Wednesday, May 28, 2008

From this to this

I was able to sit down and finish up some spinning today. So I went from this to this. I really love how the colors blended. I don't as a rule try to keep the colors together. I like the barber pole effect. Because some of the dye areas are quite large so there is some areas that the colors blend with the same which is OK. I ended up with about 490 yards from the 8 ounces of roving and its about a DK to sport weight yarn. I wish you could feel how soft this yarn is. Over the past few months my spinning has really gotten soft and much better plied. I have no idea what I am going to knit with this but it sure is pretty.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Every now and again a deal comes your way

So I had a few minutes this morning, so I stopped at a local antique mall. I have been looking for a couple of things. 1. a really cool jar to hold my spindles. I was able to find an old mason jar with no lid for a 3 dollars. I am also looking for wine bottle holders. You know the ones that look like a tall skinny hat box. I plan to use them for when I give spindles as gifts. No such luck on that front so far. I have looked everywhere. But while I was looking around at all the neat stuff I found these two knitting books. I have been wanting a WWII knitting book for a long time but am to cheap to pay ebay prices. I was in luck I found this one for again 3 bucks. I also picked up a sock book too again for 3 bucks. So its true every now and again a deal dones come your way.

Whatcha working on now

Lately I have been working on samples for either a yarn company that I do some things for or for the shop I work at. I can't show you the things for the yarn company because they want them for a coming show and I don't want to spoil the surprise. I will show you some roving that I am spinning for the shop I work at. This is called Neapolitan as if you couldn't tell. The fiber is Blue face and yes its spinning up like a dream. I hope to have it all spun and in the shop by Thursday.

The next thing I am working on is an afghan. The pattern is such a simple one and its from am old Red Heart booklet. The pattern calls for a size 13 needle and two strands of worsted weight yarn held together. I chose Cascade Ecco wool in a deep purple and am using a size 10 1/2. I love how this is turning out , I can't wait to use it this fall on my couch as I read a good book.

I know its just spring and summer is just around the corner, but it gets really hot here in Idaho and I really hate the heat so I am already looking forward to cooler temps.

The other knitting project that I am working on is a pair of Monkey socks from the famous Cookie A. pattern. I am using some 50/50 merino angora sock yarn that I was given on my birthday. I was given the yarn in a kit and I really like the pattern in the kit but I started the sock on my trip to Idaho falls and I wanted an easy pattern to work up. One that I didn't need to refer to my pattern all the time. I have the monkey memorized so its has become my travel project.

Spindling for socks -class?

OK so you all know I love spinning on my Matchless wheel. So why in the world would I want to take a class on spindle spinning? Well I'm not totally sure but I really did enjoy it. For a while now I have been thinking that I really need to improve my spindling skills. So I signed up for the class. Now I know from experience that if you want to buy a spindle you have to get there early for best selection. That is exactly what I did. So before classes even started I was at the Greensleeves booth. As I was looking all the spindles over I did see one that I thought was really cool but I wasn't quick enough and another collector grabbed it first. As a matter of fact she got about 5 or 6 before I even had a chance to look at them all. Now that she had her selections made she helped me pick one for myself. I ended up with an Ethan Jacob. I am in no way disappointed I really love the look of this spindle. I love the cup shape and the dark woods. I forgot to ask what they were so next time I see her I will ask. The spindling for sock class was not until the next morning so I had to wait until I had more time to test my new spindle. Yes that was the first thing I did in my motel room that night. I am in love.

So the next morning in the class we were given a kit, of roving ( color of our choice) three spindles ( her bare bones) and a pattern. We were given the option to buy the spindles at a discount after class. Like one of the other students I had to buy them because I became attached. I chose a dark grey for my roving. During the class time ( about four hours) I was able to spin and then ply a 3 ply sport. I think I ended up spinning about 20 yards in class.
When I got home from my trip I divided up the remaining roving into three equal balls and then got to the fun part. I spun it all up. I did cheat a bit. After all three spindles where full I then used my ball winder and took the single off the spindles and then using my wheel plied them together. I ended up with about 230 yards. I am real hopeful that I will have enough yarn to complete the socks. Elizabeth said her socks weighted only 3 ounces and her foot looked a bit larger then mine so I am hopeful. I have to finish up a couple of other knitting projects before I can get started on the socks. I plan to have them done by the end of July. I will be attending a retreat that Elizabeth with be at and I want to have the socks with me.

