Friday, June 17, 2016

checking in

Currently watching: I watched a few episodes of Great American Baking Competition last night before passing out

Currently reading: Soifer, Neugebauer, Matthews, Egami, et al (2000) and (2001)

Currently knitting: trying to finish off the second ball of yarn in the 5-ball secret project. also I caved and cast on a new sock yarn project for this month, the nurmilintu I've been craving. Worked out a few kinks with gauge and edgings being too taut and am proceeding slowly. I subbed these two yarns in for the black-and-color-pops fingering weight that was ambiguously set to become A Shawl Of Some Sort when I set my yarns for the 2016 Year of Socks. At first I was against swapping yarns, but I figure as long as it's still sock-yarn and comes from the same age or older stash that the one I'm removing did, it's good. This stuff is really old/some of my 2012 stash, so I'm happy to be using it over a skein I got last year.

In fact I'm thinking I'll swap out another designated yarn (not sure which one) for the two color mitts I had balled up 6 months ago so I can make sure to use those before they get too stretched out. Those are for an xmas gift, so I am looking forward to that.

Currently spinning: I finished the brown corriedale! everything's having a rest and then in the next week I'll begin plying these two. Hopefully I've enough yardage of the brown to match the extended gradient of the loop bump.

Currently thinking: ugh. migraines and an all-nighter and the terrible shooting in Orlando really fucked this week up for me. but I'm churning slowly through my list and I am still optimistic about getting enough work done.

Currently planning: on doing a bit of cleaning and organizing this weekend. maybe two boxes worth? we'll see. also need to make a few important phone calls (moving company; heart doctor; car place; family) and maybe order a plane ticket.

BUSY BUSY BUSY BUSY.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

trying something a little new

I'm going to try a more frequent update system. HAH this is a terrible plan. But I'm going to try it, and it's going to be list based

What I'm reading: I just re-read Black Elk Speaks. Also spending a little time with my Peterson Field Guide to Hawks since it is large-bird-sighting season.

What I'm watching: a few knitting podcasts here and there when I have the time (ie late at night before I go to sleep)

What I'm spinning: I'm on the last section of brown corriedale roving. Hopefully I'll be able to start plying it with my Loop Bullseye Bump in Tiger's Eye before the month is over.

What I'm knitting: Still making progress on the second of three secret projects. I finished the body of Pickles the Cat but am out of stuffing (tinkgeek has offered me some of hers next time I visit). I finished the first sock from May's sock projects and I think I'm done with the gusset decreases for the March sock project. I am not doing a major June sock project---too busy, and so much other stuff on the needles. I'll use the time to try to make progress on or finish other things.

Except I started Nurmilintu last night. color combination will work but the edge is turning to razor wire so I'm going to rip it out and start again on needles at least two sizes smaller

What I'm working on: Chapter 2 of the diss needs writing and that looks like about it. Chapter 3 needs a little bit of playing with numbers and graph making, then writing. I want to finish both of those as soon as possible, leaving chapter 1 (the intro) which needs references and formatting, and all of chapter 4 (conclusions and future work). I have about 20 days left, so that's terrifying

What I'm planning: I'm looking into switching the utilities, setting up the moving company, preparing for a quick PR trip to look for housing, arranging the stuff the cats need to travel, arranging the healthcare I need to take care of before the trip, getting my car in better condition, and sorting what stuff I want to use up, get rid of, or throw out from around the house. I'll try to work on one of these a week but they are all big overwhelming things so it's a bit tough.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

definitely too many things on the needles right now.

I'm approaching the final stages of my phd, which means I've about 5 weeks to finish analyzing and writing and prepare a defense presentation.

this gives me the screaming heebiejeebies.

so of course I am giving myself some wooly time, to help maintain my sanity.

