Saturday, October 31, 2009

An eclectic assortment

of pics. I finally got part of my act together and assembled various and sundry items for photographing. I'm so pleased with myself. I really, really hate taking pics. Mostly because I haven't got a clue what I'm doing...

On the left is some Merino superwash I spun up for sock yarn (Navajo-plied). It's the Rosetta colorway by FiberOptic on Etsy. They're supposed to be socks for my dd, but I have to take them to the frog pond and start over. The garter stitch was the latest attempt in a(n) endless series of attempts to create The Perfect Wide Toe. Take my word for it, garter stitch ain't it; it's way too thick for anything but work boots. To the right is a shot of my gorgeous birthday present from my sis (clear back in May), of the Koigu KPPPM sock yarn she got me. This is my FIRST KOIGU! I love it, but can't decide what pattern to use, so I'll hoard it 'til I know what it wants to be.

Next are pics of a couple of handspun yarns and the half-finished projects they're turning into. One is a thick-and-thin 2-ply heavy worsted from a scrumptious batt by Margaret of CrystalCreekFibers on Etsy. I guess they have color-issues in their photos, too, because their's shows a very green batt. When it came in it was a beautiful teal blue with tiny bits of green and deep blue Merino, and white and green bombyx silk streaks. So this is going to be a Christmas Present for a Very Special Person. Ditto the scarf/hat from the other bit of handspun.
The tweedy brown stuff in the pic has a very weird story. See, I have had this commercial top (combed fibers) from Ashford for just about forever. It's multi-colored and, in the top form, it's really quite pretty. Spun up, though... butt-ugly. The complementary colors in the top simply turned to mud, especially when I tried to spin it thinly enough for sock yarn. Major bummer for a (then) new spinner. I couldn't even give this stuff away it was so ugly. No one wanted it, including me. I knew I had to spin it if only to get rid of the stuff. Deciding to spin it thick enough to make a worsted-weight 2-ply, I figured I could at least make tweedy mud. Maybe it would be useable then. So, filling up a whole (Babe) bobbin with it, I sampled a bit twisted back on itself. Still ugly. Worse than that, it was blah. Dead. Boy, was I discouraged. Walking by one of my (many) bags and boxes full of spinning stuff one day, I spied a bag filled with full-but-as-yet-unused bobbins. One-offs, really, of singles I didn't know what to use for. I saw 2 bobbins filled with plain, deep chocolate alpaca just sitting there. A light bulb turned on somewhere in the deep recesses of what passes for the creative area of my brain and...grab! Hardly daring to hope, I ran into the living room, twisted both blah and plain together and...incredible. Beauty! Together, those 2 blah singles made the coolest, tweediest, warmest, yummiest yarn I have ever accidently created. It's subtle, but really nice. Craziest of all: it completely, totally matches my yarn/project bag/purse from Yo2 Bags (my sis makes 'em). Go figure.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Raindrop Shawl - DONE!

Ta-DA! My first.ever.REAL.lace.shawl! With beads, even! I am so impressed with myself. Bless Shelly, owner of Twist Yarn Shop, for blocking it - I am NOT very good at blocking stuff.

This is the Raindrop Shawl, stitch pattern invented and shawl pattern written by Renee Strouts. And it's free!

Thanks to Becca, I got enough confidence to put beads at least on the edge, once she reminded me that I could use a crochet hook instead of stringing the damn things onto the yarn (which I refuse to do). Well, it was too late to put them on the body of the shawl (wah!), so I settled for just the bottom, but the next out! Beads up the wahzoo for me!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Introducing...Anabelle Marie!

I'm so glad I remembered to do this. Not having blogged all Summer, since May in fact, I never got the chance to introduce a very awesome, cute Somebody. Her name is Anabelle Marie, my First.Ever.Dolly!

I hated dolls as a kid - couldn't stand 'em. Thought they were for "sissies", I guess - and there was no way I was ever going to be One Of Those.

My toys were trucks, capguns/pistols, ropes hanging from our backyard trees (I was Tarzan), the crazy swingset Dad made for us (on which I frequently soared into outerspace), crayons and books for rainy days.

No, sirree! No dolls for me, thank-you-not-at-all. magical day at Twist, a very dear (and totally awesome) lady named Diane (it's a real privilege to call her friend) started pulling these...dolls, for pete's sake!...out of her massively capacious knitting bag. One of several, I believe. Doll, after wild-looking doll, came out of her bag. They were each a different, colors. They were crazy. They were beautiful.

