Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A new look

It's springtime in my backyard! The Bradford Pear has decided to get dressed in her finest again...

Doesn't she have excellent taste?

All this prettiness makes it hard to stay inside and knit. :)

I decided to change my username on Ravelry, and give my blog some sprucing up. I guess I got a little tired of explaining "accio socks" to people and getting such strange looks (you'd think I'd be used to it, but...) So now I'm Lucky Ladybug. Because I've always liked ladybugs. They're cute and bring good luck! I have a new ravatar:

It's a picture I found (on a free stock sharing site). I hope to have my very own picture of a ladybug someday, but until I get a macro lens and a cooperative ladybug, someone else's nice picture will have to suffice.

Whenever I feel the inkling I may post up something other than yarnplay. After all, it's not my only creative endeavor.

Now, if I could only get that darned Ravelry widgit working again. Grr. Am I only alowed one?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

So that's why they call it a drop spindle.

Last night I took a drop spindle class. The lovely ladies from Sky Loom Weavers gave us makeshift drop spindles (made from dowels stuck through CDs) and some roving, and got us started. I wish I could say I was a natural! Alas, my yarn is quite the mess, but I love it. I look forward to getting my hands on it again and practicing. Spinning is incredibly low-tech and subjective. I was amazed at how simple the concept is yet how difficult it is to execute. You just take a lump of fiber, break it up, and twirl it about on itself and it becomes yarn. Amazing! I don't know why I thought it would be more complicated, but there you go.

I got a chance to sit at a spinning wheel for a few minutes as well, and that was a disaster! It was a total-body experience and completely difficult to wrap my body and mind around running the wheel and drafting the roving simultaneously. I think I'll stick to drop spindle for now to get the handling of the fiber down, thanks! Maybe someday I'll make another attempt, if I enjoy finishing out the roving I have left to do. I'm funny that way--as if a gauntlet has been thrown down, I have a new challenge. I want to master this, because I sure as heck can't do it well yet! And I don't know how much of my fascination is purely academic interest in how yarn is made, my innate desire to always be learning something new, or if I simply enjoy this activity. Time will tell!

My roving is a blend of wool from a sheep named Myra and mohair from Penny's own goat named Shakespeare. I am so tickled that I will have yarn that comes from animals whose names I know. I'm also blown away by the fact that I am learning an ancient technique--they told us that this was how yarn was spun until the 1400s. Amazing. I can imagine William Wallace's mother using the drop spindle to make yarn for her son's socks. That connection to the past and to the origin of the fiber gives my efforts such meaning. I love it. I can now see why someone would want to live in the country and raise goats to make yarn.

And yes, I dropped the blasted thing a ridiculous number of times. They told me that's why it's a "drop" spindle... think they were making fun?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Looking Ahead

So, I (finally) recounted what I did in 2009 with the needles, now I need to look ahead to what I plan to knit in 2010.

  • Finish two pairs of socks in hibernation.

  • Hats for the local hospital nursery

  • Start a Hemloch Ring blanket with my grandmother's yarn (don't feel like I have to finish it this year)

  • Christmas stockings for my Little Man

  • Crazy Monkeys socks to learn Eye of Partridge heel that my SIL raves about

  • Best Friend Cardigan for me

  • Pomatomus Socks

  • New hats for the kiddos for next winter: Who? for Pumpkin and a striped hat for the Little Man

That seems enough to be getting on with for now. I have already completed one of the socks I started last year, even:

The pattern is Die Zaubersocken and the yarn is On Your Toes by Kertzer. Loved, loved, loved this yarn. It was smooth and shmooshy and shiny and this pattern, with lots of stockinette, showed it off so well. I got exactly what I wanted by a yarn and pattern pairing. :) I do, however, need to get a better grasp of sizing... I always push on a little too long before I get started on the heel, underestimating how much length the heel will add. The picture shows a bit of scrunching up from my socks being a bit too long. I will hopefully learn!

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