Lochinvar so close

Just sewing on the buttons, which I don’t have yet, but I hope to get at MDS&W.

Also it needs to be washed.

It will be done, done, done! Four years since I started it, a long period of hibernation, then I finally got over the hump of picking up the stitches for the sleeves with the Knitting Olympics. I didn’t finish it with the Olympics, but I definitely made enough progress to get me mentally where I needed to be, moving, feeling the momentum, an end in sight — need I go on?

Lochinvar completed, design by Alice Starmore

Lochinvar all done, done, done!!!

I do like it a great deal. Would I change anything? Well, I might have a done it a size smaller needles, but this is a size of sweater that doesn’t mind being large. Did I change anything? Yes, the sleeves are slightly shorter than the pattern called for, and I added four rows to the collar, because I think there was an error in the pattern. I need to check that, but not really a big deal. It’s more for my curiosity than anything else.

I definitely like the knit/purl patterns and the gusset of the gansey style. Now what shall I do next? I would like to use my gray handspun, something with set-in sleeves and some minor cabling. I’d also like to do a basic raglan sweater knitted with light fingering weight yarn, like the sock yarn, in one of the tone-on-tone colorways. And of course I still have that cotton cardigan to do that I started last year. Decisions, decisions.

Weaving project from the snow

I also call it the guild leftovers project. The wool warp came from a guild sale about two years ago. The alpaca weft came from another guild sale about a year ago. I finally did something with them.

green warpThe warp was from four different shades of green, warped in a consistent order of darkest to lightest. It was a nice, thin laceweight. But because it was leftovers, I only had one small amount of each color, so I warped it long and thin. Had I thought through the amount consequences, I probably would have done something shorter and wider, but — oh, well. The alpaca weft was a lovely tweed green that blended nicely with the greens in the warp. (I like green.) Alpaca green weft

So, next comes the result, which is a long, narrow piece of cloth that I’m not quite sure what to do with. The original warp was about nine yards long. What’s produced is more like 8 yards long, but only six inches wide. Challenging to do anything with. I’m thinking a skirt, but I’m not quite sure there is enough material. I might be able to make some complementary fabric to go with it and use as inserts and/or a waistband. I still have plenty of the alpaca, and some of the original wool leftovers as well. I attempted last weekend to do a waistband on the inkle loom, but that was a signal failure, due to the extreme stickiness of the wool. I’m frustrated enough with that that I am inclined to cut it off and call it a learning experience. Though, I’m not exactly sure how to make wool on an inkle loom work. I’ll have to ask the ladies in the guild if they have any experience with laceweight wool on an inkle loom — does it work at all?

But anyway, I thought I’d show you the finished product. It was a lovely quiet project to work on during the snowbound week in February. I had already started it before that week, but most of the weaving was done during those quiet days at home, and I very much enjoyed it. I’m already setting up the next project and planning something else in my head.

Finished green warp

The long warp in all its glory.

Ignore the mess behind it, please.

priorities of crafting

I have too many items in progress: it is making it hard to choose what to focus on next.

  • Finishing up the weaving in of ends for Lochinvar
  • blackwork piece
  • winding the warp for the next mini-project
  • bamboo socks for summer
  • knitting for the felted fabric
  • sewing stuff
  • quilting stuff
  • prepping for the next embroidery project (mixture of crossstitch and blackwork)
  • moving the current socks into the bag

And that’s just the fiber crafting stuff. Other things needs to get done as well:

  • make at least three separate phone calls
  • grind grain (a secondary thing)
  • cook for this week’s meals
  • ginger beer recipe: find and make?
  • use whey
  • vacuum
  • paint BA1 ceiling
  • wash some clothes
  • gardening stuff
  • taxes

Then comes the work stuff. At least I know when that is the focus, but it still needs prioritizing! I definitely need to do a weekly review, but that needs time too.

clothes make the (wo)man

I was re-listening to the Weavecast interview of Anita Luvera Mayer just recently and was struck again by the thought that my clothes reflect who I am.

Do they really?

I’m not sure this is always true, since there is always the element of choice. If I can choose my own clothing, then yes, I can say absolutely that my clothing reflects me. But there are always shades and nuances of meaning in those choices. For example, my mother still buys me clothes for Christmas, and most of the time, she chooses clothing that is acceptable, meaning it looks okay, generally fits, and doesn’t make me cringe. (She has been known to choose clothing that makes me cringe, but I’ve been able to educate her a bit more about what I like.) But in many ways, the look of that clothing still reflects her more than it does me. Yet at the same time, it does reflect at least some aspects of my personality, in that I am too practical and frugal to simply not wear them. Plus, I will not willingly distress her by refusing to wear them (unless they are the cringe type). But given time, I will eventually mention what I don’t like about certain items. An example would be the cardigans she bought me that have a shawl collar; I don’t really like that type of collar. Otherwise those sweaters are fine. So I wear them for now, and plan to replace them when the right opportunity offers, and in the meantime mention that I’ve realized I dislike shawl collars; hopefully she’ll pick up the hint. So, yes, to a certain extent, those clothes reflect me.

