22 December 2007

Marry Kristmus

21 December 2007


I'm pretty excited about my first skein of wool. It's not very balanced, and there's lots of thick and thin parts, but I'm impressed that it went so well. I finally made it up to toronto for the second spindle lesson at lettuce knit. It focused on plying the two singles we'd previously made in the opposite direction to make a 2ply skein. Plying was surprisingly really relaxing, and as our talented teacher implied, very satisfying as well. It's neat to see the wool come together. It'll be really amazing when I can start to dye the fleece myself and plan how the colours are going to interact. I'm well on my way into skein #2. I'm carding grey and bright orange BFL into rolags and trying to spindle standing up not using the park and draft method I started with.

12 December 2007

Beginning Spindling

Last thursday, I ventured up to Toronto to a little knitting/wool store in the market. Lettuce Knit such a cute wool store with lots to offer. They have really nice cotton yarns, lots and lots of sock yarn, roving and fleece, books and mostly some really cool lessons! I'm taking a drop spindle class, and last thursday I learned a couple of methods in which to spin on the spindle. I like the park and draft method where you gather up twist, 'park' the spindle between your knees, then draft the fiber out. We also learned how to predraft and prepare the fibre for spinning. It was really really helpful to go to an in person lesson. This coming thursday we're learning how to ply 2 singles together. I think it'll be really fun and i can't wait! Currently I'm spinning on the spindle we got with the class fee, an ashford student spindle. But i bought a Cascade Little Si spindle previously, so I plan to experiment with that one during the holidays. I REALLY want a Golding spindle after having seen the beautiful work they do. Come to think of it, my talented woodworker/cabinetmaker sister could probably make something really nice!

Now, just recently I turned 29, and for my birthday, my cool mom ordered me a beautiful ASHFORD TRAVELLER spinning wheel! WOW! I did not expect that, and was so excited. It comes in pieces and unfinished, so I'm just deciding right now on how i'd like to finish the wheel. I will probably do that over the holidays as well. I can't wait to try that out! I've read alot of reviews online, and alot of people have had the Traveller as their first wheel, so I think it'll work out really well.

5 December 2007

Ravelry and Owlishly


Wow, what an amazing site for any knit and crochet fiends. I can't even begin to describe the functionality the site offers and it's still in beta! To get an account you'll have to sign up and join the waitlist. I'm not sure how long the wait is but there's a waitlist checker available after you sign up.

After being accepted to the beta and logging on, you'll find you have an account profile. So you can upload pictures of yourself, a brief description etc. etc. In your "notebook" are tabs for 'projects', 'stash', 'queued', 'favourites', 'groups' and some more. You can post projects and link to the pattern and the yarn. The site usually 'finds' the pattern for you if it's on the site already, and you can rate the yarn and pattern via a 5 star system. You can then rate the difficulty and you're happiness with the final product. After you do all this, if your pattern was found, it'll list how many other users have finished projects with that pattern, which you can browse and see for yourself! It's a great way to find other users you may have similar interests with, and to see how other people executed the same pattern. The 'groups' function is cool too. You can search for groups that share the same interests and participate in discussions, or share projects themed toward that group. I've joined a bunch of groups; organic gardening, earth friendly groups, yoga groups, spinning groups, etc. For the favorites section, you can 'favorite' a pattern, designer or project and it'll keep those listed somewhat like internet bookmarks. You can also 'queue' projects you see elsewhere online, or on the site.

It's a really intuitive and cool site for networking with other fiber crafters and i've found more patterns, ideas and inspirations from this site in 2 weeks than i've found anywhere else.

It's on ravelry where i discovered the art of amigurumi, or small crocheted dolls. I bought a few patterns from an awesome lady and made myself a small mexican wrestler doll. It turned out awesome and i think i have a new hobby! So everybody who knits or crochets, join ravelry, go look at OWLISHLY's patterns, you won't regret it!

1 December 2007

Cabled Mitties!

On my journey to become a better knitter, i decided to make my first pair of true mitts. I picked a pattern from an old Beehive pattern book called "Gifts and Accessories by Beehive, book 90". They had increases, decreases, a thumb gusset and some cool looking cables. They were knitted on two needles instead of in the round, and then sewn up the side at the end. The thumb and thumb gusset were knitted as the project progressed, not afterwords. I used a green tweed wool and 3.5 mm needles. I made a few mistakes, but i think they turned out pretty well for my first pair!