Thursday, August 24, 2006

off the radar

i seem to have disappeared again...
i have been occupying myself with several things: spinning up the rest of the merino silk for the icarus shawl; working on baudelaire; knitting some plain cashmere toe-ups from the rest of the arisaig yarn; starting a plain top-down raglan for the resident sock appreciator; and just generally being weird, which occupies most of my time at the moment.
so, to entertain you until i have something interesting to say or a cool project to show off...


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

long overdue thank yous

i received another package from my lovely (& still unknown!) knitty secret pal today, which made me realise that since i've been a bit out of it for a while now, i completely forgot to a) say thank you for the last package s/he sent me, and b) post any pictures of the goodies! bad, bad secret pal participant that i am... so i'm trying to catch up on my thank yous here.
first, the package i received last month...

some knitpicks gossamer in "blue jeans" (actually a much prettier colour than the name implies - various shades of blue & very soft!) and (hidden underneath) a shawl pattern to go with it; a book by barbara kingsolver (so far i've only read the poisonwood bible by her & i loved it, so i'm interested to try this one too) and best of all, some socks that rock sock yarn in "ruby slipper". also included were some really nice-smelling bath salts (which unfortunately couldn't be photographed as they were so nice i've used them already).
and the latest package...

socks socks socks book (of, you guessed, it, sock patterns) and mindful knitting, which looks interesting; some koigu (yum), the cutest tape measure (you pull its "tail" to get the tape out, and squeeze its tummy to retract the tape), some more sock yarn (my secret pal knows my not-so-secret obsession!) in a sunny yellow to get me through the scottish winter, and a keyring with "emergency sock yarn" so i can have some with me wherever i go.
thank you secret pal... i'm sorry i didn't thank you sooner!!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

look on my works...

ok, so i'm no ozymandias, but look at this...

i'm knitting with my own handspun.

how cool is that???

specs: the icarus shawl from interweave knits (summer 2006), in handspun merino/silk blend from hipknits. so far i've spun 100g (nearly 400) yards of an almost-sock-weight yarn.

modifications: not sure yet, but there will be many, because although the yarn is finer & more consistent than previous spinnings, it's still no laceweight. for a start, i'm knitting on 5mm needles instead of the recommended 3.25. this will undoubtedly have some impact on sizing (i'm getting about 13sts = 4" instead of the suggested gauge of 21sts = 4"), so we'll just have to see what happens...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

still here, more or less

lately, the black dog has me. i've been hesitant about blogging about this, mainly because of the feeling that it's extremely private. but the more i think about it, the more i realise that this feeling of "privacy"is more to do with embarrassment. partly because i know that my blog is mainly read by the (two or three) people i know in real life, and i'm not sure that i'm comfortable with them knowing so much about me. but also partly because of the stigma that's still inexplicably associated with mental health issues. this stigma lingers, despite (according to uk statistics) one in four people having some kind of mental health difficulty.
so here it is, because why should i be embarrassed? i have asperger's syndrome (a form of autism, more info here for the curious). & i have good days & bad days. lately, i'm having a whole lot of bad days. i don't really know why; the past few years have seen a lot of changes for me, and it may be that everything is finally catching up with me all at once. it's manifesting as a serious bout of depression & anxiety, and i'm starting to feel like i'm slowly getting buried in it.
in a catch-22 sort of situation, the periods in which i need the most help are also the periods in which i feel the strongest need to hide away. however, i've finally made an appointment with my psychologist (after cancelling several, and then avoiding the issue for a few months!) & i'll just have to see how that goes, and take it from there.
in the meantime, i've been spinning (a LOT) - it seems to be the one thing i can do that makes me feel better. & i've set myself the challenge of spinning something that i'll actually be able to knit with. this is no mean feat, since my current knitting is almost 100% socks and lace shawls, which means that i have to spin something fine enough & consistent enough for either sock or lace knitting. the roving is from hipknits, a 70/30 merino silk blend, hand-dyed by kerrie in a beautiful purple/fuschia colourway called "stunning" (below, as received in braids along with a braid of colourway "bluebird" , and in little piles of strips ready to be spun).

and so far, as a (reasonably consistent) single:

if i can get it spun evenly enough, i'm thinking of a small shawl - maybe the icarus shawl from the summer interweave knits, or the seraphim shawl by the same designer.
i can't say enough good things about this fibre. it's amazingly easy to spin & can be drafted extremely finely with almost no effort, and the silk makes it shimmery (& i'm a sucker for sparkle). & the colour is so gorgeous i'm thinking of getting in touch with kerrie to see if she can do me a custom dye of enough of this fibre/colourway to make a sweater. yikes - now that would be a challenge.

Friday, August 04, 2006

comfort, with a "C"

it's been a difficult week here, for various reasons - life just seems to have me beat at the moment. i needed something to soothe & calm me, so i've been seeking comfort, with a capital "C".

Cashmere, hot Chocolate, and (of Course)

Cat(s) (although the other one declined to be photographed).
more posts next week when i'm sufficiently back together enough to actually do something worth blogging about.