• Thoughts 19.04.2017 No Comments

    ..I don’t care how much Churchmouse patterns cost. When you buy a pattern and it doesn’t fit, you have wasted time and maybe money. I don’t buy patterns so that I can re-write them. I buy patterns so I can start a project and just knit. This was a raglan and the top part simply did not come up far enough. I ripped it back and reworked it, but it still didn’t fit. I don’t want to rag on the designer. I still think the design elements she chose are beautiful and other folks seems to have come up with a sweater that fits. But it did not work for me and I can’t stand to see this nice yarn wasted. So I am spending more time taking this apart.

    For some reason, the pattern police come out every time the Churchmice have a new pattern. Now this is a yarn shop that actually gives away a free pattern with purchase on their anniversary. I have not had any problems with their patterns and they fit. But for some reason, people feel that they should bitch about the price. Every blinking time. If you don’t like the price, don’t buy it. I find it interesting that someone would spend significant money to buy yarn yet want the cheapest pattern possible. There are lots of free patterns on Ravelry. Pick one out and knit it, be my guest. But seriously, find something else to bitch about. I will continue to vote, with my money, for the folks that turn out patterns that work and don’t have to be rewritten.

     

    UPDATE:

    I still need to skein up the yarn and wash it, but it’s done. And I have dirt and hair all over my skirt. What a mess! I think, with the exception of knitting a gansey, I am done with sweaters knit in one piece. (And I say this having just bought a cardigan pattern that is all one piece.) I don’t care for knitting with circulars. You wind up with this big, heavy, unmanageable piece that goes on and on. When you knit individual pieces, you actually finish a piece and move to the next one. The shaping tends to be better than when you knit a single piece. I’m not fond of sewing, but it’s just finish work. When I started knitting, everything was knit in pieces then sewn together. And knitting in the round was touted as this great improvement, where you’d be done with the sweater all at once. Yeah, after you’ve slogged through round after round of several hundred stitches.

    I’m knitting differently these days. I buy yarn with a project in mind, mostly. I finish projects. I knit things that I really want to wear and, if I can get yarn on sale, I don’t mind if it doesn’t last forever. I need lighter weight sweaters and gave away some nice heavy ones.

  • Back in the day, there were no dedicated places to talk about spindles. If you discussed them on the spinning lists, wheel spinners would complain that they weren’t interested. It seemed that we needed our own place to discuss them, so that we could share the excitement of the new spindles we’d found. And back then, there were a lot of new spindle makers and new designs. I decided to start a list just for us. I’d have people send me their posts and I would manually put them together into a post that I emailed to the folks that were interested. Responses would show up in the next day’s post. It was work, but it was fun. Eventually, I found some software that would create the posts for me and used that for awhile. Then someone on the list offered a place on their own server, so we tried that. Then companies came out with email groups. They kept getting bought out by Yahoo, so eventually we wound up there. I never liked Yahoo. I hated dealing with it, but it was convenient for folks, so we stayed.

    I have noticed that people are not using email as much as before. A lot of that traffic went to social media and sites like Ravelry. Participation on the list dropped off. I had a monthly reminder for people to talk about their projects, but that didn’t seem to help. And I didn’t spend as much time as before participating. I talked about closing the list last year, but people wanted to keep it going awhile longer. After almost a year of no traffic, I closed it this week. Thank you to all that participated! I hope you continue to spin and enjoy your spindles.

  • I have been knitting a lot. I haven’t been spinning much. It’s one of those weird things I go through. I had this plan to knit some of the patterns in In the Footsteps of Sheep I have the wool cleaned and combed. I even started spinning a bit of it. But there it sits. I normally like traditional patterns. Right now, I am on a Churchmouse patterns kick. I’m not sure I’ll be buying any other patterns. They just seem to fit and I never have problems with the pattern. Normally, I like basic wool. Now I’m knitting with odd stuff. I’m doing my second sweater from Avalanche. It’s a wool/alpaca chainette yarn. It’s a bit odd but I just love the sweater.