Back from Snake River Fiber Festival

May 16-18 what the date for this years Snake River Fiber Festival. I was again able to go with a girl friend and her brother. As you may have read in previous posts we have been having a bit of a rough time of it lately. The Monday before I was scheduled to leave my father in law passed away. So my husband was with his family during this time. He was able to get there before he passed and he stayed about a week after helping his mother make plans. So by the time it was time to leave for Idaho falls I was a bit shell shocked with all that had been going on. I just about didn't go but my three daughters talked me into going. I have to say I am really glad I did. One of my daughters said it was good because I left looking worn out and came home with a smile.

I took three classes while I was there. The first was on spinning for self striping yarns. I really enjoyed this class as I learn a lot about using a color wheel, which is an area that I am a bit weak in. My second class was on spindling for socks, this class was taught by Elizabeth Daily the maker of Greensleeves spindles. All I can say is I am totally hooked. I will talk a bit more about that class in a later post. My last class was a bit of a disappointment. It was on spinning bamboo and other plant fibers. Well I was disappointed because we weren't really taught anything. the teacher talked about what the fibers where made from and then told us to spin them. no helpful hints or anything were given. It was a fun afternoon just spinning and chatting but I didn't think I really learned anything.

Between classes I was able to pick up a few things to add to my stash. When I go to a fair I usually have a list of things that I want to pick up for future projects. I usually do that on the first day and then on the second I go back and pick up whatever stuck in my mind that evening. Well when I was showing my husband what all I picked up the first thing he said was "Wow we have been on a downer". Just about everything I bought in the way of roving was glittery.

I also picked up some wonderful fiber from Wooly Wonka. This is merino,silk and angora, its not my usually colors but I just fell in love with them.

Lastly I picked up some Ashland Bay roving in a colorway called Northern lights. I plan to crochet a shawl from this. I may even add some glittery threads as I spin we will see.

I did pick up a few spindles too but I will talk about them in a later post. All in all it was a very fun weekend and it was really nice to get out of town and not have to think about all the stuff that has been going on with our family.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

sock a manic swap

Thank you Jean. I lovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvve the sock yarn. I have been hearing about how wonderful Dream in color smooshy is, but I have never toughed it.So this was a real treat. I can't wait to knit with it. I love the colorway too. I would have been thrilled if in the box was just the yarn but no there was so much more. The chocolate was a great hit with my girls and I. Hubby is out of town with a family matter,so he didn't get any. I love the teas and the knitting goodies rubber stamps and note pad and pencil. I have had a pretty crummy month or so and I have say this was such a nice pick me up. Again thanks so much.

I'm not lost - just been a lot going on

I'm not lost, we have had a lot going on around here. We have had several deaths in the family and a couple of our friends. So I have been tied up with all of that. I have been knitting and spinning so. As a matter of fact I have just about all of all of my UFOs finished up. The must have cardigan fits just perfectly. I have also been working on some little things. First was a pair of wool socks for my hubby. They are thick ones that he will use for hunting. The pattern is a Civil war pattern that you can google to get the pattern. I used some wool that I had in my stash and I think it was size 5 needles which means they knit up really fast.

Our family are Civil war volunteers. We had a big event on May 1-3. We have an encampment and on Thursday and Friday we have about 2700 5th graders come through and there are 18 stations that they can learn something about the Civil War. My hubby is a blacksmith and I talk about spinning and knitting during the war. This year on Saturday the ladies of the group were able to fire the Napoleon cannon. I have to say its was a total blast. Yes pun intended. I was able to ram rod it twice, which means to push the charge down the barrel. I was able to set the charge, which means to put the charge in the barrel. I was also able to pull the pin which means I got to fire it. It was a tiring time but it was also so much fun. I can't wait for next year to add more information to my display,and maybe fire the cannon again.

On the spinning front I am getting ready to attend the Snake River Fiver Festival again. Its this weekend and I am planning on taking three classes. The first is called Spin your own stripes. I will be making self striping yarn with colored rovings not dyes. I can't wait to see how this it done. The second class in spindling for socks. This class it taught by the maker of Greensleeves spindles and I'm looking forward to improving my skills on the spindle. The last class I am taking is from the author of Spin to Knit. I will be learning to spin cellulose fibers. Which are bamboo, nettle, soy silk, etc. I am also looking forward to adding to the stash a bit. It seems like I have not added to it for a while. I will let you know how it goes.

The last thing I wan to talk about it a chemo hat that I just finished. My husband has a co-worker that is beginning to under go some cancer treatments. So I was asked to knit a hat. Well after some thought I came up with some Lion Brand organic cotton that was in my stash and knit a simple hat. I really like the feel of this cotton,which I have to say I don't usually like to work with, but I think it turned out nicely.