Thursday, September 10, 2009

Work, knit, spin, sleep. Rinse, repeat.

This is sort of how my life feels right now. Not that I'm complaining. Far from it, actually. I'm really enjoying having a more stable, predictable schedule -- and the same attributes in my income doesn't hurt, either.

I am still trying to get used to early mornings, but I'm getting there. Actually, getting up isn't as bad as making myself go to bed. For the past six years, I pretty much went to bed somewhere between midnight and 2:00 a.m. Can't do that anymore -- not if I want to have a chance at being coherent at 7:30 a.m. anyway. But putting down whatever I'm doing and actually going to bed around 11:00 is not an easy discipline for me.

I bet there are a few of you saying, "Wow, I wish that was my biggest problem!" Yeah, I know I have it pretty good. Finances still aren't great, but the predicability of how much and when is an improvement, even if the amount isn't really where I need it to be yet. All things in time.

So here, for your viewing pleasure, are a couple of things I finished up recently.

4oz SW wool & bambooFirst is a pretty skein of superwash wool/bamboo that I spun up. I lost the tag from the fiber, and I can't remember where I purchased it. It's something I found in my fiber stash and loved the colors. However, when I opened the braid, there was a lot of white fiber that didn't get any dye. So I borrowed a friend's drum carder to mix things together a bit more.

When I carded it, I split the colors out (green/blue/purple) and fed them to the carder to create bats that had stripes of each color. I have some white bamboo, so I added in some of that during the carding process -- about 5 percent of the final batts was bamboo.

When I spun the singles, I split the bats by color and created long sections of each color. I did two separate bobbins with the same color progression and then plied them to create the final, two-ply yarn. The colors overlap in spots, but overall the finished yarn has long sections of solid colors. The bit of bamboo gives it a nice sheen. There's about 250 yards in the skein and it's roughly 18wpi -- a fine fingering weight yarn. I love the look of it.

My friends and I have a tradition of spending a day at the Oregon State Fair. Most of our time there is spent in the horse barn watching the horse shows. I wanted something to work on that didn't require a pattern or a lot of thinking, so I did a stash dive and came up with three skeins of Lana Gatto Musa I picked up at a sale last year. It's a lovely yarn that has the look of a mohair, but is a mix of wool and acrylic, so it doesn't have the scratchiness that mohair sometimes does.

First Impression ShawlI knew I wanted something pretty simple and I thought something modular would be good. I recently got a copy of Iris Shreier's "Reversible Knits" on sale at Joann's, so I looked through there and found the First Impression Scarf. That seemed a good fit for the yarn and definitly was an easy pattern for take-along knitting. Thus was formed this wrap. It's about 18"x80" and it's very warm and cozy. It will come in handy this winter as it can be used over the head to protect against the drizzle and is long enough to still wrap around the neck for warmth. I used 3 skeins of Musa, total of 591 yards (I have a very small amount left over) and US 10.5 needles. Quick, simple, effective. Perfect.

There's some other spinning in the works, but it's still a work in progress. And of course there are several knitting projects in progress, as per usual. More updates when I get something finished!


Norma said...

Another night owl here who had to adjust to uber-early mornings. I have finally done it, but man, it's still hard. And now, it's even harder because SOME mornings I no longer HAVE to get up so early. The ever-changing schedule is awful.

Shelly said...

Pretty, pretty. How is bamboo to spin? Is it like cotton?