Sunday, June 16, 2013

A short but busy week

I promised I would get photos from the Beijing trip up but I haven't fulfilled that promise yet. I haven't even organized them! So that is still on the coming attractions list.

But up this week is progress on the fiber front. I did a little plying on the turkish spindle and am gradually making progress on getting through it but there isn't much change in the pictures so it is boring to photograph and post.

I did knit a bit on the Stripe Study shawl. We did a lot of walking around so got exhausted by mid afternoon and came back to the hotel to rest up a little before heading out to dinner. So I knit a bit and plied a bit. I also tried to show the stripes which are quite subtle. Once I do the border at the bottom, the difference between the yarns will show up more.

I leave it to you to decide if you can see the single row of the handspun between the commercially spun stripes. You can see how much of the commercial yarn has been consumed. The two yarn balls were the same size when I started out. Now it is less than half the handspun ball. Here's another slightly different view:
I love knitting this shawl. The colors are very subtle and combine beautifully. I have a safety pin on the turning stitch of the short rows. I realized that it is easy to go past it. In the past, the colors I used were very different so I could find the turning st easily. With the close colors here, it is much easier marking it. I also have a safety pin on two other st markers. One is at the beginning end, where the marker separates the 2 edge sts from the body of the shawl. The second on is on the first of the two markers that bracket the center st. One increases on either side of the center st on the right side only. Past experience with this pattern has taught me that it is easy to forget which side one is on and start increasing either on the wrong side or on both sides. I now know which is the beginning of the RS (with the safety pin on the marker) and consequently which is the beginning of the WS (no safety pin on the marker). I also know which side I am on as I approach the center st. If the safety pinned marker comes first, I am on the RS; if it is second, then I am on the WS.

Yes, I could use different colored markers but I am carrying this around all over. Markers jump off the needles at inopportune times. So I just used rings cut from straws as markers and they are all the same color. The safety pins are also cheap. I can easily replace these if they get lost and that is why I prefer this approach.

I also am almost done spinning the second half of the Fiber Optic Blackberry to Raspberry gradient. Last time I posted the magenta part of the gradient. This one is at the transition from violet to the bluish purple that eventually turns to a gorgeous blue at the end. My specific braid doesn't start as light as the one on the Fiber Optic website. It also isn't as purple as the one there. Mine is very saturated going from magenta through violet into purple and then blue. I could easily call it Blueberry to Raspberry.
 I am headed back to Beijing tomorrow on business. I expect I'll be in my room quite a bit in the evenings so I expect to get a lot done on the shawl. I am also taking the plying with me for variety and a little new spinning on my Kuchulu.

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