You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2007.

It was only a month or so ago when I brought home some wonderful Corriedale pencil roving from Crown Mountain Farms. It was their Tourmaline colorway. Very pretty.

What started off as this….

Tourmaline

Eventually became this….

Tourmaline singles

and tonight the lifecycle was complete and those singles became this…

Tourmaline yarn

I don’t have a yardage to share or a skein to show you because quite frankly after close to 4 hours of plying there isn’t enough liquour in the house to make me consider skeining this up by hand tonight.

I’m reckoning based on the feel of the yarn and what I’ve spun up recently that it is close to 800-900 yds in 8oz.  It’s around 18wpi which I think puts it right around fingering/sock weight.

This was my first time spinning anything over 4-5oz and boy was it hard. I started on 5/13 and up until this Monday I had only 2 3/8oz spun up but by some freakish show of determination I managed to spin the remaining 6+oz and ply in 3 days. Granted there has been no knitting movement at all since Monday but can you blame me?

Now the question is..make one mammoth skein or 2 normal sized ones?

6/1 Updated to say that the final yardage is ~850yds. Many thanks to my Mom who agreed to help skein before I finished telling her what I needed her to do 🙂 She pulled the yarn off the bobbin while I skeined. Made what might have taken 2+ hours by myself into something finished in less than 30 minutes.

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The Pastel Barf socks are done! No pic yet because I just can’t stand them right now. I don’t know whether it was the fact I had to make them, the yarn or the color that bothered me most about them. Perhaps it is the perfect storm.

I have to say I seriously doubt I will ever knit with Cascade Fixation again by choice. While it made for an incredibly quick knit I just don’t like the texture of the socks. Maybe I’ve become a sock snob but I just didn’t care for them.

Of course since I knit these socks in lightening speed time (a total of maybe just over 2 days) I’m at a loss for what to knit next. While I have 2 more pairs to knit for the cousin (who I actually do like) I don’t want to spend the next couple weeks only knitting something for her. Dare I swatch for my sweater or cast on for Blu? Or should I just power through the socks and be done with them asap?

Right now I’m working on that Tourmaline pencil roving from Crown Mountain Farms. 8oz sure takes a long time to spin when you are aiming for fine singles. I still have no idea what I will do with this, I would love to try navajo plying this yarn but we will have to see what it wants to be.

Manly Candy

They are done!!! It seems like it has taken forever because I didn’t knit for almost 2 weeks but they are finally done. And they are wonderful. The yarn is Blue Moon Fiber Arts Seduction yarn in G Rocks. It is a merino/tencel yarn that is just so soft and shiny. While my Manly Candy socks still pooled on the feet at least they more or less pooled the same way on both socks.

Manly Candy gusset

Check out the heel flap, it has a garter edge which I wasn’t so sure about but now I really like it. The pattern is the Cross-over lace from More Sensational Knitted Socks. If you liked the first book you will like the second.

Now I have a confession. While I like this yarn and am really glad I bought it I seriously doubt I will ever buy it from BMFA again. With so many other indy dyers out there now offering the exact same merino/tencel blend for up to $10 less I have a hard time justifying the $34 price. Especially when I find it absolutely impossible to knit a non-pooling sock. I love the colors, I love the quality of product that BMFA puts out but I hate that pooling is such an issue and yet nothing is done about it. Unless they come out with a colorway I just can’t live without I can’t see myself buying BMFA again anytime soon.

Anyway, finishing up the Manly Candy socks meant I could start working on the socks for my cousin. I may have already mentioned about how I was ‘informed’ by my mother that I had to knit at least 2 pairs of socks for my cousin by mid to late June. I immediately thought of Cascade Fixation for a couple reasons; 1 because she is sensitive to wool (she had no issue with the socks my mom knit for her last winter but can’t handle much of it) and 2 because it’s heavier than normal fingering and so should knit up fast.

Boy was I right on that #2. I cast on last night and started my basic toe-up k3,p1 ribbed socks, this time with a short row heel (mostly because I forgot about the gusset increases until it was too late). By the time I went to bed last night I had just finished the toe and after an afternoon of knitting at VY&T I had knit the foot, the short row heel and worked an inch of the cuff. And this was after taking about an hour lunch break with Ginger for an amazing mushroom burger at Time Out Burgers. Yum.

At this rate the first sock may should get finished tonight and the second one can be started tomorrow. Talk about fast. Just what I wanted.

