Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Day 11

Well, this is what I've been spinning since Saturday. I pulled out one bump of "Selfish" and it seems to be determined to be spun so finely it'll probably take me another two days to finish the singles and ply. I didn't get much time to spin this weekend though, or today for that matter. Between my sister this weekend and helping someone move today, I'm exhausted. If I can stay awake long enough maybe I'll spin a bit more tonight.

Anyway, here's the first bobbin all posed for it's close up.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Day Seven, End of Week One!!!!

Today looks almost exactly like yesterdays, just better coils and better pictures. :)



A little skein of leftovers from the batt plied with leftover SCF singles from day one:


And the basket:


At the end of week one I calculated I've spun about 24 ounces of fiber (mostly worsted or chunky yarns of course). How much has everyone else spun?

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Day Six:

When I first signed up and saw that there were two "rest" days, I remember thinking I'd just spin through them. Who needs a rest day anyway? Me apparently. Now I'm looking ahead to Monday with fondness and dreams of doing absolutely nothing....

Today's spin:


One strand is half of a batt from [suzie](person) at Giffordables, the other is some Mohair blend from Sheep Shed I dyed neon green. I still have the other half of the batt and more of the green, so tomorrow will probably look much like today.


I added in a couple coil-ey thingies as I plied which look okay (some better than others, lol).

And the Tour basket is getting crowded:


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Day Five:

Spinning was painful today, lol. I'm going to have to spend more time stretching and resting instead of obsessively pedaling.

Finished and plied all 4 oz of Champagne. Too tired to count yardage, but got some nice pictures before the light was all gone. (they're fuzzier than I thought they'd be... I must have moved or something...)



Aaaaaand all my tour skeins together hanging out:

Day Four:

Less spinning today than I'd hoped for, but I enjoyed every second and will probably spin another hour or two tonight. I'm posting before I lose my steam. :)


2 ounces of Spunky Club "Champagne" to be a 2 ply fingering weight sock yarn. It's funny, I missed this colorway by a month (my first month was January) and I remember thinking I was glad I hadn't joined before because the colors weren't me at all. Then after I'd seen it spun up.... I wound up buying 8 oz off of someone. I think it was the first time I realized how spinning changes the roving. Now that I've branched out color wise a lot over the months, Champagne is one of my favorite club colors ever!

And here's today's spinning with everything I've done so far. I'm going to keep taking progress pictures of the whole tour's spinning progress together (although I'm going to have to switch to a larger basket soon, I think!).


Monday, July 06, 2009

Day Three:

Finished today in time for the last of the natural daylight for picture taking. Yay!. Posting my progress each day really pushes me to spin a little longer and finish things so I can post skeins instead of bobbins.


I finished spinning the singles and plied my 6 ounces of Merino/Tencel I picked up last year at Rhinebeck (if anyone wants to know where it's from I think the info is in my stash). Approx. 281 yards (yay!).The shine is just so glorious I can't help staring at it.


I still had 4 ounces of Spunky Club "Pansy" left, and I tried my hand at thicker singles. That was a lot of fun and I love the way it looks so I'm sure I'll be doing it again, probably during the Tour too. 193 yards.


Sunday, July 05, 2009

Day Two:

Here's today's spinning, 4-5 ounces of Merino/Tencel I picked up last year at Rhinebeck. I have 6 ounces total, but didn't quite make it through it all today. My shoulders are yelling at me and my left hand isn't too happy either.

Tomorrow I'll finish spinning up the singles and ply them. I've never spun Tencel before, even in a blend, so this was fun. I decided to keep trying for worsted-ish weight, but every time my mind wanders it turns to thread. I'd better do some sock yarn next so I don't have to concentrate so hard, lol.


