Yarn Pron

I happened to see this at Sweet Georgia Yarns and had to snatch it up.  It is 100% silk in an amazing IMG_2260colorway and it is a whole 1100 yards!!  Now I just need to decide what to do with it.  Any suggestions?!  I was also playing around with my camera trying to do a bit better pictures than what I have been.  I still need work, but I'd say that this is better than what I usually put out. 

Anyway, I'm off to the kitchen to hopefully mix up some new dyes and maybe even put it on some fiber 🙂

My very productive spinning workshop results

I mentioned before that I forgot to charge my camera’s batteries before leaving for the Pacific Northwest, so I only got about 5 pictures of the class before it just died.  I will share them anyway, but also direct you to one of the other girls’ flickr set.  The sweaters you will see were made by our hostess who has a serious Img_1818
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collection of both yarn and handspun yarn that she has made and bought.  I have never seen such amazing sweaters and ingenious use of novelty and handspun yarn!  P.S. the sweaters are very big on the modelers because the hostess was very tall 😉

Lexi is a great teacher.  She got through tons of techniques and was very encouraging, and also had tons Img_1819
of cool stuff for us to use.  Those included the massive sharing table with loads of miscellaneous fibers and add-ins, and the super cool drum carder that made super cool crazy batts.  So on to my yarns that I was able to create.  Even though I made a bunch of them it seemed to hardly put a dent in the 2 plus pounds I took up there!

First was practicing coils, granny stacks, and twists.  I didn’t bring the right single for this, but it turned out cute anyway.   I also didn’t get very many twists, but that is becuase my single wasn’t overplied very much at all.  The single was just some corriedale that I dyed, and it is plied with a fine pink thread.
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The next one looks wierd.  It looks that way in the picture and in person.  It was supposed to be extreme thick and thin with super slubby bits.  I tried to put too much in the super slubby bits and so they all tried to come apart.  Some of them did and I ended up tying them together!  I suppose I could try and fix it, as I haven’t set the twist yet in any of these, we’ll see.  The fiber was a crazy batt, i.e. a mix of my own fiber and stuff from the sharing table.
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Here is another coiled yarn.  With this one I tried to do a thick and thin single with really thick parts to make big funky coils.  Some of them didn’t want to coil so they are just hanging off parts instead of funky coils.  I do like this one a lot.  I hadn’t done a yarn that was just coiled throughout and I’ve gotta say I do like it better than just coils here and there.  It is a blast to do too!  This is some merino that is self-dyed.
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This one was hard to get a good picture of.  It is a core spun yarn with finely carded mohair.  I used a purple thread for the core yarn and tried to do mostly white-ish mohair.  The idea is that you tease the mohair onto the thread while spinning to make kind of clouds, or a see-through yarn.  Mine got a little overtwisted and a little much mohair in spots.  Anyway the idea is super cool and the yarns look so pretty (even if you can’t tell that mine is from the pic!).
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Felt Nubbies!  Mine were more like felt flat coins or something but I still think it turned out cool.  I used up all of mine and there were a lot!  It is just a single with the nubbies added on while spinning.  I used some merino and BFL for the nubbies, and the single is some merino I picked up from Spunky Eclectic.  It should make a great hat!
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Next up is fabric.  This one was a sample of strips of different fabrics so I could try out joining the fabric together.  I also spun some hemp in there. 
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I also did some denim.  This is about one pair of pants worth, and let me tell you, spinning denim is hard.  Especially if you cut it in thicker strips, and if you leave on big chunks with the snaps on them.  Trying to get that stuff through the orifice was far from easy.  I do like the end result and can’t wait to see how it knits up.
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This one also came from a crazy batt.  No thinking about it, just spun it and let it did what it wanted to.  It is basically just a thick and thin single with lots of cool stuff in it, like get this, shredded money!  Who knew?!  Lexi said that after her classes everyone leaves pretty much ready to go out and get a drum carder.  I am no exception.
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This one is another crazy batt, and it is one of my most favoritest yarns I did from the class.  I started with some merino from my stash, and added a lot of miscellaneous stuff.  While spinning I wrapped it with a white mohair yarn which I ran out of about halfway through, so I had to switch to a blue mohair.  It would have looked so great with just the white, but I still love it.
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The last one is my ultimate favorite.  It is another crazy batt that I spun thick and thin and wrapped with four different threads, including some hemp twine.  I just love how it turned out!  Who knows if I will ever use it though, I may just hang it up somewhere and admire it!
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So here are the batts that I made.  They are all pretty much just a mix of fiber, I tried to use more of my own fiber and less add-ins.  The blue and red one is all mohair though, so I can try the mohair clouds again. 
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Okay I forgot to show you these before, my souveneirs from the Made in Washington store.  These are made by local artists.  I picked up a turtle magnet and a trivet.  I also got some Chukar chocolates, but those are long gone of course 😉
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Did you really read this far?!  I’m so glad I went to take this class, and I would even probably take it again if Lexi were ever to make it to Utah.  I had so much fun, and it was so liberating just doing whatever I wanted to with the fiber and mixing all kinds of crazy stuff together.  No rules is good sometimes, really really good.  This is only the beginning though, I just need to start my own collection of whatever to use, and start saving for a drum carder!

