About that hat

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Last we met, we learned all about my insecurities and short comings. Yay! It appears I've unveiled some kindred spirits in the process. I'm sure if we all took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test, we'd find ourselves scoring largely the same. But that's not what this post is about. I thought I'd tell you more about that hat I had mentioned.

It sort of came out of nowhere, huh?
Get the whole story, after the bump.

Break out the antibiotics

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I've caught another meme Instructions: Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot.
making

step into my thimble

absinthe knits

bird's nest knits

Marnie Talks

Select 5 people to tag


If you want it, it's yours.

What were you doing 10 years ago?


I was in my junior year of college, studying psychology and graphic design. I lived on campus and worked as a Resident Assistant. Additionally, I worked in the campus computer lab, and in the campus snack bar, and did a bit of work as a tutor, as well.

What were you doing 1 year ago?


Well, why don't you check for yourself. Here's my January 2005 archive.

What were you doing 1 hour ago?


Knitting a commissioned hat for the Knit Cafe




List five creative things you want to achieve this year:


Honestly, I don't really do the whole "resolution" thing and if I want to do something, I generally just do it. So I don't really have anything specific on my list. I do hope to improve my spinning and produce patterns I am proud of.

List five snacks you enjoy:


There are oh-so-many that I like.



  • Mixed nuts (easy on the peanuts, please)

  • Raw veggies

  • Cheese and crackers

  • Fresh bread

  • Dark Chocolate


List five things you would do if money were no object:



  • Help all my friends pay off their school dept.

  • Quit my job and go back to school full time. First I'd get my undergraduate and then my masters. For what, I don't know.

  • Get a place with a yard and a brother or sister for little Panda.

  • Travel around the world.

  • Buy a spinning wheel.


List five bad habits:



  • I procrastinate when it comes to cleaning.

  • I err on the side of efficiency instead of accuracy, when I'm not completely engaged in what I'm doing.

  • I am risk and confrontation averse, which sometimes makes me a bit of a doormat.

  • I tend to be an unfairly harsh judge of myself.

  • I don't ever really yell in anger, so I end up crying which people seem to find unnerving.


List five things you like doing:


I won't name the obvious, since most of you know my crafty interests



  • Learning new things

  • Reading about science

  • Intellectual debates that challenge my preconceived notions

  • Watching Cartoons

  • Eating great food


List five favorite gadgets:



Name one thing you like about yourself:


I have a strong internal drive to do what's right.

Finally, some knitting

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Before I bore you with more of the same, how about a little something new?

I finished my stealth knit a little while ago, and it's awaiting whatever fate the yarn gods have in store for it. That left my needles free for other things.

I begin teaching some classes at the KnitCafe, starting this week. The owner asked me to come up with a simple eyelet scarf pattern and the above image shows the results.

I'm relatively picky about scarf stitches. I don't believe they have to be completely reversible, but I do feel that, if others are respecting your personal space, it shouldn't be apparent if the back and front don't match. So my quest was for a stitch pattern that used only knits, purls, k2togs, ssks and yos, and did so in a manner that was very simple, basically reversible, and would lie flat without any additional edge stitches. I couldn't find anything that entirely suited my needs, so I modified a stitch pattern and came up with what you see above.

Here are some close ups.

There isn't a front or back, per se, but let's call this the front.

And here's the back

The yarn is the leftover Karabella Aurora 8 from Hopeful. I used exactly 2 balls with less than a yard left over after I wove in all the ends and cut the fringe. The scarf blocked out to about 6 feet long. The stitch pattern is a modified 5x5, with a 3 stitch selvage on each side.

I will post the pattern, for free, sometime soon.

And now, some entirely unnecessary images of my Cotswold as it basks in the California sun, after the bump.

Brownies and Pumpkin Pie

| 13 Comments

I just love my Autumn Spice Cotswold. I think about spinning it when I'm at work and it's become increasingly hard not to burn dinner while I try to work spinning into my nightly routine.

Here's a bit more of it spun up and plied. Why do I love this yarn so? I don't know. It's not the softest yarn I have, but it's certainly soft enough to be knit into a nice wrap or a cardigan. The little halo of fuzziness delights me. At first I was thrown by it, but now I love it more and more. I pre draft the roving and the yarn just seems to spin itself. It's nearly effortless.

But I also got myself some of the Fudge Brownie roving. This stuff is gorgeous. The color is dark chocolate and the feel is silky, dense and smooth. Fudge Brownie is the perfect name for it. I find it harder to spin though. Instead of long snakes of roving that I can predraft, this tends to want to fall into clumps. It's smooth but the fibers like to grab ahold of each other in unexpected ways so I end up with more thick and thin areas than I'm used to. I tried my 0.9oz and then my 1.3oz spindle. The extra weight seemed to help. I decided to try spinning it a bit thicker than normal, and this is the result.

On top is both of my skeins of Autumn Spice held together in a single skein. You can see that the brown top is much thicker. Spinning thicker yarn is turning out to be challenging for me. I did notice, in the process, that I like the way the yarn looks when it is really tightly spun. It loses some of it's softness but it picks up a sheen that's decadent. I think my next skein will err on the side of overspun, to see what happens.

Here's a close-up of the two yarns. You can see that my brown yarn is not very even.

MJ has been trying to spin more thickly too. A lot of people feel that spinning fine weight yarn is harder than thicker yarn. But I think most people acclimate to spinning a certain weight of yarn and need time to learn to control other weights. It's not a matter of "this weight is good" and "this weight is bad." I'll consider myself a good spinner when I can spin many weights well. For now, I proudly wear my "novice" crown, with my head held high. No shame in it.

There's just one thing that bothers me. Do you hear it? I know I do. I hear the sweet song of the wheel calling me. I'm trying to be strong and, luckily, I do not think I could reasonably justify the cost right now. But that doesn't mean I'm not haunted by the thought of spinning all my gorgeous roving in a couple days instead of needing months to do it. I can't deny that seeing huge skeins of continuous roving, wound off a bobbin, doesn't make me drool a little. I'm counting on a certain friend of mine, to keep me sane. And if I happen to visit this site several times a day, it's only for research purposes.

Make love to the camera

| 3 Comments

I snapped a quick picture of my roving, basking in the sun at work.

Just thought I'd share.

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