Monday, October 10, 2005

Yesterday we found a HUGE spider in the bath tub. This happens every once in a while, although I'm a bit confused how they always end up in there. Are they somewhere in the house, fall into the tub, and then can't get out again? Or do they crawl up through the drains during the night and then are too stupid to leave the same way?! Anway, thinking that for once the cats could make themselves useful, I lifted them both into the tub so they would dispose of the spider:

What happened next was.... nothing. They both crouched in the bath tub, looking bored and, after prodding it once or twice to make it move, mostly ignored the spider.

I don't know how often I walk into the kitchen in the morning to find some kind of battlefield involving all sorts of animals. I have also often seen them kill and eat spiders. Just another proof that if you want cats do do anything they will immediately refuse.

On to more knitting-related topics - Here it is, finally, the finished mini-project from a couple of weeks ago:

It is, of course, Knitty's Flora. The flower in particular was a lot of fun to knit, and I'm definitely making another mini scarf like this. I used Jaeger Kathmandu, which is long discontinued but sooo pretty, and I am already contemplating buying more of it, since the LYS probably has the last stash in existence. I wouldn't mind making some gloves to go with the scarf...

Spinning news: Yesterday, D spent some time making a Niddy Noddy for me. Yay! It looks great and, as you can see from the picture, it also works a treat. I love it!

The yarn wound on it is Romney, handspun but not plied yet. I am pleased with it, because it is spun quite fine and evenly - I'm learning how to pre-draft properly and it shows. I am planning on handpainting the yarn before I ply it so the finished yarn is a mix of colours. :)

I also managed to do a bit of spinning last night, while watching Lost on E4:

This is a freebie that I got from Scottish Fibres. I ordered a spare flyer and some bobbins from them and there was a delay with the delivery so to make up for it they sent me a bit of roving. Nice, isn't it? Initially I wasn't too convinced about the colours (three different types of purple/lilac) - it looked far too brash for my taste. I decided to pre-draft the fibre very thinly and to always combine two shades when spinning, which worked very well in softening the colours. I was going to ply this but I spun it quite thickly so I might just leave it as a single if it isn't too badly overtwisted.

And in not-so-fun knitting news: Saturday night, while watching The Cider House Rules (which I love so much - have to read some more John Irving soon), I was knitting along on my Hourglass Sweater. Both sleeves are completed now and joined to the body of the sweater.

I had completed something like 10 decrease rounds when I couldn't deny it any longer - I was convinced that there was an error in the pattern. After some searching, I came across a list of errors in Last Minute Gifts, and sadly, I was right. The pattern, as printed in LMG reads:

Decrease round: *Ssk, k1, k2tog, knit to next marker; repeat from * 3 more times. 8 stitches decreased.

The corrections are:

Decrease round should read: *Ssk, k1, k2tog, knit to within 2 stitches of the next marker; repeat from *

Now, it had occured to me that the pattern directions were strange, as the decrease virtually shifts the decreases by 2 stitches all the way round. Also, and this is not even on the list of corrections, by not doing a reverse of the decrease (as in SSK, k1, K2tog ... K2tog, k1, SSK), the decrease doesn't look even. Still, I thought that since this is my first attempt at this pattern I should refrain from going at this with too much independent thinking and just follow the pattern... Just goes to show that sometimes you should follow your gut instinct.


After a good deal of swearing and self-pity, all witnessed by a bemused D, I decided to ignore the mistake. I'm feeling stubborn and I can't face frogging the whole decrease section right now, so I will carry on regardless. So there! *looks mulish* Hopefully it will not end up being too noticeable and if it is, well, I could still make up my mind and re-do the section.

Also, I have already decided that I will make another Hourglass with the yarn below, so I can make sure to do it right the second time round:

Pretty pretty Jaeger Shetland Aran in my new favourite colour - spicy orange!! Hmmmm. :)

In other news: I managed to play a little with the knitting machine yesterday, but I am still having problems. We changed the sponge bar, but the knitting still gets stuck on the carriage. I know that not many of you are machine knitters, but any suggestions what I could try?!

