Archive for June, 2009

New Spindles!

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Look what I got on Friday! They are my birthday present that I picked out for myself. DH asked if I wanted a spinning wheel, I said no, but I’d like a couple more spindles.

Bosworth Spindle

Bosworth Spindle

These are both Bosworth Spindles, fondly referred to as Bossies by their fans. On the left in both of the above photos is a Canarywood Midi that weighs 24 grams (.84 ounces). On the right is a Bubinga Mini that weighs 20 grams (.7 ounces). Both have the standard Birch shaft.

Bosworth Spindle

Bosworth Spindle

For scale, here are all three of my spindles. The largest is my Schacht Hi-Lo that weighs in at 1.1 ounces. The fiber that’s on my new Bossies is what Sheila used to test spin and what a great idea is this – I just love that upon opening the package I could immediately give them a spin. 🙂

Blondie Update

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Miss Blondie has settled in very nicely at L&R. This was my goal by having her return to a familiar facility. When we moved to Montana it took her about 3 months to even begin settling; she had wide eyes and lots of nervous energy. On top of being familiar, her best buddy JJ moved to L&R while we were in Montana.

Here we are standing around at the tie rails while I check her feet and brush her.

Blondie

This is her best buddy JJ. All the other horses like JJ, but he prefers blondes. 🙂 And seriously, you haven’t seen two happier horses than JJ and Blondie in a pasture together.

JJ

Showing off her new trim. We have a new farrier and things are changing a fair amount from the way she was trimmed in Montana.

Blondie

Hanging out in the pasture.

Pasture

The End (at least until next week when we try out the fit on some new hoof boots).

Blondie

Lovely Handspun

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

But I wasn’t the one who spun it. This is a hank of alpaca/blue faced leicester that was spun by Sheepshape Spinning. It is really lovely – I’ve tried to capture it’s true colors in the photo – sky blue with pale green and lavender.

Sheepshape Handspun

Go have a look at Sheepshape’s other handspun yarns. They demonstrate exactly why I got so interested in spinning in the first place, there is just something about a handspun 2-ply from the changing colors to the slight changes in thickness that I love.

I won the yarn in a contest that Phat Fiber had back on April 29th. Due to an email snafu I just got the yarn Saturday.

WIP Wednesday, 06/16/09

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

I feel like I haven’t been getting much knitting done. Some of my time last week was spent organizing my craft room. It’s looking pretty good now.

I did go to a World Wide Knitting in Public event on Saturday, but I forgot to take the camera. Turnout seemed good to me – knitters filled the parking lots.

1. Tryst Vest – umm….maybe next week?

2. Imitation Ab Fab – probably halfway complete. At this point I just want to get it done.

Imitation Ab Fab

3. SIL: A Midsummer Night’s Dream – failed in my goal to get it officially cast on. I *really* want to get it going this week.

4. Evergreen Superwash – this is a bit of fiber from the Wooly Cupcakes I bought from The Wool Peddler. I haven’t yet decided whether I will finish just the green or whether I will mix some of the other superwash fibers with it.

Evergreen Superwash Top

5. Cutest Baby Hat – cute little rainbow hat from Fancy Image Yarns in Shelton, WA. My Mom bought this and asked me to knit it for a gift.

Cutest Baby Hat

Sherbet Roving

Monday, June 15th, 2009

The Sherbet Roving is now a 3 ply yarn. While it was tempting to stay in my comfort zone of drafting singles from top, I wanted to push my boundaries and explore other options. Not that I’ve perfected singles or 2 ply by any means; if I had I think it would be even more difficult to branch out and make mistakes as I try new things.

So…I bought the roving purely because I enjoyed the color, the price was good, and I wanted something to experiment with. When I got home I immediately started spinning it using Tammy Rizzo’s Ply-on-the-Fly technique.

Sherbet Roving

Sherbet Roving

Sherbet Roving

Fiber: 3.6 ounces of roving from Sugar Loaf Wool in colorway Sherbet
Yarn: first skein is about 75 yards, second skein is about 105 yards. I think it’s worsted to heavy worsted, but to be honest, I haven’t checked my WPI yet.
Spindle: Schacht Hi-Lo 1.1 oz
Notes:
With roving my singles tend to be lumpier/bumpier. Sometimes I plucked the little balls of fiber off, but I didn’t worry about them much. If I was going to worry I figure I should use top.

A tighter grip than what I have been using with top was sometimes helpful in smoothly drafting out the fiber. Letting a bit of spin run further into the roving also seemed to be of benefit at times.

3 ply can be quite fun since you get to see yarn forming right away.

After spinning this fiber I’m much more comfortable with starting/stopping, spinning while standing, and even putting spin on my spindle with my feet.

WIP Wednesday 06/10/09

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

Last week I kept looking at my yarn, browsing Ravelry, and considering what I wanted to cast on for. There were actually several projects that I felt like I wanted to start right away, but I couldn’t seem to sit down and cast on. Each night I’d think, “maybe tonight I can sit down and start something” and then each night I’d get too busy or tired.

