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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Finn and everyone else here at Chez Pink Lemon (Ramius has already gone back to sleep) would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year!

And Finn says to remember to keep your eyes open when you get your picture taken!

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Friday, December 21, 2007

A Pink Lemon Twister

I got something in the mail Wednesday evening that was made especially for me!

It's a Midi weight Bossie Spindle from Jonathan and Sheila Bosworth! The whorl is Pink Ivory and the shaft is Pau Amarillo (Yellowheart) so yes, it's actually a Pink Lemon Twister! The whorl is not photographing quite as pink as it really is because it's overcast and the camera wanted to use the flash (without flash, you couldn't really see anything). I just love the look of it and have wanted a Pink Ivory spindle ever since I found out about the wood. Of course, being a Bossie, it spins beautifully and quickly spun up the little puff of fiber Sheila always includes with a spindle. I will have to go stash diving later for something it can spin - I think there's a Merino?Angora/Silk blend up there somewhere that might be just yummy on it.
Thanks for the good wishes for Caleb's birthday! He had a great one and he's just as excited about Christmas next week! Finn has asked to help with the blogging next week, so we'll see what he has in mind. Have a great weekend!

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Skiing towards the finish!

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I've made it past the skier on the Nordic Skier Hat and I'm spending less time staring at it. I've actually only got a few more rounds before I start the decreases for the top of the hat, so I think that there is a distinct possibility that it will be finished this Winter! It desperately needs a good blocking and I'm really hoping that will smooth it out. Stranded knitting can be a bit scary that way with the wondering if you got the stranding part of it right and the not really being able to tell completely until you get the thing all finished and blocked. Oh, the drama!

I'm going to skip blogging tomorrow and I may or may not be able to blog the rest of the week. A certain little boy is turning 7 tomorrow and there is much dropping off of cupcakes to school, picking up of cake, picking up of balloons, wrestling balloons into car, getting balloons out of car and into house, possible second balloon run if the first balloons meet up with disaster, possible more wrestling with balloons, wrapping, singing and surprising to be done. If it seems like a large portion of the day will be devoted to balloon management, that's because it will - Caleb is a balloon addict and cannot have a birthday without balloons. He got his first balloon at the young age of 14 months and while he was ecstatic when he was pulling the balloon down towards himself, if he got confused and went the other way with the string, he would burst into tears and throw a fit. We decided 14 months old was too young for the emotional responsibilities of balloon ownership. He handled it much better at 18 months and has had balloons ever since. The kid can tell you without thinking which grocery stores and restaurants have balloons that they give out for free. (After re-reading this paragraph I just realized that I have never typed the word "balloon" so much in all my life.)

Thursday will be spent taking care of last minute things that can't be done with Caleb and Friday is his class Christmas party. I'll try to pop in one of those days, but no guarantees.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Red Sleeves, Continued

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I got some work done on the sleeves for my red cardi this weekend. I've got about 15 cm to go before I get to the sleeve caps, and let me tell you - for an American with only a nodding acquaintance with the metric system (I know it exists, and it's on the other side of my tape measures) 15 cm means practically nothing. If I think about it, I know that 10 cm is 4 inches (and also a goal to reach for when you're in labor), I also know that 1 inch equals 2.54 cm, but beyond those two numbers, trying to do the math in my head tends to give me a headache and while I can estimate inches and partial inches fairly accurately, doing anything in the metric system takes a lot of measuring. I'm just glad it IS on the other side of my tape measures!

Oh, I just remembered that I know that 1 ounce equals 28.4 grams - this is useful to know for spindle shopping and weighing out fiber. So I guess I know two things about the metric system. WOW!

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Not Much Today, Busy, Busy!

I'm trying to get everything wrapped and shipped that has to be shipped, and seeing as I have drug out everyone's gift (including the one's that stay here), I need to get those sorted out and wrapped if possible today too. Otherwise I have to get them put away again before a certain little boy gets home from school this afternoon. Busy, busy, busy!

