Have a kosher weekend!

Yesterday I got my annual Hanukkah gift from my parents, a box o’ goodies from the Popcorn Factory:

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There’s popcorn in the two silver bags in case you were wondering. I haven’t gotten into those yet, but the big chocolate pretzel and some chocolate coins have been devoured.

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Inspired by the spirit of Hanukkah giving, I combed up some roving and started spinning some yarn for Sarah Lou. It’s not quite the colors you were talking about, but if you like it, it’s yours!

Close up of the yarn (I’ve got one bobbin spun so far):

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And the bobbin with some of the combed roving balls.

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It’s mainly superwash roving, with a bit of nylon, nylon sparkle, and viscose mixed in. There’s only a tiny bit of the viscose, but it’s really fun when I hit a spot of it because it goes all shiny and green. I think I’m spinning it thinner than the Peach Fizz, so it should be appropriate for socks. I’ve got the other bobbin to spin and then plying, which is my best part. I didn’t really intend to bust ass on this and get it done really quick, but after I started combing up the roving I just really, really wanted to see how it spun up. The second set of roving balls are a touch lighter than the first on average, so I hope to get a bit of contrast between the yarn on the two bobbins.

I’m still working on Christmas socks, haven’t started the new scarf pattern I was talking about, and think I’m just going to randomly start a garter stitch scarf for no apparent reason whatsoever. I normally knit no-thought scarves in seed, but again, after viewing of some of Jay’s designs from Project Runway, I have a new appreciation for the simplicity of a garter stitch scarf. I’ve also got some miscellaneous Christmukkah related things I need to get done: Figure out what Travis would like for Christmas, sew up some simple little gift bags (using disposable wrapping paper just seems like such a waste when I have so much fabric I can use instead), get my luxury food item for Christmas Eve, stuff like that. I think Travis and I are going to run to Columbus next week and do a little shopping. I’ve got a 20% off coupon for Blick’s that’s burning a hole in my pocket, I know Travis wants to hit the Container Store (Lizzie, are you working on Monday or Tuesday?), and I’ve got a bunch of books I want to look at and probably buy.  Breathe deep – can you smell the consumerism?

Oh, I’m still hopelessly addicted to watching the Obollywood video from two posts down.  I think I watched it 6 times yesterday.  It’s mesmerizing.  I made Travis watch it yesterday and I think his brain melted.  When it was over he asked, “Okay – exactly whose vote is this targeting?”  I replied, “Mine?”

Speaking of Obama, I was reading Americablog this morning thought this was funny:

If Obama gets the nomination, the Dem party powers-that-be are going to need to have a talk with him about his staff. Say what you will about Hillary, but her staff is full of sword-wielding ninjas who don’t take crap from anyone. Pair Hillary’s ninjas with Obama’s likability and you’d have one hell of a partnership.

Because seriously, the Democratic party needs an ninja injection right now.  Ninjas!  Woot!

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Hey, I’m actually getting some stuff done!

First off, in case you, like me, live in a cave sometimes, the new Knitty is out. There are some really fun patterns in this one, including a set of three tams and some kilt hose. I would be all over these patterns right now, except I’m having technical difficulties with my printer, so I just kind of keep drooling at the computer monitor wistfully. It’s kind of sad. Hopefully Travis can hook me up when he gets home.

Secondly, I got all motivated and finished up a few things yesterday. I knocked out my Peach Fizz socks in the afternoon.

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You can kind of see the sparkly here.

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Even though the color kind of encourages one to enter a diabetic coma, I’m loving these socks. Very warm. Very comfy. The nylon content in them doesn’t make them feel any different to wear than my other handspun socks (although while knitting the yarn felt a touch rubbery – that wasn’t a bad thing, just a little odd). Looking forward to blending up my next superwash/bling roving, which I’ll probably do this afternoon.

After getting the socks done, I finished up a little hat I had started a few days ago.

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I say it’s a “little” hat because my intent was to make it adult noggin sized, but I miscalculated (due to the colorwork) and it came out small. I’m guessing that it will be the perfect fit for one of my nephews, though, so accidental Christmas gift! Hooray! I still need to block it, though.

And finally, I felt refreshed enough to go back to doing Christmas gifts. So I started a new sock. I double stranded some hand dyed yarn I had dyed earlier this week. Here’s how it’s looking so far:

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I really like how the orange is flecky and not too overwhelming. Double stranded knitting rocks!

My agenda today is to comb up more roving, work some more on the flecky socks, and maybe start working up a scarf pattern. I actually don’t knit up scarves that much, but when I was linking to the picture of Jay’s Chrysler Building dress yesterday, I noticed the scarf the model was wearing in that photo and really liked it. So I may try making something inspired by that.

Oh, crap! I almost forgot to show off the fun skein o’ yarn I spun up yesterday from one of Terrabellaspun’s carded batts.

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It’s a smallish skein, only 75 yards, but I may see if I have enough to weave a really skinny scarf out of it – maybe only 4 inches wide or so, and use the yarn just as the weft. It’s really fun yarn. The sparkle in it is awesome.

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We’ve gotten some more snow, too! I may have to get out the snowshoes. 🙂

As promised

Pictures of the first silly sparkly Peach Fizz sock!

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You can’t really see much of the sparkle in that photo, but believe me, it’s there.

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The sock isn’t as obnoxious as I thought it would be, although the color is a bit cloying. I don’t care, though, since blingy = good. I’m about 40% done with the matching sock, and hope to finish it today.

