Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It Never Rains but Pours

Except for this weekend. Sheesh, it was hot! I think this definitely counts as an Indian Summer, seeing as we've had one cold rainstorm through here prior to the heat wave. It was hot and sunny even in our part of the city, which is unusual. I cannot wait for it to be cold all the time! It's usually dark by the time I leave work these days, and I love to come home, put on a sweater and some comfy pants, and play with my fiber. We've had wintertime food on the brain, too. Two weeks ago the significant other made a reeeaallly good batch of chili that lasted us for three days of lunch leftovers, and last week I realized I hadn't made a quiche in a very long time (apparently I also decided that we don't have enough saturated fat in our diet- this was a serious quiche).

Has anyone else looked through the Winter Twist Collective? I am in love with the "Creature Comforts" section! The artwork kills me (squirrels and kittens and bluejays!), and I want to make everything. The workmanship on this magazine is top-notch, and the patterns are presented beautifully.

The title of the post is actually in reference to FOs. I managed to finish up lots of projects since I last posted here. First of all, I spun and plied the Black BFL/Shetland blend all in one weekend. I know, insanity, right? But it was really nice to let myself get a little obsessed with a project. I put my audiobook on while the significant other was out, sat down with my wheel and fiber at the kitchen table, and just spun spun spun. Like all day. For two days in a row. And the result is this:

Chocolate Fruit Loops

Here's a close-up with the Scrabble tile:

Chocolate Fruit Loops

It's definitely a dense worsted (possible bulky?) yarn, about 235 yards. I originally intended the yarn to be a 50/50 blend of the Shetland and BFL, but I ended up not using all the BFL. In the end, I think that's for the best. Too much brown would have drowned out the colors more than I intended, and I was going more for a homogenizing effect. I don't have a scale, so I don't know exactly how much the skein weighs, but I'm guessing somewhere around 6.5 ounces. I definitely have less than half of my 4-ounce bump of BFL left over. And Kristine just told us on Ravelry that the November package has been shipped! Yippee! I'm going to have to do a separate post for all stuff I've stashed recently (uh... pay no attention to that pile of unphotographed fiber behind the curtain).

I also finished the February Lady sweater, on Saturday evening. Dudes, this was a seriously quick knit! Not counting the time spent knitting a teeny tiny too small neck, I took about 3 weeks on this from start to finish. The only problem now is buttons. I know exactly which buttons I want. This is good, as I can take an inappropriately long time to choose buttons. The buttons I want are in San Diego. This is bad, as I am not in San Diego. It might be awhile before the sweater has buttons. In the meantime, enjoy some FO pictures.

The front:

February Lady Sweater Front

The back:

February Lady Sweater Back

The sweater isn't washed or blocked, and I'm a little reluctant to wash the thing. There is the distinct possibility that the sweater will grow significantly in the wash, and I really really like the size the way it is now. But I guess I'll have to wash the darn thing sooner or later, so I might as well do it now. Oh well. I can justify putting off washing it until I have buttons, right?

And now to transition to another FO using one last photo of the February Lady Sweater:

I love my fleece!

The fleece is washed! Two Fridays ago I washed the very last batch of fleece, so now the whole thing is done. I've gone through and picked out the darkest locks and the lightest locks, separating them out from the rest of the fleece. I'll probably use them for different projects, but those piles are probably about 1/3 of the total fleece, and the leftover 2/3 is a much more even shade of gray. Much better for a cabled sweater! While I was trying on the February Lady sweater for photos, I had the whole thing laid out in the sunshine for sorting, and eventually I couldn't resist just picking up a double-armful of fluff and squishing it. You know what the really sick part was? A little voice in my head said, "We finished washing this one, so now we can have another one, right?" NO! The last thing I need right now is a raw fleece stash in addition to a yarn and processed fiber stash. I really should spin up a large chunk of this fleece before I get any thoughts about a second one. But overall, I was surprised at how manageable it was for me to wash the whole thing. Even in our tiny apartment, it really only took four or five afternoons to get the whole thing done. If I had been a little more organized, I bet it would have been done in October, too.

Now that Thanksgiving is almost upon us, it's time to start thinking about gift knitting. Last year my gift knitting included some pretty fancy stuff: a pair of colorwork felted slippers, a large man's sweater, a gloves & scarf set, just to name the gifts within the immediate family. I've been spinning up a storm this year, so I think it's time to consider making stuff from handspun. But no sweaters. While the gifts I made last year were very well-appreciated by their recipients, some were not so fun to knit. What holiday gift knitting have you all done, either current or past, that you most enjoyed knitting?


Anonymous said...

I am kniting my brother a pair of socks
Nate ANOTHER pair of socks( he loves the first pair, I see him wearing them at least once a week, makes me feel good)
I have mostly finished a gift for alexia, but it's a suprise
a person has requested that I knit him a sweater, out of cotton. so that will be started as soon as I order the yarn, but it won't be done for x-mas
I know it's not knitting, but I am sewing a jacket for my mom.
Oh, and probley knit another pair of fingurless gloves for my dad
sorry, long comment

Karen said...

i love that pic of you with the fleece!

and i have made hats, gloves, wrist warmers, scarves, and a knitted dog for xmas (it's a long story)