    It’s not a great picture, but it’s better than no picture at all. I have another Classic Elite yarn up for the next project. I’m doing the Easy Folded Poncho in Telluride. That’s an alpaca/linen blend with those donegal tweed pieces. It’s interesting stuff. I am looking for more weird yarns to do the Simple Tee for the summer. I figure I need a couple of light winter/fall sweaters and a couple of light summer/spring tees. I still need to sew some skirts. I’ve had one ready to go for months, but still need to hem it. Will see if I can manage that this weekend. I am still working on the shawl, about halfway through it and I have a pair of socks on the needles. I like that Kroy sock yarn. I just am not adventurous right now. I have a sock pattern that works. I find that I don’t like wearing the fancy socks as much as the plain ones. (This could be bad for that handspun sock project!) So I am just knitting what works and using the same yarn for them. I don’t want to have to rewrite the pattern.

    I still don’t have a picture of Lon wearing his nice cabled sweater. He really loves it. He’d like a thicker collar so I may try and work on that this weekend. It did turn out nice.

  • Thoughts 02.02.2015 No Comments

    (Crossposting from NotSoThoreau)

    One of my favorite new blogs does her resolutions on Groundhog Day. I thought it was a great idea! So here are my fiber resolutions (which I’m going to cross post over on Spinditis.)

      • Knit three cardigans. At least one will be done from handspun
      • Buy yarn only for specific projects. The only exemption is sock yarn.
      • Sew at least three new skirts and tops.
      • Make at least three new pairs of socks.
      • Sell off some knitting books/magazines
      • Use or give away yarn and fiber stash
      • Design one sweater and one shawl
      • Make as much food as possible from scratch
      • Start an herb garden.
      • Do more dyeing.

    I want to work in color this year. I love my natural colored fleeces, but I feel the need for more color. I also want to work more intentionally this year. I want to knit sweaters to go with clothes that I make. I don’t know how many more years I will be able to knit and spin. Best to start working with an end in mind.

  • I was thinking yesterday how long it’s been since I’ve used a wheel. I don’t think I’ve touched one, since I loaned out my Louet to a friend that wants to learn to spin on a wheel. I have two wheels that I will keep for sentimental reasons. I love the great wheel, but the wheel is warped and it’s tricky to use. I will always love my Pipy, which I bought in the 70s. So many memories with that one. I almost sold it, but Jeffrey told me I should keep it. I’ve had some repairs done to it, but haven’t tried using it since it’s been fixed.

    Mostly, I just love my spindles. I can use them anywhere. I’m working on the East Friesian and the Midge projects. I like to trade off, as the two fibers feel and draft differently. I finished my first skein from the Midges yesterday:

     

    The Midge project

    Skeined up

    First skein

    I have my little Tom Bihn project bags. When I have enough turtles, I take my Tracy Einheim low whorl and ply it up. Then it’s skeined and washed. I’m using my excess TB CafĂ© Bags for storage. It’s just a different process than using a wheel. It’s just plain fun!

    I do need to start knitting, as I have some projects on tap. The knuckle on my right index finger has been swollen for a few weeks and I’ve been babying it. I did knit for awhile this weekend and it seemed okay.

  • Thoughts 27.03.2014 No Comments

    I’ve been spinning so long that I sometimes have to remind myself that few people spin these days. In fact, there really aren’t even that many people that knit. If you read one of the knitting histories and think about how common it was for a woman to carry her knitting with her everywhere, it really seems like you are the only knitter/spinner in the world. At least, that’s the case until you go to a fiber festival or hang out on Ravelry.

    I do tend to get pulled into more “challenges” now, so I find myself spinning shorter batches of fiber. I really want to make the Darrowby cardigan on Knitty and I think I have the Romney lamb fiber for it. It will be a pretty long project and I do need to comb the wool before I spin it. In all this time, I haven’t done a ‘sweater on a spindle” project and it’s long overdue. But first, I’ve gotta finish that Spring Fling challenge!