And because I’ve come to the conclusion I’m a somewhat selfish knitter I think I might nix driving to work this coming week like I normally do (if you took my bus you would understand why) and ride the bus instead. Why? Well because if I have these 2-3 pairs of socks to knit by June I don’t want them to cut into MY knitting time. The bus ride will give me a little time to knit without taking time out of my knitting/spinning time at home. Dealing with the awful bus (the 358 to those who live in Seattle) is worth it in this case. For those of you not familiar with this bus imagine folks smoking pot in the back of the bus at 7.30am, being stuck listening to an ex-con talk about his time in prison, sitting 3 feet from a crazy guy who spritzed his head with water and sprinkled salt on his shoes and you get the picture. Now you know why I drive.

I just finished posting a few more items to the Etsy store, 2.5lbs in fact. There is still some left to dye but I decided that I needed at least 4 hours of sleep last night 🙂

Dragonfibers

Feel free to buy everything, I promise I won’t mind.

In other fiber news, I finally finished spinning the cranberry merino that I bought for my sister. I was at Weaving Works when I got the call she needed surgery (I won’t remind you what it was for since it is gross) so what could be more appropriate than getting some fiber to spin for her?

Sarah's cranberry

That is 4.5oz, 390yds of Ashland Bay Cranberry Merino. I think that works out to be about a heavy fingering weight. Now I just need to figure out what to knit with it. Something she can wear in LA when she moves down there this summer.

Also a while back you might remember the trip Sharon and I took to the Scary Farm. We decided we weren’t so frugal that we would try wash that fleece by ourselves and sent it out to Dawn’s Custom Carding. Sharon got it back last week and showed some serious restraint by waiting until Friday to open the box with me.

scary farm balls

I think she might have a before picture. I wound everything up into the balls so we could split the fiber. I’ve dubbed them Scary Farm Balls because I’m just not that imaginative.

The manly candy socks are on the home stretch, I might have them ready for a showing for tomorrow.

Now I’m not normally a person prone to crying over the littlest things but a couple of old friends brought me to the edge last night (in a good way). Since I love baking and worked as a pastry chef for a few years I have fun with my friend’s birthdays.

In the past I usually go for themed cakes that suit the person. My friend Sheila has received a coffin (with her picture in it), a black kitty and several crown cakes. Cathie got a veggie garden one year and an elephant cake another year. Paul got a Paulopoly cake for his 30th with all the spaces changed into important events/things in his life. You get the idea. But I rarely get cakes made for my birthday. My mom will usually make something and last year my sister “made” one (my mom and I did a good portion of the work). I had come to the conclusion that my friends are afraid to even buy me a cake because of what I do.

Last night at dinner when the restaurant brought out a cake that Sheila and Cathie had made for me (two very non-cooking friends) it brought me this >< close to crying. It was nothing fancy, just a cake mix and tub frosting (which I have nothing against BTW) but I was so touched that they even tried that it was really hard for me not to bawl. They even tried their hand at decorating and drew some knitting needles and “yarn” although once they were done they realized it was in the wrong colors. Purple and Gold are not colors you put on a diehard Coug’s cake but it was so funny and sweet that they even made the mistake.

And of course this was after I had a wonderful high tea at VY&T with the usual knitting gang.  Sadly it was Sharon’s last Saturday with us before she heads out East to Philly for hopefully only a few years. If you live there and see an English taxi in town it’s probably her so wave and say hi!

I typically have friends that do very little in terms of gifts for our birthdays so I was thrown for a loop when presents made their way over the table to me. Thank you Ginger for the Twisted Sisters book, I will use it well. Thanks to Annie who got me some yummy smelling body butters..Mmmmm. Thanks to Sharon who gave me a handy little caddy for my dye bottles-she apparently felt my cardboard box method needed to be upgraded 🙂 Thanks to Terri who also got me the Twisted Sisters book that I think we realized could be returned and Color in Spinning could be ordered, and lets not forget the grocery bag full of spring/lime green Romney batts that she made for me. I’ve never spun from batts before so this will be fun.

All in all I had wonderful birthday celebrations with some amazing friends. I’m a very lucky person.

First up a little bundle of BFL that I dyed up for Bumblefee. Pink and pewter per her request.

bumblefee

It is making it’s way across the Atlantic right now.

Today was the first day of the Weaving Works Mother’s Day Sale. And those smart ladies there know that if they want to really make a killing they should make it a 4 day sale! So of course I had to go. After all it is my birthday tomorrow and you HAVE to buy yourself something right?

