Monday, December 27, 2004

DS's photographic skills

Jon took another good animal picture, this one was taken last night through the window and had to be digitally enhanced, but the little racoon was so cute I just had to share it...especially with our DD who checks the blog regularly (Hi! Jenn! :)} We live in the woods and peacefully co-exist with the little friends around us.
One of our adopted kids :) Posted by Hello
Spring Flowers Yarn

"The" Shawl Posted by Hello

Progress, well, a little

Over the past few days I've actually gotten a bit of the "Spring Flowers" Roving that I dyed a couple of weeks ago spun up. I think it will make a beautiful scarf to go with a dark colored coat (not that I'd wear it with my uniform coat or I did a little bit under 4 oz and plied it, now I'm waiting for it to dry so I can play with knitting it. The lace/leaf shawl is progressing, still all scrunched up until it gets blocked, I think I'm about 25-30% done so far. I have to get spinning on that fiber so I have enough yarn to keep going with the knitting! I'm knitting the last skein that has been spun. Still, I have plenty of the fiber and it spins so nicely that I don't mind.
Today I did no knitting, the kids wanted to go to Hampden and look at the antique and retro shops, they bought a bunch of LP's (that's right-records!) :) and not one of those is newer than 1980's. Both teenagers got some seriously classic rock, and my son has requested that I will all my old LP's to him...I had to keep telling him "I already have that one" at the shops! They're downstairs listening as we speak, and I'm enjoying the sounds of the Beatles, Moody Blues, Hair, etc.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

DSD and DH


DS and the Granddog :) Posted by Hello

Now to make New Year's Resolutions!

After a wonderful dinner and some fantastic family time with some of our kids (2 grown DSS's were elsewhere) we're all ready to look forward to the New Year and of course, that leaves me thinking of what my New Year's Resolutions will be. Perhaps not to buy a single bit of fiber unless I use up some of my stash, maybe not to start any new projects until those that are underway are completed, maybe to learn a skill within spinning or knitting that I didn't heretofore know. I know I plan on doing a lot more dyeing, I really enjoy working with color.
I'm *blushing* as I have no idea which colors I used in the dyed rovings I did...I was working with a bunch of left overs from some other projects. I had the 3 primary colors from Ashford which ended up in every dye pot, some Cushings baby blue, and a bunch of Gaywool colors sprinkled in, and mostly I just put a little from this bottle, a little from that, and played with the color combinations until I got what I thought would be pretty.) I like the gaywools best as they are crystals and less powdery, less of the stuff floating around in the air.
Well, I really don't have to decide on resolutions today, so I'll go back and work on my lace shawl some more before retiring to bed. I hope everyone is keeping warm and having a fantastic holiday season. :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Dyeing for some artistic expression :)

Well, here is the output from the dyepots...I spent the day working on some different color combinations after getting out my crayons and coloring a few thoughts out first. I really like the way the Merino silk feels as I spin it. I have no idea what I'm going to make with what I spun, but something will jump out at me, besides I don't have much yarn in my stash these days! Now to find the time to sit down and spin out the other colorway. :)
Spring Flowers

Sunset- Merino/Silk, and I even got some spun Posted by Hello

Monday, December 20, 2004

Our squirrel friends

The now famous squirrel in the picture is actually one that lives in the woods behind our house. Some mornings dh has been putting something out in a small dog dish for the little animals. This one (we call her Shirley Squirrely) is one of 3 that are around most every day and that we've come to know by sight, and is very protective of the food bowl. She frequently chases away a smaller female we call "Sandy", yet another larger female we call "Samantha" chases Shirley. Pecking order in the Squirrel world, I suppose. DS Jon took this picture through our glass door, as we never get any closer to the wildlife. The door is within touching distance of my computer so I get to watch them in the mornings whenever I'm not flying. It's a nice diversion when I really don't feel like doing my work. :)

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Our newest buddy

Half way there! Merino/Mohair fuzzy socks. Posted by Hello

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Rambouillet Fleece

Spun up-still a single Posted by Hello

The beginning of the ugly sweater

The spinning group I belong to "Twisted Sisters", has a pattern going around that they call the "ugly sweater", but actually it isn't very ugly at all (the original version pictured it made up in a horrible color with a gaudy picture on the front). Most of the group members have now made a copy or two of this rolled hem, easy, quick sweater, and we are all supposed to wear them to our party this Friday. I have only been a member 6 months and just got the pattern in November. I don't have any scrap yarn to use up, so I've decided to spin up some icky, ugly fiber I've had in the basement that needs to be used up. It definitely won't be done this month, probably not until the summer, but at least I'm starting!