More and More Spinning

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I have been spinning my weekend away and have a few things to show.  InImg_1283
keeping with the Something Old and Something New themes, I have some of each.  The first is something old.  I picked up some Optim roving from the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival when I went two years ago – I have no idea who the vendor was as I lost the label a long time ago.  Anyway, it is an interesting fiber as it is stretched merino which takes the elasticity out of the fiber but also adds a luster to it.  I thought it would be good as a lace yarn so that’s what I tried to do.  It turned out more of a fingering weight I think, but I will still use it for a shawl.  I ended up with a decent 500+ yard amount of 2-ply
yarn and I think overall it turned out pretty well!  It definitely doesn’t have any elasticity, that’s for sure.

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The something new is some merino roving that IImg_1270 recently dyed up myself.  I had about 4 ounces and I was just messing around with some different techniques.  The stuff on the left is just a basic thick and thin plied back on itself.  With the other on the right I had wanted to do a coiled yarn but didn’t quite have it figured out, so I ended up with a kind of wavy yarn.  I used a sparkle thread to ply it with which is cute, but it broke in a few places when I snapped the yarn after washing.  Oh well, I’ll find something else to use next time or just be a little more gentle!

I have even more yarn to show you but it isn’t dry yet so you’ll have to wait.  I have been knitting a little bit with guess what – handspun!  I’ll show you that later too.  As always, thanks for looking!

Spinning: Something Old and Something New

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I finished up some more handspun yarn.  This will be filed
under the SomethingImg_1261 Old category.  This is the Dew
on the Moab Desert
colorway.  It only took me a day to spin and ply and I’m pretty happy
with how it turned out.  There is a couple hundred yards and it is
pretty much inconsistent in it’s weight so I’m not even going to try
and guesstimate it.  I didn’t do much with this in the way of
finishing, just messed with the plunger
while washing and then snapped
it out a few times before laying out to dry.  So what should I make?
I’m thinking maybe a little hat for The Baby, but I’m still undecided.
Any ideas?Img_1264

Img_1266The second yarn I have is my Something New.  It is BFL in the Joshua Tree colorway from  Spunky Eclectic.  It wasn’t the most thrilling fiber I have ever seen, but as I got more and more of it spun up I became more and more in love with it.  Isn’t it lovely?!  I did a 2-ply yarn and it is probably dk
weight, not sure as I haven’t bothered to check it yet.  I got maybe 200 yards or so out of it which was weird, I thought I would get a bit more than that.  I think it has been so longImg_1265
since I’ve been regularly spinning that I’ve forgotten what I should be Img_1267getting in terms of yardage.  Anyway, I love it.  I have no idea what to do with it though.  I think I’ll just keep it on my desk here and oogle over it some more 🙂

Works in progress and yarn pRon

Img_1050I thought I’d share my WIPs, since I really don’t have much going on in my fiber life lately. Img_1053
I’ve mostly been working on the Lace Ribbon Scarf.  I think I’ve done 7 repeats, and with that you’d think I could have the pattern memorized by now but not so.  It is fun to knit, easy and just what one needs when they can’t concentrate too much but want to knit some lace. 