They were so cool.

They had bright-colored dreds! They had rasta hats! They had fabulous clothes! They were so different from anything I'd ever seen, that they didn't seem like doll-dolls. They were more like...doll-people. Yeah. Even though they didn't have faces, they seemed so person-like to me.

I don't know what came over me then. Instant Doll-Lust, I guess. I had to have one - now!

Well, it took some time after that before I could get the money together (not to mention my courage) and ask her if she could/would make me one that was allll me. I got together some cool yarns that I liked (mostly greens and browns, my faves) and before I knew it...

Anabelle Marie was born!

That's some gorgeous sock yarn dreds she's got, eh? And socks! Matching socks!!! Diane knitted those wonderful, itty-bitty socks! Aren't they fab?! They EVEN contrasting heels and toes - LOL! Diane knew I was The Socknut and looooved socks (well, still do). And that drop-dead, totally awesome rasta hat! OH yeah! [fist pump] A tiny, perfectly knitted, very full rasta to fit over those awesome dreds! Do you see that tiny orange flower in her hair? tee-hee. Diane didn't know it at the time, but I used to wear flowers in my hair :-) And I always wear skirts - so Anabelle Marie does, too.

Anyway...just braggin'. It's a Momma's right.

Can you autograph DVDs?

I'm so anxious to get Abby Franquemont's new spinning DVD: Drafting: The Long and Short Of It. Interweave is allowing pre-orders, but it looks like it was available by the 14th of this month. I can't quite decide if I'm reading that right, or not - I hope so. If it's true, I might be getting it soon. Maybe this coming week (fingers crossed). Sure wish it was possible to get Abby to sign mine. That would be just SO totally cool!

Even cooler yet, I might be able to learn how to do REAL long draw! Woo-hoo!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Just to keep my oar in...

and to have at least ONE more post done before the end of year... Okay, it'll probably not be the last post of the year, but just in case. Couldn't hurt. After all, my last post was in May, for pity's sake. Five months and one day ago! Geez lah-weeze!

So much to tell and so little time (not to mention so little inclination on my part to endlessly type). I've spun and knitted my fingers nearly off. But I never, ever feel as if I get enough spinning time, no matter how much time I spend doing it.

As is usual, though, I've hardly taken any pics of all the stuff I've made, or at least started. This Summer was a weird one, with weird and distinctly *un*Summer-like weather. It felt like it was 3 weeks' worth rather than 3 months. I think we were cheated!

I got several BSJs done, with 2 more needing to be completed. Started 3 shawls (finished one). It's not blocked yet, but I beaded it, using the crochet-hook to great effect. That's about the only thing I use those hook-things for. I WILL get a photo of that one - I promise. It's the Raindrop Shawl. I don't have the url handy, but it's a free pattern - and very well thought-out in terms of stitch design placement. Google it if you want it; otherwise, you might be waiting 'til a Really Hot Place freezes over before I get around to hunting it up for you (sorry).

I've started more than a dozen other projects (at least) but laid them down one by one as I became bored with it and went on to another project. I am totally not monogamous when it comes to knitting. Faithless is thy name, O Fickle One!

I've done a lot more knitting than what I mentioned, but mostly in the realm of playing around and then frogging the - at times - strange results. I don't think I got done but one pair of socks this whole Summer. Must be some kind of record or something.

Let's see...I've made a good start (with the kids' big help) on my Fiber Room. Of course, I have to share it with my son's Really Big Drum Set (cymbal stands up the wazoo), so I just kind of ooch around the perimeter to get to my shelves and drawers. One of these days, I'm going to ditch all the clothing in the room's closet - and the pile of wrapping paper and bows - and put in some organizers for the rest of my yarn still squirreled away in every room but the kitchen and bathrooms. I haven't rescued all of it from Durance Vile, yet. However, at least I haven't got any more shoved down coat sleeves and in my big canners. I gotta get more bins, too. Waaay more.

I had no idea I had that many knitting and spinning magazines! I've got TONS - you should see the stacks! One fell on me (a stack) and I nearly got buried. I thought my son was going to have to excavate to find me. No one warned me that magazines reproduced themselves...

