Rife with Problems

Well my plans for the Juturna Shawl have been dashed. Either I’m struggling too much with the pattern and making mistakes, or the pattern has issues. Since I already caught one error for sure, and I’m a mediocre knitter, I have a feeling both are the problem. After powering through close to 200 yards of yarn in this pattern, I gave up. The lace section was a total mess. I decided to just frog it and try to find another pattern. I was being as careful as possible with following the pattern and even tinked and backtracked several times, but things were not gelling.

Sadly, I can’t find another pattern I like for my pretty turquoise gradient yarn. At least not yet. I guess it’s going back in the stash for awhile.

Immediately before frogging

Immediately before frogging

I Don’t Even Knit Socks…

So why am I picking out sock patterns?

And buying yarn?

And wondering if I have the right needles?

Why am I making all the plans for socks?

Especially since I know that I will get SSS (second sock syndrome) and never complete the second sock.

To make matters worse, my only attempt at knitting socks ended in the ankle and heel with no gusset or foot.

And since I don’t even wear socks except in the coldest winter times (which is rare in Texas).

The only justification I can find is that these are darn cute socks.

I bought yarn to do them in black and white with pink hearts.

The yarn I chose is ShibuiKnits Sock in Abyss, Ivory, and Blush.

Love Sock by Devon Clement

**UPDATE**

The yarn arrived. It is very soft and squishy. If I’m going to knit socks, at least I’ll be doing it with great yarn. My colors will be different than the example photo, but I think I’ll like them.

photo 3

I Know What Two Pounds Is…

So in my excitement to learn to spin and my anticipation of my wheel arriving, I went ahead and ordered some fiber. After a little Googling, I saw that several people suggesting Romney as a nice, easy drafting fiber for beginners. Lucky for me, Paradise Fibers had a Perendale-Romney blend for sale. So the discount increased with the more you bought. 32 ounces was the cheapest quantity to buy. So, I thought, that doesn’t sound like too much. After all, I’m going to be basically wasting it at first while I get the hang of spinning. The more cheap fiber to practice on, the better, right?

Well, the shipment came in yesterday and, I have to say, I was pretty surprised by how much 32 ounces of fiber really is.

I totally thought I knew what two pounds was…

Here's the enormous fiber bag being investigated by one very large dog.

Here’s the enormous fiber bag being investigated by one very large dog.

Nifty Gifties

The lovely Aisling from my knitting group surprised me on Tuesday with two awesome graduation gifts. The first being a hank of her handspun (the color is Flannel Shirt). The second was a ball of some super soft and squishy silk/wool blend fiber. It’s so nice I want to save it for once I have gained some spinning skills and won’t mangle it.

I don’t have a project planned for the yarn quite yet so I’ve just been admiring it since Tuesday. Perhaps a hat…

Thank you, Aisling!

photo 5 photo 4

OMG Knitting

One of my favorite things to do is to browse the patterns on Ravelry when things are slow. I will go through the most popular patterns or look for matches for yarn I have in my stash. I am still not a very accomplished knitter so there are a lot of things I am totally blown away by because either they are something I don’t know how to accomplish, I don’t have the dedication/concentration for, or that are amazing feats in pattern writing. I thought I would share some of the ones I have recently come across.

  1. Embrace Octopus Sweater – wow. The amount of time to create and implement this color-work boggles the mind.
  2. Celestarium – At first glance, this looks like a large, beautiful shawl with some random yarn overs and beads worked in. It is actually a large, beautiful shawl with a chart of the night sky, as seen from the North Pole. Not only is this incredibly impressive, this is not the first shawl of this type. They also offer one of the Southern Skies. An impressive feat of pattern making.

3. Deathflake Mittens – This pattern taught me that Norwegian’s are badass knitters. I love that this pattern looks like a regular colorwork but upon closer inspection has skulls. These are pretty awesome mittens, if you ask me.

4. Central Park Coat – I just love the style of this design. I especially love this fact that it is reversible.

5. Cathedral Rose Window Afghan – this isn’t knitting, it’s crochet, but it is still massively impressive. Look through some of the Ravelry projects to see some of the fantastic color combinations.

Spinning Lesson

I had my first lesson (and first ever hands on experience with a spinning wheel) today at the Sassy Spinster in Lancaster, TX. Well, first of all, spinning is harder than it looks. The first half an hour or so, I wasn’t even getting any yarn onto the bobbin. It was just twisting and making a mess and not even passing over the hooks because it was such a twisty mess. I took about an hour to get to the point where something actually appeared to be happening. I was making… something. But I was still holding onto the fiber too long so it was getting over twisted. The instructor let me muddle and struggle for awhile so I could start getting the hand of dealing with my problems and figure things out on my own. After she made me take a break, get something to drink, and walk around for awhile, she pulled off the mess I had made so far and let me start fresh. My second pass was still pretty just rope, but the tangling was much less of an issue.

The wadded up results of my first spinning attempt.

The wadded up results of my first spinning attempt.

While I was definitely not taking to spinning like a duck to water, I could tell by the end of the two hours that some meager progress had happened. I decided to go ahead and order my own wheel. I chose the Kromski Sonata. It is the wheel my lesson was on and I like the look of it and it was only slightly out of my budget. Plus it comes with a built in lazy kate and the carrying bag. I’m so excited for it to arrive so I can make a mess of some more fiber. 🙂

What my new wheel will look like!