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1  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Christmas Present Yarn on: December 26, 2011 08:05:58 AM
One of my sisters (not the one I mentioned teaching to knit in a previous thread) put together a lovely gift basket for me with a six pack of my favorite beer and three skeins of yarn.  Her criteria for picking the yarn was that it matched the beer (gift baskets must be pretty!) and not cost twelve dollars a skein.  She wanted to get me non-acrylic yarns, but, as a non-knitter, the fact that nice yarn can be costly was a bit of a shock for her.

I love how much effort she put into this basket.  The description of her standing in the yarn aisle for twenty minutes feeling yarn was a gift all on its own.  How many times have I been in that exact same predicament!

She was so excited about the basket.  I really want to use all of the yarn, but, as you might imagine, not all of it is what I might have picked on my own.  Here's the info on my three skeins:

Patons Kroy Socks FX, Clover Colors (75% Wool, 25% Nylon, 166 yds with suggested needle size three)-I'm guessing on this oneone of my sister's cats got into the gift basket and thought that this skein was a fun toy for her; the yarn band is destroyed.

Lion Brand Home Spun, Wildfire (98% Acrylic, 2% Polyester, 185 yds with a suggested needle size ten)

Red Heart Shimmer, Lime (97% Acrylic, 3% Metallic Polyester, 240 yds with a  suggested needle size six)

I tend to knit primarily with animal fibers.  I find that my hands get sweaty with acrylic yarn and I reserve it for knitting for animals.  I think I may end up using the green Red Heart for toys for my sister's cat.  I could probably do a head band with the sock yarn or hunt down another skein, hope the dye lot is close enough, and make a pair of socks out of it too.  The very orange LB is throwing me though.  I understand that it feels nice in a skein, but I've knitted with it before and it just isn't my preference.  Any thoughts on what to do with a single skein of it?
2  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Another One Converted on: December 01, 2011 08:44:32 AM
I'm excited and I wanted to share with my fellow knitters-I've converted my sister.  She's been going through a rough time and has a two year old who insists on watching "Up" at least three times a day.  In an effort to be helpful, I sent her a "just because" care package with a set of size ten bamboo needles, two skeins of Paton's Classic in their Harvest colorway, my copy of the first S'nB book, and a letter explaining how knitting makes me feel connected to both a tradition of strong women and the current knitters around the world and, at the same time, disconnected enough to let my mind wander to all the places it needs to go to sort through whatever needs sorted through.

She's completely hooked already.  I was able to visit over Thanksgiving, so a week ago now, and get her going.  So far she has about a foot and a half of her first scarf done and is already telling herself "just one more row".

I've taught a fair number of people to knit over the years, but she's picked it up quicker than anyone else I've taught.  By the end of her first row, she knew what she was doing.  By the end of her first ten rows, she had learned how to fix her own dropped or inadvertently slipped stitches.

For me, knitting isn't just about the FO.  There's something amazingly therapeutic about the process and the act of creation.  I'm thankful that I was able to share that with my sister and totally tickled that she's picked it up so well.

So, fellow knitters, who have you converted?
3  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Name of a particular increase? on: May 22, 2011 01:09:37 PM
My preferred way to increase is to slide my right needle through a loop on the left needle as if to knit or purl and wrap the working yarn around the right needle twice before pulling the stitch of left needle.  This leaves two stitches on the right needle where there would normally be one.  I don't know where I picked this increase up, nor do I know its name.  Can anyone help?
4  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Fiber Friday-May 13 2011 on: May 13, 2011 10:05:24 AM
I'm still a very new spinner, so it seems queer to me to be starting this week's Fiber Friday thread.  That being said, it's Friday and I'm excited about what I've been spinning.

First up is a finished batch of white roving from SSS.  It's two hundred ten yards of uneven loveliness that I finally finished this week.  I have some Kool-Aid set aside waiting to dye it with.  My hope is that it'll grow up to be a blue-purple entrelac scarf for my mother.  She was totally jealous of a similar scarf I made for myself, so I figured she'd like one made from her daughter's homespun in her favorite colors even more.

I was so excited to finish that batch of yarn because I went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival last weekend and came home with scrummy new fiber to play with.  I started with this absolutely lovely blue/green/yellow BFL roving. 

I'm in love with color now.  I started spinning with undyed roving because I was told it was easier.  This batch of BFL is my very first dyed roving and it's amazing.  Even drafting is more fun.  This could cause issues.  I'm far too poor to consistently provide myself with dyed roving, which means that dying the yarn for my mother's scarf may be the start of another new hobby, not what I necessarily need right now.

What has come from your spindles and wheels this week?
5  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / The New Spinners Thread on: March 31, 2011 02:45:49 PM
I finally picked up a spindle and eight ounces of beautiful brown Shetland roving on Monday.  I'm now looking at my last two ounces of unspun roving and wishing it wasn't an hour drive to the fiber store.

The biggest surprise for me has been drafting...I thought the spinning would be the tricky bit, but drafting with consistent results results has definitely been harder.  I quartered the roving and the first quarter was really thick and thin, but the next two were a lot nicer looking.  I've started a hat with the first quarter as the band and I'm happy  the results.  It looks a lot more even knitted up.  I figure the more evenly spun yarn will be nice for the body of the hat.

I'm sure I'm not the only new spinner around.  Any others want to come out of the woodwork and share how their new obsession is going?
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