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First of all I wanted to show off the handspun that Sharon did. It’s from the orange and green radioactive silk hankies that I dyed for her a little while ago.
The colors are actually much more vibrant in person, the photo doesn’t do the sheen justice either. I believe it is getting made into a summer bag during the long road trip to Philly. (I sure will miss her!)
I planned on doing so much this weekend but I only got halfway through one of my grand schemes. As some of you know I bought my wheel used and while it had been well taken care off it still needed a little TLC. So today I pulled out the hammer, screwdriver and whatever those Ikea tools are called and took it apart.
After spending about 4 hours taking it apart and sanding it down my original plan on taking it down to original unfinished bare wood was nixed. I’m sorry but I’m just not willing to put in that much elbow grease to get all those pesky curved pieces down to bare wood. While it may not look that much different in the end this gives me the perfect opportunity to clean all those moving parts. Taking the wheel apart revealed how gunky it had gotten.
So a quick trip to the hardware store, a little contemplating of a dark mahogany stain and finish and eventually I came home with a flask (?) of tung oil and some cloths. Sadly by then my elbows gave out and the oiling will have to wait till tomorrow.
Incidentally I had the most delicious dinner last night at the Market Street Grill in Ballard. If you are ever in Seattle I highly recommend the place. And Sunday nights they have the set $25 meal which includes a soup/salad, entree AND dessert. Can’t go wrong with that kind of deal!
Went with my best friend (who loved the Swallowtail shawl I made for her) to celebrate her birthday. While I don’t normally go all out when heading out for dinner sometimes you just need to. Started off with some fried calamari with this amazing cilantro salsa verde. Then a manila clam bisque with crostini and chive oil-drool… and finally a lamb sirloin with potato puree and creamed spinach. Amazing!
Oh and we finished off the night by heading down to the Ben and Jerry’s and getting some ice cream. It was a good night
Lets just say the urge to pull a Sally Fields and stand up in front of a room and say “You like me, you really like me!” hit me more than once today.
You are looking at the first 5 orders that were placed today! A very happy bouncy feeling has been with me all day.
Of course since I didn’t really expect anything to happen the first day I was foolishly unprepared. A 7am run out to Staples before work for shipping labels and leaving work at 3pm in order to rush home (had other plans for the evening that would have made shipping out tomorrow impossible otherwise). That there were 5 people out there willing to trust a newbie Etsy seller like me made me want to get their roving in the mail ASAP.
All I can say is thank goodness my sister was able to throw together a logo for me at the last minute and for once my impulse to shop in advance paid off. I had a whole ream of paper that I use for my catering that I love and will use for Dragonfibers as well.
Speaking of catering… I made yet another strawberry and whipped cream cake for a client. Same client. Wonderful woman but while I like this cake I don’t LOVE this cake. Or more correctly I don’t love it so much that making it 5 times in 6 weeks is something I want to repeat anytime soon. I may need to make myself a chocolate cake this weekend just because. Anyone want to come over?
I kind of think this cake looks like it has a bad case of the measles.
That is colored white chocolate that I tinted and stuck on the cake. Not my best work but the only parameters I had was ‘something fun with confetti or streamers’. Hopefully the birthday person likes spots!
As you all know I went crazy and bought a lot of undyed fiber recently. It took several dyeing sessions but I’m finally getting to the bottom of the pile. Here are a few tantalizing closeups.
With a little saved for my own personal spinning I decided the only way to deal with that much fiber was to open an Etsy store.
I’ll quit my blathering and with a drumroll please….
I give you Dragonfibers
Now don’t mind me while I go sit in a corner, cross my fingers and hope someone out there likes the roving enough to buy some
Well ok by now it’s a sock toddler but you get the idea. I cast on with my Blue Moon Seduction yarn in G Rocks (thank you work for the gift card!) last week and using the new More Sensational Knitted Socks book I found the perfect pattern. I think it is the Crosshatch lace (p90 I believe). I wanted a pattern that could break up the pooling that I find Blue Moon yarns tend to do. So a pattern full of k2tog and YO’s should do the trick.
In this photo the yarn actually looks darker than it really is. And that is why I have dubbed these the Manly Candy socks. While they may have been named after a guy (January One’s husband) I find the colors to be very candylike. The photo on the BMFA’s website looks nothing like what I have in my hands. Still very pretty though. I was going to call them Man Candy socks but figured potentially repeating that phrase more than once would garner some interesting web hits
I spent this last weekend dyeing up a storm, well actually all the dyeing happened on Sunday but that is beside the point. I now have pics of all the dyed fiber up on flickr.
The goal is the officially open the Etsy store by Friday. And then we will find out how stupid I am to even think about selling my stuff and how much fiber I’m going to be stuck spinning because no one will buy anything.
I won’t overload you with pictures here but if interested go and check out the photos HERE
I have my favorites and there are definitely ones I’m not satisfied with and that I know could have been better. All in all I think I did alright and hopefully enough other people think so too.
Oh and I’m taking suggestions for colorway names…
But I have two more colors to show you. The thought of dyeing more roving right now is almost enough to make me cry. I’ve pretty much decided that unless I am feeling really inspired on a weeknight any dyeing should be left to the weekend. Otherwise I just get too stressed out. The weeknights will be for knitting which I feel I have sadly neglected lately.
Ok onto the two pics. One is a repeat of the purple/grey combo that Ginger requested. Again in BFL.
And then there is the aqua and brown. I know I know, that sounds awful. I really wasn’t sure about those two colors but once it got done I actually kind of liked it. Probably not for everyone but not as ugly as I think it could have been. (and yes I realize that is hardly a ringing endorsement)
Weirdly as much as I feel like I have been dyeing this week I have only 4 braids of BFL, 3 of superwash and 2 bundles of pencil roving. Only 14 more to go. Sigh.
