Two Left Needles

Knitting, spinning and dyeing
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Spent the last couple of days in a Career Directions workshop presented by Workforce Central Career Center. They used the Holland method to map out what "type" you are, and what "type" your job or workplace is. Like any similar method, gives you a different way to look at what your interests, skills and values are, and a way to find jobs that match up to them.

At least, that's what I took from it. It was useful in the first part, ie, a different way to look at what I'm good at, what I'm interested in, etc. But not so useful in finding jobs that match up with the "results". For any that know the method, my profile is A(rtistic), S(ocial), and C(onventional)/I(nvestigative). A and S are pretty straightforward to imagine. The C has to do with things like routine, number crunching, attention to detail, etc. I'm very good at it, but not so interested in it; it clashes with my A side (and no, there is no "B" side). The I has to do with analytical, curiosity, someone who needs to see to believe, etc.

For kicks, some of the jobs my combination suggest are:
- dictionary editor
- pyschiatrist
- singing messenger
- dance therapist
- heating and refrigeration inspector
- librarian
- nurse

Quite a range, eh? Anyway, it was an interesting workshop and I'm glad I went.

Knitting FO's

Scarves, unless draped artistically on a chair or worn, do not look like much of finished object. That is, the blocking pic just isn't enough. To me, at least. So, here are the last 3 scarves I've worked on/finished.

Silky Soft Confection (does it need fringe?):

Silky Soft Confection

Balloon Silk Scarf (the funny face is because it's so short):

Balloon Silk Scarf

and Seaweed Love (which was named because I thought the colorway was Seaweed, but actually is Purple Haze):

Seaweed Love

Specs, in case you're interested:

All yarns are by Danette Taylor.

Silky Soft Confection
Started: 3/31/05
Finished: 11/7/05
Pattern: my own, modified version of feather and fan
Yarn: silk merino in Violets (I think) and nylon eyelash in...?
Needles: #8
Notes: Not my colors (came in a grab bag) but was a lot of fun to knit and to work out the pattern; very soft; cast on lengthwise so next go around I would make it a little longer.

Balloon Silk Scarf
Started: 4/28/05
Finished: 10/25/05
Pattern: Interlocking Balloons by Shirley Paden in Scarf Style; modified to use only 1 repeat
Yarn: icelandic silk in Azaleas, 1 ball
Needles: #6
Notes: Loved knitting with the silk; ran out of yarn, would prefer a much longer length; next time would block into curves instead of points. A fun experiment (hmm, 1 ball of silk, what can I do with this?).

Seaweed Love
Started: 10/22/05
Finished: 11/8/05
Pattern: my own, but based on a scarf I saw in London-Wul
Yarn: silk merino in Purple Haze, 1 ball
Needles: #11
Notes: Love the silk merino, LOVE it. Nice drape. Would have added another half ball if I had it.

Lookie what came in the mail -- stitchmarkers and soap from soapfibergal! They're from a trade on The Knitty Coffeeshop. I couldn't wait to use them. Look how purty! And they match the yarn perfectly.

Bead Stitch Markers

The soap smells wonderful. Thank you, soapfibergal!

Soap

What's that thing with the stitchmarkers, you ask? Yep, that's right, new project. I couldn't help myself. A friend was having trouble with the Multidirectional Silk Scarf on Magknits so I did a swatch to see what was going on, and well, this is what happened:

Multidirectional Silk Scarf - in progress

Me loves the colors, but I'm worried about how it will look in the end. The garter borders are knit in cashmere/wool from Danette Taylor, and the multidirectional part is her silk boucle. The original pattern calls for Artyarns Regal Silk, which is much slinkier. Here it is up close:

Multidirectional Silk Scarf - closeup

You can sorta make out the square that I just knit. Because it's boucle it doesn't have the same give, so... well, we'll see.

I took the plunge and steam blocked the Silky Soft Confection. Fingers are crossed.

Silky Soft Confection - blocking

The cashmere scarf is now about a foot long. Below is the back, which looks a little different from the front. The pattern is Vintage Velvet from Scarf Style. The original is knit with Muench's Touch Me, hence the "velvet"; but since mine is so very not velvet, I'm calling mine Vintage Unvelvet. Original, eh?

Vintage Unvelvet - in progress

And finally, I did some spinning! The brown is coopworth 2-ply. Worked on my long draw and non-parking techniques. It's a worsted to bulky weight, which was tough to do on my spindle (it's too light; good for finer yarns, though). Mebbe time to shop around for a second spindle. Any suggestions?

18: Brown coopworth 2-ply

The bottom skein is the Northern Mist quiviut/alpaca/merino blend that I spun the other day. I wound it around a small water bottle, and then put the ball around my wrist and plied it that way. Of course, it wasn't until it was all wound that I realized an empty water bottle would be easier...

I had seen a photo of something like this somewhere and thought I'd try it out. I like this method much better than the over-the-shoulders method. The ends don't twist around each other so much and I have much more control drawing them out. On the down side, it does take longer to wind. There's probably a way to incorporate the yarnwinder, maybe add something to the cone to increase the diameter...

I went a little crazy this year and bought a LOT of Danette Taylor's handdyed yarns. The problem has been figuring out what to make with it all.

I had some silk-merino and nylon eyelash in similar bright not-me colors, so I thought I'd play and see what I could come up with. Here's the result (back and front):

Silky Soft Confection - unblocked

I call it Silky Soft Confection, and it is VERY silky soft. It's a modified version of the usual fan and wave (or whatever it's called). I had twice as much silk-merino yardage-wise, and I also didn't want the silk-merino to get lost in the nylon eyelash 'cuz then what would be the point of using silk-merino? Plus I wanted to maintain a little textural interest but also keep it subtle. And, wanted to maximize number of knit rows (vs purl). 

I'm happy with how it turned out overall. The only thing bothering me and keeping this from being a FO is the bind-off edge. See at the center of the picture, how it looks kinda ... flat and straight? And at the top and bottom of the picture, it's nice and wavy?

I was thinking of undoing the cast on edge, picking up the stitches and then binding off so they'd match. But then they'd both be ... flat and straight. Not the effect I want. Will a good blocking take care of this?

Gatsby Pullover Sleeve

In other news, I finished the first sleeve of the Gatsby Pullover:

Gatsby Pullover - finished sleeve!

And may I say, Wow, what a pain.

It was the whole yarn twisting thing. I mickey moused a setup that allowed the cone to rotate and therefore introduce less twist in the unwinding, but it hardly helped. It's the cone itself. Too much twist. I can totally see why I lost interest in this project.

Worse, I'm thinking the fabric created by this yarn and this needle size is a good deal heavier than the yarn used in the pattern. I'm worried about the ease factor. (And, I think the sleeve may be a bit too long. And I knit 1/2" less than the pattern called for, too.)

Meanwhile, I started the second sleeve and am around where I was when I lost interest last time. Which means I have a whole sleeve to go. Lovely.

My Birthday Scarf

Last, I leave you with a photo of My Birthday Scarf. This was my birthday gift to myself this year: 2 skeins of sport weight cashmere handdyed by, you guessed it, Danette Taylor. This is the Calypso colorway. I loves it. The colors are great and the yarn is soooo soft. Even for cashmere. The 2x2 rib, while interesting enough the first 12" or so, is now, well, not so interesting. I add a few rows here and there when I can (stand to) and hope to be done before it gets really cold.

My Birthday Scarf - in progress My Birthday Scarf - closeup