Friday, January 30, 2009

And I am Officially Caught Up! Woo Hoo!!!


Prep: Scoured
Staple Length: 2.5+
Combing/Carding: Ashford fine drum carder -3 passes through
Drafting Style: Short Draw
Type of prep: semi-worsted
Plying: Z ply
% of weight lost from washing/short cuts etc: 36.3%

End result: 33 yards of Sport or thereabouts
medium lustre, nice and lofty

Final: Much nicer than Corriedale I have spun before. Soft enough for a regular sweater, easy to prep and fun to spin.



Prep: Scoured
Staple Length: 3.5"
Combing/Carding: Picked and spun from the cloud.
Drafting Style: Short Draw
Type of prep: Woollen
Plying: Z ply
% of weight lost from washing/short cuts etc: 20% loss

End result: 22 yards of fuzzy DK/light worsted
Not supersoft, but would make nice cardigan.
Nice lustre, easy to wash and prep

Final: First try at spinning from the cloud. Nice and lustrous, Not superlofty, but spinning from the cloud made a nice fluffy yarn. Will definitely spin from the cloud again.

Playin' Catch Up!

I have to do four samples for the Fleece Study today because I've been behind on the posts. I have to apologize. I don't know if it's winder doldrums or just being busy that's the cause of it (couldn't possibly be laziness, oh no, sir or ma'am).


Prep: Scoured
Staple Length: 4+"
Combing/Carding: Ashford fine drum carder -4 passes through, but would like to try spinning from the cloud or lock
Drafting Style: Short Draw
Type of prep: Semi-Worsted
Plying: Z ply
% of weight lost from washing/short cuts etc: Forgot to weigh before (sorry)

End result: 22 yards of Sport/DK
Nice lustre, medium softness

Final: Nice long staple was very easy to spin and nice to prep. Washed easily and has a nice sheen to it.



Prep: Scoured
Staple Length: 2.5" approx
Combing/Carding: Ashford fine drum carder -Should try spinning from lock next time
Drafting Style: First attempt at long draw
Type of prep: Woollen (batts rolled into rolags)
Plying: Z ply
% of weight lost from washing/short cuts etc: forgot to preweigh

End result: 59 yards of sport weight
Lovely, squishy and soft
low lustre, nice yardage

Final: Super soft, should have flicked and spun from lock. Running through drum carder did create some noils which I mostly picked out as I was spinning. I do think it's just wonderful though a bit harder to spin because of the short staple. Maybe not for a beginning spinner.

I'll be completing the post for Cotswold and Corriedale and posting it tomorrow. Thanks for continuing to support this effort. It has been very fun!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

So Last Week I Was at a Retreat

It was a house about 1.5 hours north in Ludington Mi. The house was right on lake Michigan. There were deer

Yes I know the photo was not that clear, sorry. They just would not pose for the camera like I wanted them to.

I also took a photo of the view from the house.


Pretty right?

And guess what!!!??? I finished ESTES PARK which is the Secret of the Stole III ( I think i started in August). It's done, people! Woo hoooooooo! Now just to block it. I'm hoping to have it blocked for a photo this weekend.

I finally took a picture or two of my handspun Abby cowl. It ain't easy to look this tough while wearing your mom's sparkly cowl. Am I right? Fo Shizzle.

What can I say, that kid's the light of my life.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hey Look What I Can Do!!

I finished the sweater for the Chief and it fits! And it actually looks pretty good. I also finished the Abby cowl, pictures later.

And here he is being hammy.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Wow I Finished Something

So it isn't really much.

I'm still not allowing anything new on my needles until I finish a real project. I did finish the second sleeve on the Chief's sweater, so I'm now blocking the back, but I totally hate blocking. I mean I hate it! Unfortunately, I was too lazy to do the sleeves. Now if I HAD gotten the sleeves done, I would be able to sew it up tomorrow and then pick up the neck stitches and finish, but I didn't block the sleeves. I'm a slacker. Here's my plan

Tomorrow I will wet block the sleeves, then sew the shoulders and knit the neck while it's drying. Then all I have to do is set in the sleeves and sew up the side seams and WHOOP.

Don't I make it sound easy? Truth is, finishing takes a lot of time if you do it right, because I am kind of slow. I try to make it perfect (don't always achieve that), but really, what's the point of all that knitting time if you're going to do a crap job finishing?

Here's a pic of the back on the blocking board.

Hope I have a sweater to show you soon!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

In True Half-Assed Form

I've finished one sock, and one sleeve for the Chief's sweater, AND I successfully knit a Machine knit sock for the Chief too, but just one :S. I've realized I have too many UFOs.

Nothing goes on the needle until I finish a few projects here.

One finished Nutkin. This is from a blank I machine knit and dyed. It's turned out kinda pretty, I think.