Img_1052 I also finished a sock, made from a merino/tencel blend that I got from Scout’s Swag.  I likeImg_1054 it a lot.  It should be a nice sturdy fabric and I hope they will last a long time.  I did a basic
toe-up, but this time I just did a short row heel.  It turned out okay, but not great.  I think I like using Cat Bordhi’s methods instead.

I also went shopping and couldn’t help myself so I bought some yarn.  I picked up some Manos silk blend and this Kathmandu DK.  They are both beautiful, but I can’t decide what to make with them!  I guess it’s time to go searching on Ravelry, eh?

Goodies!

Img_0627I wasn’t going to post until tomorrow, but I got something exciting in the mail yesterday and I couldn’t wait to share!  I bought this kit when my yarn diet ended and it’s something that I’ve wanted for a while now.  It is the Oregon Vest from Virtual Yarns.  Can I just say that this yarn is lucious?!  I am in love already and all I’ve done is touch it.  I’m so excited to knit this and even though I should probably wait, I might just have to cast on soon.  It made my day, my week, my month getting this package!  I just hope I can pull it off – the knitting and wearing of it 🙂

Contest winner, a new look, and more!

So first off, thanks to everyone for visiting my blog and participating in the contest!  I was extremely happy to see so many new people coming here – thanks so much and don’t be strangers!  So after a random drawing, the winner of the book is Maria, who didn’t have a blog address.  Thanks again to everyone for playing.  As I mentioned before, this is not the only giveaway.  I will be doing another this Friday and the next, so stay tuned.  The last Friday of the month is my birthday, sorry I wasn’t clear enough on the last post.  So thanks for all of the early birthday wishes 😉

I was going to wait to change up the look of my blog, but apparently I am more impatient than normal these days.  I couldn’t wait to do it.  I like it a lot, especially the new header, and I hope it is appealing to all of your eyes as well.  If you’re reading in bloglines or the like, make sure you come to the blog and check it out!

I’ve been working on a few items, trying to get things finished up that I’ve been wImg_0581orking on for a while, and also some new items that I’m pretty excited about.  I did finally finish up my second pair of Serpentine mitts that I started way back when Mim asked for test knitters.  Took me long enough huh?  I like these ones a lot.  They are made from Knitpicks Gloss which I really liked working with.  The finished product is especially nice too. 

The new things I’ve started are the Logan River Wrap, also from Mim, and my EZ’s Percentage Sweater out Img_0585Img_0591
of Silky Wool.  I’m trying to work on each of these at least once a day so that I feel like I’m making good progress on both.  The wrap pattern was easily memorized and I look forward to doing a repeat here and there when I have time.  The EPS is coming along nicely.  Mine will just be a pullover, with hemmed edges.  If you have the Opinionated Knitter book, I pretty much want mine to look like the one pictured on the back cover, only not a cardigan.  I still need to choose the contrasting colors though, but I have plenty of time to do that.  I casted on 95% of my total body stitches and knit a few rows, increased to 100% before the turning row and then did a few more rows on larger needles before working the hem.  I bypassed the provisional cast-on and just picked up stitches from the cast on edge and worked them with the live stitches.  It does leave a mark, but I kind of like it and am okay with it.  I’ve done a few decreases for a little bit of shaping and I’m starting to increase again.  The mindless stockinette makes for easy knitting-while-reading, but I also look forward to joining sleeves and body (when I get there) and moving onto a bit of colorwork.

