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Lace and a Cat

Time for a project shot! This is a pattern called “Posies” created by a German designer… I don’t know the name off the top of my head. Ooops!! But, I am knitting it from the handspun lace I showed in one  of the last posts I made. I’m loving the yarn. I know the knitting looks like one big pile of “hrmmm??” right now, but I’ll look fantastic once blocked! I’ve only got 40 more rows before this pattern is complete and I am really hoping that I get to use some of that blue lace you see still wound in the ball. I think that would be a fantastic color to end the  shawl in! I do believe this is the most consistent lace I’ve ever made, because of this, left over yarn will be wound into a skein and sent to Rhinebeck for the yarn division of the competitions.

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As I mentioned in my previous post, the box-bags are multiplying! Here is my best and newest box-bag. It is the perfect size for my lace projects (until I get going on a 2000+ yard pattern)! It makes it easy to bring my knitting to work, and I know it is going to be safe. Who hasn’t lost stitches in the purse when their knitting has free ranged in their bag? Yikes!

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My knitting, spinning, and computer helper decided to make an appearance today! This is Scout all grown up! Scroll down a ways to see a kitten picture of her. She is such a pretty girl if I do say so myself. She gets very upset if momma doesn’t let her sit on that spinning stool. It is officially HER spot!

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Box-Bags are Multiplying!!

Lately, the sewing bug has gotten to me. I’ve sewn a hobo bag, spindle bag, and these little beauties!

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I think there are several useful applications for these. Project bags  for knitting projects, but that’s an obvious one. They are also useful for keeping together all those little things that go free ranging at the bottom of our purses. But, then again, they could be a purse all unto themselves! I’m going to use this mini one to hold all of my clips for my hair rollers. I was thinking too, that I could make these small ones to hold a bar of soap and a handmade washcloth, and package it as a travel set.

So! Exciting news around here! I received an email from Andrew Watson! For those not in the know, he is an excellent wheel maker in Canada who I commissioned in 2009 to build me a Norwegian wheel. His Martha model actually, however, mine is of Padauk and black walnut. Here is the exciting part, it’ll be coming home within the next couple of months!!! As I think back from the time I ordered it, to now, it’s amazing all the things that have changed in my life, likewise, the things that have stayed the same, like my love of all things fiber! I’ve been able to stay mellow about the whole thing for most of this time, but now with the news of her coming home soon, I’m just brimming with giddy school girl enthusiasm!

I wanted to share a couple of pics from a night hike I recently took with my awesome friend and coworker, Rene. Here we are lovin’ nature and adventurous hiking!

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This is a picture from the summit, far more impressive in person! The stars were beautiful up there that night!  And here is one last shot from the trail; look at all that snow!

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I’m off for now, I really do have to start planning my competition piece for Rhinebeck 2012!!!

Out of October and into…April??

Hello? Is anyone out there still? Slap me on the wrist, would you? So, what have you been up to? Lately, I’ve been very creative. In the realm of real life, I was recently promoted to a Dh position at work, which is pretty good, a step anyway. But, what I really want to talk about is the fun stuff! In my online absence I have remained true to my fiber roots…let’s see what pictures I can dig up for your visual delight.

 

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Here is some Spunky Eclectic South African Fine. My best buddy gave me 4 oz of this which I was happy to spin up! It has not turned into anything yet, so it is spending sometime marinating in the stash. Quite lovely and squishy!

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This is a cormo/mohair blend that I purchased at the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival. I have yet to finish spinning the 8 oz that I have, but it is awfully beautiful! Look at that shine!

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Here is some Enchanted Knoll merino/silk, 2 oz. I spun what ended up being 975 yards of 2 ply lace weight. This is currently being knit into a lovely German shawl pattern. Here’s a pic of the spinning… and a pic of the finished skien.

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In other news, I’ve also done some sewing… first, a hobo bag:

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And finally, a spindle bag!! I used the remainder of the hobo bag fabric to create this.

