Friday, February 25, 2011

Single-Minded Insanity.

I've been a busy chick. 

It's funny though. I may have mentioned it before, but I am what the knit-freaks among us would call a monogamous knitter. This means I rarely if ever have more than one project on the needles at a time. This is because once I have more than one project going, I start to feel stressed and overwhelmed with my own inability to complete things in what I would like to think is a timely manner. Of course, my version of a 'timely manner' is different to everyone elses. 
However I am also multi-craftual, and as such the same rules don't apply to other crafts. While I will never have more than one sewing project, knitting project or spinning project on the go at the once, it's a-ok to have all of them. At the moment I have on the knitting needles, a Holden Shawlette (rav link). I also have some merino barberpole 2ply on the spinning wheel. I have a quilt / playmat about 3/4 of the way through construction of its top down in the sewing studio. I also have a series of books I am part way through reading on the kindle (a gift for my birthday from the husbeast - as a side note, I recently finished 'Good Omens' by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman and it was awesome. Read it!). And I don't feel in the least bit stressed with all these different things on the go, it's when i am forced to divide knitting OR spinning OR sewing time between two projects of the same variety that I get tetchy. I'm weird, I know. 

Oddly however, I seem to do this thing - not so much with knitting or spinning, but certainly with sewing, and with reading books, and about a zillion other things - whereby the world ceases to exist for me until I am finished. I will start something, and until I finish the whole thing, or at least a huge chunk of it, I stop doing other life necessary things - like eating. Drinking. Sleeping. Taking a toilet break. I've always realised that this is bloody stupid behaviour, however it is only recently that I cam to the realisation that it's also hereditary. My dad does it too. 
On the rare occasion I have worked with him (or travelled with him) this tendancy to not stop for love nor money has driven me BATSHIT crazy. I caught myself doing it again the other day while working on a quilt, and realised I was doing the SAME thing he always does which I found incredibly frustrating. I got up and got a drink and took a break, but I am not silly enough to think that this realisation means I won't do it again. Just means I have someone to blame :p Ha!

At any rate I do not have a finished quilt to show, nor do I have a finished shawl, or spin to show. I'm consciously splitting my time between all three, but in the past two weeks I have finished up with a pair of socks for myself, and a baby hat and cardi set for the wee one out of handspun, so on with the show. 

Firstly the socks are the Kalajoki Socks (rav link) which I am calling 'Wiggle socks' because they have a wiggle, and because I keep forgetting how to spell their real name. 
I knit them out of Shibui sock yarn which I was gifted by Knitabulous at least years Ravelry Baa events. The yarn is fabulous to work with, a nice tight ply, no splittiness and amazing stitch definition. 
I'm really quite pleased with how they turned out. They are soft, comfy and warm, and just the thing to continue to batt out a winter wardobe of toasty warm socks. 

B y the time winter comes however, we will have a new addition to the family to keep toasty warm, so in my ongoing effort to to turn a newborn into what looks like a small fuzzy colourful sheep, I give you what I did with the Southern Cross Fibre Handspun that I posted in the previous blog entry. 
I made a wee little set out of the handspun and some Bendigo Woolen Mills 4 ply Luxury in 'Oceanic'. The set consists of the Garter Yoke Baby Cardi and a smaller almost miniature version of the Thorpe Hat.
I think it is Super cute, and I'm really pleased with how both of them came out, ecspecially since both patterns have had either details or gauge changed extensively. 
The cardi was knit on 3mm needles with 5 and 4 ply yarn, in order to size it down to a 3 month size (or thereabouts). The original pattern is for a 6-12 month size. I also picked up stitches around the neckline and knit a further 6 rows for a mandarin style collar, didn't bother with buttonholes because I wanted to put toggles and loops on instead, and did the icord bind off on the cuffs instead of the garter stitch the pattern called for. 

For the Thorpe Hat, the original pattern is written for adults, and gives three sizes, S, M and L. I knit the medium, completely as the pattern instructed. 
Except that I knit it in a 5ply weight handspun, and the main stockinette prtion of the hat was knit on 3.25mm needles, and the brim and earflaps of the hat were knit on 3mm needles. The end result is newborn-3months-ish sized. It fits the cabbage patch doll in circumference anyways.