Saturday, July 21, 2007

Katja from Knitty

So I wanted to be better about posting, but you know, once summer comes around and even I (the homebody that I am) have other things on my mind. But that doesn't mean I'm not knitting. No, siree!

In preparation for the arrival of my SIL and her 3 year old daughter from North Carolina this week, I made a kiddie-sized FO.

It's Katja from Knitty. Ah, if only I could wear such a cute summer halter! But I'm one of those types that has to wear a bra with EVERYTHING. Strapless ones just don't cut it since they seem to highlight gravity's effect on the jumblies. But when you're three you don't have such worries. I made it with some cotton yarn I had in my stash (yeah, stashbuster!). I don't know what brand it is because I bought about a pound of it at an AC Moore in Canada for about 5 bucks. It was stuffed in a plastic bag marked "factory mill ends, 100% cotton", not the best for garments imo. At least not grown-up size ones. I still have several skeins left, which I've been eating up by making dishclothes. Lots. of. dishclothes. But that's another post.

Hmm... back to Katja, well it's a fun quick knit that only took me about two evenings to complete. I kind of did my own thing with the body since my row gauge didn't match up quite well. Actually, the st gauge didn't match up either. I knit this with worsted weight yarn on size 6 needles (in the round) and still couldn't get the gauge. So I worked out the numbers and decided if I made the 12 month size instead of the 24 month size, it should work out. And it did, sort of. It still seems a bit big for a 2T (she wears a 2T even though she's three, she's teeny). So I added some elastic to the back. It'll probably shrink a little once it's washed, assuming she uses a "washer/dryer of death" like we do.

Next up: the pile o' dishclothes, reverting back to Frog status, and why knitting from my stash is starting to get old.

Stay tuned.

Monday, July 02, 2007

My First Alpaca Encounter Lead to My First Spinning Encounter

A couple weeks ago, my mother surprised me with a trip to see alpacas! We were visiting her and her boyfriend and she suggested we drop by her friend’s budding fiber farm to check out her alpacas. My face lit up! Did she say alpacas? She didn’t have to twist my arm.

Alpaca pics

Alpaca pics

We arrived at Debbie and Tom’s (unannounced, mind you) and they were more than happy show us there three alpacas. They were recently sheered in preparation for the warm summer weather so they weren’t super fluffy, but they were still cute. If I remember correctly they’re all males and one is brown, one is off-white, and one is black and she’s keeping them mainly for the fiber business. Much to my surprise many people don’t keep alpacas for that reason, they’re in it for the breeding which can be quite profitable.

Alpaca pics

Then after giving me the low down on the alpacas she let me fondle some of the alpaca fiber she spun. Alpaca is soo soft. Why, oh why, do I knit with acrylic!

THEN, she whipped out her drop spindle and demonstrated how you spin with that.

THEN, she whipped out her spinning wheel and gave me a crash course on spinning and plying. Needless to say this lady is AWESOME! Once she gets things up and running with the business I will share her contact info for anyone who is interested in some alpaca roving. Soon, I shall invest in a drop spindle of my very own and maybe someday in the future some alpacas of my very own. But that will be in distant future since my apartment doesn’t even allow cats.

Alpaca pics

Alpaca pics

Again, I can’t tell you how incredibly nice and welcoming Debbie and Tom were. She was a great teacher. You can tell she’s had lots of practice from her spinning demos.

Thanks to my Mom for remembering to bring a camera (not to mention taking me to her friends house). mwah.