Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li

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Busy Knitting

My verbal brain seems to have taken a hike, or walkabout or something for a bit. Part of it is just... angsty stupidity over internets... and that feeling I usually get just before I go Cold Turkey on the electronic connections... I'm fighting it off, there's too much investment on my part, this time, in staying semi-visible.

I'm compensating by knitting a lot, drawing a little, and painting some along with a huge amount gardening. Two knitting things I did have arrived on their recipients' doorstep, so I can show pictures, now, and in the effort to do that, I got pictures of everything I'm working on...

Bordeaux Fetching
Originally uploaded by Liralen Li.
First things first. This is the very first thing I finished while still doing the Biloxi trip. I used a single ball of the Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Bordeaux. Swish Worsted is a super-wash merino worsted weight yarn that they sell for an extraordinary price. Back when I bought it they didn't have the Heathered colors, yet; but I had planned the yarn for a pair of Knitty's Fetching fingerless gloves.

Thing is that I don't need fingerless gloves. Colorado weather, on the most part is either Winter or Summer, and in the Winter, I mostly just wear my autumn mittens and that's all I need. I don't like the weight or warmth when I'm typing as it only exacerbates the swelling of my tendinitis. But then I found out that nikita_cheri111, which had signed up to receive one of my made-by-me gifts really could use a pair in her working situation. So I was all motivated...

Fetching, for me, is a bit like a knitting drabble. *laughs* It takes about 100 yards of yarn, and less than two days. A day if I'm not too anxious about running out of yarn. So it was fun to just go at it and I finished the second of the pair on the plane home from New Orleans. And then I tucked in all the ends and finished the thumb of the first one in the time it took the plane to get from touch down to us actually being able to get off the plane. Speed knitting, like speed ficcing, only someone gets to wear them for a while after.

First Noro Fetching
Originally uploaded by Liralen Li.
The second pair originated from Ravelry's really great setup for destashing. Everyone can enter their stash on Ravelry, and can ear mark particular yarns one doesn't want in order to trade or sell. If you really want to get rid of a yarn, ear mark it and put a price on it. And there are several folks getting rid of various types of Noro, or wanting various types of Noro yarns. It isn't really for everyone, and it has characteristics that are very annoying as well as very intriguing.

And, yes, one of the intriguing aspects is that both of these gloves are made from the same ball of yarn of one "color".

I still hate singles yarns. The amusing thing is that regular Kureyon is not actually a single. If you take it apart, there's actually two strands to it. Basically, they give their spinners two spools of what are probably machine drawn roving from their dye lots and have them spin those together, without having to worry about drawing it for the weight of the yarn. It's a wonderful way to get it to be pretty much standard through all their balls; but still get the handspun characteristics without it taking too much hands-on time.

If I didn't have to regulate my draw for spinning it would be MUCH faster.

So I kinda like regular Kureyon and their color changes rather a lot. And I helped a lady destash about a dozen balls of Kureyon in various colors last year, when I had the funds. She was charging about two-thirds the going rate, and threw in two random balls for free, so I didn't complain at all. These were made from one of the random balls. The others were in sets of two; and since mysocalledhell has been having problems keeping warm this winter, I sent the pair to her, as they're thick and very warm.

Beginning of Princess Cowl
Originally uploaded by Liralen Li.
Before the Biloxi trip I'd hot kettle dyed some lace weight yarn, and what I'd hoped would happen did. This is how that yarn now looks when it's knitted. I don't get the same color for more than two, or at most, three stitches at a time, and the colors vary from the palest powder pink to deep vibrant fuchsia and pale sky blue to deep purple and turquoise. The Swarovski Crystal Beads are pale blue with fuchsia centers (omg... look at these gunmetal gray beads of the same type, now I'm dreaming of one of Bluemoon Fiber Arts' Raven Clan with these puppies in it...)(and another aside, yes, I'm in love with Blue Moon's Sheep 2 Shoe kits).

Uhm... no. I don't know if anyone would want this when it's done, though I've had three different real life people hint that they wouldn't mind it for themselves. It's based off of Knitty's Ice Queen, so if you want to see what it should look like when it's done and blocked, that's a good place to go. And, yes, I couldn't resist fudging the recipe, and yes, there's only a single row of purl right after each lace row because with the variegation, I though the pattern might get lost in the midst of the color changes, so I kept one row purl to emphasize the waves of the very traditional feather and fan pattern. And, yes, I have plenty of yarn and beads for a couple of these... so if any of those folks that replied to the handmade-something-from-Liralen meme would like this, please comment and I'll send it when it's done.

Jet's Socks
Originally uploaded by Liralen Li.
In the midst of all that, Jet's been very patient with me as I haven't really knitted him much of anything this winter. Too busy writing, and finally, in the last couple of days he's saying patiently, "Where are my socks, Mom? You promised me socks..."

These are from yarn that he dyed, trying to do narrow stripes with the very same red, blue, and yellow of the Korean temple colorway that I used to dye Buddhathumper's worsted. Jet didn't know that the narrow stripes would mix things up and muddy them more; and while he was mildly disappointed with the results he still wanted socks from it. Plus it was on my own hand-spun three-ply that's partially wool and partially mohair for strength (instead of nylon as I'd rather a real animal got paid in food for my fiber addiction), so I had to be careful about balancing gauge at the beginning of these socks because what I spun at the beginning and end of the ball is different.

Yes. I'm making it interesting by knitting from both ends of the ball at the same time. Yes. I'm knitting both socks at the same time from the toe up on one circular needle, mostly because of said gauge problem, it's easier to make sure they're exactly the same length and width when I have them side by side for comparison. Yes, there are tutorials on how to do that; but I like derivations from first principles.

Here's a whim. It's a very pretty whim. It's Noro's new Kureyon Sock Yarn. I did my usual thing with a new yarn and bought it out of someone destashing efforts on Ravelry, for about three-quarters the usual price and it included postage, so I felt like even if I hated the yarn I'd have won with respect to cost compared to buying it completely new from a shop.

It had been knitted and frogged for just a couple of colors; but it was, as Noro often is, just a little softer for having done that. That's all.

But it was a freaking pain to ball. It has all the problems single-ply yarns have, i.e. it curls up on itself, it knots with itself like crazy, and with the wool content, it grabs itself when it's supposed to flow. And when it's as thin as this (probably use US 1's on it) that means big, freaking snarls that all do come apart, but there's always that moment of just having to have faith in the fact that I didn't pull anything through anything so it's just loops and it has to come apart...

But it was also really strong for all that it's one-ply, and the nylon content and the coarser wool content makes it very interestingly scratchy. It's going to probably felt the moment it even looks at water, and my brain really wants to use it for its strengths, not make them weaknesses. Probably socks because of the strength, but a little long and a little wide to make up for anything that changes with the first wash. Fine needles... and some kind of pattern that won't be completely overshadowed by the color changes. Probably from the toe-up in order to use every last inch of this stuff.
Tags: knitting
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