Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I feel so proud. . . I made a lightbox based on some directions I found online. I still need to work on it, and it's a little small, but it works! Overcast, grey day, but I got some decent pics. So, without further ado . . . BFL, dyed by Selah in the Autumn Dessert colorway.

BFL/Colonial/Wensleydale from etsy in a colorway called Sweet Dreams

Another BFL from Etsy, this colorway is called Send in the Clowns

I feel happy. Like the yarns are done now. I have had them completed for a while, just no satisfactory pics.
On the holiday front, Sharon mentioned that she'd like socks. So, I'm now on a frantic mission to swatch up some yarn that i found, making sure it fits her personality and then finding a pattern to use with it! The pattern I want to use, calls for size 0 needles, which made a pretty fabric, but a little stiff and unforgiving for me. I think I'm a tight knitter though, so I'm getting a better fabric with size 1 needles. We'll see if they meet the gauge.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Defeated by worm spit

OK, so who said that silk hankies spin up fast and easy? Easy, yeah, I guess, fast? Not so much. Maybe it's because I want to do a 2-ply laceweight? It's taking FOREVER to do this one ounce of hankies! I had to just give it up. Really, I can't delay the holiday gift spinning anymore.

So, today, I started the Creatively Dyed SeaCell/Wool for Sharon. It's pretty nice to spin, though it seems to want to be either a tiny bit thinner or a tiny bit thicker than what I'm trying to shoot for. I was hoping for something like a 2-ply dk weight. I can't seem to find that. I seem to find a worsted or fingering pretty easily (as I test before I let the single wind on). I guess it will be what it is, and I'm sure Sharon will have fun with whatever I end up with hehe. On the positive side, it's a fun mottled top, so I'm enjoying not worrying about what the colors are doing and just watching for what comes next.

On the home front, S's first birthday gift arrived today. How the heck am I supposed to make her wait a whole week to open this thing? It's HUGE! Guess I'll have to hide it tonight and hope that she forgets until I pull it out later.

Holiday gifts are progressing nicely. After my "vacation" last weekend, my sister claimed a project I was working on, so yippee! One more gift I don't have to buy.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Oh my. S decided that I needed to spin up the "Send in the Clowns" BFL that I found on sale. I figured I could make somthing bright for her, but wasn't planning on doing it next. I had figured on making it an experiment in Navajo plying (or chaining singles, depending on who you ask) but the color repeats are too short to separate the colors into long sections of singles. So I'm getting longer repeats of muddied combinations of neon-ish colors. It's interesting. Instead of getting yellow and pink, I get this orange-ish color. I guess in a way that's good, as it's not quite as bright as I had anticipated originally. I'm not sure what to do ply-wise now though. I separated it out to be a 3-ply, once I realized that it wasn't going to work for the original chaining intent. Now I'm not sure that will be nice either. Maybe a 2-ply with some nice barberpoling? I guess I'll wait to name the stuff at the end, maybe "Taking Out the Clowns?" Hehehe.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Haha, I've disappeared into the depths of my new spinning addiction! And it seems like pretty much every new yarn is my favorite!

After the initial practice attempts, I started with some Ramboulleit/cornsilk roving (? still learning all the terminology) which took me forever, and I started to think that maybe I didn't like spinning so well after all. Did I mention it took forever? Like 2 weeks of every free minute spinning? And there were tons of little knots. I had little blue fuzz carpeting around the wheel and chair. S had fun picking up the little blue fluff. And I ended up with a light worsted, I think a little underspun - it's very fluffy and I wonder what to make it into? I was thinking fingerless gloves for my sis, maybe, but I worry that it might not take that abuse well?

Then I decided to try a custom blend that I got from CopperPot on etsy. Wensleydale/Columbia/BFL, if I remember correctly. I fell in love. It spun up a thousand times faster - ok, well maybe more like twice as fast. I made a pretty 3ply heathered, about worsted or aran wt maybe? I didn't check wpi, but it's about 156 yds for 3.5ish ounces. Loved it, everything about it. It was a joy to spin, I loved looking at it, and dreaming about what to create with it.

That went well, so I started in on the BFL I just got from the Selah group buy. . . Autumn Dessert. I was a little disappointed in the colors of the top. I just wasn't feeling it, and wondered what I was thinking when I ordered it. I decided to try split it in two by length, then spin long color repeats, then ply, hoping I would end up with some sections where each color plied with itself and some where it barber poled with the other colors. This stuff spun like a dream! I learned some new way to draft, which makes things go much faster and very smooth . . . Maybe that was just my click moment? I was still not in love with the colors, though I like the way the colors blended into each other. Then I plied. It turns out I didn't offset the colors properly for the desired effect, so I get long stretches where the pink/green and pink/ivory barberpole and the yellow plied with iteself. I ended up with about 340 yards of a 16wpi yarn. Well, mostly, there are two or three heavier spots. What do you expect, it's my third yarn! FPS! Now I am in love. I just love looking at it. I like petting it. It's sitting on my kitchen counter so I can look at it and pet it several times a day. I want to wear it around my neck and wrapped around myself all the time! OK, maybe not really. But it is by far my favorite creation (knit/jewelry/etc) in a very long time!

I wonder if I am going to love each new yarn more than the last?

I started in on the alpaca/silk I got fsot on Rav. It's mostly creamy with little shots of royal blue. I'm trying for a 2ply laceweight. Figure this would be really pretty and etherial in something lacy. Plus I only have a couple oz, so this way I can stretch it a bit further. It's interesting spinning something akin to thread, but going well so far. I think I heard something about silk being easier to do this with (another reason to try it now, eh?)

