Sunday, October 5, 2014

Knitting's Changed Forever

Today knitting has changed for me forever!  I spit-spliced the two ends of yarns, twice.  Spit-splicing is a method of joining two ends of wool yarn together, eliminating the tails completely.  I didn't know about it until a friend rescued a piece of knitting that my cat Emily mistreated.  Because the piece was already knitted and the ends were so short, Laurie was clever enough to needle felt it the rest of the way.

I was watching the Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries on Acorn T and winding a ball of yarn when I came to a broken end.  Ordinarily this would upset me but today I thought it gave me a chance to try out spit-splicing for the first time.  I couldn't find the end the yarn broke from, so I rewound it from the other end, to find another broken end about a yard from the end I knew was there.  This was a little trickier than the video I found because the yarn was 4-ply.  I managed to interchange them quite well.  I dampened the strands with water, rubbed them vigorously between my hands, and like magic the yarn felted to a strong union.  I think this will revolutionize my knitting. 


I used my cell phone camera.  It isn't as easy to use as a regular camera.  I must remember not to chop off the cat's ears.  

Here's Christy Nelsons's video I found on YouTube that showed me very well how to spit-splice:


Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Long Day in the Sun

Yesterday was a full day, much of it outdoors in the sun.  After a late start because I could not find my glasses, I drove up to the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival.  The day was picture perfect and the drive up Route 40 one of my favorites.  Fortunately I had found my prescription sunglasses a while ago and they helped me through the day.  I had my back-up pair of glasses with the one bow with me as well that I could balance on my nose if I had to.

(In Googling Route 40 I found no photos of the area.  Hmm, is this a possible market for photography?  It seems the only people who have noticed it are painters and realtors,beyond many people's budgets.  Sssh!  Did I type that too loudly?)


My friend Laurie of Sliver Moon Farm could not make it that day.  Her late partner's husband Nick was taking care of business.  (I really miss Kay.  Never, ever forget safety while walking by yourself..) I saw my friend Jackie and her friend, whose company I enjoyed for quite a while and someday I may remember her friend's name.  After seeing the few objects I purchased Jackie said I was bad for her because she had to visit those vendors too.

It appears I have committed myself to the Camilla Shawl prematurely.  Despite its advertisement on Ravelry, the pattern is not available. Murphy's Law has got me again.  Now I have to put in more effort to find another acceptable shawl pattern.  I hate it when I'm in a period when knitting projects come to naught. 

The body of whatever shawl I knit will be a wonderful hand-painted teal to purple yarn by The Fuzzy Bunny.   I discovered I didn't like the color of the yarn that I previously bought for the border.    The teal I already had at home went perfectly, but the combination lacked something.  I found a yarn at Holiday Yarns that I think would work well in some accenting stripe in some stitch in some shawl pattern.  The sales associate was very nice and helpful.  My choice was Andromeda's Big Sister below.


This is the yarn for the largest portion of the shawl:



Andromeda's Big Sister has lavender, blue and a hint of teal to it.  The heavier weight yarn in the color was gorgeous in a cowl.  It had something like a subtle, sun-dabbled effect.  I really don't know how dyers get some of the interesting and wonderful colors I see,   (Hmm, this would make a good photography topic, if I had a camera.)  I may want to play with this color again.

I thought I might splurge on one thing if I found something I really liked, and it didn't matter what it was.  It turned out to be yarn, not a big surprise.  It is called "Cheshire Cat Color Morph, Turquoise to Fuchsia."  Here is a link to Frabjous Fiber's Mini-skein packs.  The 100 percent superwash merino fingering yarn is by Wonderland Yarns.  I'm not sure if I bought a mini-skein pack, but I found the colorway there.

A woman had the one pack in her hand when I came to the stall and I thought to myself, if she puts it down I'm going to grab it.  And she did!  I briefly looked at another one, but I decided it was too dark.  Driving away later, I realized it took my interest the last time at the fiber festival and somewhere, sometime on the web I saw a shawl in the colorway and coveted it.  

