Monday, April 23, 2012

Like I really need another project...

But seriously, how could I not participate in this mystery knit along?
Lethal over on rav started this KAL, where she tweets one row a day, every day at 11am.  So I cast on my 29 stitches and knit the first two rows.  They only took me maybe 8 minutes.  That's not much time, so I can totally do it!
I tweeted this picture of my progress, I'm not sure I chose the right yarn, but it's the only yarn I have enough of.  We'll see how it goes!


Friday, April 20, 2012

Tour de Fleece - 2012

Is it to early to start thinking about it?  I don't think so!

What I'm thinking about is the two teams I'm going to captain, and my personal goals.  I've got Team and Team Look-in-a-Book.  And of course  I'll be joining Team Hopelessly Overcomitted as well.

Here are my goals:

1) Spin 12 oz of merciboo top into a serious lace weight.  Like,  craykray lace.  Practically sewing thread. or like 2 strands of sewing thread together crazy lace.  Because I'm nuts.  I might even buy the lace flyer for my Traveller...

2) Spin my way through a book.  I'm also heading up the team Team Look in a Book!  Where the goal will be to spin my way through one of my books, but just a sample of each technique... I just have to choose a book...

3) Spin some cotton on my tahkli.  I have ~4 oz of cotton that's been sitting for a long time.  If I get through it, I'll give a go at the camel and yak I have too!

Yup, Hopelessly Overcomitted.

You can find the Tour de Fleece Rav group here.  And the Team Craftster thread on Craftster here.   Of course there will be a thread for both my teams in the Ravelry group, but for now the teams cannot be posted until the moderators clean up the 2011 threads.  Soon, as I see there are just a few more to go through!

What about you?  Are you going to take on the Tour de Fleece this year?


Monday, April 16, 2012

today's contemplations

So I'm sitting here, with a sick kiddo sent home from school.  Seems he's caught the sinus infection I picked up sometime over Easter.  Of course the others are home too, but none the less, having that extra sick kid puts a different feel to the day.   It kind of slows things down.  And oddly enough with things feeling slowed, it gives me a chance to think.  Mostly I'm thinking about my final project.
I picked up the shawl again last night and knit for a couple hours, only putting about 10 more holes in the darn thing.   That pretty much set my decision to change directions, yet again.   So now I'm going to spin up the BFL in basically the same weight as the grey long wool, and knit up some of these Legwarmies.  The fibre's almost all prepped (just a bit more flick carding), now just to get my wheel set up and ready to go!  Shouldn't be long now.

So while I sit and think about my final project, I'm going to share with you a scarf I knit.
Awesome possum helix scarf
This is the Helix scarf from the pattern published in Spin Off, spring 2011.  I knit it with a merino possum blend yarn from New Zealand.  It was a fairly mindless knit, but took forever!  I suppose that is what happens when your needles are a size 2....   I'm going to send it to my Grandma.  Hopefully she doesn't read my blog regularly.  That would ruin the surprise of a scarf in the mail!

I'm also going to share these two gorgeous and unique drop spindles that were made for me by Blacksmith over on  He came along onto the fibre boards and wowed us all with his wood turning skills, and I just had to have one, so I sent him a message and we set up a trade.  Well he sent me two!   I sent him a skein of yarn and some fibre on return.  The solid one is just so interesting to look at, and spins a nice heavy yarn.  The open one spins forever! It also give a heavier yarn, but not quite as heavy as the solid.  I love them and can't wait to sit and spin on the deck with them this spring once it finally warms up.
Gorgeous drop spindles

Okay, off to finish that prep... or just veg and cuddle with my sickie.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

French knot sheep

I created this french knot sheep hoop as a thank you to the farmers who allowed me to attend thier shearing day last year.  It's been sitting around here for a while finished, but I just tonight packaged it up and have it ready to go to them.  Better late then never, right?  I spun the yarn from thier own sheeps wool, as to make it just a little more personal.

French knot sheep

I hope they like it!


Shared on Skip to my Lou's Made by you Mondays
  Skip To My Lou

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Final project of doooooom

Doom I say.  DOOOOM!


So here's the story (and pretty pictures too)  Some of it, you've heard.  Some of it's new, but I'm starting from the beginning anyway.  I'll make the stuff you've heard quick.

The final project for the Master Spinner Level one course is to be a finished object, taken from "sheep to shawl" if you will.  It doesn't need to be a shawl, of course, it can be what ever you want it to be.  This project, every step included, should take about 25 hours.  Originally I wanted it to be a pair of Chimera mittens, easy enough to spin and knit in 25 hours.  However.  The yarn I spun for them was horrendous, coarse and not really all to nice for a pair of mittens.

The yarn formerly known as Final Project, yarn A
You can't really tell here, it looks nice enough, but the texture, the hand, the feel of it, is just off.

Okay. Fine.  Re-group.  Stumble upon the Belinda Shawl on Ravelry.  Gorgeous, fun, and perfect.  So I start spinning my best style of yarn, which is a fine yarn, about lace to fingering, with maybe a few sections just a bit heavier, because I'm not a master yet.  I plan to spin and nature dye the second yarn as i finish up knitting with the first yarn.

Final project yarn
beautiful. Has really nice drape.  I'm super proud of all 616 yards.