Anyway - photos to follow (I hope) covering all sorts of things I've done, wish I'd done, started-but-not-yet-finished, started-but-decided-to-frog, AND ... one really awesome, cool thing made for me!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Yet Another Three Weeks!

Well. From yakking it up nearly every day to just barely putting in a post-a-month. Must be some kind of record. I should get a reward for being so quiet. Didn't help that we all came down with walking pneumonia 2 weeks ago; we're still choking and coughing our way back to life. yuck.

In the meantime, I've knitted up what feels like tons of baby things (very simple things, mind), but I don't have photos of them yet. I've done a lot more frogging than I like - too much experimenting with my own patterns, I guess. I feel like I really haven't gotten all that much accomplished except to find out What Doesn't Actually Work. :::sigh:::

Still working on my Forest Canopy shawl, and trying to figure out how to make those color runs stay the same depth, even though the shawl gets wider and wider. So far, those runs aren't getting any longer, no matter how much wishing I do. Pretty soon, the rows are going to be so long the colors will change 4 times before a row is done! I keep wondering if there isn't a way to wrap-and-turn at the center stitch and work back. You only 1/2 the shawl at a time to eke out the color runs for a bit longer? Without making the middle stitch of the shawl look really, really strange, of course. If anyone knows of a way...

Come to think of it, even if you do know of a way, I don't think I can frog THIS yarn. It thinks it's mohair - it has more more hooks than velcro ever thought of having. I took out 3 rows once. Never again. Ever. It's staying knitted, no matter what errors creep in...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Better Late Than Never. I guess.

Wow. I can't believe I've let so much time slip by since I last posted; March 5th! Sheesh. I have a pretty good excuse for nearly 3 weeks of that, though. I was so dog-sick with the 'flu I couldn't have sat up in a chair long enough to play. No knitting, no spinning - and definitely no blogging - got done. However, since my almost-recovery (still coughing my head off), I've gotten quite a bit accomplished (for me).

I don't have much time to post a lot about each item (and aren't you GLAD!), so I'll just show you, instead. We received lovely news a few weeks ago that my oldest nephew and his sweet wife are expecting their 1st child after 4 years of trying. Woo-hoo! Everyone is over the moon about it. Rosie-lass has just begun her 2nd trimester. That kid's going to have more knitted and crocheted items than his/her mum knows what to do with. :-)

Anyway, the first pics 2 are of my first-ever Baby Surprise Jacket (BSJ) (EZ's pattern in Opinionated Knitter). I've wanted to knit one for a long time - now I have a perfectly good reason! I used Cascade's Venezia and Berroco's Inca Gold yarns for that one. I didn't realize they weren't machine-washable, so I sure hope Rosie doesn't mind. I can't believe I made a hand-washable item for a new mum! Way ta go, ya dork! I won't do it again - I promise! The 3rd and 4th photos are of my 2nd BSJ, using Berroco Comfort.

Because some of the Comfort skeins were spun 's'/plied 'z', it was really splitty for a 'throwing' knitter like me. I worked with it using a 'picking' style (German/so-called Continental) and it was a bit less crazy-making. Unfortunately, due to my slowness in 'picking' I'd have gone even crazier had I tried to knit that way through the whole thing :-) I've also nearly finished a third BSJ done in Comfort DK (properly spun for knitters!) in order to make a new-born size. I'm using traditional baby colors for this one, but he/she sure won't wear it long. It's tiny! It's pretty darn cute and I'll post it when I'm done. If I can just remember to take the photos...

And here's my latest project; a Forest Canopy Shawl by Susan Lawrence. I got the pattern on Ravelry, but I don't know if it's available elsewhere. I'm using Crystal Palace's Mini Mochi in the Autumn colorway.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


>Okay Connie, I'll understand if you are busy, but you need to pop in on the list just so we know you are okay :) We miss you!

Dang, Dori - I didn't even know you'd commented!!! Ack! I know, I know - it's been a freakin' MONTH since I posted or anything, but life has been INSANE, lately!

I can't believe, either, that it's been a month since I last posted. I can't believe I've been that busy! No, no pics to show for anything - yet. Just half-finished, half-baked stuff-on-needles (which may get frogged).

