Man have I been a busy girl! It seems like December just flew by!
Well, as much as I said I was going to avoid Christmas giftie-type knitting, I just couldn’t. I say it every year and I always make *something*. This year I was prompted to get off my butt by my son. Even at 4 years old, that boy can appreciate Mommy’s crafting. He came up to me one night and flat out said “Mommy, I want a hat!” Thank goodness he asked for something easy! I walked him back to the stash and let him pick out his own yarn.
Of course, this also means I have to make a hat for my little girl too. She also visited the stash for some yarn.
So, in the midst of the Christmas knitting…I was working on my own projects. I finished my Vaya Shrug first…
Then I started and finished my Whisper Shrug…
I don’t have any pictures of it completed yet, but it sure looks awesome blocked. I even bought some Habu Silk to make another…
Then I started a sweater that has no name, because it has no pattern. I am mixing and matching and making it up as I go along. I am knitting it with True Love Fiber yarn in Bruise that I got at Unwind. I am needing to get creative because I have two balls in one dyelot and one ball in another. So far it is looking pretty good.
OH….and that etsy shop I keep promising to start? Well, I am working on it, despite my not having put anything up online yet. I have been carding batts like a mad woman. I am sure poor Wendy would love her drum carder back…one of these days I will have to get one of my own.
I have gotten my fingers injured a few times while cranking these things out, but they look oh so pretty!
So much to do this week. I am sure I will have more completed projects before Christmas actually gets here!
It’s Friday night and I am here. Woohoo!!
I am here in Tehachapi eagerly anticipating CogKNITive’s First Annual Fiber Retreat. I am in my room. I have gotten all the tubs of stuff out of the back of the van (I am hauling merchandise for Unwind) and I am ready to go. I haven’t heard from anyone I know yet, so I am not sure who is here.
I did meet nice woman downstairs (Kathy), her husband, and their cutieboo 150 lb. dog. I also saw a woman hauling in tubs of yarn while I was unloading the van. I am guessing she is a vendor.
Don’t get me wrong…I am hardly bored while waiting. I have my trusty macbook and a boatload of projects.
Not to mention I also have my spinning wheel and some cash in my pocket for shopping tomorrow. Hopefully I can get something done!
For now I am gonna knit and goof around on Facebook!
…so why am I looking for alpaca projects? I do live in Southern California after all…
Lots of things happening around here. I wish more were fiber related, but we have been super busy and my folks came out to stay with us for a couple weeks to help celebrate the twins’ fourth birthday. There have been trips all over the place, including Disneyland (which I hear will not allow needles in the park…good thing I didn’t have any down time there)!
So, it started with the Cookie A class I took after meeting her at Unwind. I designed my first pair of socks! Of course I am still test knitting them…so we’ll see how they turn out. Then my folks came bearing gifts from Frankenmuth.
My folks scored me 2 3/4 pounds of fluff!
I am now swimming in alpaca and I have no idea what to make with it. The hot weather is here, but the office has been in deep freeze, so I might have a good reason to make some alpaca garments. I still have the bag of alpaca and bunny that my mom got me on her last trip to the mill. That will be the next thing I spin. I have some yarn on the bobbins right now that has just been chillin’ there. One of the bobbins is a surprise project I can’t write about here….the others have just been waiting for me to get some time to dump my photos onto any random computer I can find so I can make room to take proper, non-mobile phone pictures.
Once the parents left I went a little cuckoos mcgoos. The last two days I have spent dyeing fiber after the kids have gone to bed.
I dyed some mills ends wool with some Jacquard acid dyes. I was messing around with dye to try and find my groove. I am new to this.
Then I decided to take that pound of alpaca my folks brought and hit it with some black food coloring. It turned out gorgeous!
Of course, this whirlwind of crazy doesn’t include all the stuff I did last night which included handcarding some other stuff I dyed and making goodies for my Fiber Collective Swap Partner. But those are secret….shhhhh…..
