Friday, June 29, 2007

Fiber Friday..

Edited to add: Whoops, thanks for reminding me I forgot to post the source.. You can get these lovelies at Miss Babs, but hurry, she's apparently getting out of hand dyed fiber.

No yarn pr0n today... but I thought I'd show off what came in the mail earlier this week.. Now, I have so far been pretty good about my "rule" that I wasn't going to buy anything else till what I have was spun up or I hit Rhinebeck, but I found this stuff on sale and couldn't quite resist.

Sorry about the plastic in the background, but there were quite a few of these guys around and I didn't feel like bringing any inside.

Then I couldn't resist a batt of BFL. It was more green than I thought it would be, and that random strip of brown is really in there, but still...

Who could resist these colours?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Missing from these pics are my Rogue (it's too hot to touch it, let alone knit on it), my current sock project (I left it in my work locker) and my shoal water shawl (I just didn't have a space with enough light to take a pic of it).

The weather here has been hot and humid and well, I don't have an air conditioner. Now, my apartment has 12 inch thick brick walls and is very shaded, but it finally got hot enough that I was forced to go looking in my stash for something besides wool to work with. Of course, I can't knit cotton for any length of time without having wrist issues, so I had to start something else as well.
So we start out with a reverse bloom washcloth. I love this pattern, even though I HATE weaving in ends. Once upon a time I found the Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille for $3 a skein and bough eight of them to make these up in different colours.
By the time I had joined up all the petals, my hand and wrist hurt so I pulled out a skein of hemp/cotton and started a washcloth with that. This was the yarn I had bought to make string bags out of, but since my first one died on it's first mission I decided to re-purpose the yarn.
My Noro Big Kureyon scarf that is currently sitting in my never to be finished pile. Why you ask, when I'm so close to the end? Well, the second skein of yarn didn't have the same colour repeats and I don't have that final grey/brown section. Still looking for a skein of the #8 colour.
And can you guess my last project? I decided to use this as a stash buster. Knitting with bulky yarns (or double worsted) on size 10's - 11's

And here's the rest of the finished ones.. I figure I only need about another 20 or 30 so more fish.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Charity Knitting

I sent off my Dulaan package last Friday. Postage got quite expensive. I should have remembered to send it out before the price increases.
A view of everything spread out on my cedar chest. Total was six hats, two scarves, 4 sets of mittens, one sweater, and one sweater/coat. Not bad for my first year... I think my goal for this year will be five sweaters and five pairs of socks. Seems to me that those would be the objects they get the least of just because they take the most time (and I'm sick of making hats). I have a bunch of old tapestry wool that one of mom's friends gave me that should make really cute striped stuff.

In other news, I think I'm giving up on the contest... only trillian and turtlegirl even tried.. what happened was that I plied the yarn two ratios up from where I spun it... yikes, made for some really stiffly plied wool. Since I just sent turtlegirl something totally unrelated, I guess that means it's trillian's turn and she wins :) So Trill, yarn or fiber?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Spinning Class

Warning: Pic heavy post
Wonderful Maria arranged a spinning class for a group of us on Friday evening. Meet Julie, along with her husband Anthony, she runs Foxcross Farms. They raise champion Romneys and show both the sheep and their fleeces (not to mention the yarn that Julie spins from them).

I got to class first (even though I was 10 minutes later than we agreed to start). No one else was there yet, so Julie took me out to meet the sheep. Thankfully I had boots in the car. She still had a set of twin rams left, I have no idea which one is which... one of the boys is sold and going to a new home soon.

Isn't he just too cute... makes you want one..

Group shot.. Julie poured some feed into their bowl and they all ran. She keeps them coated, and I never really knew till yesterday how much it helps. You wouldn't believe how much whiter their fleece was under the coats.

Here are the two boys together... I missed the shot of them trying to nurse from mom.

Finally other people arrived, and I got to play with the baby chickens (again, no pics) while they amused the sheep.

We went inside to spin.. and I wish I had taken pics because Julie and Anthony live in this GREAT old house that's been added onto over the years (since somewhere around the early 1800's).
See.. told you I wouldn't remember names... Plying up some of the singles we spun up.

Everyone at their wheels. Maria brought her Victoria (yes, I'm in love).

Maria with the roving we were using.... I leave the rest up to your imagination.

Julie's husband Anthony working on one of the wheels. They used to sell the Fricke wheels, and he used to put them together. He teaches at the high school I graduated from.

