ah, freedom! it's been so refreshing to be able to do whatever i want without having to worry about a timeline. the creativity 350 project had me so unraveled in every way possible!! of course it's funny now, and i'm not too proud to laugh at myself. but i really didn't realize how much pressure i was putting on myself to finish that project until it was all over.
of course a stay at home mom doesn't deal with deadlines every day, and it surely sounds pitiful to those who actually work to listen to me complain about one project, with one deadline, for such a short amount of time. but the truth is, i'm not afraid of deadlines. it was just such an ambitious project for me to take on at the last minute, and i knew that. i knew it would be stressful and that i would be pressed for time. i literally worked up until the last possible moment that i could!! if i didn't have the kids to look after, it would've been much more peaceful. at least at a 9-5 job you are garaunteed a certain amount of hours and days to work on a major job....hell, you even get overtime if you need it!! there's not overtime in my day job.....
it was a lot of fun, but thank god it's over! now i just have to motivate myself to start cleaning the house again!!
so what have i been working on?!?! well, i've been taking advantage of the fact that i'm not tied down to any certain project at the moment! my wheel has been taken out of hibernation and the first thing i wanted to do was finish up some singles that i had been thinking about plying together. remember the navajo plied bamboo yarn that i UN-plied to get back into single form? at first, i had no idea what i would ply it with, but after seeing and fantasizing about all the bamboo/cotton handspun yarns on craftster, i knew what i wanted to do. i would ply the bamboo with the white cotton single i spun from the indian punis.
although i knew what i wanted the fibers to do, i was worried that they wouldn't cooperate with each other. since cotton is so much shorter than bamboo, i thought the cotton single may pull apart and disintegrate. but, true to form; i live uncomfortably with the idea for a couple of weeks, until one day i just tell myself, "shut up and do it, already!!!"
to my disbelief, the two polar opposite fibers plied together beautifully! i haven't set the twist yet, but as far as i can tell, the strength of the cotton single was compromised. and the bamboo's longer staple length will help with that too. i really like the way the white looks with the colors in the hand dyed bamboo. it makes the colors more springy than they already were. the bamboo plied with itself made the colors really dark and it sort of looked easter/cheesy! now it looks easter/chic!
some may remember my depressing rant about having nothing to knit after finishing the creativity 350 socks. the only excuse i can give for forgetting about the yarn over cable socks is that sometimes i feel like i have no brain at all! i can't believe i forgot about a project that i was so excited to start knitting! but, they're back in action now, and i still love the stitch pattern as much i did when i first began the socks! but, i have altered them a little bit again..... *surprise, surprise*! when i first picked them back up, i decided to solve a problem that i was ignoring with the handspun i was using for them. the yarn at the beginning of the skein *the part that i knitted the swatch with* kept getting thinner and thinner as i knit more of the foot of the sock. if it would've done that past the the heel i wouldn't have been so worried, but since it was thinning on the foot and up to the heel *the parts of the sock that take the most abuse* it had to be resolved.
so i frogged back down to the thicker yarn and went looking for the other two skeins i had to see if i could match the thickness. i cut the yarn and added on the new skein, but after knitting over half of the foot *again* i realized how warm the socks would be and how little i would be able to wear them in texas. so now i'm going to look through my internet bookmarks and find the knitty pattern for pedicure socks. you knit the leg of the socks, the heel, and most of the foot and then bind off before knitting the toes. you can see how that would be beneficial for getting a pedicure, but i plan to wear them for a different occasion. i like to wear flip flops year round....i know it sounds weird. if you lived in texas, however, you may understand. i use my feet to regulate the temperature in my body. if i'm hot while sleeping, i throw the covers off my feet to cool off. if i'm cold, i must cover my feet. not to mention, the weather in texas can go from cold to hot to everything in between in a matter of hours. so, a sweater with flip flops makes total sense to me!!
and, last but not least, i'm working on processing two fleeces right now. the most urgent is the targhee fleece i bought for the danish tie shawl in spin-off. the bulk of the wool is still only washed, nothing more. i did start the carding process a while back, but was extremely dissapointed and DIS-motivated (and i know that's not a word, but it describes my feeling perfectly!!!) when i took the first batt off the carder and the presence of VM (oh.....and the left over sari silk that refused to come off the drum carder from the last carding project....oops!!) in it was outrageous..... way to much for spinning quality. after that i was stumped... i had no idea what to do. so, i took a break from it. the obvious problem was that i wasn't removing enough of the VM before the wool hit the carder. after stewing for a while, i got the idea of combing the wool before carding it. i know it sounds mental to comb somthing and then card it (!!!), but combing wool to the point of getting out all the neps and such is so tedious, and as i learned very quickly takes a lot of time. but what if i combed it until it was clean and then carded it? it sounded good in theory, but i had to prove it in practice. although it still took a while to comb the wool clean *it was still a little bit dirty* it was much better than having a batt of such a beautiful, fine fleece packed full of hay, grass and burs. so i've continued doing it that way. i haven't pulled the second batt off the carder yet, but i hope and pray that when i do, i will be rewarded with a pristine batt. i can't wait to start spinning that wool!!! it's doubtful that i'll get the shawl done by autumn at this point, but fall comes late and is extremely mild in texas *and a texas winter is similarly deppressing*. maybe i stand half a chance.....
the second fleece is the babydoll southdown i purchased from sapphirechild on etsy. i'm trying a new washing technique which i plan on giving full details about in a later post. all i can say right now is stay tuned.....it's super-dirty!!!