Ok, I am determined. I am determined to finally get my shit together and start doing what I need to do. I keep putting things off because I need to deal with real life, but real life is overrated. So I am buckling down…working on logo ideas…trying to knit and spin as much as I possibly can. Come on! I know I can do it!
So, on the agenda:
Finish the Kusha Kusha Scarf.
Finish my True Love socks…
Maybe get this sweater done?
Learn to dye roving and maybe a sock blank…
Maybe start selling some things on etsy perhaps. I have only been talking about it FOREVER! Over the past week I had people ask why I am not selling my needle protectors or stitch markers online. Why am I not selling them, who knows?
In other news, I also recieved a lovely package from Stashymama on Ravelry. She sent me some batts from the fleece she bought at Stitches. All cleaned and fluffy. I can’t wait to start spinning them. Lucky me, now I can because I actually cleared my bobbins off last night! I finished spinning and navajo plying the last of my pink and brown Merino/tussah that I purchased in November from Bee Mice Elf. Go me!
So, Saturday we got up bright and early and just kinda did not a whole hell of a lot. We had all decided that we could do things at a slower pace since we had done one full round on Friday. Um….I didn’t really realize what kind of yarn induced haze I was in on Day One, but boy did I see a whole boatload of stuff I didn’t see before!
I got to the marketplace sometime around lunchtime and it was packed. Thank goodness for twitter. At some point not too long after we hit the Brooks Farm Booth, we got separated. It wasn’t a bad thing, but I am the only one in our little group that does the spinning thing. That is when I tracked down the ladies of The Fiber Collective via Twitter.
I met up with Bellatrix at the Carolina Homespun booth. We tried to track down Dr. Gemma from the CogKNITive podcast, but she was lost in a sea for fiber (later to find out she found someone to show her how to draft). So Bellatrix and I headed over to the Purlescence booth where we got the chance to meet with Jasmin and GiGi of the Knitmore Girl’s Podcast. We grabbed some goodies bags and tried to reach Gemma again. Time to move.
This is where my day got interesting…Bellatrix and I, the ladies of The Fiber Collective, and Dr. Gemma all converged on the Carolina Homespun booth. It was fun to watch Dr. Gemma try out all of the wheels. She showed enormous restraint in not purchasing, because she sure had me wanting to buy another wheel (which would have broken my budget)!
What the hell kind of yarnie am I? I am leaving for Stitches bright and early in the morning and I am still not done packing. To be honest, I have been quite the fly by the seat of my pants kinda girl as of late. I think I am overcompensating for what I know is coming. An inevitable freakout followed by a spending spree of epic proportions. I mean, I did go on a yarn diet for months to save money for this event. I am going all out….but only once I get there. In the meantime….a couple of items thrown in a travel bag are gonna have to get me through the weekend.
And since I last spoke out here I have been busy. I turned 34 and spent an entire weekend celebrating. What does that have to do with yarnie goodness? Presents, of course!! I have friends that are into fiber too and some are real talented. I got an especially cool present from my friend Wendy at work…
She is an Etsy seller too! You can find her at filmstrlet.etsy.com.
I also decided to get the Phat Fiber Box this month because my friend Katahad participated. I didn’t get anything she contributed in my package, but it was full of all kinds of goodies! Yay, Happy Birthday to me!
Oh and I forgot to mention Wendy had also ordered me some cool fiber from Sheep Shed Studio…
Ok, enough of the fiber porn! I have packing to finish!! The camera is charged and I plan on taking plenty of photos from Stitches!! Squee!!
I haven’t been posting as much lately, but it isn’t for lack of trying (or projects to post about). I have had all kinds of things on my plate lately. It’s time for me to get real. I am a hot, unorganized mess.
