It don't come easy

You gotta pay dues
If you're gonna sing the blues
And you know, it don't come easy.
--Ringo Starr

Some projects just aren't meant to be easy.

First off, there are no size 00000 knitting needles in Ventura for ready money.  (Anacapa Fine Yarns did have some scrumptious yarns, so I didn't leave the store unscathed).  I could have ordered the needles on-line, but I wanted immediate gratification. 

So I toodled off to the hobby shop in search of 1mm brass rod to make my own needles.  Hobby shop doesn't carry metric, so my choice is between 3/64" rod, which is more than 1mm, and 1/32", which is less.  I buy both.  The 1/32" rod is more like wire - super bendy.  So I cut the thicker rod, and grind the ends into points.  Viola!  I'm calling these 00000.5 needles. 

The 20/2 silk that I was planning to use won't work on the smaller needles.  But that's ok, I have some 30/2 silk in my stash.  I wind some off and start knitting a little swatch.  I also get some more practice picking up dropped stitches. 


The resulting gauge: 14 stitches per inch.  Not the 18 I was hoping for, but I'm going to live with it, especially as I know that with the two color knitting I'll have some draw-in from carrying the thread across the back.

You may have noticed that the swatch is white.  My design is not.  So that means dyeing the yarn.  Out comes the dye notebook, I pick my colors and get to work.  But first I have to divide my yarn into skeins.   That's when I discover that the counter on my reel is broken.  So I count the turns out loud - 1,020 times.

Eventually, I actually get to the dyeing.  Whenever I dye yarn, I thank Deb Menz for her super easy to follow directions and computations in Color in Spinning.

Here are the results:


So there's day 4, 5 and 6 of Art Every Day Month: making the needles, making a test swatch and dyeing the yarn.  You won't hear any more about this project for a little while.  I don't intend to start the actual knitting until I have my new glasses.