Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Swap stuff, again

I sent some homespun and a perdita cuff away this week and I nearly forgot about since I made this stuff back in early January. (Long story)

Her favorite colors are olive, pink, black and cobalt blue if memory serves.

I'm showing it off here because I can! Whee!

I've been spinning like mad but need to figure out what I'm doing wrong regarding the pain in my lower back. I'm sure I'm sitting poorly. I normally do. You know what's good for that? Placing an order for 15 pounds of fiber. I'm thinking that will help...

Perhaps chocolate as well.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Today was all about taxes, calorimetry, rapunzel scarves, craftster server upgrade, paying rent, having soup, changing my outfit twice, noticing my favorite colors are evolving, not spinning or dying but setting the twist, stretching, not getting enough done, and daydreaming.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Fiber Friday 2/22/07

Okay, I've been showing off yarn all week, I know. Well here is the grand total of this week's spinning: 5 yarns... AND this first one is new! Honestly it might be my favorite.

It's richer in person, take my word for it. 4.2 oz, 115 yards. Mixed wool, metallic crochet cotton, glass beads (trust me, they're in there)

Next up, a springy mixed wool blend plied with sturdy gold denim thread. It's basically all my favorite colors spun together, even though we're way off season here. 2.3 oz 113 yards.

This crazy black, white and red one (with metallic crochet cotton) required a lot of concentration. I layered several rovings and the crochet cotton and spun it all at once, together. I really should have pre-drafted, I might have enjoyed the spinning more.

It's a wee 1.8 oz, 37 yards. I was playing around with the candy striping technique, I wanted to stop. I am happy with the results though, and probably should have stuck it out longer.

"C'mon get Happy" is a self-striping rainbow. The colors are arranged in the proper rainbow order with a stripe of white in between each color. It's 3.4 oz, 124 yards.

Last but not least, "Crayons" - It's a thick-thin yarn with lots of hand-dyed wool and mohair colors with black alpaca. 2.4 oz 108 yards. I couldn't decide what kind of yarn to spin, so I took a little bit of everything!

TGIFiber Friday everyone!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Come on get happy

It may be raining out but the sun is shining inside my apartment.

I remember hearing a long time ago that we tend to dress for what we want the weather to be, not for what it is. We dress for where we want to go, rather than where we are. I think I spin that way.

Do I want to live in a world of sunshine and lollipops? Perhaps. It counteracts my natural inclination towards depression I think. What makes you smile? Cute stuff?

For me, it changes. For example, I still smile at the idea of unicorns, which is some weird nostalgia-induced holdover from childhood. A time before all of the soul crushing realities of life get into you and slap you around.

Forgive me, I get heavy this time of year.

Lighten up, you say? Okay! Here is another batt I made, which reminded me of a fluffy cloud.

And then some yarn that looks like the bus on the Partridge Family. The sneaky bit about this yarn is that the colors are in the proper order of a rainbow with white stripes in between each color. So when the yarn is knit, it will form a striping rainbow.

I'm going to go drink some tea and eat chocolate and spin and dream of unicorns now. You do your thing, okay?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

New stuff

Ok. I've been trying some of the techniques in the pluckyfluff book. A lot of these techniques I was already sort of doing on my own but the pluckyfluff yarns are so inspirational to me, well, let's just say I want to spin the yarns in my head, but I don't quite have the skills yet.

This yarn here is an example of "candy striping" and I um, (cough cough) hated (cough) spinning it.

Frankly, it was a lot of work. Spinning it made me really appreciate what differentiates between the kind of yarn I usually spin and boutique yarns like pluckyfluff et al.

The difference between perfectly fine yarn and jaw dropping yarn? Thoughtfulness, effort, and skill. If I slack on any of these three areas, I feel like it shows in the yarn. Unless I luck out. Then again, I'm probably overthinking it. In summary, I'm going to keep on practicing in between all the comfort spinning.

