WIP Wednesday #7

Sorry… No drunk posting tonight. While I can’t say I’m a fan of Mondays disguised as Tuesdays any more than I’m a fan of the regular, garden variety Mondays, this MonTuesday wasn’t near as rude as last Tuesday…  So stone cold sober for this posting. You’ll have to be the judge of which you enjoyed more…

On to the important parts… It’s Wednesday (or at least it will be once I actually publish this) and that means it’s time for a progress check. I have a new spinning project to report in on this week so that’s exciting. Otherwise, just more of the same.  First up, the Winding Road Socks.

Lets call me purposely coy with the picture here.  The first sock is done but since I’m hoping to have the second finished in time for an F/O Friday post, I’m keeping the cuff under wraps. Cuz the cuff is the only part of this sock that’s particularly interesting.  It’s a sideways cable pattern which was a bit new for me and I can definitely say one of the coolest bits of yarn manipulation I’ve done to date.  There were a couple of new to me stitches for increases and decreases (necessary to allow enough stretch for the sock to fit over the calf) but nothing otherwise particularly complicated.  Just cool.  I was afraid I would not love my yarn choice as cables don’t usually do to well on dark yarns, but I like it. I’ll show you more on Friday. Even if the 2nd sock isn’t quite done, I think I’ll do the reveal. Cuz I won’t be able to do a post next Friday. At least not with more trouble than I care to mess with (iPhone posting… UGH!).

As you’ll see, progress on sock #2 is good. I started it Sunday morning before we left for an afternoon at the county fair. By bedtime I’d finished the short rows for the heel turn.  I really want to have these off the needles before we leave for Antietam so I worked on the sock while watching a movie. It still blows my mind how quickly I can knit a plain vanilla sock anymore.  I didn’t touch it yesterday and by the end of lunch today I was done with the heel flap.  Two days knitting TOPS for the leg, then the cuff. Realistically, I should have the sock finished on Friday or Saturday. So that’ll be a nice mission accomplished. And another pair of socks for the drawer before the Season of Doom hits. YAY.

Now for the biggie… Tir Chonaill.  I am still completely, utterly smitten with this project.  Saturday I crossed the all important middle of the knit threshold. You’ll remember how I was terrified I’d run out of the main color yarn.  I’m happy to report I made it to the half way point plus two and a half rows.  This is not a lot of breathing room, at BEST it looks like I’ll have a hand full of yards left, but I made it past the middle before I had to start the 2nd skein so I will have enough. And enough is really all a knitter can ask for, right? Especially since this is a yarn  I will likely not knit with again due to the logistics of acquisition.  It is lovely in every sense of the word, don’t get me wrong, just not accessible without large shipping fees and long wait times. I am not so patient. It nearly killed me waiting 8 weeks for this shipment. Not sure I want to go through that again. Which isn’t to say I’m not thinking of knitting this pattern again. Bigger. I’ll just do it with something easier to find. Or spin myself. Cuz I am nothing if not insane. SO anyway- the progress. Finishing up the 5th repeat with 2 more to go before the project gets scary…  Steeking. Le YIPE

Thanks to all who’ve shared such lovely comments on the first picture. I promise you, if you love it but think it’s beyond your skill set, buy the pattern and go for it.  My color work experience before this undertaking was a pair of mittens and 5 Christmas stockings (all using the same pattern!). Not vast. I am no master knitter. Its really very clearly written and not at all complicated. it’s a 24 stitch repeat. Two colors per row. Stitch markers and a bit of attention to your pattern is all you need. Knit it. Because it’s gorgeous. And no mater how horridly impractical a knitted lap blanket in a house full of fully armed thumbless overlords may be, the pure, unadulterated joy of knitting it is so totally and completely worth the effort. I’m even steeling myself for the scary bit where I take a scissors to it. I think the idea is insane, but once again, insane is something I excel at so I’m trying to embrace the idea. And whatever happens I am going to have an amazing, warm, claw attracting piece of knitting I am so in love with in the end. So I don’t care. I’m going to do this just to prove I can. And I’m going to contemplate doing it again. Cuz the 2nd time will be a lot less scary, right?

So, as mentioned, I have started a new spinning project, too.  This is another one of those things that’s going to take a while.  It’s part of my new undertaking with the Harry Potter Knit & Crochet House Cup on Ravelry.  One of the available tasks is an OWL- from the book, Ordinary Wizarding Level exam, for the House Cup, an undertaking of 2-3 months time that is sort of epic in scope.  As most of my knitting is stuff that happens within a couple of weeks (I do not suffer the usual knitters ailment of too many WIPS thanks to a lot of determination and nothing else), knitting OWLS are going to be difficult for me, but spinning is an option, sometimes with dying or knitting, sometimes just spinning large amounts of something.  Spinning is an idea I can get behind. So for my Charms OWL, I am endeavoring to spin lace weight yarn. 800 yards of it. By the end of November.

