Two Left Needles

Knitting, spinning and dyeing
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Spent the last couple of days in a Career Directions workshop presented by Workforce Central Career Center. They used the Holland method to map out what "type" you are, and what "type" your job or workplace is. Like any similar method, gives you a different way to look at what your interests, skills and values are, and a way to find jobs that match up to them.

At least, that's what I took from it. It was useful in the first part, ie, a different way to look at what I'm good at, what I'm interested in, etc. But not so useful in finding jobs that match up with the "results". For any that know the method, my profile is A(rtistic), S(ocial), and C(onventional)/I(nvestigative). A and S are pretty straightforward to imagine. The C has to do with things like routine, number crunching, attention to detail, etc. I'm very good at it, but not so interested in it; it clashes with my A side (and no, there is no "B" side). The I has to do with analytical, curiosity, someone who needs to see to believe, etc.

For kicks, some of the jobs my combination suggest are:
- dictionary editor
- pyschiatrist
- singing messenger
- dance therapist
- heating and refrigeration inspector
- librarian
- nurse

Quite a range, eh? Anyway, it was an interesting workshop and I'm glad I went.

Knitting FO's

Scarves, unless draped artistically on a chair or worn, do not look like much of finished object. That is, the blocking pic just isn't enough. To me, at least. So, here are the last 3 scarves I've worked on/finished.

Silky Soft Confection (does it need fringe?):

Silky Soft Confection

Balloon Silk Scarf (the funny face is because it's so short):

Balloon Silk Scarf

and Seaweed Love (which was named because I thought the colorway was Seaweed, but actually is Purple Haze):

Seaweed Love

Specs, in case you're interested:

All yarns are by Danette Taylor.

Silky Soft Confection
Started: 3/31/05
Finished: 11/7/05
Pattern: my own, modified version of feather and fan
Yarn: silk merino in Violets (I think) and nylon eyelash in...?
Needles: #8
Notes: Not my colors (came in a grab bag) but was a lot of fun to knit and to work out the pattern; very soft; cast on lengthwise so next go around I would make it a little longer.

Balloon Silk Scarf
Started: 4/28/05
Finished: 10/25/05
Pattern: Interlocking Balloons by Shirley Paden in Scarf Style; modified to use only 1 repeat
Yarn: icelandic silk in Azaleas, 1 ball
Needles: #6
Notes: Loved knitting with the silk; ran out of yarn, would prefer a much longer length; next time would block into curves instead of points. A fun experiment (hmm, 1 ball of silk, what can I do with this?).

Seaweed Love
Started: 10/22/05
Finished: 11/8/05
Pattern: my own, but based on a scarf I saw in London-Wul
Yarn: silk merino in Purple Haze, 1 ball
Needles: #11
Notes: Love the silk merino, LOVE it. Nice drape. Would have added another half ball if I had it.

Went to my first Knitsmiths knitting group, which happened to be a yarn swap. Look what I walked away with:

Knitsmiths swap goodies

Just think: it's less than what I brought. Crazy, hunh?

From top:
Jaegar Odessa in silver grey with sparklies, which may become a shawl
Patons Cotton dk in lilac and white, mebbe a baby sweater
Cascade 220 in a nice red, to play
Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride in yellow, will probably end up in a felted slipper
Manos Cotton Stria in white and roses, to play
Rowan Rowanspun dk, to play
Brown Sheep Nature Spun in various bright colors, either a felted project (fishies?) or a sweater for my niece

I get so freaked out being in a large group of new people, esp when they all know each other. But they were very friendly and there's always the knitting to focus on. Besides the Yarn Harlot's book tour stop in Acton, MA earlier this year, this is the largest group of knitters I've been around. The main difference is that I actually talked to some of them. I bet some of them were at that event, too.

It was fun to see what everyone else was working on. I wonder how many knitted pieces were in the room? For each knitter, a different preference, for colors, texture, pattern, technique. And I suppose that's what makes a yarn swap work -- what someone doesn't like, won't use, can't stand, someone else will love, be inspired, pet. You drop off your dirty laundry and pick up someone else's clean. Playing dress up with your stash.

