Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Happy holidays!

This year December has just flown by. I cannot believe that Coffeeboy and I are leaving tomorrow to visit family for Christmas, and then to visit his family for a belated Hanukah and for New Year's. Is it really that far into December already?

Part of the disbelief, I think, has been caused by the weather. A week and a half ago, it was warm enough to go for a nice hike in our beautiful mountains. The clouds and the light combined to make for a truly eerie backdrop.

Winter hike 2.JPG Winter hike 1.JPG
Winter hike 4.JPG Winter hike 3.JPG
Looks a bit like Middle Earth, doesn't it?

This weekend, however, the weather took a turn for the colder, and although it didn't snow (like the forecast said it might) in my little town, on Saturday snow did dust the ground in Asheville where Coffeeboy and I went for dinner and a "Swannanoa Solstice" concert.

I've been knitting and spinning a lot, realizing that the spinning has bitten into my plans for holiday knitting. But, I spun up the BFL from Jessica into about 220 yards. That's enough to actually make something with!

Finished BFL yarn.JPG Finished BFL yarn 2.JPG

The yarn was still quite unbalanced; I haven't quite figured out how to ply correctly. It also didn't work out to be nearly as many yards as I'd hoped; at only 220 or so yards for 8 oz, I think I made a pretty dense yarn. Oh well. I'll learn. And thank you all so much for your encouragement of the spinning!

I don't have a picture, but I think last night I did get a balanced yarn! I experimented with some plain fiber of unknown variety, only spinning enough to cover a single layer on the bobbin, and then plied it together, this time really trying not to overdo things. It worked! Let's just hope that when I return to my wheel in January, things go as well and I remember what to do!

Besides spinning, there has been a remarkable amount of Cobblestone, and remarkably little sock progress. Cobblestone has just a few inches of sleeve left before I join it all up for the yoke. Fun stuff! But now the crunch is on, and I need to finish those socks up before I can really focus on Cobblestone!

Cobblestone progress.JPG

Mock cable wave socks.JPG Retro rib socks.JPG

Thankfully, I have until after Christmas for the little red sock, and the brown/blue socks are for Coffeeboy, so that is a bit more flexible as well.

Now, the question remains, what knitting should I take with me this holiday trip? And how much work? I'll have 2 weeks worth of knitting and working and seeing family, so the question always returns, just how much is realistic? So many possibilities!


Julia said...

Your spinning looks wonderful, and I think the plying looks pretty good. There are many spinners who believe that the whole concept of "balanced" yarn is a myth. It all depends on how you want to use the yarn. Sometimes you want a looser ply, sometimes a tighter ply, sometimes something inbetween. And sometimes you are plying two threads that are different weights, so there is no way they will ever balance, and that is exactly what you want! Some good spinning blogs (I meant to mention this earlier) are Abby's Yarns (Abby Franquemont) and Spinning Spider Jenny (Janine Bakeridge). Have a happy, happy holiday break!

Sheepish Annie said...

Isn't it wonderful when you get that balanced yarn? It's like magic!!!

The holidays really managed to sneak up on me this year, too. Normally, I like surprises. But not this kind... Oh well. It'll be fun once it gets here and is never the disaster I think it's going to be. :)

Jessica said...

Yay! The spinning looks great (hope you enjoyed the fiber)! It just takes a lot of practice to get the hang of plying. You might try letting a length of your singles ply back on itself and then use that as reference.

Safe travels! (And I can't give advice on packing knitting. I am *never* realistic!)

schrodinger said...

The spinning looks fantastic!

Enjoy your holidays!

Teri S. said...

Good job on the spinning. It will be fun to see what your spinning looks like this time next year! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and Hanukah and that you have a very happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

Love your progress on Cobblestone. Don't forget to tell Coffeeboy that the elves are actually Jewish (who else would work on Christmas), so it's okay to do Christmas. (that's what we are telling the little guy) Hope you had a great New Year!