The challenge here is two-fold. First, time. I will be spending quite a lot of time away from my Sidekick in the next few weeks. So while I’m not too terribly worried about spinning that much yarn, doing so in a particular time frame when I know I will be gone a lot adds a bit of challenge.  The second part that makes this sort of Epic for me is achieving a particular goal in finished yarn.  To date, I’ve set out trying for fingering weight, but achieving it is purely a crap shoot. Especially achieving it consistently.  In the process, I’ve overachieved and turned out lace weight, but it was definitely an accident.  So I’m challenging myself to do it on purpose. For a long time. I figure ideally I need to spin 12-15 grams per week for my singles which will allow plenty of time for plying. I can do this. And still have time for knitting. Which is good cuz I have a whole lot of other projects queued up for the Cup, Christmas and beyond, too!

So anyhoo, the project…  When I made my first pilgrimage to Susan’s Fiber Shop after buying my wheel, I bought an 8oz bag of BFL/Silk roving. Seemed like a good choice for this project.  It’s very well prepared and slub-free which makes spinning lace weight an easier thing to achieve and there should be more than enough to turn out my 800 yards. I am starting with half the bump. I did a test run over the weekend and got about 25 yards of 2 ply out of 4g of fiber so I think I can make it on half. And if not, I have more fiber to spin up the rest. But if I do it, I have the choice to either spin the other half into more lace weight and make something really big or spin the rest of it into something else entirely. We’ll see. Either way, I think I’m going to have my work cut out for me, not so much in the time but in the skill building. And I’m excited to see how I do! I’m sure you’ll hear more about my progress as the weeks roll by.

So there you have it. My progress for the week. Next Wednesday may or may not see a progress report. I expect at least one new project on the needles, more likely two, but since we’ll be on the road, I don’t know if I’ll post about them or not. There’s a good chance they’ll make their debut as finished objects on Friday after we return. Which would be so much fun for me!

For more Work In Progress Wednesday reading, head on over to Tami’s blog and see what everyone else is up to

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11 responses to “WIP Wednesday #7

  1. What kind of wheel did you go with? I’m new to spinning and trying to find out what criteria people use to choose their equipment.

    • I accidentally ended up with 2- George is my not really antique or vintage but old hand made wheel. Double drive, single treadle. Spins beautifully. The first wheel I bought, though, is a Schacht Sidekick (Millie). She’s a Scotch Tension, double treadle. They are separate but equal, really. Any wheel will accomplish the same thing, it’s more about what is comfortable for you both in price and style. Best thing you can do is test drive as many wheels as you can. I took lessons from a local shop and was able to try 3 different wheels during my lessons. While I was taking lessons, I borrowed the wheel that would become George. I have another local-ish shop (2 hours away which for spinning shops is pretty local!) that carries just about every wheel currently being manufactured, she allows test drives, too. So if you can, take a lesson or two and try try try. The Sidekick is pretty much the polar opposite of what I thought I wanted in a wheel but as soon as I spun on her I was hooked- couldn’t walk away! So keep an open mind, set a budget and see what fits for you!

  2. The picture of Tir Chonaill is totally worth the wait. It’s really beautiful. As for colorwork… I’m working my way up to it with some serious pep-talking!

    • It’s only hard if you talk yourself into thinking it’s hard! I started with a pair of mittens, two colors for the whole thing. Now lots of colors is less scary cuz I figured it out with something quick and simple!

  3. I admire your colorwork skills, fair isle still scares me, I drop the strands and I can’t figure out how to knit with both hands. Also I’ve yet to knit my first pair of socks as well. They scare me too. Your pep talking is helping me but I’m still hesitant! lol

    • I carry both strands in my right hand (I’m a thrower, not a picker, but a sort of modified throw, not the big whole hand moves the yarn kind of throw), just position things in such a way that the color I’m working with is in front. Hard to explain, probably, but I haven’t conquered 2 handed knitting, either. And socks… Socks are the 2nd thing I mastered. I went from dish cloths to socks. It was years before I ever made a scarf… I don’t do defeat well when it comes to crafting so I pretty much just said I’ma knit a sock and I did it. My first were more foot blankets with big yarn and big needles, but they still LOOKED like socks and made transitioning to proper yarn and needles a lot easier! YOU CAN DO IT!

  4. Tir Chonaill – what an ambitious project – yours is beautiful.

  5. loving the Tir Chonaill. REally need to try me some colourwork!

  6. Never mind the damn socks, just show me the blanket … close-ups, side shots, just more and more and more. I think I have to make one for myself now. Totally your fault.

    • You’re very welcome. Really. There is something about this pattern. It makes me feel like a very accomplished knitter even though it really isn’t difficult at all. Its just… So…. Ahhhhhhh….

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