Monday, April 17, 2006

Chugging Along

The never-ending afghan is going strong. I'm a few rows away from skein 8 of 12. My goal is to finish by June 1, so that I have a month to get to the laundromat, wash the sucker, let it dry, and wrap it up for the wedding. I bought the new Mason Dixon Knitting book and was tempted by the gorgeous throws and afgahns, until I realized how long I'd been working on this afghan--more than two months so far (with occasional forays into other projects, for sanity's sake). I need a break from huge projects before starting another of this magnitude. The Manos I bought at the yarn sale is calling to me, though.

On Sunday night, as I was chugging along on the afghan, my beloved Crystal Palace circular broke--one of the needles popped out of its brass holder. Nothing that a little super glue won't fix, but I took it as a sign from God (on Easter Sunday, no less) that it was time to start a new project. Inspired by Wendy at Knit and Tonic I started knitting this lovely top with some Cotton Fleece from the stash. This is replacing the boring socks as my commuting project, although I know I'll work on it on weeknights, as well.

I have finished two projects, one knitting and one spinning. The second baby sock was knitted and gifted within three days, after I realized that the mother is due at any time. It's pictured with the t-shirt I bought to go with the socks.

Remember the blue-purple Corriedale I dyed using icing colors? It's now this:

That's around 320 yards of approximately fingering weight 2-ply, which will hopefully turn into socks for me. This was my first real experiment spinning color, and I like how it turned out. Because the roving had been dyed in shades of blues and purples, the plying gave it an interesting, subtle shaded look. I'm anxious to see how it will look knit up.

I think my spinning is improving somewhat. It's definitely not beyond very basic beginner level, but every skein seems to build on what I learned with the last. I still feel tied more to what the fiber wants to be rather than what I want the yarn to look like, but I'm not too upset about that. You know, I barely remember what it felt like to be such a beginner at knitting, because I knew the basics when I came back to it a year and a half ago. The knit and purl movements were there; I had only to refine them (and how hard is it, really?). But spinning has a dozen different movements, combined with machinery that must be adjusted, and tinkering with just one aspect changes the end product. It's a process, and mastery must take a lifetime. But I'm learning, a yard at a time.

Before I forget, congratulations to Laura, who knit the sample of Annie Modesitt's Bias Corset! (And can I add that there are a number of promising designs in this one, based on the tiny pictures?)

Next time: progress photos of Green Gable and the never-ending afghan.


Laura said...

Those are cute socks. Did you buy the shirt before you got the yarn or vice versa?

Valerie said...

I made booties with the yarn before, and I bought the yarn to match the sweater I'd already purchased for the baby. So I bought the t-shirt this time to match the socks. :) Was that clear as mud?

Sorry for the dark photos! It was apparently darker in the dining room than I thought. But the second bedroom is overflowing with yarn right now.