Last trip of the summer. I find that I'm ready to really be home for more than a week or two at a time, even though each of these trips has been (and I'm guessing this one will be) wonderful. But after we get home next weekend, we'll be staying. Of course, I'm not sure I'll get those lazy mornings on the front porch with my knitting that I'm hoping for, as we have to get Older Daughter ready for middle school, but I'm sure gonna try.
Yesterday, we drove up to the Bay Area, where we'll be this whole week. The main goal is to be able to visit with Rick's grandmom each day in small doses, which appears to be what she can handle best. We'd talked about renting a place up here so we could bring the dogs and go hiking in all of our favorite places, without imposing the pups on Rick's uncle and aunt, but they kindly said that we could use their house while they take a bit of a vacation out of town, which they (also kindly) said they felt better about doing knowing that we were here to see Grandmom. So that works out for everyone.
I plied a bobbin full of yarn on Friday night, and am fairly pleased with the results. I'm getting more even in my singles, which means that the two-ply yarn is looking more even as well. I'm considering spinning my next roving onto three bobbins and taking a shot at (gasp) a three-ply yarn (!!), which I have heard evens out the appearance even more. I ended up with about 120 yards of yarn, at 12 wpi, and I still have almost that much more to ply, so I'm guessing that this will make a nice pair of mitts or mittens for someone, or maybe a hat.
Here's the close-up shot.
I worked really hard to get lots of twist in the singles, so I could put more twist in the plied yarn than I've been able to do so far, and that seemed to work nicely. If anything, my plied yarn was a bit underspun, suggesting that I could have added more. I'm at about five twists per inch with this. You can see a few places there where the singles got overspun and thin, but I'm getting better at controlling that, too. And meanwhile, I'm having fun, which is what matters here.
I brought quite a bit of knitting up here with me, as I forbore to pack the wheel (I seriously considered it, as the Pipy is fairly small and comes apart into its major pieces relatively easily). I decided last week that I wanted to knit a summer top, something I've never done, so I popped by my favorite LYS, which was having a great big sale. I'd been avoiding it all week, figuring that I did not need to do any kind of random stash enhancement; however, having a specific project in mind meant that getting the yarn for it on sale suddenly became smart, rather than a form of spree shopping. I picked up eight balls of a lovely cotton/rayon blend (60% off) for $25, which seems like a reasonable price for a shell. I cast on yesterday in the car after knitting a gauge swatch, and I'm fairly happy with the way it's knitting up. Pictures in a day or so, when there's something to show. The color is a bit bright (think flamingo meets salmon), which I'm fretting a bit about, but hey, life's short.
The shell that I'm knitting is a tank top from last summer's IK, the Lutea Lace-Shoulder Shell. The plan at this point is to pick up stitches around the armholes to add small sleeves, as I'm much less likely to wear a tank top to work, and I'm hoping that this will be a work top. The yarn I'm working with has a slightly different gauge than that in the pattern, but I didn't want to knit it any looser (can you say see-through? and wearing a tank top under it would rather defeat the purpose), so I decided to try knitting it in a different size to account for the difference. I calculated how many stitches I would need to cast on at my stitch/inch count to get the number of inches I want out of the pattern, and then chose the size that had a starting stitch count that matched my calculation. Does that make sense? Has anyone out there done that when they didn't want to mess with the needle size? (Once again, I'm sure I'm reinventing the wheel, but I felt very clever when I did it.)
I also brought yarn to start a shawl, but we'll see if that happens this week. It's the lovely icelandic laceweight that my friend Jill brought for me. I finally bought a digital scale so that I could figure out how many yards I have. I wound off 80 yards onto my niddy-noddy, and weighed that, then I weighed all the yarn I have and did some math to figure out the total. At 1300 or so yards, I think I'm good to go.
We're off to get the dogs out for a run. More later.