Monday, August 25, 2008

Sundays are for spinning

Although apparently not too much.

I've been feeling rather bereft since finishing the shawl, sort of at loose ends. (By the way, I've responded to as many comments as I had email for, but thank you all very much for all of your kind words and bated breaths; I'm sure it had a lot to do with my successful completion of the knitting.) So on Friday and Saturday, I finished the Kimono socks (pictures to come, but I don't have any right now; imagine that the second one looks like a mirror image of the first one, and you've pretty much got it; like this, but with one tie each). And then I sort of sat around, wondering what to do, in a fibery sense at least; laundry and general housework ensured that I had plenty of other things to do.

So Sunday I sat down to spin, and dang if I hadn't lost some serious mojo since the last time. I drafted like spit. Which is a bad thing, in case you're wondering. Note to self: spin regularly or else. It's a pity, too, as I'm working on the lovely Jacob roving that I first bought from the fiber lady at the farmer's market. I keep trying to get more, but the Jacob she's had since has been brown and white, rather than black and white, and hasn't been nearly so soft as this one is. This is sad, as I'd been hoping to get enough more to ply it with the black Merino that Stella gave me, and then to knit a sweater of the yarn, but now my plan is to spin this and ply it, then to spin the Merino and ply it, and then to see if I've got enough for a sweater with some colorwork at the hems and neck. We'll see. Of course, all of this depends on getting some mojo back, which depends on finding some time to spin, which may not happen as classes start tomorrow.

But we will not speak of that.

I also spent some time thinking about various UFOs sitting around my house. There's one in particular that I've been thinking a lot about, probably because I was knitting it last year at this time as I sat at various soccer games: the Boudica socks. I love love love this pattern, as well as the yarn, but I have stalled out several times and can't seem to get moving on them at all. I am fairly sure it's because they're knitted on size 0 needles. At first, I was knitting on four size 0 dpns, which were very short, and which felt like knitting with toothpicks. I hated them with the flaming passion of a thousand white hot suns. See my difficulty? Love the pattern, love the yarn, hate the needles. (Why yes, I do get whiplash talking to myself, why do you ask?)

I also had a small problem with Size Denial. These are toe-up socks, and I kept trying them on as I knitted, thinking, wow, these are really much too big for my feet (which is saying something, as I have duck feet), but I'm sure that they'll fit better once I've knit more of them. ?? Am I the only person with this problem in my logic circuits? I ended up adjusting the pattern partway up the foot to make them narrower, and am happy with the overall fit of the foot, so that should be OK now, assuming I can remember what I did if I ever get to the second sock.

So I decided to give the whole knitting socks on two circs thing a try. I mean, a lot of people whose opinions I trust love love love socks on two circs, and I was hoping for some love love love of the needles to go with my general attitude towards the yarn and the pattern (which, btw, if you don't know, you should check it out on Ravelry; I really do like it very much; ymmv of course). So, in order to really give the experience my best shot, I invested in two Addi circs, size zero.

Hated It With the Flaming Passion of a Thousand White-Hot Suns: Redux.

I think that it may be that the needle part of the size 0s is just so tiny, and I keep getting poked in the middle of my palms while I'm knitting; my hands aren't that big, so it must be the needles, right? Maybe the thing to do would be to give this whole gig one more try, this time with my Harmonys, as they are longer.

Meanwhile, I've gotten distracted by another shiny object, in the shape of pink socks. A dear friend of mine is walking in the three-day breast cancer walk here in San Diego in November (more on that later), and it occurred to me that anyone who is planning to walk sixty miles in three days deserves a pair of socks. Preferably pink. And then Lime and Violet came out with their intention line of yarns, and the pink colorway is the intention "love". So I bought a skein; clearly the Knitting Fates had A Plan there, and who am I to argue with fate? I'm still feeling a bit wavery about which pattern to use, but I've narrowed it down to two, and I think I'll take that yarn with me to soccer practice tonight.

Unless I get distracted by something else in the next forty-five minutes. It's been known to happen.

18 comments:

PHD Knitter said...

I too tried knitting two socks at one time with high hopes and hate, hate, HATED it with a passion. I don't care if in the end you end up with two socks it takes TOO long. Glad I'm not alone on that!

twinsetellen said...

I don't care for the two circs method, thought I've been thinking I should give it a try again (for the same reason you did - everyone else seems to like it so (well, except for you, me, and phd knitter!)). I have found that length of needle makes a world of difference for me with dpns, though, and sometimes I seem to want a short needle and sometimes a long. Good luck finding what will work.

Oh, one more thought... do you suppose the point you are at in your cycle can affect your spinning? I know I feel my brain functions differently at different times, on an intuitive level, and spinning seems to me to be so intuitive rather than rational. Just pondering...

Willow said...

I love the faroese shawl. It just sings!

I despise (no other word for it) #0 needles.

