Recategorising = better results

I have just derived a ridiculous amount of pleasure from recategorising two of my WIPs on Ravelry as hibernating instead of in progress. This means I officially now only have four WIPs, one of which (the scrap scarf) is deliberately a long-term project, so also doesn’t count. Three things in progress! Hoorah!

Those things are:

  • The Shadow and Ghost socks. I’ve made Shadow’s sock and now have to cast on for Ghost’s. I’m reasonably optimistic that it will go quickly once I begin – having the colours the other way round should solve some of my second sock syndrome, because I’ll be watching eagerly to see how it looks reversed.
  • The purple cable cardigan. No hurry on this – it’s taken its time already, and at the moment my creative energy is going into spinning rather than designing. But the Harmony needles are calling me, so I’ll probably take it up again soon.
  • The red cardigan. I’m bored of this, which is ridiculous because (as I say every time I mention it), there’s not long to go before the underarms, at which point it will become less unwieldy. More wieldly :-)

Otherwise, I’m just finishing up plying some (wheelspun) hand-dyed pink and red merino from Violet Green that Dyddgu traded me for the ex-Jaywalker sassy stripes. The pinks are rather brighter than I usually like, but it’s very lovely, and I think I’ve just decided what to make with it (assuming there will be enough, which I’m not quite sure about). It’s going to be an entrelac scarf, which should show off the colour changes without being the sort of variegated I don’t like. And I’m considering alternating squares of stocking stitch with squares of reverse stocking stitch to make it more two-sided. I’ll swatch when I’ve finished plying, and finished the yarn.

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And some more spinning…

(Honestly, it’s a wonder I ever get anything non-crafty done ;-)



I’m two-thirds of the way through this spinning project, which will eventually be probably DK-ish three-ply (ie really thin spinning compared to my other efforts). I’ve got twice as much of the bright purple as the mauve, so two plies will be bright and one will be dull. The bright is a tad too bright, anyway, so the mauve really improves it, which I can see in the real life version of the sample card to the left, but you probably can’t see very well through a computer screen ;-) (The three-ply is the bottom horizontal line – the middle is the bright purple singles and the top is a two-ply, which I didn’t like as much.)

This is spindle-spun, partly because it’s really nice merino and I’m not confident enough yet with the wheel to want to use my nicest fibre, and partly because I need to do a minor repair on the wheel (which I have all the stuff for, and which should be straightforward; I just haven’t done it yet).

I’ve also just ordered a load more fibre from Texere – a big bag (400g) each of purple and dark red, and a bunch of smaller bags (50g) of lots of dark rich colours. I’m thinking about blending, having read an article about mixing in different colours to make a yarn with more depth of colour. First, though, I’ll have to clean my hand cards, and I’m not really sure how to do that. But once I’ve worked it out, I even have fibre to test it on, because I’ve been keeping all my tiny bits and pieces of fibre that have been in too-small bits to bother incorporating into the thing I’m spinning – I’ll card them together and probably end up with a dark purple with flashes of all the spinning I’ve done so far.

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New WIP, as alluded to earlier

I have come to a conclusion: I will not knit jumpers for other people. It takes too long and is too much of a risk; the last two jumpers I knit, both for myself, had to be frogged because even though they knit exactly according to plan, neither of them suited me at all. That’s one pattern I designed myself (the jumper of dooooom) and one designed by someone else and knit with no mods (Cherie Amour).

But I’m making another attempt at knitting one for myself, albeit a cardigan rather than a jumper. My previous cardigan – one of the very first things I knit, and also one of the very first things I designed – is one of my favourite garments, and always gets compliments. In fairness, I should say that the cardigan itself is very simple: oversized raglan with moss stitch edges, and it’s the yarn – Colinette One Zero in semi-solid purple – that deserves the compliments, but anyway, it’s a garment that I love.

The new cardigan is much more complicated. It’s the spiritual, as well as physical, successor to the jumper of doooom: made with the same purple merino DK, and with cable panels on large expanses of stocking stitch.



Over Christmas I did some planning and setup work on the cardigan – I designed the cable pattern, swatched, made some calculations and then set off. The beginning wasn’t even in the merino, but in Curious Yarns’ purple variegated DK silk, which is too variegated for me in large quantities, but is absolutely gorgeous and feels lovely as a facing. I’ve finished the collar – silk on the inside, merino on the outside – and made a start on the shoulders, with four beginnings of cables, two of which will work their way down the sleeves, and the other two down the front edges. I’m knitting it with my lovely new Harmony needles and I’m having to constantly steer my knitting brain away from it and towards other things (like the clapotis which I was scared I’d be knitting forever, and the Shadow and Ghost socks).

The cables don’t really show up very well in the photos, but I’m very happy with how it looks in the flesh :-)

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Lots to report

This will be another of those monster posts where I haven’t posted for ages, and I throw it all out in one post :-) Actually, not quite all: there’s a spinning-and-knitting FO that I haven’t photographed yet, and a knitting WIP that has a half-written separate post, so I’ll save its pictures to go with that. But in the meantime…



These are the Cheshire Cat socks from Purlescence, and I’m knitting them – as will be obvious at a glance to anyone who knows her – for friend-R in honour of her grey cat Ghost and her black cat Shadow. The other sock will have the colours reversed, so the illusion cat is grey :-)

I haven’t done illusion knitting before, and it’s lots of fun, but it’s suffering from new spinning energy, of which more later.

To the right are my lovely, lovely new Harmony wooden interchangeable needles, a Christmas gift from partner-R. The yarn in the bag is a clue to the half-written-post WIP I mentioned above.



The top picture to the left, the skein, is a spinning FO, my best yet. Shetland wool, lilac and “natural black” (I can’t decide if this is grey or dark brown). It’s only about 140m, so not enough to do anything much with, so I’m saving it to be an accent in something knitted with another yarn.

The bottom pic is a spinning WIP, and I’m still getting better every time, so this is thinner and more even than the above. I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do with it, but I might ply it with some light-ish grey I haven’t yet spun



And finally, the piece de resistance! At a party at Bopeep’s place on Christmas Eve, one of her neighbours offered to give me a spinning wheel. I half thought she was joking or drunk, but it turns out she wasn’t :-) The bobbin is my first attempt at wheel spinning. Not very even yet, but much better than my first attempts at spindle spinning.

And of particular note is that I took the wheel home about 6.30 this evening, covered with dust, and in many different bits (the parts visible in the picture were eight pieces, I think), and with only help from a guide to the parts of a spinning wheel from Joy of Handspinning,  I worked out how to put it together and get it working. It’s lovely. I don’t precisely have room  for it, but even partner-R admits it was fate :-)

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