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I seem to have become addicted to SP’s, maybe it is just the ones on knitty are so well organized or because it’s with a great group of knitters. Who knows. I signed up for the most recent spinning SP this time around and while I’ve slowly been putting together a package for my downstream pal my upstream pal hasn’t been slacking off at all.

I got this today.

sp package

Want to know what is in it? Well the first thing I recognized was this.

poppyflowerfibers

My SP must have been in chat on the day I spotted this roving on etsy and drooled. It’s Hella Hot3 from Poppy Flowers Fibers in 4oz of domestic wool. It’s bright, it’s soft, it’s totally not something I would normally like and I have no idea what I will make with it. I love it. I’m also wondering how on earth Lisa at PFF gets her braids so compact because I sure can’t.

Then there was a yummy smelling bread mix? I have to admit I didn’t even pause to fully read the box because I was so excited to get mail. I will go and look right after this and sniff the box again.

suri alpaca

That is Crown Mountain Farms baby suri alpaca and it is dreamy. I’m not ashamed to admit I tried to stick my entire face in the bag to sniff the fiber. It smelled like the bread mix. 😀 I’ve never spun alpaca before so this is going to be a real treat. This won’t be touching any dye, I want this just as it is.

Thank you SP, whoever you are 😉

Not only do I now have my awesome Entrelac stitch markers (ok I admit those came in last week but I haven’t blogged about them yet). I have some of her Sterling Silver Omega lace markers and some of her standard sized copper wired markers with purple and blue glass beads. All courtesy of my spinning SP from the knittyboard. Thanks SP!!

stitch markers 

but now I have a hefty amount of dye for the fiber dyeing.

dye

But wait there is more.

seychelles

That is some 100% merino sock yarn from Artsygal, colorway Seychelles. That I got to name!!! It reminded me of the beaches in Seychelles and even though it’s been about 24 years since I was there I still remember those amazing blues and greens of the ocean.

Now Jas had been telling me she found something for me a little while ago but didn’t tell me earlier because she had lost the item. Well she snuck it into the yarn and dye package and lets just say I was less than thrilled when the first item in the package I spotted was this…

fun fur

 Yup purple fun fur. I couldn’t fathom how she thought I would want this and I started to really wonder about spending a whole week in her company this August when I noticed the wrapper.

fun fur flies

“Fun Fur Flies Repellent..For the elimination of Alter Egos, Attention Ho’s and Delusions” 

Phew!!! It’s an inside joke involving a certain someone who invaded knittychat for a while. She would come in and out under different names, was selling items online from copyrighted patterns, got nasty with other members when they would try to help with her questions and all in all made chat very unpleasant for some people. One nickname was purple related and she was a big fan of fun fur so now I have a ball of purple fun fur flies repellent. Now what do I do with it?

Now as if that wasn’t enough there was a mystery baggie (no not that kind of baggie) filled with this.

mystery fiber

Need a closer look to figure out what it is?

fiber closeup

That bit of dark brown is yak fiber, and not the kind of yak I’m used to in this house (cat variety)..this is the yummy stuff. That paler fiber, the one that is a fawnish grey, well that is…

wait for it….

cashmere!!!!

What I did to it is probably illegal in 14 states 🙂

I promise I was good. I could have been oh so bad but I barely managed to squeeze in an hour this last weekend to go yarn shopping.

First up I went to Three Bags Full which is such a lovely shop. Somehow I managed to not actually take a picture while in there (the presence of family members who refused to let me go alone might have had something to do with that). The two store employees were super nice and the gal at the register was sweet enough to point me to the site where I can get the booga bag pattern for free. More on the bag later.

I couldn’t leave without sock yarn and I picked up the one brand I’d never seen before. It’s called Nature’s Palette from Hand Jive. Superwash fingering merino sock yarn that is hand-dyed with natural dyes. Colorway is Odd Duck #1. How could I not get it with a name like that?

odd duck

While wandering around the store and refusing to be tempted by the huge selection of hemp yarn I spotted something wonderful.

icecream

That is 100gms of hand-dyed corriedale by fellow etsyer Yummy Yarn in sherbet pinks, peaches, bright orange and splashes of bright red. Colorway name? The Emperor of Ice Cream. I LOVE it. It isn’t something I would normally buy because well it is pink and orange but I couldn’t help it. It was a tossup between this roving and a blue/purple bump called Smurf dipped in Purple Paint. I wanted both but decided only one was allowed. Oh but that smurf one…sigh.

I don’t have a pic of the booga bag yarn because well this is about MY yarn purchases. While in TBF my aunt (of the cousin socks part of the family) spotted a booga bag made out of malabrigo. I immediately hear “oh this is so nice, if I buy the yarn will you make one for L (sock cousin)?” Now I don’t know about you but when you have your mother and 2 aunts now looking at you after such a question you really don’t have a nice way to say no. We decided malabrigo was a bit pricey so we went with similar colors in Cascade 220. I’m going to dye the lighter green to mimic the semi-solid look of the original bag.

