Sunday, March 27, 2005

Easter Weekend

Thank goodness its Sunday. I'm beat. It was an exciting easter weekend for our little family! It all started off with some yarny-goodness at Knit N Knibble. I ended up buying five skeins of Baby Ull for a baby blanket and one more of the Noro for my own booga so I can make it larger. I knit the first five rows on that damn blanket three seperate times before I realized that SK2P meant slip knit 2 together pass slipped stitch over not knit 2 stitches seperately. DUH!
In other news, I am seriously considering joining the lace knit along. But, I'm worried that it will take me way long to complete the lacy shawl! I've already cast on for the Kimono Shawl but I've been working on the baby blanket since Thursday night. Meanwhile, I find out that two other family members are also pregnant with a third due any day. This can only mean one thing: MORE YARN. Mike is starting to give me dirty looks when he sees me yarn shopping online (hey Joanne's is having free shipping until the end of this month!). He knows nothing. Then there's the eternal battle of the baby yarns: natural and hand wash? Or acrylic/nylon machine wash? They really don't make this easy do they?
On Saturday, a couple from church came over to visit. Their daughter is learning to crochet so I donated my Idiot's Guide To Knitting and Crochet. Then they looked at my wheel and were in awe of its power and beauty. Its nice to know that people are genuinely impressed that you can spin yarn out of a chunk of fuzzy fiber. Later that night when we were over at a friends house....Valerie (recipient of booga #1) casually joked about needing to learn to knit so she has something to do when she has free time at work/on business trips. This could get interesting!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Beauty Thy Name Is Lace Weight

This made my day!

This is the second most beautiful thing I think I've ever bought (the first being my wheel!). Purple/gold colorway from Handpainted Yarn. It is sooooooooo soft! I want to knit something with it RIGHT NOW! I was planning on making a "Kimono Shawl" out of the book Folk Shawls by Cheryl Oberle. This past Monday I just decided I would go to the library and just see what they had going on in the knitting section. Low and behold! I hit paydirt! I got nine books, five about lace knitting alone and one Alden Amos big spinning book. I also scored a Vogue baby pattern book. My cousin is pregnant and well, its just an excellent excuse to buy some new yarn and knit one more project. So, I found a couple blanket patterns in there that are gorgeous and not too time consuming so all I need now is the yarn. A trip to the sit and knit at the LYS is in order! I just have to make it home before eight because I don't want to miss the new episode of the OC. HA!

Adventure in Dyeing

The roving drying on my shower curtain rod.

If your anything like me, you're wondering: what the hell is that? Well its a small length of roving I took from the 4oz of ecru colonial that I bought from Uncommon Threads. In the anticipation of my wheel arriving, I was itching to do something with the roving so I dyed this strip. I used kool aid and it wasn't as messy as I thought. I laid it out on saran wrap, colored it with the different colors, wrapped it up and stuck it in a large stew pot to steam for about 25 minutes. I rinsed and dried.

Here is the roving dried and rolled into balls. I was happy with the colors considering I didn't give it much thought when I was dyeing. I tried to choose colors that wouldn't look to gross when they bled together.

Here is the spun fiber. Still not very consistent.

Felted coasters maybe? I definitely want to buy enough (matching) roving to spin myself some bulky yarn for a project bag. More pictures of my wheel in use to come!

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Its here!!

So the wheel has arrived! Yeah! Its assembled and works! Joy! I'm so excited to start using it, but this spinning thing is not as simple as it seems! Plus, the plain roving I bought to try spinning with is now waiting to be dyed. So what do I do? Dye or Spin? This would be a lot easier if I had gotten off my arse yesterday and gone ahead with the dyeing. Anyway.....I will definitely post some new pictures of my wheel and anything that remotely resembles yarn that comes off it!
I also wanted to mention the wonderful people I bought the wheel from on ebay:
Hans and Gerrie from the Netherlands. I tried not to be jealous when they said they recently bought a farmhouse so they would have more space to work with the wheels and maybe keep some sheep too. Jeez, living in the Netherlands, in a farmhouse with some sheep, buying repairing and reselling spinning wheels and other supplies.......They're living the FREAKEN' DREAM!! Ahem....Anyway......
This is their "store". They are ebay gold and I know I'm going to keep tabs on what they've got listed! Maybe soon I'll need a more portable wheel! Whoo hoo!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Just waiting.....

Well, not much knitting or spinning has been going on lately. I pulled/tore a muscle in my back and was practically incapacitated for three days. Good thing I only had to take care of the house and kids then get us ready for a trip to Orlando on Sunday! Luckily for me though, I had a nice quiet solo trip to Uncommon Threads where I picked up nine more ounces of roving. I really enjoyed this trip to the yarn store because it was without the kids. Even if the driving was a bit painfull (I had to turn my whole torso with my head to see beside me or over my shoulder) it was a blast. Of course the wool was meant for the wheel, but I must confess I've started spinning some on the spindle. I'm having a bit of a hard time with this roving. Its much stiffer and the fibers are sticking together. So, mostly, my single is still inconsistant.
In other news, the trip to Orlando was fun and today I splurged and bought Stephanie Pearl McPhee's book. Exciting and sad that it might arrive before the wheel!

by the way....Valerie loved her booga! Yay!

