Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Short on Frankie.

Don't you hate it when you THINK you have one more skein of yarn fact, had totally blogged about it too. But then, for the love of all things alive, you CANNOT FIND THAT SKEIN.

Meet the ever growing sleeve, and the diminishing ball of yarn.

Small ball with 6" left to go

As of this photo, I have 6" left on BOTH SLEEVES. I’ve been knitting 2 sleeves at a time using 2 cakes of yarn. And that above is for one sleeve. I might be able to use the other end of the 2nd cake and knit both, but I’m pretty damn sure it won’t be enough.

I might need to spin more. GAH

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Two Cons in Two Weekends -- Stitches West 2012

I'm going to do my con reports slightly out-of-order, because I don't want to put any spoilers for our recorded podcast.

Stitches West was awesome. Sandy, myself, and Amy went only for one day, but we had fun. We had a lunch before going to Stitches West, which afforded us
a) a much better & cheaper lunch than convention hall food
b) actual good fuel by which to go peruse the many fine wares & designs
c) missing a great deal of the crowds

My budget for this year's Stitches was nominal -- mostly due to a blown head gasket & valve from my car, but I digress. I had a little bit of spending money, but it had to be on things I ABSOLUTELY LOVED. Luckily, Sandy & Amy were there to keep me honest.

We had a plan for walking around the whole convention floor so that we could see everything. At one point, we came across this kinda cool / kinda creepy yarn covered mannequin at Lion Brand. When I showed DH the photo later, he said it was the yarn monster who steals the 2nd pair of your socks from the laundry.

Yarn Golem

I much preferred their argyle giraffe. (Sorry for the sideways image)

Anyways, both Amy & Sandy found tons of yarn and had bags full of shopping. Me? I desparately wanted Tess Kitten yarn (an-omg-so-soft cashmere/silk blend) but none of their stock was in a color way suited to me. *sigh*. As aforementioned, both Amy & Sandy kept me honest, as I really REALLY wanted the yarn.

I simply had a few choicer picks, including a special order from Abstract Fibers (cashmere & silk) in the Malificent colorway -- I'll spin my own cashmere silk in my colorway instead!

We caught up with a bunch of friends who were there and talked yarn & fiber. It was a most excellent day!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Black Hills Gold

I had 166 yards of handspun yarn that I loved, but I didn't know what to do with -- I had enough maybe for a hat or a cowl or something larger if I mixed it with commercial yarn.

Cedar Waxwing

  • 60% merino
  • 30% bamboo
  • 10% firestar

The PurlGurls at Purlescence yarns suggested I tried weaving with it. And they helped me match it with some lovely Cascade Venezia sport in a green/bronze color. It matched perfectly. It was a color I would not have picked, but I was surprised at how well it went with the handspun.

The resulting fabric is thusly:


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Jury Duty Knitting

I recently got called to jury duty, and went through the selection process two days earlier this week. While I think the jury system is an integral part of our legal process, the jury selection process itself is loong, boooring, and tedious.

I spent nearly two days just sitting around and waiting. While waiting in the jury selection room, we could work on our laptops, eat, drink, and generally walk around, but when you got into court? Well, no reading, all electronics MUST be powered off, and no drinking or eating.

Luckily, as a knitter, this could be turned into one long knitting session, which I did, punctuated by a answering emails or trying to do some work on my laptop (during the first day at least). (This was not to say I wasn't bored, but being confined to a single seat for a good 6 hours of a day w/o the option to really leave is...difficult.)

There were a few iffy moments when I was worried I wasn't going to be able to knit. They have you put your bags through an xray machine, and they xrayed my bag twice, but did not ask to search it.

Then at one early point, the baliff/deputy asked to see how sharp my knitting needles were (Knitpicks harmonies), but I did say about as sharp as a pencil. Luckily, he left it at that after feeling the tips.

Despite my complaints about having to go through 2 days of jury selection, I got a lot of knitting done. I had walked into the courthouse with half a body of a sweater.


I came out with nearly a finished sweater body (I have 2" of ribbing left on the body because I forgot the smaller needles for the ribbing), and 3/4ths of a sleeve. This includes some ripping out of about 2" of sleeve because after trying it on (during a break), I realized that I needed to modify the decreases as the sleeve was a bit too tight.


Overall, not too shabby.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dye Job

I had some left over Blue Moon Luscious Silk Singles from my Mondo Cable Pullover. It's a lovely shade of red (brick or tomato).


As much as I loved the yarn, I was "done" with the color of the yarn. I could have traded the yarn, but decided to just simply overdye the yarn to a color more to my liking.

So, I got out my Jacquard dyes (Fire Red + Jet Black) and my dye pot, and set to work.

Dye PotDye Pot

And the resulting yarn was a lovely shade of burgandy.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Spinning Teeswater

Alright! Enough about weaving or knitting or dye'ing. How about a little spinning?
Yes, I still spin, and in fact, HAVE been spinning.

I have two projects on two wheels.

First up, I started spinning Gretta again. Can I say how much Love spinning her woolen?


She's going to end up such a lofty fluffy yarn!

Gretta Sampling 2

I'm also spinning up some Teeswater that I got from a shephardess in Oregon.


Unfortunately, I discovered the roving I had purchased had basically felted together. They told me it would be as simple as unwinding it. It was more like tearing felted chunks.

I sighed, and had my LYS owner look at it to see what could be done. She told me that we needed to run it through the drumcarder in order to save it, and even lent me the store drumcarder. So I did -- DH help me tear chunks off the roving, then we ran it through the carder. It took 40 minutes to pull 8 oz of roving off the cone it had been wrapped around.

But, then it came out cloudlike, soft, and utterly spinnable.


Eventually, this will be a 4-cable ply. I'm currently spinning this with a short-worsted draw because it's so fuzzy.

I tried to spin it woolen, because the prep was woolen, and I didn't quite like the halo it was developing. The teeswater staple length is sooo long that it's really easy to do either woolen or worsted spinning with this fiber.

I'll have to write up more about Teeswater at a later date.