It is SSK eve, and I'm in a bit of a tizzy trying to get everything done and packed without forgetting something important. I've got a list of things that need to come with me and a reminder on my phone to check in for my flight, but there's always that feeling that something critical will be overlooked. Next to the actual travel (I hate flying), this is my least favorite part of vacations. But I'm really looking forward to the event itself, and I know that if I do forget something I need, it should be easy enough to get a replacement in Nashville.
One of the important things I couldn't forget is the set of stitch markers I've been making to take for the swap. Rainbow actually had been helping me with them quite a bit, but the part where I put them together was something only I could do. Fortunately the Mister was on bedtime duty last night, so I spent about 45 minutes after dinner assembling the pieces and securing everything with a drop of superglue. By this morning, all the stitch markers were dry and ready to go. I'm quite pleased with them, and I'm not at all ashamed that we kept some back for our own use.
Another important item on the to-do list was to wind yarn for a project I'm taking and swatch for said project. I really hoped to do both before leaving, and I did manage to get both done last night. The sweater I'll be knitting is the Driftwood Tee by Mercedes Tarasovich from Interweave Knits summer 2014, and I'll be knitting it up in some Blue Moon Fiber Arts Woobu that I bought when my former LYS was going out of business. The colorway is called Bleck and is very difficult to capture accurately with a camera -- it's a purple-y gray.
I knit the swatch on the recommended needle size (US 3/3.25 mm) and got a lovely fabric with good drape but my gauge is a bit off -- I'm getting 23 stitches over 4 inches rather than the called-for 25. I think going down a needle size would result in too dense a fabric, so I am going to stick to this gauge and make it work. The tee is designed to have a fair amount of positive ease and I was already going to make a larger size because of that, so I did a little math and found that if I go down one size, my tee should come out roughly the same size it would if I did the original size I'd picked and got gauge. On the plus side, the smaller size will use less yarn, so I should have a decent amount leftover (I have two skeins of the yarn, at 620 yards each).
The last crafty thing I wanted to do before I left was finish up at least one skein of yarn for Tour de Fleece, and I did do that Sunday night (though it certainly took its time drying!). This FatCatKnits Rambouillet in the colorway Dame Godel. I spun the fiber from end to end and chain plied the whole thing on Sunday (finishing just before bed).
The colors are a bit more vibrant in real life, if you can believe it, but the light was not great this morning. The green is indeed that neon, but there are some lovely blues in the areas where it looks gray. The finished skein is a fluffy fingering weight and roughly 492 yards. I'm still quite amazed at the yardage considering that I did ply it all in only a few hours. It was a delightful spin, and I love how elastic the finished yarn is -- my niddy noddy is 72 inches around, but after washing, this skein measures 56 inches around; if I put my hands inside the skein, I can stretch it out several inches. I still have another braid of FCK Rambo to spin, not that it will get done during TdF, but I have a feeling it will get on the wheel rather quickly.
If I can get everything packed up relatively quickly tonight, I will try to spin a little more of my Southern Cross Fibre Charollais, as I still have only the one bobbin done. I'm a bit disappointed that I didn't get more of that done in the past couple of weeks, but things happen, as I'm sure you all know.
My flight to Nashville is tomorrow evening, so I'll be working a half day and then running home to eat a quick lunch and finish throwing everything into my suitcase before leaving for the airport. I'm not sure how easily I'll be able to get online while I'm at the retreat or even how much time I'll have, so I hope you'll forgive me if the blog is a little silent while I'm away. I promise I'll have lots to share when I get back!