I kind of just want to wear this around my neck as jewelry. I swear, my Aunt wore something like this as a necklace with a giant sweater dress back in the 80’s. If you don’t like the bronze look, I also have some yummy Valentine’s Day yarns!
In my local village, there has been a small craft gallery of sorts for the past few years. I declined to get very involved with it–there were lots of lovely artists and some friends–but I knew that anything I had to offer would either be unpopular with tourists (probably very few yarnies looking for handspun in the summer months) or unpopular with a couple of the artists involved (my kitschenqueen line for instance, you can’t really have intentional kitsch next to unintentional kitsch). I left some yarn for them to display on consignment and promptly forgot about it. The gallery closed at the end of the year and a handful of skeins were returned to me. They were a blast from the past! I make so very much yarn these days that even a skein from 12 months ago seems ancient, forgotten. Foreign color combinations and everything is bulky. I can’t believe I used to even sell skeins I’d hand-processed from raw fleece! I must have been making….$2 an hour? Ack. Here are some photos of those forgotten skeins.
My other news of the day…wait! There are two bits of news. Oh! Three! The first is THIS:
I bought it and it is mine oh mine! I found this knitting machine on craigslist for $200, bothered some Ravelry members for their advice, made a 4 hour round trip (and ferry ride) to pick it up, made another four hour round trip to Seattle a day later to meet with a very nice Ravelry member who sold me a stand for it (she’s located on the other side of the state but happened to be passing through Seattle). She looked it over, made some suggestions, and gave me a brief intro on setting it up and basic knitting. The machine wasn’t really dirty but had a small area with rust and overall was incredibly dry and tight, having not been used in probably decades. I took it home, gave it a good scrubbing with denatured alcohol, and practically soaked it in gun oil. The moving parts are actually moving smoothly now. However…even with a video of the nice Ravelry lady setting up the machine, I could not really get it going. I set it up without any trouble (I think) but the truth is that I am missing some key bits of information about the basic mechanics of what a knitting machine actually does. Knitting, I know. But there are like 65416354747634158 parts to this sucker and although I can conceptualize something basic like knitting a flat piece of fabric, I don’t understand what/how certain parts combine to make decorative stitches, tubes, tucks. I spent some time online searching for a local teacher but apparently my darling Swiss machine is drastically different than standard Japanese machine and not very many teachers are available for this style of knitting machine. Finally though, a lead came through and on January 21st I am going to Seattle to meet up with a Passap knitting machine group (!) in the morning, and staying the afternoon for a long private lesson with the coordinator of the club. Hooray! More on this later… I have decided that I’m not even going to try the machine until then because I’m probably wasting my time trying to self-teach in the interim plus, as it turns out, I think it may be possible for me to break needles by setting up the sucker incorrectly. The last thing I need is to break something on a complicated machine that I have no idea how to operate, let alone repair.
But 2 hour socks and 4 hour sweaters are nearly within my grasp!!!
Next bit of news-I have decided to make the girls matching sweaters and my goal is to have them finished by Valentine’s Day. The sweaters are darling and the pattern may be found here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/owls-2
I have actually ordered commercial yarn for this project, something that I never do. But Violet lost her last handspun sweater and I’m a little more hesitant this time around.
And finally…Willow’s Etsy shop is up and running! I spent hours on this yesterday, taking and editing photos, writing descriptions, creating listings. She’ll have to take care of it after this but I offered to get her set up. Turned out to be a bigger job than I was expecting, since the soap descriptions were so arty. Her soap is so lovely, I hope she does well and is able to have some extra income from her labors. Everyone should definitely take a look at her work here: http://www.sevensinssoap.etsy.com