On a regular basis I am hearing people tell me they are amazed that I am such a productive person….what, with twins and all. Truth is, I am pretty productive *most* of the time. If it has something to do with crafting, I am all over it. But then there are other things. Like… you don’t see that I haven’t done the grocery shopping. You haven’t seen the disaster that is my home. I mean, when you get a couple of spare minutes and you have the choice to knit or clean house, what would you pick? You don’t know that my husband is one of the biggest pack rats I know other than…well… ME! I am over 100 deep in unread emails and some of those are probably from my mother asking if I sent out “thank you” notes (I did) or begging me to please post my photos of the holidays because she has been asking for weeks and everyone is asking her if I am dead. Ya know…that sort of thing.
Yet, in the midst of all the craziness of the holidays, I have managed to get projects done and kids fed. Go figure. So, for all of my friends out there in cyberspace, please know that if you don’t hear from me for a couple of weeks, it isn’t because I have fallen into a well or something. It’s more likely that I remembered to get in touch with you while I was at work at I still haven’t entered peoples phone numbers and addresses into my Blackberry.
So, what have I finished lately? I have been spinning up a storm and kinda, sorta thinking aout doing the Etsy thing. I mean, why not. I don’t have to be totally committed to it right? It not being my full time gig or anything…
So, the first thing I spun up was some organic cotton mixed with a little natural wool. It was a pain in the ass to spin, but it turned out really pretty. It doesn’t seem to feel as soft as I would like it, but oh well. It was more of an experiment than anything. I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to spin cotton on my wheel. I guess this means I can.
In the picture the plying looks a little off, but skeined it is pretty awesome. This was also a chance for me to try my brand new jumbo flyer! I think I need a few extra bobbins for it so I can spin some extra fun, bulky yarn. Right now I only have two jumbo bobbins.
So after spinning this I needed a break and decided I wanted to pull some of my artclub cuckoo batts out of the stash. I had poicked two colors and thought I would spin them up as singles and then ply them on eachother.
So, I spun up the 3 oz batts. The dark teal one is called “Summer Storm” and the pinky black one is called “Head on the Door”. Yes, very moody yarn. The singles were so freaking gorgeous by themselves, I couldn’t bring myself to ply them, they just wouldn’t allow it! They will make something small. Lacy cowls perhaps? I haven’t quite figured it out yet. I find I really have more yarn than projects anyway.
Yup, it’s called stash.
When some cool pattern speaks to me, maybe I will pull these babies out of the closet. I have quite a few projects in the queue right now anyway and a couple of them have deadlines coming up. But that is for a later post…
Saturday was a little crazy. I don’t think I knew what I was getting into when I agreed to go to Wildfiber. Seriously, click on that link…..I dare you.
So I ended up leaving the house and going to pick up my friend Angelique. We were going to run up to the local grocery store and meet up with Krista and then get on the road. We were a little late (my fault), but it was cool because she was up there having breakfast with her boyfriend while she waited for us.
So we loaded up in the caravan and drove to Santa Monica.
Ok. Let me just say, I almost passed out upon entering this store. There is SO MUCH YARN! They have roving too, although I wasn’t really there for that. My intention was to get myself some orange Koigu (which was a color my LYS didn’t get in their shipment) so I could make those “Little Pumpkin”socks. I made a beeline to the Koigu wall, and there before me was the orange I was looking for, but then there was noro sock yarn, and araucania….and ….Oh. My. Guh! ::Head exploded::
Sensory overload! I had a really hard time, but I had decided long ago I wanted to try as many different brands of sock yarn as I could get my hands on, so I got a selection. Here is my haul:
I picked up some Noro Silk Garden Sock, Araucania Ranco Multy, Wollmeise, and my orange Koigu. These are all yarns I have never tried before. I am going to have the awesomest sock collection ever! I also got the little spinning wheel pin when I was in line waiting to check out.
The Wollmeise was a must buy, and probably the most expensive yarn I had purchased. When I picked it up I told the girls that the colorway was “Baba Jaga”. My mom bought the kids books a few years back of different Russian fairy tales and one of the books was the story of Baba Yaga.
So that is it…..now it is time for me to officially start the yarn diet!!
Oh wait, one more thing! Before I left for the shop today I did get a package. I had signed up to do the Uniquely Yours Ravelry Spin-Along. The theme is Christmas. I need to have it spun, with pictures posted by Christmas. Yay for more spinning!
