Monday, October 29, 2007

Hemlock Bolero

This is what I call my Hemlock Bolero. I am working on it sporadically- it's great tv and car knitting. It is from Knitting Pure and Simple, and the only change I've made are the cables going down the arms- the stockinette got too boring and I was losing interest, plus my gauge was off, so I frogged and started again. I really like it so far- the color is perfect, and the yarn (harrisville bulky) is so soft, and even smells good!
Not much else happening on the knitting front, been spending most of my time on ravelry.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Spinning joy!

Did I mention I got a spinning wheel? Well I did! For the first week, I just read books about spinning, checked out various websites, and practiced treadling while watching tv. Finally, Friday afternoon, I got sick of just treadling, and got out my Corriedale roving, naturally dyed a beautiful mix of lavender and pink, and got started. It wasn't easy. Whenever you go to fiber fests, you see all these spinners, spinning while chatting and never batting an eyelash. They are highly gifted individuals. I started and stopped, started and stopped so many times, and my cats heard vocabulary that no domesticated beast ought to hear. But eventually I got into the rhythm of it, and really enjoyed it. I am amazed at the quantity of wool that I can spin now- it is SOOO much faster than a drop spindle. The consistency is much improved as well- the yarn is more relaxed and at 2 plies, is a nice bulky weight. I am impressed! So if you have ever considered upgrading to a wheel, I say, do it! It makes spinning such a joy!

Friday, October 26, 2007

I'm Back! And at Ravelry too!

Hi! Well, I've been occupied for a while now... In non knitting news, I was in a car accident, but since then have gotten a new car, so I'm not too shaken up. You can see a pic of it (its PRETTY!) on my writing blog. With knitting- the biggest news is that I got my invite to Ravelry, and I'm over there as autumnsdaughter. Pretty simple, huh? I haven't listed any projects yet, but this weekend I will work on that. I bought a spinning wheel a couple weeks ago- I'll post pictures later on tonight. It is sooo nice! I don't really know what brand it is- I got it on Craigslist for $150. Yup. Good deal. And it works beautifully! So I am really happy, because I can finally get a lot of wool spun quickly. I'm working on spinning up my Corriedale that is hand dyed a lovely lavender and pink mix. It is just like cotton candy!
A little while ago, I went to the MN Alpaca Farm open house, and saw lots of beauties! I bought some yarn and some roving. Here is one of the little guys. Cute, huh? I oohed and aahed over how sweet they were- I want one! Someday....

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ladder Shawl

I finished this shawl earlier this fall, perhaps early September? It is a very easy, fast, instant gratification sort of project, courtesy of Chris Bylsma. I first bought this pattern in Arizona- a great little shop in a great little town called Jerome. She had beautiful stuff- including Lorna's Laces. So, I bought a skein of Lion and Lamb, in the colorway Watercolor. One skein of this was enough to make a scarf using the ladder pattern- it was about a third as wide as the shawl.
Well, this time I wanted a shawl, and I didn't have much yarn money, so I used what I had, which was some purple Patons merino, and scraps of other junk. I just changes yarns when I felt like it. I'm trying to remember all of the yarns that I used. I know there was some cheap novelty junk that I knit a row of here and there, to give it some sparkle. I also strung beads onto laceweight Misti Alpaca. I used some leftover Noro Kureyon, some camel/merino in grey, some light blue kid et soie. I really love the combination of textures. I love that the dropped stitches give it such drape. I thought about weaving in the ends (really, I did!) but I like the random fringe the ends created.
This shawl isn't really as long as I had hoped for- its not pashmina length. I do like using it as a large scarf. It is quite warm, but light, due to the dropped stitches.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Pumpkin Pride

New Yarn! Woo hoo! I just bought this from my favorite LYS, Double Ewe.

First off, my apologies for the crappy pic. I haven't figured out how to get a good close up of yarn yet. This is Malabrigo worsted, in the peach tree colorway. Oh, it is so soft. It is so pretty. I love it.
My cat is starting to get jealous.
What will I make with that? I hear you ask. Why, I'm glad to answer. I will make this. I am so excited. I have always wanted a pumpkin hat, but every one I've seen so far has been sized for babies or other people of the tiny persuasion. My poor head languished without a wooly pumpkin to keep it warm. So now, when I make pumpkin bread, I can proudly parade my pumpkin pride. (Pretty good alliteration, huh? I DID learn something in 9th grade!)

Now, to cast on!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Schoolhouse beach

Schoolhouse beach
Originally uploaded by autumns.daughter
This is one of my favorite places- Schoolhouse Beach on Washington Island. There is a fiber Arts school there- Sievers- that also has a great yarn shop. I bought some alpaca yarn there- its probably about a dk weight, in its natural oatmeal color. I just love knitting on location.

So this is hello.

Hi. This is me. I like to call myself autumn's daughter, as my birthday is in October (the third) and I think that this led to my fascination with fall leaves, pumpkins, apples and the like.

I am a thoroughly addicted coffee drinker. I suppose it could be worse- I could be addicted to infomercials or cheap booze, but coffee is my poison. I love lattes, mochas, anything that sounds pseudo-Italienne, and more expensive than its worth.

I am also in love with knitting. It is my constant companion. It has seen me through final exams, lost loves, frustrating lines, impossible deadlines, and my world disintegrating and being reborn. I love that companionable hum of wool laced through my fingers, and the scent of raw alpacas. I love the warmth of birch needles, and the subtle touch of color in heathered yarns.

More about me? Well, I sing. Opera to be specific, but I guess most of the time I'd rather listen to Etta James than Birgit Nilsson. Not that I don't love Birgit, but I can only take so much intensity at once. Etta soothes me soul and brings me back to earth. In a way, so does knitting.

In my day to day life, I am juggling coursework- geology, statistics- courses I hate- along with practicing the technique, the finessing of my voice into something lovely and beautiful. But the work of singing is rarely as beautiful as the result. Made up of endless repetition of exercises, the methodical memorizing of words, the tedious diction... well, it can get to be too much for me. That's when I pick up the sticks and reconnect with my inner crafter.

Or, when I am flying high before a performance, jittery beyond hope, literally quaking in my boots, I've got knitting backstage to give my hands something to do. It brings me back to life, to the cycle of life... from grass to sheep to wool to sweater, it seems so natural to me, and reminds me that a colleague's hissy fit in the dressing room is not my problem. It reminds me to keep me feet on the ground when to going gets tough, and to remember what life is really about- the joy of living, the pleasure of sensory beauty, the ease with which everything thrives. It reminds me that life is good, and earnest, and fun. This is why I knit.