Oh, and if you're still Christmas shopping yourself, have you checked out Etsy? They've got something for everyone. Don't believe me? Try the search feature. Have someone who likes pink? Search for pink things. Buying for someone who collects mooses? Search for Mooses! Need toys? They've got your toys too - made by an actual person, not a large corporation more concerned about it's bottom line than your kid's safety, so hey - no worries about lead paint and date rape drugs being part of Santa's gift bag! I did some of my shopping on Etsy and will be doing even more next year, so go take a look!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Easily Amused, As In the Reason It Takes So Long For Me to Knit This Hat

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I've been working on Caleb's Skier hat lately and it's been slow going. The knitting isn't difficult to do or even slow, but after every repeat, I sit and stare at the skier, going, " Oh look, he has legs! There's his other arm. That doesn't look like a head , but I guess it will in a few more rows."

And then I knit the next repeat and do the same thing. There are 4 repeats per round so you can imagine how long it takes to work each one. Finn seems to think it's lovely to snarfle and sneeze on, but he seems to developing quite a wool fetish anyway. I caught him trying to roll stealthily on some clean, drying socks the other day. I wonder if he should have been a sheep dog instead of a retriever.

Yep, it's slow going, but I'll get it done eventually.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, I got the hat kit from Bea Ellis - scroll down to see the hats.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Wheel Keeps Spinning

Thanks for all the tips about Pirates 3. I've just watched the first one recently so I'll go back and watch number 2 and then see 3 again and see if it makes sense. It's not exactly a hardship watching Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom if you know what I mean.

I started a new spinning project (since the last one was finished and all). This is from a pound of Merino roving I picked up at MDS&W this past Spring from Ohio Valley Natural Fibers. It's marked Red, Purple, and White, which are the colors of wool they blended together for the roving, but as you can see, its actually a gorgeous Heather/Clover/Thistle kind of color
It photographed slightly lighter than it really is, but the color is pretty true. If you look at the roving I draped across the flyer, you can see all the colors in it and the yarn itself should be heathered when it's finished. I'm spinning this into a 3 ply and hope to have enough for a sweater. I really like this roving and honestly, I've never been a huge fan of Merino. I mean, yeah, it's soft, and you can get a lot of colors in the prepared top that's available all over the place, but as the commercial top, it has a lifelessness to it and it's really pretty boring to spin. This is carded into roving so it's not perfectly straight and hasn't had all it's life combed out of it. I'm spinning it worsted (worsted helps to control pills and fine fibers pill), but since it's a roving not a top, it's not a true worsted yarn - it's got more personality.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Now we're working on sleeves!

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I got past the hem and refigured the sleeve increases so now I'm actually working on the sleeves! I decided that I wouldn't do the bell cuffs like the pattern calls for because I was afraid the hem might try to roll up, so I just went with a classic sleeve shape. A little bit of math and an arm measurement (in cm) and I was ready to go. At the moment, I'm about 1/4 of the way to the sleeve cap shaping and since I've done the hem and the refiguring, I think it should really start to move along nicely now. I also got the ends woven in on the body part of the sweater and it is blocking right now.

I have a question - this weekend Mickael and I watched the last Pirates of the Caribbean movie (At World's End or something like that), it's been a while since we watched the second one, but did anyone else get really confused? I mean there were whole parts where we just sat there and looked at each other wondering what was happening? Should we rewatch it? Should we watch the bonus features, will that explain it? Is there a Pirates for Dummies? Help!

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Friday, December 07, 2007

Because Without Sleeves, It's Just a Vest!

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So I started the sleeves last night. Started being the operative word. See those two red worms on the needle? Yep, those are the sleeves. Actually those aren't even the sleeves - they are the hems for the sleeves. So I guess I haven't really started the sleeves yet.

