UndyedYarnpire’s Fiber Opera

November 30, 2009

You are a blockhead.

Filed under: knit, project lists — Tags: , , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 7:32 pm

Today I finished my first real blocking project. I have washed and blocked things before, but not a lace project, not a stockinette-field lace project.

I laid it out on top of a flannel pillowcase on top of a towel on my carpeted floor. Then I stretched moderately and pinned each corner and each midpoint. Then I stretched again and pinned that, so the spread was almost 50% more than the first time. I proceeded to pin the midpoints between each pin until the smiles and frowns were tiny and could be ignored.

It should be dry in just a few hours because it is stretched so hard.

Pin blocking sucks. Just so you know. It takes about a bazillion pins just for a neckwarmer. As soon as the button is attached (after it is dry), the gift will be completed.

That means I have completed it before December 1.


November 24, 2009


Filed under: project lists — Tags: — UndyedYarnpire @ 5:44 pm

I have my next project picked out. The queue is a little confused.

  • holiday project A,
  • (project V is completed and the picture post is set to publish 12/25)
  • holiday project D
  • Pillow – Maragheh (needs 2 more rounds tinked)
  • Leuca Sweater (stalled on sleeve 1, still need sleeve 2, yoke, finishing)
  • socks in a swirly pattern that was “Serpentine Socks” by Wendy Johnson until the errata irritated me. I need new woolly socks though, so I might just do another pair of Jigsaw ones. I am never buying the Knitpicks Imagination yarn again… the alpaca makes it felt.
  • Rainbow mobius (yarn spun, waiting for knitter)
  • Plain socks with the overdyed bamboo+ yarn. (halfway through sock one. bored. hate yarn.)
  • hand things so I can use my new laptop which has one of those hypersensitive touch pads.  No idea where the old ones have all gone. Possibly Lorna’s Laces blue/tan sport weight yarn.
  • cardigan vest from CMF BFL “Black Sun” (unspun, but in stash)
  • textured vest from black Wensleydale (no design chosen, just that is clearly what the yarn is meant to be.)
  • blue/purple vest– wanting it sort of swirly (no design chosen, no fiber in stash)
  • skull thing for husband ( who does not know what kind of thing he might use.)
  • and… the new thing!   leg warmers from the aran weight BFL yarn I spun from CMF “12th Planet”.

November 20, 2009

Jupiter is closer than Saturn

Filed under: discussion — UndyedYarnpire @ 6:54 pm

I am wondering whether I should talk about this again. It seems personal and not very fiber-related.

When I found the *LSG Spinning group on Ravelry, I was interested because there seemed to be less of the newbie repetition and the G part of the name of the group would put off those smarmy women who think the only jobs women can ever have are being a housewife and mother. [*Lazy Stupid Godless]

There was something that went around and I PM’d someone who then mentioned there was a “local” LSG knitters group. It is “Bay Area” but 95% of all activities take place in areas the BART does not go. [Of course, some of that is a BART failing since south bay should be considered part of the Bay Area; San Jose has the largest population and its surrounding satellite towns have a lot of the jobs. There really was no excuse for not having public transit that goes all the way around the Bay.]  Now since I do not usually take public transit, this is not a huge deal, theoretically, but in practice the only places far from BART all require at least an hour of driving. I refer to most of south bay as “orbiting Saturn” to explain why I never go there.

Recently someone set up an excursion in Berkeley. There is no parking in Berkeley. Except for the parts of Berkeley that are worse crime-wise than the reputation that Oakland has of being the murder capital of the country. Still, it is not a spinning thing, so I would only need a small bag of knitting to fit in, and I could get a ride or something.

Then I realized where they were holding it. Realized beyond the logistics. Jupiter is a campus bar.


Happy Holidays to me?

Filed under: discussion, fiber — Tags: — UndyedYarnpire @ 5:37 pm

I am considering the Crown Mountain Farms fiber club. I like that you can choose the colorway or get something random. (Admittedly I would like the right to refuse the random, so I want to see, then choose.)  CMF has a number of really good colorways.

The price is excellent, $15/month (buy any shipments you want) for 4 ounces of fiber, including shipping. It is not all the standard fibers either. A lot of the fibers are things that are harsher, but that certainly happened with the Spunky Eclectic club.

When I started spinning I wanted to be consistently good at spinning. I wanted to always be able to spin a sweater’s worth in my “regular” fiber. My regular fiber is BFL. When I started corriedale was still cheaper, but I really dislike it. I also dislike merino because of the short staple-length.

Now I am ready to really start branching out. I want to spin other things.

Of course, there is a problem in that I do not knit anywhere nearly fast enough to bother spinning yarn for my own use.