Speaking of knitting, lookie these adorable llama stitch markers I scored in a Craftster swap from Laural. I LOVE THEM!

I've never seen llama beads before but it occurs to me to stop stumbling upon bits and pieces to toss into my homespun and start searching out small touches that are really special.

...And I cranked out a few things for my etsy shop while watching Miss Marple. A mossy kitchen sink batt and some hand-painted lace-weight merino... just for fun!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Put on your shades

I'd like to share with you what I spun this weekend... first: crayons!

It's a thick-thin yarn with lots of hand-dyed wool and mohair colors with black alpaca. 2.4 oz 108 yards.

This other yarn here is a springy mixed wool blend plied with sturdy gold denim thread. It's basically my favorite colors even though we're way off season here. 2.3 oz 113 yards.

I've got more going in the dyepot and another bobbin to unwind. I think it's a good week for spinning. There was something else I was going to tell you about but it's completely slipped my mind. That's always worrisome, isn't it?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Me, me me

I was thinking 2007 was the year of "getting what I want" but I'm starting to feel like perhaps it's more like "be thankful for what you have."

What? Too preachy? I still have a big list of things I want, don't worry.

This weekend the ever-generous Ali and I took a trip to Target to load up on goodies for a care package to send to a bunch of strangers. Doesn't that sound like fun?

Well let me back up a bit. I was lurking on Craftster and happened upon a post that said something about how we might consider taking some of that swapping energy and turn it into an act of kindness. She posted a link to this site - that allows folks to send care packages to soldiers.

I know this war is a hot topic and I'm not going to "go there" but I was sucked into this site hard - reading the stories and the simple things people needed. I'm not trying to brag about this, but perhaps drop a little reminder that the best way to feel better when you're down is to do something nice for someone else. It's even better if you don't know them.

And yes, I'm still addicted to swapping.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Fiber Friday 2/15/07

I've got four yarns to show off today. I'm happy to say none of them go together this week. I guess sometimes it's more fun to explore new concepts than stick with a theme. Or perhaps I'm making it all sound more important than it is. Probably.

Let's get right to it, shall we? First up: Coral Reef.

This yarn is a deep orange color to suggest coral and the wool is plied with holographic thread strung with about 80 pearls! (I lost count)

stats: 2.9 oz, 149 yards.

Number two is Mangowood.

Mostly brown with bits of different oranges here and there. It's a worsted single, 2.9 oz. 121 yards.

I'm happy about the way it turned out and it feels well-balanced. (at least something aorund here does!)

The third yarn is called Chaos. It starts red, moves through pale yellow and lands on soft blue.

Throughout, I stuck bits of short lengths of cotton yarn into the wool as I spun.

For those curious, chaos weighs 2.5 oz and measures 86 yards. The yarn, that is.

Yarn number four - last but not least: Oil Slick.

This one was a lot of fun to put together. I took small amounts of different wool colors, (The black is alpaca) and spun two singles and plied them together. I also used a crazy batt I carded with bamboo and silk bits for shine.

Stats: 2.7 oz, 66 yards.

I hope these eight pictures didn't take forever to load. I wanted to really show off today.

Happy knitting!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Three bags full

Here are some highlights from a recent trip to Boise, Idaho! We visited a farm that we discovered from reading this article.

Here is a group shot of some of the sheep. The alpacas were feeling shy at the time.

Somehow I managed to buy three giant bags of wool! The people who run the farm are SO nice and joyful. I think we all wanted to move in and play all day. Ok, maybe that was just me. But still.

From left to right: Wool, alapca, wool/alpaca blend. All of it soft as a kitten's tummy.

Here is another picture of some of the little ones. They were so cute! I wanted to take one with me on the plane. They were pretty quiet, except when the dogs came around. Then they would baa baa baa at the dogs. I sense some animosity there.

We also managed to hit up a yarn store: Knitwits. I love the name since it is one of my nicknames as well - on Craftster I am known as knitwit.

