Monthly Archives: January 2011

Claudia Skirt Update: 72% complete

Its a stunningly sunny morning and the weather report promises full sunshine for the next few days.  Halleluiah! The rain and fog were so oppressive last week — I don’t care that I was 10 degrees celcius, all I wanted was some sun and view that went farther than 100 metres.

It was a good week knitting wise.  The Claudia Skirt is coming along nicely — the eyelet pattern, while it looks complex, is easy to memorize and easy to read in your knitting.  This is good.  When it is easy to memorize and when you can tell from looking at your work what you need to do next, you can knit without balancing a pattern on your lap.  This makes it an excellent candidate for knitting on the bus and very crowded Skytrain. My morning commute is about an hour and ten minutes, and the evening commute is an hour and a half, I have a lot of time — nearly 2 1/2 hours of knitting time.

Here’s the lovely gal so far:

And here’s a close-up of the eyelet pattern, it hasn’t yet been blocked, but you can get the idea.

The eyelet lace starts about halfway down the thigh, so I have several more inches to go. On this round of knitting I increase 1 stitch in each of the repeats, there are 20 repeats in this pattern.  I love the way each repeat grows, accomodating the lace pattern and widening on the way down the leg. 
More to report on later on. . . .

Progress Report on the Claudia Skirt: 52% complete

I mentioned in an earlier posting that I was fascinated by the Claudia Skirt by Ruth Sorensen.  I think I already ‘fessed up to abandoning any hope of designing my own skirt pattern and purchasing the pattern because my obsession with the skirt was far, far greater than my design skills. I didn’t know this, but when you buy a pattern from Ravelry — or maybe anywhere online, you get it the next second.  Talk about consumer gratification. I wanted to knit it up as soon as possible, so the idea of using my own handspun was quickly replaced by the fact that I had some very nice left over yarn looking for a project.

A few summers ago I made myself the Adara Rainbow Shawl, buying the kit from Elann.  I was an easy knit and it’s an amazingly versatile shawl.  It’s great in the summer, dresses me up nicely for work, and can be used as a scarf in the winter.  Every time I wear it I get compliments from complete strangers.  The shawl used about 20g of each of the 12-50gram balls, so I have a lot left over. 

Hence, the fit.  A skirt I want to start knitting, lots of yarn made from fibres that have good drape necessary for a skirt.  It’s a bit thicker than the yarn used in the pattern, but with quick swatching and calculations I figured I could make it just fine, if I used a pattern size down from my regular size.

Here it is so far:

I am 1cm away from beginning the eyelet pattern — and no, my waist is not that slim, never has been and certainly isn’t now.  It will get blocked and stretched, but a quick check already shows that it’s on it’s way to a good fit. 

Once you hit the eyelet pattern, there are many more increases making it a nice A-line shape.  In the box is the yarn I have left.  I don’t think I will have enough to get me right to the end, so I will have to order a few balls more from Elann.com.  They are terrific and fast, so no worries there.

Stay tuned, I have a lot of commuting to do next week, hence a lot of knitting time.

Two New Wheels

We have two new wheels in our home.  Well, they aren’t new in the sense of just having come off the woodshop floor, they are new to me.

The first is a Majacraft Suzie that I purchased today from a dear friend.  As you can see, it is well used and shows the dents and scratches of having been tossed into the back seat of a car for transport to a guild meeting, or evening spin-in.  I’m giving it a good sanding and covering with natural Minwax, just to restore the old gal a bit.  Then a good rubbing with tung oil will keep the wood happy.

Isn’t she a beauty?  I tried spinning on it while at Liz’s house and really struggled with the double treadle — it kept spinning the opposite way that I wanted it to go.  I am used to the single treadle, and if necessary, grabbing the spokes of the wheel and giving that a whirl to get things moving in the right direction.  Seems that I am right back a square on learning how to spin.
The next wheel that’s new to the house is an Ashford Traditional.  This one has spent the last 17 years on display in someone’s living room.  They decided to rennovate and change decorating themes, and alas, she needed a new home.  A generous woman called me and asked me if I’d take it off her hands, otherwise, it was going to be landfill.  I picked it up and was amazed to see that with only a wee bit of tinkering, this would be a fully functional wheel.
The top photo is the wheel sanded and washed.  The bottom photo is the wheel with one coat of “Early American 202” Minwax.  I think I’ll do a couple of coats to bring out the richness of the wood.  It needs a drive band, brake band and tension nob.  No problemo.
These wheels will be added to my other two wheels, another Ashford Traditional and a Thumbelina – cute little castle wheel from New Zealand — making a fleet of wheels.  I plan to teach spinning classes in my home this summer, and folks don’t have to own a wheel yet. 
Gotta dream big.