Spinning Day

Today spinning was at my house. We had a chocolate cake and some honey flapjacks. R brought chocolate. My spinning wheel didn’t make it as far as the sitting room today so that’s why this post didn’t make it into the Spinning category 🙂

After I had done a show and tell on my off-the-needles projects…

Butternut Scarf off the needles and ready to block
Butternut Scarf off the needles and ready to block
Butternit scarf, showing reverse texture
Butternut scarf, showing reverse texture

(The flash bounced a bit off the silk content in the yarn and the stitches don’t show up very well here.

The flash also does the colour no favours.)

Rainbow Swallowtaill Shawl, ready for blocking
Rainbow Swallowtaill Shawl, ready for blocking

…I had planned to block them in the kitchen while the ladies did their spinning. However, having missed Craft Club on Monday due to a rather intensive shawl trauma, I was given a pattern and a nudge in the ribs by SpinningGill.

The outcome? It’s not pretty…

It's supposed to be a preemie hat
It's supposed to be a preemie hat

Believe it or not, the concentration that it took to get just this far was giving me a headache, so I dug out my Thorfinn Sock and did a few rows on that as light relief.

So, my blocking still needs to be done…

I can’t begin to express how much better I feel for having got the shawl off the needles. It began life in August 2007, as a kind of lace training exercise. I had only been back on the needles a short while and it had been many years since I had knit anything lacy, so I decided to begin with 4ply. Things went very well, but I was quickly seduced by the fripperies at Knitspot and those lovely bargain Colormart laceweight yarns. The rest is history.

When the shawl came to its first anniversary, I decided to crack on with it, but noticed that I had in fact been knitting it incorrectly. I frogged it and began again. Looking at my records last night, I find that although the shawl is 18 months old, this incarnation had but 5 active days in it. It is actually a very fast knit. It’s simple enough and the only problems that I had with it were a) due to my poor maths (see this post) and b) due to the darkness of the purple sections – I had no problems in any other colour sections at all!

In short, I have warm feelings towards this pattern for the moment and I find myself thinking about reshaping my plans for the Great WIP Roundup. The completion list seems top heavy with knitting in the round and I want to break up the tedium a little and avoid doing too much sockage-in-series. I shall knit socks-in-parallel instead, and add some straight needle projects to that mix. While I am on a roll with the Swallowtail, I might as well pick up the second one (which is only a few rows long at present) and whip that off as quickly as possible. Thorfinn is returning to its status as a “ferry project”, the Not so Flashy socks will continue by my bedside for sporadic progress, WIP elimination efforts will be directed to the Pink Swallowtail, the Petra-fied Mitts, and the WARNING! sock (oh, my…) I am minded to do the Cascading Leaves Shawl after the second Swallowtail, and keep up the same kind of mix for a while. Does the Cascading Leaves count as a WIP? I never got further than swatching…

Overall I am very pleased with my WIP reduction efforts and I do think that January shall continue with a focus on whipping the WIPS into shape. How long I can keep up that discipline remains to be seen. To be honest, with the Rainbow Swallowtail out of the way I actually feel as though I am over the hump. If only that were true! But the remaining projects, with a couple of notable exceptions, have not yet reached the stage of making me feel bad about their presence in the same way that the shawl did. There’s a small matter of the WARNING! socks, of course… *sigh*

More WIPpage in February, I reckon.


  1. January 21, 2009

    I did get some spinning done today on my new wheel. I think I might be hooked!

  2. January 22, 2009

    You are doing brilliantly – I don’t knit more than one thing at once, but I do like the idea of knitting socks in tandem with other projects. I might just do that.

    I had spinning group yesterday too – isn’t it the best?

    • January 22, 2009

      I suppose it is, but it seems to give me a headache whenever it’s at my house. Maybe it’s the unaccustomed hoovering that does it :-p

      As for the WIPs – I am really surprised at how much I can reel off if I really knuckle down to it AND avoid casting on new temptations. However – I just cast on something new half an hour ago. It’s allowed, because it’s not for me. LOL

  3. jenny
    January 22, 2009

    your Swallowtail is so pretty, can’t wait to see it lblocked

    • January 22, 2009

      Blocking under way… just got to keep the cats off it overnight…

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