Category Archives: fiber

Birthdays and Bags

About 3 years ago, a close friend of mine decided to try her hand at knitting. We were living in different areas at the time, so it wasn’t my influence that encouraged her. She has been progressing very well with her knitting lately. When I think about it, I try to send her a yarn or knitting related gift. I saw a pin on pinterest the other day of a knitting emergency box, and immediately thought it would be great. It’s not expensive or time-consuming, but it is super cute. Thoughts?

Knitting Emergency

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, I want one for myself, but why would I put yarn into a box for myself? It’s not like I already have an unhealthy collection, and I doubt J would let me display a case of yarn on the wall. Although, if I did one in our living room colors…

My other project lately is working on bags for my business. It has officially moved over to www.rock-solid-designs.com Anyway, I wrapped up a prototype for a padded project bag today.

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Later this week I want to try my hand at a padded box bag, and padded spindle bag.  I’m also going to work on a wallet to match this purse I made last week.

In the meantime, my knitting is still all J’s socks, all the time. I’m starting to really wonder if I will get this thing done in time for his birthday in May. 

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As Summer comes to an end…

It’s been a busy past couple of weeks. I keep meaning to come back to the blog and give an update, but I always feel guilty for showing up without any photos to show progress on things. So much has gone on since my last post!

First up, a summary of my 2012 Tour De Fleece efforts. I did a lot better than last year, managing to spin at least 3 days a week, but I didn’t do as well documenting my progress. I  finally plied my Cinderella colorway. It looks pretty neat. I spun up each bobbin randomly, so there are places where it’s all white, or all dark blue, but I think it will give the finished knit item a nice appearance. (Remind me of this post when I go to knit something and it turns out horrible looking). It’s approximately 300yds, although it has fluffed up to probably a DK weight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I spun about 3oz of a mohair/wool blend I purchased at Knitter’s Day Out in 2010. It’s a nice teal and purple blend, and it has been spinning up wonderfully. I don’t know why I didn’t finish up the remaining 3 oz yet- I guess I am just too lazy to get my wheel out and work on it lately. One bobbin- full is 30z, but I am torn between doing a 2ply when it is all done, or doing a navajo ply for each bobbin. 

 

 

 

 

 

My big accomplishment in the past few weeks though, was finally finishing this shawl. It’s the Rose Lace Stole from the Spring 2011 Interweave Knits. It is an easy pattern, and 75% of it is just straight knitting with a few yarnovers. I just couldn’t bring myself to finish this shawl. It was the same thing over and over, and completely mind-numbing. It was supposed to be finished in time for my wedding, but that obviously fell through. It will now be a birthday/Christmas gift for my mother-in-law. She is always complaining about how cold she is, so I know she will appreciate this. I’m just glad I can finally mark another project “completed” in my mental knitting checklist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tomorrow I am off to enter a few items in the Maryland State Fair. Later this week I’ll share what my latest sewing projects have been, and give reviews of everything I am sending down to the fair. I think I have a good shot of winning at least one ribbon this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in fiber, knitting, roving, shawl, spinning, Tour De Fleece, Uncategorized, wool, yarn | Tagged | Leave a comment

Spin a Yarn

A month goes by way too fast. I’ll admit, part of it is me being a complete slacker, but it’s been busy the past few weeks. Three weekends ago we went up to the lakehouse where I fully intended to take amazing and awe-inspiring photos of my works in progress. I got one.  It was a very busy weekend!

I finished up the 1oz art batt I was working on. It’s probably 100yds of singles. I have no idea what I will do with it. This wasn’t my favorite stuff to work with- there was still a lot of grease in the fiber, and sections of the merino seemed a bit felted. I am moderately pleased with the final product, though.

(Note- it’s more pink than orange in real life.)

 

Next up, some wool/mohair/angelina blend. I don’t think I have any in progress photos of it, but I did spin some of it up into an art yarn last year, documented in this blog post.  I got about 62 yds of worsted weight, 2 ply yarn. it’s nice and squishy. I learned a lot on this fiber. One: semi-felted wool sucks, and Two: I need to put more twist into my singles. I seem to habitually undertwist my singles, and it makes plying more challenging than it needs to be.

 

 I also worked on a similar fiber with a heavier spindle. This one had way more felted sections, and sometimes I felt like I was fighting with the fiber. The colors were so vibrant though, I almost forgot what a pain in the butt it is to spin. 

