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Productivity Report, 3 Jan 2007

  • Uploaded photos, cropped, edited, updated blog, 1 hour.
  • Made list of drafts to write in January, roughed out outlines for three of them; 90 minutes.
  • Cleaned the drum carder. Medium cleaning, not a super-deep clean, but beyond just cleaning the drums. 30 minutes.
  • Did 2 blends to use up bombyx silk seconds (the top got ratty in the dyeing process). Documented blending of varying-staple-length fibers for future article on the subject. Put up these two blends in smaller twists. About 4 hours.
    Superfine merino, camel down, and bombyx silk blend
  • Packed and shipped 3 boxes, made post office run; 40 minutes.
  • Spun and plied 95-yard 3-ply sample skein for Jade Sweater; skeined it and washed it; 90 minutes. To be swatched in the coming week or so, so that the rest of the yarn can be spun. Documented process in digital photos.
    Sample Yarn for Jade Sweater
  • Knit a while on the back of the Purple Slate Sweater, finishing waist shaping and reaching about an inch shy of the start of the armscye. About 3 hours.
    Back of the sweater, 3 Jan 2007

Total time for 3 Jan 2007: about 12 hours if you count the evening’s knitting and spinning, 7.5 hours if you don’t.

My personal rating of the day’s productivity: low to medium, still not back in the swing of things.

My son came home from school with a piece he’d written in class that day, which read as follows:

My favorite holiday memory was when I recived my 3-D puzzle Globe. I gave my family more time together, because my mom is busy “comanding” her buisness (frankamont fibers) and my buisness.

I was really charmed by this one (and patted myself and his dad on the back mentally, for giving him the shorter of our two last names instead of the impossible-to-spell one). He went with me on the post office run, and was a huge help at the supermarket afterwards. I suspect I’ll be thinking of myself as “commanding” my business from here on out, and grinning. As to commanding the manchild’s business, make no mistake — my better half does more than his fair share of that.

The two main blends I did, a pink one and a purple one, are impossible to photograph well without sunlight. Grrr. I really want some real sunlight! I know, I know, wrong time of year, and really what I should be seeking out is a solution to the lighting problem in general. Flash photos, and bulb-lit photos, of anything with a lot of silk in it, just come out awful.

Purple Slate Yarn
The Purple Slate Sweater is working up nice and quick, which was the point of the “big needle” project (supposing you figure US 6 /4mm needles are big) and gauge seems to be spot on; but I’m a little concerned I may run shorter of yarn than I really want. So I drafted an alternative version of the pattern as well, this one featuring a low scoop neck and sleeves closer to half-sleeve than 3/4. I really will be annoyed if I run short; the old pattern I’d drafted and lost, I was pretty confident about. I’ll take stock when I’m done with the back, as it being a raglan that’ll be something like 3/8 of the yarn needed, depending on how long I make the sleeves… if I’m going to run short at that point, I’ll have to change it to a short sleeve, which I’d rather not do, or come up with a way to work in a complementary, but different, yarn (since the 846 yards of this one is all there is or can be).

I’m still undecided about the pattern to decorate the raglan lines — well, other than being certain it’ll have nothing to do with cables, since I’m concerned about my yarn quantity!

As for the sample yarn, I’d purchased a pound and a half, maybe 2 pounds, of a 90’s grade green merino top a while ago, with intent to spin myself a sweater yarn from it, but it’s been sitting unspun for at least a year. Maybe two. And about 18 months ago I’d picked up 8 ounces of a sort of clovery merino-tencel. Sometime last, oh, February or so, the thought had occurred to me that those two would potentially complement each other nicely and it would let me work the merino/tencel into another sweater, since I was liking it as an element in the Purple Slate yarn. So I dug the two out and set to sampling.

Green superfine merino, bluer merino/tencel

Originally I’d been thinking 2 plies of the merino, one ply of the merino/tencel, but then I felt like that would just sort of overwhelm the merino tencel entirely, give no real variegation or interest to the yarn other than the minimal marled effect, and so maybe instead, I might do a single that went back and forth between being merino and merino/tencel, a single of merino, and a single of merino/tencel. That’s what I sampled for last night, and while it looks pretty in the skein, I don’t know — it might still overwhelm the sheen from the merino/tencel blend, and it’s hard to say. It’ll have to be swatched. And I may have spun the sample skein too fine, as usual. It’s finer than the Purple Slate yarn. I don’t know that I have any great inclination to knit a biggish sweater from yarn that fine, but it remains to be seen how the swatching goes. It’s entirely possible I’ll end up saying, nope, just spin up the merino, and the merino/tencel separately, they don’t really work together all that amazingly well. I do want a whole sweater from merino/tencel 3-ply. I have made that decision. Not this clovery colour though. Something else. I’ll have to shop for it.

Well, I’m off to the post office — I happen to know there’s a pair of exciting boxes waiting there for me to pick up! They’ll contain my new (to me) fully restored circular sock machine! And that will doubtless consume my entire day.

2 thoughts on “Productivity Report, 3 Jan 2007

  1. A busy time, indeed! Sometimes it is an adventure!

    Welcome to the Fiber Femmes Web Ring!

  2. For photographing the silk, have you tried using diffusion box? I’ve heard good things about those big translucent Tupperware-style storage crates.

    It’s great to read your updates, by the way.

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