Can yoImg_0598u handle more?!  In the spirit of NaSpiMoMo, I have been spinning every day for at leasImg_0595_1_2t a half and
hour.  I had this merino/tencel blend sitting on the bobbin for a few months
now, and I finally finished it up.  It is pretty and shiny and I’m so glad it is finally done!  The Sheep 2 Shoe kit I bought has finally made it’s way to the wheel and I’m working on the first bobbin now.
That’s all I’ve got for today, as if that wasn’t enough!  Have a great day 🙂

Handspun, socks, and a book giveaway

**ETA: I will pick a winner for the book on Sunday night, so leave a comment before then if you want the book! 

So as I said, in celebration for my upcoming birthday, I want to give some things away.  The first is a book that somehow I ended up with two copies of.  I know it is a popular one, so many of you might already have it.  Still, I don’t need two copies, so I’m hoping I can give it to someone who doesn’t have it!  So the book is Interweave Knits’  Favorite Socks.  All you have to do is comment, and I will randomly choose a winner and announce it on Monday.Img_0566

Untitled1I’ve been doing a little more spinning lately, though it is pretty easy to do more spinning than none.  I dyed the rovings myself, and tried to split each color in half.  I spun each half onto its own bobbin and then plied them together.  I think they turned out really fun, and I’m pretty happy with them.  Too bad I’m giving them away!  I won’t say to who, but I hope the recipients like them!  They should make a fun little scarf or hat, may
be I’ll spin up some more of the roving and do that for myself 🙂

Img_0578_1I also finished some socks that have been hanging around on the needles since last September when we went on vacation.  I had knit the pair, only to find out that when I switched to metal needles on the second sock that they were two different sizes.  I ripped the smaller one and re-knit it.  I wasn’t looking forward to it which is why it took me so long.  I think that is one of the most annoying things that I do with my knitting, not paying attention and then having to entirely redo something.  Well I’m glad it’s finally done, and aren’t they pretty? 

Thanks for looking, as always, and have a great weekend!

Am I nuts?

100_4182I have been so obsessed with spinning lately, I’ve found myself looking all over for cool or new fibers to try and waking up having the first thought in my head be about sitting down to spin.  I’ve been thinking about it so much that I’m finding myself reading about drum carders and fleeces – fleeces?!  Am I nuts?!  When I started spinning I told myself I did not need to go there, spinning the fluff was enough for me.  But the more I think about it now, the more I think I’d like to try my hand at doing the whole process – from fleece to yarn.  I guess I’ll let it simmer in my brain for a while and see what happens…

I’ve spun up, plied, and washed the first batch of the Snake River Merino/Tencel and I think it turned 100_4184out quite nicely!  It’s already been claimed too.  The Boyfriend really wants a pair of gloves and he thinks I should use this for it.  It is only about 200 yards of mostly fingering weight, so I don’t know if it will quite be enough but I’m going to try working it out somehow.  At least he doesn’t like the other batch I got so I can keep it for myself.

I100_4185_2 also started spinning some more stuff, a Merin o/Tussah Silk blend also from Snake River Fiberworks.  I have about 8 ounces so there is plenty to play with.  I might do half of it for socks and then make some singles for a hat or something for The Baby.  I’ve also drafted a bunch of other stuff that is in line to be spun, now I just need more time to spin!  I admit I’ve been going crazy and my hands are paying for it, but they do feel better today.  I just need to make spinning a dailly thing so my hands don’t go into shock after waiting so long between sessions. 

Other than that I’ve been knitting away on the second Queen of Diamonds sock and hope to have it finished soon.  I’ll probably have to take some yarn from the first sock to finish the second as this half of the yarn is a lot heavier and it is being sucked up faster.  Hopefully I won’t have to undo too much.  I also have Broad Street Mittens minus the button to show you, but that’s enough for today don’t you think? 🙂

Yarn first, trip later

I only managed to visit two yarn stores during our trip, but I was able to pick up some good stuff.  There000_0106 is some OnLine cotton blend, the Kaffe Fasset Regia, two colors of Lorna’s Laces, and some Schaeffer Anne which I have never tried before.  I even found a ball of Felted Tweed in the same dyelot that I needed – thank you Jimmy Beans Wool!  I guess I was having a thing for pinks this week!   The other store I visited was in Boise called Knit Wits.  It was a big store but there was a lot more thread than yarn.  I would have gone to more stores, but I left all of my addresses in a Word document here at home (forgot to print it, duh!), and we had trouble getting any Wifi for some reason.  Oh well, maybe I’ll have better luck next time.