Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Song Of The Spinning Wheel (or drop spindle, in my case)

The title is a reference to the William Wordsworth poem, by the way. *Pushes up nerd glasses*

I feel like it has been an insanely long week. I have been really busy with school work lately. and I cannot believe that Thanksgiving and Christmas (and FINALS OMG FINALS) are coming up so fast!

I have been doing a lot of crafting lately, and I have a little bit of stash enhancement of the yarn and fiber variety (all of which, I SWEAR, I have a plan for).

My fingers feel better today than they did last night, but I have a massive blister on my left index finger right at the first joint (which is, conveniently enough, exactly where I hold my yarn when knitting). If there is a clumsier or more scatterbrained person than me alive in the world I have yet to meet her/him. I honestly don't think such a person could survive. Yesterday I somehow walked into the men's restroom and stood there for a good ten seconds texting on my phone before I looked up and registered the two guys staring at me in confusion. 

Also, this happened this week

Yes, that is a broken needle. No, I don't know how it happened

So, anyway, as I said, I have been very busy with school lately. We are going over Medieval art in my Art History class this week, which I love and have been looking forward to all semester. Those crazy monks made a lot of really interesting paintings.
The only reason why I am able to update right now is because when I woke up this morning I found that the cold that I have been fostering for the last three weeks apparently staged a revolution in my sinus cavities, and I decided that I don't need to go learn about the immune system in Biology today, because my own immune system is so very educational. I finally had to go out and get a humidifier yesterday for the bedroom so that my sinuses don't get caked with evil gunk every night (I know, beautiful). I have gone through half a box of tissues and a dozen cough drops since 10 am. Gaaaaah. 

So, here's what I have been up to lately

Works in Progress

I have been a bad girlfriend, and I have not worked on Brandon's Christmas scarf AT ALL for about a week and a half. I did make him that hat though, so that makes up for it, right?

BUT! I have started and made significant progess on several other projects.

1) I started a moss stitch scarf for my grandma.

Note the ninja turtles pajama pants. Those are an important part of my creative process

I love the scarf, but I hate the yarn. I am knitting this up on size eleven needles with recycled yarn from a thrift store sweater. I chose the yarn because it is soft and fluffy, but it is obnoxious to knit with. Even though it is acrylic, it behaves like cotton, and has absolutely no stretch or give. 

Just as a side note, I, as a rule, absolutely love ribbing and the seed stitch (and moss stitch and fisherman's ribbing, etc). I am a huge fan of textural knitting, and I think that any yarn looks great in these patterns. However, since I am prone to getting hand cramps (which is one reason by I have not been knitting as much these last couple weeks), all that switching between purling and knitting can get tiring.

And then I discovered the Norwegian purl method, and it saved my life. If you knit continental (with the yarn in your left hand) and you love alternating K and P as much as I do, then you should learn this method. Essentially, Norwegian purling is where you keep the yarn held behind the knitting and sort of do a twist and swoop maneuver to catch the yarn. Here, here, and here are a few tutorial videos.  I have been alternating between this and doing a regular purl every few inches, and it keeps my hands from getting tired. 

2) I have also started a twisted headband for Molly. All I can say is that she had better like this headband, because it is driving me crazy.

I am knitting it on size seven needles with Knitpicks Brava Worsted in Currant. The pattern that I am using is the Twisted Turban Heaband. The pattern is just a simple ribbing with a cable, so I am just using the pattern for the cable chart, but that thing is going to be my downfall. I don't know what I problem is, because I have done cables before, but I think that because of the size of the cable it is really tripping me up. I did the twist yesterday, and it took me four tries to get it right. I kept getting my yarn too tight and doing the twist incorrectly. I will post more pictures once I finish it, because it does not look great right now. 

3) SPINNING! I have been spinning so much and I am IN LOVE with my drop spindle. 

So I ordered a bottom whorl drop spindle from theknitstore on Etsy. They accidentally sent me a top whorl spindle, but when I emailed them about it they offered to send me the bottom whorl and let me keep the one they sent by the mistake. So now I have two drop spindles! How sweet is that!?

I am going to post a picture of the first tiny little skein of practice yarn that I made, and you have to promise not to puke when you see it. Are you ready?

EEK! I know, right? It's awful, but I have learned a lot since then, and I have been practicing every day. I spun this with some roving that I bought for felting, and I used my bottom whorl spindle because I wanted a chunkier yarn. 

Want to see what I have been spinning this week?

Isn't it beautiful! Look at how thin and even it is!!! Seriously, I am so proud of the way this single is spinning up, and I cannot wait to ply it. I am using the undyed BFL top that I told you about in my last post. It is beautiful and soft and squishy, and the staple length (or length of each hair) is fairly long, so it is perfect for a new spinner. I am really loving spinning, and I love watching this big huge fluff turn into thin and smooth yarn. The only problem that I am having is that all that flying fuzz has been agitating my allergies, which are really sensitive because of my cold, so I have to pause my to sneeze sometimes. 

So that is all that I have been up to lately in the crafting department. Last week I was suffering from some pretty bad hand cramping, but this week I am hoping to get some more holiday knitting done. If I put a band-aid on my blister I can barely feel it! (Sort of)

Stash Enhancement

I should preface this by saying then when I bought all these goodies I had had an awesome week at work as far as tips go, and I was able to splurge a little on yarn. This last week however, I had to pay the electric bill and fill my tank up, and my tips have been blah, so I will have to wait, probably until I get some Christmas money, for any more yarn. 

1) First off, look at these lovelies

Aren't they adorable. I got them here on Ebay. They were very cheap, so I cannot guarantee that they won't turn my ears green, but it will be worth it. 

2) I got this beautiful yarn from knit outta the box. They are having a fantastic sale right now, and all of their yarn is 50% off. This is actually a really awesome company, and I would recommend checking out their products. I got seven balls of this yarn for 2.50 each! 

3) I also got three skeins of Lion Brand Fishermen's Wool in Natural. My local Hancock's Fabrics was having a 30% off sale on all of their yarns, so I got two skeins there, and I got the other skein for 60% with a coupon at JoAnn's fabrics. Yes, I am that obsessive about getting a good deal.

With this and the turquoise yarn I have two sweater's quanitities of yarn, which I am planning on using on one of these projects- I have not decided quite yet which ones. 

4) I bought another four ounces of un-dyed wool top, this time in Corriedale wool from winderwoodfarm on Etsy. I bought it primarily to dye it rainbow colors, which is why I bought the following

Glory glory hallelujah

That, my friends, is over five dollars worth of Kool-Aid, and it was totally worth all the weird looks I got from people at Meijer for taking ten minutes at the self check out. 

Well, that is all for me this week. Now please excuse me while I go have a sneezing fit 



  1. Nicole, darling. I absolutely love to ready your posts!!!
    You should check out this blog, Posie gets Cozy...she is also a crafter, baker, and lover of wonderous things...
    love you!

  2. That is such a cute blog! Some day I will be able to take as nice pictures as she does....some day.

  3. Nicooollleeee! You are awesome! :)