My grand plan to leave work at 3pm was nixed because well work kind of got in the way. But all was not lost. I managed to convince my coworker/fellow crafter person to come along with me (it helps when I’m her boss and I’m cool with her making up the hours next week). So we snuck out at 4.15pm, booked it over to BB&B where I bought the featherbed I had been eyeing (hey there is nothing that says you can’t buy several things for your birthday) and then sped over to WW to hit the sale.

ww haul

See I showed restraint!

Want a closer look?

koigu

6 skeins of Koigu!!! I’ve never bought or used Koigu before and when you realize how much sock stash I have that is a very odd thing indeed. I have no clue what the colorways are right now. I just grabbed while mumbling something that sounded a lot “oooh pretties!”

jitterbug

Colinette Jitterbug, color also unknown. I was standing by the Koigu and turned around and saw this on the other wall. It is very bright. It is very beautiful.

fluffy goodness

And finally 3.5oz of merino/silk/angora roving. Isn’t it pretty? I was showing Becky the yummy fibery goodness that they have in the back of the store and I touched this. I took what was left and didn’t even think to ask if they had any more. Oh well. This is getting dyed up tomorrow when Sharon comes over in the morning.

I showed restraint right? It COULD have been worse!

When I took apart the wheel last week I have to be honest and admit there was a little bit of nervousness. Would I be able to get is back in one piece? Would I have that dreaded one “I wonder where this goes” screw?

My fears were unfounded although there was that one random screw left until I realized it went with the orifice mount.

Last Sunday.

wheel

Today.

wheel v2

I know I know, it wasn’t a huge overhaul. It isn’t a candidate for Pimp my Wheel but oh in person it looks SO MUCH better. I decided against a stain and varnish and went with good old Tung Oil. I never knew it could make wood glow like that.

I had planned on having Annie work her painting magic on the treadle but patience is not a virtue I have ever been accused of possessing. When I realized it could be 2 weeks before I could put the wheel back together I decided against the artwork. Of course this was AFTER I tormented Nicki by waking him up and making him pose for pictures.

I cleaned up all the metal pieces since they had some gunk on them (years of dust and oil I imagine) and following those handy Ashford instructions online I put this baby back together.

And that annoying little catch I felt before? Gone! It might come back over time but for now it treadles like a dream. I also adjusted the length of that plastic joiner (I have no clue if it has an official name.). It was originally set at a really long length so it felt like I was having to put in a lot of movement just to get the wheel going. I don’t know if the 15mm measurement on the Ashford instructions is only for double treadle but we shall see how it works for me.

It just needs a name now. I put off naming it because I hadn’t put me into it yet. Now that I have I need a name.

Should I make this a contest? Offer up some sock stash for the winner?

SP8

Looks what my SP sent me!!!

I got the official Mint Julep recipe, derby paper plates, 2 kinds of chocolates (one of which is already gone), a horse cookie cutter, Kentucky Derby cooler thingie, an official KD glass with all the names of the past winners, a jar of mint julep jelly and a snow globe. All things that are designed to make it OBVIOUS who my SP is.

I have no clue 😦

I keep looking at the names of all the participants expecting to have the name just pop out at me and that just isn’t happening. I feel so silly I can’t figure it out.

Sneakie Pie, will you help me out?

Updated to say…Thanks Kateinky!!!

Flickr Photos

Dragonfibers

On the needles

February Fitted Pullover

Sapphire Waves of Grain

On the Bedside Table

The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan (ok not really since I can't find the book anymore)

on the wheel

Absolutely Nothing.

Stashdown 2009

January 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 233 Total Weight:33.13lbs Total Miles: 27

February 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 213 Total Weight:30.09lbs Total Miles: 26

March 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 218 Total Weight:31.95lbs Total Miles: 27

April 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 217 Total Weight:31.45lbs Total Miles: 26.5

May 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 229 Total Weight: 33.8 Total Miles: 28.4

June 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 210 Total Weight: 31.9 Total Miles: 27.7

July 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 201 Total Weight: 30.5 Total Miles: 26.5

August 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 228 Total Weight: 34.0 Total Miles: 28.8

October 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 254 Total Weight: 38.2 Total Miles: 31.8

November1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 224 Total Weight: 34.9 Total Miles: 29.9

December 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 206 Total Weight: 31.9 Total Miles: 27.1

KAL

World Bread Day '07

May 2007
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