Just letting folks know I'm still kicking. Sort of :-)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Well. I dunno. More work needed...

in my not-in-the-least humble opinion. It's "okay", BUT... I'm not satisfied. It's only 19 yards and it seemed to take forever to get it spun - and to stay together. One thing's for sure: Romney locks don't "stick" as well as mohair, not even to a mohair core (that's the white "string" you see on either end of the "skein". Is it even long enough to be called a skein? Probably not.). The photos came courtesy of Shelly at Twist (my dd took the photos with Shell's great camera) because - once again - I forgot to take pics.

Well - back to the carder and wheel! For what it's worth, here's the 'knewest' Knarly Knots attempt.

Where to get the Bee!

Okay, I should know better than to write emails or post to my blog so late at night. I forgot to let ya'll know just where to get the Bee! There is a dear lady named Dori Ann who sells SpinOlution's Mach 1 and The Bee wheels (coming in March!), and their new, totally cool spindles (love those too). You can find her on her Feelin' Fibers Etsy shop. I have purchased from her several times and the shipping is very, very prompt! Plus, she has fab fibers, including Salish!

Dori Ann normally has lots of fibers for sale, but she's still unpacking from a very recent and exhausting move, so check back with her in a week or so - she's still coming up for air!

Here's a picture of SpinOlutions hand-spindles. I think they ought to be advertised more - they're cool - AND you can adjust their weight!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Bee! By SpinOlutions

Okay, this is getting hard on me - just how many wheels do I think I "need"??? All of them, apparently. Look at this darling new baby! I WANNIT!! Forget the Ladybug - I want THIS one! Yes, I still love the Ladybug, but...! You can't do super-bulky on it. Here's what SpinOlutions has to say:

The Bee has many improvements over current Spinning wheels available on the market. Some of the standard upgrades include:

* Open Orifice – allows thread of any size to be spun.

* Easy bobbin removal – no more hassles to change bobbins.

* 7 Ratio Speed Spindle – work at your speed.

* Multiple Bearings - for smooth and efficient operation.

* Heel rests – keeps the wheel in front of you, not across the room.

* Multiple rubber feet - for ultimate stability.

* Heavy duty construction – for years of dependable use.

* American made – what else can we say.

Ain't she CUTE!? Oh, golly - there goes another $600 as soon as I can afford it. Probably not for a long, long time but...

Blogger is rather limited on what you can do to space text so I'm having to show the Bee's specs in a different way from how it's shown on their site. Problems, problems, alla time...

Specifications of the Bee:
Weight : 13 lbs.
Height: 30 inches
Width: 19 inches
Depth: 13 inches
Wheel Size: 2-9 inch diameter
1.5 in thick

Height: 12 inches
Width: 19 inches
Depth: 9 inches
Wheel Size: 2-9 inch diameter
1.5 in thick

Number of Speeds: 7 Ratio: 1:5 to 1:36 (Approximately)
Material: Furniture grade Birch Plywood

Wheel 'n' "Knew" Knarly Knots

As promised, the pics! First, my new wheel, named Betsy:

I can't believe how much faster it is making art yarn when you have the right equipment! I have no idea how much I've got on here, but I sure am having fun. I started out just blending some of the colors on my hand cards only a couple times to sort of mix the colors, and I liked it (yarn on right side of bobbin). Then, I made a monster batt on my drumcarder, where the colors got blended together far more (left side of bobbin). I do love the way the blend looks, but...not sure that's what Shelly wants, so I'll ask her.

I'm also going to experiment this time and ply it with something special - see what happens. If I don't like it...oh, well - then I'll know. Hopefully, it'll look really cool. DD seems to think it will!


My Ashford Country Spinner came in!!! Woo-HOO!! Yarn Barf, here I come!

Actually,she came in yesterday and ds put her together for me (bless the dear boy!). I spun quite a bit last night, but it was stop and go a lot b'c I didn't have a batt to spin from. I blended the colors on my hand cards rather than using my drum carder, so it was sloooow going.

I finally got a big batt made up late tonight of the dyed locks Shels sent home with me, so it should go quite a bit faster (I hope). No, I haven't got pics yet, so you can go here to see what one looks like. Mine is stained darker than I like, but who cares?!? I was so happy to get it for a bit over 1/2 price (wow!!) that it could've been painted pink with purple polka dots, for all I'd care. Of course...I'd have stripped that off PDQ, but...

Saturday, January 31, 2009

...and so it goes

Well. Got to Twist. Had my wheel. Spun four minutes. Tops.