Saturday, July 04, 2009

Tour de Fleece Day One:

Today's progress: Finished spinning up my June SCF/Irises (I'd only spun an ounce or so beforehand). I wanted to spin something thicker for a change, and reached my goal with worsted-ish weight and approx. 225 yards, pre-bath at least. Apparently I was doing something right today because it's super airy and squishy. :)

Then I wound the last of my May Spunky Club/Pansy singles into a center pull ball and plied those up into a mini-skein. That was.... annoying. I'll have to try that wrapping around your wrist thingy/technique (highly technical I know) with my next leftover singles or bite the bullet and practice n-plying again even though I hate doing it on the wheel.

Anyway, glad I got a lot done today, I'm sure there will be days I won't feel like doing much so I'm going to get as much done as possible while I'm motivated!


Wow, the colors look awful in that pic. LOL. I'm too tired to try again, so that will have to do for day 1.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Yes, another post! (Look at me, being a responsible blogger!)

And now you can literally look at me, interviewed in a video podcast from Lets Knit2Gether. I'm the first person interviewed, giggling nervously and blushing like mad.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I won! I won!

My second shawl out of my own handspun (if you want to see pictures of my finished Swallowtail I posted progress pics of before, you'll have to go to my ravelry projects page) won the Phat Fiber Spring Competition. I was soooo excited, I bounced around the house like I was thirteen, giggling like an idiot.




This was fingering-ish weight singles I spun out of a Coopworth/Llama blend I got from Wild Hare Fiber Studios. This fiber practically spun itself and the singles came out so shiny! I literally finished the shawl and blocked it hours before the deadline. As soon as it was dry and the pins were out I presented it to a friend of mine who had been admiring it the whole time I was spinning/knitting it. She's so funny, she wanted to wear it that night but had to be prodded into it because it was supposed to rain and she was afraid of getting it wet.

One of my prizes arrived this week. A free Phat Fiber box! This was the main reason I was so excited I won, because I wasn't going to be able to afford one for the second month in a row and getting a box is just so much fun.


I'll try and write about everything, for the people who didn't get a box this month, or who maybe haven't been able to get one at all.

First off, the fiber:


(left to right, top to bottom)

-A generous 1/2 ounce Giffordables batt. This was the first time I've gotten a sample from this shop, although I ordered a few full size batts about a month ago. These batts are just giant! Even the sample is huge.

-Another generous sample, a full 1 oz Merino/Bamboo blend roving from Portland Fiber. I can't wait to spin this stuff up, its so soft and beautiful.

-A muslin bag full of washed, dyed, and precarded Texel Wool from Desert Garden Farms. The colors are fabulous and the little bag is adorable.

-A sparkly batt from BeesyBee. containing Wensleydale, Mohair, Suri Alpaca, and Angelina. Gorgeous shades of pinky purple.

-Merino Wool in shades of blue from Maude & Me. I have never seen such gorgeous shades of blue all in one piece of roving.

-A Merino sample from Feeling Sheepish, which is as usual, gorgeous. If you scroll down to my entry about my last box, you'll see this was the fiber my cat found absolutely irresistable. In fact I also won a gift certificate to the Phat shop of my choice, and this was the shop I picked. :)

-Hand Painted Organic Wool Top and felted flower from Wild Hare Fiber Studios. This super cute flower is destine to become a button on a cardigan one of these days.

Next up, the yarns:


-Handspun (? I think?) wool and nylon blend from Sheepshape Spinning. Very squooshy.

-Purple BFL from Snicklefritz Yarn Co. The colorway is Blueberry pie and as soon as I read that the yarn started looking yummy as well as beautiful.

-Sooper Squoosh (their title, not mine) Handspun and hand dyed Corriedale from Black Tie Fiber Arts. They named it right, there's a lot of squoosh in this skein.

-Dyed By Danido Ramboulliet Handspun. The colors are so beautiful in this yarn. She really has a talent for spinning thick and thin yarns, mine never look this good!

-Superwash Wool and Bamboo sock yarn from Polyartgirl Designs. The color saturation and softness is just awesome. Plus, I'm not quite sure why, but however she twisted her skeins, they look so perfect and almost braided. I'm going to hate to untwist this one!

