Tuesday, November 28, 2006

In the middle

In between the TurkeyChickenDay feasting and the delicious risotto, there was some craftin' in the Land of Sparks*:

Slowly but surely I'm working on the seasonal teacups. I'm nearly finished summer (just backstitching, and I ran out of the bloody floss), and some of the greens in spring (again, floss issues). I can only work on this one for an hour or so at a time. It's worked in-hand, which is to say, without using a hoop or Q-snaps. At a scant 3 inches wide, it's sometimes difficult to both support the fabric and keep the stitching area taut. I've learned that when I cross-stitch, I tend to support the hooped or 'snapped piece with my forearm or in the crook of my elbow, freeing both hands so that I can stitch faster--that's right, I cross-stitch ambidexterously and I often favor my left hand over my right.

The finishing on this piece will be easy-peasy: it's to be mounted on two dowels (already supplied) and then a neat seam can be hand-stitched. Knowing that the finishing is going to take less than half an hour is a huge motivator. That, and the fact that this is a Christmas gift...

Next up is my idiot knitting:

This is a blanket that I'm knitting diagonally (think: Clapotis, without purposely dropped stitches) using yarn that I got in a trade with...Lauren...back when I was the blogger known as Sparkomatic. Anyway, it's GGH Relax and it's in a positively delightful mix of sage-y limes and aubergine. When it's finished, it's going to be the perfect traveling blankey, too, because it packs down to such a small ball of fluff that it's unbelievable. Someone should definitely alert the folks at hoity-toity shops on the Main Line. In all seriousness, this is going to be The Craft Room blanket. I already sense the cat and I coming to blows over this.

Christmas '06 is nearly here and I'm still working on Christmas '05:

This here is a simple feather and fan blanket that's for the in-laws. It started out as an experiment in crochet and promptly sat in the WIP basket for the majority of the year, until just recently when guilt dirtied my knitterly soul and I knew, just KNEW, that I couldn't call myself a knitter and have this remain unfinished. The poor blanket went through several renditions--I was so desperate at one point that I actually tried knitting a garter stitch blanket holding 4 strands together. Having done that I can now say it is remarkably stupid, unless you have a plan more definite than cast-on and knit until done.

In other cross-stitch news, I'm one project closer to hauling home new stash come Hershey '07:

Nothing much more to say about this little gem other than it has become my personal motto these last few months. And it makes me happy to have a finished object around the house.

Moving back to yarn-y endeavors, I've done some spinning. I am aiming for a thick and thin single ply, and so far, so good:

Granted, there's not much there in terms of yardage, but there is more good than bad in that little hank. My dear friend Anj had me over last week and after gorging ourselves on La Lupe, she let me take her old spinning wheel for a, er, spin. She also quickly diagnosed the problem with my drop spindle (which is what I used to spin the yarn in that picture up there): it wants a lighter yarn than my flecked and bulky fleece:

What's on the spindle there is some BFL in cobwebby single ply. What I can't show you is the BFL I practiced with while at Anj's place nor can I show you the fleece of my own that I spun on Anj's wheel. However, Miss Anj is gracing my house with her presence next week and she's promised to bring along the old wheel and my progress so far. On the list of things to get, I suppose, would be a drop spindle suited for heavier yarns.

Finally, a little stash reduction:

10 balls of some Jiffy yarn. I'm looking for a trade (hmm, perhaps a spindle?), though money's always nice. The yarn retails around $2.50 a ball, but I'll sell all ten for $20 (or, of course, comparable trade). Anyway, this is fluffy mohair-y yarn that is super soft and 100% acrylic. Discontinued color Boston (mixed grey, dark teal, forest green) that I bought oh-so-long ago. I always intended to make some sort of hoodie out of it, but then just never did. If you're interested, leave a comment or email me directly: htsparks at gmail dot com.

1 comment:

purlewe said...

you might have just identified why I don't finish my own cross stitch. I have 1 "loom style" tension system and I haven't finished the project so all other projects have gone kablooey... maybe it is time to take that off the loom and put one that i can finish on there.

also.. want pics of the work you did? I can send them to you.