The rest of this month (all 5 days of it) will be spent getting bobbins and spindles cleared off for the start of Tour De Fleece 2012. Hopefully that means pictures of more finished yarns to come!

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To Boldly Knit

I know my last post was all about new patterns I want to sew, but lately I seem to have a greater desire to knit. I have a number of projects I want to finish, and they seem to just drag. on. My purse sock, for instance, still isn’t ready to have the heel turned on it, and I have  been working on this sock for four months now. It’s like a black hole of sock knitting! Maybe it’s just imploding on itself due to it’s properties.

This sock is Viper Pilots (Ravelry link), knit out of Woolen Mill St Yarns Star Trek (it seems to be a discontinued colorway), worked on mostly while watching Stargate Atlantis. Maybe the problem is there is so much sci-fi coolness knit into this sock, that it just implodes from all the awesome? That can be the only explanation for 3 inches of a sock taking four months.

These are going to be J’s birthday/wedding/Christmas socks. Maybe I’ll get them done by the end of the year.

 

 

 I have spent the rest of my time getting ready for this years Tour De Fleece. I decided to finish spinning up some Corriedale I have been working on for about 6 months. I finally have two bobbins full, and now I just need to ply them. The fiber is also from Woolen Mill St Yarns, in her Cinderella colorway. What can I say, the woman does impressive dye jobs. I can’t buy enough of her stuff.

(I also got a new lightbox to play with. I’ll figure out optimal settings with it eventually.)

 

 

 

 

Once I finished spinning those singles, I started on an art batt I bought at Wool Gathering in OH last year from Roving Acres.It’s a 1 oz art batt consisting of Alpaca, Merino, silk noils and angelina. It’s been a little difficult to spin up. I am not sure I enjoy art batts. They seem to have a mind of their own on what they want to be, and no amount of wrangling will make them anything else. The singles are turning out awful pretty though. I’m sure the final yarn will convince me I love art batts and need hundreds more and that wasn’t really troublesome, was it?

 

 

 

 


 

 

This past week was J’s birthday. I don’t know if you guessed from the theme of his socks above, but he is a bit of a sci-fi fan. Every year I make him a special birthday cake, and this year we went with a Star Trek Theme. It’s just a basic chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting, but he loved it (and ate most of it. I would be more hurt if I liked frosting).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I doubt this week I will actually get some sewing done, but hopefully I can make a sizable dent in that sock and my spinning.

Posted in cake, fiber, knitting, roving, spinning, wool, yarn | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

I am in love

I finally did it. I bought a spinning wheel.

About 10 months ago, I visited my Aunt Marie while in Columbus. (She’s the one with the alpacas. I’ve mentioned her, right?) Anyway, while there, she sat me down with a spindle and some alpaca fiber, and right then and there, insisted I learn how to spin.

I was hooked. It was so much fun! within a few months, I bought a drop spindle of my own, and was spinning like crazy with fiber she gave me. As great as that was though, it’s hard to produce any sort of large quantity on a spindle quickly. so, I started looking into buying a wheel this summer.

I had a few that I was considering. I wanted something relatively compact, since I live in a one bedroom apartment. I also wanted something that looked classy though. I know the look doesn’t affect the spinning, but it does affect me. I stalked Craig’s List, Ravelry, anything I could find where people were selling their wheels (apparently, it’s easier for me to validate spending a ton of money on something second-hand, than paying $100 more for something brand-new. Don’t ask why).

about a month ago, someone posted about this Kromski Sonata. She was perfect: compact, walnut finish, beautiful woodwork, plus they were selling her with a woolie winder and extra bobbins. Score!

so, I’ve been playing with her a lot. Here is my first singles done on this wheel:

and, here are my second singles. This is a merino top, beautiful blue and purple. It’s so beautiful, I just couldn’t stop spinning it!

I have finished filling that bobbin now. Hopefully next week I will have some plied and set yarn to show off!!

Oh, right. I have still been knitting too. Still working on the Blackrose sock. Imagine the first sock, halfway done. Thats how far I am in the second sock.

I am also working on some mittens for my partner in the Lazy Spinners Swap. Halfway done one hand, so I am hoping to have those done by Thanksgiving. (wish me luck!)

And finally, the Marine Corps Ball is this weekend. So, genius me, at 5pm yesterday, decided I wanted to knit a swallowtail shawl to wear with my gown. 4 days is totally doable, right? Yeah. I can do it. I just need to stay dedicated. And give up sleep. Totally reasonable.

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