wingedorange: Mr. Muggles! (Default)
2009-08-02 02:51 pm

Aeolian Update

So after I spent all that time spinning, beading, and crying about my Aeolian yarn…I think it’s going to be okay.

I sat down yesterday to unply the beaded thread from the rest of the singles, and it was apparent in the first thirty seconds that if I kept it up, I was going to have a hell of a mess. Fortunately, yesterday was a rational day for me, so I stopped trying to unply and decided just to wind the hank into a ball. As I was winding (by hand, because my ballwinder kept trying to eat the beads), it became apparent that when under a little tension, the goofy plying issue with the thread evened out. It still looks pretty nutty in the ball, but I have faith that if I choose to knit with it, it’ll be more or less okay.

I’m spinning up the other half of the singles now, and once I see what kind of yardage I get, I can see how to proceed. I know that I will not be beading the second half of the yarn, just doing a standard two-ply. My thought so far is to use the non-beaded yarn to knit the main body of the shawl and then use the beaded part for the border. However, since the border takes 45% of the yarn, it’s really going to depend on what the yardage is on the second half of the spinning. If I’m short, I can always substitute a commercial yarn or spin something else.

It’s to the point where I don’t even know where I could possibly wear this shawl, but I’m so far invested in it that I. Will. Have. A. Handspun. Aeolian.

In other news – no, I still haven’t heard about my job. I’m hoping tomorrow will be the day, because I’m tired of literally ducking my principal to avoid being asked about my contract. Seriously, on Friday, I saw him coming down the hall and I dashed into the ladies’ room and stayed there until the hallway was quiet.  Scott’s making out a little better; he has a second interview for his job prospect on Wednesday, which is encouraging.

Let’s see. For those who care (i.e., Katie), I’m still going to the gym. I went Wednesday/Thursday/Friday last week, which may have been a mistake, because I am so sore. I’m used to doing every other day, but things came up last Monday & Tuesday, so I rearranged. Also, I completely stand by the claim I made on Plurk that Michael Jackson’s “Morphine” is the shit for workouts – I ran 8.5 mph on Friday while listening to it, which honestly is crazy, considering that when I started going to the gym (sans-”Morphine,” mind you) I could only do about 3 mph. It’s at the top of my workout playlist now, so we’ll see if it continues to motivate. :)

Mirrored from winged orange.

wingedorange: Mr. Muggles! (Default)
2009-07-13 07:14 pm

In which the threat of snow in July is imminent

Have any of you felt cold lately? A bone-chilling, all over sensation that starts with your feet and works its way up? If so, I apologize deeply. It’s my fault.

You see, I’ve caused hell to freeze over. I did the unthinkable.

I went to the gym today. And I enjoyed it.

I’m not enjoying it now, though. My arms and shoulders are rebelling in the worst way possible. I put my hair in a ponytail after my shower, and let me tell you, it was an effort to raise my arms above my head. I’m going to be in even sorrier shape tomorrow. This is the part of my body that says, “See, this is why the gym is bad, you dumbass.” This is why I have avoided anything resembling heavy exercise for 25 years.

But while I was there, doing my 20 minutes on the treadmill and 25 on the elliptical, I was enjoying myself a little bit. The anti-gym part of my body was going, “Seriously, how can you possibly be liking this?!” The rest of me was kind of getting a kick out of working up a sweat, and pounding out the beat of “Smooth Criminal” on the treadmill. It was also saying to the anti-gym part, “You are not 20 anymore, and all of those pictures of you on Facebook from junior year of college? When you could still fit into those cute tank tops because you worked at the barn all summer and got buffish? Yeah, you don’t look like that anymore. You ain’t losin’ that spare tire unless you get off your ass and work for it!” I really felt like I was doing something good for myself, even though I was kind of dying there on the exercise equipment.

Also, I’m in my college roommate’s wedding on the 26th, and since she’s a low-key, nontraditional kind of girl, she decided we should all be allowed to buy our own sundress. Well. I bought a killer one. I’m not a girly girl. I don’t like dresses. But this dress…this is adorable. Sadly, however, it also runs crazy small. I’m a 12 in dresses, maybe a 14 if it’s cut weird. I ordered a 12 and had to send it back. I got a 14 and had to send it back. It only comes in sizes up to 16, so that’s what I finally ordered, even though the dress itself is only a couple of inches wider than my old high school graduation dress, which is a 10. So it’s really a 12 masquerading as a 16, which meant I needed to lose five pounds to zipper it.

