Thursday, March 25, 2010

A surprisingly great read

I went to the new library about a month ago and just wandered around for a while. I walked by a display and saw How to build your own spaceship : the science of personal space travel by Piers Bizony. I checked it out and found it was a very good book. I suspected it might be dry or overly technical, but it was not any of those things. It spent a month in my purse as my "walking around" book, and I was always glad to have a few minutes to read more.

There was lots of information about the science of space flight, the physics of getting large things into space, kinds of businesses you could start in order to get into space. But there are also great stories about the history of spaceflight, both manned and unmanned, from around the world. Tales of success and of failure, Of grand ideas and practical alternatives. As a kid who watched the Apollo take offs, I was enchanted. Bizony never talks down, but he manages to convey the information in everyday language, explaining technical terms simply as he goes.

While I have no plans for a backyard rocket, I'm very glad I read this book and would recommend it to anyone interested at all in space.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Not bad, not bad

I met many of my goals last week, and came close on the rest. Not bad, I think, considering I was sick for a couple of days since my older DD brought home a hostile microbe from school.

 I did, in fact, finish Finn's other sock, and he has declared them a perfect fit and just what he wanted.Since they're so short, I may have enough yarn for another pair. There is at least enough for a third sock, not a bad idea knowing what becomes of socks around here.

I made it through chart 4 the 16 times I thought I would need in order to have the scarf long enough, but the row gauge is different with this yarn/needle combo, so I'll need to do 20 instead.

I did get the towel warp wound, and sleyed the reed. Still need to thread the heddles and beam the warp. So not quite, but not bad. ;)

I started pulling threads on the silk shibori scarves at the evening weavers meeting Wednesday, and a bit more during scrabble last night. Still tons to go, but that was a bonus goal so I'm not counting it. ;)

We had some gorgeous spring-like days last week and I found the nicest place to wind a warp is on the front porch. Sunny in the morning, shady in the afternoon, house cuts the breeze. The warping board leaned up against the porch railing is just the right height. It might be nice to take the loom out there sometime.

So, for the coming week, I'd like to finish warping the loom for towels. I'd like to get one towel woven, as well. I need to finish 4 more repeats of chart 4, and knit chart 5 and 6. Also need to clarify the directions for part of the ReSoleAble Sock pattern where folks keep getting stuck. I think that should keep me out of trouble until next week.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Shibori warp finished!

I finished weaving this over the weekend, started to pull the pattern threads last night. There are 3 scarves worth there, 2 with silk noil in both the warp and the weft, and one with a polyester/metallic blend that I hope will pleat when I steam it. That's the dark part. It's black yarn with a metallic thread plyed in. My plan is to leave it all in one piece, dye it changing colors every so often, steam it to set the dyes and make (hopefully) permanent pleats in the dark scarf, then cut them into scarf lengths and hem them. We'll see how long it takes to pull all those threads...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Fruitful weekend

No photos today, but progress!

* Finished the first of 2 socks for Finn, the other one only needs ribbing.

* Knitted Poul Erik from Kunststrik 2 over the weekend, a 40 round little gem that will get blocked tonight.

* Wove off the magical silk noil warp that I was beginning to believe was getting longer the more I wove. It did actually have an end, after all.

* Counted heddles as I moved them around for my next warp. I'll need 600 for the towels that are due April 5th. I have: (drum roll, please)

which means I don't have to drop $20 on another hundred heddles (yet).

I've been kicking around the idea of weaving a warp per month this year, but I'm still undecided. I had been weaving for an hour every weekday for quite a while, but for the past year or so that just doesn't happen. Goals rally do help me get things done, but I don't want to wind up feeling oppressed be deadlines.

For this week, I'd like to finish Finn's other sock, make it through chart 4 of the butterfly scarf, wind the towel warp, and dress the loom. If I get the silk noil gathering threads pulled, that'll be extra credit.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Noro Zig Zig Scarf

I bought a lovely skein of Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn at Mew Mews a few weeks ago to make another zig zag scarf, this time a little more grown-up looking. I even figured out how to make it totally reversible, and using a continuous strand instead of breaking off and joining on every 2 blocks. I really dislike weaving in ends, especially if there's not a wrong side to hide them on.

I really like the color changes and the way it feels so far, but I decided to rip it out and try to knit it with built-in I-cord edging. I think that would be a fabulous edge treatment, and if I knit it as I go I won't have to worry about having enough yarn left to do applied I-cord at the end. I can always do that if the built-in I-cord gives me a headache. I think I'll be ok, though, if I sketch it out ahead of time and take really good notes.