Saturday, April 05, 2008

P is for Progress!

RocketGanseyDottir- Diamond Chart
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
I've made good progress on the RocketGanseyDottir (RGD). I've got 11 inches done! Time to start the diamond pattern. I've got a tutorial on how to use Excel for charting knit patterns here, but it's for Excel 2000. The version on my current laptop is Excel for Microsoft Office 2007. (a word to the wise, the learning curve from the old to the new version is pretty steep! They moved lots of stuff around and I'm still learning it.)

Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
This chart is from an older design of mine - showing how I used Excel to design an intarsia chart from a jpg. This is what you would see if that link at the bottom of the tutorial wasn't broken...

At lower right, you can see the schematic drawing from the Roketman's dream boat, named Portager. It's our retirement plans, to have this boat built so that it can be hauled over land on a trailer, yet be capable of making passages across oceans.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Neppy Stardust

Neppy Stardust
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
I'm not happy with how the Stardust fleece is carding up. It's just too neppy, and that's going to mess with both consistency and pilling. You can see the different preparations I'm sampling here. From front left, going clockwise-- a mini-batt off the drum carder, rolags from the cotton cards (because the cloth is very fine) and then rolags from the regular handcards.

Looking at these preps, I think I'll try dizzing a roving from the drum carder. Stay tuned.

Ask the Omen
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
The Omen kitty likes to get in the way, so I just took his picture. Omen used to be my ex's cat. He's the one who named the cat Omen-- he thought finding a black cat under a dumpster on a Friday afternoon would be a good Omen. It wasn't - I ended up with the cat. He's a brat cat, but we love him.

He's such a brat, especially with the whining, that we joke about doing the "man overboard" drill. (read number 16, you'll get the joke) I swear, it's like the cat is singing tragic opera sometimes.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

W is for Wednesday

Today, like every Wednesday, I went down the campus of Pomona College to get together with the Pomona Yarn Lovers. Barbara and Tammi were there, and I showed them what I've gotten done with the RocketGansey-dottir. I also showed them the book I'm using, Michael Pearson's Traditional Knitting because I've been dithering about what stitch patterns to use. I've decided to do a horizontal panel of diamonds just below the bust line, and 5 vertical panels above that. Maybe an anchor at center front, and definitely two cables to help stabilize at either side of the neck.

Barbara likes her yarn!
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
Here's a picture of Barbara from the Dye Day on 3/8 -- I think she's happy, don't you?

Fiber progress tonight: I cleaned the drum carder so I can start carding the Stardust. I know I'm being a bit obsessive about combing the staples with a rake before I put them on the drum carder, but it really helps to remove the chaff and short fibers. And wow-- spinning freshly carded batts is like slicing through warm butter.

I've gotten seven inches knit on the RG-d (that name just begs to be abbreviated!), two inches today. I better pick those stitch patterns soon!!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

E is for empty

It's the first day of the month I'm supposed to blog every day, and I don't really have anything interesting to say.

I want to show you the Shetland Museum and Archives. If you're interested in Scottish ganseys at all, go look and do a search for "knitting".

If I were a less scrupulous-about-copyright person, I'd steal and post this picture of a knitted lace veil.

Fiber progress? I knitted about an inch on the RocketGansey-dottir.

A bit of serendipity today -- I attended a lunch program on one of the digital collections at the Claremont colleges, fashion plates from late 18th century France. hmmm... I don't find a link, I guess it's not ready for prime time.

I couldn't help thinking that I was doing pretty much the same thing, only my fashion research was knitted sweaters/ganseys from fishing villages in Scotland.

Monday, March 31, 2008

I is for Indecision

On a whim, I decided to join NaBloPoMo - National Blog Posting Month. Basically, you promise to post once a day for a month. Now I've got to figure out how to stick to the theme of the month - Letters. I'm jumping the gun by one night, but hey. All I could think of is what's above.

If I were really creative and brilliant and had oodles of time and energy, I'd have some sort of coded message that would go all month and have a huge prize for whoever got it right.

It will probably be enough to have people guess how many nights I'll actually post!

Why the indecision, you might ask? I've got four inches knit on the RocketGansey-dottir, and soon I'll need to make a decision about what stitch pattern I'm going to use. I got the book "Michael Pearson's Traditional Knitting; Aran, Fair Isle and fisher ganseys" (Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1984) on InterLibrary Loan, and I can't make up my mind. (insert the standard joke about having lost my mind, and needing to find it again)

Oh, the possibilities...

It strikes me that the farmer folk had very plain sweaters, the fisher folk fancier patterns in knit/purl combinations, the Aran sweaters had complex cables but still just one color, and the Fair Isle sweaters were multi-colored. I wonder what sociological implications are there?

I did meet my fiber goals this weekend. I got all the wool spun for the tapestry, about 3 skeins worth. That, plus my dye day, and I'm a happy camper.

I ought to make a list for what's next, but it's late, and time to go to bed.