Since I last posted I have:
finished three pairs of socks
finished a baby hat
finished 4oz of a commission spin
finished a 12oz 3-braid 3-ply of ~770 yards
finished 3oz of a fat 2ply of ~100 yards

started a shawl, two pairs of socks, a cowl, 3 secret knitting projects, a stuffed cat, and the fine brown corriedale fiber that I want to ply with my loop batt.

acquired a bunch of linen/cotton blend yarns (like... 5000 km).


yes, this means there's a lot on the needles.
April's project for the Year Of Socks was.... not a sock. a cowl out of a special sock-weight gradient I acquired two years ago at MDSW. It's close to the halfway point but I'm not sure what to do with the striping, so I put it on hold.
I started another pair of socks for May, even though the March socks aren't done either. I'll see if I can keep working on them, though free time is few and far between.
the three secrets are still on the needles. Well, two of them need seaming/sewing/joining work, so I have yet to mark them as done. the third is close to 2/5 of the way along, so I'm hoping to finish it before the summer is over.
I finally decided to use my precious 100% silk in incredible purples to knit an Afternoon Tea. It's drapey and wonderful, and I'm into the netting and the second skein, but I haven't worked on it in a while.
and I couldn't resist casting on a Pickles the Cat at long last. It was too much of a pain to do it on a circular so I reverted back to DPNs. a circ might be ok with a thicker yarn but mine is only dk.

all in all, keeping busy. How about you?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Yarn by the year

I can't recall if I've done this break down on my blog already but you know what? I don't care. typetypitytypetype. I am ignoring "generic" entries because really those are timeless.

2010: I have one skein remaining from this time period. It's bright-red laceweight and I'm turning it into Estonian Lace but it's very very slow going.

2011: Most of what I have left from this year is souvenir yarn from when I traveled the Europes (I worked in Denmark for 6 months and hopped 'round to a bunch of different places).

Precious Hoard: 3 skeins of wollmeise, a skein of a bazillion yards of white laceweight merino, and 2 skeins of perfect Handmaiden Casbah in Morgana that I am saving for The Perfect Pattern

This leaves 1 entry left to be knitted up: 4 balls of brown linen I got in Spain that I half-turned into a shawl and then abandoned. I'd still like to make something out of it.

2012: 5 entries. My first or second really decent handspun; 2/3 of a skein of sparkly black-and-blue sky-colored stuff that must have The Perfect Pattern; 1/2 of a skein of white Cascade Eco+ that I want to turn into thrummed mittens; some Van Gogh sock yarn that I don't know what I want to make but I might finally have talked myself around to socks; and 2 skeins of laceweight destined for a shawl for a friend but see the entry for 2010 if you wonder why I still have it.

2013: 20 entries. Four are destined for socks This Year if the Great Sock Plan 2016 succeeds. Three individual entries are intended to be stripey mitts; one souvenir yarn from Ireland from Bill is going to turn into Thuja socks, but not as part of the great sock plan. There's a skein of green acrylic from KP in there that I intend to do something Baby related with, and a big entry that's going to finally turn into a sweater eventually, and three skeins of handspun. But that leaves 7 entries unplanned. Oh, I guess 4 of them are "nice" yarns that fall into the "generic shawl" category, and 2 of them I am thinking, generically, "mitts". But they are not even on the radar for projects right now.

2014: The year I went to yarn festivals, and started swapping (13 or 14 entries remain from swaps). Sooo much stash. Let's see... 44 entries. yeeeeesh. And only three of them are handspun. Most of these are on my radar, though. 2-3 sweater quantities (if I can scrape a sweater or tank or something out of the third one. but we'll see if we don't turn it into a Large Shawl instead). 15 pairs of socks (2 started, though, already this year, as part of GSP2016). 5 small shawls of various types (one started last night!). Mostly this year is where my collection of awesome worsted/dk weight yarn came from: 12 or 13 of those. 3 entries of cotton that I intend to turn into washcloths someday.

Precious Hoard: I acquired a skein of Sanguine Gryphon in Dragonfly. also many of the dk weight yarns fall into my precious category. Xmas gift of Wild Hare Fiber stripey yarns <3. A skein of lovely subtle Malabrigo sock.