But what about when I make the choice without reference to other people? What kinds of elements do I choose and what do I think they are reflecting about me? Other people may see something else, but I always have some kind of intent.

Natural fibers for preference, a blend of colors with touches of jewel brightness but no garish shinyness, cloth with a subtle sheen or an interesting texture with layers of color and interest, clothes that are practical yet beautiful, clothes that fit well, clothes that I have made. I prefer subtlety to a shout, strength and durability to flash in the pan beauty that cannot be worn, and depth in the cloth and fit itself rather than surface decoration. When I add decoration, I prefer that it become almost an integral part of the cloth.

I haven’t achieved all these things with my clothes, but I’m working on it.

first socks of 2010

I finally got a chance to try Lorna’s Laces sock yarn, in a lovely buttery yellow, for the making of a sock. Part of my problem in doing this has been that most places have the multicolored sock yarn, and I am mainly interested in the semisolid colors; that colorway appeals to me more. But I finally found some and made some very nice socks. I found the shepherd sock yarn to be a perfect yarn for my socks, and I will definitely be returning to it. I liked the feel of it.

I started it in January while visiting my friend in Nashville, and finished them by mid-February. This was pretty fast for me, but I worked on them a lot at church during class and the sermon. Fortunately I don’t seem to disturb anyone while I’m doing this; I’m just becoming known for it. I myself pay attention better when I have something in my hands so that I am less fidgety.

I made them toe-up, with the magic cast-on and short-row toe. The cuff was simple double rib, but the biggest change I made was making sure to do a long cuff than I had been doing. They were six-inch long cuffs, which is just right for a folded cuff on my leg. Sadly, this means that I will be buying extra sock yarn on a regular basis, since I would not have had enough in my skein. Of course, I used very little over one skein, but I like the length, and that just means I will have to find a way to use up leftover sock yarn. Either socks with blended yarn or a leftovers blanket, or something. I’ll come up with something, I’m sure.

I did this one so fast that I immediately started another pair and I’m moving right along on it. I may even set myself a goal of six pairs of socks this year (I played with the thought of twelve, but let’s be realistic). Anything over that number would be a plus. As much as I like my socks, that would be a good thing.

Here’s the socks while they were in progress.Socks in progress

end of publishing as we know it?

I really liked this video

February 2010 roundup

What were my accomplishments this month?

  1. Ginger cookies in progress; finally got my hands on non-blackstrap molasses. Didn’t realize there was a difference.
  2. Lost 5 lb. I think I can finally claim it with a certain degree of confidence. Now for the next five.
  3. Progress on putting together desktop, but not completed. Need to buy a cheap monitor.
  4. Did finish the weaving on my loom and made progress on Lochinvar in the Olympic knitting, enough I think to get me over the hump of getting it done. I did not, however, achieve the actual goal of finishing it. But, well, progress is progress.

What were my disappointments this month?

  1. Computer, computer, computer
  2. gutter fell down, which means now the gutters must be replaced

What books/shows/movies did I enjoy this month?

  1. trying James Doss mysteries, not so wild
  2. re-reading some Terry Pratchett
  3. Still trying to finish the Avengers video set on Netflix; the Man from UNCLE is coming!

What significant events occurred this month?

  1. SNOW
  2. placed membership

What fun things did I do with my family and/or friends?

It was a quiet month, so must the usual meetings at lunch with friends and the guild meeting.

What gifts did I give and/or receive?

None

What special or unusual purchases did I make?

New underclothing that is now turning out not to fit because of the 5 lb. I lost. This is a supreme irony.

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?

  1. Sinus pressure
  2. Started acupuncture to see if it might help with the sinus pressure; am considering cutting dairy
  3. Extremely hungry? controlling portions

Anything else noteworthy to include?

Updated to add: I forgot — the Olympics! Although I did not watch as much as I would have liked (I had to go to bed at a reasonable hour), I did enjoy the bits I got to see. And I hope to be able to go back to the Olympics website and watch some of the videos of things I missed seeing.

just SNOW

Snow, snow, snow

Snow mounded up everywhere