End of the night.. we were all playing with the pretty little Victoria. It was a great class, well worth the money and the trip. It's always nice to see my knitty friends!

On another note... I'm learning that either people don't read my blog, or have no idea what mistake I made on my wheel... so... I will change the contest to anyone who posts a right or wrong answer. See below for details.

Friday, June 22, 2007

YPF and 2nd clue..

Well, I decided to go back into my stash for YPF this week. Please don't ask me what I was thinking when I added two skeins of this stuff to my stash... I guess I liked the colours, and in my defense, I didn't really pay for this stuff (which was good, cause it wasn't cheap). It was a bonus for helping out in my old LYS. I keep thinking I'll make a tank or something out of it, but ack... so not my colours. And yes... all the pics are from one skein.

I figure I have about 500 yards of this stuff.... any ideas? Or anyone want to swap. I think I've finally gotten to the point where I can let it go if someone actually wants it.

Now.. don't forget to read down a few posts and enter my spinning goof. I promised another clue today

So.. clue #2: If I'm reading everything I've found correctly... Trillian could have gotten the same results, but could not have done it the way I did on her new wheel.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Clue one...

Well, so far I've found only trillian42 and turtlegirl read my blog (or at least they're the only ones who guessed). And they have both made the same guess so I'll give a little additional info..

The now yarn in question was the romney roving that came with my wheel. It was not at all a slippery roving and was quite full of junk that had to picked out as I spun.

Feel free to guess again gals... I will hand out another clue with YPF tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My goofy spinning contest...

Yes friends, I goofed.. not a huge one, and nothing that will be unusable.. but still a goof. I can only say that this is what happens when you are frustrated and half asleep still. I'm now going to find out how many people read this blog... From now, till next wednesday, you can either leave me a comment with what my goof was, or can pm me at Akknitter on knitty board if you don't want to give it away to everyone else... Winner will be randomly picked from all correct answers and get something from my stash, depending on their choice of knitting or spinning.

sorry about the toes...
Sorry about the bad pics... but again, no way I'm letting sunlight into my apartment...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Spinning Monday...

At the moment, it's too damn hot to do much of anything. I don't have air conditioning in my apartment, so the spinning wheel is sitting idle while the cats and I have a lazy afternoon. But.. I did finish spinning up the random blue wool.

I'll admit, I love the colors in this. I'm currently debating on how to ply it.

This was some Romney that came with my wheel. Not the best roving I've ever worked with, but it makes good practice roving. I had spun this up earlier and in order to free up a bobbin decided to try to Navajo ply it. I think I managed pretty well. The yarn came out balanced and I really like how Navajo plying makes the yarn look.

My parents came up to visit me on Saturday. We did a combo day of mom's birthday and Father's Day, since I'm working crazy hours this month. Dad brought my mail with him (I still get some things sent to his house) and my WooLee Winder was part of that delivery!!! (sorry about the flash, but I'm not letting that hot sunlight into the apartment today)
Here's my new winder on Oliver. I was so excited to get it I started to spin up some Alpaca/Merino/Silk roving that I wanted to play with. As you can tell, that is NOT the roving on the bobbin. I found my new winder to have a bit of a learning curve, and I didn't want to ruin the good roving to do it. So I'm spinning up some more of the romney to go with the yarn above. I'm spinning much more even with the romney this time. Eventually this stuff will also get navajo plied and go to sit with it's brother.

I took my parents to historic Bethlehem on Saturday. We had lunch at the Brew Works (yum... they have such good burgers), then walked around a bit so mom could take pics. She has a pic of me knitting a sock as I was walking around looking at the old Colonial Industrial area. Mom seems to collect pics of me knitting socks in odd places.

After Bethlehem we went up to Nazareth to the Jacobsburg Historical Society's early 1800's encampment. Of course it rained, but we got to take a tour of the Henry house (built in 1820 I think...well, somewhere around there), where I found this:
The lady doing the tour didn't know if it worked, but all the pieces were there, including the drive band. I so wanted to sit down on that chair and give it a try!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

More Yarn Pr0n Thursday..

I know it's really Yarn Pr0n Friday, but since I'm online now and don't want to miss it... well... anyway. This week, more yarn pr0n off my spinning wheel. This time from Rhinebeck. I'll admit, most of my stash is blue, purple and green, or some combination thereof. This was a mystery wool roving I picked up because I liked the color.