Then I start on the knitting, choosing to make it 3/4 width, as a) I'm scared I'd run out of yarn (which in all likelyhood wouldn't happen) and b) I'm a small person, so my shawl can be a bit smaller right?  Fine.  I think okay, this will probably take me 10 hours to knit, which is a bit much considering the whole 25 hours of work start to finish.  But whatever, a little extra time wont hurt, if anything, it'll look like I'm an over achiever.
So I take the yarn, and my needles with me on the crazy long road trip to my families place over the Easter weekend.  7+ hours in the truck. Both ways.  So I knit.  And knit and knit.... And I knit once we get there, on and off, when I can find some time.  All the while thinking, geeeze.... I think I over estimated my knitting ability.  But I knit on.

Belinda shawl in progress
In the hotel, where my fabulous Husband and sister organized a side trip for my birthday. Yay spa and knitting!

   On the way home, I knit for 6 pretty much consecutive hours.  Well, except that nearly 1 hour it took me to frog back 2.5 rows stitch by stitch.

Belinda shawl- oops
Bad picture, I know.  But you can see the mistake. 

 This.Shawl.Is.Not.Even.Half.Done.  It's maybe 30% done one half .  My best guesstimate is I've put over 15 hours into this thing already.

Belinda shawl- 15 hours in
I'm very happy with the progress I'm making, but the time consumption!  

 And now I wonder, do I start over again?  Make a pair of baby legs for my little girl? Maybe a really simple pair of fingerless mitts, with no pattern to them, just simple around and around and around?  Do I go back to the idea of knitting a cowl, also with no pattern, just around and around and around?

I don't know.  Because truth be told, by the time I get to the end of this shawl, I'll likely have put about 48 hours of knitting alone into the damn thing... Then the spinning and dyeing,  probably another good 15 hours. Which, you don't even have to be good at math, that's a heck of a lot more then 25.

I'll finish this shawl.  I'm committed now.  But do I keep at it for my final project, or make it a leisurely knit and finish it after I'm finished my workbook?



Wednesday, April 4, 2012

okay, some fiber.

Because that's why you are here.

I felted these scarves up a while back, took pictures not as long ago, but only now am i posting them.  Life is getting KaRayZeeee around here.

Confetti: Merciboo top (merino, bamboo, and silk) and bit's of wool

Hand felted Confetti scarf

Beads:  Merciboo top, hand dyed after felting and beaded.

Hand felted and beaded scarf

Cowl:  All sorts of fibers, and handmade polymer clay buttons.

Hand felted Cowl with hand made poly clay buttons

And here are a few yarns I've spun up, just for fun! Yup, I spun for fun.  Clearing the mind, don'tchaknow ;)

Purposeful thick and thin

Handspun thick and thin merino silk alpaca blend

Merino silk blend, spun worsted and fairly fine.  It was supposed to be 3 ply for socks, but oh boy, those would have been some thick socks!  So it's just a nice 2 ply.  I'll try again to spin my own socks, after I take the Getting even class at Fibre Week.

Handspun merino silk blend

As to my homework, I've finished up 1/2 of the yarn for my final project.  I've chosen this pattern, the Belinda shawl, as I can start knitting over Easter, finish spinning the second yarn when I get home, and knit on!  I still have to type up everything, and put it all together.  I've decided to be a little slack with myself, no point in stressing over it.  It doesn't necessarily need to be in until June 22ish.

Anyway,  Happy Easter, to those who celebrate it, and Happy long weekend to those who don't!


Liebster Blog award, for me? For Me!


Well, who'dathunkit?  Not me, that's for sure!   Quirky Crafts has nominated little old me for the Liebster Blog award!  How sweet of her.  I follow her blog, and let me tell you, she is one creative woman! She makes the most interesting, and pretty, and fabulous works of art.  She's in her final semester of art school, and watching her grow as an artist is just so fun!

Now the thing with this award, is now that I have it, I need to nominate 5 more blogs, with less then 200 followers. So here are my Nominees :

1. Stuff & Junk Kristin is amazing. pure and simple, the things she is able to make with just about anything is amazing.

2. Dearest Jackdaw  This woman makes the most beautiful things, and takes gorgeous photos.  I actually stopped by her shop a week ago or so and received the most gorgeous book that is even more gorgeous in person.

3.  Learning to love the little moments This blogger is a close friend of mine.  We share a love of yarn, and both have 3 kids.  Her blog is really about the title! Learning to love the little moments!

4. Heart Like a Wheel  This blog is all about meditation and spinning, and a bit more, of course. I love reading her insights and beliefs.  I'm very much looking forward to taking a class or two with her at Fibre Week this year!

5. Now does she count? Lime Riot does have 239 followers, but I think she deserves a nod.  knitter extraordinaire, she's mastering sewing, and is just the most wonderful, creative person.  Did i mention her felt applique hoops, with stamped words?  No, well now i did, go check her out!

The rules!

The Three Rules of Liebster:

1. Choose FIVE UP AND COMING blogs with less than 200 followers to pass the award onto.

2. Show a BIG THANKS to the blogger who gave the award to you by linking back to them.
3. Post the AWARD on your blog. List the bloggers you are giving the award to with links to their site.