I'm Laura. I am a gamer, a bookworm, a knitter, a spinner, a tatter, a seamstress, pierced, tattooed, musical, vehemently geeky and occasionally ineptly artistic. She/her.


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The funny thing

Posted at 18 Jul 2010 01:36:02 PM

The funny thing about spinning is that it seems to make me a better knitter (or crocheter, as the case may be, but it often isn't).

To wit: When I first re-started knitting, I scorned the idea of swatching. "Hah!" I said. "Swatching takes too much time. It can't turn out too badly!"

Then, I learned about garment fitting, gauge, math and How To Make Your Knitting Exactly What You Want. See also: baggy socks. And then I was almost afraid to not swatch ...but I still didn't wash the swatch.

And then I started spinning. With that came (rudimentary) knowledge of singles twist, plying twist, active twist, relaxed twist, what happens when you weight your yarn after washing versus not weighing it, and all the odd things that can happen to a perfectly nice-looking skein of yarn once it hits good old H20. Armed with better information than multiple forum posts of the "because I said so" type, I'm now afraid to not wash the swatch!

And you know, it's interesting to pick up knowledge this way: in stripes, or layers. Drawing purely from my own experience, when you only knit, you think "yay, yarn!" and you'll probably recognize that there's a difference between wool and not-wool. But unless you're very observant and your yarn purveyors label their wares extremely well, you might not see a difference between the different breeds of sheep/goat/camelids/etc, different plying methods and different amounts of twist. With that comes the realization that the yarn you're holding, even though it's clearly a three-ply fingering weight with 60 stitch color repeats, it is going to be make lousy socks that wear thorough at the heels in a matter of weeks.

Even though I'm very very new to this whole spinning thing, it now seems not at all implausible to have entire conversations about staple length, breeding conditions, shearing methods and how-was-it-prepped? Heavens only know what will happen to me once I discover spinning from locks, prepping my own fiber and whole entire fleeces. See also: spinning wheel.

All of this is also a very slippery slope toward sheep herding, but let's not mention that for the time being.

(D, don't fret. The shepherding thing (while picturesque) is is very unlikely, given that one of the things I like best about all this activity is that I don't have to go outside where it's hot. I sort of doubt that sheep would enjoy existing in the living room...)

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I'm sure that I could be a movie star...

Posted at 26 Jun 2010 10:49:44 AM

The paperwork is now signed, so it's official: I have a new job. No, I won't post the details here but suffice to say there won't be a gap between when my current contract ends and the new one begins.

Nevermind that I might like to have a bit of a gap, considering my extracurricular work load.

Of rather more immediate note, however: CoffeeMate's Hazlenut creamer is delicious.


My brother and I took a trip last weekend to Kansas City, for the specific purpose of taking in the Billy Joel/Elton John Face2Face concert being held at the Sprint Center. As anticipated it was amazing and not an experience that I would ever regret having. It's the second time we've seen Billy, and the first for Elton, and both were just in fantastic form.

I couldn't help but notice some professional cameramen stationed at the edge of the state, and it makes me wonder whether it would be possible to obtain a recorded copy of the concert... note to self: look into this.

Emotionally speaking, I held it together for Italian Restaurant and Norma Jean, and then lost it completely at Piano Man. It wasn't unexpected... that song has always held particular significance for us.

As I said, I'm grateful for the experience.

My Olympic project had its debut that same night, and I'm ridiculously happy with it:

Yarn: Kid Seta mohair, 3 25g balls
Needles: US #8 (5mm)
Pattern: My own, if it can be called a pattern, but I'm happy to share it if someone would like. ETA: Pattern link is in the sidebar!

Knitwise, I'm beginning to feel buried. This evening begins the Franklin Habit whirlwind, which hopefully I can get to in time owing to an unexpected mandatory drug test for the abovementioned new job. Tomorrow will be a slightly elongated Lace class, and then the Photography class, about both of which I am unreasonably excited.

I seem to have started a pair of Leyburns with the Fiber Optic sock yarn I'd bought from TLE a bit ago. It's a screamingly bright purple mixed with black and while it looked neat in plain stockinette, I decided after the cuff & a few inches that I really wasn't happy with it. The Leyburn pattern came to mind, and it seemed to me that it would help with the blotchiness.

Thus far, I'm pleased with it:

Snowflakes is on Chart J (there is no spoon Chart I). I made a bit of a goof in chart H wherein I merrily knitted along the top of some trees without noticing that I was simultaneously supposed to be starting the bottoms of some others. Rather than frog it or rework all thirty some repeats, I decided that the next set of trees would just be a bit short and non-overlapping. It's not a bug; it's a feature.

Evenstar is on a bit of a hiatus. The pattern is lovely but I didn't really like how the reeled silk was knitting up, to be honest. It's not particularly hard to work with; it just knits up like a ribbon yarn and ends up feeling coarse and inflexible. I just don't see the point in continuing only to get something which I don't really like. It's in time out for the time being, and when I start again I'm going to knit the silk along with a strand of black Baruffa Cashwool. Either the wool will tame the silk, or the silk will corrupt the wool - only time will tell. But I AM dreading starting this shawl for the fourth time...center-out beginnings drive me straight up the wall.

I've chosen a pattern to make for my nieces as a part of the New Baby package that I'll be giving their parents (no link to preserve the surprise (and also in case I end up disliking it)), and also a pattern for my parents for Christmas (ditto). I picked up some Cascade Elite Premiere on sale at the yarn shop in KC which I plan to make into a collared shrug. The yarn for my surprise gift as well as the Christmas gift is on order, and I think that both of them will be lovely even as I'm starting to panic about the number of things to which I'm "committed" in 2010.

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