Thursday, May 31, 2007

presenting...Grape Jelly yarn!

Final Grape Jelly Yarn
Louet's Northern Lights roving, spaced dyed 100% wool top (8 ounces)
Color: Grape Jelly (#50)
Spun on Cascade Little Si spindle (1.125 ounce)
Plied on Lendrum Folding wheel
Yield: 388 + yards 3-ply; approx. 1.5 yards 2-ply
Weight: average 15.3 wpi; probably CYC weight 3 (light)

Close-up shot:

Grape Jelly yarn close-up
I love the colors and the feel of the yarn. Of course, I can see every flaw, but all in all, I think I did OK! I'll probably make socks with it, but I haven't decided yet. I need to rewind the skein and then put it in a plastic bag while I decide what to make.

Am I happy with it? Yes!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

if cats could talk...

"Trying. To. Sleep."

Kitty trying to sleep
"Seriously. Stop. That. Now!"

"OK. I give up."

"Really? She flashy-thinged you while you were trying to sleep?!"
"How rude!"

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

three days goes by so fast...

...and I wasn't ready to go back to work yet. I got a lot accomplished around the house, but not as much spinning or knitting as I wanted.

I've almost finished with the Daughter's room. She now has a place to hang some clothes and a desk she can use. I just need to pick up a few things off the floor and mop.

One of the things I wanted to do was some filing. Unfortunately, when I started this project yesterday, I realized that we had no room left in the filing cabinet and a serious purge was necessary. It's been so long since I cleaned out this cabinet, it was like an archaeological dig. I found the original house payment book (from 1971), the plans for the pool (installed around 1974 and removed about 5 years ago), car repair bills for cars we don't have anymore, house papers with my ex-husband's name on them (we divorced in 1982), and the vet receipts for cats who went over the Rainbow Bridge 10 years ago. There is now a huge pile of shredding plus a bunch of paper for recycling.

On the spinning front, I'm still working on the second bobbin of Burning Bush roving and I'm on the second spindle of Moonstone. My biggest spinning accomplishment was plying the Grape Jelly roving. The color on this picture isn't quite right, but does show the full bobbin:

Grape Jelly roving, plied
Here's a close up that shows the colors that are more true to life:

Close-up of Grape Jelly yarn
As planned, I made a 3-ply yarn. I don't know the weight yet; I'll test it after washing and drying. For my first 3-ply yarn, I think I did OK. (And, none of my singles broke during the plying process. Yay!) I'll post the final information about this yarn after it's been washed and measured.

Sadly, no time for knitting this weekend. I've got to learn how to balance my project time between knitting and spinning!

Friday, May 25, 2007

hooray for Eye Candy Friday...

...'cuz it leads into a three-day weekend! And look what's decided to come back to life:

Berries are here!
Several years ago, we planted boysenberries, blackberries, and raspberries along the wall in our front yard. They produced lots of berries for a while and then eventually stopped producing fruit and we thought they were done. Well, they've decided to come back! This is just a sample, but it looks like we'll have enough berries for at least a couple of desserts...yum!

I haven't been able to get much done on my knitting, but I have been able to do a little spinning. Because I haven't had more than a few minutes here and there, I've been using the spindle rather than the wheel. Here's Chasing Rainbows in Moonstone that I recently bought from Crown Mountain Farms:

Moonstone roving on spindle
The colors are subtle and it's a nice contrast to the Grape Jelly I just finished and the Burning Bush that is currently on the wheel.

I'm looking forward to having and extra day to spin! To everyone in the US, have a good holiday!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

ready to ply some grape jelly...

Here is the Northern Lights (Louet) Grape Jelly roving all wound up and ready to ply. (See Sirena waiting in the background?)

Grape Jelly roving, wound and ready to ply
As you can tell, I have decided to make this a 3-ply yarn. I tried to make the weights of each ball as even as possible by combining some earlier-spun singles that are slightly thicker with the later-spun singles that are thinner. Still, the top ball is 3 grams lighter that the others. We'll see how that works out when I ply them! I'm not going to try and ply this until the weekend when I have time to give it my undivided attention.

