After a solid week of fingering-weight, handspun colorwork*, I felt the need to do something waaaay mindless and straightforward.

Tartan socks

Enter toe-up, thick yarn socks, in handspun. Fiber is superwash Corriedale, colorway "Tartan" from Spunky Eclectic. US 5/3.75 mm needles. One sock finished in two short evenings of knitting. Gotta love it**.

* I finished on Saturday afternoon, wrapped it up, and gave it to Himself for his birthday. He was very pleased, and totally unsuspecting. Now I have to find the mental fortitude to weave in all the ends.

** I've also finished the center panel (yay!) and started the border on the SYB, picking up umpteen million stitches around the edge and starting to work in garter stitch. I'll keep going until it's big enough or I get tired of the damn thing.

So effing close

It's 8:45 pm. At 4:00 pm this afternoon, I ran out of light grey with 1.5 repeats and a cuff left on sleeve #2. Bugger.
Thankfully I had some singles left from the last spin, so I quickly plied, weighed the teensy amount of yarn, soaked it, threw on some dye and hoped for the best.

It's now dry and ready to go. Here's hoping its enough!

ETA 9 March 2012: I gave up at 11:45 last night and went to bed, but...I've got half a repeat and 20 rows of corrugated ribbing to go. This puppy will be done (at least knitting-wise, I make no promises re weaving in 400 bazillion ends or blocking) for the birthday on Saturday. Hooray!

While the cat's away

Yesterday Himself left for a week-long chair building course in Dorset (his Christmas present). I am planning on using this time* to finish the goddamned blankity-blank fracking River Run pullover that I've been working on for more then a year. Because it's his birthday present (please God don't let him pick now to start reading my blog. Kthxbai!) and his birthday is Saturday.

This sweater, while gorgeous beyond all belief, is making me pull my hair out. Because it's taking FOREVER. Nine colors, a 20-something row repeat, and diminishing amounts of handspun, handyed yarn are combining to give me an ulcer. Last night I finished sleeve #1 and promptly celebrated by sticking it in the corner and finishing off the third edge of the sock yarn blanket(now at this stage). The sleeve was five full repeats in total. I am hoping to get one repeat done per night (hahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!) this week and am considering sacrificing one of my children to the All-Powerful Handspinning Gods so that I don't run out of yarn. Because not only will my "schedule" not allow for spinning and dyeing any more, I'm also running out of fiber.

Oy. Thank goodness it's pretty!

River Run detail

* This assumes that the yarn for my sooper sekrit deadline knitting doesn't arrive in the next few days. If it does, Himself will be receiving a sweater with the needles still attached. I'm pretty sure he'll live.

PS - I've finally moved and updated my pattern pages (up there underneath the header) and added the newest pattern - the Southwark Collection (an ebook of my four London-inspired accessories). I've got two more patterns to release this week, so check back for those.

Christmas spinning

The loom did not come as any sort of surprise, and I was so excited by the mere prospect of weaving that three days before Christmas I had the girls pick out some fiber from the stash that I could spin up for scarves for them.

Dev chose some Hello Yarn Shetland fiber that I got from my 4 Oz Challenge prize in 2010, in the colorway "Happy Dance". It ended up like this:

Happy Dance

212 yds/4 oz, 10-14 wpi. I spun this using a point-of-contract draw (i.e. using the twist to pull fibers out from the drafting zone). I ended up with something very squooshy and soft and lovely. After I spun this up I got a bit concerned that it wouldn't hold up to being warp, so I did a little research on how to spin strong warp yarns, which I applied to Boo's scarf yarn.

Boo chose HY Merino in "Overfond".


256 yds/4 oz, 8-10 wpi. I spun this worsted (inchworm drafting), with lots of twist, and I'm much more confident in its ability to hold up to weaving strain.

At that point, I was so hopped up on the spinning-for-weaving idea that I jumped into 100 grams of wool/silk blend that I got in a trip down to Guilford to George Weil.

George Weil wool/silk

95 yds/100 grams. Very smooth and dense and gorgeously shiny. I can't wait to weave this up! But I need to do some stash diving to find the right weft yarn for it. Hmmm...

I've also been working on the River Run Pullover again, now that I've got a firm, final, finish-or-be-damned! deadline on it (aka Himself's birthday). I spent yesterday on the couch, recovering from my wicked plague, and working one repeat of the sleeve.


Ooof. I'm not sure it will ever be done!

There is still knitting for Christmas

It's just that it's stuff I've been knitting over the course of the year. There are a couple of pairs of socks in the gift pile, and a scarf that I made a long time ago but don't ever wear, so it might as well go to a good home. And there's this sweater,

River Run Body

which is only slightly past this stage (shoulders are bound off), but desperately needs a steeking and a neck band ASAP. Like, tonight. Otherwise it's going to turn in to a birthday present three months from now.

I've managed a vest (no pictures yet), and a hat that needs a lining. There's a hat/mittens combo in the works for Devil (one mitten totally done, second mitten outside done (they are lined!), and a hat cast on), but I'm not sure I have enough yarn for them all.

Then there's the things I want to be working on, i.e. spinning up some new fibers to see if I want to carry them in the shop, starting to dye January's fibers, sewing the girls new nightgowns for Christmas Eve. And the things I have to work on, i.e. cooking, cleaning my house for the influx of personages on Thursday and Friday, setting up some things for the girls and I to do because OMG school ends tomorrow at noon. Oh yes, and photographing and getting out not one, not two, but three patterns that are more or less done except for decent pictures.

It's a crazy time of year, that's for sure. Thank goodness there is a full mug in my hands with the chemical structure of caffeine imprinted on the inside (both literally and figuratively).