I’ve been playing around with Fair Isle knitting, and have finally settled on one yarn in each hand–my English knitting is pretty rusty, but as long as I stick to knit stitches I should be OK. Fair Isle is generally knitted in the round anyway, so that should be no biggie. I’ve started a pair of socks in a moderately complex Fair Isle pattern, and am working my way up the chart. (The pattern itself comes from a sweater in Tudor Roses–I decided it was way too complex for an initial project, but borrowed a few of the panels for the socks.) I’m just praying the sock fits over my heel when it’s done–the beginning stitches are pretty tight, though my gauge is starting to loosen up as my fingers relax.
Meanwhile, I’ve picked up a copy of Fair Isle Sweaters Simplified (by the Philosopher’s Wool folks) and am going to use one of their base patterns for my dye-sampler sweater. It’s a black-based design, which gives a nice jeweled effect, and is a lot simpler to knit than the one I was eyeing in Tudor Roses (which is more like cross-stich or needlepoint in its detail). Now all I have to do is dye a pound of wool yarn black, and I’m in business.
I am also looking at spinning wheels. I’ve started to get the urge to make thicker yarns than super-laceweight, and would like to try spinning my super-laceweight yarns on a wheel–so I have been going up to Carolina Homespun and testing out wheels. I spent an hour spinning on a Lendrum with the fast flyer yesterday, and am going to try out the Majacraft Suzie tomorrow. Those are the only two wheels (besides Ashford, which I’ve already tried/didn’t like) that go up to really high ratios–36:1 for the Suzie and 44:1 for the Lendrum.
(For non-spinners: the higher the ratio, the faster it puts in twist. High ratios are usually used for thinner yarn.)
So far I think the Lendrum’s OK, but it doesn’t sing to me. I’m hoping the Suzie does better, though it’s really out of my price range. Too bad there aren’t prettier wheels out there that get the same amped-up ratio. (Yes, there’s the Ashford Traditional, but it gives me leg problems.)
Oh, and exciting news–I sit for the PMP on Tuesday! That’s the Project Management Professional, the certifying exam for project managers. If I pass, I’ll have my certification and can put PMP on my resume. Doesn’t sound like much, but people are asking for it more and more often, and it will give me an edge if I have one.
The egg for my coach is just about done–I’ve completed the dyeing and the gilding, coated it in a clear glaze, applied epoxy to the interior (to make it tougher, so it won’t shatter easily if dropped), and now all that’s left is setting in the gems. I’m still trying to figure out how to make that work…I can’t get the gems into the bezel settings properly. If anyone knows a manufacturing jeweler (i.e. someone who actually does jewelry work) in the Bay Area, can you send me an email? I need someone to set 12 gems into a bezel setting for me, I can’t do it myself. I have no idea where to go to get something like that done, especially without paying an arm and a leg for it. I suspect it’s about ten or twenty minutes of work–if you have the right tool.
Anyway, if anyone can help out with that, I’d be indebted.