By the time we left that store I had been asked 3 more times to make something they had on display but luckily nothing came of those requests. I have only one more and thankfully easy knit on demand project now.

Next up on the yarn hunt was Birkeland Bros Wool which was a convenient 10 blocks away. Holy cow it was floor to ceiling roving and yarn in there. I didn’t even notice the shelves went all the way to the ceiling until I was getting ready to leave. I could see some machines in the back, apparently they do their own processing and do custom carding as well.

For Birkeland I knew I didn’t want yarn but fiber was fair game. I poked around in countless bins, pulled bags and bags off shelves to see what was behind them and finally settled on just 2 items.

mohair locks

Mini bag of hand-dyed mohair locks from Shades of Narnia (no website). The picture doesn’t look that hot but there is a great mix of colors in there. I have no idea what to do with it.

And my biggest purchase (size wise at least).

moorit

That is 1lb of Moorit Sliver in Fawn. Anyone know what this is? It feels really soft and is labeled as 34 micron. I really want more but maybe I should hold off until I start spinning the stuff I already bought. I looked up moorit sheep online but all I can find is that it’s not very common.

updated to point out this site which says that moorit is something used to describe a genetically and physically brown fleece. It is a double recessive gene which means I just HAVE to call my fiber Mutant Fiber.

So all in all I did ok, I planned on shopping and had budgeted for more splurging but stuck with only the stuff that called to me.

As for the weekend, let me just say that spending 2 days with your mother and aunts and uncle can be exhausting. Nothing goes on schedule which drives me up the wall. I’m far from the most punctual person but when you have to sit around waiting for 45 minutes just to get picked up for breakfast and then take a detour to see a pier that none of us wanted to really see, then drive around for an hour or so before stopping for lunch…Then I got the wonderful news of ‘oh it’s too far to go back to the hotel to let you get your car so you can drive around by yourself’. I had been clear before we left my car at the hotel that I would be going to the yarn stores, no negotiation. Lets just say I was so fucking pissed I almost started crying in frustration and I’m not a person prone to crying typically.

So instead of being able to browse and chat in the yarn stores like I had hoped I either had company (TBF) or a car full of family waiting impatiently for me(BB). I never did make it to Urban Yarns like I had hoped.

This post is starting to get a little long so I will save what turned out to be one nonstop eating tour of Vancouver until next time. Let’s just say I come from a line of people who know how to eat.

Every now and then I will scroll through the search queries that bring people to my blog. Most of the time they make sense or at least relate to knitting/spinning/baking somehow. I just checked yesterday’s stats. Apparently if you type in “crazy lady clipart” you find me. And what is even more disturbing is that whatever truncated version of my blog shows up under that query is enough to make you want to click on the link.

Sigh.

I do have a few pictures to share though. First up the pastel death socks. Cascade Fixation in who knows what baby themed colorway it was.

pastel socks

Then the Monkey socks in Sockotta 363. Only 4 pattern repeats in the leg instead of the 6. Lets hope my cousin doesn’t mind that the color repeats aren’t even close to matching on these socks. In order to get the second sock to match the first I would have had to discard close to half the remaining yarn. Yeah like I’m going to do that.

monkey

And finally.. the tourmaline yarn.

tourmaline

All 8oz/850yds of it. I have to admit I’m proud of it and it will probably become a rectangular shawl/wrap of some kind.

I picked up some of the wonderful Fleece Artist Suri Blue at VY&T today. I think it is the Vintage colourway. I’m going to modify the mermaid wrap pattern they use for the SeaSilk and knit it in the Suri Blue. It’s a nice simple pattern that I think will show off the colours well.

I’m off to Vancouver BC tomorrow for a few days where I hope to make a little trip to Birkeland Bros and Three Bags Full just to check out what Canada yarn stores are like. Yeah that’s it, research…

 Oh and I might be trying to destash some of my STR soon, I have about 5 skeins right now and 1 or 2 might need new homes. I’ll keep you posted.

The two pairs of cousin socks are officially done. Yet there are no pictures. I’ll be sure to take some tonight since they will be exchanged for chocolates, cookies and tea on Monday. Anyone know which yarn stores in Vancouver BC I just HAVE to visit? Right now I have Birkeland Bros and Three Bags Full on my list since they are on the same street.

In other news, I finally can say I have spun some of my own roving. As weird as it sounds I started selling the stuff before I ever spun with it. I had 4oz of the merino/tussah silk that I dyed in orange,reds and purple (usual sunset combo) that I really liked and decided I didn’t want to sell it. So after splitting it into about 15-16 bundles I started spinning and oh my I LOVE the stuff. The silk makes it easy to handle such thin strips and the fibers are loose enough so that drafting is a breeze.

merino silk singles

Need to get a little closer?

merinosilk closeup

Isn’t it pretty? I still have to start the second bobbin and I think I’m going to have to practice my navajo plying for this one. I want to keep the colors distinct.

