Sunday, March 22, 2009

More fibre!

... not in my diet but in my spinning stash.

Went to the Fibres West show yesterday and picked up a little something for myself and the FuzzyOne.  He saw this 'Hibiscus' merino/silk blend that he thought looked like an orange popsicle (I personally think Creamsicle) and all he wants is a knitted/felted/crochet(?) popsicle from me.  I have a pretty good idea as to how to make his popsicle, but I was hoping he wanted something more useful like a scarf or toque (he seemed quite interested in a gridded fair isle toque on display).

Now onto my fibre stash.  This would work out so well if I had pictures but then, I'm lazy.  If you read this, you should know by now that my attempts at putting pictures on (or even regular blogging for that matter) have not been very successful.

Got some gorgeous Ashland Bay merino/silk in the "Lilac" colourway (200g) for a potential scarf/toque set for moi, and 3 bundles of Bamboo fibre (in natural/white, Caribbean (light blue) and Espresso (dark blue)).  The bamboo fibre I'm not completely sure what I want to do with it yet but right now, I'm thinking of doing a tank top/shawl with a varigation of colour.

Also picked up a WPI tool I've been wanting to buy for a while (to check my spinning) and a couple sets of stitch markers from Uli, who I met at the Victoria Fibre Festival last year.

All in all, it was fun.  I managed to stay under budget ($100) and learn a bit about spinning fine/superfine fibres.  The FuzzyOne was like a female in engineering at this fibre show.  One of the few guys around who weren't selling things.  Needless to say, any question he asked resulted in a wealth of information.  He was completely fibred out by the time we left the show (4 hrs later).  He has also learned that he might not want to go to a fibre show with me every again. :) 

Another thing was that I may have met the wheel of my dreams: Kromski Sonata spinning wheel.  Yes, I've been going on about the Lendrum in previous posts, but I had yet to see/try a Sonata til now.  A spinning teacher at the festival mentioned that the Lendrum had a tendency for the flyer assembly to fall apart when changing bobbins (perhaps due to the angle) and she recommended the Sonata over the Lendrum.

Prettyness wise, the Sonata is a much prettier wheel.  Both are made with hard wood, the Lendrum is made from Maple while the Sonata is made from Alder and Birch.  Both are family businesses: Lendrum is Canadian and the Sonata is Polish.  Both have their plus sides that I think the ultimate test would be for me to play with both wheels for a while.  

But for now, I will be satisfied with my Ashford Traditional.   Not a very portable wheel, but I like it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Unfortunately, it's not the edible kind. It's the kind one needs for their car, especially if their car has stock low profiles that suck in the snow. And when I mean suck, I mean REALLY suck.

Vancouver has gotten a lot of snow this year.... along with a lot of sub-zero temperature, which freezes the slush into sheets of ice overnight. Making it horrible for us folks to survive with just 1 set of all-season tires.

The boss needs me to deliver a proposal tomorrow to North Vancouver. We work near transit, so it's totally busable. Except transit will take ~1+ hr and driving will take <10 mins. With another snow fall due any day now, I did not want my car to be permanently abandoned at work until the spring so off I went in search of snow tires.

It was not an easy task. I think I called about 6 tire places, most of which didn't have any of the possible sizes in stock and the ones with possible sizes wanting $1400+ for them. Finally found a place that sold decent tires for a decent price (Volco Tires on Marine Dr) and went down there to get them put on. Now my car will drive like the other cars on the road - the other cars with all-season that are not low profile.

We'll see how well these tires end up working for me.

Knitting wise, one may have noticed I have many projects on the go. One of which is a cowl I hope to finish before this cold snap ends. Ha! I think that falls in with the shawl I wanted to finish in 1 month. Wish me luck.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

New toy

After several weeks of religiously checking craigslist daily, I finally found a used spinning wheel that met my criteria - it spun wool.

The last wheel I bought was before I started spinning and I thought that I can easily restore an antique spinning wheel to a spinning state. I was wrong. It still sits in my living room. A pretty wheel, but it may see another owner in the near future.

This wheel is an Ashford traditional. Not my desired wheel, the Lendrum Original, but a decent wheel that can tide me over until I can get my hands on a Lendrum (which has a 4 month waiting list the last time I checked). I personally love the way the "sleeping beauty" style wheels look, but they take up so much space. The Lendrum folds and fits under the bed when needed (not that a spinning wheel NEEDS to be hidden, but very useful for apartment living).

So a little trip out to South Langley bagged me an Ashford Traditional (from the 60's as indicated by the beehive woman on the manual cover) with the complete parts (lazy kate, 4 bobbins) AND a complete jumbo flyer kit w/ 3 extra bobbins. So now I have enough bobbins to spin to my heart's desire. I also found out that the previous 2 owners were probably not hardcore spinners, indicated by the fact that the regular flyer has yet to be assembled and they have been spinning on the jumbo flyer only. In other words, I got a barely used spinning wheel for $300 (worth at least $750 new).

Only downside is, since it is a wheel from the 60's, the flyer does not have multiple ratios like the new ones, so I can only spin at one speed (6.5 :1 from what I gather). Kinda bites, but hopefully, I'll get my Lendrum by the time I get good enough to spin the stuff that requires the higher ratios.

