You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2009.

Math is not my strong suit. Not by a long shot. In fact I would say my ability to do accurate math is really quite laughable.

You may remember this blanket.

I was motoring along with the mindless garter stitch trying to decide how much yarn I had left and how to rework the last 2 sections so I could have enough for an i-cord edging. The problem is when I bought the yarn I got enough for the blanket and didn’t think to add extra for edging. I figured I wouldn’t do one. Only problem is when I picked up the blanket again this October after it lay hibernating for 6 months I realized it really needed one. An edging would take it from looking ‘ok’ to ‘finished’.

I got it in my head I REALLY wanted to do the edging in the chocolate truffle color and spent a ridiculous amount of time figuring out how much yarn would be needed for an i-cord edging. It seemed so easy. Just pick a finished section and count the rows that an entire ball of yarn used up and multiply that by the number of stitches per row. I counted a section of garter ridges and dutifully multiplied it by the number of stitches per row and voila I had my number.

I reworked the final size of the last 2 sections based on my numbers and boom I was on my way. Then the voice of reason spoke up (aka Sewcrafty). We are both working on the same blanket and are now in fact in a friendly race to see who finishes first (I’m currently barely in the lead). When she asked for how I did my math for deciding how much yarn was needed in the i-cord she pointed out I missed a crucial step.

Turns out I multiplied stitches per row by garter stitch ridges…and forgot to multiple that by 2 in order to get the actual stitch count. I was thinking each ball of yarn got me 2300 stitches instead of 4600. Sigh.

Armed now with my new CORRECT math I revisited my pattern and well wouldn’t you know it….I could make it almost the full size AND still have enough leftover for my edging. The blanket is working out to be wider than I had wanted so shaving a few inches off the width gives me plenty of yarn to make my chocolate truffle i-cord edging.

Of course the downside to all this is now I have a lot left of the blanket to knit than I did a week ago.

Now that I have my end goal in sight I’ve been powering through the mindless knitting. So much so that despite making the blanket almost fullsize again (10 rows shorter than originally planned) I’m down to my last 10% to knit.

In fact in a fit of obsession I even reworked my progress chart in Excel to include the icord edging because before that was ‘extra’.

That 10% I have left to knit?

That INCLUDES the icord edging! (I see the light at the end of the blanket)

It’s been quiet around here lately. I wish I could show off the exciting new knits I’ve been working on, dazzle you with my awe-inspiring spinning or make you salivate with pictures of my baking. Sadly very little of any of those tasks have been happening.

It all started when I did my monthly Stashdown 2009 update at the beginning of October (I forgot to do Sept). I started off the year pretty well and I was motoring along to hit that 20% reduction just fine. Then Sock Summit happened, followed by OFFF (plus I got 2 wonderfully large gifts of yarn for my birthday) and once you add those to my typical yarn buying habits…well lets just say it wasn’t good.

As of October I am up 15% over what I had on January 1st.

UP!

Not down.

Sigh.

So work was started anew on the Neverending Garter Blanket. It’s mindnumbing knitting but excellent for tv watching sessions plus it uses up a whopping 32 skeins of yarn. I sat down and did the math and worked out how many stitches I needed to knit each day for the rest of the year in order to finish on time. I cringed when I realized it was 650 stitches per day every day but oddly enough that has been relatively easy to keep up with so far.

The October Bus Sock suffered several false starts before I could really get going. I had finally managed to get past the toe after 3 failed attempts to get it looking right, the yarn is plied with a metallic thread and doesn’t have as much bounce as my usual preferences for sock yarn so I struggled getting the first few rounds knocked out. It had about as much bounce as cotton sock yarns that I just hate working with.

Got about 2 inches into the sock before all hell broke loose. The yarn ball barfed on me, BIGTIME. I have never had so many headaches with yarn barf. I don’t know if the yarn was wound up poorly at the factory or if gremlins crawled inside mine and made little knots all over the place. I had to pull out half the yarn from the center and frog the sock in progress just to undo all the knots. Even know as I begin sock 2 I am still pulling mini yarn barfs out of the ball that require me to sit down and undo a series of tangles.

