If you read the comments on the last couple of posts, you'll notice that not one single person said anything resembling, "Oh, no! No, you don't want to spin. No fun at all. You'll hate owning a wheel. Yup, yup, hate it. Better to just quite while you're ahead." No one. Not one single soul.
See why I love all of you? Rick laughed when I told him how much fun I'd had trying out the Ashford Joy. I don't think he quite understood how serious I was. I tried a couple of places around here to see if they rent (thanks for the idea, Willow!), but so far, no luck. The shop up in Temecula will let me try their wheels, which I will do at some point.
However, in the meantime, I busted a move on The Stockinette Slot, and it's done! Just in time for the start of the semester next week. (In fact, some people might suggest that my time would have been better spent busting a move on my syllabi. Those people would not be knitters.) I wet-blocked it last night, and then as usual, spent the rest of the evening and early morning wandering by it chanting "dry dry dry". I continue to do this in spite of a rather convincing body of evidence that it makes no difference in the speed of drying. What does this say about me?
Not so many good pictures, as it's me, myself, and I with the camera, but here:
As you can see, it has 3/4 sleeves, and is open in the front except for the clasp. This is intended to mitigate the warming effects of the alpaca. As is the little ventilation lace insets at the raglan decrease lines.
I am very happy with the way this turned out. It's simple, and it fits well, and I think it's going to go with a lot of what I wear. I'm a bit worried about the 3/4 sleeves with short sleeved shirts; I'm wondering how I'll feel about having my forearms just hanging out there for all the world to see. Is that weird?
So, to recap. This is the Vines Cardigan by Amy King, from The Knitter's Book of Yarn, size medium. I used Kraemer Yarns Alpaca DK yarn on US size 5 needles (Addis for the body and wood dpns for the sleeves). I used all of four skeins, and perhaps half of a fifth. The color of the yarn was Dark Gray, although I have to say that it looks like more of a dark heathered brown to me. The clasp I got at Schoolhouse Press; it's pewter.
Meanwhile, I am well on my way to finishing the first half of the last of my monogamous projects. This one is for the Loopy Swap, so I won't be sharing pictures (no spoilers here!), but I'll try to get through it quickly, and then my next two projects are going to be all about me! Mitts and socks, here I come.
This brings me to a question. I was reading lately on someone's blog (I could have sworn it was Stell 's, but when I went back to verify, I couldn't find it; am I delusional? was this an email conversation?) that she often knits things for herself, and that she'd met up with a woman who (as I recall, correct me if I'm wrong) was in a knitting group with some Americans who seemed to think that knitting regularly for oneself was in some way selfish. I realized as I was reading what she wrote that there is some part of me that feels that I am supposed to alternate projects for me with projects for other people. I'm not saying I always do that, just that the sense is there. Is this just me? If it isn't just me, is this a backlash among American knitters against a consumption-oriented society? Or is it the fact that many knitters are women and women are so frequently socialized to think that doing things for themselves is bad? Is it something else entirely? So my question to you is, what percentage of your projects are for you (I'm asking in percentages in case there are any of you out there who are embarrassed by the number of projects currently on your needles)? If you do tend to knit for others, what's the motivation? I confess that, for me, at least some of the motivation is simply that I live in a very warm climate and it pays to spread the wool-wear around.
We're in for a busy weekend, full of social events. Tonight we're having dinner with Rick's cousins who just moved here from Indianapolis. Tomorrow, I'm heading to the farmer's market in the morning -- I heard that there's now a woman there selling and spinning fiber. Then I'm taking a free yoga class at a studio that just opened nearby, after which I'll head home and grab Older Daughter to take her to a roller-skating rink for a birthday party. She's staying the night afterwards, so her friend's mom will bring her home. Then, we're having the younger sister of another girl who's going to the party come to stay the night here (her mother was worried that she'd feel left out), so Younger Daughter is excited about that. On Sunday, we're off to another joint birthday party that some close friends are having for their daughters (turning 7 and 13). Whew! Time to haul out the espresso machine!
P.S. Pam: Another linguist! You've definitely got me thinking about the [ch] vs [t] word-initial consonant on words for tea. Time to hit the OED (as if I needed an excuse). Thanks for the stockinette-stitch amusement!