Here's what I worked on:

Modular afghan-in-progress

It's gonna be an afghan, one of my guilt projects. The basic pattern is from Colinette's Ab Fab Afghan. The yarn, color and placement are mine. Can you see the sparklies? I added a purple sparkly carry along yarn with the mohair for a few rows, I luvs it. I finished most of the 3rd diamond today; after the 3rd, each additional diamond is built from stitches picked up from previous diamonds.

Here's a so-so picture of the to-be-felted slippers for my niece:

Felted Slippers - prefelted

The dark purple is not so flat. Maybe my camera, daylight and I will cavort tomorrow.

The yarn is Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky; I added nylon eyelash handdyed by Danette Taylor for the cuff. Think she'll like it? (She's 6.)

I finished knitting the silk merino scarf last night, just need to block it out and sew in the ends. I was hoping to wear it to the swap, but then realized it would need to be blocked anyway. I was thinking steam blocking, maybe 1/2 the length at a time. It's so soooft.

Silk merino scarf - unblocked

I was "in town" (Boston) yesterday afternoon, so I figured I'd stop by Mind's Eye Yarns before heading home. Lucy, the proprietress (is that the right word?) pointed out the Ashland Joy, parked it in front of me and gave me the keys! Wheeee! After I got used to the "patting your head and rubbing your stomach" sensation of doing so many things at once, I relaxed and realized I was making yarn. And man, I was making it so much faster and easier! Gotta get me one of dem wheels.

I liked the double treadle. Tried the other line she carries (Schacht?), which was a single treadle, and did not like the feel so much. I think I'm a double treadle kinda gal.

I was going to buy some roving but I'm really into the handdyeds right now, and without a wheel I don't want to get the ... what are they called ... the combed silky kinds. Rather get roving. So, picked up some white merino roving and decided to give a go at Koolaid dyeing.

What I realized: 4 oz of roving is a heck of a lot!! This from a spindle spinner who purchased a bunch of 50g bags, one 4 oz bag of merino-silk, and a few 2 oz bags of luxury fibers. Well, maybe 4 oz to any spindle spinner is a lot... but for me, getting through a 50g bag is an accomplishment! Can't imagine buying POUNDS of fiber... but it will happen soon enough.

Shutter happy

Took some more photos of the yarn I've spun. They're on flickr and you can see them here. I'm getting much better at the manual focus thing, but I sure could use some lessons in photography. Some natural light in this house would help, too! I like having bright rooms and workspaces, but Scott (the new hubby) is very photosensitive and is prone to migraines. We compromise, so neither of us is quite happy, hehe.

The house is surrounded by trees and the placement of windows is not the best, AND we tend to sleep in and miss the best sunlight. So I guess I have a few barriers to taking great photos...

I love the photos on Felicia's blog, sweet georgia. Besides the nice light and things being in focus, her composition is really nice too.

Back to the horse and buggy...

Tried my hand at tussah silk last night, HATED IT. Maybe I need experience, or a wheel, but man, how do you draft consistently??? Or at all??? I suffered through about 10 yards of it and then gave it up. When I get a wheel or a lot more experience, I'll try again.

13: Tussah Silk

I sought solace in some unknown dyed wool in blue and teal. I had tried it before (my second spun thing ever), with a tight twist, blending the two colors, but this time I spun each separately with minimal twist. I like how it came out, kinda like an icelandic.

14: Handdyed wool

It spun up pretty fast, so I switched to the merino silk blend, which was also my fourth ever spun thing. Amazing what some experience will do for you. My yarn is much more consistent and it goes a lot faster! :)

15: Merino silk

So... what does one do with lots of small amounts of handspun yarns?????

The luscious scarf

Made a little progress on the silk-merino scarf, just took a pic, losing light so it's a bit dark. I'm wondering how long a scarf I can get with the 1 ball. Any bets?