Sunday, October 29, 2006

Happy Halloween Week!!!

I am sure that most of you have gotten your Halloween candy for all the little some extra that will be left over so you will "have" to eat it!

You may have noticed a few changes here. I have finally gotten around to posting my project least the ones I will admit to. They include progress bars and pictures of the current work (you have to click the link!)

Everything is progressing nicely...except for poor Icarus. He's been getting neglected lately. I guess that is what happens during holiday time. I have been getting busy planning/starting the holiday knitting.

My gifts to me this year are two felted bags, the PG Bag and the Kerry Bag. The Kerry Bag originated as a kit which my friend Kerry and I both bought so that she could learn how to knit. Now it has become my new casino purse, since it will be nice and small. My PG bag (for purple and green) developed after the crazy Michael's sale a few weeks ago...the Knittyheads know what I am talking about! It was to be my first felted project and, well, who couldn't use another project bag. Hey, I am a bag-lady, what can I say?!?

As for non-knitting news, some of you knew that I was going to change advisors. That officially occurred last week...hey, check the website. My new advisor is Dr. Michael Richmond and I will be doing a little more organic chemistry than I was before...which is fine. It feels more along the lines of what I did at Austin College.

The powers that be finally hired a NMR Manager. I still ahven't met him yet, but he is supposed to start Nov. 1. I have been told that the new NMR is ordered and should arrive the first of the year.


Friday, October 20, 2006

When I began to spin (on a spindle) a few weeks ago, one of the books I picked up was Spin to Knit, which I love by the way. One thing that completly engrossed me was the sweater made from yarn spin from BeautiCoil. That is that cotton roving looking stuff that hairdressers use during perms, coloring and whatnot. (The same thought acutally came to me at a pedicure a few weeks ago!)

After making a lighter spindle, I began to spin this. Trust requires alot of patience....and then more patience. But, once I got the hang of drafting the small-staple fiber, it became what spinning should be...relaxing.

I know that some spinners here visiting are wondering what my sanity level is, but remember...I am a masochistic first knitting project was a pair of socks.

Monday, October 09, 2006

I made yarn!!! I know that this may seem simplistic (or that maybe I could buy it at the store), but making your own yarn is quite satisfying. It is, of course, not like any store-bought yarn, but that is what is unique about it. I love it!! The was done with some silk hankies that I got from The Yarn Tree. I generally followed the instructions given in the Knitty article. I found it very self-explanatory. here are the visuals...

Here is my makeshift lazy kate. Yes, mom, I know I need a pedicure!! :-) Took the whole knitting needles in a shoebox to knitting needles in between my toes. Hey, I was desperate to ply...gimmie a break.

Here is my plied yarn on my niddy noddy and a close-up. I happen to think that for my first spinning effort, this has turned out to be quite a useful yarn! Granted, the singles are lumpy, but the greatly even out in the plying.

I am planning on dyeing this yarn Koolaid style. If anyone has any suggestions, I would welcome them.

As for future ventures, I have obtained some roving when I got my spindle, from The Yarn Tree, and from a Dallas weaving store, White Rock Weaving. I was impressed with both establishments and would recommend them both.
At the bottom is actually a silk weaving thread in oranges, greens, and purples. It is a laceweight thread that I just fell in love with and I thought it would make a beautiful shawl, maybe and Icarus shawl. We will have to see, when I finish my first one!!

My aunt, who is married to someone in the wool business, plans to hook my up with some roving that she has. I will post as soon as it is spun, etc. Happy Knitting!!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

One of my new found knitting resources is It is a free online magazine that also has its own message boards. It's a place for knitters to meet, swap tips about knitting, spinning, dyeing, and life in general. It also has a nice little market place for swapping of supplies and whatnot. Ok, so there's the intro.

This past weekend I was cruising the boards and found a post labeled "Intarsia=Hell". I thought, hey, I like instarsia! I even did it as my second project ever! Hey, guys, don't forget, I am a masochistic first project was socks. So, I check it out and see that our friend is frustrated over the million of ends to weave in. I sympathize...I hate it too.

I mention that I was taught by the lovely Terri Rank of Shaggy Sheep Yarn a technique on weaving them in as you go. They were ECSTATIC!! So, I said I would post a small tutorial with pictures. So, here you are fellow knitters!!

Ah, the I have knit a bit in black and am switching to pastels. Hey, it was what was handy, ok? I have just attached my next yarn and taken that first stitch and am holding up my tails to be woven in in my hand.

The tails are flipped toward you IN BETWEEN THE LEFT NEEDLE AND WORKING YARN!! Why it that is CAPS? Because it is very important, as you will see later. You then wrap your yarn, over the ends, and finish your stitch.

Flip the ends back down, over the working yarn. Again, wrap your yarn, over the ends, and finish the stitch.

This continues until the ends are woven in "enough". Just keep flipping the tail ends up and down in between stitches. This will be easy for knitters who can carry one yarn in each hand and carry one behind as you go. Same principle.

So, the important part was in CAPS, right? So, what happens if you mess that up? Basically, if you put the tails on the LEFT side of the needle, it gets knitted into the stitch and it looks like you have a two stitch increase.

I hope this helps people and if you need any clarifications, post a comment or send an email. Good luck!!