Knitting up a storm in this bitch

I’m currently hard at work on the Birds of a Feather shrug and the Firefly Möbius vest. Long way to go on both, just straight stockinette on both right now.

birds of a feather 1This is the Birds of a Feather. It needs to get to twenty-two inches, and it so far is about nine. Lots of mindless stockinette, back and forth. At least the yarn is delicious. Buttery, soft, it’s 60% Merino wool, 20% alpaca and 20% silk (Mirasol Sulka). For those who don’t know, Merino wool is the only wool in the world that doesn’t have kemp in it. Kemp is what makes wool itchy. If you’re allergic to wool, you may not be allergic to Merino, unless you’re allergic to lanolin (that’s sheep grease). Then fuck the wool (Figuratively. Literally and you’ll get a rash the likes of which you’ll never forget) and just wear alpaca. It’s fantastic stuff. Alpaca, however, are ugly, mean critters with a spitting tendency.

firefly mobius 1Here’s a grainy-ass picture of the Firefly Möbius vest. The part with the measuring tape needs to be about fifty inches long before I can do the shaping for the other shoulder. That’s the front. The back is done. The front is a long piece that gets twisted and then sewn up. You’ll see. It’s cool. This is made of some delicious baby mohair/nylon blend. It’s the softest mohair I’ve ever worked with (Lorna’s Laces Heaven).

To make this a little more interesting, I thought I’d talk about my swift and winder. If you don’t have a swift and a winder, you fucking need one. Yes, you do. Save the sixty to eighty bucks for a swift and the twenty to forty for a winder and get them. The gouda is worth it.

yarn hankThis here is a hank of yarn. I hanker for a hank of yarn often with this project, as these are only fifty-five yards long. You need to have a ball of yarn to knit from. Why aren’t they wound? Well, weavers need them ready to string their looms with (I don’t know what that’s called. Get off my back! I don’t know everything). It’d be a bigger pain in the ass to unwind a ball than it would be to wind one. To make it as easy as possible for all crafters, they’re in hanks.

umbrella swift

I have an umbrella swift; there are different kinds. Mine is unfinished. I can’t speak to the preference some people have for finished versus unfinished. It was a gift and I am so grateful for it. I don’t have a video upgrade or anyone here to show me opening it up with the hank around it, so here it is open.

All I had to do was untwist it and there it goes. This is doing essentially the same job as someone with their hands held out, except it spins 365º. Fantastical! My house is messy! Amazing!royal yarn winder

Here’s my little winder. It has served me well over the years. I’ve had it longer than I’ve had my swift, but they go together like peas and carrots. No, like peanut butter and jelly. Peas are for the fucking birds. Everyone who’s anyone hates peas. Fuck peas.

hank and ball1hank and ball2See the tasty little cake-like ball that results from this process? Magic! I can make one of these out of a hank from thought to finish in less than two minutes. They’re center-pull balls, and they’re so neat and clean. I stick them in sandwich baggies, cut the corner off the baggie, and pull the yarn through the hole. For multi-colored work, I use a freezer bag and cut holes through both corners and the middle of the bag. That way my yarn stays clean throughout the process, I can add more whenever I need to, and I can bring it with me with no fear of losing a ball down an airplane aisle.

Yes, you can usually wind your balls at the yarn store. But why be at the mercy of someone else for your balls? I like to handle my own balls whenever I want. I think I’m with the majority here.

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2 comments

  1. suddenexpression

    I agree with you. The best fiber related purchase I ever made was my ball winder. Unfortunately I don’t have the room for a swift, but just having the winder feels like it has saved my life.

    • Seer McRicketts-McGee

      It really only takes up the space of a closed umbrella when it’s not open. We’re talking golf/valet umbrella, but umbrella nonetheless.

      I am the bad influence who will talk you into buying anything, so come by me if you need convincing. I think you should get one, personally. Your winder is lonely and needs a friend.

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