Obviously three bags of wool wasn't enough to satisfy me. I had to buy some yarn and doodads as well. I picked up some assorted sequins to use in the spinning and two skeins of pretty yarn.

There is the Berroco Memoirs and my new favorite yarn that I couldn't stop staring at: Unikat (100% merino). The nice woman at the store wound it into a ball for me though I wish I had taken it's picture first.

I almost don't want to say how lovely this stuff is. It's very pricey and indulgent but without luxury fibers. You would think for the cost there would be cashmere or something in there, but no. Pure insanity. Welcome home. It will fit right in here.

I have another story to tell about Idaho that involves about 100 wild elk. Wait until you see THOSE pictures!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sign my guestmap, please?

I'm on another bandwagon and very curious about where people are in the world... so I added a map for you to put a pushpin into. There is a link on the right that says something like "View my Guestmap" - well, click on it on put in your pin! (no pressure or anything)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Yarn Museum

I don't know why I am always one step behind but I am just now learning about the incredible edible Yarn Museum! Okay I made up the edible part. I'm a bit tired at the mo.

Seriously. Have you been to the Yarn Museum?

I just submitted to the Inaugural Show and I plan on submitting to the other galleries this week. I'm so glad this exists!

It's basically the kind of website I can put on the screen, lock the doors, turn off the phone, then ogle and drool over the pictures. Perhaps that description sounds like a different kind of website. But no, this is homespun yarn, people! The very best kind of pictures to stare upon.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Chocolate and pistachio

Look at this adorable washcloth my mom knit for me!

Cute, right?

I hope it's not too cute to use. It's hard not to be precious with such things.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Production time

It's been busy over here this week. I'm really happy and grateful that my Etsy shop is doing really well and I've been looking into ways to increase productivity:

Problem: Can only dye about 3 oz of fiber at a time.

Solution: Get a larger pot! I picked up a 20-quart stockpot on Saturday and I can't wait to put it to use.

Problem: There's a log-jam with the spinning. I only have 3 bobbins and 1 niddy noddy. The bobbins fill up and the niddy noddy slows everything down.

Solution: Get more bobbins and niddy noddy's!

Problem: I have an old Louet and can't figure out what size new bobbins I need.

Problem: They were too busy at the hardware store to cut pvc pipe for me to make another niddy noddy or two.

Problem: I am easily discouraged.

Problem: I have a million other things to do as well.

Problem: I am starting to obsess.

Solution: Take a break and try again later. Chocolate won't hurt either.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Fiber Friday 2/2/07

Two you've already seen and one new one I'm extremely proud of: Breakfast at Tiffany's!

This roving was inspired by and carefully hand dyed to match the well known blue box, spun up, then plied with metallic holographic thread strung with 50 pearls. REAL pearls, people. I used a nice white ribbon to tie the whole skein up and it's ready to go. 2.9 oz. 100 yards.

The other two I already shared this week, but why not have another look? (I am shameless)

Painted desert: This yarn weighs 3.1 oz and measures 69 yards. It's made up of a mix of my stash: mill ends, mohair, silk noils, bamboo, and who knows what.

Seashells by the seashore: 80 yards, 3.5 oz. Loads of tiny shells. I'm selling this one in my etsy shop (see link on left, "buy my homespun")

Thanks for stopping by and happy fiber friday, of course!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Painted desert

Here is another homespun yarn to share - it's been a productive week! I call this one the painted desert and it nearly matches one I spun last week.

It doesn't matter what I do, the stuff I make tends to explore a theme over and over again. I recall sometime last year being stuck on pink, even though I'm not usually one of the pink people. I'm not really a painted desert person either, but here I am. Stuck on it!

This yarn weighs 3.1 oz and measures 69 yards. It's made up of a mix of my stash: mill ends, mohair, silk noils, bamboo, and who knows what.

I'm still a little scared to knit with homespun, but I'm getting better at letting it go in swaps and on etsy. It's just nice to have it around and look at once in a while.

Am I nuts?

Don't answer that.