A clever proposal

I hate seaming (OMG, a real honest to goodness knitting post!). I really hate seaming. This is mainly because I am lousy at it. And I’m lousy because I avoid it. We can all see how this goes in circles. So, instead of doing the logical thing and learning how to do it for real, I’m devising a method to avoid it all together.

I typically prefer things in the round. This is because I hate purling too. It’s a lovely stitch but it’s just too slow. Or I’m too slow at it, or something. I’d far prefer to zip along in circles happily knitting. I will, however, purl if it means that I can avoid seaming. And so I have devised a plan. I’ve knit the body of Salina up to the armpits. I then used the handy-dandy crochet cast on the arm stitches directly onto the needle. (I also hate picking up stitches… It’s begining to look like I don’t like much about knitting at all, isn’t it?) Of course the arm stitches called for minus 2 selvedge stitches, since I’m doing those in circles too. Back and forth my arse. I went around in circles there like any yoked sweater.

Why cast on the stitches for the sleeves instead of knitting the sleeves themselves? Ah, because this is handspun and I have no idea how much I have. Or, I did, but I didn’t write it down and it’s already wound up and I’m not going to do all that again to know how much there is. So knit all the important parts (body, tops of arms, and collar) and then pickup and knit down the sleeves, and if there’s not enough, I’ll end up with 3/4 sleeves, instead of no shoulders and no collar. I’m absolutely loving the clever elegance of this method.

Sorry, that was a tangent. Anyways, as far as I can tell, there is no reason (besides that you won’t have the seam there to look like a seam, but that will I hope not matter) you can’t knit the sleeve caps, the front, and the back all at the same time. Right? The shoulders will be a little creative, but I am a little creative so that should work out.

My only issue is that I have to purl, because the middle is a split front with buttons, and I *could* steek it and add a button band later, which would be REALLY elegant and then only have to go around in circles happily knitting. However, if I steek it and my plan doesn’t work and I’ve screwed up, I’ve just cut my yarn into impractical lengths and can’t rip it all back and try again. And I think we’ve been over how there’s only so much of this stuff… so the price I pay to be able to rip back is to have to purl. I’m ok with that.

So as long as I can remember to add the button holes… and decrease at the right time… and keep track of where I am on the front, back, shoulders, sleevecaps and not forget to make a mark in my book every row, I should be fine. But if this works, DAMN will I be pleased.

salina close up

So stay tuned. Also we’ve been brewing beers. I’ll post about that soon, when we have beer and not just a dark murky bubbling tub of water under the kitchen table…


Ramble on Rose

Ahh… I’ve got a new toy!!

Ramblin' Rose

After 2.5 years with my trusty Ashford Traditional, which is a great wheel, I’ve decided to upgrade. I looked all over and weighed pros and cons. I read review after review on Ravelry. After all of that, the one that best fit what I wanted was the Majacraft Rose. And holy moly is it exactly what I wanted! I drove out with Greg to Western Mass, half to pick her up, half to see the new babies in our midst, twins born to very good friends. I met Ramble On Rose’s previous owner in a parking lot behind the local COOP (where better to try out a new wheel! In a parking lot!) It was a lovely day and Delia was a lovely person, very warm and knowledable, I’m very glad to have met her. A great success all around.

It’s quiet. It’s small. Incredibly smooth, very responsive, very easy to treadle. Big arse bobbins. Upgrades beyond your wildest dreams, from whorls to accelerator heads. I can’t see ever needing another wheel (besides that there are so many pretty, handmade, fantastic wheels out there. But, in terms of NEED…). I’d highly recommend looking at a Majacraft if you’ve any interest. It’s so solid, so smooth, very well engineered (this from a scientist who works with engineers all day). And she’s pretty. I’m still getting to know her, but so far I’ve nothing but fantastic things to say about her.

I would have a better picture, and more photos of yarn, however I was a dunce and spent the better part of 2 hours tearing the house apart looking for the camera battery charger. Then another hour or so putting it back together… Tomorrow, for real, yarn photos.

Ode to a Volkswagen Beetle

Kate driving

Alas, a sad day came this past weekend. My buddy, my pal, my old friend got left in a parking lot. For the past 5.5 years I’ve been the very happy owner of a blue bubble of a car. A car which was so very exactly perfectly my car. I loved it. We were pals. We drove to Colorado and back with my bro, we drove all over the place. We collected parking stickers and a few parking tickets, and generally we loved each other. We camped and she let me eat breakfast in her trunk, even though I’m sure I made crumbs everywhere. She was really bad ass, had a kick ass roof rack, a shit ton of space inside, and some killer tattoos.

Breakfast in the Bug

She broke, but she’d pull it together most of the time, except when her alternator died, or when it died again, or when her ignition coil died (on Christmas Eve Eve, at 10 pm, on the highway. But I digress). She flashed funny lights and dinged at the wrong time, and she didn’t fit more than two people comfortably, but she was so cute, you couldn’t get too mad. She smelled like crayons, apparently, but I never noticed. She was great for my parents for 4 years, and then I got to have her and for the first 3 years she was perfect, then she’d go through senile phases where she’d need lots of repairs, in a row. And I’d be a bad friend and look around for a new car. But there were none as good as she was, or as cute as she was, or who I’d thought would be so very perfect for me. I finally figured I’d keep her and keep fixing her until it be came really silly to keep doing that. And then, last week, she had trouble getting from 3rd gear to 4th gear. I thought maybe she had a little spell, or maybe I made it up, or I don’t know. But then she did it again. Some research suggested strongly that her transmission was failing. And that is just silly to replace on a car worth half the price of the repair. So I looked and looked, and finally settled on a car that I like, that gets great gas mileage and is very nice really. It’s not blue, it’s not a bubble, and it’s a people’s car, but it is great and I’m sure I’ll get to know her and love her too.

So goodbye baby, we had fun, have fun in the highway in the sky!

on the way home

How it works

Hello! I promise to post something more interesting than cupcakes (as if there were such a thing). My skein winder is in the shop getting an upgrade, and while it’s there I’ve been spinning up a ton since the part I like best is the spinning and the part I like not the best is winding, since there’s no threat of winding for a week, I can spin all I like and put off that part for a week. I’ve got the how it works page up on the top bar here, so go check it out! I show the steps that the wool went through to become this:

spin study finished

I am also very excited, I’m upgrading my wheel this weekend, and just in time, I’ll be spinning up a ton for the Gore Place Sheep Shearing Festival, where I’ll have a booth. Nervousing, but exciting!!

Happy Birthday to You!

Happy Birthday Greg!
My husband turns 30 today, and that can mean only one thing – CUPCAKES!!!
My first time making the real deal, not out of a box, and I can now understand how come people like cake batter. WELL worth the effort and so delicious.

birthday cupcakes

And I’m onto a lead for a new spinning wheel, which I will hopefully be able to show you in a few days. Also will be getting a tutorial up on how I spin my yarns for my shop in the next few days.

But now, CUPCAKES! Happy Birthday Greg!

Beer and knitting

Just in from a run, showered and fed a snack, it is now officially Friday night. In this house, Friday night is for beer, knitting, and my most favorite tradition, British Antiques Road Show. The appraisers crack me up with their enthusiasm and I love the little accents declaring “oh, right…”

Beer and Knitting

And yes, that is a ball of yarn on my pint glass. I’m in love with it.