Oh, well.

Let's talk about something wonderful, shall we?

A "Fearless Knitter"!

That's what I'm calling her, but her real name is Melissa. Even though I had no time to spin, at least another new knitter has gone home armed with new knowledge and more faith in her ability to do whatever she wants to do with needles and yarn. And that's so great! The regular teachers weren't there and the shop was swamped, so the poor girl got stuck with moi.

I love teaching (smart people, anyway) and this young gal was sharp as a tack. She only had to be shown most things once. Boy. Wish I could say that about myself when I was learning. She wasn't at all afraid to tackle big things. Things like a loooong skirt knitted in the round - gracious me! She'd just learned to garter, didn't know how to read knitting terms yet (!), couldn't read a pattern; yet, there she sat, determined to knit this lovely skirt!

When I got over the shock of realizing she meant to knit it right away, I realized she had something I never had as a new knitter: sheer guts.

She "knew" she was a "slow-learner" (I'd love to know who convinced her of that load of hooey) but she still wasn't afraid of anything that could be knitted. If she's "slow", then I'm dumber than a freakin' post.

If she keeps going like this, she's going to be a phenomenal knitter. She's really cool, too; I liked her a lot. I really hope we see more of her at the shop.

Withdrawal symptoms...

are getting much worse. I have GOT to have some serious spinning sessions for the next 2 weeks, or I'll just crack. I know I will.

I'm still working on mom's mittens - they're more boring than I realized they'd be and I just do NOT do well with 'boring', even if it's knitting.

Hopefully I can get to Twist and spin for awhile...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Oh - I almost forgot!

My mom LOVED her green Garterlac Leaf Scarf! She loved it!!! Aaaaand, that's not all! She's even asked me to knit her some wool mittens! I am so tickled that she wants me to knit for her! She even thinks fingerless mitts might help keep her little hands warm. She's so cold this Winter, especially after suffering from the stroke; it's just too hard for her to get warm and stay that way. Sure wish I had more time to knit: I'd have her smothered in hand spun, hand knitted wools and alpacas.

I've got one mitten done and the other well started. SO...if I can just get off the computer for most of tomorrow (er, today) I should be able to finish them up PDQ. I'm making them from some discontinued Classic Elite Waterspun merino that I've had stashed (and forgotten!) for years; a worsted-weight (more-or-less) single which is lightly felted (so it'll actually stay together).

The mitten is a plain-jane pattern, but I'm jazzing it up mildly. I used the Channel Islands Cast On - truly my favorite - and am knitting it up with some favorite Addi lace 3mm cable needles. Magic loop, of course - it's faster for me. I'm making it with the backs in a moss-stitch bordered with a simple gartered edge, from the wrist to just above the knuckles, and a 'swirled' closure for the fingers.

The only thing that is disappointing me is how the mittens are leaning to the left. It's crazy - I'm a spinner so you'd think I'd have remembered how singles behave when knitted! But noooo. *sigh* Well, other than the fact that the mittens look 'lean-y', they're lovely, feel great and now DD wants some, too. Of course. Pic will follow when I can get it taken.

FINALLY - some time to post!

Oh, boy - have I ever been busy! It's now been almost 2 weeks since I've sat at my wheel; I'm having the shakes from spinning-withdrawal. However, it's been a pretty fruitful 2 weeks of knitting time, so that helps. That was a lousy photo of my mom's scarf - I think I uploaded the wrong one (well, of course I would do something like that), so here's a slightly better one:
While it shows much paler in the photo than in reality, at least the details show up.

- AND! - I finally finished dd's Wedge-Head Tam that I 'unvented' last week. I have never seen anything made quite like it on the 'net (or anywhere else for that matter), but that isn't saying much. Until recently, I never knitted anything but socks :-)

It took me forever to shortrow a wedge shape that would actually work with the human head. You should've seen my earlier attempts. ::shudder:: They wouldn't have fit anything recognizable on Earth.

I made this from some of my hand-dyed Merino top (by April of The Gourmet Sheep), which I'd Navajo-plied several weeks ago. I loved the way the colors just melted one into the other. Some colors are very bright and clear, others are more subtly shaded, providing a wonderful foil for the brights which just 'pop'. A simple idiot cord and tassel finished it off just right. Now...if only she'd let me block the durned thing to give it some shape! Darn kid wears it 24/7, practically.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

So...when do I get to spin, eh?

