.

For the one on the left, I tried to make something bulky using my old, light spindle (top-whorl).  It pretty much failed – the spindle just couldn’t handle that much yarn at a time.  Plying was a nightmare.  It’s what prompted me, in the end, to get a bigger spindle.  The one in the middle was also spun on my smaller spindle, only much finer, and it worked better, but for the plying.  The one on the right, I tried to do at the same weight as the one in the middle, only with my bigger, heavier spindle, and it worked much better, especially for plying.

Then I decided to see what I could make of some coopsworth I’ve had lying around for ages, on the bigger spindle.  The results were lovely!

It’s the brown one – that’s the colour of the sheep it came from.  The yarn isn’t very soft, but I managed a nice, even DK weight.  The large spindle is a convertible one (it’s one of these hi-lo spindles (4″)- I just haven’t taken my own picture yet), so I decided to try it as a bottom-whorl for that brown fluff.  I like it, but I dropped the spindle so many times, I dented my floor in a couple of places and deformed the hook that is meant to be used when it’s a top-whorl.  So I’ll probably only be using this spindle as a top-whorl.  However, I have a turkish spindle on order from here, so I’ll be playing some more with bottom-whorl spinning.

Then I made this:

More Lofty Fibres top, this time in Rusty Paint Bucket.  It’s a wee bit fatter than fingering weight, but I can probably make it work.  Spun on the little spindle, applying some new techniques, and plied on the larger one.  I’m very pleased with it!  I managed to squash the whole 100g onto the spindle (something I probably could never have done on my wheel).

It looks just like a yarn radish!  I plied it all on the big spindle, and while I did manage to make it all fit, it was difficult at the end – I should have just accepted it and made two skeins instead of just one.

Obligatory super-close-up:

I think I’m going to stick to the spindles for a while – I have another braid of the same colour top which I’m spinning even finer, and that turkish spindle on order, and a bunch more fibre in my basement, which should keep me busy for a while.  Plus, I can buy at least 10 spindles for the price of a new wheel, so that gives me a little latitude.

And I promise another blog post soon.  My honour depends on it!!

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