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Posts from June 2010

Never Ending Plying

I've been getting back into the groove of spinning these last few weeks.  The current goal is to make sock yarn.  Good, solid sock yarn.

I've spun up the singles--pretty stuff Lisa Souza superwash merino in the Mardi Gras colourway.  As advised by Molly my spinning sensai I'm over spinning the singles and over plying the whole thing to get a strong sproingy yarn. (Sorry about the iphone photos--I figured it was better to do this then not blog at all, but you may disagree!)

Never ending plying

I'm also spinning up 8oz instead of the usual 4 because I'm not sure if I'll be able to stretch out the 4oz to make socks on my first try.

I must say, the whole thing is taking forever...

Well, the singles went fast enough, but the plying is never. going. to. finish.

I've had a few glitches along the way.  First is time--I thought I could do it in an evening and well it's been the usual craziness here so "in an evening" really means, in a few minutes I get between activities.

Then the big drive band that makes the treadles go broke.  I'm not sure why, but there was a moment when the whole thing felt like I was biking up the big hill on my street and then wham!

The Little Gem doesn't have a traditional treadle system with footmen, but instead uses a big elastic to make the treadles spin the drive wheel.  Like this (the lower green band):


I tried MacGivering a few things that didn't work, but then managed to trim and burn the ends enough to melt the drive band back together until I can get another one.

Yesterday, drive band intact, I got going again only to realize I put the band on the wrong way and so was plying  in the wrong direction.  Sigh.  It took a few minutes to figure out what was happening, and a lot longer to fix it.

Last night (me and the wheel needed some time away from each other) I got in the groove and went back to plying pretty sock yarn.

Never ending plying

I still have at least another evening to go.  I definitely need a smaller whorl to make this go faster and perhaps a bigger wheel. I'm jonesing for a Matchless.  I love my Little Gem, but really see how a big wheel goes faster without as much work from me.

Cute Overload

We got to puppy sit this weekend.

Meet at the time nameless puppy:

Ruby or Ute?

She's a Georgian Bay Sporting Dog, the breeder's name for a 75% Weimaraner, 25% Lab mix.

It's my brother's dog and well, due to some scheduling mix ups, she was picked up Saturday morning which happened to be the same day as a wedding he had to attend, so we got to watch the 8 week old cutey for most of the day.

This is my kind of dog time--borrow, but not keep.  I love dogs, but my current life doesn't fit with raising a puppy so we're happy to be dog borrowers for now.


I was expecting a lot of homesickness and puppy craziness but this little one mostly slept.  It was a long trip for her and she was just happy to cuddle and sleep.

She did play for about an hour and she's clearly an outside dog (she never spent anytime indoors since birth).  The funniest thing was when you put her on a floor, she freezes.  She has no idea how to walk on it and I suspect she associates it with the vet.  With the help of a toy, I did get her to take a few steps on the hardwood and do some exploring, but once she found her towel she laid down and did more sleeping.

Worn out.

So cute.  I'm excited for her next visit.  And her name is Ruby.  We nicknamed her Ute for the day, but my brother didn't like the name. 

Knitting 24/7

Veronik Avery's new book is great.  She knows lots of us love to knit, but also have busy lives.  Knitting 24/7 recognizes this tension and is a series of small, easy to do patterns that are easily stopped and started and many of which are portable for knitting at soccer, in a line, on your commute or any time you have an extra five minutes.

Knitting 24-7 cover 


The patterns show off Veronik's classic style and vary in difficulty and object: hats, shawls, mittens, scarves, bags, vests, sweaters and things for the house.  All of them are very pretty; there's lots in this book I want to knit.

Knitting 24-7 socks 


And I have to say, I love this skirt.  The details are so pretty on it.  Wanties.



A variety of yarns are used including Veronik's own St. Denis which I'm using to knit the Cabled Beret from her book.  

Knitting 24 7 beret 


The publisher asked me to be part of a Knitting 24/7 knit along and it'll be fun to have a small project that's not socks and try the St. Denis yarn.

Not-so-summer knitting

I know a lot of people switch to knitting different things in the summer--tanks, lace, socks--things that are small (so they won't be on your lap) and lightweight and maybe in non-wool fibres.  So far, even though the weather has been warm, I haven't made the switch, but I also haven't finished knitting.

I recently finished this tiny little knit for a special friend:


The yarn is Socks that Rock Twist merino and I used a Debbie Bliss pattern.  I'll warn you the yarn amounts are way way off.  I could have made 2 of these with the yarn stated in the pattern.  And easy and styling sweater for a baby on the way.

I also made some progress on my Swedish Heartwarmer Shawl--something as far away from summer wear as you can get. 



I've started the slow colourwork parts.  I have about 400 sts on the needles and I need to work in two colours and weave the floats so they look nice.  I'm developing my skills knitting backwards for the "purl" rows and well it's taking forever, but in a nice way.  The Bugga yarn is lovely to work with and I love how the patterns emerge; it's all just gonna take a while is all.

And I've started my Soccer Mom knit--something easy to have with me during the myriad of kids' soccer stuff.  I've wanted to knit Tempest for a long while and I now have the perfect confluence of empty easy knitting dance card and the right yarn to work with.



I'm using Indigodragonfly 4ply Organic Merino in Chickadee and Seasky.  It's a departure from my usual colour combinations, and that's a good thing.  I sorta into blues at the moment and this will be a nice sweater for spring and fall and for my extra freezing office (we have a/c issues).  Knitting fingering weight yarn at 5sts to the inch is also nice--it's like lace without all that pattern following!