Friday, December 02, 2005

The Ballad of Rose-Grey

There is an Alpaca Fleece that resides in my closet. It's not just any fleece, I have come to realize. It has amazing luster, about a 4" staple, and High crimp. Now, as I was discussinga christmas gift with the recipient, we came to the eventual topic of what colour it should be. The recipient doesn't spin, or knit, and has no idea how to do either, so naturally he knows nothing about alpacas. The conversation went something like this...

Me: So, what colour do you want?
R: I like blue.
Me: Alpacas come in twenty-two natural colours, but i'm pretty sure blue is not one of them.
R: well...
Me: how about grey? Black? Brown? Rose Grey?
R: ya, Rose Grey, that sounds good.
Me: You don't even know what it is.
R: Anyway, as I was saying before...

So I dug out the fleece, I hadn't done anything with it yet, and to date had been unaware of it's loveliness. I carded some of it, but since I happen to be very ill-prepared when it comes to fibre prep, I have to use dog slicker brushes. Christmas is solving this with a pair of Indigo Hound 5 Pitch combs, thankfully. I decided to try and retain as much lock formation as I could, so I did some serious flick carding.

Then I pulled it through one of those little nozzles you put on the end of icing bags, since I don't have a diz yet (shhh).

It hadn't been washed yet, and having been in contact with some icky fleeces, I had this irrational fear that maybe it wasn't rose grey, but actually just grey and the brown was just dirt...but I perservered and spun two bobbins full.

It came out about a worsted weight 2 ply. I skeined it over the arms of my rocking/spinning chair, as I do with all skeins. One wrap around the chair arms also happens to measure Exactly 4 feet, so it serves well as a temporary niddy-noddy. It was around midnight at the time, so I brought them downstairs to soak for a while, and went to start spinning Coda's hair. The whole process of washing ended about 1:30am, so I put them up to dry, and went to bed. In the morning they were still just a little damp, so I stuck them in the Dryer for a little. Here is the Yarn, all finished and pretty...

It's amazingly sproingy and soft and light, I am just in love with it, which brings us to a dillema. R, the non-spinning, non-knitting friend, probably won't appreciate the sproingy perfect-pliedness of it, will he? So it wouldn't be bad if maybe we didn't give him the yarn knit into a headband for christmas, would it? I know I spun it with christmas intent and a certain person in mind and blahblah, but it turned out much better than I expected. Decisions, Decisions.

Veni Vidi Vici.

It came, It saw, it conquered. The yarn that is. Not just any yarn though...Zephyr, Jaeggerspun Zephyr. As I was in the Kitchen making breakfast (at 1pm, but shhh) a package flew towards me and landed at my feet. I thought it was an awfully small package for three balls of yarn. Turns out that somehow I didn't expect it to be, floss. I couldn't help myself. I had bought the Addi Turbos, The yarn was here...casting on ensued.
Things seemed to be going well, it's my first time on a Real lace shawl. I was proud of myself that I hadn't made any big mistakes...of course, that would be exactly when it happened. I find, that knitting, is very much like skating, in that as soon as you start to get cocky and go "yeah, i'm good at this!" you'll fall flat on your face. Row 49, chart 1. I am supposed to have 49 stitches on each half. Knit one half, there is an extra stitch. Rip back until I think I found the problem. Knit. Still one extra stitch. Rip to the beggining of the row, this time I definitely fixed the problem. Knit to the marker but that an extra stitch? Cuss a little, then K2tog and solve the problem that way. Do the same thing for the other half. Work the purl back row, confidentally move on to Row 51. Knit to marker but, can it be? I'm missing a stitch. Cuss a lot, put it down, and work on a chiengora mitten.
Now, I generally like my mittens to be snug, and have shaping, but this, this seemed a little too snug. I tried it on, tried it on some more, but still came to the same conclusion. I don't want to have to rip this back too, but it's a special yarn, and I want the mittens to be perfect. And now, I get to rip back 4 rows of dental floss, and a whole F*%!$ing mitten. Perhaps this is my punishment for daring to work on two projects destined for Me, during what should be christmas knitting time. Maybe I should just stick to spinning.