Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort. (Franklin D Roosevelt)

4 oz Merino/Tencil Blend

Even though this is Wednesday, and is supposed to be a WIPs and FO post, I'm going to start off with a spinning update since I didn't do one yesterday and I actually have spinning worth talking about.

The finished "Countess"
212.5 yds - 16 wpi

The Countess roving from Cloudlover came out to be 16 wpi, which is a sport weight (maybe a heavy fingering weight) yarn. There is 212.5 yards, which is pretty good; it's definitely enough to be usable. And most importantly, my daughter loved it. She was able to take it home with her to Brooklyn.

I wasn't so crazy about it. I really liked the colorway; I hadn't expected the purple and the blacks to come out a heathery gray and lavender. It's the tencil that I didn't like. This is the second time I've spun a tencil blend, and I've come to the conclusion that I really don't enjoy the spinning nor the result. Tencil does give a nice shine to the yarn, but you lose too much of the soft quality of the wool (in this case, the merino). When spinning the tencil blend, I had to really work at putting enough twist in the single -- which is not usually a problem for me. My plying was inconsistent as a result of the extra twist in the singles.

n the knitting side, I feel like I'm suddenly productive again. This is probably because I'm knitting this week. The past two weeks I've felt horrible (some type of flu/cold/nasty bug -- but since I won't go to the doctor, it really could have been anything), and I've had company (my daughter -- a wonderful but far too short visit). The past couple of days I've been busy, and things are really starting to progress.

On the Handsome Devil socks, I've turned both heels. The foot should fly along, since the pattern is only on the instep stitches. This pleases me, since it looks like I'll be able to stick with my goal of knitting one pair of socks a month this year. I'm also managing to meet my goal of knitting a square a day on my sock blanket. (Actually, I'm two weeks ahead.) This past week, I finished seven squares.

I cast on the Aeolian Shawl. This is a KAL I'm doing with my daughter. We were supposed to cast it on together while she was here visiting, but we just didn't have enough time. I managed to wind my yarn and her yarn into balls, which is not a fun thing to do by hand when you're talking 1200 yards of lace each. I'm seriously thinking about using the Knit Picks gift certificate my kids gave me for Mother's Day to buy a ball winder.

I really love the pattern, although there are a horrendous number of beads. Seriously, we're talking a bead every ten stitches or so on every other row. It's a good thing that I totally love the beads I found to match the yarn.

And I love the yarn for the colors. The colors are incredible. The picture doesn't do it justice. I have to wonder if the colors are too much for the lace pattern. I'm having trouble seeing the leaf motif, and I'm the one knitting it. A solid, or even a semi-solid would probably make it easier to see the lace. But I really, really, really like the colors. (I'd pout as I say that, but a pouted lip is difficult to see in a written post so it would just be wasted effort.)

I have one project that I actually finished, but I'm not posting a picture since it's for a swap. Maybe after the box is mailed out I'll post details.

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