Halfway-ish Through

Well, here it is. Halfway through the month. I had hoped to have more time to write, but I underestimated the effect working a new job would have on me. I can’t really talk about who I work for, or what I’m doing (for an admittedly limited period of time). But it is a new line of work, and something I don’t have a natural aptitude for doing. So it’ll be interesting. I’m also in a training class of people who have done this all before, some for several years. No pressure.

I did manage to spin a bit for Spinzilla this year. I brought my Bosworth Mini with me to work, complete with a coffin’s full of fiber, and I managed to get a couple hundred yards done during breaks and the “non-people” section of my lunch half-hour. I also spun about 150 yards of llama fiber on my big hummingbird spindle. Our team officially was 14th (out of 74? I think) this year, so that’s their best place yet. Here’s what I spun.
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No, not a lot. But considering the crazy week I had, I’m happy enough with it. Plus, this weekend I spun some more rug yarn. So there’s that.

I really did enjoy spending time with my spindles. Even though I didn’t have as much time as the last time, I tried to find at least an hour to work on the llama every night. The time spent spindling made the wheel spinning and plying go faster too, I thought.

Last week Baby Goth had her fall break. I’ve never worked a full-time job while she’s been off before. It was a little tough, I have to admit. But Dad Goth was home, and they got to do some things together – they made the annual Spirit run, decorated the house (due to the weather the yard will wait until next weekend), and did various odd and assorted things.

Also: does anybody remember me saying that I was finally off the hook for Halloween costumes for other people this year? Did I? Because it seems that I am not. Having bought a bunch of fabric and a surprisingly expensive pattern, it looks like I’m making a girlie 10th Doctor costume. It’s okay, I think. I don’t have to come up with the entire pattern myself, and the modifications she wants aren’t that taxing. But still.

Lastly, I saw The Host is on Netflix this month. Not a new one, but a great Korean monster movie. I also watched 13th, which is about the American prison system and a horror movie of a very different sort. It’s also time to pull out the old classics next week: Frankenstein, Dracula, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Carnival of Souls (yes, really), Phantasm – things like that. Have a lovely evening, or week, or something.

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HALLOWEEEEEEEEEEEN!

Good morning/afternoon/evening, and happy October 1st to you. I’m going to try to write at least a little something every day this month. The posts may look something like Music to Spin By posts, but I’m starting a new job on Monday so time will be at a premium. I hope. Anyway.

I love autumn. That’s not much of a secret. Some of it goes back to my First Day of School fetish; I always loved school, the other people in the building were a little dicey with a few exceptions, but school itself was good. Some of it is Birthday Month (which was last month, but okay). A lot of it is Halloween. A LOT.

Today, we’re celebrating Halloween 1st by waiting for Baby Goth to get home from marching band practice. Then we’re going for a visit with her other family. I’m hoping to stop by the Halloween store on the way home this afternoon, but that might have to wait until tomorrow. We need some more makeup – I’m looking for some good stage blood, if anybody has any brands they’d like to share that are edible, speak up below – and I’d like to see about some more glasses for the kitchen. Other than that, it’ll be getting ready for next week. Plus next week is Spinzilla, and I’d like to get a little something to take with me for spinning during breaks/lunch as well as what I’ll be working on with my wheel.

I’d like to end today with my new favorite holiday song, by Panic! at the Disco. Enjoy.

It’s FO Day

Or something. Yes indeed, I’ve got a finished thing to show off. The Dalek Shawl, she is done! Finally! And blocked.
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I’m okay with it. The shawl is all handspun and the border is hand dyed. Next time, I’m not making a shawl unless I have at least 4 oz of fiber on hand and dyed. Nope. Preferably 8; I have a hard time with underestimating the amount of yarn I have/will need for any given project. It’s a talent of mine.

In hindsight, I’m glad that I ripped and redid so many times. The yarn held up remarkably well, stood up to blocking even after ripping out 5 or 6 times. The BFL is considerably “crunchier” than the alpaca, but even washing before blocking softened it up a bit. I’m happy enough with it to wear it to A’s band concert tonight. But we’ll see.

There’s another skein of Churro done too; 74 yards/2.5 oz of very dark gray.
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Once it was washed and set, it shrunk down to 66 yds. But still not bad. I’ve got more fleece to go through, so I might have enough.

Other than that, not a lot else going on. I got Geek Knits from the library this week. I think I might try one of the mitt patterns first. Baby Goth is in marching band this year, and gloves will not work with a saxophone. It’s a sad, sad thing, especially when marching in cold and snow, but the gloves she’ll need will have to be fingerless. Since we’re both Whovians, possibly the Dalek ones.