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So, I’ve have been keeping busy. I should be receiving my Watson Marie wheel soon…. and between everything else, I’ve ordered a Carson Cooper Sabrina travel wheel…Can’t wait  to get that one too! More on  this later, for now, I must get ready for work! Happy spinning!

Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival 2011

We were there! And I "we" I mean Cheri and I! Oh, and this time we had a special guest with us - Cheri's Husband, Steve! Great fun was had by all.  And it was a super treat to meet some fellow Ravelers! There were fleeces....not too many mind you. But we  did come home with a couple each. Cheri also found an awesome drop spindle. Yay!! I'll have more pictures and the like soon. There is even another video, but I have yet to edit and stitch it together. Here's me being naughty in the hotel room....
 

If you remember last year's trip to Rhinebeck, there was a pic of me in a sleep deprived state with a Corridale french fry. Here I am a year later with a Coopworth fry and I'm way more awake!!

The next picture I am entitling "Got Fleece Boobs?" I think it's obvious why.... These are 4 oz balls of cormo blended with black mohair. Not sure what I am going to make with it, but I have started to spin the fluff. Very soft!


Ok, I have been beyond a bad blogger. I know. Maybe I can get back into it now.... Yeah, I also know I have said that a zillion times!

And the warp is wound…

First, a special shout out to Cheri!! Congratulations on ordering your first custom spinning wheel! I KNOW you will love her!

Recently we have been having some difficulty with the water in our building; so much so that I had to leave for a few days just so I could use bathrooms and take showers. Crazy. Anyway, I spent one night at my best friend’s house (Hey Cheri!) and then I spent a night at my parent’s house. I think I’ve mentioned this project before, but it is slowly starting to take shape now. While I was staying at my parents I wound a five yard warp with 780 ends! And yeah, that’s a lot of ends when you are working with 2/30 yarn. Specifically, 2/30 Gemstone 100% silk. However, I finally got the warping board set up in a comfortable place and I was able to get into a groove. It took me 4-5 hours. Here are some pictures for your enjoyment!

 

This first one shows the color pretty well. It is a lovely blue-green sea glass color. This is also shows all of the warp wound!

 

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Next is a picture in progress but it also shows the color nicely:

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Finally, a nice shot of the warp on the board, look at the texture!

 

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This will now have to wait until I get back to my parents house for a solid couple of days. During that time I will warp and weave the loom for my fabric! And remember, this is going to be woven out of beautiful alpaca!

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines day to everyone. I’m writing this a little early because I wanted to share with you what Adam gave me for the holiday. Pictures will do them more justice than to merely describe them!

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Meet Scout. She is about 8 weeks old. I’m not sure what type of cat she is but I’m pretty sure there’s a little Maine Coon in her. How cute is she?! She’s actually sitting in the palm of Adam’s hands. But wait! I also would like to introduce you to….

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Smokey! Smokey is Scout’s sister. We adopted them at the same time from the shelter. Both are healthy, happy, and most importantly, they are spayed. Our girls will remain indoor cats. They will also keep all of their claws as I am deeply morally opposed to declawing any animal. These girls are so friendly! I had both of them sleeping in my lap an hour after we brought them home. Now they are sleeping on Adam. What a great Valentines!

On the knitting front, I finished a pair of boot socks I was working on! Man, do I love making these. Size 6 needles and worsted weight yarn make for a fast pair of socks! My FO picture didn’t come out well, so here’s what they look like while still in progress.

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I’ve also woven a few pieces. Here’s my new moebius woven in brown CVM with pink South African Fine. The Weft is an Enchanted Knoll batt with sari silk and glitz.

 

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I also wove this:

 

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This will be a neck warmer with some form of loop closure. I spun Cormo (white) in a lace 2-ply and the same with Romney lamb fleece (black). Weft is Cormo singles. Super soft and squishy!

Yeah, It’s Warped

So, I’ve been busy around here. Cheri gave me a nice alpaca fleece to work on and I’ve carded it into 9 lovely, fluffy batts. Here are a couple of pictures. Batts in progress and completed. The color on the second picture is more accurate. I’m calling it a “Gray Mocha.”

