Monday, September 24, 2007


A mess of photos!

lincoln spun 3

Spunky Eclectic's Fiber of the Month Club: Lincoln wool, an insanely long staple (8-12 inches!), dyed in the sunrise/sunset hazy colors of late summer/early autumn--Harvest Haze.

This wool was a lot of fun to spin--the long staple let me play with the weight of the final single plus it made for a really strong yarn. A friend gave me her 4 oz (she's not a fan of pastels AND she loves me), so I'll have 8oz total, once I get around to spinning the other batch up. I'm thinking, given that this wool is really not a wearable-wool (unless you're like Sasquatch or something, and then--why are you wearing wool? You're Sasquatch, for crying out loud!), it'll make for a neat felted bag. I have the option to ply it with this unknown natural wool I have, which might temper the pastels some, allowing for a more tweed-y look in the end.

lincoln plied 1

That's 90 yards of the Lincoln plied with the unknown natural. I think I screwed it up, though, because the ply isn't really all that nice. I think I spun the unnatural single counter-clockwise in a fit of spinner's rebellion. Or, stupidity.

I got some fiber from Brook, as mentioned in the last post. Here's what I've done with that so far:
fiber tableau
That's a 534 yd. hank with the twist set (tied with orange), 414 yards on the niddy noddy, and about 3.25 oz left to spin.

I love spinning the merino! And the larger hank that's already set is so soft--every time I walk by wherever it's currently sitting (right now, the ottoman in the living room; but it's been in the bathroom, in the dining room, in the bedroom, the kitchen, outside, and in the yarn room), I have to pet it. I can't wait to spin up the remaining 3.25 oz, but I really should...

Because I've got a Rhinebeck sweater to finish! I've really been able to take my time on this project--hell, the back was largely done already. All I had to do was rip back to the armholes and reknit to the smaller size:

anastasia back repair

The two inch step to the left is where I ripped back to the new armhole measurement and then bound off the excess. After I seam the sweater, I'll machine-sew just outside the seam--in the selvedge--to secure the soon-to-be loose ends, and then snip, snip, snip.

As mentioned in a recent post, I'm on Sleeve Island--the front and back of Anastasia are complete!!!

Anastasia front and back done

Here's the front on the back, unseamed but held together with stitch markers at the shoulders. The carefully sighted among you will note the two inches of excess of excess back on either side of the edges of the front.

I started the first sleeve last night while watching the 1956 original, Invasion of the Body Snatchers on The Mighty Swede's Big Screen.

Mom and I went to Ikea over the weekend--she's redoing the upstairs bedrooms and bathroom, I'm always happy to help shop. Halfway through the various showrooms upstairs, Mom finally turned to me and said, in response to my 1,000th cry of "YARN!", "Not every drawer and bin and receptacle is meant for yarn storage!!!" I don't know--I beg to differ.

For instance, take my overflowing basket of handspun (it also includes some hand-dyed):
basket o' handspun

I either need to start using up all this handspun yarn OR I need a bigger basket. Which of the two do you think is a more realistic event? Exactly--I'll need to go back to Ikea to reinvestigate all of the storage options I saw while browsing the showrooms.

It's a short week for me--I'm off to Hershey with Mom and sister (she's flying down from Mass). Convention might not be what it used to be, but that's ok--we've got the Spa, chocolate martinis, and PLANS.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Gathered them all

I want to make this from some stuff I’ve been spinning (started out like this). For whatever reason, when I started spinning it, I thought I had closer to a pound of fiber. Turns out I’ve got 10 oz. Hmmmm. The pattern calls for at least 16 oz (I’d be making the size L-ish), so I need to either find a different yarn to use (HA! My mind is set on using handspun…) or have my crack cocaine dealer Brook dye me up 10 more ounces of the same stuff, ish, and then I’d even out any of the inconsistencies by plying the original batch with the new batch. Voila!