Argh - it's been over a week since I've sat down to spin ANYTHING. It's killing me! However, I have been knitting in my "spare" time ::snort:: and at least I have two things to show for it. Once again (this should be a given by now), I have to apologize for the poor quality of photos. They're all either over-exposed, under-exposed or out of focus! First, I made a Slotted Neck Scarf for my mom from some Rowan Felted Tweed, #146 Herb. It took just a bit over 1 skein (191 yds), so I'm guessing somewhere between 200-250 yards? No, I am *not* going to rip it back and measure it for you. I kept messing up on that thing nearly every step of the way and I'm not about to re-do it! Anyway, it blocked beautifully - hurray! I don't know why, but I had this awful fear that it was going to s-t-r-e-t-c-h uncontrollably once I got it wet. I don't know why! I just did!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"Winter Sea" scarf c'èst finis!

I can't believe it - it's done! Xxxxxxxxx's Morning Surf Scarf (fourth one, for Pete's sake) is completely, totally done. Apparently, I'm almost as bad as the Harlot when it comes to obsessing about a specific pattern. Even blocking the fringe is done (body got blocked first b'c I didn't know how to do the fringe the way I wanted to - I figured I'd better finish what I could). I can't say who it's for (don't know if she reads the blog or not), so mum's the word for now. I hope she really, really likes it!

However, I can describe it (as if I haven't in a previous post - ha!). The moment I saw the fiber on Leah's Yarn Or A Tale site - I KNEW it was meant for X. They were her colors (mostly much paler than those colored words) and not anyone else's I knew. On impulse, I bought the only bag Leah had left, and it was a mere 4 oz. Hmmm - I wasn't sure what I could get from that, because it wasn't suitable for socks, being merino and short, cut silk fibers. Wouldn't hold together well enough for socks, I knew.

I could hear that lonely bag of fiber calling my name for months after I bought it, but I had so many other carding and spinning projects, I just shut my ears to its' plaintive cries. It would not be ignored, so in early December (I think!) I took it out of its' dark and (very crammed) drawer and began spinning it into a fairly thick single, wondering what it would become. I couldn't decide between two scarf patterns, both of which I loved, so I decided to knit a bit of both (see agonized odyssey).

Once I decided it had to be the Morning Surf pattern, I quickly knit it up, switching from one ball of color to the other (okay - so I was being picky - it was a gift!), trying to keep the integrity of the color changes intact. Fourteen freakin' ends later....

Anyway - I knew I wanted something special for the ends of this special scarf. All my other scarves, I just left 'as is' after casting off, but not this baby! So, I thunk and I thunk. For 3 days (at least) my brain overheated as I fingered the small leftover balls and pored over many books, mentally looking at - and discarding - everything I saw. Nothing 'fit' this scarf. hit me: just make some simple, varied-length, twisted fringe and hang shells 'n' crap off it! Eureka! It would be simple, in keeping with the scarf's design and whole theme-thing going on: the Sea! So...whaddya think?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Ravelry's power is down - oh, my!

Well, phooey! I'm finally remembering to get onto Ravelry more than once every 2 months (literally), and look what happens: they lose power, or something. I hope everything's okay - I've not heard that there were any major storms this week - wonder what's going on?

SO - I'm here to brag report that the Winter's End Morning Surf Scarf is about 95% done. It's blocking right now, on towels on the bedroom floor. It's so cold back there it'll probably take forever to dry. Better that than the dogs ripping it to shreds, or tromping on it, though. Now all I have to do is the special fringe I'm planning (and hoping it turns out really well).

I've taken my green Golden Lace socks (designer Jeanie Townsend) out of hibernation - it's been well over a year since I started on them and put them away to obsess about learn how to spin. For the socks, I'm using Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino yarn in solids (my favorite). I think the name is "Pesto" for the shade of green I've got. It's certainly not Lime or Loden (which I've also got stashed. Well, no. Lime's all used up - rats!). They're lovely, but I've already made a couple of mistakes and had to tink ('knit' spelled backwards) what I did. Gee whiz - the pattern's not that hard! No, I haven't got a picture of the green ones yet, but will try to get one posted sometime this week. In the meantime, here's a pic of my dd's Golden Lace socks in turquoise, knitted with (what else?!) CTH Supersock, also.