And while there is no picture, I unraveled my Grasshopper socks back to the toe increases. I still haven't decided which sock pattern I'm going to use, but at least I'm ready to go when I finally pick one.

Decisions, decisions!

Monday, May 21, 2007

spinning that wheel...

...and spindle. I didn't spin as much time spinning as I originally planned. One of my "chores" took up most of Sunday.

However, I did finish spindle spinning the Grape Jelly roving. I also finished spinning one bobbin of the Burning Bush roving and started the second one. I won't post pictures of them because they don't look significantly different than the pictures I posted last week.

Sunday, I worked on turning my "office" back into a room for the Daughter. She will be home in a couple of weeks to spend the summer with us while she works at Stanford. The room was fine when she was only home for a short visit, but it really wasn't set up for her to live in it. We replaced one of the desks with a maple 9-cubicle unit from Target and a two-drawer unit. I got 6 fabric "drawers" for the cubicles, so she how has a place to put her clothes. Eventually, I'll use these to store some of my office supplies.

On the knitting front, I made another pattern counter for the Grasshopper socks. Grasshopper has a two-row pattern repeat:

Two-row pattern counter
The charm is the Chinese symbol for Peace.

Speaking of the Grasshopper socks, here they are:

Grasshopper socks
Say goodbye...I am ripping them back to the last increase row. See the lace portion up there? That's 4 repeats (8 rows), representing 2 hours of work and very sore hands. The p2tog/YO combination is incredibly hard on my hands. So, no matter how much I love the way this pattern looks, reality says that I don't have the hand stamina or the time to do this pair of socks. I'm going to use one of the patterns that others in the Rockin' Sock Club are using. Maybe Jaywalkers...

[Sigh] I hate giving up on them. I've done a lot of that lately...

Friday, May 18, 2007

TG Eye-Candy F

From our garden, serendipity sunflower:

We feed the birds that visit our backyard with birdseed mixture containing sunflower seeds. These flowers sprouted from the seeds that they missed.

I am getting towards the end of the Grape Jelly roving. Here's where I am now:

End of Grape Jelly roving
I have filled the spindle 16 times so far. I plan on making this a 3-ply yarn, but I need to practice plying a 3 ply yarn first. That means I need to spin more Corriedale...

Speaking of Corriedale, here's a close-up of the stuff I spun last weekend:

Corriedale yarn
I know you've already seen this, but just looking at this yarn makes me happy, so I'm showing it again! It's much more consistently spun than the first two yarns off the wheel and I did a better job plying it.

This weekend, I have some chores to do around the house. However, once those are done I'll be spinning! Sirena is getting lonely and she's calling my name... (LOL!)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's Day stash enhancement...

...more fiber-y goodness to spin! I got to pick my own Mother's Day present at Purlescense.

First up: Louet's Northern Lights roving in Ocean Waves (this has a lot more blue than the picture shows):

Ocean Waves roving
Some alpaca in a silvery gray:

Gray Alpaca roving
And another Northern Lights roving in the Burning Bush colorway:

Burning Bush roving
This roving is a lot more red that this picture shows. The color was so wonderful, that I started spinning it as soon as I finished what I had in the wheel. Here's a much truer picture of the color:

Bobbin of Burning Bush
I already liked spinning Northern Lights on the spindle and it's even nicer on the wheel.

And what did I take off the wheel? More cream Corriedale. I spun two partial bobbins so I could practice plying some more. This attempt was much better than the last. This isn't the greatest picture, but you get the idea:

Corriedale 2-ply yarn
This skein represents about 152 yards of two-ply yarn. Not too bad for an afternoon of spinning!

This week, I do want to get more knitting done. I really like how my Grasshopper socks are developing and I want to wear them!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Wow! Look what just arrived...