2015: 44 entries again! my first year of cold-sheeping, and my second (and busiest) year of swapping (21 entries remain that came from swaps that year. Woosh!). Also my busiest spinning year yet: 7 entries (and I think I actually finished 8 or 9 things but one I swapped away and the other I decided to ply instead of keep as a single so it's sitting around waiting)! But that 44 is not counting the christmas gifts (they all got entered in 2016 anyway) and a new generic entry (handspun, mostly leftovers/early bits that are less than 50 yards). Let's see, most of this is socks: 13 skeins. There's a little bit of random I-acquired-this-to-knit-baby-stuff: 5 skeins. The workings for 4 shawls, and 3 skeins acquired for colorwork (wut why?). Also two entries for gifts, both in progress (but one needs to be frogged and turned into something else)

Precious Hoard: a skein of wollmeise added. 6 skeins of String Theory Colorworks, one of my huge loves that I had never before indulged in. A skein of Sanguine Gryphon.

2016: 15 entries and it's not even through the month of March -.- My second year cold-sheeping. So far it's going better--I only fell down once, and that was on fiber. I am trying to stop swapping and have not participated in swaps for nearly a month, although I do have 4 entries from swaps already added. Also, to be fair, of those 11 remaining entries, 9 were gifts for Xmas and one is a handspin that I finished! oh, the last one is a swap that came from an earlier year but I hadn't found it and entered it until 2016. So, 5 swaps, 9 gifts, and a handspun--no purchasing! yay!

Precious Hoard: Mushishi, to add to my Mushishi collection. Rainbow striping sock yarn. TWF gorgeous blue-green fingering oooh that must become a shawl. And another skein of Sanguine Gryphon.

as for fiber, well, that's a different story. For the holidays I got gifted 13 braids of fiber, and for my birthday I bought 3 more braids, so 2016's a busy year on its own already. I spin a bit faster now that I have the wheel, but mostly I just spin more frequently with it than with the spindle (except when I leave it in the car for hours). I am indeed cold-sheeping fiber. I think I want to get my fiber entries down to 25 or fewer. It's less urgent because I don't feel so much the need to make objects--I just spin when I feel like playing with fiber and color. BUT it's more urgent because it's harder to store fiber!

ps: I forgot about stuff I am willing to get rid of. One gift, one random ball of cotton, one swap, one handspun (boy is that ugly I should just throw that out), one thing from a festival that I suppose I could turn into something but I am just not feeling the love on it I mean really; one sweater quantity and one generic ball of black acrylic that I don't know what to do with.

Friday, March 4, 2016

slow

It's been a spectacularly unproductive year. Not for lack of work, of course, but every time I get near the end of something I seem to skip to the next thing that needs a lot of work.

I did re-submit my paper on LIRGs with some edits, so that's feeling good. and gave a successful presentation on some dissertation work (hmm, next up I need those graphs that are dependent on theta or r). I have a new goal of turning that presentation/work into a viable paper draft by the end of the month. March is going to be busy

As for the crafting side of things, it's the same. Lots of stuff started and worked on.  Only one thing got finished, and that's a pair of socks I started at least a year ago. It doesn't help that it's dark and catching un-sucky pictures of things once I get home from work is a big challenge.

Oh, wait, I did do some spinning! and I finished a project, 8oz/2 braids 2plied together.


here's the first braid, before it was spun. Finn fiber from Three Waters Farm in the colorway Child's Play. The yellow light of the house does not capture the colors perfectly well; that is a lighter pink, not screaming neon pinkorange, and the teal is a bit stronger, but overall it's pretty accurate.

I plied that with this stuff to the right. This is Targhee from Three Waters Farm in the Cheerful Disposition colorway. Again, it's yellowed out, but this pic is pretty accurate. The blues and purple are a little bit bluer, but that bright orange/yellow is in there and the teal and that blue-brown. They're not perfectly matched, but there's some decent overlap in the colors, and I thought the gray in the above fiber would work well with the dark blue/brown in this fiber.
and here's the finished product below! skein 1, flurfy and pretty nice!


and skein 2, sorry for the blurry pic. There's more contrast in this skein, including a big section of bright orange and dark blue that I don't like. 


