Here are some pictures that I took.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Here are some pictures that I took.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
I started by trying to spin from the locks. I would flick the little bits and then spin them. This was not working out very well because the curls would come right back. That's a good thing if you want to use it for doll hair. Very bad if you want any kind of even yarn from spinning.
So I moved to, duh, duh, duh, The Combs. You don';t want to hit yourself in the head with these babies. Also please don't set them on the floor next to you and then get up to walk away. YOWEE!
So here's what it looks like. I just loaded one comb with some fiber and then combed it back and forth until I could comb pretty easily. Then I just held the thing in my lap and spun right from there. I actually like to spin this way if the wool is a bit rough or is not cooperating.
That's a closer view of the spun yarn coming off of the comb. Check out those teeth. I am not going to show you the plied yarn. It's C-R-A-P. I was playing around with this. This wheel is not as easy to get to know as my Ashfords. It's definitely more high maintenance and picky. I seem to get easily over spun on this. The wheel is bigger so everything spins faster so I have to teach my feet to go a little slower. I get over spun and then there are tails sticking out all over the place and then they won't go into the orifice and then it gets more overspun and then I have to think bad words AAAAHHHHHHH!
On top of all of these obstacles I was sitting on the piano bench to spin. I am short. The piano bench isn't. I think I need to be experimenting with some of the chairs around the house. I was thinking about looking into one of those chairs that the spinning wheel companies make but I think I'd better hold off on any purchases until after Christmas.
Anyway, I was going to show you the cutest picture of Maggie and penny but Blogger's saying enough with the pictures already. Plus I gotta go watch the season finale of Gray's Anatomy so I can be fully prepared for tomorrow night!
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
so I get a whiff of this Knit Along and I say to myself, "Here's my chance!"
I've never done any designing before but I figure no problem, right? So I get out any of my books that have some lace patterns in them. I have the first three Barbara Walker Books, Heirloom Knitting and the two Kunzel books. I start perusing.
I need something with a repeat that will fit into the first level of this shawl. I think it's 32 stitches. Ahhhhh! I find one that will work and work that in. I do the second row of increases. Now I have to find something that will work into 64 stitches but I don't really have 64 because I've been increasing along the sides all along so I can go up to 90 stitches. I found one. The first lace pattern is huge and has very badly misshapen the top but I knit on with my next choice except now I've lost my way somehow and my side increases are no longer lining up.
On top of that I've chosen this alpaca I bought a couple of years ago when I went to Knitfest in Toledo. It was from an aplaca farm and isn't commercially available so I said why not. I have 4 skeins in varied sizes and in 3 different colors so I was going to grade the colors from light to dark. I'm not loving it.
If I do that then the two triangular portions (the Square part) will change colors in a different way than the back Pi part.
Back to the drawing board. I think I'll be picking a different yarn and swatching some of the lace patterns that I think will work and maybe I'll do a little math. I HATE to rip.
So let me just say that so far so good with knowing what EZ was talking about in her "pattern" but so far so bad with my crazy, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants design method.
Give me a break. I'm new.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
While we were there I made this. The hank is about 110 yards of two ply wensleydale. It is a very lovely natural dark gray. Wensleydale is quickly becoming one of my favorite wools to spin. I love the strength of it, the length of the fibers and the great drape it has along with its weight after it is spun. This may be one of my best skeins yet and in exchange for helping yesterday Betty gave me the rest of what was in the bag - about 1.5 pounds. YES!
On the spindle is some Teeswater that was dyed by Betty. It has an iridescence quality to it that doesn't come through in the photo. It's actually got many colors in it. Lots of blues and pinks and greens.
Here is a closeup of both. The color of the Teeswater still isn't coming through in the closeup but what are ya gonna do?
I still am having some decision making problems in the next project category so I think I might just go with the Wing Shawl and get it done.
