08 February 2007

That was a record!

I think I set some kind of personal record yesterday, with the number of comments left in the shortest period of time. Go me!

So I have all sorts of things today to distract you from the fact that it's boring as heck to watch someone knitting a shawl. The final product is lovely, but the process of getting there is as interesting as watching paint dry.

First, people asked questions.

Karin asked what camera I got.

This one. It's about $100 more than I originally meant to spend, but it's AMAZING. The macro mode is gorgeous, so far all the functions I generally want to access -- macro mode on and off, flash on and off, switching the camera from photo mode to download mode -- are all easy to find and poke. There's also a fully manual mode that I want to play with more when the weather is better. I've always wanted to take pictures...I wonder if Ansel Adams' books are just as good for digital cameras.

Madge asked what the Lisa Souza colorways are: in order, we have Gendarme in Sock!, Mulberry and then Black Purple in Sock!Merino, and Wild Things in ... hm, the worsted weight merino, I think. The superwash one. This makes awesome socks for my step-father, and makes my mother's life earlier -- two birds, one stone.

Finally, Artemis, a good friend of mine who has taken up spinning, asked me: In the meanwhile, I'd love to get a dialogue going about yarn. What is your favorite kind of yarn? Ply number? Fiber? Would you or other knitters actually spend 50 bucks on a skein of yarn, and what do you look for?

Here's what I think: my favorite kind(s) of yarn are NOT the sort of Art Yarns that some people go nuts over. Karin sent me some gorgeous fluff, and B sent me some lovely handspun, and I treasure each of them, and will make myself goofy scarves for when I'm in the right mood for them -- but when I'm looking for yarn for knitting BIG projects these days, I'm knitting a shawl, a sweater, or socks. That means I want consistent, strong yarn, mostly natural fibers (I'm a big fan of wool, alpaca, and silk, especially combinations of these) and I'm GENERALLY looking for DK weight or lighter. Ply number? Completely depends. I'm more interested in twist, really; for a cabled sweater, I want a harder twist, so that the yarn is stiffer and stands out more -- for lace, I like more drape and ease of motion.

Will I spend $50 on a skein of yarn? That's a huge depends. For a 1200yd skein of hand-dyed laceweight? Probably. For a 200yd skein of fluffy sillyness? Not so much. It would depend on color, on hand, on how much I loved it. I would only buy in online if I had a pretty good idea of the seller -- i.e. Lisa Souza's alpaca silk, yeah, okay. Josephine-Shmoe's etsy site? Less likely.

What say you, ladies? Poke your mice over to Artemis' LJ and let her know.

Now, pictures:

I got LOTS of pictures of Jilly's backside before she held still long enough to get this pretty one.
Keelie doesn't like the flash, but her fur is too dark for her to be very visible without it.

I needed a shawl pin for the shawl for the wedding; everyone knows that when you need a shawl pin, you go to Romi. Here's what I picked out.

I have this thing about dragonflies (i.e. I love them, and they make me feel happy and peaceful and remind me of a good time in my life), so this pin with its hematite beads was just perfect.

Superman socks. The fascinating thing about these is that I actually managed to wrest them off of Robb's feet long enough to take the picture.

Marble Arches socks in Pink Granite by Socks That Rock.

And, finally, my new knitting book.

One of the guys at the store has his first son due -- well, due in March, but possibly born as early as next Friday. His wife has had a very tough pregnancy, and they're considering inducing her in order to keep her sane and healthy. A month early in this world is practically nothing, so it shouldn't be a big deal, but since this guy was friends with Robb back in high school, I'm going to make them a hat or maybe two.

Plus, it was a good opportunity to bring the book home without freaking Robb out TOO much. The look on his face was HIGHLY entertaining. I'm just sayin.

More shawl now. Hat(s) tomorrow.


Tammy said...

My Marble Arches turned out like that too. I love them!! I have seen some where they just totally pooled all over the place. I like ours better.

Did you happen to join the Rockin' Club for this year?

Artemis said...

Thanks, sweetie. You rock.

I really appreciate the comments on my little survey..helps me to know I'm on the right track. I'm looking forward to seeing someday what becomes of the merino-silk skeins I sent you. :)


AlisonH said...

Oh, that last bit is priceless. Best of luck to those new parents-to-be.

Artemis said...

I just remembered.. my pricing ideas are based partially around materials costs and my own time.. I'd like to make more than 5 dollars an hour at this if I'm going to try to get it to pay any bills. They're also partially based around the retail prices I'm seeing.

Will I spend $50 on a skein of yarn? That's a huge depends. For a 1200yd skein of hand-dyed laceweight? Probably. For a 200yd skein of fluffy sillyness? Not so much.

I don't know about some of the online clearinghouses, but I've seen prices as high as $160 bucks for 800 yards of hand-dyed worsted-weight blended merino and silk.

It comes down to the simple fact that by handmaking something machines can easily make much more cheaply, I have to look for ways to make my products unique and worth the pricetag. I still have to get a scale so I can measure finished skeins and do all the math, but I'll probably be amazed by how little an hour this will all work out to be. *sigh*