Purple spun yarn-age

I'm proud of myself; I've finally spun up around 6oz of purple roving I bought last weekend, and it looks halfway decent!  

Purple yarn, spun up

It's taken me roughly a week to spin this up; I started it last weekend at our monthly knitting guild meeting, and finished about a half hour ago. The difference of quality between the two is definitely noticeable; guess which one I spun first?

Now, on to plying. I've read somewhere that plying with a bottom whorl spindle is ideal, but yeah, I'm not entirely sure I want to try with it. I don't want to risk ruining my beautiful yarn, but I know I can't walk around with half-finished yarn on toilet paper tubes for the rest of my life. Maybe I'll read up on things before making it beautiful, but knowing me, I'll jump right into it and hopefully figure it out. Homespun yarn I can actually knit, here I come!

Knitting and spinning goodness

Since it's been forever and a day since I've posted any of my finished objects on this weblog, I have a massive backlog of things I've completed since the beginning of the year. Here goes!

Blue Baby Blanket
I started this sometime in February, and I finished it a week or two ago. It wasn't the most exciting thing to knit, but I still enjoyed it. I used Plymouth Dreambaby, doubled and in blue. I really like how this turned out and I hope my soon to be born nephew likes it too!

Completed baby blanket!

Blue Baby Booties
These took maybe 3 days to knit up last week. I used some of the leftover Dreambaby, single; the pattern's from a knitting day calendar I have in my office.

Completed baby booties.

Broadripple socks
These only took about a month to complete, and I love how they turned out. The pattern is Knitty's Broadripple, and the yarn's Elann's Peruvian Baby Silk in Peridot. The socks are SO SOFT; I love how they feel on my feet!

Completed Broadripple socks.

Magic Stripes socks
I started knitting these socks back in 2004 and abandoned them after completing one. I'm using different needle sizes for this one, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out. I may end up ripping out the other sock and knitting it over if I feel like it. I'm really just doing this sock until I find another project to do.

Second magic stripes sock

. . . . .

This past weekend, I went to a fleece fair in southern Indiana. I came back with lots of goodies; a few balls of roving and a new top whorl spindle. I'm determined to learn how to spin correctly on a spindle.

New fiber from the fleece fair

My beautiful roving. I really, really like the magenta colored ball; I can't wait to spin that up! Clockwise from left: 6oz of purply wool, 6 oz of white and cream llama/sheep wool, 8oz of a beautiful fuschia roving, and a really gorgeous 6oz ball of wool.

Yarn on the drop spindle

Here's a picture of my new drop spindle. I bought a bottom whorl spindle a few years ago and made decent progress with it. However, I'm doing much better with the top whorl. The top's made of polymer clay and I love the funky green pattern on it! It's been much easier to spin with this spindle.

Spun up purple yarn

Last, but not least, here's the yarn I've spun so far! I'm spinning up my purple yarn first and I'm planning on plying it together as soon as I spin it all. I like how it's turning out so far.

On seeing BRMC live, finally

I saw Black Rebel Motorcycle Club in Columbus, Ohio on Friday night and I'm still at a loss for words as to how to describe the show. By far, it's been the best concert I've ever attended; they utterly and completely rocked live. Their voices, guitars, everything translated so beautifully live; I'm very happy to note that they are, in fact, as good of singers as they sound on their three albums.

And they played "Awake", prompting me to immediately tear up with happiness. Yes, literally. No, I'm not embarassed to admit I cried at a concert.

I'm just still such in awe over the show I saw on Friday; so far, this past weekend has been the best weekend of 2006. Wow.

Yarn excursion

I took a break yesterday from my computer and ventured to a local craft store to shop for yarn; I received a fair amount of gift cards to this place and I need to start knitting a baby blanket for my nephew, who's coming into the world in May. I'm excited; this is my first time becoming an aunt! Anyway, I drove a few minutes down the street to the place and proceeded to poke away at the yarn. I'd only been to the shop one time before, with Scott's mom sometime last fall, and we spent more time looking at the fabrics than the yarns itself.

Plymouth Dreambaby yarn

 Yesterday, however, I looked at yarn, yarn, and more yarn; I came across many skeins I wished to buy, but exercised restraint and bought only what I needed. I finally decided on Plymouth Dreambaby for the blanket; it's fingering weight, so I'm doubling it while knitting the blanket. I'm using a blanket pattern I found somewhere online; I wish I remembered the link, but I had to find the pattern via archive.org because the author took the pattern down to improve it. I'll be sure to take pictures of it when I finish it.

Noro Kureyon

 I did give in to my urges and bought a skein of Noro Kureyon; I'm in love with the ocean water colors and can't wait to figure out what I'll make out of it. Anyone have any ideas as to what's good to make with this? I'm considering another hat, but who knows.

Sometime I need to take pictures of projects I've completed but never photographed. I'm notoriously bad for never showing off the projects I've finished!

Bye bye, toe-up socks!

So, I intended to post tonight about my progress on the toe-up socks I had been working on, but of course, something happened.

Note the 'had' in the above sentence.

