Saturday, April 1, 2017

fiber notes

What with combing goats every day lately, it's no surprise I've got fiber on the brain. Also on all my clothes and sometimes in my eyes.

So this post will be about three recent knitterly projects.


A lovely woman in England - who I "met" on twitter because she raises pigs and we were trading a rueful laugh on the subject of barnyard bruises - very kindly sent me a tube of her favorite pain-relief gel called - wait for it - Movelat.

(I like it. In fact, I'm wearing some right now. Combing Tansy is a rodeo.)

Of course I wanted to respond with something equally useful, and after much pondering, settled on an earwarmer made from the 1898 Hat pattern. I wear my earwarmer about 20 times more often than my hat, which actually gets too hot when I'm moving around doing chores.

Do the crafty folk amongst you fret about handmade gifts? I sure do.
Is it nice enough for a gift?
Does she wear wool?
Does she wear green?
Will she like it?
Will she hate it?

So I am thrilled to report that the recipient likes it a lot. Huzzah!
It was a bonus surprise to see someone else's picture of my knitting on twitter.


Next: from the UFO ("Unfinished Object") Department

This is the project that made me admit - with muttering and frowning - that I must stop knitting with very dark yarns. This sock is being made with West Yorkshire Spinners self-striping Mallard. A contrasting heel seemed like a nifty idea until it came time to pick up stitches on the sides of the heel flap. That's when I realized I could not see little spaces where one pokes the needle in and picks up the stitches.

Not by daylight. Not by lamplight.
Not with my embiggening glasses.
Not with every trick in the Knitters' Book of Visibility Tricks.
(There isn't really a book, but there are a few tricks and I tried them all.)

When muttering did not make my vision improve, I decided to rip out the heel and knit it again in light yarn. But first, with nothing to lose, I tried just poking the needle in at intervals and literally picking up stitches I could not see.

Not my finest hour as a knitter, but there's some sort of heel, anyway.
And I'll try very hard to make another one that matches this one.
And then, I will Stop Trying to Knit Very Dark Yarn.
Knitting should be fun, not frustrating.

Oh, that reminds me: Mason Dixon Knitting has a great Daily Letter on their blog today, introducing their very own minimally-processed yarn, called Sheepy!
I recommend giving it a look.
I love the way they think.


Final knitting note of the day: remember when I made a pair of felted slippers? So cozy! Well, this winter I accidentally felted them a bit more. Oops. When I pulled them out of the washer, my former slippers had shrunk to half their previous size and moved on to a new destiny: raw material for making catnip mice.

I made one right away, using half a slipper stuffed with catnip, and a tail made of non-fraying elastic saved from a cut-up garment. I never use yarn or other string for cat toys, as it gets chewed and swallowed, and not digested. Dangerous for kitties.

Mouse #1 is pretty popular.

With both Della and Moxie.

Guess I'd better make another?

"Right now? Right now would be good!"

Hope you are having a lovely weekend!