There were some issues with the CMF club. You have to register. Well, you have to register to buy their regular stuff anyway, so they already have my email address. When I signed up, it said my name would not be public, but my username would be. Then when I looked, my name was also public. That is uncool. (it was fixed) I added something to my “cart” and it goes to PayPal. It is a dealbreaker if I have to have a PayPal account.

I would have considered another year of the Fondle This! club from Susan’s Spinning Bunny because the price dropped to $150, but I did not enjoy it this year and cannot find any enthusiasm.

I looked for other fiber or yarn clubs and did not find anything that was open and not ridiculously overpriced.

[edited Saturday 1:30pm]

November 19, 2009

Swatch Bunny is not a sleeper in the race.

Filed under: patterns, toy — Tags: — UndyedYarnpire @ 2:58 pm

I started and finished something today.

It was the swatch bunny. I created a diagram that explains this extremely simple process.  I got the idea of doing this with swatch squares from Kira of KiraKDesigns, who got it from artsy-fartsy-mama.com, but this is a standard technique found in any basic sewing book.

Basically you knit a square. This is a good use of swatching squares, hence the name. After binding off, tie a secure knot with the seaming yarn at the left midpoint of the square. Baste the seam from left midpoint to right midpoint to top midpoint and back to left midpoint. (see diagram). Pull the seaming yarn to gather fabric together. This makes a pocket which forms the head. Add stuffing and stitch closed. Ears are magically formed and can be fixed in place with a stitch as desired. The body is formed by seaming the “spine” (indicated in green on the diagram) and adding stuffing. Run the seaming needle through the cast on stitches, then gather them, grabbing a small tail tuft from the stuffing before final cinching.

From rabbits

diagram for seaming

November 15, 2009

Queue the stunt rabbit!

Filed under: instructions, patterns, project lists — Tags: , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 2:43 pm

I have successfully tinked 2 of the 4 lace rounds on my pillow. (Please insert cursing and animal noises here.) This was needful because of the error-riddled pattern which lacked corrections. Since I was the one who added it to Ravelry, obviously I cannot expect someone else to have annotated the problem there. [I did pause here and add an errata notice to the description of the pattern.] But I certainly did expect the publisher or author to have a modicum of pride and to acknowledge the mistakes.

Thank you to everyone who responded to my plea for actually useful patterns. I have collected them and added them to my projects list. (Not the queue on Ravelry, I find that too frustrating to use until I have started something.)

Since then I have started on making a stuffed rabbit starting from this: http://bunnikins.livejournal.com/47512.html . It is not a complete pattern since it references: http://geobabe.livejournal.com/227621.html for assembly instructions. I knitted half the body and then frogged it because it was going to be too large.

It looks like I will be making a new sample project for my knitting group, make a rabbit from a square. A friend shared the instructions, which basically say to baste a triangle onto a knitted square, gather it, stuff this as the head. Sew the body seam most of the way closed, stuff, and use a crochet hook to pull a tuft of stuffing for the tail. (The triangle is oriented as if there was a diamond inside the square.)

That was what inspired me to look for more rabbity rabbit patterns.

November 10, 2009

In search of talking penguins riding unicorns.

Filed under: discussion — UndyedYarnpire @ 5:38 pm

Name one pattern, free or not, book or PDF or whatever, in English, that is ready to go. No mistakes, no doing my own math, no secret knowledge where “everyone knows” that you have to continue the corner increases while binding off, no “go find your own buttonhole method”.

I want one, just one, fully functional, totally accurate knitting pattern. It does not have to be for a garment. And it cannot be the generic variant like a plain stockinette hat with ribbing band.

Also, no plagiarism. So if it is a washcloth with the turtle on it from the Barbara Walker books, that is not really a self contained pattern.

Seriously. I have been knitting for 6 years and never has there been a single pattern that was perfect and fully functional.

Book after book with serious errata. (I frogged the sole sock I started from the Wendy Johnson book, I doubt I will start another one ever, since the errata appeared after I started the sock, so if I start a new sock, there will be more errata.)

Nothing sized ever fits me. Not hats or mittens or shawls even. Socks are always too narrow in the toes. But that is not the fault of the designer who is creating a one-size fits most pattern. But even the be-damned pillow has mistakes.

Right now I seriously believe that anyone who buys a pattern for any knitted thing is throwing their money away. I would like to be convinced otherwise.

Does anyone have anything that is spot on perfectly accurate and ready-to-go as printed? Or is this the little girl who announces she does not want a pony for her birthday, she wants a unicorn pony. And her special party should have a dragon karaoke band and a cake baked by Hansel and Gretel.

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