This year I managed to finish a total of 55 items. Some small like ten dishcloths, and five Calorimetries and some large like the Print of the Waves Stole and five sweaters. This has been quite a year of knitting, I don’t think I can match the number of items I knitted this year ever again unless I resort to knitting only dishcloths.
Resolutions for 2008.
1. Do more colorwork, and finish the 2nd Endpaper mitt
2. Reduce my stash especially the several pounds of laceweight yarn.
3. Keep Challenging myself to learn new techniques
4. Be not afraid to knit standing up on the subway
I’ve had my new wheel for a couple of weeks now but I haven’t had any real quality time with her because of this whole holiday present giving thing (FYI I’ve knitted 4 Calorimetries, 6 ballband dishcloths, and one fetching all in December!) A pair of Hedera socks is still in progress for my aunt, we don’t really celebrate Christmas so no rush, she’ll get it in January.
So on with spinning. I love my new wheel though there was a learning curve to this wheel which I didn’t have with my now sold Louet S-10. The yarn has flown off the bobbin and tangled it self up when I stop treadling or even during the middle of spinning. A little frustrating but I learned that it was my fault for not putting the sliding hook at the correct position so no biggie. Otherwise this wheel spins like a dream. Smooth treadling, quiet, easy to start and sliding hooks makes the bobbin load more evenly. I practiced spinning woolen rather than my very dense inch worm technique. It took a little practice but I’ve got it down…mostly. Practice really helps, I’ve got several more pounds of fiber that I can practice on. I am actually doing a backwards longdraw method, I find it a bit easier than the regular longdraw. It works and its faster than the inchworm technique. The yarn is lighter and so I can more yardage. My first product of the new wheel.
I managed to produce out of 2oz, approx 195 yards of fingeringish yarn. I was quite impressed. When I was doing the calculations I couldn’t believe how many yards I got so I had to double check my numbers, yup 195 yards! I think thats enough for some fingerless mittens! Mmmmm I love this merino tencel blend and its delicious color blend. I got it at Rhinebeck this year, I should have gotten more. The tencel has the sheen of silk but without the price so this yarn is very shiny and is also very soft. I have another 2 ounces in another colorway that will be spun up very soon.
I got a new spinning wheel so as I promise to myself for getting this wheel, I am going on a yarn diet. I don’t know for how long, maybe until Web’s anniversary sale? We’ll see if I can last that long, though I’m sure I have enough yarn to keep me knitting until next year or two.
I’m loving my new wheel. The problem with my old wheel was that it was bobbin driven aka Irish tension and thus had a lot of pull which made it very hard to spin fine yarn. As a sock knitting lover right now, I would love to spin some yummy sock yarn. I did a lot of research online on the various wheels, did price comparisons and finally I settled on a Majacraft Little Gem II. Because it is small and portable, and can use all the Majacraft accessories thus making this wheel very versatile. Unfortunately it was also quite expensive, thus my yarn diet, but this is also a late birthday present/early Christmas present for myself.
I don’t have a lot of time to spin right now since I need to crank out holiday presents for people using yarn only from my stash. I need 7 presents by next Friday. I could give them all dishcloths but thats not very exciting. Ugh. I have about 3 done if you count some previously knitted projects that were never used or given out. Or I could just by everyone chocolates instead, makes my life simpler and allows for more spinning time!
I haven’t had a lot of time to blog recently as I have gotten a lot busier. In fact I had to let my dog sleep on the couch next to me to compensate for me leaving her alone for most of the day. Although I’ve gotten busier, my knitting progress has not decreased. My knitting is much more productive now than ever. I knit on the subway during most of my commute, though I’m too lazy to take it out in the mornings during rush hour when I am standing up. The allure of the internet keeps me from being a productive knitter at home but on the subway I have no distractions like that.
When I’m knitting on the subway, I usually pick a project that I have remembered the directions to. I can do lace patterns if they have a predictable pattern but sometimes I just like the mindless stockinette or ribbing projects. I am currently working on a simple scarf using the luxurious Suri merino for myself (procrastinating Christmas knitting).
I try to knit during most of my commute but today coming home the subway was not being kind to me. My normal commute from Upper East Side of Manhattan to Brooklyn is at most an hour long. Today, it took me a good 2 hours get home and I was only able to knit about an hour of it. The subway is usually really good and fast during rush hours (does no apply on weekends and late nights) but today was not one of those days. I got on the N express train at 59th, by 42nd street I hear over the loudspeakers “This train is going local.” I debated whether or not to take the Q to Brooklyn since that runs express also but my knitting mind told me to stay put and knit and that by going local I can get more knitting done . By the next stop the announcement had changed to “we are going local and taking the tube” which means this train is going all the way downtown waaaay local taking an extra 20-30 minutes! I stay put knitting, a little disgruntled. So here comes the worst part a few stops later, the train gets to Canal street and i hear, “this train is going back to Queens please get off and take another train”! WTF?!?! I was clearly not the only person shocked as everyone on this packed train disembarked and just stood on the platform not knowing what to do.
All this mess caused apparently by a stuck train on the express track and so all the trains were diverted to the local track if at all. On top of this broken train, a person had to get sick and hold up the trains going local from Canal street, thats why the train had to turn back to Queens as it had no way to proceed. I took the Q from Canal to Atlantic and then got on the first train from Atlantic to 36th and then got back on the N all of them going local nonetheless. It was long and standing room only so I couldn’t knit, not that there would be much room to knit anyways since we were packed like sardines.
I hope tomorrow goes better than this so I can finish my scarf.
Lastly I bought a new spinning wheel because I was disgruntled with my current one, so if anyone (NYC metro only sorry) is interested in my old wheel let me know before I Craiglist it. jane AT janewu Dot com