I purchased rambouillet fiber this summer via mail order, and dyed it a few different colors with some cushing's and some gaywool dyes. I'm carding the yellow and lavender in with the red to make a kind of lumpy, funky yarn. It's definitely going to be bumpy because I think the entire red fleece is second cuts and noils, what you see has already been through the picker. It's full of VM and generally is very first adventure in buying fleece sight unseen from unknown shepherds. In the future, I will buy fleece only at the wool and sheep shows so I can see and touch it. Sigh. But the yarn seems to be coming out ok, and the batts that I've made so far on my carder look like they're ok too...of course, I'm full of VM after I sit and spin a bit. lol.

Friday, December 10, 2004

A dreary day off-perfect for knitting

I've already been working a bit this morning on my orange shawl. It's a good day to be inside and cozy. I'm having hot cocoa and working on a multitude of things, I'll reward myself for accomplishing today's task (getting the rest of the yarn I carry onto the Kendig Cottage website) by sitting down and knitting on my leaf shawl, of course I also need to work on getting more of the yarn for it spun! I'm about 80% finished with the two monster bobbins full that I'm making, then it'll just be getting it plied and set. That's a real case of "be careful what you wish for" as I wanted super large bobbins, and that's exactly what I got on the new wheel, but now it takes forever to fill them-and I'm even using the fatcore lace bobbins which are about 1/2 the size! That's ok, I'll have a larger skein of yarn to knit without knots this way. :)
***I ordered the Kundert spindles a while ago and they've finally come, now I have to get spindling! I just love the wood work on the spindles, to me they are works of art. They are only 1.2 and 1.4 oz, so they're lighter than they look! They'll make beautiful fine diameter yarn. I suppose this proves that I really have the collector gene in my DNA.
***Thank you so much to those friends that advised me not to panic about the pattern on the leaf shawl pulling and bunching up...and for your assurances that the blocking will straighten it all out. I feel much better now! I will order the blocking pins and whatever else I need...never blocked anything before, thank you for your suggestions on vendors, I'm presently checking them out.
The postlady kindly brought these new friends. Posted by Hello
The little bit I've finished of the leafy shawl Posted by Hello
Did a bit on the orange shawl Posted by Hello

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

One of the best gifts in the world

Here's a picture of Jon the carpenter with the gift he made for me in wood shop class...a beautiful white oak shelf. He sanded it until it's as smooth as glass, and the wood grain is gorgeous! I can't wait to find a place of honor for it!
I got about 50 rows of my shawl done today (my first foray into charted knitting) and much to my dismay, it is coming out very dark, and it's hard to see the leaf pattern unless you hold it up to the light and spread the work out. I'm going to continue to work on it because I love the yarn, and the pattern, perhaps some of my expert knitting friends will let me know if I can expect it to grow a little bit when it is wet and then blocked, and/or if I can expect the yo's to open up a bit as well. I will wait until I get more of the pattern done to take a picture of it, right now it's still fairly small.
Jon with the present he made for me :) Posted by Hello

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Woods outside our window...picture by Jon Posted by Hello

Monday, December 06, 2004

Jon with his new hat

Here's a rare picture of my ds, Jon, with the hat I knitted for him. It's an early Holiday present...from a kit I purchased from Bonker's yarns at the Estes Park Wool Market last June...the "jester's hat". It has 4 little pointy pieces on the top and is just crazy and colorful enough that he likes it a lot. :) And yes, he kind of has that Belushi eyebrow thing going on. lol.
Jon's new hat Posted by Hello

More about the new baby

You're right Carolyn (thanks for mentioning it), I forgot to list what the wheel is: It's a Louet S75, Double Treadle with Skeinwinder. They stained it Cherry for me at no extra cost, and I really love the color. DS Jon and I did the extra bobbins I got for it last night, but they don't look quite as nice as the wheel stain. It spins really nicely. Not as beautiful as your wheel, though...but very compact for my little place.

New project for myself: Leaf Shawl

The new Louet produced it's first skein of yarn over the weekend, a Merino/Mohair blend called "Granada". I did about 155 yards of sport/dk weight for a pattern I found in Knitted Shawls, Stoles, and Scarves, which looks like leaves in a shawl. The picture came out more purple and green but the fiber reads more navy blue with contrasting colors in person. I have about 3-4 skeins more to make for the project, but I just might get started knitting and spin as I go. I'm also knitting another mystery shawl from the orange/brown corriedale/alpaca I finished spinning over Thanksgiving, but that's my traveling (brainless) project which will stay in my work tote bag until it's finished. Ah, the feel of having lots of UFO'
Fiber for "leaf" shawl Posted by Hello

