Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Knitting on the West Seattle Bridge

Last week, I dyed 3 four-ounce chunks of white merino roving. I dyed each using the jar dyeing method, which I've mentioned a lot (because I love it!). I currently only have 6 colors of dye (something I hope to remedy soon), so I'm kind of limited in how many colors I can dye currently, even with mixing, because I wasn't smart enough to get a set of primary colors. Ah, well. I love the results that I've had so far. Here's a four-ounce hunk of roving that I'm calling "Wildflower Riot!"

Those colors just make me happy, especially the cobalt blue. That's my favorite color.

I am spinning a similarly-dyed four-ounce hunk of merino roving, and it's spinning up wonderfully. The beauty of spinning from hand-dyed roving is you control the color changes. You can tear off some roving in whatever color you want and spin it right onto another color. You're not limited to the order in which the colors are dyed. Then you can decide if you want to ply it traditionally and how many plies you want, or you can decide to Navajo ply it and preserve the color changes. I'm not sure yet which route I'll go! I'll post pics when I've got a little more of it spun.

Right now, I've got the 80/20 merino silk that I mentioned going on my Cherub wheel and the dyed merino roving on my Ashford Joy. I have lately only had time to spin on the weekend, so I'm really looking forward to Friday night, when I plan to attack both of them a little more.

In knitting, I'm working on the body of the Knit Picks Capra sweater, and I'm almost ready to start on the stranded colorwork! Yay! I hope to get a good chunk of that done this weekend, too, while my husband is home and can assist if one of the kids really, really needs something midway through a colorwork row!

I'm also working on a sock, the second of the pair I'm knitting in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Mediumweight in the Watermelon Tourmaline colorway. These I've been working on mostly in the car lately.

I love car-knitting. I really, really love it. I get my husband to drive, I grab a sock-in-progress and off we go. It's the perfect thing for an agoraphobic like myself, who's freaked out by crazy big-city traffic. I grew up in Toledo, OH, a mid-sized city on Northwest Ohio. You can get across town in 20 minutes, at any time of day. When I moved to Seattle, I was TOTALLY overwhelmed by the size of it, its labyrinthine nature, and the notoriously awful traffic. We used to live in West Seattle, and I tell you, as much as I loved West Seattle, using the West Seattle Bridge to get into or out of West Seattle nearly drove me batshit. That thing gets the worst clogs and bottlenecks during rush hour with just normal traffic. Throw in an accident or a breakdown, and you can get stuck for hours. We had to go to West Seattle on Monday for a meeting, and of course, right as we got to the West Seattle Bridge, a semi broke down, blocking one lane. It was at 3:00, the beginning of rush hour, so this was a total clusterf$%k. We were the lucky ones... we inched along and made it past the broken down semi in about 20 minutes. On our way back home, that side of the bridge had been CLOSED while they moved the wreck. I shuddered as we drove past the seemingly endlessly backed-up traffic.

Being in heavy traffic like that, not moving, particularly being stuck on any kind of bridge, anywhere on the bridge FREAKS ME OUT. If I had not been knitting at the time, I would have had a panic attack. But nope, I just uttered the occasional swear word and focused on my knitting, stitching away and watching the pretty hand-dyed colors change as the soft, soothing merino slipped through my fingers.

I often say that if I were not addicted to knitting, I'd be addicted to something bad. I thoroughly believe this to be true. Knitting shuts my mind off, it's an all-consuming passion and it makes me happy. It also has no side effects, aside from the beautiful clothing and accessories that you get when you're done.

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