Productive.

Well, I’m on leave with DB this week to make up for the miserably ill Christmas break. Even if we did nothing at all I’d be happy, but I’ve been making up for lost time and tidying and sorting and cooking and crafting and going to pilates class. Pilates is just fantastic. After all the pain and immobility while trying to be mobile for so many weeks, I’ve found that even after very few classes I feel enabled, more mobile, more aware of what I can do and how I can make things easier for myself. I’ve never known an hour of exercise fly by so quickly either! And, what’s more, my pilates teacher tells me that if I do short blocks of knitting and watch my posture I’ll be fine 🙂 Obviously I need to attend classes regularly, and there are some exercises I can do at home, but I have to avoid looking down for more than 20 mins ish, which sadly will include laptop use too. But I’m fine with that!
So what you really want to know is what crafting I’ve been doing. Well, some of the sorting involved the yarns in stash. I reacquainted myself with some yarns I forgot I had. I went through my projects and decided to rethink what I’m making. The secret knitting has been revised slightly to reflect my limited blocks of time (i.e. the baby stuff will be reduced and a change of pattern has been selected to minimise head lowering for the apres swap), and obviously it will take longer to knit individual items. To counter this, what have I done but cast on something else 😉 I felt the need for comfort, and because the revised plan will make the baby stuff quicker to finish (i.e. a day of knitting at my new pace at most), I kind of feel justified. I’ve finally cast on for Cosmic Pluto’s top down cardi with the Malabrigo merino worsted I bought forever ago from Pure Knits. I’m knitting it with a moss stitch border in Velvet Grape, and boy is it soft! No wonder everyone loves it! I’ve never felt a merino yarn so soft, although it might well pill lots. I don’t care. For the now and the here it is perfect self indulgent knitting, whether I knit 1 row or 100. Mmmm.
I’ve also purchased two new drop spindles. Two? Yup! The one I got originally was part of a kit from Fyberspates, was cheap and was perfect for me to see if I enjoyed spinning. Now it has splinters on the dowel, and the hook is working loose and won’t stay screwed in when I work it back in. So I emailed Sublime Spindles via the Posh Yarn site asking for an apple spindle to be made up for me, but didn’t receive an email back 🙁 I spotted a lovely hand made spindle on ebay so I pounced on it, went into my paypal account, and found an invoice for the apple one! There must have been something wrong with my hotmail as I didn’t even get an email from Paypal about the invoice :/ I’ve honoured the payment though, and I figure that 1) you can’t have too many spindles when you have multiple fibres to spin up 2) I’ll probably manage more spinning than knitting this week and 3) they are different weights so I might find one easier to use for thinner yarn.
So here is the one that I bought from ebay, also available from here (the Sublime Spindles one is being made for me from scratch 😀 so won’t be here for a week yet):
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It’s made from sycamore and sapele, which I’ve not heard of before. From a 30 second research though, sapele is apparently like mahogany, so I’m assuming the whorl is made from that. It is just beautiful, and I was spinning with it on the day it arrived (as you can see I’m using it right now 😀 That’s Yarn Yard BFL incidentally, varying in weight at the mo…). Here are the finished results (in the snow):
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Doesn’t it look like the surface of a bubble or oil on water? The fibre was the one gifted by Brooke many moons ago (well, sometime last year). It’s merino, and I found it quite difficult to work with, even with predrafting the fibre. It was only at the end of spinning that I got used to joining the fibres, so there are lots of shoddy slubby and fluffy bits where I joined really badly. I’ve got about 28 and 1/2 yards of this, so I don’t know what to use it for. It varies in weight, but is probably mainly about dk weight, and the colours are so beautiful that I want to make something to show off (as opposed to the ring most people make to hold the fibres away from the spindle when spinning). Maybe I’ll just cast on a few stitches and try and make a strip long enough to go round my neck or knit some squares to make hand warmers or something. Not sure 28 yards is enough for that even! But I am already planning more spinning projects 😀 I have lots of alpaca/BFL blend left, and 100g ish of the BFL from the Yarn Yard in the top picture, which I’d really like to spin up to make some socks (albeit mad slubby heavyweight socks probably!). I’ve been predrafting the BFL so that it is relatively even, even if it is coming out between dk and fingering with the occassional lace weight patch! But even if I don’t get sock quality yarn, as long as I can knit with it, I don’t mind 🙂 And I’m surprised at how quickly the yarn builds up on the spindle too (in the top pic there is about 20g spun up, which took up about an hour or so) – if I look at the time to make the merino up, it was probably only half a day including faffing with drafting the fibres (the roving was very thick and dense, so the time spent predrafting and tearing strips off was quite heavy – probably as much as the spinning in the end. I have no idea if that is normal in spinning or not, so do please enlighten me!)
Finally (but certainly not least), Ruth at Roobeedoo has nominated me for the ‘You Make My Day’ award 😀
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Thanks sweetie! She nominated me because, as anyone worth their salt knows, Ruth and I are sock twins. Less so recently thanks my haitus and her ability to wear the most gorgeous knee highs, but we ARE sock twins. So there 🙂 So I believe I have to nominate some other bloggers for this one.
I’m going to nominate Ruth back, even though she nominated me and already clearly has the award, but I wanted to make it clear that the feeling is reciprocated. She’s already nominated two of my other essential reads (the ‘other’ Ruth and AmberMoggie – go read them. They rock), so my list will be a bit short, but I have others (and hopefully I’ll introduce you to some of the lesser known bloggers too while I’m at it! I have 130 knitting blogs in my bloglines feeds…) 😀
Erin at Knitting RN. Erin has gorgeous yarns, spins up a storm and is a real enabler when it comes to sock and garment knitting.
Aileen at Knitting Neels. I met Aileen through a secret pal session, and I’ve been reading her blog ever since. She’s a fab knitter, to the point that since I met her she’s started offering classes and has been designing and selling patterns. She churns stuff out so quickly I can barely keep up! She always inspires me, and writes wonderful posts. Go Aileen!
Finally, I nominate Heather at Love me, love my caribou because any woman who will listen to my rambles about knitting and mouldy bread on Facebook and thrash me at scrabulous, while also doing the ravelry queue discussion needs an award 😀 Heather – you may have finished the legwarmers, but get your arse into gear and get some deep v done now 😉 Or I’ll come round and thrash YOU instead, and bring chocolate and dog bubbles.
Ok, I’ve officially posted myself out – it took a week to get this thing out into the world!

6 thoughts on “Productive.”

  1. I am just drooling at your finished spinning! How did you get the colors to do that? I am a purple-phile and love it, love it, love it!

  2. You have most excellent taste in yarns and blogs. Pilates is great – I used to go when there were classes in the next village and it not only loosened me up physically, but it kept me calm for a whole week between lessons (not easy when I was home with three young children and quietly going totally mad…)

  3. I have been thinking about getting a new spindle, and like you I do like the Sublime spindles but am to impatient to wait. I spotted the hand-made ones you also bought but was unsure as I hadn’t heard of them. I think I will order a sublime spindle and get the other one too.

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