Yes, that's right, I had to unravel my socks to the very beginning because of an error while trying to form the heel. I hadn't ever knit a pair of socks toe-up before, and the directions I followed didn't really give much detail on how to do it. Oh well; I found a 'normal' sock pattern I'll try as soon as I knock a few more projects out of the way.

Pictures of my trip to a yarn store in the area to come tomorrow, along with any projects I may be starting in the near future. I'm too lazy to get them off my camera tonight.

Clapotis annoyances

I am annoyed. Want to see why? (Ignore the decidedly bad picture quality; it's cloudy outside and couldn't get sufficient lighting, even with flash.)

Almost finished Clapotis

See that unfinished bit at the upper right hand side of the picture? Yeah, it's going to stay unfinished until I find more of the Cascade 220 I used to knit this. I can't believe I ran out of yarn with just a few rows left to go. For those of you who have knit Clapotis, I'm on the last iteration on part 4 and then have maybe 10 rows of stitching after that, and now I have to buy a huge skein of yarn to complete this thing. What makes it worse is that I bought this yarn over Christmas when I was in Massachusetts, so I may have to give WEBS a call to see if they have any more in a specific dye lot. I knew I should have bought one more skein.

Still, I'm happy with how it looks. I knit this thing faster than I've knit most, though I still don't know what I'm going to do with it. I'm not sure shawls/wraps are my style, and it seems too big to be used as a scarf. Eh, either way, I'll find a use for it.

Quilling

A quilled snowflake.

A few weeks ago, I learned a new craft; quilling. It's not difficult at all; it involves creating shapes by rolling strips of paper around a thin stylus, then piecing them together to make shapes, flowers, whatever one wishes. Obviously I bought a kit for creating snowflakes, and I whipped up three flakes in no time. I'm looking forward to hanging them from our Christmas tree this year.

If you wish to see more, I've posted a few pictures on flickr, tagged "quilling".

New things from Apple

Let's be honest: I'm not a huge Mac geek. I do like Apple and some of its products, but I'm not an Apple nerd. I'd love to own a Mac someday, once my student loans are a bit lower and my income's a bit higher. So for now, I peruse apple.com and read up on their newest releases, just to keep up on things.

So, Steve Jobs announced some more new products this morning. It's funny that I spent the morning hovering around my computer to see what they would be - a video iPod? New iMacs? Pink iPod Nanos? Either way, my interest was piqued so I checked Engadget as soon as I arrived home.

First up: yes, new iMacs. Looks like the new model's the same as the old, only smaller, with a built-in video camera, and with a remote control! The remote control's a good idea, as I've had times I've wanted to change music, volume, etc on my machine while listening to music but not being around the computer itself. So yeah, neatness abounds with the new G5s.

Then, of course, what most people were waiting for: iPods with video capability. They look pretty neat to me and the prices aren't really bad; $299 for a 30GB isn't horrible. Granted, I can't afford that with my current paychecks and I'm still happy with my 3G 10GB iPod, but they look neat. Also, episodes from five television shows are available on the new version of iTunes; nothing I watch, but if they'd add support for more shows, I'd be tempted. (Yes, put episodes of The Office for sale and I'd be sold!) Episodes sell for $1.99.

I love reading about the products Apple puts out. I tend to think they charge a hefty chunk of change for their products, but I still enjoy hearing about them. I will get a Mac someday to play with; I already run Windows and Linux and I'd love to fiddle around more with the Mac OS. Once I get a full time job I'll definitely be looking into buying a Mac.

Adventures in knitting

So, I've returned from my adventures at Sit & Knit, arriving home with a book signed by the Yarn Harlot herself, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. I ran into a few people I recognized from the knitting guild I belong to, and I sat with them after I paid for my book. Stephanie graced us with a reading from her new book, and we all laughed and nodded in agreement with the things she said. Of course, I didn't bring any knitting with me, so I felt weird sitting there, leafing through knitting magazines while everyone else worked on their latest project. Either way, I still had a good time, and I'm looking forward to visiting the shop again in the near future. They give out free lattes and I burned my tongue on their excellent white chocolate drink sprinkled with cinnamon. It's really a great place and I'm glad to have a place like it in town.

As soon as I arrived home, I decided to clean out my yarn stash. I donated maybe 2/3 of my yarn to the Salvation Army; I knew I'd never use half the stuff I had and most of it was really cheap and old. I kept all my sock yarn and a few skeins of cotton yarn in case I feel like making some dishcloths, so now I'll be able to fill up my crate with excellent yarn that I'll actually use for things. I feel so much better.

Yeah, I don't want it to be Monday tomorrow.

Nanowrimo 2005

As of yesterday, the Nanowrimo forums are up and running! Well, sort of. A server crash knocked them back down late late night, and they're working on installing more servers for the massive amounts of people visiting the site this year. I'm looking forward to getting ideas once more from the forums once they're back up.

Also, I've decided to turn my Wordpress.com site into a Nanowrimo log this year. If you want to hear mindless babble about my novel and the creative process going into it, that's the place to go. I'm excited.