Finally on Friday I broke through and started a new project, then on Monday night I swatched for Dream. See both below.

1. Tryst Vest – ah shoot. I didn’t deal with this. Goal: re-block it this week so it can come off this list!

2. Sherbet Roving – Rather than overloading my spindle I decided to spin this in two batches. The first skein has soaked and dried. The second batch is just about ready to take off the spindle. I’ve been keeping this at work, spinning for as much of my lunch hour as I can.

Some sections look great and others are…umm…whoa, what happened there? 🙂 I know what happened – it’s my first time spinning roving.

Sherbet Roving

3. Imitation Ab Fab – it’s coming along well. I dare to say it looks better than those first photos led you all to believe (the light was rather harsh). The complete list of yarns is available on my Ravelry project page.

Imitation Ab Fab

Imitation Ab Fab

4. SIL: A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Details are in yesterday’s post. Goal: get started for real.

SIL: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

The second shipment of Shakespeare in Lace is out and it’s another spectacular combination of pattern and yarn! The theme for this shipment is A Midsummer Night’s Dream, designed by Judy Anderson. The yarn is, of course, dyed by Anne of Wooly Wonka Fibers. Hopefully as I progress through knitting Dream I’ll be able to show you the beauty of the yarn and pattern. The yarn color in this first photo is fairly close to accurate on my monitor. It has depth to the color though, that I can’t capture in a single photo.

Midsummer Night's Dream

Midsummer Night's Dream

My gauge swatch was knit on 3.75 mm needles with a long tail cast on over two needles. When I first pinned it out it wanted to be too narrow and tall. After measuring and re-pinning I got the width correct, but it’s still a tad too tall. My thought at this point is to cast on for real, but to be sure to cast on even more loosely – I think that will allow me to get the width easier, which will also bring the height down more. I almost always go up a needle size for everything I knit so that part is no surprise.

My goal when I joined this club was to get some experience with lace in a variety of patterns and yarns, and to extend my knitting skills. Considering the first two club shipments, I’d say my goals are getting fulfilled plus I’ll have some gorgeous shawls to show for it!

Absolutely Fabulous or Shockingly Garish?

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Isn’t that always the question with the Ab Fab afghans? I’m still undecided which way this one will go. One thing I do know – even if I don’t like it, I bet I know someone who will love it.

Imitation Ab Fab

Imitation Ab Fab

If you would have asked me two weeks ago what I would be doing today, I would have said, “shopping Linda’s sale”, but after seeing all my stash in one place I decided I needed to stash bust before buying any more yarn. All week long I had been considering various combination of yarns and pattern, all from stash. It wasn’t until yesterday I realized the six skeins of Colinette from a Vintage Knits kit kept staring me in the face. Take six skeins of Colinette, add one to two skeins of additional Colinette, one skein of coordinating tweed yarn, plus the Old Shale pattern and you have an Imitation Ab Fab afghan AND a whole lot of stash busting.

Blondie’s Here

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

She left Montana on Tuesday morning about 9:30 and was on the semi-trailer all day long. She spent the night at the shipper’s facility in Enumclaw and then had a short trailer ride to Belfair on Wednesday morning. The boarding stable she is at is one that’s familiar to her from past years and her best horse friend, JJ, is here now too. My hope is that she’ll settle in quickly; having her in a familiar place was a top priority for me so it would be less stressful.

Blondie Horse

Blondie Horse

Blondie Horse

I hung out at the barn for a couple hours after she arrived and then I went back in the evening for an hour. On the surface she seems quite calm, but she’s also tired from the trailer ride. You can see a hint of the bug eyes in the photos above! I don’t think it will take her long to settle in.

WIP Wednesday 06/03/09

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

What happened to May? Packing and moving made it fly by for me. With each day we are getting a tiny bit more settled into our house here. We’ve donated two truck loads of stuff, given away even more furniture, and are now tackling other projects (of which there seem to be MANY). Richard did some major overhauling in the garage and now he’s working on our water situation. The well finally got hooked up to a holding tank, now he’s making some plumbing changes. I’m trying to sort out my craft room, while spending a few minutes getting plants in the ground and tackling address changes.

Blondie arrives today from MT so that is exciting and a relief for me too. She was traveling all day yesterday.

1. Tryst Vest – I bet I can get this tackled in the next week.

2. Sherbet Roving – I started spinning this within hours after buying it even though I had planned to start spinning the Persimmon Merino from Greenwood Fiberworks. Why did I change my mind? I had it in my head that I wanted to try ply on the fly and I wasn’t sure how the Persimmon would look if spun/plied with that method. About half of it is spun and is now soaking.

Sherbet Roving

Several other projects are ready to cast on, but I have some kind of cast on block. I just can’t make myself sit down and do it even though I DO want to knit! I have the new Shakespeare in Lace package (yarn is wound), a pair of socks picked out, and a lacey scarf I’ve been thinking about starting.