Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Holidays are coming up fast...

So I have far too few days until Christmas and far too many things that need to be knit. I'm a bit frustrated with the shawl that I've been working on, although I don't have too very many more rows to do. I should buckle down and just finish them so I can block it and have it off the needles and out of the way.

For the rest of my holiday projects, I'm waiting for needles to arrive from KnitPicks. It's weird, I have dozens upon dozens of needles, but I just happen not to have the sizes and types I need for these last three projects. They aren't sizes that the craft stores around here carry either, and while the LYS has them, I don't want to pay $15 for a circ and $20 for some dpns when I can get the same sizes for $5 from KnitPicks.

So I have to wait until they come to start on anything else. Thank goodness they have fast shipping, even with their free shipping option.

Tangentally, I think I've finally decided on the sock pattern I'm going to try making. More on that at a later date...

What I really want to do right now is spin and card the llama fiber my friend in Orlando sent me. The llama fiber is lovely, and so far there has been very little wasted from the 2 lbs 10 ounces bag she sent me. Very little, especially considering that moths got into the bag since it has been here (I'm somewhat concerned about the rest of my stash, although the moths did seem to be isolated in the llama bag, which had holes in it and all my other fiber is either treated with lavender wash, or is in sealed ziplocks or thicker plastic with twist-ties and no holes. *crosses fingers*). I'm having to set aside huge chunks for better scouring to try to get the moth stickiness out of it so it can be carded. These chunks look like big, snarled mats, but really they are just being held together by moth juice (ew!) and if I can get rid of that, it should be okay. Of course, some parts are completely ruined because the moths chewed up all the wool into tiny little pieces, but so far, those little bits have been easy to pick out and the bits that I haven't picked out seem to be falling out just fine when I card. I hope to be able to take pictures to share soon of all my little rolags (which reminds me, I need to figure out how to spin from a hand carded rolag... never done that before).

And let's talk about carding for a moment. So I definitely see that it takes practice and I've noticed that I'm certainly getting better at it. The cards don't seem as heavy to me as they used to feel and the fiber isn't staying on the cards nearly as long. I don't know if that's because this is llama and before I was working with finer alpaca or if I'm just getting better at carding... I'm assuming the later.

And speaking of the alpaca. I haven't given up on hand blending it with the lambs wool I have, but I'm taking a breather on it because my friend who sent me the llama really wants something made from the llama and I'm trying to be mindful of that and get on the process asap.

Which brings me back to holiday gifts. *sighs* I've been trying to think of back up gifts in the eventuality that I won't be able to finish all the projects in what is now something like 50 days. Oy!

Time, you are aflyin'!

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