I have immensely enjoyed my cupcake break this week, and even have a little to show for it!
On Halloween I repeated last year's theme- a witch costume and a spinning wheel on the front porch. We live in a cul-de-sac and don't get many trick-or-treaters, but the few that I had seemed to like the "witch wheel". One kid that was far too old to be trick-or-treating even stayed for a few minutes, watching and asking questions. I was thrilled to answer them, but didn't offer for him to give it a spin. I'm still a little snobby. I was able to finish my blue and yellow sparkly batt single and started a pretty pink, purple and green braid that I picked up a couple years ago in Florida and have been promising that it would be the next project since then.
It will be a few more days until I'm plying again. My usual plying technique is to wind the singles into a yarn cake and work from each end, meeting in the middle. It gives me a nice Andean ply and prevents any pesky 2 gram leftovers at the end of the project. But my ball winder has been sliding downhill and finally destroyed 4 ounces of BFL a month or so ago, and it had to go. I called and ordered a replacement a couple days ago and it should be here soon. But I'm really going to try to finish spinning the rest of this merino braid and the 2 others I have so I can just got nuts and have a big ply-day (I sure know how to party, eh?)
I've also been doing a little knitting on my fabulous red sweater, which thrills me to no end. I have some irrational hatred of sleeves that turn sweaters from a 1 month project to a 1 month, 2 years of hibernation and 3 week project. Not this time, red tweedy thing!
This sweater started life 8 years ago as Mariah from Knitty, a fabulous cabled hoodie on worsted weight yarn. I fell in love with Rowan Felted Tweed for this sweater, and I told myself that even though this a dk weight (who is Rowan kidding- it's a sport weight AT MOST) that my lovely worsted weight sweater pattern will work. (On an unrelated note, I believe that this is where Paige-Gauge began). After knitting both immensely cabled sleeves (This might be the source of sleeve-phobia as well now that I think about it) and the body up the armpits, I decided that I hated this sweater. Mostly because it didn't fit. Seriously peeps- check your gauge. I threw it in a corner for a year or so.
I'd like to point out that at this point in my career as a yarnoholic, my stash was in it's infancy, and I didn't have the ability to put something away and work on other projects for years without ever encountering it again. And so the red Rowan felted tweed and the Pariah Mariah sweater was revisited the following summer. This time I picked a pattern that called for the same size yarn (crazyness!). I knitted, I purled, I loved. I took it to the restaurant where I was bussing tables to show a fellow knitter and someone spilled a large container of fat-free raspberry vinaigrette all down my faux-Burberry with the real-Rowan inside. I took it off the needles, washed it, washed it again, washed it a third time, and frogged it and washed it again. I threw it in a corner for a few years.
And then Ravelry happened, and I joined the Ravelypics the summer before I left for my year in England. I signed up for the sweater sprint, and dug out that damn Rowan Felted Tweed. I picked the Central Park Hoodie and held the yarn doubled because I had plenty of it. I knitted. I purled. I cabled. I loved. I ran out of yarn. At this point it's been 4 or 5 years since the original dye lot was made, and I knew my odds weren't looking so hot at finding a matching skein or two to finish the project. I ordered some from England that looked as close as possible to mine and I told myself it would be fine. (At this time I would like to point out that de nile is more than just a river in Egypt) The yarn came, I thought it looked fine, I knitted, I purled, I cabled, and I finished on time with a lovely red tweed sweater to wear all over England for a year. Except for the fugly line across the middle of the back where I changed dye lots. Even the tweed was different. I threw it in a corner for a few years.
And then a few weeks ago I was flipping through a J-Crew catalog, wishing I could afford things out of the J-Crew catalog and checking out what they think a good cardigan looks like. I was flipping through the guy's section because I like to look at the guys in the J-Crew catalog, and I saw it. A super simple men's cardigan with a giant button-band that was ribbed with one button on the side. It was so simple, so perfect. I had to knock it off.
But that yarn should have been tweed. And not that gray-green. How about brown. No! Red! Deep red tweed would make the perfect fall cardigan! And that 2 x 2 ribbed button bad would have to go- maybe the farrow rib I love? And waist shaping is a must. So naturally it looks nothing like the cardigan from the J-Crew catalog, but I'm on to something. Now if only I had some deep red tweed yarn...
BUT I DO! So I dug it out, analyzed, and realized that I not only have to frog this sweater, I had to frog it, separate the two strands held together and then figure out which dye lot was which. That part was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be, thanks to Jazzle-Dazzle and Jen at Meghann's knitting party a few weeks ago.
So here I am, a few weeks later, just starting the second sleeve. I'm running out of the second dye-lot, but I totally have enough to finish this sleeve. The button band is a different story. I'm pretty sure that it will still work if I hold 2 strands of the original dye lot together, as it's not *completely* introducing a new color AND the shawl-collared button band is going to be that Farrow rib, and I think a slight color change won't be so obvious since the since the stitch pattern in changing anyway. But de nile is more than a river in Egypt.
Okay, good chat. Back to cupcakes.