Oh, and an update on my search for un-dyed sock yarn! I have ordered some 4-ply from texere (thanks for the suggestion, Jess!), which should arrive any day now, and Steelbreeze suggested I try BSK, so I also ordered some superwash 4-ply from them. Will keep you all updated what the yarn is like!


  1. Ooh, Flora is so pretty. I'd not seen that pattern before. You're right it's exactly what you need when you just need something to keep the chill off your neck.

  2. Anonymous1:04 pm

    I love Flora!!!
    You are right about cats. You only have to ask them to do something for you and they will refuse...
    I haven't watched The Cider house rules but have read it. I love John Irving books and I think I read them all. There is a new one out at the moment, but I'll wait for the paperback version...

  3. My cats won't eat spiders. Anything else, even wasps, but not spiders. They'll play with them a bit, get them in their mouths and spit them out. Makes me wonder if spiders have an unappealing taste.

    Flora looks lovely! (And looks like she'd make a great stashbuster project.)

  4. Anonymous2:12 pm

    I did the same as you with the Hourglass Sweater and I just left it as it was. It worked out fine, so I wouldn't worry too much. Strangely enough, I have some Jaeger Shetland Aran earmarked for Hourglass number 2 as well!

  5. Anonymous11:12 pm

    Hi there - have been checking out your blog lately - love reading it. Why don't you check out - Jussi is a machine knitter extraordinaire! She may have the answers to your questions....

  6. Iris, your flora looks super good ! I am planning doing 2 for dd's school friends for xmas gifts using one of the bfl/silk mixes that ive been busy spinning up.

    Love the niddy noddy ! wish my other half would be as good about making me bits as yours is ! I currently use the end of the dinning table to reel off onto but it does make super sized 2.5 yrd skiens which come in handy for painting the yarn.

    I have loads of locks on route from Carolyn so im like a wee kid waiting for xmas !!


  7. Anonymous11:30 pm

    The Cider House Rules is my favourite book!!! And i love the movie too. I reccomend reading The Hotel New Hampshire and The World According to Garp (another favourite and the movie is great too!). I wasn't impressed with his last book, The Fourth Hand and i noticed he has another out but it's HUGE!! I don't think i have the time to read it at the moment, plus i have about 4 of his others sitting there waiting to be read.

    Flora looks great as does your Niddy Noddy, i wish my DH was practical and could make things like that, he doesn't know what a philips screwdriver is!!

  8. Re the knitting machine - push all the needles fully out, and have a good look at them. Make a note of any that don't point straight out, and swap them out (you need to slide the sponge bar out to do this). Make sure you have the sponge bar metal side up, it doesn't work the other way around - yes, I did this *embarrassed*. Whatever you do, don't force the carriage across. Also, check the underside of the carriage for fluff, dust and foreign objects - there are magnets there, and they love picking up unattended metal objects!

    I don't know what machine you have, if it's a standard gauge they are best for 4 ply but will take DK at a higher tension. Chunkys are good for aran and above but will take DK at a low tension. I've mislaid your email address, if you contact me privately I could come and have a look for you, it's probably something daft! If it's a Brother, Richard Jones does repairs and servicing - check out the MK guild website for his phone number.

  9. Anonymous2:13 pm

    Our dogs would've eaten that spider, had I been able to lift them into the tub. Spiders just about anywhere in the house are livable, but the bathtub...down they must go, with the hottest water!
    Your Flora is beautiful. I'll have to take another look at that pattern and my stash.
    As for the niddy noddy, it puts my PVC homemade one to shame. It's very nice.

  10. Oh I bet that yarn will make a real nice hourglass, I'm about to cast one on myself but was thinking of using some rowan cotton in almost the same color... i want to join the knit-a-long now.....

  11. I know this is ages ago! When you made Flora with Kathmandu do you recall using 2 strands held together? The pattern calls for 2 strands of different yarns! I have some Kathmandu in the same colour. Grateful for advice.
    cbeach1010 at aol dot com