Sunday, January 21, 2007

Firsts

Hey! Wasn't January supposed to be quiet? It seems as though everyone I talk to has hit the ground running this new year. As I help the offspring gear up for final exams, deal with lots going on at work and 4 articles due all this coming week...I look forward to a quieter February. Hopefully, with more knitting time.

My knitting lately seems to be all about "firsts". I mentioned before that I have a propensity to stash Noro....no, hoard Noro would be a more appropriate description. I buy, I fondle every now and then but I never get around to knitting it. I keep saving it for the next better pattern. Poppy was the turning point so, for the first time, I'm actually knitting with Noro. It is addictive watching those colours shade one into the next.


Here is Poppy thus far. I did a provisional cast on and then just winged the purl rows and colour rows. I'm fairly pleased with how it worked out. The experience was very liberating. I had heard on the Ready Set Knit podcast (by the owners of Webs yarn store) that instead of a 3 needle bind off, a better finish was to put both sides onto one needle one back stitch, one front, one back etc. alternating the stitches so each stitch was next to it's mate. The stitches were then purled and bound off. It was said to give a very seamless finish. I thought I'd give it a whirl but really didn't like how it looked. The stitches were very loose and it was a PITA to put all the stitches on one needle. It's hard to envision the directions by listening so, if anyone knows what I'm describing and has a visual link - I'd love to figure this one out. Once the bind off was complete (the 3 needle method) I picked up the edge and have started the top portion. This is a quick knit and looks stunning on everyone who's done it so far. Here is Stephannie's Poppy and I found this one the other night while surfing. Now doesn't that make you want to go out and make it?

My other first this month was to finally knit with my own handspun yarn. Now this has excited me more than I could imagine. Learning to spin has really informed my knitting as I've learned so much about the breeds, ply and other factors that give the yarn its character. I did have a bit of a frustrating moment when winding my handspun onto the ball winder it got all tangled up in the umbrella swift. I had an appointment and didn't have time to untangle it so I left it in a mess and took off. When I came home, I found this. My husband had painstakingly untangled my handspun and trailed it carefully around the dining room table so I could wind it back up. Now THERE'S a Valentine's present!

After winding the centre pull balls, I started to swatch. I can see the irregularities and the stitches do seem to twist a bit towards the top of the swatch (I think they call that being energized) but I'm extremely pleased with the results. This is a 2 ply yarn of merino roving from Grafton Fibers in hot pink, black and orange plied with a rose colour merino roving from the Black Lamb. I love the way the colours intertwine. I need to get 22 stitches to 4 inches to make Marnie's Lakepark hat and as luck would have it, I got gauge bang on! This is one project I'm excited about and with the frosty weather finally arriving - It's definitely hat weather. In fact, sub zero temperatures are perfect for ice wine so my pick this week is Peller Estates Cabernet Franc Ice Wine. It's the nectar of the gods. Sweet and tasting of strawberries. Perfect with chocolate!

3 comments:

Hope said...

ooooohhhhhhhh. Pretty yarn.

Steph said...

Your poppy is looking great and so is your yarn.

vanessa said...

i LOVE the colors of your poppy :-)
and your handspun :-)
i can't see any advantage to that other bind off, since you will achieve the same end.