I finished our friend Karin at Periwinkle Sheep.  I am still trying to create a sheep out of four skeins of her yarn so I didn't buy more.  I did tell her about the Tre o Molti shawl on Ravelry I thought I might try next.  I think the pattern would be a good showcase for her beautiful colors.  Compared to all the fingering weight merino yarn at the fiber festival, Karin's is one of the best and the rest is up to personal preference for colors.

Jackie wasn't impressed that I bought two pairs of old-fashioned metal knitting needles in size 7.  I was happy, though.  Emily wants to bite the tips off any wooden or bamboo needle, so I have to stick to metal.

I found I could not leave without buying one more item.  I went back to the barn and found out I just missed it.  It was a double-pointed needle holder featuring calico cats sold by Nan Urban Knits.  As I much as I loved Midnight, I didn't want the black cats because they might be hard to find if I dropped them.  I thought the tiger cats would do.  The cute faces are growing on me.


Maybe they will motivate me to return to sock knitting.

The day was only partly over.  My mother is in a Catskill rehabilitation center because of a broken hip.  I wanted to visit her Saturday, but I was exposed to a viral respiratory infection at work and didn't want to chance exposing her.  Instead I put together a care package for her Friday night.  On the drive down, I found a couple flower balloons to tie to the gift bag.



This cute little fellow I found in a flea market last week.

The last stop was my mother's apartment where I spent a few hours with her cat Susie, petting her, brushing her, petting her, brushing her, petting her, playing with her, and petting her some more.  I called Mom while I was there and put the speaker on so that Susie could hear her.  That made her very happy.


I started home just before midnight.




Friday, September 26, 2014

A Unexpected Down Side of Spay and Neuter

I recently viewed the video below on Pussington Post


It looks like the cat is using sign language to communicate with his dinner companion.  Using symbols is definitely a sign of higher intelligence and evolution of a species.  This ability to obtain desired food would probably be considered advantageous to the species.  We humans are tinkering all the time with cats' ability to pass on traits that would benefit the species.  Can a species evolve in a positive, beneficial way with individuals indiscriminately sterilized?  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Giving Up

I may give up knitting the Bold and Blended Striped Wrap.  I've been working on it all summer and it still won't come out right.  The third color has come up short, whereas I had enough of the gray and the blue this time around.  I could shorten it a couple inches. At this size if I stretch when I block it, it's not going to be a shawl but a cape.  Right now I'm just tired of knitting it.  I'm going to study multicolor shawls on Ravelry for a while.  There are a few I like.  


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Knitting Progress

I am still working on the Bold and Blended Striped Shawl.  I was halfway through the third wedge when I found a dropped stitch near the top edge of the second edge.  I tinked the third wedge and managed to work the dropped stitch up to the edge of the second wedge.  I was very happy about that because it wasn't a matter of going back a few rows.  Then I discovered somehow the short row stitches were twisted the wrong way.  I fixed that and I'm working on the third wedge again.

The Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival is coming up soon.  I'm thinking about buying another hank of yarn so I can do a three-color version of the Camilla Shawl.  I had debated between the light aqua and the teal.  I think the vendor is local to the region.  I might like the combination of the two as the lace edge.  That or teal and lavender.  I'll see what I can find.  That is, if I ever finish the Bold and Blended Striped Shawl.  

I'm learning to cope with a different set of allergies.  Two are molds that show up on leaves and in food.  The other is yeast.  It's difficult to figure out foods that can fill me up without emptying my bank account.  

And One More Song

on a related topic, "(Whenever I'm Sad, I Do a Web-Search for Pictures of) Adorable Kittens."




This song can be found on Jacob Haller's album Mistaken Identity.

Mistreating Yarn Blues



I've learned that Jacob Haller had more knitting songs and that he also knits.  I found this song on YouTube, "Mistreating Yarn Blues." It can found on his album Circumstantial Evidence