I've been a tad busy, otherwise...

with a stupid virus. My computer's been sneezing, coughing and groaning for a week or longer, and now I know why! I'm just hoping it wasn't a keylogger-Trojan (is there such a thing??) - but it was certainly a Trojan, darn it. Can't remember the name and I can't imagine how it got on my computer considering I have every virus protection/firewall known to man! And they all work together very, very well. Until they encountered an irresistible force...


Of course, no one reading this could imagine what I mean by that...not at all. A foreign concept to most, I would imagine.

:::coff, choke:::

I've had to change all my passwords and cancel my debit card. Still need to go get another one, or I won't be able to buy squat online (no credit card, which is usually a blessing, right?!). All in all, it took me a mere 8 or 9 hours to - hopefully - get things straightened out. Heaven help that boy if I have to lose any more knitting and spinning time! Not to mention, I was supposed to be making more stitch markers for the store that evening. Now that we've started schooling back up - there IS no real time to devote to my relaxing, better-than-Prozac obse hobby.

Oh - I nearly forgot to make another brag (a small one). Ravelry asked me if they could use my photo example of the Golden Lace socks! Apparently, no one had entered a Project using that sock pattern, so ... no photo for anyone to see what it really looked like. That's sad; Jeanie is a very talented designer, long past-due for more public recognition. She has her devoted followers (like myself) who eagerly await the next pattern, but more people ought to know about them! She's good - really good - and picky about how well her patterns are written and work up.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Christmas stash acquisitions

Not to make you drool or anything, but here is some of my BFL Stash from Miss Babs. Chucked into the pile is some bright RED Fleece Artist...well, fleece. Roving, that is. I picked it up at I-forget-which-shop on the Yarn Crawl. No time to list all the colors - I'm yawning my head off and why I am still up?!? But I feel like I've been really behind on the blog - am trying to semi catch up.

Annnnd, these lovelies are from Ruth MacGregor, of course, of Spinning Forth (please see sidebar until I can put in all the links).

Again, I'm much too tired to list the colors, but I will, soon!

*** UPDATE 01-07-09 *** Silk colors, clockwise from bottom of left photo:
Silk spinning kit w/spindle - Garnet - 50g, Aubergine - 50g, Canard - 50g, Red - 50g, Sunspot - 50g, Coquelicot - 50g (middle)

Ruth told me, when I was enquiring about how much silk I might need to make a medium-sized project, that 50 grams of silk went much further than 50 g of wool. She said if you spin the silk fairly thin, it should get you a scarf that stretches from neck to waist (!). I'm assuming that means using large enough needles to get lace, but I didn't think to ask her.

Read blog post below for the Discussion Of The Scarves! You will probably have noticed that the poll has disappeared. There's a good reason for that...

Making a beginner's mistake

Well. No question about it - it won't be the Garterlac Scarf, for sure. This thing puts the 'ug' in ugly. I think I know why, too. The yarn is much sturdier and thicker than the yarn I used for the first Garterlac scarf, so I had to go up at least 2 needle sizes. I also had to spin and ply it quite tightly as the fibers were short and yet I was (stupidly) spinning them worsted. That's the beginner's mistake I mentioned in the title. Yup. Why I didn't think to card the roving and go woolen is beyond me. Yes, I'm stupid - so sue me.

When I tried to use the original sz 6, the fabric was so tight that the yarn had no room to 'breathe'. The silk ended up making the yarn feel like soft, crackly paper - yuck! It felt worse than the nastiest 70's acrylic you could find. We all fingered it (at the shop) and agreed: bigger needles! I switched to a sz 7 - same thing, just not quite as bad.

Got home and pulled out the big guns: my Kollage 8's. Ahhhhh! The poor yarn breathed a sigh of relief as it found room for itself to look and feel like actual yarn. In fact, it feels wonderful knitted at this gauge. Unfortunately, the stitches are so large, that the whole ensemble just looks...odd.

Beginning from the outer end of the ball (without frogging the Garterlac so ya'll could judge for yourselves), I cast on for a narrowish Morning Surf Scarf. Glory. I think that's what it wanted to be. Granted, both pieces could look better, but they're not blocked yet - give 'em a break! So tell me what you think of this one:

Even though a few more voted for the 'lac than the Surf...we're going with the Surf, unless someone has an even better idea.