Saturday, October 20, 2007

Spinning, and knitting, in public

Knitting in Public
Today was all about the KIP. The Mister had a meeting this morning down at Panera Bread, so I tagged along and set myself up in a corner seat far from the action and laid out all my tools of the trade - crochet hook, large capucchino, US5 double points, scrap yarn, directions, Walker's Treasury of Knitting Patterns, a croissant, and two skeins of Knit Picks Shine Worsted in Watermelon - then got right down to the business of wrestling my Sock Issue to the ground.

And I succeeded.


The key, as The Lady Wyvern kindly pointed out to me some months ago, is the size of the needles. I am not a size 1 person. No indeed. I need at least a 4, but no more than a 9, to find my comfort level. So the Shine Worsted is perfect. The suggestion for this yarn is US6, but I've heard that for socks you should go down one size, so US5 it is. I love this yarn far more than a cotton blend deserves. There is something about the softness of it, and the beautiful colors it comes in, that really gets to me. I've been collecting up pairs of skeins of this yarn for socks for months now.

I also think it helped that I went with Amy Swenson's Universal Toe-up Sock Formula from Knitty. The toe-up is the only way to go. And the math, and the instructions in general, were easy to understand and follow. I even went a little crazy and found a braided rib pattern to add to it so I wouldn't get bored. And it worked. I can't put this project down!
Spinning in Public

Tomorrow I am joining some of the ladies up at Strawberry Banke in Portsmouth to do some public spinning. I'm bringing my Ashford spindle and that delectable merino/silk roving, as well as a small quantity of wool roving that a friend needs spun up and plied. But the real story is that I'll be given the opportunity to play with a Louet Victoria! Hooray! Kelly started this "sampling" by letting me sit at her wheel for awhile on Thursday night, and it's amazing what a difference a "real" wheel makes. I took the Babe with me, and did spin on it quite a bit, but it is what it is. She's noisy in a squeaky, plasticky way that is quite different from the wooden creaks and sighs that come out of the fancier wheel. But thanks to Cheryl's unflagging enthusiasm for mechanical objects (or possibly just spinning wheels) we determined that not only was the wheel not turning as easily as it could (hello oil!) but the pedal could be moved from where it was, on the left, to a more comfortable position on the right. This made a huge difference in my ability to treadle with a more regular rhythm. And with those adjustments, I was finally able to spin a fine (for me) yarn that, when plied, will give me a sort of light worsted.


I think I'm still underspinning the yarn, but it's a lot better. Maybe soon I'll be able to increase my ratio...

Yeah, listen to me, using spinning lingo like I have any clue what I'm talking about. Feh. ;-)

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