I was thinking of getting rid of some of the stash. I have several different cottons and maybe some wool I would be o.k to part with so if anyone is interested leave it in the comments and I'll post some pictures and prices. If not I may be putting it on eBay or something. I'm trying to get a little more cash together for Rhinebeck.
Friday, September 15, 2006
This is the time that I finished knitting Lily last night
Here she is free from the needles.
For blocking shawls I use the Orenburg Method so I'll describe it the best way I can.
With a yarn or darning needle I thread polyester cording through each point. You should always put the needle the same way through each point. I always go down through the hole.
Make sure you have enough cording so that when you stretch the shawl it is a long enough length for the entire circumfrence.
I get my cording from the area of a discount store where they sell clothes line. I just buy the thinnest cording they have available.
I have now run my cording around the outside of the shawl and I'm heading to the laundry room.
Here she is going into the very hot water with a little bit of Kukaburra Wool Wash.
I have to let her soak for a while. not only to get out a year's worth of dirt but also...
I need to get this kid back in bed. He got up when I had the final 8 stitches to graft together and he's been following me around.
He's asleep and I have her pinned to the floor.
She measures 74 inches across the top length and 57 inches in length down the center.
Here's an up close shot of the bottom corner all pinned out.
I lost half of my T-Pins so I had to use my dressmaker pins. They worked just fine.
I'm done. I'm going to bed. I'm exhausted.
Here she is this morning being modeled by the
beautiful Miss Chelsea.
The ball of yarn on top is the one I just used. And for comparison of how much was used, the bottom ball of yarn is the same stuff, but a full ball.
The details of this project are:
Lily of the Valley from Knitter's Summer 2004
Designed by Galena Khmeleva. I used a different border than what is called for in the pattern.
The yarn is from Skaska Designs Laceweight 30/2 Silk / Angora Rabbit (55%/45%) 100g
There were 1540 yards on the hank. I used size 0 metal needles which started out their lives as double points. I heated up one end on the burner of the stove and melted it into a vintage plastic button with a shank. (Something I learned from Galina)
I started this shawl last August. I put it down for several months and picked it back up seriously I think around the end of May or early June. When i started out and picked up all of the stitches along the first border it would take me a little over an hour to complete one row so it was very slow going to begin with. By May or June it was down to an hour for 2 rows which was a little more encouraging. It did get better though since you lose one stitch every other row and the pattern became ingrained in my mind.
I can't tell you how much I love this thing. I am definitely going to enter it at Rhinebeck. It is so light and I can't even convey how soft it is to you. Everyone will just have to visit me and touch for yourself. Yes, that is an invitation.
Now to decide what to do next. Finish the Wing Shawl from Shadow Knitting? I'm about halfway. Maybe start the coat/long sweater I promised Brittany last winter? Start the Tina shawl that I was given from my lace swap pal? Finish My Fair Isle Sweater from Jameison? How about the drop stitch sweater I started last fall? How about the pain-in-the-butt ribbed sweater I started for Chelsea 3 years ago? I can't decide so tonight I'll grab whatever's convenient and go for it while I decide on the next big thing.
By the way, before I went to bed to knit last night I made these. I woke up early and got them out of the fridge for their final rising and baked them this morning.
They definitely are better if you do both rises on the same day that you bake them but nobody seems to be complaining.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
It's kind of crazy because I've asked my husband in the past if he wouldn't like a friend or two to hang around with. His response is, "You're my friend." That's lovely and always makes me feel good. Unfortunately I cannot return the favor. I need my girlfriends. I love them. They all seem to fill a different need in me. There are those who I talk about church and spirituality, there are my knitting/spinning friends, my life problems and pluses friends, swapping and trading friends. There are those I'm there for and those who are there for me.
I'm not saying that in this list there aren't crossovers and path twists and relationship changes but there seem to be a lot of consistencies.
I hope that I am half as useful to the girls that I call friends. I hope that they think of me sometimes and are thankful to know me as I am when I think of them. I feel grateful to God today for the gift of girlfriends which He has given to me.
