Monday, September 29, 2008

A new project A new challenge

Every once in awhile its nice to knit something easy and to spin something easy, but every once in a while its really cool to challenge yourself. So here starts one of those challenges.I am entering a contest that runs Sept 1 - Nov 30. Yes that means I am already a month behind. The contest is to spin on a spindle at least 200 yards. If you ply the yarn they is also has to be done on a spindle. The theme of the contest is Calm, soft, variegated but monochrome. I thought this sounded like it would be fun so I went to look through my stash, as I don't have the funds right now to buy some fiber. I was able to find 6 ounces of a angora,merino and silk blend from Wooly Wonka. I belief I picked up last spring at a fiber fair. Anyway I thought this would work our great for soft. The color way is a light lemon yellow with a hint of peach and pink, so I think it will work for calm and monochrome variegated. Because this is such a soft and luxurious fiber I decided that I needed to use a bit classier spindle then my Greensleeves bare bones. So I am using my Jacob Ethan that I also picked up at the same fiber fair. I can't remember what the woods are but it is one of my favorite spindles. Its a very light weight one so it really can only spin lace weight, which of coarse what I am doing. Thus the challenge. I need now get at least 200 yards done by the end of November. My thought it I will have enough to most likely knit a shawl with it. So I looked through my One Skein Wonders books and I figure I will need at least 1000 yards to make a nice sized shawl or wrap. I do know that the latest One skein Wonder book will be out in a couple of weeks so I may find something in there that I like better so we will see. I still plan to try to reach the 1000 yard mark. So far I am really happy with how the single is turning out, because I am spinning it so find I do plan on making it into a 2ply. I will let you know how my progress goes.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I want to take a minute today to stop all the love of all things fiber and Remember today. As I remember that morning, I can't help but think about all those feelings. The feelings of shock, the feelings of sadness, the feelings of fear,the feelings of anger, and the feelings of strength.
The feelings of shock, can this really be happening!
The feelings of sadness, how can all these people be suffering so much.
the feelings of fear, that day, just as it was all happening I had to take my daughters to school. They were so afraid that we in Boise would be next.
The feelings of anger. Anger towards all the people in the middle east cheering the destruction and death in America.
The feelings of strength. Even though this was a terrible event in American history it will not be its end. Even though the people who planed this attack expected us to be destroyed in only made us stronger.
I know no one who either died on Sept. 11 or was hurt that day. Boise is a long way from the events that day, but I am a proud American and when one suffers we all suffer. So today I ask that at some point in your busy day take a moment to remember that even though tough things happen We are American and we are proud.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Now that all it quiet around here HA HA HA

Well school is back in session and the kids are gone during the day, so you would think its quiet around here. Well I'm sure it is as I don't seem to be home to find out. Because of changes at my daughters schools I have to drive them all. It usually takes be about a hour and half in the morning and then anywhere between 1 to 2 hours in the afternoon. The good news is I do have lots of time in the car to knit. As a matter of fact I have a top down sweater going that just stays in the car for me to work on as I wait for someone to get out of school or while I am stopped at a stop light. Which seems to be all of them. So far in the two weeks that I have been driving I have used up two balls of yarn and am on the third. I will post pictures when the sweater is complete. We are all guessing it will be before September is over. As a matter of fact the girls have started a list of sweaters they want me to work on for them.
My car sweater is not the only thing I am working on. I did start the gansey KAL on Sept. 1. So far I am having so much fun with the pattern. Which by the way is Meg Swansen's guernsey pullover from the Wool gathering #76. I am not using a traditional yarn, as a matter of fact its Berocco Ultra Alpaca in a heathery purple. I'm not totally sure if I will have enough yarn so I plan to make it a bit shorter then the 28 inches that Meg did. I also decided not to put my initials as I really don't want to advertise that fact that I am MES. I have also been working on some hand spun hunters mittens for my hubby. I bought some alpaca roving while I was attending a spinning retreat this summer, that is dyed in camo. He just loves the colors and is impatiently waiting for me to get to the knitting.

I haven't been spinning much as I have found a new to me thing. Weaving. I have a couple of friends that have been trying to get me to give spinning a go for about two years now. So I finally gave in. One friend loaned me a Schacht Rigid Heddle loom and the other friend came over last Friday and showed me out to warp it. Well my first try was a bust. I had chosen a alpaca that was not spun real well and it kept braking. So I cut it off the loom and started again. What I did was use Galway as the warp and some of my handspun as the weft. Well it was a learning project. I did learn that I really need to watch the tension when advancing the fabric. I also added floats that I think worked out well.
I have a project in mind for later. I'm not sure I am totally hook with weaving as I am with spinning and knitting but I thought it was fun.

I have been invited to attend a spinning and weaving retreat later this fall. We will be making a vest from swatches and other bits of handspun and fabric. So as I have been gathering goodies for the retreat. One of things on the list of supplies is a Weave -it. For those of you who don't know what that is its a mini loom. I went on ebay to see if I could buy one. Well I could buy an old one for about $30 or I could buy a new one from Hazel Rose for the same price and I got the choice of woods. Mine came yesterday and I have to say I love it. I think I like the mini loom over the rigid heddle. I was able to make a 4 inch square in about 20 minutes. So have added some of the other loom to my Christmas list.