I also figured out how to make a fun knitting row counter that a swap partner requested. You know, she posted a link to one, and I said, "Heck, I can do that!" I made one to try it out, and then the one in the colors for my partner. It's a pretty cool concept, but I'm not sure I like how heavy they are. I suppose the lampworked glass bead doesn't help. But it's so pretty!

I will get pics, but I keep telling myself I'm going to make a light box first. It's not like we don't have boxes filling the garage still . . .

Thursday, September 4, 2008

more of the same, I guess

Since I last wrote I have sent off a couple baby gifts, and completed a test-knit with a yummy yarn. . . Creamy from Kollage Yarns. . . This stuff is dreamy soft! And I've never knit with milk before :) Of course, I forgot to take pics of any of it. As usual.

Still working on my Mirabella socks, as I took that break for the test-knit.

We planned a family vacation to Tahoe in October. I promised J I would take his sweater along and work on it exclusively . . . Maybe I can finish it - HA! This thing is never going to be done . . .

S starts pre-school next week! Whoo hoo!

More time for me to spin - oh yeah, I brought home my Ashford Traveller last Saturday. I love it, more than I expected to. I spun the rest of my 2 oz Corriedale into a bulky 2-ply, then took out my fleece study Texel, and have a thin single (maybe fingering-ish? I need to get wpi on it, I guess. . . ) and then got out the Rambouillet/corn silk and have been spinning that, hoping to get something near a sport/dk wt 3 ply out of that. I'm still working my way through the ball of roving (?), and loving every minute of it!

Guess that's all for today. See you next time!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Yippee! I finally got that yarn dyed! And I didn't like it so much. Then I re-skeined it. I like it a lot better this way. Even J likes it - a lot. S said, "Mommy, this yarn isn't knit yet? Why did you not knit it yet? Knit it!" Hehehe. I hope my swap partner likes it as much. I call the colorway Berry Burst (yeah, so original. . . ) So the yarn on the top is wool/bamboo/nylon blend; the yarn on the bottom is a mystery wool I received in a "dye your own sock" kit.

I got my package from the aforementioned swap this weekend. Wow! It's awesome!

So here is the package as it looked when I opened the box:

This bag is so perfect, I can hardly describe it. . .When I was shopping for fabric for my partner's bag, I saw a whole line in these colors, and nearly bought a few to make something for myself!! Not my "normal" colors, but for some reason in this combination, they really call to me. . . Perfect choice! And totally the style I use for MY project bags (as my partner was a bit worried it wasn't a typical project bag . . . )
Now for the beyond amazing goodies inside:

They include Miss Babs Yummy sock yarn - which truly is yummy, a cute sock blocker keychain, pretty little necklace with a bird (in a cute tin which will hold incidentals in my knitting bag), some stickers for S, a chicobag (love 'em!), some handmade notecards, handmade soap, pretty scissors, and a nice ruler for the project bag too! Whew, I got spoiled on this one :)

The bug hit me Friday. It was just a little tickle in the back of my throat, and then all of a sudden it was a hacking cough that sucked the energy right out of me. Thankfully, J was home this weekend to take some of the load off. I got to take a couple naps and pretty much just be a slug. It was a nice relief, except for the fact that I really couldn't enjoy it through the fog of this cold! Feeling better today, though still tired.

I cast on my next sock project, while I am waiting for the yarn to get here for my next test-knit for Anastasia and Kollage . . . I cast on Mirabella with my precious DIC Smooshy in the Don't Be Blue colorway from The Loopy Ewe. I've been looking for a yarn that swatched up to the right gauge for this pattern, and I finally found it, after Nisha (from Ravelry) inspired me to finally cast something on with that Smooshy. It's just yarn, right? Right? Hehehe.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Whoo hoo! I finished those socks for Mom, and a couple dishcloths. . .

J has been sick this week, so not much of anything has been done. Tomorrow is poker night, so I will get some dyeing and sewing done. Then I can ship out my sock swap package! And I get to go out Saturday night! I haven't done that in a long time. . . I definitely need a break - haven't had one in a while, as we went to MN and WI for a funeral last week, then J has been sick. . .

Men are such babies when they are sick. At least mine is. Moms don't get sick days, but he sure did. Sigh.

I'm kind of stuck. I have a bunch of great yarn, and a ton of great patterns queued up over at Ravelry, but can't decide what to cast on for my next project. So I started a "game" at one of the swap groups I post at. This way, someone else can choose for me, and I get to pass on some great yarn that's not getting any love :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Well, J found a group trying to get a weekly pickup game of Ultimate Frisbee going. . . I'm happy for him. Sigh, just means he's going to be gone for a few more hours every week though. I'm glad he'll get his Ultimate fix though, he's been missing it since we moved.

On a happier note, we had a great drive yesterday, and though I'm not used to having a picnic in 90 degree heat at the top of a mountain, it was still fun. I love how excited S got about having a picnic. "Daddy, we need a blanket, right?"

Well, he's back and needs the computer, so that's all for today . . .

Friday, July 25, 2008

here we go!

Ok, so I decided to start a blog. Some days I just want to write it out and let it go, so to speak.

Like today. I just sent out a couple big swap boxes - both with handmade items that took a great deal of time and effort. They were received a couple days ago, but I haven't heard from either recipient. This makes me sad. Maybe I'm just expecting too much. I also haven't received packages from either of these swaps. One was supposed to ship a week ago. The other hasn't passed the ship date yet, so I'm not worried. I just want a package of yarny goodness in the mail already :)

The little one is sleeping (for a very long time today - hooray for playgroup!!) and I have had a few minutes to surf, am at the heels in the socks I'm making for a holiday gift, and I have already searched today in all the places I can think of to find a used spinning wheel. J is working (surprise - not!) and I'm just hanging out. It's weird, I'm not used to this much quiet time. I wish I had known it would be a long nap, I'd be off dyeing yarn for the next swap I'm doing!