I'm not even going to put up a picture of the sweater . You've been there right? I think I will be blocking the front today, but I'm gonna wait until i finish the second sleeve to block those. It is turning out pretty though.

the UFOs I need to get done are:

Chief's Sweater
Nutkin Socks
Secret of the Stole III
Abby cowl
Gray mug cozies

For me that is WAY more than normal and it is starting to stress me out. going a whole week without progress on everything I have going is very annoying to me.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Random Stuff In My Life

First of all, my sister is having surgery Friday. Say a wee prayer.

Second, we had sushi and sashimi on Saturday with the fam. I think our rolls are looking better than last time.
I mean we're no Benny Hana (sp?) or anything. It's amazing how much our kids like it. It's fun too!

Third, I'm on the first sleeve of The Chief's sweater. yay me!

Fourth, I finished The Darkest Evening of the Year by Dean Koontz. It was not inspiring. I feel bad that he keeps using the same literary devices over and over. He's too imaginative for that! I know you have brand new stuff in you, man! Let's see it!

Fifth, I am weepy from being tired. I hate that a lot.

Sixth, The Nutkins are coming along. I'm done with the post gusset decreases and going on down the foot.


I guess that's all i have for today. Six things. I'm weepy and tired, so be nice, please. I don't really know why, but it is true FO SHO.

and I have a response to a comment too:

Dear Colin,

I have a couple of machines, and I try to knit on them, but I wouldn't call myself a machine knitter. YOU, sir, are a fabulous machine knitter! I met with a local group once hoping that I would learn, but they weren't very nice and I think newbie questions really annoyed them. Wish me luck to learn this year! I really do want to, but I guess I'm mostly on my own! I wish you were my neighbour so I could stop by and ask YOU questions. Oh well. My neighbours are so lame. I keep hoping someone good will buy the house for sale nearby, but probably not.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Welcome to Panic City.

I'll be your tour guide, Bams. . . . .

Ok so I believe I mentioned on the podcast that this year I am determined to work on my machines more, so that I can really gain some proficiency. I don't have access to a class or anything because they are all really expensive, so I'm attempting to learn from here.

Welp today I decided I'd knit up a sock for my Darling Husband who deserves all the socks in the world, but would never take them because he wouldn't like to see you all with cold feet. I got one done (although I'm not sure if it's big enough. It's easily frogged and reknit. At least I did it ya know? Anyway I had to pee SO BAD, but I was almost done so I just finished up, then I CO for the second sock. I was going to use my garter carriage (this thing which knits AND purls - most machines can't do that . . or can any? I need to know) Anywho, I CO for it, then started the first row of ribbing with my garter carriage. I like to hang around while the first row knits just in case. . If I have trouble with it, it's almost always right up front.

Sooooo, before it will pattern on my machine, you have to run a magnet past one end of the machine. It's sort of communicating to the machine to start the patterning. Welp, I forgot. I haven't used this machine that much since I got it, especially not with the GC, so it knitted the whole row instead of a 2 x 2 rib. whoops. No big deal really, so I went ahead and stopped it so I could fix. I've done this before. It's not a huge thing.

Welp, when I went to slide over the garter carriage, a piece popped off. Now this is (comparatively speaking) an expensive fucking piece of equipment. They are hard to get, they don't make them anymore and it's hard even to find someone to repair them. With our current financial situation (which is by no means destitute and so many people are worse off right now), it's really not an option to fix or replace and I love that thing. It's noisy. it's slow. It's MINE!!!!

Now I could see that the piece did not BREAK off. Clearly it was made to come off (thank goodness), so I took the carriage and THE PIECE upstairs so I could pee and look at it. So that first bit of business taken care of, I sat down with it in my lap looking and looking. It had a ittle brush on it that I knew would go up against the machine needles, but for the life of me, I could not remember how, but I persevered.

After coming very close to panic, (I'm not kidding, I was on the edge people) I noticed that THE PIECE had a pair of slightly worn grooves on it and started looking around for what could have been wearing them in that particular pattern. and WOO FRICKIN HOO.

I found it.

We are now leaving Panic City. I hope you enjoyed your visit. Don't come back if you can help it :S

OK, So Here's the Deal

I was hopelesslyaddicted to lace Knitalongs for more than a year. Sometimes I was in four at once! I've had the chance to knit some lovely patterns though. I really respect the amount of work they must be for the designers/organizers, but there are two things I have to say about them:

1. I'm no longer addicted

2. I won't pay for one that's a mystery. Now I would pay for one if I got to see the finished product first, and I loved it. Maybe I am just not a gambler? I dunno, but I have definitely been in my share of knitalongs with outcomes that I didn't enjoy. hey I just stop knitting, no harm, no foul, but if I paid, I would like to get a pattern I like ya know?