-Chance sock yarn in "Tulip (verigated)" from Serendipitous Ewe. There's something about these colors that I'm so in love with. Maybe it's the retro avacado green.

-Last but definately not least, luxury handspun from Fiber Friendzy. This has merino/cashmere/CAMEL!/and silk noil in it. This yarn is shiny and soft beyond belief. Plus it's pink. 'Nuff said.

The miscellaneous:


-A beautiful needle case was holding all my business cards and coupons.

-Double Helix fingerless gloves pattern. I'm definitely going to be knitting a pair or two of these up for the fall.

-Small KIP bag from Rudawg. I'm totally fascinated by how a simple plastic pony bead works so well with the drawstring. (I'm so easily amused)

-Stitch markers from Black Tie Fiber Arts, Twice Sheared Sheep, Baby Dragon Jewelry, and Girl on the Rocks. All gorgeous and destined to be used with future projects.

Phew! I'm really tired now, so I'm going to be lazy and not link everyone's shops. Just google them. Maybe I'll fix it later, but right now I'm outta here.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Lots of pictures today! Partially because someone on ravelry taught me how to use the Macro setting on my camera, and partially because I can!

Yesterday I finished spinning singles for the Spunky Club SAL/KAL out of some beautiful Shetland I got from Spunky Eclectic in "Brain Freeze". The first 2 oz of singles were underspun, and had to go through the wheel twice, breaking a couple of times. I was annoyed and took it out on them with a vigorous hot/cold wash and whacked out my frustration on them. (Quite theraputic) The crazy picture at the top of the post is what the second 2 oz looked like after I took them off the niddy noddy and before their matching bath and beating.

I even took the obligatory picture with a penny (if you can see through the grime, it was the only one I could find) so you can see how thin it is. I'm calling it laceweight. (I really need to get a WPI guage, for now I'm just eyeballing things)

As soon as the singles were dry I cast on for my very first lace weight shawl:

I'm really loving the challenge. I've only knit a little bit using yarn this thin, and this is my own yarn! And I've done lace, but I've never done laaaaaaace, ya know? So this is all new and exciting and therefore taking extra long because I keep pausing every couple of rows to admire and giggle like I'm twelve.

This is what I made from my Christina Marie Potter corriedale fiber I got a few posts ago. I spun each of the colors seperately and plied them together in my very first 3 play. I estimate this to be about sport weight and was approx 230 yards before the wash. I'm hoping it's enough for socks, it's been awhile since I've knit socks out of yarn this thick so I'm not sure of yardage requirements. Toe-up is my friend. :)

And last but DEFINATELY not least is a semi-clear picture of the goodies I got in the mail today from North Star Alpacas that does not do justice to this beautiful fiber! I have 4 oz of handdyed Alpaca/Wool/Mohair and 2 oz of natural black alpaca. That's a pretty notecard at the bottom featuring one of the contributers of this black fiber that is so soft I just want to curl up and nap with (if I didn't think it would hurt the fiber either from smooshage or drool). Maple sends a lovely sachet that smels divine with all her packages and she sent me a little packet of un-washed alpaca (bottom, right corner) to try.

Let me tell you, I'm pretty sure those alpacas are cleaner (and smell better) than me! I can't believe this is UN-washed fiber! It's so soft! And fluffy! I can't wait to spin this up. There will definately be unwashed alpaca in my future, I can see (and smell! it.

And if you made it this far I am off to work on my shawl. Castle is on in twenty minutes and I must drool over my Nathan Fillion. *pets pretty Nathan and throws one more picture into the post before I go....*

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Zebisis Designs

I seriously doubt there are many people out there who haven't heard of Zebesis Designs, but on the off chance that you haven't, this is the place to get some of the most beautiful spindles I have ever seen.

Example A:

Gorgeous, huh? As if that's not awesome enough, she also sells fiber. I was lucky enough to get a silk sample in my Phat Fiber box (see previous entry) and the stuff is amazingly soft. I haven't been able to stop petting it long enough to spin it.

