Monday, May 22, 2006

Hooked

I have recently had a guest at my apartment, Kim's wheel Ellette, whom I named. (Please ignore the mess Mom!) Because Kim was moving across town, she very generously lent me her wheel for me to try out. And my apartment was on the way to her new home. I took good care of Ellette and had a lot of fun figuring out how to spin and ply. Remember all that fiber I acquired at the Spinner's Flock sale? Most of it became this:


Starting from the top, the white skein is some sort of un-dyed 100% wool. I lost the tag. This was my first attempt at plying, so it is not very even. I plan to knit this into a felted clutch. The dark blue-green skeins are Corriedale and mohair. The pink skeins are Coopworth, silk and tunis. I think these skeins are my favorite. I just love the color, and the bits of white silk are great too. The grey and blue skein is a Leicester and mohair blend. The colors match my winter parka, so the yarn is destined to become some sort of winter accessory. The big wonky blue and grey mass is from the outer part of the ball. It had felted a bit together, and it was difficult to spin.

Thank you so, so much Kim!! It was such a great opportunity to try out spinning, and I'm definitely hooked. And don't worry Ben, there's more fiber for the football season.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

An Accordian Mishap

Over a year ago, I started the Accordian Sweater from knitty. After finishing most of the back last spring, I set it aside to knit summer, holiday and olympic projects. I finished the back this past winter and knit the two front pieces. I then brought them to a Knit-In meeting right before the Olympics. I was confused as to how the front and back pieces fit together along with the sleeves, and after consulting the pattern Anne and Kim figured out that I had made a mistake. In the shape neck and shoulders section, it says to

Work first row putting first 6[6, 6, 6] sts on holder. Dec 1 st at neck edge on next 6[6, 9, 9] rows, then dec 1 st every other row 7[7, 9, 9] times -- 30[32, 33, 35] sts. Cont in patt until work measures 23.5[24.5, 25.5, 26.5] inches then beg shoulder shaping.

I thought that this meant to decrease on the opposite side of the six sts on the holder, not decrease right after putting the six sts on the holder. The flap from the six sts is for the zipper, not for a panel under the armpit. As can be seen below, the front panel on the left is the corrected version, and it looks much better than the uncorrected one on the right. I just wanted to point out my mistake, because I figured that if I messed up someone else did/will.
With that confusion behind me, I'm now working on the sleeves. My goal is to wear this sweater next fall.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

He Tricked Me and I Said Yes

So here's the second installment of our engagement story. Ben's parents generously offered a family diamond for the engagement ring, and the last time I was in Utah we picked out a setting. I am going to use my great-grandmother's wedding band as my wedding band, and we selected the engagement ring to be the same metal (platinum) and same width. At this point I told Ben that when the ring was finished, he couldn't just toss me the ring and say "Here it is Em". I wanted him to give it to me in some sort of meaningful way.

After the diamond got to the jewelry store in SLC, we weren't sure if the ring would be ready by our next visit, which happened to be in Memphis to celebrate Passover with family. Ben called the store the day before the trip, and he reported that they wouldn't know until the next day whether the ring would be done. The next day, as Ben and I were waiting at the gates of our respective flights, Ben called to say that the ring wasn't ready. The store did give him a special box for me to put the ring in eventually. At this point I was really disappointed, but didn't want to show it. I didn't want to seem to materialistic, it's just a ring. And yet it's the ring, and I really wanted to wear it and show the world that I'm engaged. Later at the hotel in Memphis, Ben said that he wanted to practice proposing to me with the special box. I said sure, and he had me turn around and close my eyes. Ben the reached around me and gave me the box. I opened the box and saw this:


I then lifted up the paper and saw this:

I then turned around and Ben was down on one knee with the ring! Needless to say I was ecstatic. I small part of me had been wondering if Ben was tricking me all along, but I didn't wnt to get my hopes up. Ben was very pleased that he had tricked me, and we had a good story for our families.

So this is what the ring looks like. The center stone is a round cut diamond, and on either side are two baguettes. I originally thought I wanted a solitaire engagement ring, but I really like the baguettes. They draw your eye to the center stone without making the ring look to busy. I find myself staring at the ring a lot. :)

More knitting and spinning content to follow ...