I knit. And I cook, write, take pictures. All for one low price.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

a child's sweater

About a year ago, Blue Sky Alpacas donated a bunch of their superbulky alpaca/merino blend to Afghans for Afghans, to pass along to knitters who'd be willing to make a garment. I got some of the yarn, missed the deadline for knitting at the time and felt miserable about it.
Another deadline came up and I finally managed to finish the sweater up yesterday and mailed it out to them.
The age group they are delivering warm winter garments and accessories to this time is 7-14, and I am hoping this 34" chest size will fit and warm an Afghani child.
I used 10 skeins and so the sweater weighed one kilo, that's over 2 lbs - nice and heavy.

Size 15 needles yielded a gauge of 2 sts/in. I didn't follow a pattern, but I checked my measurements against some size charts.

Monday, October 26, 2009

FO: handspun mittens, and some plying action

I finally finished a pair of mittens for myself the other day where all that was missing were the thumbs. I guess the recent cold weather nudged me along. These are the first complete project with my own handspun. I don't even remember where I got the fiber, but I think it was a 2 oz Grafton Fibers batt I got ages ago. The yarn came out very soft to the touch and vibrant in color, and I used up almost every bit of it.

I didn't have the sense to wash the skein first, so some of the stitches show a distinct slant. So much need to learn.
Which brings me to...the lovely spinning group I got to visit with on Friday. Kay* met me in a parking lot 20 minutes from the meeting point, so I could follow her and not get lost, according to her words.
Well I may have gotten lost. We were meeting at "Fred's" and I had no clue who Fred was.
Let me tell you. After about a 20 minute drive through the most picturesque landscape around Crooked Lake, we suddenly turn left at a driveway that was studded with faded plastic flamingoes. The small parking lot was generous enough to hold about 10 cars; we were the first ones to arrive. There was some ornate scrolled iron lawn furniture outside of a long rectangular building. A mailman looked like he was stuck head first in the grass -- I liked this place. Impromptu art everywhere. The mailman turned out to be the bottom half of a mannequin complete with an old mailman's trousers and shoes. I guess he had delivered one bill too many....
When we entered, we were greeted by
a) a roaring fire in the world's biggest fireplace
b) an aging dog
c) the delicious scent of freshly roasted coffee
d) and Fred himself.
We were inside a coffee roaster's. There were cafe tables strewn about and bistro chairs. Old overstuffed chairs and sofas, one of which was on a stage (!) on the other end of the room. There were canisters of coffee and tea, brownies, coffeecakes, and cupcakes under domed lids. Antiques on shelves and handmade pottery.
As the spinners and knitters were filing in with their wheels, fiber, and various bags of accessories, everybody
felt at home and made me feel at home. I had been very nervous since it was my first outing at a spinning group, and these were mostly seasoned spinners. But it turned out that I knew at least half of them already, from when I had my shop, from other shops, and from fiber festivals.
Much chatting, spinning, knitting, plying, and even occasional singing ensued. One person brought a partially assembled wheel that was not engaging, and we now know that it takes 5 spinners and a headlamp to assemble the final parts. (Don't ask. I couldn't explain it to you. But the wheel was soon whirring away.)
Meanwhile I was spinning up what I had left of some roving, as this was the day I was finally going to learn how to ply properly. Laurie* pulled out her Katie a go go (OK I admit I googled this later) and got me set up. Only I had so much yarn on my bobbins there was not enough time for me to ply it all. Looks like I'm going to have to get me one of these nifty lazy kates....for all these singles I have on the bobbins that I didn't know what to do with. Laurie also explained how I can make a lazy kate for about a dollar, but then she spoiled me with the best tool and now I feel like there is no going back.
However a week from Friday, I'm going back to Fred's. How can I not? His last name is Cashmere.
PS: *you can see Kay and Laurie in pictures here.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Photography Exhibit

Yesterday, I re-visited a photography exhibit by my friend Laura Glazer. I've been meaning to go back to the Little Gallery in Rathbone Hall on the Sage Campus in Albany, NY. I've been meaning to blog about it so more people would hopefully go and take a look at this astonishing project.

My only comfort now is knowing that the story is ongoing still, that there will be a book, and hopefully more exhibits as time goes on.

Leaf Prints on the walk to the gallery.

The floor in the exhibit room.
How does one take pictures (with the permission of the artist!) of some of the most exquisite photographs? I am forever fascinated by lines (of writing, knitting), and this exhibit captivated me.

View from the gallery entrance.
Please run over there today if you're in the area. They are open from 12 to 4. Otherwise, keep checking Laura's blog to find out more, and clamor for another exhibit!