Sunday, June 29, 2008


At the next spinning lesson, I took my first two ugly yarns and plied them together. See?

Jacob plied_01

Do two ugly yarns put together make an even uglier yarn? At least there were a few sections where cool barberpoling was happening.

Jacob plied_03

Jacob plied_04

Spinning with a spindle takes a long time. I hope I will have the patience to keep practicing, but I sort of fear that the instant-gratification monster will take over (but I want it to be perfect right now!) and I'll lose interest.

(I have a big backlog of stuff to post about. I hope I can get my act together and catch up soon!)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Not exactly a natural talent

Look, my very first handspun (using a drop spindle)!

Jacob handspun_01

Isn't it incredibly ugly? Last week Katy was good enough to teach a bunch of us how to spin, and this is what resulted from my first efforts. I showed this ball to someone at WWKIP day last weekend, and their comment was "huh, that must've been a really ugly sheep!" Yeah, the roving is not exactly the most gorgeous thing ever (Jacob sheep, they are spotted!), but I will probably need a lot of practice before I get any good at this.

Jacob handspun_02

Next lesson is plying, I'm sure this yarn will then turn into an even bigger horror. =)

My second effort looks ever so slightly better, only because the roving comes in prettier colours.

Superwash merino handspun_01

And because I can't resist pissing the cat off....

Sophie 080616_05

Sophie 080616_10

She's really getting the hang of this "stay still for the yarn pose" thing. Even though she clearly hates it. =)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Some fun photos

As promised, here are some stacked cats.
Please forgive the blurriness; my hand isn't as steady as I'd like it to be when taking no-flash photos.

Also, I'm making good progress on my EZ Baby Surprise Jacket. It's still a bit of a mystery how it all will magically form into a sweater, but I'm sure it'll become clear when I've got it all off my needles.
This isn't really the best photo ever, but it showed the colour of the Jojoland best.

Man...I always seem to take terrible photos...I need to learn how to do that better. Then again, I probably chose the absolute worst time of day to do it. The dead of night is when natural light is at it's worst, but is unfortunately when I'm most liable to blog. Oh well!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

More cats! (and some help needed)

WARNING: This is a really long post. Sorry!

I completely forgot to mention that I had started another stackable cat! Well, here she is. Say hello to Fran.

Since there wasn't really any way I could name all the cats I'll ever make "Kitty", Jamie was kind enough to come up with names for me. And so, here is Fran with her little brother, Stan.

Since it's the middle of the night, taking a nice no-flash picture of Stan and Fran stacked on Hanatarou wasn't going to happen. But rest assured, it's coming.

And because cat butts are cute...

My thoughts on this project:
1) I like the medium sized cat because you can get more of a 'slouch' effect in the body. Or maybe I over-stuffed the small one.
2) I like the face I did on Fran better than Stan. However, I wasn't so great with Fran's arm placement, so I guess they're even.
3) I somehow need to figure out if I have enough yarn left over to make the large cat. Jamie wants to name that one Elan, but I'm not totally sold on that name.
4) Fran is more felted than Stan, and I think I like the effect.

And now for a total shift in which I ask all you wonderful people for help. I started the EZ Baby Surprise Jacket. I read the pattern out of "Knitting Workshop" a few times before starting, and admit that I didn't understand everything. However, I optimistically thought that I would be able to figure it out once I got there. Well, I'm there now, and I still don't yet it. I did the first set of decreases to get what I think are the called for "5 ridges". I now have 144 stitches. Now, the instructions say "At 5 ridges, INCREASE 9 sts (K3, M1) across end sections, believe it or not for fullness above CUFF." And then it says to do 22 decreases to get 90 sts.

After much consideration, this is how I have interpreted the instructions. The 22 that is mentioned is the total number of decreases, not the number of decreases after the increase row (5 ridges). On the increase row, I need to add 9 sts to EACH end, meaning a total of 18 sts (160-88+18=90; the math works, so that's how I decided that). Now, do the instructions mean that I should K3, M1 on one side until I've increased 9 times, and then subsequently do the same when I've got 27 stitches left, leading to 9 increases on each side? Or, do I (K3, M1) x 9 on one end, knit to the end, and on the return row, do (K3, M1) x 9 at the start of that row? The only reason why I came up with the latter scenario is cuz I just realized that you can't really end a row with an M1. Am I totally thinking about this the wrong way? HELP, PLEASE!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Falling off the yarn diet wagon

And here is more evidence that Karen is failing at the "I don't plan to buy more yarn" resolution.

This is slated to become Tums, for Jensen's daughter Alyssa.

"Why Karen, with those little buttons there, it's like you bought a kit of some sort." Why, what a fantastic observation you've made! Indeed, that is correct - I bought a kit to make the EZ Baby Surprise Jacket. In order to do that, I had to buy this though.
My first EZ book (^_^) I haven't read any of it yet, but I plan to. Oh, and the size 0 dpns aren't actually necessary, but I thought I'd give these a try for sock knitting in the future. You know, just in case I was wrong about swearing off size 0's.

Lastly, I thought I'd show one of the reasons why I've been so terrible with updating and knitting lately (though this is really only a small reason).
I am now the proud owner of a shiny new MacBook. So, I've been busy over the last month moving stuff over from the old computer to this one. The one laptop will be pressed into my mother's service. Greg and I both felt it was high time that Mom learned how to get use one of these suckers, and with her own, she won't have to worry about messing anything up for someone else. If all else fails, we can wipe the whole thing and start all over. The transition to Mac has been pretty painless, and while I'm not totally sure what the hype is all about, I am very happy with it. Installing peripherals is much easier than on PC, but there are some pieces of software that I used to use a lot that I've had a little trouble finding Mac analogs for. With the help of some friends, I did manage to get all the functionality of the old laptop onto the new one, but it did take a little help hunting the web for software.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

I understand what the Harlot meant

Remember this post? Well, I sort of get it now. I haven't even finished one measly Tulip sweater yet, but I already want to buy more. And more and more and more, in a bunch of different colour combinations (I already have one other kit, but I want like 3 or 4. Or 5).

Tulip Cardigan body_01

This is the squishiest yarn ever! And so easy to work with! And look at the pretty colours! Yeah, I know that everyone else in the entire world has already knit with it, but I didn't realize just how great it was until I finally tried it for myself. Must. Buy. More.

This little cardigan isn't being knit for any baby in particular, in fact it's MINE and will stay MINE so I can pet it and look at all the pretty colours forever and ever. Oh, and humiliate my cat with it, too. I think she actually liked this one, though.

Sophie 080524_06