Thursday, February 8, 2007

Dribs and Drabs (Heather)

February is not my favourite month. Lots of good things happen in February, like lots of birthdays and sometimes Olympics, and leap years, but the holidays are all kind of arbitrary (Groundhog Day? Valentines?) and the weather is bleak and all we have to look forward to is March (ick!).

Don't get me wrong, I don't hate winter per se, I just get tired of it by the end of January. The only thing February has going for it is that it is short, at least.

Anyway, all that served to do was explain that February ennui has extended to my knitting.

As previously noted, I finished an orange sleeve, one subway sock for Mike, Mike's hat, and started a bunch of projects which were promptly banished to the basket. I ripped my manos-hat-in-progress and reclaimed the wool. I did finish spinning my Fleece Artist Wensleydale-Teeswater single:

and even plied it. proving that it is perfectly possible to regress completely in one month of spinning neglect.

I am thinking it would be much easier to ply with a wheel, not least of all because the singles would be on bobbins instead of on the spindle you need to ply with... this requires me to wind off my singles into skeins and then into balls, which even washed are very kinky and unpleasant to work with. I ruined quit a bit of single when it tangled irreparably on the swift. And I hope that my plying will even out when I don't have to stop to wind every metre or so.

Upon some urging from Adriana, I swatched for Odessa with my reclaimed Manos... I did a massive swatch to see how many repeats I would need, since the gauge was obviously very different from the pattern. I did a little quick and dirty math, pondered it for a day, and then cast on 80 stitches... and it worked!

I can't believe how long this is taking. For lack of knitting. I finished a regular Odessa in about 8 hours. This one has taken a week, just because I am only doing a row or two at a time. I am really starting to adore it, though, and that combined with this cold snap might motivate me to finish it. If I have to wrap my clap around my head one more time people are really going to be wondering...


Samantha said...

Sometimes things just take longer - I think certain yarns can manipulate the space-time continuum. Remember how long it took me to do the Superbowl socks? The Odessa does look lovely though. Think I could get one out of the alpaca yarn you gave me?

Robin said...

I've been lurking here for a bit. I think I wandered in from livejournal.

Ditto on the plying with a wheel thing. I think winding stuff off of a spindle is the worst part of drop spindling. Have you ever tried Andean plying for two ply? It still requires winding the single off of the spindle but it makes the actual process of plying a billion times easier. Yes, a billion.

Adriana said...

Odessa is looking lovely!!

I actually have things to post but am still computerless. What are the odds of losing two computers in one week?!?!

spillyjane said...

that manos is gorgeous yarn...

what i do when i ply is wind my live singles onto felt balls and then wrangle them onto the spindle. what you could try is winding the two singles you're going to ply together *together* on the same felt ball so you only have one felt ball rolling around on the floor. when i do this it involves keeping tension using my left arm/elbow and a lot of wandering around the front room as i ply.

another thing you can rig to make plying easier is a DIY lazy kate. this calls for a shoe box and a couple of dowels. i can elaborate if you like.

Azura said...

My knitting has disappeared entirely, mostly due to extreme frustration at the projects I've decided to undergo.

And why on Earth does your Odessa look so good and mine looked like a holey horror?

See? Frustration.

fabricfan said...

Great looking yarn, and I love the colour of the hat as well. What are you going to do with all of your yarn that you have spun?

Rachel said...

I did an Odessa hat in Manos earlier this year -- I loved how it came out (though I promptly felted it by accident). Yours looks great.

Sorry about the February ennui. I feel the same way. I have a February birthday, so when I was young that was enough to make the whole month exciting, but somehow a birthday just isn't quite enough to counteract the downsides of the month anymore.

March will be here before we know it, though! Which is, you know, marginally better.