In knitting news, I finished one Tofutsies sock. While I like the finished fabric the yarn was a bit of a pain to work with. One of the plies liked to split which made short row toes and heels a serious PITA. And I was using pretty sharp size 0′s needles. I hate to think about the troubles I would have had if my needles were less pointy. The Knit Picks 0′s made for a really dense but soft sock, the pattern is not one I would have normally made but it was for a test knit. Sadly the twin will not be knit right away.
It isn’t a slam on the yarn or the pattern so much as it is a reflection on my need for a change. It feels like lately I’ve taken on several projects (the purple merino/tussah and the sock) that seemed like neverending tasks. While I liked working on both to a certain extent and definitely liked the end results I found myself dying for them to end. So I’m going to do something I vowed never to do again and that is to wait to knit that second Tofutsies sock until later.
Next project? One of those wonderful STR skeins in my sock stash NEEDS to become socks. If for no other reason I want some new socks to wear with my new shoes (which I bought just so I could show off hand knit socks).
As some of you may have noticed I have recently acquired a small amount of undyed roving. How much you ask? 6 freaking lbs. Want to know what that looks like?
That is 2lbs of BFL in front, then the 2lbs of superwash and in the back the 2lbs of pencil roving.
So what do I plan to do with all of that? Well the master plan started last night with 8oz of BFL and 8oz of superwash making into the steamer. Let me show you what became of that.
First the superwash.
and then the BFL (which I am EXTREMELY happy with)
For pictures of the whole braid click on the flickr album and they are in Yarn Porn.
I have to admit I love the results of last night’s dyeing session. While I like how easy superwash is to dye I am very excited over how nicely the BFL turned out.
Now I only have 5lbs left to dye and then I have to try and sell this stuff. (what have I gotten myself into?)
Just a mini post for now. I finally finished the merino/tussah blend and plied it up last night. It has now been measured/weighed/petted and is now taking a nice wool wash bath.
Here are the singles.
and here it is all plied and ready to be washed.
and for a closer look.
That is 5oz of Ashland Bay 70/30 Merino/Tussah Silk in Purple. 366 yards which I think works out to be around a DK weight.
It is my first yarn that I am really proud of. Incidentally I found out that plying that much yarn takes longer than watching the Bourne Identity. It felt like a neverending plying-mostly because I was taking my time and trying to really get a consistent ply. What makes me really happy is that the yarn seems perfectly balanced.
What do you get when you have a knitting expo AND a yarn warehouse sale in the same day? Well if you add 3 slightly loopy knitters/spinners you get mayhem. (I’m leaving the photos large for full effect)
This was after Annie, Ginger and I hit the Seattle Knitting Expo. And no the trunk was NOT empty when we started filling it. You can see the cooler in the top right corner but what you don’t see are the 2 giant containers of cat litter that took up space. I will have to look up all the names of the stores we hit but the far left stuff is mine. That includes 2 lbs of pencil roving to dye, 8oz of already dyed pencil roving, 2 lbs of superwash to dye and 1 lb of this yummy blue/purple/pink dyed merino.
Then we went to the Cascade warehouse for an inventory sale. Most of it was not stuff I like, lots of frilly fouffy stuff and the only 220 was Jet which I didn’t want.
I picked up some purple bulky that I am going to make a felted tote out of and some white wool blend that may or may not dye. 10 balls of each, $40 total. Can’t beat the price of $2 a ball. I wasn’t able to pick up any Cascade for some fellow knittys since they only had the black. Sorry.
Now I need to lie down and think about what I have done.
As you may have noticed from yesterday’s post I did a little dyeing this weekend. Well I finally have the last two skeins to show you. It is a bamboo/merino/nylon fingering weight yarn. Superwash merino too. Perfect for socks.
If you check out the pink/blue/purple image in flickr you can see how in the larger image the sheen of the bamboo really comes out.
This stuff is so incredibly soft to the touch and I will definitely be knitting with the purple/grey one soon. It sort of reminds me of WSU colors even though it is more purple than crimson. Oh well. Still so pretty. I’m not sure what to do with the second skein. It isn’t really my color and to be honest I’m not quite sure why I decided pastel pink/purple/blue would be good. It’s very girly.
I’m not allowed to buy more yarn to dye right now. I went a little crazy and now have 4lbs of roving in the works to dye.
What have I gotten into?
It has taken forever, or at least it felt like forever but the sherbet silk I hand dyed and then hand spun is now complete. I spent most of Saturday spinning up the rest of the mauve silk to ply with it and then figured why not ply right away. The silk got washed, weighed and measured last night.
Now all I have to do is find a project for it. Completed yarn is 1.5oz and 193 yds.
While at VY&T yesterday Kim (their resident expert spinner) wandered over with a big ball of BFL that they just got in. In fact they got in both the white and the black. Drool. I’d never seen BFL before but I think I found a new love. Since Ginger missed out on the silk hankie dyeing she picked up 8oz with a request to dye it for her. I hope I got it right. (pic only shows a 4oz braid)
Since I liked that color combo so much I dyed one of the Twist skeins the same way.
I also dyed a blue/green Twist skein but I didn’t like the results nearly as much as the purple/grey.
Right now I have the bamboo/merino blend marinating before I steam them later today. The Bare I received from my SP might have to wait until tomorrow because I’m out of color ideas and I want to use the yarn to make a Clapotis for myself. I mostly dye in a haphazard way but for that yarn I want to take my time and really think about the end result.