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emmy [AT] curious-notions {dot} net
January 2023
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apple of my eye

So this Christmas break my aunt asked for fingerless gloves that converted into mittens. If you haven’t seen how these work:

There’s a mitten top flap that you pull over your fingers and underneath it looks like a fingerless mitten.

They (my aunt, Superwoman, and her oldest daughter, Pippi) really liked the look of my handspun. The gradient and random color changes appealed to them more than the colorwork mittens I’ve been doing. So I told them I would make them fingerless mittens and convertible mittens out of handspun. So on Sunday and yesterday, I did this:

So my problem comes in with the ball on the left. The weight of that ball is about 30 grams. The weight of the mitten is about 60 grams. This means that when I finish the thumb I’ll probably have about a 65 gram mitten and the ball will be about 25 grams. There’s no way I can make a second mitten out of 25 grams of yarn. Sadly I’m not that crazy. I’m not sure WHY I kept knitting when I realized this problem was coming. I KNEW it, but I kept going.

I’m super bummed because I think these mittens are gorgeous.

I think I even handled attaching the flap part pretty well. That the colors match close enough that it looks pretty open and closed from the front and the back.

So I’m stuck. I could reknit these as just fingerless mittens. I MIGHT be able to eek plain mittens out of the yarn I’ve got, especially if I went up a needle size. I could totally drop the idea of using this yarn for mittens and make a hat (I’ve never made myself a hat). But I don’t think I’ve GOT enough handspun in fun colors to make Superwoman her convertible mittens. So MAYBE what I could do is take some commercial yarn and knit the ribbed parts with commercial yarn and do the rest out of my handspun. I might have enough yarn if I do that… I’m just not sure.

But one thing is for sure, I won’t be getting convertible mittens out of this yarn. If I WANT to make convertible mittens completely from handspun I’m going to have to spin the yarn from scratch. So I guess the real problem here is that I won’t have mittens for her in a week unless I make plain mittens or do them out of commercial yarn.

blankets on the beach

I’m cranky and the AC is off at work and my tomatoes have septoria leaf spot which is a fungus that gets on the leaves and then eventually kills them, which in turn eventually kills the plant. My husband has the sads. My cookies ended up salty. (The cookie equivalent of chocolate covered pretzels. Not what I was going for even if they aren’t inedible.) The weather is turning hot and humid.

SO! Time to look at all the pretty handspun yarn that I’ve got sitting in my house. Momma did a photoshoot for me before she left. I just spent about an hour trying to make the colors less eyesearing or trying to get the details back into the yarn (some of the photos were taken in direct sunlight).

WARNING: Lots of pictures follow.

(Believe it or not, I actually made this last one LESS eye searing. Red is hard to photograph yo.)

Little story. For a while almost all of the above yarns were “lost”. I could not for the life of me find where they might be in the new house. Momma found them when she got here. She doesn’t even live with me anymore and she still finds things when I lose them. She’s a talented momma. I actually was getting panicky that I had lost them for good. When I found them, my chest actually loosened a bit. It makes me wonder if I could actually sell ‘em.

(Linda, title is from the same song as yesterday. I’m in a rut. I liked the idea of these yarns being my blankets on some irritating sand. Also, the AC just kicked back on in our lab. I’m taking it as a sign. The yarn is good luck.)

to ply or not to ply?

The trouble I go through for this blog. Thursday while I was Grey’s was on I futzed with the camera trying to take pictures. Good God Almighty, lemme tell you, some days it just isn’t worth the trouble. But I got into that obstinate mood where I was hide bound I was going to take pictures of this thing I’ve been working on and post about it. But it’s been getting dark so early (I hate DST, I’ve been an hour off twice now and I miss my sunlight) that I knew if I wanted to take pictures I’d have to go to this trouble anyways. Of course, now it’s Saturday, so I could have stopped and snapped the shots this morning since it was so sunny.

So this is it. Wanna see the fruits of my efforts?

I started off with that first picture. See how the lace is all crumbled and looks terrible? I wanted to show y’all what I see in my head, but to do that I needed to stretch out the lace. So I finally found my size 0 dpns and I looped the side stitches on them and pulled the lace apart. But that made it want to scrunch down. And I couldn’t hold the lace spread and snap the picture. I had the tripod, but 10 seconds wasn’t enough to pull everything back apart and make sure it was in position. I can’t tell you how many shots I deleted. Bear was ready to pin me down and pour water on my head by the time I found something dense and small enough to hold down the top and bottom of the lace. When I get really obstinate like this, I lose my vocab and I just start storming and gesturing.

But I finally got the above shot and I almost cried. The flash reflected of the wood and makes it kinda hard to see the lace. Ahh, but I didn’t give up.

That my friends is lace pinned out on a black fleece sweater. And even better is that the sweater itself held the thin metal sticks (you just shove the bottom ends into the fleece and then bunch the top and shove the top bits in) so I didn’t need my hands, especially with the weight on the lace fabric. So you guys can see the pattern. Realize that it’s really not aggressively blocked out, so it’s not nearly as pretty as it will be, but at least you can see it now.

So now we come to the other question. I started knitting this out of singles of the rambouillet fiber I have. But then I started spinning up a new batch on the spindle and I got better and the singles got thinner and I realized I could ply this new batch and still have yarn that’s thinner than the singles I’m using now. And I no longer know what to do. Because the original plan had been to knit this until it’s long enough for a scarf, then knit the wedding ring shawl edging on it. I still won’t be gaining familiarity with the border charts, but I’m already pretty sure I could knit this shawl. And that was the point of this exercise. And I have cashmere and silk in a gunmetal gray all ready to go for the real thing…

Well. Just to show the difference in my spinning

This isn’t terribly scientific, but that pictures is the single I’m currently knitting with. Notice the size against a US penny.

Same penny. Diff single. I realize that it’s really not fair when in one picture the single is pulled taut and in the other it’s curling all over the place. Did I mention I’d already spent 2 hours playing with these photos?

I meant to show how thick the plied yarn would be… *sighs* So probably I need to figure out if I want to continue with my little scarf idea or just call that a swatch and knit the scarf idea with the plied variety or… ya know, I’m still spinning the Celebration Shetland laceweight on the wheel… And I’m kinda dying for a hat knit with some cozy thick singles… I knit a hat for Bear and my brother and my ears are getting cold in the winter weather that’s been slowly descending on the Northeast. Of course, there’s still the alpaca experiment and Bear said we could try to figure out a contraption so that I can comb inside in the winter… Oh… and did I tell you about the ~4lbs of scoured Romney locks I scored? I’ll find the website later if someone cares. It’s gorgeous.

I have way too many things I want to do. Might have something to do with avoiding the homework I have to get done. *sighs* Back to work for me.

more mittens

So I survived hell week. Midterm and presentation plus homeworks for both classes and research in one week was rather crazy making. Maybe for some people presentations aren’t a big deal. I’m shy and have stage fright. It’s not a fun combination.

I kept knitting though.

I know. This looks like nothing. There was more knitting. But I’ve spent the last two hours trying to take pictures of the other thing. It isn’t freaking happening. I’ll post again tomorrow. I actually had something to say about the other thing. *sighs* Stupid thing.