Thursday, May 28, 2009

This Just Might Work

When I cast on for the Dovetail Pullover I began with the front. Why? Well, I was determined to make a V-neck, rather than the ribbed boatneck shown in the pattern. The boatneck looked tricky to execute and not at all flattering. If the V-neck didn't work that would be the end of Dovetail. No back, no sleeves, just rip and start something else.

I think it's working out. See --

I haven't completely finished the front, just took it along far enough to be sure that the neckline would be okay. I don't typically plan or design anything, or (heaven forfend) make a drawing or chart; it's more a process of coming up with a vague idea and then noodling around to see what works.

Comparing the knitted piece with a V-neck pullover that fits well, I got to a point where it seemed a good idea to start the vee. I knit each of the two middle purl stitches together with the traveling knit stitch to its right (or left, depending) and then did a K2tog or SSK on every right side row. This follows the way the cables were developing, but has a different slope, since the edge is only moving over one stitch at a time instead of two. It would be nice to be able to decrease all the way over until the edge of the vee meets the side of the cable section, but that might make the shoulders too narrow. Time will tell.

For now, the front looks good enough that I have embarked on the back. It's coming along nicely too. Sort of like knitting the second sock – all the decisions have been made (exactly where to place the waist shaping, when to start the armholes, etc.) so the knitting is completely mechanical . . . and very restful.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Semi-Annual Spinning Report

According to my Ravelry project folder I've been spinning this same eight ounces of superwash merino since June, 2008. Rather a long while and it's not done yet. Not even close. Here's where we are –

There is fiber, yarn in two flavors (singles and two-ply) and everything in between.

After messing up the two skeins of laceweight singles by heating them to the point that the green overdyed the white, I decided to return to a more traditional process. I wound my singles onto the nøstepinde (love that word, even though the winding is not so fun).

Then I plied the yarn using the inside and outside ends. The nice thing about this approach is that it does not waste a single inch of yarn. I like the look of the plied yarn; it's not the best job of plying ever, but the colors blended well.

So . . . plied yarn is waiting on the niddy-noddy for the dreaded finishing step (this time I intend to be super careful), more singles have been wound onto the nøstepinde and are waiting to be plied, and yet more yarn has been spun as singles and is standing in line waiting for the nøstepinde. And -- I try not to think about this part – there are three more ounces that have not even been touched.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

And The Winner Is . . .

Yes, I have finally acquired a new vehicle. After shopping every smallish hatchback/wagon style and nearly every dealer in Southern California, I settled on a cute little Honda Fit Sport Automatic with tinted windows (so no-one can see all the junk I keep in the back).

Blessings on the wonderful Internet. Once I had narrowed my choice, all negotiating was done by email and phone. I didn't actually see the dealer with the best quote until I went there to pick up the car.

And should you ever be shopping for a Honda in the Los Angeles area I highly recommend these folks. They consistently had the lowest numbers through several rounds of quotes. And the customer service! Food and beverages while doing the paperwork, special coupons for free oil changes, etc., multiple thanks by email and on embossed stationery.

My bike fits nicely in the Fit, so it can go everywhere with me. If the bicycle looks a bit odd, that's cuz it's a folding bike. The wheels are full-size (unlike most folders), but there's a hinge on the crossbar that allows it to fold in half, thus taking up much less space. The handlebars can detach and drop down too, but I usually don't bother. I had intended to buy a small-wheel folder, but when I saw this one (Dahon Espresso), I fell in love.

So, that's an end to shopping for things with wheels (hmmmmm, except maybe for the spinning kind). We will now return to the customary fiber frolics.