Wednesday, March 25, 2009

happy things

things that are putting a smile on my face these days:

  • the fact that i FINALLY got a p-patch (or community garden plot, for those not in seattle). i've been on the waiting list for two years now, and i finally, finally got a plot. at my first-choice garden, too, two blocks from my house. i've been lustily browsing through seed catalogs the past few days, planning and scheming for a bountiful garden this summer.
  • my knitting group's yarn swap that we had last weekend. i offloaded some odds and ends i didn't want anymore, and came home instead with a skein of handspun (love!), a cone of harrisville shetland wool, some vintage mohair/wool blend, some peace fleece, and a few other good things. new-to-me yarn! for free!
  • cherry blossoms in bloom on my street. though our winter was pretty mild this year, i have been craving spring more than usual. it's finally here!
  • this story.
  • this place. and another one opening soon in my own neighborhood!
  • and finally...these happy, crazy socks! i started these all the way back in july 2008, and they have been my background knitting project since then...the one i turn to when i'm in between projects, or when i just needed something easy. i finally pushed myself to just finish them, and though they are a little loud, they are certainly cheerful.

i wanted to use every last inch of this yarn, so these socks are pretty tall. i did calf-increases, but they are still a tiny bit snug--definitely still wearable. and i'm so pleased with my matchy stripes!

yarn: vesper wee skeins kit
needle: size 1.5, magic looped and knit two at a time (my first time trying this technique, but not my last!)
pattern: really, none. i knit these toe-up, and just kind of winged it. i referred to various online sources for how to do the short-row heel, but i don't remember what they were. i know, lame.

hope you're enjoying your spring (or fall, for those in the southern hemisphere)!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

you're a woman, you love to weave*

i can't believe i haven't blogged in almost a month! i just haven't felt like it lately, despite having quite a few little projects to blog about. but i'm back now, and i'll try to catch up!

i think i mentioned a while back that i bought a cricket loom. well, after a couple of false starts and frustrating hours trying to warp it, i finally figured things out. and i'm really enjoying it! i've made two scarves so far, and i've learned a ton. the learning curve with weaving seems to be pretty the end of my first scarf i felt really comfortable, and the second one looks miles better than the first. and it's so fast! each scarf took about five hours total, including warping up the loom. not bad!

here's the first one. it is, i believe, 'warp faced,' meaning my up-and-down yarn is longer looking than the weft, or side-to-side, yarn. or something like that. i used up some leftover sock yarn from my chevron scarf, two shades of socks that rock (farmhouse and watermelon tourmaline, if you're keeping track). i figured that those two crazy, disparate colorways looked nice in the chevron scarf, so it might work here too. one thing i love about weaving is how well it works with variegated yarns. i had kind of sworn off buying variegateds some time ago, because i hate pooling, but this has me reconsidering that policy. anyway, for a first project, i think it turned out pretty well. it's more of a scarflet though...i severely underestimated how long to make the warp!

and here is my second scarf! i'm calling it the arizona scarf, because the colors of this yarn really remind me of my home state. the yarn is hello yarn sock yarn, in the nymph colorway, and this skein of yarn is one of the reasons i decided to learn to weave. i just knew it would look really cool as a woven fabric, and i was right!

it looks like a sort of free-form plaid, doesn't it? this one also turned out a little short (i think i've figured out how to correctly calculate my warp length now though, so hopefully i'm done making stumpy scarves), but it's a MUCH more even weave, and my selvedges turned out pretty tidy. i'm so proud of this one!

weaving is so much fun, and i love that i can crank out a scarf in just a few hours. you will definitely be seeing more weaving from me in the future!

*i love this.