For now, I have a new toy that looks great (not saying much about the wood stain choice :P). It's intact and it spins wool.... or it will spin wool when I get a tension spring and some wood screws.

I'll get some pics up when i get to it. ;)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Knitter Geek Code Ver. 1.0


Version: 1.0

KCmR>L++ Exp++ SPM+(++) Addi+@ Bam+@ Pl- Steel- Syn Nov- Cot+ Wool++ Lux+++ Stash++ Scale+++ Fin+ Ent>+ FI>+ Int>+ Tex+ Lace+ Felt? Flat@ Circ(+) DPN++ ML>+ Swatch-- KIP+ Blog(+) SNB++ EZ FO WIP++ GaugeF+DK+W+ ALTCr(+)X(+)Sw(-)Sp(+)


Translation on Knitty

The Killer Socks have arrived...

Well, they arrived about 2 weeks ago. I just haven't had time to post or knit. I'm looking forwards to the day that I can just knit and not need to worry about work. Early retirement here I come!!

The lovely killer socks were made by Lynn Hensley. She knit them out of a special edition Tofutsies for me and I just <3 the colourway! I'll post pictures when I get around to it (yes I know I've been saying that for quite some time).

I wish I could have more time to knit. My cousin's wedding is in 2 months and I have almost 10% done on the shawl. o.O Totally need to knit more these next couple weekends.

Speaking of knitting, in 1 week (EEEE I CAN'T WAIT!), I'll be heading over to the island for the FibreFest. Sivia Harding is going to be there and will introduce her latest shawl, Harbour Lights, which was designed just for the festival! I'm SO getting the shawl kit from fun knits. I heard that the kit will consist of silk/cashmere yarn and beads and will be discounted for the festival. I am definitely someone who cannot resist silk. Now to decide on a budget for this weekend of fibre. Any suggestions??

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Busy week

It's been a busy couple weeks. Got a bad case of tendonitis in my wrists and the doc told me to lay off knitting for a while. Now there's a limit of how long I can keep away from knitting. In the midst of Sock Wars III, a lace stole was casted on. Since the project has a deadline (i.e. my cousin's wedding) it needed to be started. As of today, I have 24 rows of 416 done for the body. Methinks I need to knit faster.

The sock war socks are in the mail as of yesterday afternoon. Feel kinda bad that I didn't include any extra "gifts" in my parcel. Will send some along later this week hopefully. Just a matter of time before I receive mine in the mail. The lady doing my socks has been killing one person a week. She was originally assigned to my assassin's assassin. My assassin died last week. I think my killer socks are in the mail. The only thing delaying my death is Canada Post. :)

Work is crazy busy this week. 4 projects due this week. How the heck does this happen? Either nothing is due, or everything is due. Thank god one of the projects is pushed back another week.

Haven't had time to do much Orchid Society work. Heck, my plants I ordered from last month still have yet to be potted. Needless to say, they are not looking too hot right now.

Once I have a breather, I'll figure out how to post pictures to this blog thing.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Death to Swatches!

War Background

So the Sock wars started on the Friday... at 5 am. The dossiers were sent out using an automated system. Most emails systems caught that email as spam and did what it normally does to most spam: filter or delete. I'm a paranoid individual so all my spam is filtered. But some people had systems where the spam was deleted automatically so they never received their dossiers.

Within a couple hrs of the emails being sent out, people already started bitching about how it wasn't fair that other people got their dossiers before other people. Some more melodramatic people even went as far as saying that they quit because the competition wasn't fair.

Life isn't fair. Suck it up princess. I had to work a full 8 hrs the day that the 'war' started. You didn't see me bitching about "oh, people have unfair advantages cuz they don't have to work." The pattern was posted for everyone to d/l at 7 am. With the way the pattern was written, you didn't need to know the size of the socks until the last minute.

Now I'm pretty sure none of this BS happened during the last 2 Sock Wars. The main reason why I think people started complaining is because there's a prize this time. The previous 2 wars were for bragging rights. Ah well.

News on the warfront

If you haven't heard already, my first sock is to be frogged*. The swatch LIED... LIED I say.

I was a good girl and swatched. The 2.5mm gave me 17 sts / 2" while the 2.75mm gave me 16 sts / 2". So I went with the 2.75mm, which were the recommended needle size for that yarn/gauge.

That should've set off alarm bells. I knit continental so my tension is loose. Even, but loose. As a rule of thumb, I tend to go 1 needle size down to compensate for my tension. That almost always gives me gauge. Why I didn't listen to my gut feeling is beyond me.

So here I am, knitting like a mad woman, trying to get the pair of socks done and in the mail on Monday. By Saturday, I figure I'll be lucky if I finished 1 sock this weekend. Sunday night, 11 pm, my curiousity got the best of me and I decided to check my gauge on my partially finished sock.

BAD IDEA. The gauge was giving me 14 sts/2" instead of the 16 sts/2" that I got from the swatch. Since my victim is a US7, I doubt that the sock would fit her.

Emailed my victim to confirm that she indeed had tiny feet and I'll be frogging the sock tonight. 10+ hrs of knitting wasted.

Le sigh. I hope Pistols-n-Sticks will make good use of the extra 10 hrs she'll be getting.

* Frog (v) - to rip out a project. "Rip it, rip it"