They are both, however, pretty dreadfully underplied. I definitely did what I thought the wheel and fiber wanted to do, but now that they are done I can tell the wheel was pulling the plied yarn in too quickly compared to how much ply-twist I was putting in. In order to fix this I should've loosened the knob that controls the tension, or had a better ratio between my bobbin and my whorl. Now that I think about it, though, I think my friend pointed out that I was using the "high speed" end of my bobbin to tension. Normally this is better for spinning, I think, skinnier yarns. So it should be easier to put the right amount of twist in next time when I turn the bobbin round so the small-diameter groove is not the one I am using to tension it. 

Next on the wheel (already on the wheel!) is a braid of lilac corriedale yarn from Highland Handmades. I am going to ply two plies of that with a ply of a BFL/silk from Frabjous Fibers and try making socks! so far the corriedale is spinning up super skinny (...26/28 wpi? I used my friend's measuring tool but it's been 2 weeks), so that is good. 

What's on the needles, though? SOCKS. Lots of socks! I am pursuing major sock goals for 2016. Earlier I'd posted that my goal was to start a pair of socks/using a skein of sock yarn every month of the year and at least put 5-10 hours into them. February was a hit-or-miss month--I started the socks on time but only put about 6 hours into them. But January's socks were great, and I'm almost done with the second one (I need maybe 3 or 4 inches of the foot and to kitchener both toes and I'll be done). I spent most of the month knitting on other, non-february socks in fact. I finished one of the pairs I'd had on the needles at the beginning of the year, and I'm churning along nicely on the second of those (5 stripes and a heel left).

It's the 4th, so I shall have to start a new pair of socks soon! the next month's pair are for my twin <3 and I think she will like them. Probably I should do them cuff-down because those seem to fit better. I've picked out a simple stitch pattern too.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

I need some longer shirts

not just t-shirts, but worky sort of shirts. Right now I have... 3? plus a collection of tank tops that aren't too bad if you pretend I can wear a tank top at work--so really what I need is something I can layer with those tank tops.

I could knit a nice long sweater (and there's one on my list--the Iced Cardigan, I even have the yarn for it). But I am also looking into buying some shirts that are longer and that I could wear out and about for work.

I should also probably get rid of my stockpile of clothes that are-not-long-enough and/or are-too-tight-now.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Spin the Bin 2016

This is one of my favorite yearly activities, because it's a chance to (you guessed it) set goals, make a list, and update myself and you on it. Plus I get to play with my fiber!

So, here's a quick picture of the stuff I definitely want to spin up this year.



In the back, the pile of dark brown is ~4.5 oz of brown corriedale. I'm going to spin it pretty skinny and ply it with my Tiger's Eye loop gradient that I spun up last year



to make a nice 2ply gradient of decent yardage. The corriedale matches the inner brown of the tiger's eye, so that is helpful.

In the back on the left you might see a small bag of purple and gold. This is 100% silk brick from FiberArtemis and I've decided to finally try to spin it up. I hope I can do it justice without turning it into froghair.

Counterclockwise, then, is FatCatKnits BFL in the Day's End colorway; 2 mystery skeins of probably corriedale; a braid of Spinnerettas Studio mixed BFL in Swampy; 1 skein of Frabjous Fibers BFL and silk in Lupine and 2 skeins of Highland Handmade's Corriedale in Lilac; and a bag. The bag is 2 braids from my new favorite dyer, Three Waters Farm--one of Cheerful Disposition in Targhee and one of Child's Play in Finn.

Those last two I am going to spin and ply together, aiming for a DK weight of great beauty in the manner of the Fat Squirrel.

The Frabjous Fibers and the Highland Handmades I want to turn into many skeins of 3 ply. I was hoping for sock-weight but I am betting it'll be tough to get a 3ply sock yarn and I'm not that skinny of a spinner, so it'll probably be more like a DK weight. 12 oz is going to be a fair bit, though, so I'm kind of excited thinking about what I can make out of it.

The other braids I intend to spin up and ply with themselves, rather than mixing them.

Now I just want to bust out the wheel and get going! but there's work to be done :P