Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Great Many Fiber-y Pursuits

Well.  Would you look at that:

It's my clown sweater, all finished and posing for a picture.  You will have to trust me when I say that the real sweater--especially the colors-- looks much better than this picture; it's just not a terribly photogenic garment.  I think I need to try again with a hanger or a human model and some more camera-friendly light, but not today.

I didn't finish the sweater before the Lopi arrived, but I didn't have to wait long to cast on.  I forgot that it would take a few days for the sweater parts to finish blocking/drying, and while they were being poked with pins and flattened by damp towels,  I cast on for the first sleeve of Sigridur.  It took a whopping two days to knit, that being the great joy of bulky yarn worked in the smallest size of the pattern.  Not a very meaningful boast for a pattern that starts at 42", but I'll take what I can get.

The second sleeve followed the assembly of the clown sweater (which had finished drying and was ready making up) in short order and then I lost no time casting on for the body, with visions of the next two sweaters already dancing in my head.


That, of course, is the sound of my knitting mojo coming to a halt.  The body should be flying along, just like the sleeves.  The sleeves were knit at lightning speed with my beloved Brittany DPNs, which are, of course, the perfect match for Lopi.

 Combine the rustic woolliness of the yarn and the untainted woodiness of the needles and you achieve knitting Nirvana:  the wool slides over the needles with minimal friction, but never threatens to slide off.  Together they even make a whispery sound, reminiscent of leaves rustling in a Spring breeze.  Bliss.

Alas for me, Brittany does not make circular needles and I have been unable to find anything even tolerable for working the body.  

I started with these:


They are stainless steel with a spiffy red cable and the company that makes these also makes my current favorite sock needles.

They stunk.  They might as well have been coated in glue for all the effort it took to move the stitches along, and I ended up with hand cramps too from battling the yarn.

So I substituted my trusty Knit Picks Harmony wood needle tips.

Same problem, to a lesser degree.  Still no knitting Nirvana.

Today, in a last desperate bid for needles that will allow me to knit the remainder of this sweater without crying, I nipped out my emergency back-up yarn shop and, after thorough scientific testing which involved rubbing lots of needles on lots of skeins of yarn, bought--get this--square needles.


Wild, right?  Supposedly, they are loved deeply by all who try them, so I'm going to test them out tomorrow. Even if they are dreadful, I'm declaring an end to my needle quest.  Between these and those stainless steel jobbers I bought last weekend specially for this sweater, I've sunk about $20 just into needles.  If you count the fancy-pants laminate needle tips too (and you probably should, since this is the only project I've ever used them for even if I didn't buy them with this sweater in mind), then we're pushing $30 and that's just absurd.  I'll have to start knitting all of my projects on size 9 needles just to get my money's worth out of this new collection. BAH!

Life has not only been about knitting around here, though.  Yesterday, in a sudden fit of industry, I finished winding the warp for some towels I've been meaning to make since last winter.  I threaded the loom yesterday and finished tying everything on today, and now all I need is a bobbin of pumpkin colored cotton to get going on my first towel.  I think I have finally overcome the weaving despair brought on by the Placemats of Bitter Disappointment and I'm ready to try again.  More pics after I get these buggers started, which won't be until I finish spinning my current bobbin of purple wool and free up the spinning wheel for the winding of weaving bobbins.  Soon.  Very soon.


The fun doesn't even stop with the loom.  After a morning spent grocery shopping and an afternoon spent alternately ferrying people to and fro and securing string to the loom, I not only made a decent dinner for my family, but also conjured up a loaf of chocolate chip banana bread and a bowl of sweet pea guacamole dip (don't panic: they're not meant to be eaten together, okay?).  And I washed the dishes, swept my messy house, and plowed through four loads of laundry. This is more activity than I have undertaken in the last four weekends together and I'm sure I will (very conveniently) end up paying the price tomorrow when I am totally unable to get my work done due to exhaustion.  I guess I'll just have to fortify myself with banana bread and engage in some restful weaving.

1 comment:

  1. I demand the pea guacamole recipe, you heathen ! :-) That cardigan looks great, really sunny and bright. I look forward to your review of square needles LOL