I'm almost finished with the back of the sweater for the Chief. It's turning out fab.

Chief's Sweater

It's a Drops Pattern so no name for it :S. It's knit from Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in the Amber Heather colorway. I guess you kinda have to live with it until you know how good it is.

I'm still working on the Abby cowl, but hey it's bigger

Handspun Merino Abby

I know what you're thinking, "ummm nice pillow pattern"

yeah whatever

These are for me. The pattern is Nutkin and they are knit from one of my hand dyed blanks. The blank says Queen Bitch on it underneath the stripes.

Stephen King wrote in Delores Claiborne "Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman has to hold onto . . . " Well Amen, Stephen King, Amen.


I also finished a pair of socks for number five.


I love a man who's not afraid of color!

See yas soon. Oh and I'm washing a white Bluefaced Leicester fleece. It was totally manky and washing it has been quite an experience. ya'll come back and see it! Some of it's drying now.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

California Variegated Mutant and Cheviot

Well, it's time for the next two samples of the fleece Study! First we have CVM aka Romeldale aka California Variegated Mutant.

California Variegated Mutant

Prep: Scoured
Staple Length: 3-4" approx
Combing/Carding: Ashford fine drum carder -4 passes through, but would like to try spinning from the lock or just flicked or brushed lightly
Drafting Style: Short Draw
Type of prep: Woollen (batts rolled into rolags)
Plying: Z ply
% of weight lost from washing/short cuts etc: 31% loss

End result: 96 yards of light fingering or thereabouts
Lovely, squishy and soft
light lustre, dove gray yarn

Final: By far the softest thing I have spun to date. Will definitely buy some of this again.

While drying

After spinning.


Prep: Scoured
Staple Length: 3" approx
Combing/Carding: Ashford fine drum carder. Run through three times then rolled into lovely rolags. It seemed very springy and I thought it would make nice woollen yarn
Drafting Style: Modified Long Draw
Type of prep: Woollen
Plying: Z plied
% of weight lost from washing/short cuts etc: 29% loss

End result: 34 yds of worsted weight
Very fun to prep and spin.

Final: I enjoyed spinning it and it was a very easy prep. For me it's fine for a sweater, but I rarely wear a sweater next to skin, and next to skin would probably not be right for me unless for socks or gloves. Nice and squishy and lofty. Lots of bounce back.

Post-Wash (Drying)

All spun up!

And I know the holidays are over, but I leave you with a sight we enjoyed on Christmas Night. Someone had a little trouble sleeping on Christmas Eve apparently
Christmas night 2008
Aren't they just sweet angels when they're sleeping?! Hehehehe

Monday, January 5, 2009

Always Late

So i know it's the new year already and here I am finally just posting Christmas gifts. I think these are the Knitting related items. The Chief gave me a road trip/yarn crawl. We will be going to stores within about an hour and buying me some fun stuff at each. We did do one this weekend, but I'm just gonna try to take the photo of the Yarn Crawl yarn all together once we've done the whole thing.

So here are the Christmas knitting items (not pictured KP gift certificate).

Ok so pictured here:

"Spinning is my therapy" button
Free Range Knitter by The Yarn Harlot
Interweave Knits subscription
"I Love to Knit" necklace
Row Counter Bracelet
Vogue Knitting Ultimate Sock Book
"Spinner" pin with spinning wheel charm

If there is anything else, i will get a photo later. i waited too long to take the picture!

Also, my sister that's a new knitter gave me another dishcloth. This time I was smart enough to take a photo before I used it!

Isn't she doing a good knitting job?

More stuff to come, but we're recording today so I need to wait until the new episode is posting before I post some of it. See ya soon!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Tip of the Iceberg

Oh people I have been soooooooooo busy with fiber lately! There is so much i just hope I can remember to tell you all of it, BUT I'm not even going to try to do it all at once.

Remember back at Beechtree Farms when I came home with two BFL fleeces back in November? Well i finished processing one! Yay me! This is what it looked like washed.

Just between you and me, I think I felted the tips a bit, or maybe it was already felted? Anyway it was a bit of a chore getting it carded. I had to run each batt through four times, including basically using the extra brush thingy to brush from the top. I know that makes no sense. Maybe I'll have to do a video or something. Because the felted tips were breaking off somewhat, I saved all the little bumpy things and I'm going to spin them into yarn all by themselves.

It started out being 3 lb. 2 oz. and I haven't weighed the finished product yet, but when I do, I'll report back.

Here's a peek at the batts:

I'm also ready to spin the next two fibers (Clun Forest and Columbia) of the fleece study and right after we record on monday, I will write up the last two: California Varietaged Mutant and Cheviot. I'm marking off the ones I love in yellow, and we're seeing a LOT of yellow!

I hope everyone had a great New Years!