Two Left Needles

Knitting, spinning and dyeing
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I put in some yarn room organization time last night. It felt good to clean things up and make some decisions on what needs to go. There's a corner of the room I can see again! And the sewing machine is accessible once more. I know more yarn needs to find new homes. It's so hard to make those decisions; if I think I might use it, I want to keep it. The problem is, when is might? This year? Within 5 years? In this lifetime? Some might yarns are definitely worth keeping, like good quality basic yarns in non-funky colors. High quality luxury yarns in lovely colors. Beautiful sock yarns... Of course, there are limits to how much is worth keeping. How do you decide what to keep?

You know what I love? Being able to see more of my yarns, and having easier access to it. With the new shelves, I don't have to move 3 bins to get to the one I want. Love it.

Slacker Knathlete

The Knitting Olympics (and the actual Olympics, hehe) begins Friday and I don't have a project yet! I swear I've been thinking about it. Obviously, not hard enough... It's just... I have so many things I should knit soon: a couple of baby sweaters, an afghan or three, socks and a sweater for Scott, socks and a vest I promised Gram last week (what, am I crazy?)... and then there are the knitalongs I'm in... and the WIP list is not getting any shorter. In fact, this weekend, while combing through the WIP list to target WIPs to abandon, I found 2 more WIPs that never made it onto the list, so my count is now 2 higher! What's up with that??

You know, my mom was eyeing my Catharina Rose shawl when it was a WIP and I was worried she'd swipe it. She didn't. I was shocked. While still in shock, I offered to knit her a shawl and asked her what she'd like. You know what she'd like? A black one. A black lace shawl that would go with everything. She wants me to go blind, she does. Add lace shawl to the above list.

You know another thing? I've started only 3 projects this year: anonymous socks (product of startitis), Kiri, and Creamsicle T. 3 projects! I used to do that in a day! 3 projects in 5 weeks, it's a record, I say! Not only that, since I started my WIP Management campaign in November, I've started 11 proejcts and completed all but 4: the 3 listed above, plus Curlycue Scarf started Dec 28. Holy whip them WIPs moly. Dare I say, it works! WIP Management works!

Let's bring it up another notch. After reviewing my WIP list this weekend, I targeted 10 WIPs to abandon. This will bring my WIP count down to 36. You newcomers can stop swooning, this is good news! Down from 67 to 36. That's 72% of the way to my goal of 24. It makes me dizzy, it does. Yeehaw!

And don't even think about mentioning a Stash Management campaign, I won't have it.

Orange Julius

Creamsicle T sleeve reshaping went swimmingly well! Here's the before:

Creamsicle T - puffy sleeve

The cap didn't look or feel right. With the tighter body, looser sleeves were out of place. Plus, it looked like the sleeve cap needed to be a few rows longer.

I took out 2 inches of ease above the elbow, added slight bell shaping below the elbow, adjusted the cap decreases, and crossed my fingers. Since I was working with 2 inches less fabric for seaming, I slowed down cap decreases and added in a few extra rows. Once done, I sewed it in and tried it on:

Creamsicle T - sleeve redux

Not bad! It's definitely snug on my upper arm: no room for growth. The cap has a little extra fabric at the top, so I unseamed and took out a couple of rows.

I'm 80% done reknitting the second sleeve. I'm guessing I'll have Creamsicle T done in time for the Olympics. Hurrah! One project complete to balance the new Olympics project.

Which reminds me. I need to decide on a project!

I learned: an hour is not enough time to ply this:

37: Superwash Winter Solstice 37: Superwash Winter Solstice

Speed spinning gave way to speed plying; I don't recommend it. Reckless endangerment.

I think I'm going to do another pass to make a tighter twist. I don't want my socks to wear out too fast. Sound good?

You know, it's the biggest single skein of handspun I own; it's frickin' huge! It barely fit on my bobbin, I jammed it full, and there was still yards left on the bobbins. I hated to cut the yarn but what else could I do?

Even though it's not evenly spun or plied, I like it. I like the colors. I like that I made it. My second wheel spun stuff. Good times, good times.

Yes, yes, the boucle boucle boucle!

I wasn't sure I'd be able to do it, or if I could, that it would look much like boucle. And in fact, in the beginning not only did I have no idea what they were talking about, but when I tried to spin the mohair (gorgeous silky mohair handdyed by Treetop Colour Harmonies) I felt like I'd never spun before. Every time I tried to get the wheel going it stalled out and spun in the wrong direction. I couldn't get coordinated. For a while. I felt like saying, "Dude, I so could do this yesterday!" After a little while I finally got a slow rhythm going, and a little after that, I was comfortably cruising in 2nd. The woman next to me sounded like she was in 4th, but I kept to my pace and hummed.

I had a few other problems, and while it didn't come out as I expected, it also looks just as I imagined:

38: Mohair boucle 38: Mohair boucle

Isn't it just wonderful? I wish you could see it in person, it's so soft and the mohair has a nice sheen and the colors are soft and glowing.

alongalong

I've joined a coupla knitalongs. Did I mention? Let's see... You knew about:

I haven't decided on my challenge, but I've decided to go the "challenging/new to me" route vs. the "kill yourself and those you love by trying to knit a zillion stitches in 2 weeks" route. I think it's a good decision. Only 1 week to opening ceremonies!

As an adjunct I joined:

Yep, Boston area knitters crazy enough to join the 2006 Knitting Olympics. There are a lot of us. Go Beantown!

This year I wanted to get in on:

Who could resist monkeys wearing socks on all limbs? Those are monkeys, aren't they?

And finally:

I'm mad, I know I am. Knowing may be half the battle, but it doesn't seem to have much effect...

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