Sunday, September 09, 2007

My well-aged post: Tubey, spinning

Well, here's a post I started back in February, and I've finally located the photo that goes along with it.

Somebody call the papers, I have an honest-to-goodness FO to report:

My inaccurately-named Tubey #2:

The name is inaccurate because, while this is the second Tubey I started, it's the first one I finished.
Yarn: Karabella Aurora 8 (sorry, I forget how many skeins)
Size: Small, and I probably should have gone with a medium, but even though it's very clingy, I still love it. I just block it a little wider when I'm going to wear it to work. (UPDATE 9/5/07: small turned out to be a good thing - I've lost a fair bit of weight since I made this, and Tubeys need to be form-fitting.)
Needles: Swallow casein dpns and Denise casein circulars (size 6 or 7)
Gauge: 20 st./4in. The row gauge changed considerably (13%) between the two needle types.

I changed the color combination twice AFTER I started knitting, which involved several froggings of most of the torso section, and a secret-ninja cut-and-graft on the elbows. (I must have knitted 2-2.5 times the surface area of the sweater in the process.)

This is also the first sweater I've made that has my husband's raving approval; in his words: "I'd buy this one for you in a store".

Like a lot of what I've knitted, this sweater is closely associated with certain points in time. I cast on the weekend I decided to quit my job (back in September), knitted most of the shrug section during the particularly stressful last few weeks of my time there, and then finished it in the month-long, at-home vacation I took to recover after I quit.

Lessons learned on this project:
- just because the colors look good in a heap doesn't mean they'll look good in stripes: stack the balls in the stripe order you have in mind to make sure the transitions don't look wierd
- a sweater that looks fitted on someone with a smaller bust-to-waist ratio will look clingy on me, even when we have the same bust measurements
- clingy can still be really flattering
- check your row gauge on BOTH needle types
- Aurora 8 stands up remarkably well to frogging, but doesn't like a lot of friction in the knitted fabric

In spinning news, I did my very first plying. This is the Thimbleberry roving my SP7 Rainy sent me from Beaverslide Dry Goods. Marnie MacLean's post on balanced plying was a huge help. It's a very, ahem, "designer" yarn, but I still love it. I think I'll make a tea cozy for my Bodum tea press
it makes two big cups (about a liter in all), so I always have to throw a towel over it if I want my second cup to be warm.

In still other spinning news, it was a very spinnerific birthday (back in February). My birthday itself wasn't particularly fun: I had been up most of the night before with stinky stinky work, so I was fuzzy all day, but then I had sushi and went to bed early, and I do like to sleep, so it wasn't an unpleasant way to spend my birthday evening. Plus, we celebrated the Saturday before, so the day itself wasn't so important. However, my family gave me some wonderful spinning gifts:

My mom sent me some Beaverslide wool/mohair roving in Natural Black, and my sister and her boyfriend (feels like a brother-in-law already) sent me some in Mountain Twilight.

My dad and stepmom contributed towards my very first spinning wheel: a babe's fiber garden pedal pusher. This is like their production model, but instead of ordinary treadles, it uses the "pedal pusher", a semi-exercise device meant to simulate walking for the housebound. It does give you a light workout for the calves: not enough to make you too tired to spin, but enough to gently work your muscles and get your circulation moving. I spun up and plyed the 4oz (?) of Lamb's Pride roving that came with it.

I'm still getting the hang of the twist-to-fiber-mass ratio, but I really like the "designer yarn" I made. I haven't decided what to do with it yet. I'm thinking hat. I spun some of it from the fold like Lucy taught me, some from the end of the roving (which I slighly prefer, since I never got the hang of adding more yarn to the fold), and the rest from the end of pre-drafted fiber using yet another helpful post by Marnie MacLean. For the Lamb's Pride, pre-drafting definitely wins. I'm looking forward to trying the merino/mohair from Beaverslide on the wheel, but I'm not sure how it'll work out: the fibers aren't allways perfectly parallel like they are in the Lamb's Pride: there are some twisty bits (does anybody know the technical term?). On the spindle, I was able to control them reasonably well, but things move faster on my wheel. I'll figure it out. :)