If I hadn't just got my Joy I would be so tempted by the club too. She has a spindle and fiber club, which I think is the coolest idea.

Friday, March 20, 2009

My March Phat Fiber Box arrived today!!!

It really was a great month for samples. I think everything was extra fluffy because the box seemed extra full, although when I counted there was about the same number of samples as I got last month. It just feels bigger.

The yarn:

Top left corner is two samples of cotton from Sheeps of Egyptian Cotton. Soft and super beautiful. They also included a bag of tea which I promptly passed on to my mom, the tea drinker in this house.

Bottom left corner is handspun from Simply Twisted Yarn. I'm not sure what fiber it is but it has a fabulous sheen.

Next to that is handspun from Melissa's Kre8tions. I love the blues and greens in this skein.

More handspun from Artemisia Ink Studio Arts. Corridale-Merino cross wool, undyed. This stuff is so fluffy it feels like Fleece!

Hand dyed Wool and Mohair yarn from Plum Crazy Ranch and Fiber Art. (is it just me or is it impossible to find on this site where to buy anything?)

And last of the yarn, but definately not least is some sock yarn in "Crock O Gold" from Sweet Pea Fibers. Very soft, as well as a fairly large sized sample. I can't wait to knit this one up.

Calizona Designs is in the yarn picture too, but they deserve their own seperate section. My envelope included stitch markers, a sample skein of yarn, a knitted headband pattern, a beautiful pendant, and a $10 Gift Certificate!!

The Fibers:

I let out a little squeal when I realized I had a fiber sample from Zebisis Designs (bottom right corner, pink). I've admired her spindles for months and the silk top with noil sample is divine. I absolutely can not wait to spin this up.

The soft green all the way to the left is from Tactile Fiber Arts. There are two naturally dyed colors of BFL fiber. Super soft!

Second to the left is a braid of wool top from Feeling Sheepish. (if you scroll down, there's a picture of my cat right after he gave it a big lick. Apparently Feeling Sheepish top is kitty approved) It's soft, squishy, and the colors are amazing! I will definately be placing an order in this shop sometime in the future.

The green braid of fiber is from cloudlover. The colorway is "Loch Ness" and it's Hand Painted BFL wool. Wonderfully squishable and lovely shades of green.

All the way to the right is a 1/2 ounce of BFL locks from Altered Visions. Great colors. They look all fluffy and ready to spin, no flicking necessary.

Okay, top left hand corner is a little ball of roving from Natchwoolie. The color is hard to describe, almost a greenish brown (in a good way, hehe). I love the way it's tied with handspun into a little ball.

Top right is a batt form Artemisia Ink Studio Arts. (Huh, I just realized through typing everything up that I got handspun from there too) Soft grey/blue/purple colors, merino wool and grey mohair blend. 3/8 oz in "March Storms" Really pretty, I'm looking forward to spinning this as well.

In my little envelope of business cards and coupons was this little gem:

There's a little debate going on in my family as to whether the animal is supposed to be a poodle or a black sheep (I say sheep). It's a beautiful stitch marker from Yarndemon Designs that is so beautiful I just might put it on a chain as a pendant.

While I looked through the box Mr. Muggles (our very own Blog Kitty) lay across the box top and observed and cast his approval over things.

As mentioned above, he particularly loved the braid of fiber from Feeling Sheepish. He gave it a good lick just before this picture was taken.

When I attempted to nudge him off to close everything back up in it's box, he objected strongly.

Yes, those are claws digging into the cardboard. Apparently he decided it was his box. (When he wasn't looking I yanked it out from under him)

Phew! Okay, I think I got everyone. There were a couple of patterns in my box too, but it's too hard to take pictures of those without giving away the instructions. :P

Anyway, I love everything (although I might try and trade for a shawl pin and/or a cupcake stitch marker) and am very happy I managed to snag a box this month. I don't know if I'll be able to for a couple months, but I reccomend anyone who can get one of these. It's more fun than you can imagine!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

One Week Anniversary...