I tried it on again last week. I knew I’d lost some weight just by watching what I ate a bit, and I was right – the dress zippered. But there was still a problem. See how the description of the dress says, “Room to breathe”? Well, I couldn’t! I can get into the dress, but I can’t sit, dance, eat, sneeze, or exahale. These are all desirable functions to be able to perform at a wedding. Especially that last one. In a fit of desperation, frenzy, and an intense desire NOT to be the token fat girl in the wedding party, I registered for Planet Fitness this morning. And then I drove to the gym this afternoon and worked my ass off. I’m hoping that if I work hard over the next two weeks, I’ll be able to breathe while I’m performing my bridesmaidly duties. After the wedding, I’m hoping that if I work really hard, I’ll look damn cute in my vacation pictures from Disney in December!

In other news, I haven’t reached a definite decision on the Aeolian yarn, mostly because I’ve still not washed the first skeins. I’ll get there. I’m leaning towards just spinning the second batt and seeing what I get. Worst comes to worst, I’ll just order some KP lace yarn for Aeolian and use the handspun for some other lace project. I’m trying not to be too bitter about the whole thing because the merino was a joy to spin, and the yarn is really pretty, if not exactly what I wanted/needed for the shawl. It was a learning experience, and I have learned that beads and I should retreat to separate corners forever. ;) Still, if you have thoughts on the last entry, please, comment! I wanna hear them!

This should be a good week. On deck: Scott’s coming Wednesday, dinner out on Thursday, school field trip to the zoo on Friday, and also on Friday, Half Blood Prince in IMAX!

Mirrored from winged orange.

wingedorange: Fuzzball from Captain Eo (fuzzball)
2009-07-12 01:00 pm

Lions & tigers & yarn, oh my!

I love summer, especially this summer, because it’s not been oppressively hot. I went to the Philadelphia Zoo yesterday, and the weather was fairly nice. There were a couple of uncomfortably hot moments, but overall, it was pleasant weather. Lots of the animals were out, too!

Rainbow Keets Fud Pleez Prairie Doggin It

Sleeping Merlin Okapi Chuck

You can click any of those for bigger, and there are more photos and a couple of videos on my Flickr page. Not to be missed are the large version of the Prehensile Tailed Porcupine (you can see his little tongue!), or the video of the crazy duck that dogged us during lunch. He was too funny. I’m going to the Zoo on Friday with my students, so I kind of hope we see that duck again.

I’m alone today, so I felt it was a good idea to finally get the first half of Aeolian shawl yarn off the bobbin. I’ve put off spinning the second half because I am so ambivalent about this yarn, and the combination of the shawl pattern I chose and the yarn I’ve got so far. So before I explain my issues, I’ll show you the yarn first. ;) Once again, click for bigger.

Aeolian First Batch Aeolian First Batch Skeined

Okay. So here are my issues:

  1. Not enough yardage. Between this and the other skein I got from the first batt, I only have about 160 yards. Assuming I get similar yardage from batt #2, I’ll only have 320 yards, instead of the 400 (bare minimum) I need for the small size of the Aeolian shawl.
  2. The ply is loose in places, due to the quilting thread I used to ply and also to the learning curve involved in spinning super thin beaded yarn. This might change once it’s washed, though.
  3. I worry about the structural integrity of the yarn. There are a couple of places where the plying thread snapped and needed to be knotted, and in the first skein, there are a couple of places where the single snapped and needed to be knotted. Since it’s superwash merino, it couldn’t be spit spliced. :P I don’t think it’ll hold up to frogging well at all.

So, what do I do now?! I haven’t spun the second batt yet, because I’m trying to decide what to do with this yarn. The way I see it, these are my options:

  1. Spin the second batt with my new laceweight whorl and see what yardage I get. If it’s not up to 400 yards minimum, I can reassess from there. This locks me into a laceweight project, though, since I’ll have four ounces of wool spun up into laceweight.
  2. Spin the second batt a different way/as a different weight and knit a small scarf from the first couple of highly imperfect skeins and something different from the second batt.

I’d still like to knit Aeolian, but I don’t think this is the yarn to do it with, especially with the structural issues it has and my propensity to make mistakes that require frogging. I could scrap the (very stalled) Laminaria I started and knit Aeolian with my KP Shimmer instead. But still…what do I do with the yarn I’ve spun and with the other batt I still have to spin?! Any options I missed? Opinions? Pattern suggestions? Sedatives? Therapy?

Mirrored from winged orange.