Wednesday, April 01, 2009

April’s A Fool


Are you sure it’s April? I’d think it’s still January or something except for the intrepid spring flowers that are coming out in spite of the snow we got this morning! That’s my really big patch of cranesbills in front of the miniature daffodils. Luckily the white stuff got smart and figured out it wasn’t wanted. It finally disappeared in the real April showers.

Instead of looking outside, I started a KAL today with many of the members of my local Ravelry group: the Selbu Modern tam (Ravelry link) (PDF link). I have lovely Koigu for my main colour in a very dark purply-browny-charcoal and Louet Gems fingering dyed my own rusty orange for the contrast. So far I have less than an inch of ribbing and no photo yet. I really could use some more photos here, couldn’t I? But it’s just too dark today to take them indoors and outdoors is rather cold and wet.

I was good and didn’t start the KAL until I’d knitted one more repeat of the paper stole pattern. I’m done with the increases and am working even now so it’s a bit easier to calculate how long it takes: nearly an hour per 14-row repeat! The piece is nearly 14” long and about 16” at the widest. I need a piece big enough to wrap around a body though so I must keep knitting a whole lot more. Whew!

What else can I not show you? I’ve been spinning some of the lovely fibre I got at Fibres West from Aurelia. It’s called Ruby Blue (look here and scroll down) but it’s a little different in real life to the photo. A bit more purple and khaki plus lilac and the sparkle is red and teal blue. The result is a bit darker but, I think, more interesting. I’m spinning a soft thick (well thick for me!) singles on my Louet S90 wheel for a secret crochet project. I don’t think the giftee reads this but you never know, so mum’s the word for now.

While spinning, I was having some trouble with the S90 wheel drawing in too fiercely. I’d forgotten that the so-called “Irish” tension (bobbin lead/flyer brake) is most definitely positive and just about dragged the yarn out of my hands. As a matter of fact, I broke it several times until I clued in that maybe I should do something about it before my hands got tired holding back on the yarn. The brake was already off (I rarely use it except sometimes for plying on a nearly-full bobbin) so the next step is to zigzag the yarn over two hooks on opposite arms of the flyer. The rows of hooks are both on the same plane so you can do that on this wheel and honestly, it’s nearly always a good idea. For finer yarn I zigzag more, up to three times across the flyer, until it stops being a struggle to hold onto things. It makes it a PITA to fill the bobbin evenly because moving to a different hook is more work, but I couldn’t spin this yarn without the rigmarole. Just one more reason why Louet doesn’t make this wheel anymore?

Yeah, I know. Pictures are worth a thousand words. Later. Right now I have to go make supper.

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