Mother's Day flowers
...the most gorgeous flowers from the Daughter! She sent them to the office as an early Mother's Day present. What a good kid! And she knows I just love irises and tulips. You can bet that these are going home with me tonight!

I wish she could be here for Mother's Day, but she'll be home soon enough! (and it's not like I don't talk or IM with her almost every day! LOL!)

Sky Candy Friday and some actual knitting...

...just a little cloud as sunset approaches.

One cloud, one sky
Here's a progress picture of my Rockin' Sock Club "Knee-High to a Grasshopper" socks.

Grasshopper socks
The toes are done and I'm starting the lace pattern. I really love how the yarn feels, it's so soft! And I love the colors, too.

This weekend, I plan getting some spinning done Sirena. With Mother's Day on Sunday and the Husband's mother nearby, I'm not sure how much time I'll get at the wheel, but I can dream, can't I?

Anyway, everyone have a great weekend, and Happy Mother's Day to all!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Petals Collection for April...

...arrived today! Sundara has given us another gorgeous color:

Dahlia, Petals Collection
It's called "Dahlia." I wish I could get the picture to show how rich this yarn is, but you'll just have to take my word for it! The pattern also looks wonderful.

I just need to stop working so I can have more time to knit (and spin)!

Thanks, Sundara!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

unexpected spinning time...

...last night! My Tuesday night Pilates class was cancelled, so I had some "extra" time to spin. Usually, I don't get home until 8:45 on Tuesday nights and by the time I've eaten dinner, I don't have the energy to do much of anything.

I was able to spend some quality time with Sirena. I want to practice my plying on something other than one of my remaining hand-painted rovings, so it's back to spinning the cream Corriedale.
I'm very grateful that Woodland gave me a pound of this stuff with my order. It spins easily and makes a perfect practice fiber.

As I was spinning, the Husband asked if I was enjoying myself. And then he said, "Well, I guess you're going to have to get some more [fiber to spin]." He was implying that I didn't have a much in the stash. Now, all he's seen so far is Grape Jelly that I'm spindle spinning (75% spun), the Corriedale samples (which are mostly spun), Evergreen (which is also spun), and this pound of cream Corriedale. What he hasn't seen won't hurt him! (like the Teddy Bear and Primrose rovings in my last post, the Sheep To Shoe kit that I bought at Purlescence at the end of April...)

Wait, did he just give me permission to buy more fiber?

Obsession, thy name is Spinning!

Monday, May 07, 2007

spinning and spinning...

...just me and Sirena.
(For those who wonder about pronunciation, it's: see RAY na)

As my second item to spin, I tried the 2 ounces of
Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks Merino in Emerald. I was able to spin this one much more consistently and really got into the rhythm. However, I had trouble plying it with the wheel. while it looked nicely twisted as it went in, it lost some twist as it wound on the bobbin. I adjusted things, but couldn't get it right. This will take a whole lot more practice!

Anyway, here it is. I think it will make a nice scarf anyway.

Emerald yarn
Today's mail brought two packages of fiber that I ordered a couple of weeks ago. From Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks, 2 ounces of Merino in the Moonstone colorway:

From Louet (via Paradise Fibers), Northern Lights roving in Teddy Bear.

Teddy Bear
Teddy Bear will be paired with this:

Pink Roving
for a Neapolitan experiment.

And, I actually did a little knitting, too. I worked on the toes for both RSC Grasshopper socks. I'm getting them both to the same point so I can transfer them to circulars to knit two at a time.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

introducing Sirena...

Sirena is Spanish (and Latin and Greek) for siren and can also mean "mermaid." The "siren" is particularly true because every time I look at her, I hear the siren's call of spinning.

I spent the good part of today learning about my wheel and spinning my first yarn. It took me a while to get the hang of drafting for the wheel. I tried drafting with each hand and figured out which one worked best for me.

Here is my first bobbin of yarn. I used the Corriedale combed wool top that Woodland Woolworks included in my shipment. I decided not to fill the bobbin completely because I wanted to try the plying flyer and I knew that some of the yarn was a little loose.