OK, to distract you from the spectacular lack of progress on the Red Cardi I will show you this article in the Winter Knitty. If you don't spin, it's probably not particularly interesting, so go check out Romi's Ice Queen cowl (yummy!). OK, I wanted to make a point of mentioning this article because I think it's genius and I think it's information that quite a few spinners, both beginners and more advanced, can use. Not only does the author explain some of the considerations for spinning substitutes for commercial yarn recommendations in patterns (covering every possibility would probably be an entire book's worth of material), but she has a chart. So what? Well, this chart breaks down typical finished yarn sizes by the wraps per inch that the singles should be spun to create these yarns - and it covers using singles, 2 ply, and 3 ply as your finished yarn styles. This is the kind of information that I would have loved to have when I first started spinning and I still plan to print out two extra copies of the chart and laminate them and put them with my Spinner's Control Card wpi guide on each wheel. You'll need to keep in mind that these are more guidelines than rules: spinning a worsted single to the same wpi as a woolen single will get you two different sized yarns because the woollen will bloom more; spinning bombyx silk and angora rabbit fluff to the same size will result in different yarns, again the bloom thing. But the chart will definitely give a jumping off point and save you some sampling time if you are trying to spin yarn for a specific pattern and need to replicate commercial yarn as closely as possible. I think this is the kind of information that most spinners can use so when I saw the article, I just had to share it!

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Red Cardi Body

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I'm to the point now where I'll do a 3 needle bind off to join the fronts to the back at the shoulders, but I decided not to try it last night before I went to bed since that's a good recipe for weird twisted mobius shoulders. Then I've got to figure out how I'm going to do the sleeves and I can get started on them! I'd love to get this finished soon so I can wear it. Oh, and the markers on the left front? Those are for the buttons. Since I knit the buttonholes into the front bands as I went, it made sense to just mark the other side for the buttons at the same time.

Clearly, it's going to have to be blocked, and I'll probably block the body while I knit the sleeves and then block the sleeves before I sew the whole thing together. Theoretically this should control the curling and make sewing up easier.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Back to the Red Cardi

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I've gotten more done on the red cardi. You can't really tell from the picture, but I've separated the fronts from the back at the armholes and I'm working on the back right now. I'm almost done with armhole decreases and then it's a straight shot until the neckline. I haven't taken the fronts off the needles (they are just along for the ride right now) so it's hard to get a decent photograph, but the back should go pretty quickly and I hope to finish it today and get started on finishing the fronts later today.

To distract you from a picture that doesn't really show much on a project you've already seen, I thought I'd share some links for some patterns by a designer I ran across on Ravelry the other day. I was looking for ideas for the Mojito Love in an Ice Blue Mist yarn and started clicking around, got sidetracked and stumbled across these. I don't plan on using any of them for the yarn I was searching for, but I love the designs so I thought I'd share. First is the Chinese Lace Pullover - I love the shaping on this and I think it's a very wearable design. The Sorelle Lace Edged Pullover is pretty, but I think that with the lace it makes a design that would otherwise have to be worn in cool weather possible for warmer temperatures without overheating. I always want to pull out sweaters and longer sleeves as soon as it starts turning to Fall, whether it's cool enough or not and I think this design would work for that time of year. Also, I really like the Wyvyrn Wrap and think it would be nice to toss on for a cooler day. It's always fun to wander around the Internet and Ravelry is great to wander around all by itself!

It's snowing here!

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Boring Tuesday

I really don't have anything interesting to show today. I got the Mojito Love in an Ice Blue Mist washed last night and it's drying now. It bloomed some, but not very much, which is to be expected with worsted spinning, but I still think I've got DK weight yarn now. I won't bore you with a picture of yarn hanging on a hanger - particularly since you saw the yarn yesterday.

I did get a little bit done on the red cardi, but not enough to tell that anything has happened since you last saw it, so I'll work on it today and see if I can't get something to show tomorrow.

We're supposed to get snow tonight and tomorrow: 1-3 inches WOoHoo! Stay warm!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Mojito Love in an Ice Blue Mist

This weekend I plied. And I plied. And I plied. Then I wound off on the niddy noddy. And then I plied again. Here is what I have to show for it:
I ended up with 1444 yards of 3 ply. Right now it is about a sport weight (6 stitches per inch) but I'm pretty sure that once I wash the skeins (which will reactivate the twist from the singles and make the finished yarn balanced rather than looking overplied the way it is now) and give the wools a chance to bloom, I'll be right at DK weight (5.5 spi). As you can see, it looks pretty solid from a distance, but when you get close you can see this:
Lights and darks and pales and shadows and it's all going on throughout the skein. I can't wait to get the yarn finished so I can knit a swatch and see what kind of fabric it wants to be! YUM!

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