Monday, August 10, 2009

Knitting content!

Please. Do not swoon.

Yes. I have been knitting. And spinning. Mostly in the hopes of preserving what little is left of my sanity, but occasionally for fun. (I remember fun. It was nice.) Things are still a bit nuts here, but the insanity is easing off. I hope.

We are taking the Goob to a parade Saturday, so that will likely ramp things right back up to insane again.

Anyway. Knitting. Cameo is coming along.

I've tried it on and it's looking really good. Except for one teeny tiny problem:

See that bit of white cotton tied in there? That's the approximate waist of the sweater. I've got three balls of yarn left, and this thing needs arms, neck band, and front side bands. I forsee a problem. Pretty sure I'm going to knit both arms, put on the neckband, and then use most of the rest of the yarn on the body, hopefully ending with just enough to do the front bands. The fun of knitting top down. Whee? But it looks good, and it fits. These are the important things.


The spinning, well, it's been kind of meh. See, when we got here we put my (unfinished like a giant sponge) wheel in the basement. The basement is nicely finished, but damp. Apparently the wheel soaked up the humidity like a giant, well, sponge, and got all sticky and creaky and difficult to spin with. At one point I was so frustrated I was about to pick it up and start beating the floor with it, but reason prevailed and instead I asked the husbeast to take a look at it.

Long story short, we had the thing torn down nearly to single pieces; the foot treadles were still attached to the cam, but the drive wheel, spinning head, and everything else were taken off. The husbeast put it back together, bit by bit, picking out bits of fiber and adding silicon grease impregnated with graphite where appropriate. (The husbeast doesn't fool around when it comes to lubricants. All I'm sayin'.) Each time he added a part, I would treadle it for a bit. Eventually, it was all back together, we had no explanation for why it was goofy, and we figured, hey, maybe it was the humidity making the parts swell. (Anyone ever hear the Steve Martin routine about the stereo system and 'hey, maybe the needle is bad'? It was like that.) We brought the wheel upstairs and left it alone for two days in the nice, dry air conditioning, and now it's good as new.

I include this long, maundering tale for others who have wheels that suddenly start acting weird. Apparently they're temperamental like musical instruments. Who knew? (Okay, maybe it's obvious, but remember, self taught over here.)

All I have to show for a freaking months' worth of spinning is this:

350 yards of lace weight two-ply I'm calling 'Crumb Cake', because that's what it reminds me of. One beige-ish, solid colored ply that reminds me of the cake, one brown tweedy ply that reminds my of the spicy strusel that goes on top. (I've got a wicked good recipe for crumb cake that starts off with melting three sticks of butter. When I have my cook books back, someone remind me to post it.) I hope to get at least a thousand yards of this laceweight, eventually, but it's going to take half my life. I'm already feeling bad about what I'll have to charge for it. Even at my usual seventy-five cents per hour, it takes time to spin this much laceweight.


After yesterday's post about trolls, I was considering a followup post on how to avoid attracting trolls in the first place. I started mentally composing it, got to "try not to piss anyone off", laughed for about three hours, and gave up. For what it's worth, I will say that the magic number for Google appears to be about a quarter million. Once you get somewhere around a quarter million site hits, you are on the radar for the Google search algorithm, and will pop up a lot more frequently and a lot more visibly.

Today I got a hit on the Peanut Butter Toast post, from someone Googling Sub-Saharan civilization. I'm getting insane amounts of hits on the Sumerian number stuff. Lots of traffic on the fashion designer pages, too. And the Amish Lemonade is always popular. Especially in summer.

In a way, it's really cool, but it's also making me kinda paranoid. There's ALWAYS a better expert out there, and I'm to the point I obsessively research stuff so I don't make an ass out of myself when some PhD in ancient history gets bored and Googles "Sumerian number theory". (Do it. You'll choke.)

So, really, the bottom line is, the only way to avoid internet trolls is to stay off the internet.

And we all know I'd break out in hives if I did that.


Leonie said...

Second to yahoo! Good Lord woman any wonder you are starting to get super researchy!!

Bells said...

eek hope you make it with enough yarn. Are they 100g skeins or 50g? I'm nervous.

You kinda failed on the not pissing anyone off thing! You seem to excel at it!

I must post that fibre to you!

Donna Lee said...

The whole yarn harlot stalker thing would be funny if the person wasn't so vicious sounding. She does seem to be a genuinely nice person and my philosophy is always, if you don't like it turn it off (tv, radio) or stop reading for pete's sake. Nasty people have always existed but now the internet has given them potentially larger audiences and larger pools of potential victims. Just what intolerant little minds need.

ladytemeraire said...

I feel bad for our lovely Harlot just because she's such a nice person. I know that won't deter the trolls, but still, it should count for something, right?

Donna Lee has a point. When Steph posted the various emails on her blog, I was amused for the first few... until I realized that psycho was serious. Yeesh.

And OMG that laceweight. WANT.

(verification word "evarai". Sounds like a fancy-shmancy shampoo brand.)

Alwen said...

I'm halfway to swoon anyway - tomorrow I have another knitting class with Galina Khmeleva!

Yes! I am stopping strangers on the street to tell them this! I am v i b r a t i n g!

I live where it's so humid in the summer, I can weave linen without spraying water on it. One day I'll share chair caning vs. humidity stories.

Anonymous said...

I can't decide what drives me more bonkers. Running out of yarn or being told to buy way too much.


Emily said...

I am impressed beyond words with the solve-it-yourself energy of you & Husbeast, fixing your wheel.

As to humidity & wood...I'm a violinist, and humidity is not my friend. (Be warned: neither is dryness.) My very expensive instrument is made of wood & glue; in the summer the fingerboard tends to slide forward toward the belly, which would generate expensive repairs if I let it go on. I prop it up with a thingie made of layers of cardboard wrapped in waxed paper. If the fiddle survives the summer, in winter the whole thing contracts back. Now, as the fingerboard droops slightly, it raises the strings, making them harder to press...and also increasing the brilliance of the sound! For that reason I don't use my summer bridge to correct the string height. I just live with it.

There is no solve-it-yourself approach recommended for violin repair. Or at least not on very good instruments.

I personally LOVE your articles, on anything.

Roxie said...

I live in a place where we rarely get humidity without rain. It's more of a problem than I realized. Hooray for the husbeast.

Amy Lane said...

Okay-- I'm in love with the lace weight. Can't afford it, but lurv it...

The Cameo looks AWESOME... can't wait to see what it looks like when it's done!

Hope the Goob enjoys the parade!

(spam word bolog)

Baby nuke said...

Wait, neolube? Isn't that stuff impossible to get out of clothes?