It’s pretty but ugh it is a lot of work to get it just to what you see. All this effort for a basic stockinette sock. At times I wonder if making such simple socks on the bus is my lazy side rearing it’s head. Should I be challenging myself to knit something less boring while commuting?

Hopefully next time I will have some fun knitting/spinning/baking to show off. My next non-fiber project is making my own hard cider this coming weekend. I have a good friend who has been making beer and wine at home for a while now so she has agreed to be my guide in the homebrewing venture. I finally stocked up on enough butter to make some batches of croissant and puff pastry to store in the freezer. Plus my Damson liquer is only weeks away from being ready to bottle up.

I can’t recall ever having to write or give speeches about what I did during the summer as a kid so this seems a little odd to me. FYI for the summers we didn’t spend living out of suitcases for 6+ weeks I spent a lot of time bored out of my mind. Kids where  I grew up didn’t get summer jobs, we didn’t have camp and the English TV stations didn’t miraculously start programming earlier than their usual 4pm (Sesame Street).

College summers were spent working and going to school, about the same as the rest of the school year only more work, less school. Highly exciting stuff. Then you graduate and summers off are a thing of the past.

This summer was different.

See that big pile of fiber filled totes? That is what I spent my summer doing (well ok technically it was only about 5-6 weeks of work there). I spent 4 solid weeks living and breathing handpainted fiber whenever I wasn’t at work. I then spent 2 weeks slapping labels on those suckers and cursing while I tried to learn a new piece of software.

Why all that fiber?

Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival 2009.

Other than realizing that what looked like an INSANE amount of fiber in my house/car really looks like so little in a booth I had a great time. Whether the friends who were so wonderful to come with me as moral support are still speaking to me remains to be seen. I “may” have been a “little” stressed in the week leading up to it and especially over the weekend.

I had a wonderful time the first time I went to OFFF in 2007 and it was only fitting it was the first festival I got a booth at. There were so many things I learned about what I wanted to do and what I wouldn’t do again. Seeing all the other booths from a different perspective as a another vendor rather than customer was a new experience for me. I saw displays and setups I loved and others I knew wouldn’t work for me.

I got to meet great people and even entered the bunny section of the barn for a few minutes (I made sure I had my inhaler close at hand). I found 2 shetland sheep that I need to email about their fleeces, got to see how scratching one of them under his chin made his tail wag vigorously plus I watched a couple sheep get a little nekkid in what seemed like seconds.

I fondled a skein of white alpaca and silk yarn that inspired me to make plans for my silver alpaca fleece and perhaps even the 2 llama ones as well. I bought a few skeins of STR for a shawl and a couple braids of merino/tencel roving from a booth I had seen at Sock Summit. I managed to NOT buy an electric Duncan drumcarder which was a huge temptation.

Oh and when I got back….I launched the new Dragonfibers shop here. The Etsy shop will not be going away but the majority of my shop updates will be at the new store. It allows me so much more flexibility and control so despite the seriously steep learning curve for a person who would really rather not learn that stuff it will all be worth it in the end.

### On the needles

February Fitted Pullover

Sapphire Waves of Grain

### On the Bedside Table

The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan (ok not really since I can't find the book anymore)

### on the wheel

Absolutely Nothing.

### Stashdown 2009

January 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 233 Total Weight:33.13lbs Total Miles: 27

February 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 213 Total Weight:30.09lbs Total Miles: 26

March 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 218 Total Weight:31.95lbs Total Miles: 27

April 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 217 Total Weight:31.45lbs Total Miles: 26.5

May 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 229 Total Weight: 33.8 Total Miles: 28.4

June 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 210 Total Weight: 31.9 Total Miles: 27.7

July 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 201 Total Weight: 30.5 Total Miles: 26.5

August 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 228 Total Weight: 34.0 Total Miles: 28.8

October 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 254 Total Weight: 38.2 Total Miles: 31.8

November1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 224 Total Weight: 34.9 Total Miles: 29.9

December 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 206 Total Weight: 31.9 Total Miles: 27.1