Thursday, November 5, 2009

Just Post It Already

It’s ironic how much time it took me to edit these photos, considering that I only shot about 30 of the silly things in three days. Note to self: lighten up a little bit!

The retreat was everything I could have asked for. The company was great, the food was (over)abundant and the weather even cooperated. There were 16 (17?) of us sharing the house, and I can’t remember the last time I got so much knitting done!

Sunset

I shot this off of the back porch on Thursday night. There it was, the perfect evening. Tall pines, whispering winds, a beautiful sunset… and a kitchen counter covered in bottles of wine.

This is what the living room looked like when meals were announced:
SunnySpinning

A piece of advice for the uninitiated: do not stand between the spinners and the kitchen when there’s food in there!

Friday a few of us went for a walk. We went slowly at first, harvesting lichen for dyeing with.

Lichen

As we were circling around the golf course, we came upon a small herd of deer.

PlayThrough
Mind If We Play Through?

I baked a Tres Leches Cake on Saturday afternoon, and you would not believe the amount of grief I took while it was sitting on the serving platter absorbing its milk bath.

NakedCake
Naked Cake!

Then I covered it in whipped cream and toasted coconut… they quieted down after that.
ClothedCake

I got so much knitting done it makes me regret that I have to go to work most days.

I cast on for a Braid & Bobble Hat, although mine will be sans bobbles, because I think they’re an abomination. This pattern comes without charts, so I took an evening a couple weeks ago and drew my own.

BBBrim-01

The brim is knit flat and seamed. Then I’ll pick up stitches and knit the top in the round. I’ll have to wait and see if there’s enough yarn for the braid, but it’ll work just fine either way. I’m using Malabrigo Worsted in the Vetiver colorway, and I’m completely in love with it.

I also started the third installment of Year of Lace. May I present Centrino. Designed by Laura Nelkin, knit with with Schaefer Yarn Company Anne, a 3-ply light fingering, on size 5’s.

Centrino-01

Oh, did starting this ever give me fits! I ripped back five or six times before it finally occurred to me to rest the knitting on a pillow in my lap. That way I didn’t have to worry about the needles falling out or spinning around as I worked those first few fiddly rounds.

I was so glad when this got big enough to move onto a circular needle… Alwen, how do you do it?

Centrino-02
Yarn bag by Celestial Fiber Arts

On Sunday I finally gathered up my courage and decided to go from being a reasonably accomplished knitter to a laughably inept spinner. Rovings, one of the vendors at the SOAR marketplace, was selling Polwarth fleece… and of course she was giving out samples too, just like any self-respecting vendor of highly addictive substances.

A friend was kind enough to surrender her spinning wheel to me, and patient enough to coach me through my first spinning. After much laughter, a certain amount of muttered cursing and quite a few admonishments from the entire room to slow down, I produced these:

FirstHandspun

On the left is 100% Polwarth, and on the right is a Polwarth/Silk blend.

I have this terrible feeling I may be rearranging my living room sometime in the next little while, trying to find room for a wheel and fiber. Because I obviously need another hobby, right?

12 comments:

Julie said...

For center-out knitting, I do a long-tail cast-on, with smooth cotton for the 'tail'. Then after I'm done, I pull out the tail and finish off the loose stitches like the top of a hat or fingers of a mitten. It gives a really solid, firm cast-on for those first five or so rounds that are so tough.

marycatharine said...

You got a ton of knitting done! It looks like a great retreat, it's wonderful to get together for concentrated fun time. Tres Leches cake is always fantastic but it is a bit odd during the soaking stage :)

MRS MJW said...

Thank you for your comment on my blog. Its nice to know I'm not the only one that gets frustrated. What lovely photos on your blog. I especially love the one with all the wheels. Now I'm dreaming! Thanks again and come back!

Chandler said...

Fabulous photos of a fabulous weekend! I love that you went hiking and moss-collecting for dyeing! I'd love to hear more about that. Sounds like the perfect holiday.

Anna said...

It looks like you had a great time! :)

Rose Red said...

This is precisely why I have resisted learning to spin - I really don't need another source of stash and ultimately yarn!!

Loving the red lace - looks gorgeous so far.

And I'm with you on the bobbles - definitely an abomination!

Karen said...

My envy knows no bounds.

Karen said...

Oh yeah -- I also hate bobbles with a hatred that burns inside.

essjay said...

I'm so glad you had such a lovely time! Finding new hobbies is always exciting! I bought that same exact hat pattern the other day - I'll also be leaving the bobbles off!

Alwen said...

Oh, that looks like a lovely time!

(Can you believe now that I sneaked back into knitting using a knitting ring I designed & my dad made, because I was spooked by dpns? I guess I'm officially over that little fear.)

Shan said...

You really, really, really do.

Laura said...

Your weekend sounded fabulous, and I love your trick of laying a pillow on your lap to get started... I had a BIG sigh of relief when I switched to circular's too!