Saturday, March 21, 2009

Even though tax season is in full swing I've managed to keep a fairly good attitude (most days). I do seriously credit my knitting and spinning for helping me keep my sanity. I've been really quite productive with both lately.

I finished the February Lady Sweater.This was a delight to knit even though I am not a lace knitting fan. I didn't realize until it was too late that the lace has a tendency to grow. So my sweater is a bit on the long side. I wanted it to just graze the top of my hips and it ended up below my bum. But it still looks and fits great.

Here is my sock in progress
It's just a plain vanilla sock. I'm using some yarn I got ages ago from an Ebay dyer called KimiK. The yarn felt so rough to me I never felt inspired to use it. But the sock yarn stash is getting low and with money the way it is, I decided to give it a try. I'm surprised how nicely it's knitting up. The colors are just gorgeous. The kit included one variegated yarn and two kettle dyed coordinates so I'm knitting the cuff, heel and toe in the solid color and the body in the variegated.

My Colour Your Own fair isle sweater is well underway.This pattern comes from the book Fair Isle Sweaters Simplified. The book is fantastic. Their fair isle technique is so easy and provides great results. For this design, you choose your colors as you go along. It's fun and exciting to see how it's turing out. Once I get past this first sleeve, I'll be able to coast for a bit on the second sleeve since I can simply duplicate the color choices there.

On the spinning front I spun two batches of roving up. The first was from Pigeon Roof Studios, superwash bfl in the color NightshadeI didn't do such a great job splitting the roving up as I ended up with one light and one dark skein. But the colors complement each other well.

The second is a Hanks in the Hood merino batt called Blueberry IceThere's a bit of sparkle in there that doesn't show up on the photo.

There's currently nothing on my wheel. Jen is sending me fiber to spin for a sweater! I can't believe I let her talk me into spinning a whole sweater's worth of yarn. It should be here by next weekend which I'll hopefully have off from work so I can get started on it.

And finally, a nifty little project I heard about on the Stitch It podcast. These are felted dryer balls.
I had a set of the plastic dryer balls and thought they worked adequitly well. But they do make a lot of noise and one of them ended up wearing out so I was down to one. So when I hear Meghan talk about them, I looked up the instructions. I have plenty of scrap wool laying around so I didn't even have to go to the store. Basically, you take plain wool yarn (no superwash, it has to be feltable) and wrap a tight small ball. You pop the balls in an old piece of nylons/panyhose and toss them in the washer and dryer for a few cycles. When the balls seem to hold together pretty well, you add more layers of yarn, wrapping tightly, until they are as big as you want them. Then you repeat the washing/drying process until they are felted enough that they won't fall apart, then you can start using them as dryer balls. They work fabulously. My clothes are soft as can be without a drop of fabric softener. They don't prevent static, but I can live with static. And if you keep the synthetics out of the dryer, you reduce your static anyway. They do tend to pickup a bit of lint (you can see mine are looking a bit shabby already) but this is purely cosmetic. If it bothers you, you can shave the pills off. I'm not that fussy.