Daily Archives: October 5, 2009

Weekend Roundup: Crafting Weekend Edition

Originally planned as a weekend away in Alexandria, this weekend was revised when two of the original hosts had to bow out due to health issues. Ceri hosted it instead, we tweaked the meal plan a bit to reflect fewer people, Mousme couldn’t join us till Sunday due to what began as alternate plans and was revised to a shoulder injury… but we stayed true to the original vision of the weekend and had much fun.

After untangling and rewinding the Skein of Doom we determined that it was in fact too light for the project Ceri needs it for. Turns out it’s a wpi or so thicker than fingering weight. (Colour me plenty astonished, and allow me to pat myself on the back for accomplishing that light a weight so early in the spinning game.) I suggested spinning some worsted weight Corriedale for her. She wibbled a bit saying that she didn’t want to create more work for me, and I said, “Do you realise that it will take me all of four hours to spin what you need?” So off I went, and I had it about 90% plied by the time I left on Sunday, too. It was an interesting exercise to consciously spin something thicker than my default setting, and at one point I laughed at myself because whereas before I’d been looking at the thick bits of yarn and saying, “Bah, yuck,” now I was looking at the thin bits and saying, “Bah, yuck.” After skeining it this morning and doing a test wpi, I have discovered that it’s between worsted and Aran weight, and I am very proud. It’s lovely and shiny, and softer to touch than the fingering weight spun from the same fibre. Now I need to do another seventy yards or so to get to the yardage required by Ceri’s pattern.

While rummaging around for something this weekend (she did a lot of magically producing equipment and supplies for various people, bless her) Ceri discovered a 2oz bag of coloured fibre she’d gotten at the spindling workshop we’d taken in May. Turns out that it’s exactly the colours I was looking for with which to knit a Yule gift for my goddaughter. So I’ll do a test spin of it (ha ha, fingering weight, go me!) and if it spins up well I’ll get Ariadne to order a half-pound of it in for me, and my goddaughter shall have an extra-special gift. Assuming I can get it done by the solstice, that is; if not, her birthday’s in early spring.

Working in a group of fellow crafters was remarkably soothing. What we might have blown up at if we were alone became an annoyed exclamation, sympathised with by everyone else. We proposed solutions to other people’s problems, or helped one another out. (The Skein of Doom would never have become untwisted without Jan’s help, for example.) It was fun, and relaxing, and we all accomplished an incredible amount of work because it was all we had to do, and we all want to do it again. I suggested a fall and spring schedule, so as to tidy away loose ends of projects hanging about before a new half of the year.

I sent Jan home with my spindle and some fibre. Muah hah hah. Also, poor Mousme, who was doped up on anti-inflammatories and codeine, kept being lulled into a trace by the spinning wheel.

I could try to write it all out in even more detail but I’m still down for the count energy-wise from the cold (this weekend was all about sitting down and not moving, thank goodness), so here, preserved for posterity, are the Tweets Ceri and I posted during the weekend. They became rewards or ways to cebrate various achievements.

Day One, 3 October 2009:

Ceri: Have decided to live Twitter our #craftingweekend. Because what is more hilarious than knitting? (1:00 PM)

Autumn: Two days, four women, crochet hooks, yarn, circular knitting needles, one spinning wheel. And livetweeting the process. What can go wrong? (1:24 PM)

Ceri: The weekend gets off to an ominous start when @owldaughter was attacked by her blanket yarn. Which then tried to escape. #craftingweekend

Autumn: Have just learned how to tink back. Backwards knitting: who knew? #craftingweekend (1:25 PM)

Ceri: Jan is here. We’ve moved to the sunporch. We have tea, cookies, pepperoni and cheese. Let’s roll. #craftingweekend

Autumn: Current music: The Puppini Sisters. When the tea is gone, I think the cider will come out. #craftingweekend (1:30 PM)

Autumn: It’s all about having a vision, even while you’re struggling with finicky little bits that don’t look like much. #craftingweekend (2:15 PM)

Ceri: Now my crochet hook flew out of my hands and attempted to commit suicide. Too much amigurumi? #craftingweekend

Autumn: It’s like magic! You knit, and the scarf gets longer. Magic, I tell you. #craftingweekend (3:25 PM)

Autumn: And now, to unknot the Skein of Doom. I spun it; I somehow twisted it while washing it; I get to untangle it. #craftingweekend (4:30 PM)

Ceri: The Skein of Doom is being threatened into submission with very sharp scissors. The Cursed Shawl is still sulking. #craftingweekend

Autumn: ONE HOUR LATER the skein has been untangled and remeasured. Couldn’t have done it w/o Jan. Thank the gods for cider. #craftingweekend (5:48 PM)

Ceri: Dinner has been had, the cats have been kicked out of the sunporch so as not to get into fibre-related trouble.#craftingweekend

Ceri: Have discovered why the mittens are taking so long to knit. Needles are size 4. They should be size 4mm. NOT THE SAME. #craftingweekend

Day Two, 4 October 2009:

Autumn: Hearty breakfast has been had. All four crafters are installed. Let’s roll… day two. #craftingweekend (11:33 AM)

Ceri: Have reached the decreases on the hand of the mitten. Then I shall take out the Cursed Shawl and see if it is repentant. #craftingweekend (2:00?)

Autumn: Bobbin #1 of the second go at worsted weight is done (the DK isn’t quite heavy enough). Bobbin #2 is about to begin! #craftingweekend (2:00?)

Ceri: Took out the Cursed Shawl. Jan dropped six stitches. Coincidence? I THINK NOT. #craftingweekend (2:30?)

Autumn: Break. Back hurting. Not sure if that’s the lingering cold, or the spinning. #craftingweekend (2:30?)

Autumn: There was dancing to jazz. With cats. Not by me. But there was. #craftingweekend (2:45?)

Ceri: The Cursed Shawl is back on the Needles! All the stitches are there, I know what row I’m on, and the yarn’s untangled. WOO! #craftingweekend (4:00?)

Autumn: Second bobbin of Corriedale spun. Now another break, then it shall be plied! #craftingweekend (4:00?)

Ceri: @owldaughter has left :( #craftingweekend is almost at an end. (8:00?)

Ceri: I finished a mitten! Woo! #craftingweekend (9:00?)

Ceri: … and my other guests are gone. So that means #craftingweekend is officially over.

Day Three – Summary:

Autumn: #craftingweekend tally A: 1 lap blanket tinked back and prepped to continue; 1 Cursed Shawl lifelined and ripped back, prepped to continue;

Autumn: #craftingweekend tally B: 1 thrummed mitten; 1 quilt basted; several quilt patches seamed; 1 baby blanket border completed;

Autumn: #craftingweekend tally C: bits of Mystery Amigurumi crocheted; another 2 inches of lace scarf knitted; 1 10 yr old sweater assembled;

Autumn: #craftingweekend tally D: tangled skein untwisted; 5 oz Corriedale spun and plied for worsted weight. I declare this weekend a full success!

Ceri: After #craftingweekend, my Christmas list feels manageable again. WOOHOO! Same time next weekend?

And the bonus Tweet from Scott, around mid-afternoon on Day One (which really should have had a #craftingweekend hashtag, to amuse readers):

Scott: The women are knitting and the men are killing zombies.

(Context, should you desire it: He encountered one of the original participants, who had cancelled due to poor health, playing Left4Dead online, so they slew zombies companionably while we crafted upstairs.)

Other stuff that happened this weekend: A good cello lesson Saturday morning, an errand run with HRH after the cello lesson, and HRH painted the front of his parents’ house.