Spinning a Sweater in a Month

No, it’s not NaNoSweMo. It’s Giftmas knitting, and I need to start planning out what I’ll use for yarn.

This sweater is the one that A fell in love with (that I already mentioned the other day). My go-to yarn, the one I can make in a hurry without thinking too hard, is a DK/heavy sportweight yarn, so I think I can get it done by at least the end of this month. Yeah, that’s right – the yarn. The sweater could be a different story. However, it’s not going any further than the living room for Giftmas, so I’m not too stressed. Just enough…

A has decided on either blue or white. She liked the blue shade in the cover version, but maybe a bit brighter and/or deeper. I have some Blue-faced Leicester, but not quite a pound’s worth any more. I was thinking of trying my hand at dyeing Tencel. We have lots of cotton/plant fiber dye here, so that’s an idea. It could use a protein dye, like rayon does, but I’ve never dyed any Tencel before. If anyone out there knows, don’t be shy.

It’s been a while since A has asked me to specifically knit her anything – and never asked me to make the yarn for it, like this time. We’ll see what happens.

Spinning for Embroidery

This year was the first time I’ve tried spinning crewel yarn to use in my embroidery. I used a light grey Churro fleece that I’ve had for a while now; combed and drawn out into top, it was spun worsted(ish) and wound up being relatively smooth and shiny. The shine surprised me, as there’s no silk in there and it’s not exactly a luster wool. But it glows a bit, almost in the way a Wensleydale worsted spun yarn can glow. crewel1
Believe it or not, they’re both fingering weight yarn. I used the orange to stitch the pumpkin on A’s trick-or-treat bag, and it held up fine.
halloween bag

Next time, I want to overspin a bit more and block it with weights before I use it. The only thing I didn’t like was the yarn’s tendency to untwist, so I think that might help. I’d hoped for a little more variety in color with the grey fleece, but that didn’t seem to happen. There’s a new spinning store near us with what looked like some nice tussah silk top. Maybe I’ll try that next time.

A Pair of Socks

Over the years, I’ve tried making things for Mr. Goth. Sweaters (yeah, that was fun), socks, gloves. Then I just gave up. He’s very picky about what he wears, plus he really really doesn’t like my needleworking. At all. Giving up was the much easier option.

Then he wound up with foot problems. He got a present of fancy, expensive flip-flops that supposedly help his foot problems. Since the weather has gotten cold, he now wants a pair of socks to wear with his fancy, expensive flip-flops. Finally, after all this time, I have permission to knit all the sh*t I want. The best part is, I can’t seem to knit fast enough.

I started with a basic pair of socks, based around his measurements (ball of foot, length of foot, length of big toe). For the proportions of the big toe part of the sock, I took the basic pattern from and went from there.

I’m using some of the superwash Blue-faced Leicester roving that I bought myself for my birthday. Apparently, he wants the socks so badly that undyed is no obstacle to gettin’ ’em done. So undyed they are. One sock’s finished, and I’m finished with the heel and halfway through the foot on the second. Once I have them blocked, I’ll put up a picture. Maybe even with Mr. Goth modeling them – but we’ll see.

Maybe next time he’ll ask for a sweater, like one of the ones I saw in the . And maybe monkeys will fly somewhere other than the land of Oz. It could happen.

The Title of Your Choice

Before I start today’s post, a little something about the Olympic thing and I’ll be done with it.

Honestly, I don’t care whether or not Ravelry is forced to use another name for the Ravelympics. Not even going into the idiocy of trademarking a name as entrenched in world history as the Olympic Games. That is not the point – and it never was to me. What I did care about was the half-assed apologies (yes, there were two) and the comment that they would like some “handmade items” (a quote from the first apology by spokesman Patrick Sullivan). That, coupled with the rank hypocrisy of their choices of corporate sponsors, was it for me. I think I’ll be getting my rugby fix on this way, thank you. That should do it for our spectator sports fix for the summer as well.

I’ve been doing some regular spinning this week. “Regular” means both my normal kind of yarn (a light DK/sock yarn weight) and spinning on a schedule. Like every weekday. I’m hoping that doing this will help fix my slide back into a serious depression. As well as fixing other things here.

It’s some black alpaca roving I bought at the Taos Wool Festival a while ago. It looks like there’s not quite 4 ounces left of it, as half of the roving didn’t fill a 2 oz bobbin. It’s lovely and soft though, and I think it might make some nice lace. So we’ll see how it turns out.

I’ve been spinning while listening to podcasts lately. My favorites usually run about an hour, which is my upper limit for sitting still these days. I’ve been enjoying Drunken Zombie, Industrial Strength Nightmares, Tank Riot, and my old favorite CraftLit. There are a bunch of other ones on my mp3Device, but those are my current favorites.