Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Where There's a Will...

I'm knitting! Well, sort of. Some of you will remember that I had a cast put on my right hand to protect my thumb from injury while it recovers from its recent surgery. (Three weeks ago today, but who's counting?) I've been spinning up a storm since getting the cast on. Here's some finished yarn:

It's the chocolate alpaca I bought from Linda. More on that later.
Some of you may know that my DD is expecting her first baby. [Happy dance!] I won't post the photo again, but it's in my photos, if you want to go look. This will be our second grandchild. The first one will be 17 in January! We had almost given up hope, while our DD was getting her PhD and finally settling down. Well, now baby knitting has been nagging at me. I had the yarn to start Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket (aka BSJ) and had planned to CO after Christmas. While spinning and reading and otherwise trying to pass the time, I kept looking at this right hand, thinking, "I have four usable fingers. Surely I can manage." It was really awkward at first. Actually, it's still awkward, but I'm sort of adapting. Here's how I do it:

I'm using Shine Sport in Grass and Green Apple. I may add another color, but I haven't decided yet. I joined Ravelry's BSJ KAL (How's that for alphabet soup, LOL?), and several of us here are planning to work on it together as people are ready to start. I'm only doing two rows at a time, so I don't wear out my thumb. Even though it's in a cast, it thinks it should be helping and keeps trying. It's probably good for those muscles to be working a little anyway, but I don't want to overdo it.

Spinning is going very well, though. Using long draw doesn't require much from the fiber hand, which is my right. All I have to do is gently hold the fiber, which I can do easily with just the fingers. After I finished the chocolate alpaca, I got out my braid of merino wool from Greenwood Fiberworks in their Enchanted colorway. It's hand-painted, which makes for an interesting spinning experience.

It spins nicely. I would like the plied yarn to show the individual colors, but I didn't want to do Navajo plying (chain plying) this time, because that method gives you a three ply. I would like to have a thinner yarn, so two plies should be better. I have finished two bobbins of singles and am ready to ply.

I'm not doing much with my drop spindle since the surgery. I find it a little harder to manage than the wheel.

I didn't post last week because I like to have photos, and I didn't have anything new. I had an exciting week, though. Several weeks ago, Susan the Blue Lake Knitter , cherylbwaters and I were all interviewed by Kelley for the Knit Picks Podcast. We decided among ourselves that we should keep it to ourselves until it aired (posted?) Well, it finally appeared last Wednesday, Podcast #122. It was great fun doing the interview, and also lots of fun to hear each other's voices.

What's on my needles? The BSJ. DH's FI sleeveless cardi is resting. (I thought it might be more difficult knitting with both hands, and my gauge might be different with the cast.)

What's on my wheel?
The Greenwood Fiberworks 100% merino in Enchanted.

What am I reading? Right now, it's Anne McCaffrey's The Skies of Pern, the long-awaited continuation of her "Dragonriders of Pern" series.

Lorna Doone is on hold on my iPod, but I'll return to her when I start knitting again...more than a couple of rows at a time, that is.

For now, Happy Thanksgiving, happy knitting, spinning, reading, etc. --P