I started knitting on it last night while watching Keith Olbermann and Project Runway (not at the same time, although it would be cool if Keith was a guest judge on PR). I’m throughly unimpressed with PR this season, although it hasn’t quite filled me with the searing hate I felt watching last season’s debacle (I never even finished watching that season, actually, since I hated Jeffrey so much). Where are the challenges like “Make a dress out of candy and tinfoil!”? I think I was spoiled since Season One featured the perfect trifecta of Jay, Austin Scarlett, and Kara Saun. Really, there hasn’t been anything on PR since to compare to Austin’s cornhusk dress or Jay’s Chrysler Building dress (or really, anything Jay designed – I still covet his entire runway collection for the season finale). Sigh. Project Runway, stop sucking! Be cool again!

Snow fun!

Hey, we finally got some decent snow! It started snowing last night around 11:30, and it’s still going right now. I think we’ve got around 4 inches on the ground, which is cool, because the snowfall here normally tends to be lame. Anyway, we took the dogs outside and had fun snow time with them:

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I had to change pants once I got back inside.

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We wanted Ellie to get in on the fun, so Travis scooped up some snow and brought in in for Ellie.

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She seemed bewildered by it.

In other news, I got the Craftstravaganza woven shawl-thing finished up yesterday. It only took me about an additional hour and a half to get it done.

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It wound up being 21″ x 68″, so it is big enough to be a shawl thingy. Except 1. I never wear shawls and 2. It’s kind of itchy. So I just wound up folding it in half and hanging it up in my hallway. Instant wall art! There are some really fun spots in it:

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We made Toby play pack mule for a little bit, carrying the shawl around on her back.

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I started knitting a pair of socks out of the sparkly Peach Fizz handspun yesterday, and I just want to say, they would be the perfect socks to wear if I was six and was playing My Little Ponies. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a good My Little Pony playtime for about 20 years now. Fortunately, I have no shame and will wear them anyway. I’ll try to have progress pictures by tomorrow.

More pictures of snow and shawl up on my Flickr, as always.

So many gifts… not enough attention span…

I think all of the holiday knitting is getting to me. I keep starting different projects for people, knit for a few hours, and then go, “Bleh” (which is, incidentally, a much more negative response than “meh” but not quite as bad as “blürg”). So I’m going to take a few days off and work on Fun! Happy! Stuff! Specifically, I want to get the shawl/rug thingy (it’ll depend on how long it turns out to be as to what it winds up becoming) I started weaving with the Craftstravaganza yarn finished. It’s about halfway done, so I’m hoping to get it done today.

Here’s the other day’s spinning all happily skeined up and blocked. First up is Adios, which is the blue chunky single ply:

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It turned out pretty squishy, but still not quite as soft as I want it to be. I overspun it a tad. My goal is to produce something that’s Malabrigo-soft, but since I felted the roving a tad, that wasn’t going to happen with this particular batch. Still, not a bad yarn. It’ll make a nice something.

And here’s Peach Fizz, my blingy soft superwash sock yarn!

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I should be able to get a pair of socks out of this without any problem. It’s a touch thicker than some of the other sock yarn I’ve spun, but I’ve got over 4 ounces of it. It looks like it’ll be just fine knitting with size 4 needles, so the socks should go fast.

I’m curious to see how the socks hold up to being washed. I wash all of my handknit socks in the gentle cycle of our washing machine in lingerie bags. Unfortunately, our washing machine is pretty hard on handknit socks. We’ve got some pretty raggy looking ones now, but it’s not that big of a deal because of how many socks I wind up knitting for myself and Travis. With the handspun socks, as long as I knit with a pretty tight gauge, they seem to make it through the wash okay. With this particular yarn, since I added the nylon content to the superwash, I’m interested to see if that makes the socks withstand the washing machine better than some of the regular superwash socks.

Incidentally, the Wollmeise socks I knit for Travis? Have been washed 3 or 4 times now and look pretty much identical to the way they looked when I got done knitting them. So rock on, Wollmeise!

Well, I’m actually going to go and weave! Wish me luck!

In lieu of Christmas music

I’ve spent the day listening to A Tribe Called Quest’s 1993 album, Midnight Marauders. That’s right, old school hip hop, y’all!

That got me in the mood to do some fun spinning this morning. I’m guessing that since the weather forecast is calling for rain/ice/snow, lather, rinse, repeat over the next week, the humidity will be up and it’ll be a good time to work with fiber without becoming a huge static ball. Since the little bit that I have been spinning lately has all been thin stuff to make 2-ply sock yarn, I spun up some wool roving I dyed a few weeks ago into a bulky yarn – I’m guessing it’ll probably be knit with size 9 or 10 needles, but it may poof up even more than that. It’s hard to tell when it’s still on the bobbin.

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Then I combed up some superwash roving and added sparkle and nylon to it. Here’s a close up of one of the roving balls:

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It looks like sparkly sherbert! I spun up the first half of this roving (I think I came out with 4 3/4 ounces total of it) this morning.

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I think this is going to look wicked cool once it’s all plied. This is the first time I’ve spun some of the combed roving this thin. It took a little bit to get used to, but I hope the resulting yarn will be thin enough to use for socks. If not, I’ll figure out something else to do with it.

I’m looking forward to the impending winter storm mess, you know, providing that it doesn’t bring chaos and devastation to everything I know and love. I haven’t put up any Christmas lights outside yet, but maybe the snow will be all festive and pretty I can’t resist (or, again, maybe it’ll be an icy mess of doom!).