Friday Gauge Check: Entering April

It’s time for our Friday rituals, the ceremonies of escorting one week out and preparing the next one. Which, around here, is the Gauge Check, where I take a look at my week and figure out where I’ve come from and where I’m going. Sometimes there are goals, sometimes I just talk about what’s going on in my life and my crafting. You are all welcome to join in in the comments.

You guys, I am so tired right now.  It’s been a long day – a good one, absolutely – but a long one.  If I had more energy, I’d tell you all about going to “Alpacapalooza” (I am not making that up) last Saturday, which featured a lot of alpacas but not nearly as much unattached fiber as I’d hoped.  I ended up picking up a singular skein of yarn and some fluff suitable for needle felting, and that was it.  It was kind of disappointing, but I reminded myself that I do have a bag of alpaca roving that I picked up at the Alpaca festival I went to in Arizona.  Alpacas are pretty cute, though, I must say.

We also saw The Hunger Games, which was absolutely fantastic – really everything I wanted the movie to be.  The only casting complaint I had was Woody Harrelson’s Haymitch, and only because I didn’t think he looked seedy enough – a couple of days’ growth of beard and an askew collar does not 24 years of alcoholism make – but his acting was enough to win me over.  I can’t say enough good things about everyone else, especially Cinna; he was perfect.  Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss had the perfect level of inexplicably likable hostility.  Effie made me want to punch her (which is appropriate), Prim was adorable, and I wanted to put Rue in my pocket and take her home.  I’d read the book, Jack hadn’t, and both of us really enjoyed the movie, which is exactly what you want from an adaptation.

Registration for Black Sheep Gathering opened on Saturday as well, and I managed to snag a spot in Judith MacKenzie‘s “Yarns Recycled” workshop.  There are still spots open in several worskhops (although not any of hers), so if you’re thinking about attending BSG this year, I’ll be there  (EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESOEXCITEDOMG)!  If workshops aren’t in your budget, it looks like there will be lots of other things to see and do.

Crafting-wise, I spun more of the pink “cotton candy” roving.  It seems to be spinning more woolen than worsted, which is interesting – it’s not drafting very smoothly, but as Jack pointed out, cotton candy isn’t particularly smooth, so it really works for the concept I’m playing with.  I expect to finish working through it next week, since there really isn’t much left.  After that, it’s on to the blue.

The knitting for the Through the Woods hood is complete!  The finishing… is not.  I hope no one’s surprised; I’m certainly not.  Next week, though, I really do want to get it blocked and seamed (just in time for it to start warming up, of course).

I only did another couple of rounds on the Enya socks, but that’s because I was busy with the first two projects for the Year of Good Intentions.  “First two?” I hear you say. “I thought you were going to do one a month.”  Well, I was.  And I am!  The trouble is, after I put up my book list, I discovered one more book hiding in my yarn basket – Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn.  After some consulting with Jack, I determined that I would add one more project to the list, but this one would be for him.  You may remember that during the Rose City Yarn Crawl he found a skein of gorgeous green and black handpainted sock yarn in the colorway Deep Forest from Blissful Knits, so I cast on the Copper Penny Socks by Nancy Bush. Since I’m using green yarn, I’m calling them the Oxidation Socks.

I also swatched for the Gnarled Oak Cardigan, which looks like it’s going to be knit on US 4 needles.  Let me stress the importance of washing and blocking your swatch, folks, because my original swatch, on the US 6 needles the pattern called for, went from 20 stitches per 4 inches to 16 when it hit water.  The gauge on US 4 is still not perfect (my first inch was 6 stitches to the inch, the other three were somehow exactly 5, WHAT DOES IT MEAN)  but it’s close enough that I can math it a little and make it work.  The sweater’s supposed to have positive ease, and it is a cardigan so it will have to go over clothes, so it’s okay if it’s a little big, I think.  (Tell me these aren’t famous last words.)  Maybe I’ll make the sleeves first.

This week I’ve had – I suppose you could call it partial startitis?  I want to cast things on, but I’m not sure what!  Is this just me?  Have you had this problem?  Hopefully that will shake itself out this week, or if it doesn’t, maybe casting on the Gnarled Oak Cardigan will help.

Today, though, I took a class at Knit Purl from Takako Ueki of Habu Textiles on reading Japanese patterns, and let me tell you, it was like a revelation.  These patterns make so much sense!   It starts with a schematic, and you follow arrows, and it’s just amazing.  I hope to put together a post next week to talk about it in more detail, but I have to figure out how to describe the system without having a pattern to talk about – she walked us through the pattern for this, and it’s under copyright and not a free pattern, so it’s not like I could just tell people to download it.  (If I were a rich girl, though, I might order that kit in wine.  I’m kind of in love with the construction.)

That about covers the week – or at least, everything I can think of.  Check your gauge, or tell me about the wackiest festival you’ve ever been to (can it beat “Alpacapalooza?”) in the comments.

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~ by Amber on April 7, 2012.

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