Remember this?

Well I decided to try for the real thing last night so after a quick stop at the home improvement store and a few hours later (with a break for dinner and other goofing around) I had this.

hackle

I picked up some 3 1/2″ nails, 1/4″ and 1/2″ 2ft strips of wood and some glue. I figured that rather than trying to drill perfectly straight holes through a thicker strip of wood I could do it through the 1/4″ wood, pop the nails in and glue that to the 1/2″ wood. I drilled 2 staggered rows of nails and when I glued them into place I clamped the ends together so they tapered. Who knows if that was a good idea, I just liked having them all come to a point. It may not be pretty but it works and for exactly $10.90 (with tax and enough glue leftover to make 15 more) I think it was a damn good solution.

Tonight I learned that when you exclaim “Check out my fuzzy balls!” to a non-knitter/spinner they oftentimes get a look of panic on their faces. Even when they are related to you and should be used to comments like that by now.

5lbs of roving dyed over 3 evenings. I’m pooped. I was so excited to be done dyeing last night until I realized it meant I had an evening of braiding ahead of me.

I came home and cleared off the dining table and started off with this.

Fuzzy balls

and about an hour and a half later I had this…

table of braids

Luckily I had company, abeit from 6 feet away.

nicki

He didn’t know whether to run and hide or stay and watch. Both cats know they need to stay away from yarn and fiber or else the crazy lady starts yelling. He settled for watching until he realized what I was doing was boring and then fell asleep in the box. Last night he curled up in the large paper bag from VY&T and slept there while I dyed. So freaking cute!

Tomorrow the braids have their photo shoot and then most will go online at the etsy store on Friday while 6 make their way to VY&T where hopefully someone will fall madly in love with them and whisk them home (after paying for them of course).

As for the next project, well the second Monkey sock still needs to be cast on and yet look what I have sitting on the table waiting for me. (I swear the color coordination was not intentional)

diy hackles

I’m going to play for a bit tonight but this weekend is all about the Monkey. June 18th is coming up soon and I have to finish this pair and possibly 1 more before then. Sigh. I better get a shitload of mint Aeros and Flake chocolates for this.

UPDATE:: The shop has been updated now…you know you want to look 🙂

I’ve now been tagged twice for the 7 random things meme so I guess I can’t ignore it anymore. Thanks a lot Deb and Annie!

1: I love Sharpies. I keep buying Sharpies. All colors of Sharpies. Everytime they would come out with a new color I would buy more. I’ve also lost as many Sharpies as I have bought but there was a time when it wasn’t unusual to open my desk at home and find 30-40 Sharpies in there.

2: I know I’ll be called a freak over this one. I HATE chocolate and peanut butter together. I like them individually (heck who am I kidding, I love chocolate) but for some reason the combination of the two makes me want to hurl.

3: Most spiders don’t bother me except tarantulas. Makes my skin crawl just thinking about them. I think it is because they are hairy. Something about hairy legged spiders scares the crap out of me.

4: I apparently find it hard to name 7 completely random things about myself.

5: I used to pull the tails off of geckos when I was a kid. I spent a few years in Brunei as a small kid and the geckos there (we called them Chichaks) were the small brown “house” lizards with the handy trick of detaching their tails when caught by predators. I found that INCREDIBLY fascinating. Combine that neat trick with the fact that their skins were so soft and it was impossible for me to not play with them. I also used to just sit and pet them too.

6: One of my favorite comfort foods is cut up hotdogs (the cheap kind, not the all beef variety) and instant noodles. Not just any instant noodles though, it has to be the Nissin instant noodles (chicken or beef) that I grew up with in Hong Kong. (not to be mistaken with the Nissan cup o noodles-ick)

7: I once took a roadtrip in college from Pullman WA to Santa Clara CA (1000miles) for the weekend to ride the rollercoasters at Great America. Left Friday around 5pm and got back Monday morning 3 hours before I had to be back at work. All for about 5 hours at a theme park. Good times.

There I did it. Now I’m going to break the meme rules and not pass it on. Nothing you can do about it 🙂

ts

It’s hard to believe 18 years have passed since the protests at Tiananmen Square. You know how some people remember exactly where they were when they heard Kennedy was shot? Well this was like that for me.

I was living in Hong Kong at the time (I spent most of my childhood there) and the news that HK would be switching back to Chinese rule in 1997 was still the current hot topic. The demonstrations happened and we watched with hope that maybe things would be ok. Then the tanks rolled in.

Granted I had the benefit of knowing that I could leave at anytime but for a lot of people it signaled that if you had the chance to leave then you should do so.

I spent June 4th 1989 watching tv with the extended family while an aunt tried frantically to call my cousin who was living in Beijing at the time.

If you want to read up on it you can check out the wikipedia version here.

Here is a news story that CNN put out last week.

And of course there are still some folks in jail. Story here

Flickr Photos

blackwork sampler

More 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

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