First bobbin of yarn
I had no problems treadling clockwise to spin the yarn, but had some trouble treadling counter-clockwise when I was plying. As I suspected, some of the early yarn was too loose and came apart. But I managed to get 10 yards of two-ply yarn. Here it is before it's bath:

First plied yarn
It's drying now and I'm taking a little break to do laundry and other mundane things.

Sirena is sitting by the sofa, and I already hear her calling...oh, boy, I'm in big trouble!

Friday, May 04, 2007

spinning in an Eye Candy Friday...

Here she is:

My new wheel
Isn't she pretty!! The maple wood is very smooth and sleek. Here's a close up of the wheel.

Wheel close-up
The stats:
Lendrum Folding Wheel purchased from Woodland Woolworks
Double treadle
Flyer ratios 6, 8, 10:1
Complete package included 4 - 4oz. bobbins, tensioned lazy Kate, fast flyer, and plying head
(see more info here)
As a bonus for ordering from Woodland, I picked a pair of Howard Brush cards (9 x 4-1/4”, 72 psi)
The wheel is very well made and she treadles like a dream!

I don't know why I decided the wheel was female, but she is. LOL! The only "things" I ever name are computers; I've never named my cars. However, this wheel needs a name, so I'll have to think on that.

Since I didn't have much time last night, I just put her together and mostly practiced treadling at the different whorl sizes. I did put a leader on and tried spin one of my remaining sample rovings, but I wasn't happy with the leader and couldn't get things going right. I think it was just too late at night. I'll have plenty of time this weekend to try things out.

Here's Sky Candy Friday picture as a little added bonus. Taken from my front yard at sunset:

Have a great weekend! (You know what I'll be doing!)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

It's HERE!!!

Look what UPS brought this morning...

UPS delivery
Need a clue?

what is it?

My spinning wheel is here!

Lendrum in a box
I am just dying to take it out of its box, but I don't think my boss (or my clients!) would appreciate it if I played with my wheel instead of doing work! LOL! And wouldn't you know, I have yoga class after work—I won't be able to do anything until I get home at 8:45!

I'll post pictures and stats tomorrow when I've had a chance to unpack it!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

April 2007 recap and Happy May!

Well, I did more in April than I thought. So although I was consumed with spinning and couldn't stay focused on knitting for very long, I did finish other things.

  • Navy and burgundy sample yarn (spinning)
  • Begin to Spin kit for my friend Jane (desktop publishing, video, spinning samples)
  • Spindle bag for Jane's kit (sewing)
  • Drawstring bag for my spindle and fiber (sewing)
  • Knit2 bag in butterfly fabric (sewing)
  • 2 pattern row counters (beading)
  • Knee High to a Grasshopper socks in Walking on the Wild Tide yarn from the BMFA Rocking Sock Club
Worked on:
  • Spinning 1/2 pound of Northern Lights 100% wool top in Grape Jelly; 10 spindle-fulls done and a lot still to spin
  • Keyboard Biologist's Here There Be Dragons pattern in BMFA Monsoon (knitting)
    These socks and yarn have parted ways and will resurface in another incarnation.
On Hiatus until I can face them again:In progress, but didn't work on:
  • Flip-top mittens (knitting)
  • Just Nan 2002 Christmas ornament (cross stitch)
  • Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  • Peekaboo mittens (knitting)
  • Queen Mermaid (cross stitch)
  • Sangria shawl (knitting)
  • Seahorses pillow (needlepoint)
  • Twinkletoes slippers (knitting)
  • Violet Needle Roll (cross stitch)
In May, my goal is to spend more time knitting. I'd like to make good progress on the Grasshopper socks and maybe pick up one of the other knitting projects that are in progress.

Eye Candy Friday...

...and rolling into a long baking weekend. I'm completely loving the skies and clouds. 11/30/18: 12/5/18: Today was a co-w...