Monday, July 18, 2011

When the Day's List Starts with '1. Make a List...' know the week is going to be busy!

Last week, I facilitated a Professional Development 'Institute' (the code word for week-long workshop) and this week I am co-facilitating another Professional Development Institute at a university a few hours from here.  So I have exactly one day in the office to prep.  By prep I mean figure out what I have to do, say and take to make myself come off as a knowledgeable professional grownup, instead of a babbling half-wit.  Of course I also have to figure out what knitting I need to bring, as well as SAFF work that stubbornly refuses to do itself.

Between these weeks, I attended the Friends & Fiberworks Summer Fiber Retreat as a teacher, student and general hanger-on.  It was so much fun - Thanks to Lisa and Friends for pulling off another rousing success!

I taught 3 sections of Crock-Pot Dyeing to a total of ten students.  Small classes (like the 2 students here) mean lots of individual attention, but still enough variation in the dyepots that everybody can vicariously experience lots of color-ways. 

A wonderful weekend, but the rest of the list calls!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

ADD Travel Knitting

I took a little dutiful non-vacation last week.  You know the kind - hanging out with the older generation - talking, cooking, movin' kind of slow.  Add excessive time riding in the car.  Sounds like lots of knitting time to me.

And although it's the heat of the summer, those hats don't knit themselves.  So I spent some time in the stash, selecting yarns for my in-car and around-the-house knitting, figuring that I would knit at least a dozen hats.  I wound lots of balls of handspun and pulled yarns that I don't always grab because they are fairly small gauge.  But when you are stuck in the car and have limited choices, you will use the small yarns and needles.

Then I did something kind of naughty.  I grabbed some sock yarn.  Pretty blue & green self striping sock yarn.  Sock yarn is so very small and light and I might could reach my hat goal .  Besides, I like to knit socks - even when I am so finished with the sock of the month plan.  Six is enough.  Really!

Then some other yarn snuck into my tub.  Did I tell you about the killer fiber yard sale a few weeks back where I ended up with a newish Lendrum spinning wheel and a shopping bag full of yarn?  One of the yarns was 6 skeins of Peace Fleece worsted in an earthy greenish tweed called Grass Roots.  A sweater was already started and I was pretty sure that the pattern was Melissa Bare's Garter Yoke Cardi [rav link], but because my gauge didn't match the original gauge, I abandoned that idea.  Only 2 days into the trip I cast on for the Knitting Pure and Simple top down cardi #9725.  I've had this pattern for years, even have the yarn to knit it, but somehow it never knitted itself.  I knit most of the yoke, then put it aside because, I'M SUPPOSED TO BE KNITTING HATS, DARN IT!  Besides I seem to be a bit off gauge so need to make the yoke section longer and needed to refer to EZ or Barbara Walker (which I had in a suitcase pocket but didn't find until I got home).

There is so big reveal here - kind of a lame results show.  I ended up with...
  • Seven hats
  • About 40% of one sock -- most of the cuff.
  • About 80% of the raglan section of a top down cardi - probably about 22.7% of the sweater.  Sounds much more scientific that not quite 25%, eh?
Not bad for a 6 day stretch!  And now I have several yarns nicely staged for some quick hat knitting. Unless I sneak back to the sweater...or the sock!