Saturday, December 04, 2004

My new baby Posted by Hello

The new baby has arrived

And I'll bet you didn't even know that I was expecting! The new baby arrived this week, and my DS, Jon put it together for me. It spins like a dream, and I love it! I probably would have purchased this one before the others if I'd known just how nicely and easily it spins, it's like night and day with the new one and my other wheels. I just wish I didn't have to work so much so I could spend more time spinning. Sigh (lol). In my next life, I'll be born to a life of leisure...spinning and knitting the days away with not a care in the world. Of course, I spent a lot of time reassuring the other "spinning wheel kids" that I still love them just as much as before, even if they have a new sibling.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Swan lake spindle and fiber Posted by Hello

Friday is SIP (Spinning in Public) day

I just finished enjoying the new Spin-Off's article about the spindler's list...and it reminded me to try to Spin in Public on Fridays. I decided to take along this spindle, my swan lake, and the merino-tencel that I've been spinning on it both Thursday and Friday. I hope that all the spindlers out there will make an attempt to spin in public on Fridays and raise awareness, perhaps even instruct and create new fiber artists. Enjoy your fibery pursuits!

Monday, November 29, 2004

A spindle flower

Today I received a spindle (top left, small spindle) that I purchased on ebay, and yesterday I came home to a Kingwood maxi that I ordered from the Bosworths which I absolutely adore! I have been adding to my spindle collection pretty steadily for the last two months, and I think I'm done for awhile (unless something wonderful grabs me). This shows the largest portion of my collection, although I do have a couple tucked away with fiber on them in my purse and tote bag, and the larger spindles can't fit in the crock I have the rest in.

Have you found any wonderful spindles? What are the favorites in your collection? What are you spinning on them right now? I really can't pick my favorites, it depends on what I'm spinning at any given time. I really enjoy the beauty of the natural woods that show up a good amount of grain, but the hand carved, and hand painted ones are beautiful too.
My spindle family Posted by Hello

Finished the shawl

The shawl is finally done! I am a little bit disappointed that I ran out of yarn before it became the size that would allow me to tie the ends behind my back, but I still love it, it's warm and soft. (I'm wearing it now) This came from a pattern that was posted on Yahoo groups "Sheep Thrills" this fall, prior to the Rheinbeck, NY festival, and it's a wonderful easy pattern. Tomorrow I might take a day off from knitting to let my thumb joint rest. I have no idea what will be next, I might work on some scarves for resale.
Shawl completed! Posted by Hello

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Thanksgiving-spun yarn :) Posted by Hello

Home again

It was a long and rainy drive both to and from Moline, but I figured out how to situate my wheel so I could get a bunch of spinning done in the car while hubby drove. More spinning was done at my in-law's house and at our hotel, and also was able to get a lot of knitting done. My shawl is now being knit with the final ball of yarn, the last 2 oz or so. We visited a LYS in Milan, IL called "The Caprock", and I found a couple of nice books on lace knitting. We had a fantastic holiday weekend, visited with lots of family, but I'm glad to be home.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Mystery shawl from handspun shetland Posted by Hello

The traveling show

We're leaving tonight with a basket full of fiber and a knitting bag full of stuff to work on on the way. It's 14 hours drive to Nanny and Poppa's house, and by golly, I'd better get lots done along the way! I took a picture of my shawl which is made of handspun shetland that has emerged from a fleece I bought at Rheinbeck from one of the booths that had a lot of beautiful fleeces, and yes, I did buy more than one. (I don't know what happened, they dropped into my bag! lol) The fleece was black tipped with grey along the shaft and white towards where it was sheared, but as you can see, after a quick trip through the carder it became grey. It's actually varigated at times, and has a very pleasant sheen to it. I have to spin a bunch today as I'm out of yarn for the trip and need to get more into the knitting bag before we leave. I wish everyone a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving and safe travels if you're going out of town to visit.

Monday, November 22, 2004

First installment of a blog novice

Wow, what a wonderful day I had yesterday...met with some new friends for an afternoon of spinning and chatting and fun. We spun for nearly 3 hours, and I was so energized that I came home and spun some more. I spun and plied and skeined off 8 oz of a wool/alpaca blend called seabreeze (even though it's orange and grey and brown-go figure). I'm panicked about going to Moline for Thanksgiving...don't have everything together and packed yet and leaving Tuesday. I fly to Denver and back today, so nothing will get done this day. I'm taking my Traveler wheel and ball winder so I can spin while I'm gone, I have so much to work on and need to get the yarn done for a project for a toddler in Conn. that dear hubby got me. I plan on trying to add to my blog at least weekly, and will take some pictures (as soon as I relocate my digital camera) of some of my work...I'm such a newbie knitter but I keep trying.

Thank you Amie for the recommendation on the book "knitting without tears" as I ordered it last night. Thank you Caroline for the tea and cookies, and for inviting Amie and I to your lovely home. Now I'm off to work. :)