Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mending my...

I trundled into the bathroom yesterday morning and felt the cold linoleum on my left heel. I had on my only Wollmiese socks. OH NO!!! Just the day before, my old standby socks (on the right) fell to the same fate. It's pair already saw some re-knitting on the heel. When it comes to this level of repair, the only thing that will do is knitting a patch on the heel...because I don't even have anymore of the yarn to do something like re-knit the entire heel. In general, I'm going to have to be careful about always wearing my Berks in the apartment because the floors are a rather rough textured industrial carpet.

On the subject of knitwear maintenance, I did some "re-fashioning" on a second hand cashmere sweater that I've had for years. It's a man's sweater with a high v-neck and it's just never been all that becoming on me. Yesterday took my sharp little scissors to the neck line and changed it to a lower v-neck. I had to do the whole thing by hand because there are certain types of sewing projects I simply do not trust to the
machine. My default sewing method is always by hand. did.

In the late Fall and Winter, I have a uniform: Silk longjohn top or cotton knit topped with one of my old cashmere sweaters and a soft scarf. Add a hat, fingerless gloves and a waterproof jacket and I'm good to go. It used to be a bit easier to find the cashmere sweaters but it's time I started looking again. The oldest one that I bought new is now 20 years old. I'm looking at a little skein of yarn that I got from unraveling a man's cashmere sweater a few years ago. The common issue with a man's sweater is that the sleeves are very wide. I think that's probably why I frogged that sweater instead of just wearing it...oh and I think it was XL! Wow, I actually found a picture of that...
Someone who is not a knitter and who doesn't make stuff was asking me about the stuff I make. She had this crazed look as I was telling her how much I make and that I may or may not wear it after I'm done. She said that thing that non-knitters say all the time: "Can't you sell your stuff?" If you are reading this blog, you most likely know just where that conversation went. You know, about the way our economy in this country is set up. How we couldn't possibly make a living wage of any kind, knitting lace shawls.There are people who do knit for pay, and I have done it but I did it for the experience, not the actual pay.

There are days when I wonder if I should  keep knitting. Especially on days like yesterday when I wanted to start 3 new projects (as I do at this time of the year) or just finish one of the sweaters I know I will actually wear when I'm done. I saw myself from the outside for a minute, asked myself WHY am I doing this?  There are so many other things I could be doing! And then, just after my existential meltdown, I pulled out some fiber and started spinning.

The End.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


I can't believe it's been so long since I posted here. Not for lack of the fibery stuff though. Can you tell I'm not working? In my last post you can see the great stuff I got at OFFF and since then I've spun some of it up and also tried my hand at a little dying.

This is the merino/angora fiber that I spun into a single above and then plied with a strand of silk from some hankies I had on hand. The competed yarn is a fingering weight and came out to 270 yds and 2 ounces.

I am having a love affair with the angora right now. Paula said that she's planning on sheering Zsa Zsa soon so I'm waiting for a big haul of the fluffo stuff before I do more angora spinning. What I learned with this fiber (to the left) that I just spun, is that blending it with darker colors and then dying it can be just amazing.

So, yeah. The dying. I just wanted to try one solid color for a change. I'm not a big dyer, but I did buy some dye and white wool yarns last year that I've been wanting to work with. What I learned in this exercise is that I have to be really careful with silk. So, I kind of blew through a couple of ounces of silk but I'm trying to spin it anyway. It is a bit more true gold with more brown that it shows, but you get the idea.  I did get some great intensity with this merino/cashmere that I spun a couple of years ago.

Then, onto some knitting. I knit this beret with some polwarth/silk hand spun, just a little lighter than fingering. I'm wearing it all the time because it weighs hardly anything.

Then, two pairs of gloves for gifts, a pair of socks (no pics). More angora, knitting with the absolutely amazing, Lush, this deeply cabled scarf.

Hmmm. started a pair of basic socks yesterday in some yarn that was buried in my stash for a LONG time.

There is the sweater that I've been working on this Fall that's going fast but not fast enough, Girl Friday. I'm actually going to block out the back so that I can have the inspiration of knowing it's going to fit! I'm halfway through the fronts now and I'm quite eager to wear this because of the amazing color. Interesting though, I have just looked through some of the things I'm planning on knitting and I see that 2009 was a good year for design.

In non-knitting news, there are two main things going on: NEED WORK and really really miss Brahms and Suki. It's been an interesting exercise of sorts to move into such a small place. It's easy to clean, it's forcing me to get rid of more and more and more stuff. So many folks in this building have pets but I cannot imagine being with a cat in this small of a space. Oh, I've done it before, like in San Francisco, but it was temporary.

Those micro homes are cool but they are not designed for people who make stuff. It's that simple. One can cull down to the bare bones of life and still live well, but artisans need room to create and store supplies. Even if one had a separate studio, it would be an existence "lacking" to not have some space to work at home. Even still, I know I'm not the only one who's drawn to the Tiny House trend. Here's a great blog I found with examples of what folks are doing with this concept.

So, this has been a rambling entry. I should probably blog more often, huh? Will do.