And so the days are filled...

19 October 2005

The great blog brain

It's happened to all the bloggers I've read - you post a question and voila! the answer comes to you, as if in a dream, but instead delivered to a comments box. I wonder how the plot of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy would be different if blogs had been around to answer the Big Question of life, the universe, everything?
Anyway, recently I posed a heartfelt felting question. Not surprisingly I got some great answers. So I ran a little experiment on the weekend (handfelting a strand) and lookie what we have here.
Yes it is a ball of blue fluff. It was originally much more pea-shaped but Fiver and I attacked it with venom to try to get the thing to unravel. It only came apart in clumps and is a much more compact, some would say felted, version of the original strand, which I didn't photograph, but which was about 20cm long. Note the tip of the pen in the photo above provided for scale.
On the basis of this highly scientific test, conducted under rigorous conditions, I am now declaring my Vinnie's salvaged yarn FELTABLE. This means I will soon be adding another WIP to my list. This is good as I am beginning to think having several WsIP is good for allaying boredom.
Speaking of boring, some might think miles and miles of 5x3 rib is boring. But not me! Here is the beginning of the Bigger Project I hinted at in a previous post.
It will be a jumper for Fiver. I am calling this "Challenge the Curse" - I want to prove to the world, myself, and the great big hunk-o-spunk (known herein as Fiver) that the knitter's curse does not apply to me and my relationship. So I am embarking on a version of Leo from Knitty for Fiver. The yarn is alpaca, purchased on sale from the LYS in the neighbourhood we are househunting in. (Funny that at the same time as taking on a mortgage, I will be moving within the closest proximity I have ever lived of a yarn shop. Luckily they have good sales these people.) I won't name names but a certain yarn shop in the city sells this stuff for almost $19 a ball (highway robbery!) and I got it for under $9 a ball. The colour was Fiver's second choice but his first choice was unavailable in the quantities required at the cheaper price, and anyway, I like this olive green colour better.
The gauge of this alpaca is a bit finer than that called for in the pattern so I am reworking everything. (All that success with Rogue has gone to my head.) So I'm knitting on 3mm needles, 36 sts per 10cm. It will be a long and laborious process but it will be one rad jumper when it's finished. So far Fiver has been an absolute legend getting dragged into various yarn shops to feel and squeeze various balls of yarn, being told that no, there was no way THAT yarn would work, and being cajoled into splurging on the alpaca, not to mention the long pattern selection process in which numerous websites were visited frequently during lunch hours and weekends.
The great blog brain comes into play on this one too. I have always wondered why my ribbing sagged at the last knit stitch before the purl stitches. I sensed the solution would be something to with twisting a stitch, so I tried twisting the last knit stitch. But that wasn't working, so I consulted the internet. Lo and behold, Nona had already looked into this and posted the answer: wrap the yarn the 'other' / 'wrong' / clockwise way around the first purl stitch and be sure to knit that stitch tbl on the WS. So there you have it. My knitting is still evidently a little wonky with this fine yarn and knitting back and forth, but things are definitely looking more even than they were before I had Nona's answer.
I am starting with a sleeve so I can double check my reworking of the numbers to accommodate the different gauge. I plan to work the body in the round, so I think my tension will be a bit more even there.
Wish me luck, and prepare yourself for a long and drawn out process with Challenge the Curse. I don't think this one's going to be finished overnight. Hence, my need to cast on for a French Market Bag.