I'll talk about yarn and knitting and other fun stuff tomorrow. Tonight I have a date with Lilly. We will be ending our oh, so intimate relationship very soon.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Do you think I can make like a thousand dollars with about 50 dollars worth of stuff?
I also put some Philosophy stuff on eBay. I'm hoping that goes for way over retail and then everybody kicks in a few more sympathy dollars.
O.K. not likely but don't forget that I have found 13 four leaf clovers this year. That luck has to still be lingering around. How long does four leaf clover luck last?
Anyway... I've been practicing some spinning of thicker yarns and I took a picture of it on Monday but I didn't have the memory card in the camera. Maybe my luck has run out.
I also have been practicing spinning on my Russian support spindles. Here's what that looks like:
Not bad. I think I need to practice a little more and then comes the plying. scary!
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Last night I was watching yet another documentary about 9/11. I've been doing it just about every night. The children born after 9/11 who had lost their father, the heroic man who had seen it coming, the air traffic controllers trying to get a handle on things, the people who were stuck in the elevators. Every day a new television show on the History Channel, National Geographic, Good Morning America.
Everyday a new show and everyday I was crying tears of sadness for these people who I didn't know and will never probably meet.
It dawned on me last night - these shows are affecting me and my daily life. I am sad.
Remember when you were young and the adults around you would have these discussions about where they were when President Kennedy was shot? I was one so I can say that I was home and it didn't really affect me. Then a while ago the conversation changed to where were you when the space shuttle exploded. I was on my way to a doctor appointment. I was about midway through my pregnancy with Brittney who is now 20. I stopped afterward at my friend's house to watch the news for the rest of the day. It was shocking and sad.
This is a little different for me. This is sad to my bones. Five years later and I still cry when I think of it. I was on my way to a religion class with Maggie in the car. She was seven months old. I heard about the first tower before I left home and thought that it was just a bad accident. That a small private plane had gone out of control or something and off I went. About halfway to Ann Arbor I heard the second tower was hit and then I knew what was happening. On to my class and then to McDonald's afterward where I watched the second tower fall on live TV.
The TV was on at our house for the next week almost 24 hours a day while the news media repeated the same tired information over and over and we watched horrified every time they replayed the tapes. I nursed the baby and watched. Then there were the closeups of the people jumping, the people covered in dust so it looked like science fiction, the hoards of people crossing the bridge on foot. I cried.
I'm still crying.
I won't be watching any more shows about 9/11 this year. My children need me to be their mother. My husband needs me to be his wife. They don't need me going into a depression I can do something about.
I'll be happy when tomorrow is over. I think we'll watch Noggin all day. Maybe a couple of rentals. I want to stop feeling sad. I think Little Bear can help me with that.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
So I made this. This yarn was spun by Bette. She doesn't knit very often so I brought it home on Wednesday and swatched and knitted this up last night. 4 hours including the swatching. It's a Patons pattern. I think it's called Aviator's Hat. I added the color stripes because she gave me three shades of yarn. They are all natural colors and from her Shetland sheep. It;'s kind of cute and very warm for those winter days when you have to go out and fix the fence.
It was just a one night stand I promise.
Today was Spinner's Flock. I've been wanting to go all summer and all summer something else has come up. Today I was going no matter what. I like to go and see what everyone is working on and just have some quiet time for spinning or knitting myself.
I finished spinning this Wensleydale. The wool on the bobbin was spun about 2 weeks ago so I just wanted to finish up the little bit of roving I had left.
I seem to always naturally spin a thinner yarn and have to really concentrate to get anything thicker. This singles is about 44 wraps per inch. I want to knit a little doily with it. I'm not sure how many yards I have but I know I started with about 2 ounces.
Here's my dilemma. I want to knit this as a singles yarn. I want to soak it and set the twist. I have been told that the best way to do that is on a plastic Niddy just soak the whole thing and let it dry like that. I don't have a plastic niddy. Anybody have any other suggestions?
