Two Left Needles

Knitting, spinning and dyeing
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I debated showing it all, since I'd only be documenting my stash enhancing, uh, addiction. (Yes, the first step is admitting your problem.) Then I thought, what the hell. So here it is!

Webs Sale - 501 Tweed
Filatura di Crosa 501 Tweed; only 10 balls so maybe a small sweater

Webs Sale - Debbie Bliss wool/cotton
Debbie Bliss wool/cotton in dark and light blue; one of these will become some kind of cabled sweater from one of her books. I keep buying her books but not her yarns; maybe for once I won't have to make endless calculations and adjustments?? (Please?)

Webs Sale - Rowunspun 4 ply
Rowan Rowanspun 4ply in Pumpkin, I think; it's bright, n'est ce pas? It's also thin, and I don't know if 10 balls x 25g is enough for anything? I was thinking that little cardi from Interweave Knits sometime in the last year or so, but maybe it wasn't 4ply...

Webs Sale - misc
Knit One Crochet Two Creme Brulee: superwash for baby things, hard to go wrong at $20 for 10 balls
Sparkly non-gauge-changing carryalong thread for knitting and spinning fun
Cascade Fixation for the wool-allergic hubby

Webs Sale - silk Webs Sale - silk closeup
Silk for the Sweater Scott Will Wear and Love, Dammit; to be knit with 2 strands

Spinning Wheel thoughts

Based on suggestions on Knitter's Review Forums, I'll try out both wheels again and then decide. Give them each another go, a fair shake, a run for their money, and any other cliche you can think of. I've waited this long, may as well make a decision I feel comfortable with.

Socky progress

Speaking of waiting, while at the doctor's office last week I got through another couple of repeats:

Grey Cabled Sock - sock 2

And a little Drugstore Cowboy (what a classic) last night got me through the last couple of cables:

Grey Cabled Sock - sock 2

Just some toe shaping and ends weaving to go!

New Year's travel

I'm heading to NC for New Year's, family fun and my last week of freedom before starting my new job. I'm looking forward to it! Both seeing them, and starting my job, actually. I've had my fun (knitting! spinning! sleeping in!), I've had my pain (job hunting... no yarn money...), I'm ready to to learn, earn, help, create, and otherwise be a productive member of society again. And family-wise, well, the older I get, the more I cherish what feels like ever more limited time with them. My nephew (6 mo!) is sitting on his own and ready to start crawling; my niece (almost 7!) is reading chapter books and a cool kid besides. They grow so fast, and i'm so far! My plans: introduce my niece to the wonders of dyeing yarn with food coloring; make my nephew giggle and smile; make my sister laugh and feel she can neglect her kids for at least a few hours here and there.

I'll prepare some posts ahead of time, but I probably won't be able to blog regularly until I get back.

And last... WIP Management

I'm officially putting any WIP Management updates on hold until January. Wait, that's next week...

Holiday knitting put me in a jumble and I'm not yet recovered. I did find it interesting that all projects begun post-WIP Management are currently complete. That's a first! I'm down from 67 to 42 projects (to be honest, I still can't see how I can have that many, but Excel spreadsheets do not lie), with 17 completed, 15 abandoned, and 7 new. I'm not feeling the creative soup joy from starting new projects (new project high, so much better than new car smell), but I have been getting some creative joices going designing (Buttercup and Ribbed Wristwarmers (which I'm renaming yet again)), and a good amount of satisfaction when they're done.

It's been a different kind of knitting, more goal oriented and focused. Not very Gemini, but a good learning experience. Balance, beginning and finishing. Letting go of projects that no longer inspire or that I've outgrown. Putting in that extra bit of effort to finish up an almost complete item, transforming it from an idea, good intentions, 22% perspiration, to something that can be used, gifted, warm some heart or spirit. In the last 6 weeks, I've been extra careful to start only necessary holiday gift projects, and that will have to change.

For the record, my original goal of 18-24 projects was set with a 6 month timeline. I think I'm well ahead of schedule. It won't do to coast; WIPs won't knit themselves! But I think it'll be a little more lowkey from here.

Week six:
Started with: 43
Abandoned: -0
Finished: -2
New: +1
(Number of projects I wanted to start: 3)
Current Projects: 42!
WIP list

The advantage of ancient WIPs that are socks:

If the first sock was completed years ago, you can't have second sock syndrome. It's like knitting a first sock all over again.

In the case of Grey Cabled Socks (thanks for the lovely comments!), I kept such detailed notes on the first sock (the extent shocks me) that I didn't have to refer back to the pattern at all. This compared to a blank page for the Brown Sock. (Oh yeah, I never knit the first Brown sock, so no notes...)

The disadvantage: gauge. My knitting has changed in 9 years (duh, really?), and if this sock is any indication, it's gotten tighter. The second sock is even harder to get on my foot than the first one. Once there, it's fine. Hmm... I can't imagine a life-threatening situation involving speed of removing socks. Can you?

Grey Cabled Scarf - in progress

Wait one moment, Monica. I thought that first sock was done. Did you frog it???

Sacre bleu, no mon dieu, and oo la la.

I couldn't stop worrying about the socks matching up so I dug up some 2 3/4 mm circular needles I didn't know I had and started from scratch. That's the larger sock-in-progress. The smaller sock-in-progress will be de-progressized. The new needles are great! They're bamboo and the cord is incredibly flexible. The length of the bamboo portion is a little longer than the typical 16" Addi's, so there's a little more to grip.

Grey Cabled Scarf, Needles Used in

Bloglines back

I'm so glad Bloglines found me again. I sent them an email a couple of days ago; that either did the trick, or it was very coincidental. Several blogs I watch were also 'MIA' for a bit there.

Weekly WIP Update

This week I finished a couple of holiday knits, resurrected and finished an old WIP (Brown Sock), and made some progress on an ancient WIP. I didn't have what it took to make cold hard decisions on abandoning further projects. Must be the holidays. Next week I should be able to axe a few more.

Week four:
Started with: 50
Abandoned: -0
Finished: -3
New: +1
(Number of projects I wanted to start: 5)
Current Projects: 48!
WIP list

After finishing Brown Socks, I picked up Grey Cabled Socks. (I swear, my older project names are entirely boring, yet succinctly descriptive.) The problems with Grey Cabled Socks: they were knit on #2 dpn's (that's 2 problems - tool type and size), and they ended up a bit snug in the putting on / getting off category. Pluses: once on, they're quite comfy, and they look beautiful.

Sock 1 was already finished:

Grey Cabled Socks - sock 1

Looks so much better on the foot:

Grey Cabled Socks - sock 1

Yes, yes, I have small feet.

Heel detail (don't know if you can see it, but I like the garter stitch edges on the heel flap):

Grey Cabled Socks - heel detail

Toe detail (you can't see it, but these socks gradually decrease to almost no stitches):

Grey Cabled Socks - toe detail

In the project baggie was my swatch. See what passed for a swatch back in '96?

Grey Cabled Socks - swatch Grey Cabled Socks - swatch

The second sock had about 1" of ribbing. Dpn's were 2 3/4 mm; I switched to my usual circs, but the closest I could find was 3 mm or 2.5 mm. I went with 3 mm and hoped for the best.

After a few rows, I could see the stitches were bigger, so I went with cabling every 9 rows instead of 10. They match up pretty closely, but I'm still worried.

Grey Cabled Socks - sock 2