Thursday, March 10, 2005

My First Handspun Yarn

This is probably 3.5oz of the 4oz I purchased of the white colonial from Uncommon Threads. It took me days to spin it all on the spindle but I finished it and set the twist too. In this craptacular picture, you can see how it looks drying. I've learned many things spinning this roving:

1. Drafting and prepping are important
2. knowing your fiber length is also handy
3. You cannot draft if you grip your fiber like a vice
4. I should have taken the book more seriously when it said that joining fibers is
skill you must yarn came undone no less than three times while I was winding it into a skein.
5. Relax and do your best. Its not going to look perfect the first time!

Despite the wisdom of lesson number five, I was bummed out when I saw my finished yarn. Its not too bad, but I wish it looked better. I definitely need more practice. I realized that instead of taking my right hand and drafting the fiber down, I was pinching off the twist with my right hand and drafting up, with my left hand that was holding the fiber. ??? Whats up with that? Is it a valid technique? probably not seeing as I was parking and drafting the whole time. There were only a couple of instances where I was able to spin and draft simultaneously. Sigh.....
On the bright side only like seven to eight more days till my wheel gets here. If there were any ink in my printer I would be carrying around a picture of it wherever I went. Part of me is freaking out wondering if I can't use a drop spindle, how the hell am I going to use a spinning wheel and the other part of me doesn't care if sticks come flying out of the wheel.....I'm gonna try spinning my own yarn on an actual wheel! Yeeehaww!

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Just when I think I've taken this knitting thing too far and I'm in way over my head......I find there is another level to be achieved within this fiber obsession of mine. Forget the eight simultaneous projects being worked on. Forget the ever growing amount of yarn without any specific goals in sight. Forget the measly little spindle and simple wool roving I bought the other day (and I how excited I was days before knowing I was going to buy it). No, put it all down and take a deep breath. I have gone to the next level......My husband bought me this:

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He won it on eBay and while it says "vintage" and "repaired professionally" there is also "perfect working order" and "basic instructions included". Besides all this is the fact that this is like the most expensive thing DH has ever bought me and I think its the most beautiful thing I've seen! Just when you think your loved ones are conferring about a fiber intervention they go and do something incredibly enabling! I'm so excited I can't stand it. So meanwhile, I must research research research spinning. Wish me luck and if anyone recognizes this baby or has any advice for me let me know!!

Saturday, March 05, 2005

The End Result

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Here it is! Val's Booga. I only put it through the wash 2x because it was getting shorter very rapidly. It looks much better felted than knitted and I am happy with it and I hope Valerie likes it too. Now I can start on my bag and finish moms sweater.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Booga Bag!

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Well, I finished the last skein of yarn so tommorow is the big day. My first felting project. Well, intentional felting project anyway. Now, on to a little spinning before bed.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


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Here is my clapotis. This is what I was working on for seven days last week. I wanted it done in time for the Jimmy Buffet concert and boy was I glad I had it with me for that! But the concert is another story worthy of its own post.
I made this out of.....yes, its the Lionbrand Imagine. I know I know. It's like 90% acrylic and 10%mohair. But it is soft, fluffy and surprisingly not itchy around my neck! The one downside to using this yarn was that the stitches would not drop. I had to pull them out individually with my needle afterwards. It wasn't so bad and I really like it! So does Elmo.

Here it is....My TSF prize!

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Yes ladies and gentlemen. The two beautiful skeins (out of three) you see here are the skeins I won from Stephanie's MSF/TSF donation list. Donated by this amazing woman they got here last week and I started right away on a Booga Bag. Right now I am ready to join my last skein. I only hope there is enough to make good sized bag. (I'm worried about the felting process can you tell?)


After one unsuccessful trip on Monday to the yarn store, the kids and I tried again yesterday. I've only been in Uncommon Threads once before and this time I didn't get to look around at her yarn at all. Sigh. I was too excited about the roving/spindles. I promptly picked out this.

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And then over to the cabinet of roving I went. Of course since I got home yesterday afternoon I've had visions of myself spinning this glorius fiber perfectly. I've also been reading the book (more like a booklet) and decided I found better instruction on the web! Sites like I Can Spin and have great tutorials on spinning with a drop spindle not to mention that other one that everyone loves: the Joy of handspinning. Anyhow, I will try and figure this whole thing out and definitely post my results!

Here is my fiber purchase:

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There were so many pretty rovings, but I wanted something basic that I wouldn't feel bad about destroying while I learned and something nice for when I got the hang of it. 4oz and 8oz respectively.