Now onto some crazy stuff. This is my brother. We call him Lee. This is a frightening picture of him but he's kind of a lunatic.
Not to be outdone by his sisters he made a blog today which he titled ME. His subtitle says "Do not expect to see your name or any reference to you in my ME blog."
I don't expect him to post again - ever. He just likes to harass me. Drop by and ask him to stop posting scary pictures on his blog.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Monday, September 04, 2006
I'm not done. Still 100 stitches on the needles. That's 200 rows to you and me. Good news is that since Friday I've completed 70 rows. The end is near and it might be this week.
Good thing too because I'm gettin kind of antsy. I started this last August. I've worked on it monogamously for the last 2 months. Time for the blocking.
So I started thinking about other things. This yarn is sportweight from Rip Rap Meadows. I got it in Rhinebeck last year. I don't have enough to do the Starmore sweater I was trying it out for but you never know what might jump in my bag this year.
Speaking of Rhinebeck I'm going with Kelle, Sara my niece, and Betty . We are staying at the Holiday Inn in beautiful Kingston. It's only about 10 minutes form the fairgrounds. We will be holding a "knit out" Friday and Saturday night from about 7 PM in the courtyard. The courtyard is indoors and very nice. We want everyone to come and join us so bring your knitting or your spinning and join us.
The restaurant in the hotel is good if they haven't changed from last year so check it out if you need dinner. Let me know if you need help finding the place.
This is my mom's house. I'm putting this picture here because I have a younger sister who likes to suck up to the mother. She has yet to post a picture of her house though and so I'm beating her to it.
If anybody is interested in owning a B&B it happens to be for sale right now. It's great but my parents have been doing it since 1985 and they're ready to move on.
I'm not buying it because I don't change my own sheets often enough let alone clean 9 bathrooms when I have trouble keeping up with the ones I've got.
Here's dinner. It was the best pizza I've made to date. This particular one has onions. There was one with pepperoni, one with pepperoni, onions and mushrooms. Delicious.
On that note I'd better be off to bed before I need a snack.
Weight Watchers Weigh In tomorrow.
Sunday, September 03, 2006
1) How long have you been spinning?
Off and on for about 2 years but regularly for about a year.
2) Are you a beginner, novice, or experienced spinner?
I would call myself a novice. I seem to be able so spin laceweight but I'm having trouble with thicker yarns.
3) Do you spin on a drop spindle or wheel, or both?
Both. I have five drop spindles. All are different weights. I'm also working on using my set of Russian support spindles.
4) What types and weights of drop spindles (or what type of spinning wheel(s) ) do you currently own?
All of my drop spindles except one are top whorl - which I am partial to. I don't know their weights but they vary from very light up to stupid heavy. I can add more about weights later.
I also have an Ashford Traditional set up with a lace flyer and double Treadle. I love my Ashford traveler which I use for everything else and I will be bringing home very soon a Schacht Reeves Saxony Double treadle. It's in the store. I just need to make the last payment. I've already spun on her a couple of times and it's like Butta.
5) What type of fibers have you spun with before?
Last year I got a tiny bit of many kinds of wool from Rhinebeck and have been working on that. I've also had some wool mixed with silk. The last thing I tried was Quiviut but that's the only non-wool fiber I've spun.
6) What fibers do you prefer to spin with?
Obviously wool since I haven't really gone out of that realm.
7) What fibers do you dislike?
8) Do you prefer natural colored fibers, or handpainted/dyed fiber?
Not really particular. I've been mostly using natural colors but I do love me a little color.
9) Would you prefer all one type of roving or smaller amounts of different types to sample?
Again, I can't say I'm very particular.
10) What are you favorite colors?
Earth tones, greens, rust, red.
11) What colors do you dislike?
