6.04.2008

Time Flies & Other Fun

It's been nearly a week since I blogged! I'm in an intense spell with work, but there's been a little fun mixed in, too.

For instance, I reorganized my knitting binder. You know... the place I store all my printed patterns in neat little plastic sleeves. Well, it was bursting at the seams, so I pulled out all my sock stuff and made a separate binder for socks. I must confess, the sock binder's bigger than the other. It might not be clear yet in this blog, but I love knitting socks.

What?!?! Binder not fun enough for you? How about new spindles?!


Mystery package + the 2 fancy spindles (above) + 3 basic donut spindles (below) = I have the best sister ever!


Here's what I now lovingly refer to as my Birthday Spindle Trifecta:


They are (L-R):
Oh look, they're gorgeous from behind, too!


Obviously, I wasted no time testing them out. The Ethan Jakob is loaded up with its third batch of the merino/silk I've been spinning into sock yarn. The Square Mini has a red and black mystery wool. Katherine's Cup has lime and yellow mystery wool. All the fibers came from A New Yarn.

In the not-too-distant past, I might have scoffed at the idea of collecting a bunch of spindles. After working with all these different kinds—including the beginning spindles, the CD spindles, and trusty Fang, my Schecht Hi-Lo—I've changed my attitude. I totally get it now. It's not just about amassing a spindle stash or fetishizing the object. Each has a completely different spinning personality and a different optimal use.

I'm blown away by how well the Square Mini spins. Great balance. Very good spin time.

Ethan Jakob spins like a little tornado. The spin time off each flick is shorter than with other spindles, which bothered me at first, but I quickly realized that I move through a lot of fiber very quickly with this one, so I'm not complaining.

Katherine's Cup is the one I had been coveting before my birthday. I had opted for a smaller spindle at the time, worried that this one would weigh too heavy on my hand. Boy was I wrong. This one is a solid, impeccably balanced, joy to spin. It spins forever. Absolute stability. It may be my favorite of the three (for now... each one is my "favorite" when I'm using it!).

As for knitting...

No new pictures of her, but the Bad Woman Wrap is about 70 percent done now. It's a great project to work on in the car, at C's Irish Step Dance Class, during conversations, etc., because I don't have to think too much while I'm knitting. Given the size now, though, it's become a little less portable in stand-and-walk circumstances.

And I started these:


Socks (duh), worked toe-up on magic loop. They're test socks. I'm teaching a class on toe-up, two-at-once, magic loop socks with a heel flap and gusset for A New Yarn later this month (June 21 & 28, to be exact, if you're in the area and want to join us). Preparations have involved writing up my pattern, and I wanted to knit a pair from the page to catch typos before handing it out to the class.

The yarn is the Zitron Trekking Pro Natura I got at Poppies Fine Yarn on Orcas Island (Eastsound, WA) in January. I had been so excited about this yarn, but I have to say I'm not loving it. You may recognize it from it's first appearance as a test knit for the toe-up Monkey lace in this post. I didn't like it then, frogged it, and hoped I would like it better in another pattern and with a different needle. When I first started these test socks, I would have sworn the yarn was cursed! First, I cast on and knit about 2" into the foot before I woke up and realized I'd only cast on half the number of stitches I needed—so the socks had the longest, pointiest toes you've seen on anything outside of Turkey! The next time I cast on, I counted stitches at least 3 times before beginning to knit only to discover later that I had different counts on each needle! (Must have been sleeping when I made that mistake.) Third time was the charm. Cast on properly and have made steady progress since.

These socks are being worked on US1 and will be a basic stockinette throughout. At the time of the picture, I had just finished the toe increases, cut the reinforcing thread, and completed a couple rows of the foot. For the reinforcing thread, I used a dark grey laceweight Russian wool from my stash. I didn't have a card of reinforcing thread in the right color for the Pro Natura.

In other news...

I've been working on an exciting stealth project that's not knitting but is knitting-related. Also summer-related. And sock-related. Should be public by early next week at the latest. Can't wait to tell you all about it soon!



4 comments:

karmicimprints said...

I bought one of those square spindles at Oregon Flock and Fiber last year - it's awesome!

Heidi

lemonquasar said...

I have all my printed patterns in sleeves in a binder also. I have them organized by type (head/neck; feet/hands; body; bags; whimzies) with dividers.

That trio of spindles is really awesome! I love all the different shapes. I like the photo of them with the bright yarn.

Jeanne said...

Very pretty spindles!

juicyknits said...

Zhenya, you've been tagged - check out my blog for details.