My sympathy on the start of the semester. See my blog for explanation of unexpected extended vacation.

I'm just bored with socks. Have a drawerful of them. Love knitted bunnies now!

You might want to try keeping a spool of 'practice' fiber on hand for spinning a bit after a long break. Then you don't have to worry about messing up precious and favored fiber.

AlisonH said...

I tried the two-circ thing once and thought okay, now I can say I've tried it. Gimme my dpns back.

Helen said...

I tried all the variations of doing socks on circs, but I seemed to spend all my time yanking the stitches round the cables, and I felt the socks were worn out before I finished them. Which was just as well, because they were too big anyway, so I sympathize. A pair of pink socks sounds like the ideal distraction.

Marianne said...

I've tried the 2 circs... it wasn't so bad but I really do prefer my dpns. OK, I LOVE my dpns.

As a newbie spinner... and I know what you're talking about too... the suggestion of keeping a 'practice' spool is a great one, also you might try and find just 10 minutes everyday to sit at the wheel and go for a spin. I know there was a group of women 'spinning for 10' or something like that, everyday... of course that '10' wants to become longer but at least you'd be putting more 'memory' into your hands...

KnitNana said...

It took me a pair of socks. THEN I was in love. I still use dpns for my Feather & Fan as I use exactly 4 repeats on the cuff and that works best on the 4 dpns, but I knit the foot and turn the heel on circs.

I LOVE my Harmony size 1.5 15-inch circulars...
(((hugs)))

Mary Lou said...

I use 2 circs for certain kinds of patterns, but prefer the DPN. I do better with longer needles, though, to avoid the tiny sharp point in the palm effect.

Gwen said...

I like bouncing around with different project ideas, when I feel like I'm 'allowed.' And when I'm not.

Good luck with that needle thing. And the size thing. My socks are so often too small, but that's because I insist on a nice tight gauge, regardless of the pattern.

FUZZARELLY said...

I love my 7 inch long, bamboo double points. I have tried shorter needles, and I know people who swear by them, but I need something to grab onto when I knit. My whole hands have to get into the act, not just my fingers.

Haven't done the 2-circ method, and apparently I'm not interested or I'd have tried it by now.

Yes, okay, some folks love the 2CM. Good for you. Me, I like to keep things simple if I can. Straightforward needles and procedures. I don't get too caught up in "the latest technique" or try to do what all every one else is doing. (Maybe that's why Ravelry bored me so much; I'd rather actually knit than talk about knitting.) (Or compete at knitting. Or see what other people are knitting. Grump.)

That's not to say that I never try anything different, either.

I knit to a different drummer.

scienceprincess said...

I love my harmony dpns, so good luck with that. I hope your first day with your kids has gone smoothly.

Also, thanks for the good wishes. The ultrasound is tomorrow morning, and then I only have to wait until they read it . . .

I just hate this waiting game.

Rachael said...

Small circs have small needle shafts and that's very very bad! If you do magic loop (same principle, no learning curve, promise) you can get a 32" or 40" needle - regular length needle shaft AND the bonus of only paying for one set of circs. :-)

EGunn said...

I think there's always a day or so of "what next??" wondering at the end of a big project. It sounds like you're recovering quickly, though.

I knit 4 or 5 pair of socks on two circs, trying to convince myself to like it. I just can't. They take too long to rearrange. I like dpns so much better!

Stell said...

avoid any needles that make you grumpy - its ment to be fun, Fun, FUN - and if it makes you grumpy then quite simply its no longer fun an re-evaluate the situation.
and I looooove the shawl, cutting it pretty close though :-)

Lynne said...

I don't particularly like two circs for one or two socks! Not keen on magic loop either. Give me the old dpns and away I go [but not with my KnitPicks - they're way too pointy!!]. I understand the frustration with small needles - things seem to take so long!

Alwen said...

Thank you for not saying we had baited breaths, which always makes me want to check my teeth for minnows!

I knit both socks at once on two sets of needles. Since I knit each sock on four (and knit with the fifth), this means I have at least 9 needles of each size I knit socks in.

To each her own joy!

Carrie K said...

Firstly - OMG, that was close on the shawl! Now that's the best reason I've seen yet to knit a swatch.

Secondly.....it's possible you may hate knitting w/size 0's. I could be wrong, but I'm intuitive like that. :)

Thir-bah. Well darn! You have to spin regularly! Tsk. I should probably knit regularly to keep my hand in. And read. It's only practice now.

So......you could go and harass the sheep for fleece?

Carrie K said...

Firstly - OMG, that was close on the shawl! Now that's the best reason I've seen yet to knit a swatch.

Secondly.....it's possible you may hate knitting w/size 0's. I could be wrong, but I'm intuitive like that. :)

Thir-bah. Well darn! You have to spin regularly! Tsk. I should probably knit regularly to keep my hand in. And read. It's only practice now.

So......you could go and harass the sheep for fleece?