Saturday, November 13, 2010

Technology vs. Fibery Goodness

I'm coming to you live(ish), from my new desktop, which I took my good old time setting up this past week. Seriously? It used to be that when I got a new computer, I HAD to set it up RIGHT NOW, and get all of the software loaded onto it RIGHT NOW, and get all of my old files transferred to it RIGHT NOW and it had to do everything I wanted it to do the way I wanted it to do it RIGHT NOW. This time? I just didn't have the energy for it. Technology has beaten me down enough lately that I knew this was going to be a long, tedious process, and that if I tried to hurry it, it was just going to be ugly. So I took my time. I didn't even open the box of the new machine for a day. Then I plugged things in, and set up the basics. I added some extra software the next day. I transferred files a little here and a little there. After a bit of arguing with our wireless router, which had suddenly decided that high speed Internet was optional and would be dispensed according to its whims, we are mostly good to go. I'm still not done transferring files, but at least the computer is functioning and I don't need to do a special dance involving the sacrifice of a small bird or animal in order for the monitor to work.

That concludes the technology oriented section of our blog post. Let's move on to something far more fun, albeit not always less frustrating. First, some spinning...

I finished spinning and plying my mystery fiber. It's so fun and candy colored. I really wish I remembered where I got it, and I wish I knew what it was! (My hunch, based on the feel and how it spun up, is that it is at least partly Shetland.) I ended up with about 300 yards of a worsted weight (seems after all that test knit spinning, I'm having trouble going back down to a lighter gauge...argh...) Not sure what it will become, but I enjoyed the colors while I spun it. It was great therapy, and sometimes that's enough.

Also, I finished the first of my Spring Wind socks in Enchanted Knoll Farm sportweight yarn, Red Dirt Girl colorway...

This is going to be a Christmas gift, so I'm busily working on sock #2.

I also finished up my test knit sweater this week, and while I would love to show you a picture, I haven't taken any yet. Plus, I think I'm going to frog it and knit it over. Gauge and I ended up not being on friendly terms on this project. I think my WPI was off, because I got a different number every time I tried to figure it out. And my stitch count was wonky, thanks to my yarn being less than consistently spun. Anyway, it's way, way too big for me to wear comfortably, but I love the yarn soooo much, that I can't bear to leave it as it is. I mean, look at that yarn...

...I loved it as I was spinning it and knitting it, but then I took it outside into the sunshine, and it was like magic, it just warmed up and got all beautiful on me. It deserves to be knitted better than I knit it. So, we'll check back in with that sweater a little later on.


I've been on a bit of a book buying binge lately. I finally finished reading Brave New Knits, which I bought in Kindle version because I was mainly interested in the designer bios rather than the patterns. It was fun to read about all these designers, many of whom I've followed for a while now. I kind of hope the author does a Volume 2 with some of the many other knit bloggers out there who design who I think are more than worthy to be featured in such a book.

Additionally, I've picked up...

Warm Knits, Cool Gifts by Sally Melville and her daughter Caddy Melville Ledbetter. I haven't had a chance to read through this one completely yet, but on first glance, it's got a lot of great projects.

The Red Collection by ZigZagStitch's Mandy Powers . Ohmygosh! The red/white/black/gray color schemes of the projects in this book just thrill me to no end. Clearly, you could knit them in any colors you wanted, but...why would you WANT to? (OK, maybe that's just me. But still. They're perfect!) The Drifty and Holly Jean hats and mittens? MUST. HAVE. THESE. I love them! I don't even wear hats and I want to make them. I am particularly smitten by Drifty. The design just makes me completely and utterly happy to look at. I bought the digital pattern pack of The Red Collection, which gets you the print book but also the ability to download all of the patterns immediately in digital form as they are stored in your Ravelry library. Awesomeness. You can also just buy the print book, or you can buy single pattern downloads.

New England Knits by Cecily Glowick MacDonald. I've been eyeing this book for a while and finally gave in and bought it. I love New England, and this book has fabulous photography, which will make me buy a book nearly every time, even if the patterns don't excite me. Thankfully, there are a lot of patterns in this book that make me happy, so, bonus!

Gifted: Lovely Little Things to Knit and Crochet by Mags Kandis. I love this kind of book. I've used my copies of Last-Minute Knitted Gifts and Handknit Holidays a ton, for inspiration if not for the actual patterns in them. I think this book will make a nice addition to that little collection.

Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders by Judith Durant. I bought the first two One-Skein Wonders books (the first of which I used a LOT). I skipped the Luxury OSWs book, but this one I couldn't pass up. I have more sock yarn than I will EVER use to knit socks, so I'm always looking for new ideas and projects to make use of my stash. I haven't had time to go through this book completely yet, but I have high hopes for its usefulness to me.

Lastly, magazines. While I'm eagerly awaiting the winter issue of Interweave Knits to make it's way to bookstores, I've picked up these two to keep me occupied...


Neither of these magazines are ones I've ever bought before, but these issues are both chock full of color work. Debbie Bliss in particular leaves me speechless with the collection it's featuring of ridiculously fabulous fair isle designs by Anna Wilkinson. I don't know if I'll ever actually knit any of them, but I will continue to stare at them for weeks to come. In fact, the thought occurred to me to frame the pictures and hang them in my yarn room. And that model with the red hair and porcelain skin? Is she not STUNNING? (I admit to Googling to try and figure out who she is because I was curious to see some of her other modeling work. I know she's been in DB before, but I really want to know who she is. LOL Anyone know? I came up with nothing.)

So, yep...that's it. Been a crazy week in a lot of other ways, technology withstanding, but I won't bore you. Oh! I am doing well with NaNoWriMo though! I crossed the halfway mark of 25K words tonight. The story continues to be choppy and probably makes no sense, but I'm having fun writing it.

I love books. :)