Ok, I promise I have not been slacking off!
This week was my first week of work. I was a little nervous, but so far the new job freakin’ rocks! My first day was orientation…and I won a couple of little things being a super nerd and I got to hold a real life Oscar (they are pretty heavy). I set up my new workspace, went to a couple of meetings and a class, attended a couple of office celebrations and won a raffle prize…I am even the crisis group leader. It was a pretty exciting week. I am still getting settled, but everyone on the crew is super cool. I just hope that I can remember the names of the folks I met this week!
So, I haven’t been much in the mood to knit. I think maybe I am headed back into a spinning phase. I am loving the spinning! I only have my KAL socks to really get done as far as the knitting is concerned….and a pair of crazy ass 80′s legwarmers I just re-cast on. I will try and get photos once I get some stripes completed.
I spun up 2 skeins of Blue and Orange 100% wool. The colors are gorgeous, but it is definitely not “next to the skin”soft. I think this wants to be some felted clogs or something. I have a pound of the stuff, so there is a lot more left to spin.
I thought the next skein reminded me of underwear, so I named it “Playboy Bunny”. It is gorgeous black alpaca and navy nylon with a flesh colored angora and some firestar. It is sparkly and oh so soft! It was a small batt, so I decided to kick it drop spindle style (and the bobbins for my wheel were full). I ended up with only 100 yards. Maybe enough to make a little cowl?
Then there is the Mystery skein. I didn’t spin this one recently, but I had it hanging up in my room forever and I never took a picture of it. I got the fiber at Stitch Cafe, and although I was told it was superwash, I can assure you it is not. I am not sure what the fiber is, but it is a blend. It is much more “hairy” than anything I had gotten there before. It is super soft though…I am going to have to figure out how much yardage I’ve got.
Now to my newest project! While at Felt Club, my friend Krista’s mom bought a little bag of fiber from one of the vendors (I am not sure which one, but it I do I will make mention of it). She had asked me to spin it up, so I decided to start it last night. The bag was labeled “VISCOUNT 100% Faux Cashmere (nylon) 3.9 oz.” Always up for a challenge, I decided to give it a try. The fiber was very slick, and I had a few difficulties when I started it, but once I got the hang of it, I was just cranking away. I finished the entire bag today and got close to a full bobbin. The color changes were very interesting. I am going to let it sit on the bobbin for a few days before I try and figure out how I am going to approach the plying. Since it was so slick, I did some overtwisting, but to be honest, I have never spun nylon before… since it isn’t a natural fiber, I am not quite sure how to set the twist. Oh well, I guess that is what the internet is for!!
I have been getting a lot of packages this week, but this is the one I was most looking forward to. My mom so generously made sure it was sent priority to work so I could open it up right away. She really did an awesome job!
The top two are from Zeilinger Wool Company in Frankenmuth, MI. One pound of orange and teal colored wool and 3/4 pound of “3-way alpaca/alpaca/bunny” in brown with swirls of white and lavender.
The bottom two are from McClellan’s Wool Mill in Frankenmuth, MI. Half a pound of wool in a colorway called “Seascape” and a half pound of wool in “Ocean Jewel”. Gorgeous and soft! There were also two little baggies filled with white locks too.
I haven’t quite figured out what I am going to do with all this stuff just yet, but I am so excited to start spinning. I was planning on bringing my wheel to Friday Night Stitch ’n Bitch at the lys, but I completely forgot that I had signed up for a Finishing class taught by Debbie Abrahams. I have my homework ready and hopefully the class will help me not be so afraid to finish the sweater I am working on (my first).
Also, in the category “I need to start a new project like I need a hole in my head”, I decided to cast on the Mad Lad Hat from Punk Knit’s this morning before work. Why? I have no idea. I mean, I have two sweaters on the needles, a toy I am working on for my son, October KAL Monkey socks to cast on and a boatload of spinning to get to.
Sometimes I just can’t resist…