What I didn't realized... and I'll freely admit that there is still a LOT I don't know about spinning, is that the roving above would turn into this:

Now.. I think I'm in love with this stuff. If I remember correctly I bought eight ounces. I've already spun up one bobbin full, and I'm working on the second. My spinning is getting more even, but I still have quite a ways to go. Though I'm not hiding any huge slubs on the back of the bobbin this week.

As an update to last week.. I've wound the single off the bobbin into a center pull ball... now I just have to free up a bobbin so I can ply it..

It's a little darker than you see here, but I didn't realize how much the red tones show up in the yarn till I had it wound up.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The plus side of overtime...

I went and did it... I ordered a WooLee Winder for Oliver along with two extra bobbins. I know I'll probably have to wait for it.. but I'm so excited!!!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

One more FO..

I finished these a couple of weeks ago, but I knew I was working 5 days last week (I work 12 hour nights), so I figured I'd save posting them till this week.
I know they don't look like much here... these were made out of the leftovers from my moebius, and I truthfully had no idea how much was left, or how long it would last. (At the moment, my scale is broken)
If I ever make these again, I'd probably add another repeat of ribbing and make the thumb a bit bigger. It blocked out okay, but I'm afraid to gift this pair. The thumb barely fits me, and well, I have skinny thumbs.

A side shot.. it's rather hard to take pics of your own hand.

Yarn: Decadent Fibers Pulled Taffy 55% Mohair, 45% wool
Needles: Size 6
Pattern: My own
Leftovers... enough to make a cute pouch to send to turtlegirl. Guess I could have made the cuffs longer.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Pre-Yarn Pr0n Friday..

Since I'm working tonight and it sounds like the unit is rather busy, I figured I should post this now. I'll probably sleep all day tomorrow, and wouldn't want to miss YPF, especially since I took the pics!

This is a merino/silk roving that I just finished spinning up. As you can see, I overspun it in a few areas, what you can't see (cause I hid the back side of the bobbin) are the few big slubs that got away from me.

Big mess of roving.
Closer look so you can see the colours better. The pic is pretty accurate.
On the bobbin.. you can see the two overspun areas, but all in all I'd say I'm getting better at this.

Monday, June 04, 2007

My first homespun FO

So, last year for Hanukkah I got a whole ton of roving from my sister and mom. Some hand-dyed, some luxury fibers, and some that were both. I hadn't gotten around to spinning any of it up basically because all four of my bobbins were taken up with practice yarn and I just didnt' feel ready. Well, last weekend I decided to spin some of it up (of course, I forgot a before pic, and a yarn pic). This stuff was so stuck together that I had to literally tug on it to predraft it. Yes, I learned the wonders of predrafting. Though apparently not well enough, since this yarn turned out to be a very thick/thin type yarn. I thought I managed 60 yards once plied, but as you can see in the last pic, the hat is much longer than I would expect to get out of only 60 yards. I didn't bother with WIP, the yarn was so variable I would have needed to do wraps per foot. Once dry, it was knit up into this:
Pattern: Top down hat, own design with double folded brim
Needles: size 11
Gauge: 2 1/2 stiches/inch
Yarn: Homespun Corriedale

A close up of the stitches so you can see how the yarn turned out. There were a few places where both plies were of the too skinny variety, so there I just knit into the stitch below.
Just to show you how long the "edging" is... I could almost have gotten another hat out of this if I hadn't wanted the big roll brim.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Yarn Pr0n Friday - MSW

I finally got around to taking pics of my two new additions from Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. Yes... you heard right, I only bought two things (well.. five skeins of one.. but since it's all one yarn it still counts as one... right?)

First, we have Brooks Farm's new superwash wool, Solana. 320 yards of soft, yummy goodness. I'm always in trouble when I see their booth. This was bought to make socks out of. I wear clogs in the winter that just don't fit well unless I have a bulkier than normal sock on. (I bought them wearing Thorlos)

And the best part of it all... (well, see above)... I LOVE their orphan piles!

Next, a yarn company I hadn't tried before, let alone the yarn. This stuff is soooo soft. I bought all they had left in this colour, which comes up to about 400yds, but I have no idea what to do with it. I don't really want to make it into a scarf, but it is calling out to be something that goes next to my skin.

Again, how could I resist on sale???? Just look at what is in this yarn.. it is SOOOO soft. I really don't want to just sit around and pet it for the next few years. Ideas on what it should be? Remember, I'm not a small woman and it's only 400 yards.