Monday, March 15, 2010

Spinning for spring



I seem to get more of an urge to spin in the spring when the skies are lightening and the weather gets slightly warmer.  I’ve even been outside twice this week without a coat on! It really must be getting warmer.

Back in June, the Boy took me up to Glasgow for long weekend, and I persuaded him to take us to New Lanark since it was only around the proverbial corner.



It’s a precious little place which  I wholeheartedly recommend anyone to visit if they find themselves in that area. I absolutely love the history of it, and after wandering around the museum and seeing the gorgeous plants and views from their roof garden, of course I ended up in the gift shop. And of course I bought several balls of wool. Several might be around thirty. Eeek! And then, in the corner, I spied some large bags of emerald green fibre which I pounced on and added to my loot. Because when you’re buying several balls of wool, what’s one more bag?!

The other night, in a fit of procrastination, I felt the need to dig out my hand carders and have a play. The New Lanark fibre (I wish I’d had the foresight to ask what kind of fibre it was at the time) seemed the perfect choice for carding, since the rest of my fibre stash are combed tops and this was more of a lofty  mass.

The carding went a bit easier than I thought it’d be. It’s still a little tricky, but I guess practice will take care of that. I’ve decided to give woollen spinning a try, since I usually spin worsted. It’s supposed to give you a soft fuzzy yarn, since you’re spinning across the fibre rather than with the fibre, but so far all I’m getting is uneven singles! Let’s see if I manage any improvement.


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Friday, March 05, 2010

Ravelympics: Semi-Fail!

Semi fail because I only managed to get one of my two entries across the finish line!

P1040934 P1040933

Colonnade shawl by Stephen West
Yarn: New Lanark Donegal Silk Tweed Aran in Damson
Ravelled here

This was quite a simple quick knit. Just straightforward and uncomplicated enough for me to be able knit (albeit pretty slowly!) whilst reading my textbooks and just enough detail to keep me from boredom. The yo2’s slipped me up slightly the first time round so that I had to tink back half a row when I realised the normal yo’s I had been doing were not right. But that’s what happens when you don’t read the pattern  and blindly march on on the foolish assumption that I’ve-done-yarn-overs-before-I-know-what-I’m-doing! (this seems to be a running theme with me, as I made a similar mistake with the Earl Grey socks this morning! Tut tut indeed.)


I think however, that this is destined for frogging. I like the pattern, and I love the yarn, but the combination of the two is just not working for me. When I saw in in the Fall09 Knitty I loved the idea of a scarf that could be worn in so many ways, but the aran weight is just too bulky for me. I’m broad shouldered as it is, and as the Boy so delicately put it, this makes me look like I’m wearing a big purple lion’s mane (isn’t he nice to me?!). Not too flattering then! Hum ho. Think I’ll try again with a DK or fingering weight yarn. I’ve seen a few nice mods on Ravelry so will have a go in the semi-distant future. Not too keen on the idea of knitting the same thing again so quickly.


The second entry was the Earl Grey socks. P1040922

I rushed to get these on the needles before the closing ceremony, but I think it was pretty clear that the pair wasn’t going to be finished in a couple of days! I didn’t manage to get much done last week, but in the past few days these have been bombing along. I cast on using Eskimimi’s stretchy cast on because I was too lazy to figure out the right amount for a long tail cast on. It’s a pretty simple, but ingenious method. Quite fiddly and it has a bit more bulk at the ribbing, but I think that might in part be because I worked about 5 more rows of rib after joining the cast on to the main body, which makes it slightly more noticeable. It looks nice though, and is super stretchy. I’ve got about two more gusset decreases to go and then I’ll be able to speed onwards with the foot of the first sock.

We’re getting exam and coursework results back at the moment. So far I’m “competent” (LPC skills are assessed on a competent/non-competent basis) at interviewing clients, advocacy, practical legal research, drafting and legal writing. Just professional conduct, litigation, business and property to go now, apparently we’re just waiting on the external moderators now. Although that always seems to be the excuse when we’re kept waiting, I do hope they get their skates on! I’m pleased that I passed the interviewing though, have been stressing over that one because I ran out of time with my client and was worried about how much I might be penalised over that. I think interviewing was a hard one to pace, you can’t really practice much as there’s no way of anticipating what the client is going to say or ask, there was no clock in the room to tell you how far along you were, and it would be unprofessional and plain rude to keep looking at your watch! At least with advocacy you know how long your submission to the judge has to be, and you can practice to get within that limit. At least it’s over for now, until it’s time for me to do it all for real!

I think I can officially dub today a Good Food Day. Went out to Washington for dim sum with my Mum and the Boy in celebration his recent promotion at work, and of some of the results I’ve had back so far. Hope there’s more cause for celebration soon! Also cracked open the last jar of kaya that my Mum brought back form Singapore for me on her last trip home. We found it whilst having a cupboard clear out before Chinese New Year, and we’re two months under the wire before the expiry date is up! It’s not going to last that long though, now that it’s open. I’ll have it gobbled up in a couple of weeks! My Mum said she’s going to try making some from scratch so I’ll have to keep my eyes out for some pandan leaves. Our poor pandan was this winter’s horticultural casualty. I’ll give pandan mark 2 a try when the weather gets a little warmer. The kaya discovery meant a fusion breakfast of sorts this morning – bacon and scrambled eggs followed by kaya toast and coffee. My heritage represented in breakfast! Delicious :)

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