Tuesday, January 29, 2008

An Open Window to a New Opportunity

Just when I had all but given up, we found a house to rent! So I'm busy packing and cleaning and getting ready to move ASAP. Finally it feels like we're moving forward.

I finished and blocked the Chevron Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, and I *love* it!

Chevron Scarf

I had about 550 yards of singles, which I was afraid wouldn't be enough, but I couldn't find anything to pair it with in my stash, so I just knit it with straight handspun, and I'm glad I did. The scarf is about 8 feet long, and I still have a little handspun left over.

Have you noticed this spin-knit project monogamy that I've been practicing this month? I've been having so much fun knitting with my handspun. In February, I plan to go back and start finishing the carry-over projects from last year. So it's a good thing I finished spinning this in time to cast on before February:

Forbidden Fruit 3-ply merino sock

The fiber is from FreckleFaceFibers on Etsy. I bought a few tops from her with some birthday money because I loved her rich, saturated colors, and I wasn't disappointed. The fiber is a little coarser and crimpier than I'm used to in a merino, but it made a nice yarn.

I was lamenting the fact that my handpainted roving stash was dwindling when I got it, so I decided to spin a finer yarn so that it would last longer. I split the top six ways lengthwise and spun two segments onto each of three bobbins, varying the order as I went to avoid stripes. I just wanted a rich, semisolid purple, and I think I got pretty close.

Of course, as soon as I got myself started on a long, involved spinning project that uses all of my bobbins, I got packages from Spunky Eclectic and Flawful Fibers. The Flawful Fibers one especially made me want to hurry up and get the sock yarn spun, already!

January Fiber Club

The colors are based off of a little painting called An Open Window to a New Opportunity, and thats just so fitting right now that I can hardly wait to make it up into something that I can see and use every day.

So yesterday I spun and spun and spun and spun and plied and plied and plied and plied until my bobbin was too full to take any more, and I still have singles left on all three bobbins. I have about 290 yards of the 3-ply, so I'm thinking out of curiosity and to avoid leftover singles, I'll Navajo-ply the rest and maybe I can make socks and fingerless gloves.

Also, it's my 1-year knit-iversary! It was the last weekend in January last year that I decided to learn to knit. I did some research online, and contacted one of my LYS because they said they taught classes at X time, but if they didn't have enough students the class wouldn't make. So I emailed to see if they had enough students and they never emailed me back. Undeterred, I went to the big Jo-Ann on Friday after work and got myself some dishcloth cotton and a set of needles and sat down with the KnittingHelp.com videos and knit my first swatch.

My first swatch

Which led to my first UFO.

My first UFO

I think maybe every stitch in that blanket is twisted.

My first finished objects were all felted, which, in retrospect, was pretty smart, because I was able to learn a lot of techniques without my mistakes showing. Last night, Bruneaux decided to eat one of them, so here I am, almost exactly a year later, knitting another pair of felted clogs for my husband. It is interesting to be following the pattern again with some experience under my belt, remembering how challenging it was for me then. For one thing, the first time around, all of my M1s left holes, but I didn't know how to fix it, so I told my husband it was supposed to be like that. After a trip through the washer, no more holes!

Lastly, since I spent all morning packing it up, I might as well flash the stash.


That's everything in the plastic bins, including sock yarn and fiber stash, dresser stash and living room basket stash and ottoman stash. I might have one more bin for equipment and works in progress, or I might just transport that stuff in knitting bags; I haven't decided. And there will be a box or two of books and magazines.

Not too bad, right? I'm glad for it, though, because my fiber budget is about zero until the house sells, and maybe for a while after!


Monika said...

I CAN'T believe you've been knitting just for ONE year!!! That's amazing. The Chevron scarf is adorable. I love the fact that you used handspun, and matched it the way you did. Just wonderful. Your purple handspun looks fantastic too, very even. I'm still waiting for my Spunky fiber, but this time I think I like it a lot, because I saw a wonderful picture of the fiber on another blog. I hope the move goes smoothly, but it always is a headache. Looking forward to your next knitterly/fiberly projects. :o)

whitney said...

I am just so impressed that you've only been knitting a year...I've been knitting since I was a teenager, and yet you're the one who's inspiring me with your gorgeous projects!

Your purple handspun looks gorgeous!

Congrats on finding a place to rent...I hope the move goes as smoothly as possible!

Jacki said...

That scarf is gorgeous! Good luck with the whole selling the house thing - my brother is in the middle of that right now, so I know how stressful it can be. :P

Anonymous said...

What an excellent way to handle m1 holes... lol. Non-knitters have no way of knowing that the holes aren't _supposed_ to be there!

sulafaye said...

What a great idea for that scarf! So beautiful (as always) and I bet it wears great. I love the purple, but can't wait to see what you do with that new fiber...

PS Happy knitiversay!

Bea said...

The purple is fabulous. I'm with every one that says their shocked you've only been knitting a year! I'm so glad your found a place to rent, I'm wishing you good luck with your move and good luck with his new job!

Janine said...

Congratulations--I hate uncertainty about living spaces--and good luck with the move! I love the chevron scarf...

Jessica said...

Came over from Kristy's. Having just moved, I feel your pain. Good luck with it! Your spinning is lovely and so is the scarf!

Anonymous said...

Your stuff is amazing. One day I hope to spin as well as you. Glad the rental thing worked out, it's no fun to be halfway between homes.

I like how many mini-stashlets you had!

JM said...

I'm impressed that you've controlled the stash so well. Would like updates on how the singles scarf wears.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with your moving. The Chevron scarf is so pretty and soft. I like the subtle colours too.
Your stash management is impressive. I keep mine in tubs too!