There’s been some knitting going on, though I seem to always put off taking photos of the WIP. This weekend, nearly every hour, I said to myself, “Self, charge that camera’s dying battery and get some pictures of that sweater in progress in this gorgeous natural light….” Or, “Self, charge that camera and take some pictures of that Lincoln wool you spun up to DK weight singles, a scratchy yet sumptuous 290+ yards.” Actually, I did take a photo of the plied bit of Lincoln—90 yards plied with mystery natural-colored wool/fiber. It has a nice look to it, preserving the long-stapled color changes and softening the roughness of the Lincoln. Still, I only see myself felting with this yarn, though it will surely be a beautiful felted bag or pillow or what-have-you.

The progress on Anastasia is good—the back and front are done. I repaired the back by ripping back to just under the armholes and reshaping the sweater to a size two down (still hard to believe that I thought the size 48 was a good idea, but in my defense, it would have probably fit…). I’m working on the sleeves now and have struggled with the design—do I knit the sleeves as written (3/4) or do I attempt full sleeves? My first attempt at full sleeves left me with a cuff too wide. Initially, I didn’t want to end up with sleeves that have too many discrepancies from the pattern. So, depending on the number of increases I’d do from cuff to elbow, I feared that the modified sleeve would end up looking if not hideous, then, at least badly hand knit. I was prepared to make attempt 3 on the bus ride in this morning (late and 35 cents short of a transfer, but bless the little old lady that gave me the coins. Karma, right?), then I remembered my original intent with this sweater—to knit something exactly to pattern. So, there’s my decision, made for me by the pattern. That’s something of a creative relief.

Pictures soon (it’s all relative) of the Lincoln wool, the merino singles, Anastasia, and the photos for the entry that will be titled “Baby Done a Bad Bad Thing”.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Over and over and over

I promise the next entry will contain knitting and/or spinning content--I have been doing a little bit of both these last few weeks, not that the recent-most posts would be any indication...

After I rebuilt the carburetor:

carb rebuild done

... we reinstalled the fuel assembly in the front of the car:

fuel tank reinstall

And then we installed the new fuel pump and the rebuilt carburetor:

fuel pump carb installed

Everything looked GREAT! Mike ran down to the gas station with our borrowed one-gallon tank (I believe one of our neighbors has *our* mini-tank...) and I set about giving Bert a bath. Washed, dried, waxed, and buffed, the car was gleaming and the recent body work was hard to see because of that shine. Ready to put in some gas, turn the key and go, we give her a gallon of the good stuff. I pump the pedal a few times--we'd blown out the line using another neighbor's handy-dandy air compressor--turn the key, and get nothing.

We checked the Bentley manual, the Muir book, and the crappy Haynes guide and double-checked the wires to make sure head bones and knee bones and etc. were in order. We special ordered spark plugs (they were in the next morning, score) and pulled the old plugs, hoping that of the Holy Trinity (gas, air, spark), we'd solved the problem.

Still no go.

Our friend Martin helped yesterday, head-scratching as he and I squatted at the back of the car and pondered the state of Bert. And while I'm absolutely convinced that I'm no where nearer to tooling around the 'hood, I am convinced that the ignition coil is bad (Martin, bless'em, checked for spark while I turned it over; it was weak the first time, and then non-existent the next two times. Sure sign of a coil on its way out, eh?). If nothing else, by the time we get this big ol' jalopy running, I'll either have replaced everything or at least touched and tweaked everything.

The point is, of course, I'm still having fun. I rebuilt my carburetor, bitches! Really? Really! I squeezed my hand in the engine compartment and blindly tightened the nut that holds the carburetor on the manifold! I spent the afternoon communing with this piece of history, learning more and more how to appreciate the simplicty and beauty of the air-cooled engine.

And, because there hasn't been enough pussy lately, here's how Chico spent the weekend:
exhausted chico

I think I might have to re-process all of these photos--for whatever reason, they seem to be exceptionally crappy. Or, maybe I've just gotten really spoiled with the dSLR....