I've had my Joy for exactly a week now. Still haven't picked a perfect name yet, she's just 'the wheel'. Yet somehow I know she's a she. Go figure.

I'm so in love. I love that I can easily spin and ply four ounces of fiber in a day as opposed to a week or two. I figured while I was still getting fairly thick yarn I should work on spinning the stuff I want to be worsted-ish weight, quick, before all I can spin is lace like on the spindle. :)

Upstairs I have drying 3 skeins of worsted/bulky yarn that started out as 12 oz of Spunky Eclectic Wool Blend in "Poison". No finished pictures, but I do have a couple of progress shots:

I'm still waiting on packages, one with 6 pounds or so from Sheep Shed Studios (3 pounds Coopsworth Locks, 1 pound Punta Roving and 2 pounds of Mill Ends) as well as more bobbins (I'm discovering the need for millions of them) and this month's Phat Fiber box.

On the off chance you haven't heard of Phat Fiber, I highly reccomend you visit their website and/or Ravelry Group. It's worth all the effort you put forth trying to get one, constant refreshing and hysterical clicking when they show up in the store... I was sure I wasn't going to get one this month, but figured I'd try, just in case. Low and behold, I wound up with one. I think my OCD pays off when it comes to things like this. I'll show off my goodies when they come.

One package that came last week from ChristinaMariePotter:

From top to bottom (all Corridale): Twilight inspired, Cylon inspired, and my personal favorite: Fruity Oaty Bars, a Firefly inspired colorway. I was a little surprised when I got them (partially because the Cylon looked pink instead of red in the pictures, although it said red in the listing). Each 4 oz braid (or 6 oz in the case of Fruity Oaty Bars) is 3 seperate colors of fiber braided together. Now that I think about it, they look way too perfect for a handpaint, but nevertheless I didn't realize that.

However, the more I thought about it, the more excited I was. I'm going to break out of my comfort zone even more with these. As soon as I get more bobbins I'm going to try a real live 3 ply with the Twilight colors.

Many more spinning pictures to come!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

*dust off blog*

Hey look! I'm alive! Ravelry kept me busy for a full year and a half, but it's about time I get back to blogging. If anyone's out there, hi! Welcome! Comment so I'll remember to blog more.

Two very special packages arrived today. I'll start with the less exciting one:

... which is actually pretty exciting. A large order from Spunky Eclectic (which took me about four hours to get due to everyone overloading the site when Amy updated). From left to right there are 4 oz braids of: Organic Merino in Lucas, Shetland in Brain Freeze, Orchard, and Mandy, and Panda in Burning Ember.

The reason that is the less exciting package? See what else came:

MY FIRST WHEEL!!!!! A double treadle Ashford Joy I ordered from Carol over at Sheep Shed Studios. I'm a little excited in case you can't tell.

Anyone who's seen all the fiber I've ordered this week has probably figured out that I think this wheel is going to make spinning faster. However, I was living under the happy delusion that after mastering the drop spindle the wheel would be a breeze.

I was a tad bit wrong. Like learning to spin on a drop spindle, knit for the first time, ect, it feels like you're an elephant trying to do ballet. Awkward. There's all this.... stuff... going on. The wheel turns. It turns two ways actually, and it's easy to mix up which way it's supposed to be going. The flyer... moves. Yarn falls off the hooks. The leader gets sucked through the orafice, sans fiber.

All this produces:

Lumpy bumpy "why-no-I've-never-spun-before-even-on-a-spindle" yarn.

Not that I'm complaining, mind you. After all, it's a spinning wheel. A spinning wheel I wouldn't have been able to afford without what I affectionately call "The Bank of Mommy*" (*The Bank of Mommy not available in all areas. Subject to exceptions. Interest may include cleaning of bathrooms) However, I guess I had some unrealistic exceptions.

Tomorrow will be a new day, a day I can spend most of spinning on my new wheel (which needs a name, btw. Suggestions, anyone?).

Maybe I'll master drafting on the wheel before the other two packages of fiber I'm getting arrive.