Wednesday, July 20, 2011

TdF Update: Since It's Nearly Over, Isn't It About Time?

Alternate reading-challenged option for this blog post:
I'm still alive and spinning.  Enjoy the pictures in the bliss of ignorance.

The long version:
Though I've been quiet online, I've been quite busy with the strings.

Last weekend I got to see one of my old college buddies married off.  And the harp came along for some very special music during the prelude.  Yay!  But get this:  The bride turned out to be a harpist and a knitter!  So I'm convinced she's good for the guy, and I wish them all the best.  In hindsight, I'm glad I didn't give them the ball of dish cotton and needles and the "I taught myself to knit my own bridal dishcloths" kit that I imagined.

I've been doing as much spinning as I can manage for Tour de Fleece, while not having any clue what is actually transpiring in the Tour de France.  Haven't seen a single bit.  I did wander over to a website at one point, but couldn't figure out how a guy is supposed to watch it without having much face time with the computer, not to mention zero TV access.  

I'm thrilled with the "Navajo Ply On The Fly" technique I learned while at the Men's Knitting Retreat back in May.  During my weekend away for the wedding, I finished spinning a 4-ounce braid of fiber that's been dyed in a rainbow sequence, separated by shots of black.  As one spinner predicted, I had a blast spinning it, and the N-ply technique was perfect for keeping the colors in the order they were laid out.  Once removed from the spindle, they were already plied and ready for a bath!

I'm also very fond of my Trindle.  Especially since the arms come off the new model of this nifty spindle, I've reveled in the portability of spinning, which is perfect for my lifestyle these days.   Actually, this whole process has been a real blast, and I never would have had the discipline if I hadn't been conned into spinning for TdF.   

I managed to spin the fiber in three batches.

All three batches
Everyone said "rasta" when they saw the center hank.

Ooh, there it is!
All three skeins laid out side by side after their bath.  So exciting!

I intended this yarn for a Westknits scarf called Spectra, but I'm still trying to come up with a complimentary yarn that hits the right gauge.  I may have to find some different fiber to spin up, as the stuff I tried for the second color was not right for this project.  

Meanwhile, I'm spinning up yarn in the same manner for another project.  I started with the lighter of two purple fibers I bought together; my thought is to possibly use these in the upcoming Mystery Shawl Knitalong Stephen's holding in August.  Sheesh.  Because I need another shawl.  Here's what I've got so far:


I've been giving spinning demos to everyone around.  Last night that included a pleasantly interested little girl whose mother was relearning to knit.  Start 'em young!

In other news, I have still been knitting when spinning has not been feasible (such as in the car or bus), and am proud to tell you that I finally finished grafting my Habitat!  WOOT.  Someday I'll get a photo of it.  It's not perfect, but the yarn forgave me once it had a nice bath.  A supersized swatch with contrasting yarns was my saving reference point, but during the last stretch I was able to eyeball it.   Just in case anyone is wandering in and wondering why I'd graft the hat, here's a recap: I knit the hat, including some stupid fussing along the way, and when I finished it seemed just short enough to be annoying.  So I decided to take out the stitches near the cast on and graft the ribbing to an additional bit of ribbing that I knit seperately.  As far as I know, this is the only way to fix the situation while keeping the pattern intact; had I simply knit ribbing downward, the ribs would have been shifted sideways by half a stitch, and I wasn't interested in that.  My way may have been complicated, but it made me feel smarter, and I think I have internalized grafting that much more.  It sure makes regular kitchener seem like a piece of cake.

I'm tired and you must be too, after all this reading.  Happy knitting (and spinning)!


  1. Hooray! You're alive! Your spinning looks great. I'm sure you're happy to have a habitat that fits, too.

  2. Oh you take my breath away with al that yarn ! - LOVE comes to mind and Spectra will look amazing in it :D
    ..and you need another shawl like a hole inn the head, but you may as well knit another cause I would..hahahah ;D x