12) What would you like to do with your handspun yarn, or what do you plan to do with it? (pattern clarification here)
My goal is to someday design a shawl for my laceweight and if I can ever get anything o.k. in a thicker yarn a cardigan would be great.
13) What spinning projects are you currently working on?
Leicester longwool - going for a plied fingering weight and cormo laceweight.
14) Do you have a wishlist?
Not really other than a Golding spindle which I expect to pick up at Rhinebeck this year. The Reeves wheel should keep me happy for a long time. But I can't find my wpi gauge anywhere.
15) What are your other favorite hobbies?
I knit - a lot. I like to read. I also work with my puppy with obedience stuff. She is a 9 month old Red and White Basset Hound.
16) Do you have any allergies (pet, smoke, food, fiber,etc...)?
Not that I know of. If anyone could get rid of the Michigan cottonwod trees though that would be great.
17) What is your preferred shipping method (USPS, UPS, FedEx)?
I have no preference. They all come here since my husband has a home office.
That should do it. Any more questions? I'm always happy to help.
See you at the swap.
Saturday, September 02, 2006
I think I can see some progress. I probably worked in here for about 2 hours this week. My skein holder/antique dryer is over full now and the drawers in the closet are almost bursting. It's definitely time for a moratorium on buying new yarn. I think I'm going to have my own "autumn abstain". Let me know if you are interested in joining me. I will, however, take an exception for the two swaps and secret pal 9 that I've joined.
Here is the side of the room with both bookshelves.
Here is the yarn closet which also holds some fabric.
This is the shelf with the sewing books.
This is the bookshelf that hold all of my knitting books - along with some spinning.
I have another question. Now that I have put all of my knitting books on the shelf - except for the few that are with their projects right now - the shelf is quite snug.
The question is, do I stop buying books, get rid of some that I have, or get another bookshelf?
Let me show you the shelves one by one in case you're interested to know what books I have.
Top shelf has spinning, socks, some technical books and my two knitting calendars.
Second Shelf has lace, Barbara Walker, and Elizabeth Zimmerman.
Third Shelf has Alice Starmore, Sally Melville, Debbie Bliss and some compilations.
Bottom shelf has my notebooks with single patterns and magazines and catalogs.
O.K. gotta go. I won't be finishing Lilly if I keep playing around.
Oh, yeah check out the button my sister, Tammy, made for me.
I'm taking Kelle's challenge for this weekend. It's a finish a project UFO Challenge. Of course I'm going to work on Lilly. I don't think I'll finish but I'm going to give it my best try. Is it wrong to knit in church?
Check me out later for sewing room progress.
Friday, September 01, 2006
O.K. So I have a question for anyone. We saw some Bison. Aren't they cute? That's not the question. I talked to my children for 5 minutes straight about the Bison. Where they live, what they eat, hunting them, using them for meat and then all about their lovely undercoat that makes the softest, most beautiful yarn. I talked about how they get the fur from the slaughterhouses that supply Buffalo meat to specialty restaurants. I talked about how it would be difficult to pluck a live Bison. I talked about the softness of the undercoat when you pick out all of the guard hairs. The kids were fascinated.
So here's the question. Is it wierd that I talked on and on about the Bison and spinning and knitting with his fur and then said:
"Look at the tiger."
And, "look at the Lion."
"Look how far the Giraffe can stretch."
Maybe I should study up on some animals who don't give me fiber for my obsessions.
Here are the monkeys all in a row. They were the cutest things in the whole zoo.
Brittney left today. Back to BYU. She packed last night and I was fine. She put her stuff in the car this morning and I was fine. She hugged me goodbye and I was fine. They drove away and I cried like a baby. I won't see my oldest baby until Christmas. She thinks I don't worry about her. Well, she's wrong.
I also need to mention here that both my sisters are copy cats and I am a leader. My other sister, Sherri, in Vermont, now has her own blog about her cafe. I don't know how she'll keep it up, with cooking for the cafe and four kids and a husband and all, but ... she's a good follower.