Monday, July 26, 2004

I've been so busy knitting and spinning

...that I have neglected my blog. I have also been out of my office for much of the past two weeks, so I haven't been sitting at a computer where posting was easy. But, I finished a scarf and a tank top, plus the edging on Charlotte (she just needs blocking now). I've spun about 500 yards since my last post, and did a bunch of dyeing this weekend, so I'm good for roving for awhile.

While dyeing my merino, I think I lightly felted it. I spun a bit this morning, and it's harder to pull off the roving than it usually is. In some ways, this is nice -- I'm less likely to let it get pulled out of my hands and break. This also makes it easier to overspin, though, as I never stop moving my foot as I pull at the roving. I'm learning to compensate for it, however, so things are getting smoother now that I'm halfway through an ounce or so. I also spun up some sport weight last night. I usually spin at a heavy worsted weight once the singles are plied, so it was exciting to find out that I can, in fact, spin more thinly when I choose to. Oh, it's also official now -- I wrote a check, and the wheel is mine!

Here's the scarf that I just finished. I bought two skeins of green that I thought would be a matching dyelot, but they were not, so I had to switch back and forth between skeins every two rows to even it out. It's a little too scratchy for me to wear, but it was fun to knit on someone else's handspun. I bought the yarn right before I got the wheel.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

still not quite fixed

So, I was trying to use blogger's comment engine rather than haloscan's, and that's where my problems with html kicked in. I still don't have everything back the way I wanted it, but I prefer this comment program thingie. I do have all of your comments over at Haloscan, too, but from now on, Blogger (when it's working) will email me any new comments, and that makes me happy.

Enough of that boring stuff. Today was a good day for fiber fun down in Alexandria. Paula and I made the pilgrimage to VA today, equipped with her birthday money, and cash that I procured from a recent book selling. We started at Springwater Fiber Workshop, and I think we'll be taking a class down there at some point as well. We both picked up roving, generally enjoyed fondling things, and got intimidated by the idea of real (chemical) dyes. I bought 8 oz. of natural colored merino, which I will dye eventually, plus a couple of ounces each of navy Corriedale and purple merino/tencel. I've been wanting to try tencel for awhile, since I really enjoy wearing it. Of course, I don't have enough to make anything wearable with whatever I spin; I'll consider that commitment down the road. Less than $20 for 12 ounces of wool, which will make a sweater's worth of yarn. I love spinning.

After a lunch break to refresh and re-energize, we headed over to Knit Happens, which is spacious and bright and full of fabulous people. I appreciate the amount of space they have, for sitting, for looking around, and for displaying the yarns. The book selection was good, as was the yarn selection, and we quite enjoyed the armchairs. I only wish it were a little closer.

Came back to my house and did some easter egg dye coloring (over-dyeing some very kool-aid red roving, and some white), wound up a bunch of mohair/nylon/wool boucle (I think it'll be a shawl someday), and watched Paula spin for a bit. I'm not sure what I think about easter egg dyes. I'm guessing my dye-vinegar-water ratios were off, because the dye wasn't sticking very well. I think I microwaved 4 oz of Border Leicester for about half an hour (in 2 minute increments) before it was even starting to take the dye. We'll see how it spins up. I do like the colors a lot better than kool-aid, though.

I'm in the home stretch on my socks, and 8" into my tank sweater. We rented LOTR: Return of the King, which should give me a few good hours of knittable television time.

Thursday, July 08, 2004


I think I broke my code.
Easter Egg Yarn!

I just found out tht you can dye wool with easter egg dye! I'm not sure why this didn't dawn on me earlier, but it didn't. I have lots of leftover dyes that I bought on sale this year, so after going to VA for a wool shopping trip, I will be lining my kitchen with paper towels and playing with some new colors!

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

i made this

As promised, I have knitted things from my handspun yarn before deciding to buy the spinning wheel. I am now more confident that it would be a sound investment. The scarf and mittens are made solely of yarn that I've spun in the past couple of months, some of which I also dyed:

The scarf is knitted horizontally on a size 11 circular (without joining the ends). I casted on 150 stitches, and the finished scarf is about 60", unblocked. I may block it later if I get inspired. It's mostly garter stitch, with a few rows of stockinette thrown in here and there when I got bored with the knit stitch and felt like purling for awhile.

The mittens are actually convertible, although you can't tell from this picture. They were knit on size 6 dpns, and then lightly fulled to give them a little more structure (and shrink them a bit, 'cause they were huge). I adapted the pattern from the gauntlets in Sally Melville's Purl Stitch book, but mostly I made it up as I went along. I started the mittens on Saturday and finished on Monday. My hands were a little numb from working that continuously.

I'm currently coveting Paradise Fibers' rhapsodies. They will definitely be on my holiday shopping list.