 

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The plan is to spin about 1600 yards in a light fingering weight to be woven with a sea blue/turquoise silk warp to make fabric for an artistic jacket. I’ve already started spinning it. Boy does it spin easy!

Now, as for the title of today’s blog; I had had an idea for a scarf woven in browns with a pink stripe or two for a while. Two days ago I spun for the warp. I used some dark brown CVM and some variegated pink South African Fine. The pink stripes are of two different widths – I dunno, I thought it would be cool.

Today I pulled out my Harp and set to warping it. Oh my, did that turn out to be a dandy of a project. 3 hours later it is finally warped.

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It is not completely even on there as far as placement (and I admit it is irritating me), but it’ll have to do. Some how I managed to totally F up the warping and had to go back and forth between sides to adjust it. It’s a 3 yard warp- thank God it wasn’t any longer. It’s all set to go now, I’m just sick of looking at it this minute to start! Oh, I guess I should tell you what the weft is going to be. It’s an Enchanted Knoll batt that I spun. Lots of brown and sparkles. Cool, no?

A few days late

Ok, so maybe I’m more than a few days late getting these pictures on the blog. But, I wanted to do an update for you on the lock by lock washing. About half of the locks have been spun now. I’m saving the other half for another bobbin. The idea here is to see how much yardage I get from 50 merino locks. I must say, I’m using an absolutely gorgeous black merino fleece purchased at Rhinebeck 2010.

Alright, so here we are. The idea is to use this lock by lock method for very special projects. I learned the technique from the DVD “Spinning for Lace”. What you want  to do is boil some water and place it in a glass dish. Add a little cold water to take the boil out of it. It will still be steaming heavily. You also want to prepare some soap to clean the locks. I’m using a bar of Green Tea Butter & Silk soap from my company, Chocorua Soap Company.

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You’ll then dunk a lock into the hot water, holding the tip (Don’t dunk your fingers in, they’ll get burned). Then with a heavy hand lather the lock up with soap by aggressively rubbing it on the soap. It will not felt with lots of soap. Dunk back into the water, squeeze out the water, flip and repeat process on the tip end. The next photo shows washed locks waiting to be rinsed. Rinsing  is the same procedure as washing but with no soap.

 

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And I also have a picture of the locks rinsed and already drying. These things puff up pretty quickly when drying!

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As I mentioned earlier, I do have half of them spun already. It looks pretty good for my first attempt at a 100% merino fleece. I will have to take a picture of the bobbin and post it for you. I love the black!

Cool things a brewing

Well I guess I had a little more energy in me than I thought. Picture this: 10:30 pm what is now last night; sitting in bed and all of a sudden feeling inspired to try something new. I got up, picked about 50 locks from a merino fleece and started hand washing them one by one. 12:45 this morning and I just crawled back into bed. Later today ( after I sleep for a few hours) I'll post pictures and give you a more complete story of how this adventure came to be.

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This and That

Boy that WIP bug has really got a hold on me! I started two more projects within the last few days. First let me show you the lace project. Granted these pics aren’t great, but better than nothing!

Here we have Evenstar by Sunflower Designs. I am using Knit Picks merino lace weight that I have dyed myself (or more correctly – over dyed). Yep, it pretty much looks like a blob right now. I do wish there was a little bit of silk in it, but I’m far too impatient right now to spin that kind of yardage in that colorway.

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Next, I am working on the Natasha Vest Pattern from Patternworks. The yarn is Patternworks “Bretton” in color #1000. The best way to describe the color is warm rose gray. The fiber content is 70% Superwash wool, 25% Nylon, and 5% Alpaca. I’m doing the body with a US #5 my gage is about 6 stitches to the inch. The pattern calls for 5.5 stitches to the inch so I really don’t think it’s too great a difference. We’ll see how that plays out though. Alright, here is my progress shot, though I don’t think you can really see the detail too well. Oh! And instead of a regular 1x1 rib I’m using broken rib so it’ll be a little less “snug” around the hips!

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Well, that’s it for now. Ta ta!

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