A Really Big Job Finished

Yesterday I got the last of Smokey washed. Hooray! Now I need to play with how I want to prep and spin it. There’s quite a bit of variation in the fleece, so it won’t be a single way.

And since I finished that one, I’ve got the first batch of the next fleece soaked and I’m just waiting for the kitchen to clear to do the wash. The funny thing? I knew I had a dark brown Shetland mix from Diamond B from last year. Turns out it’s Margo, who I also bought this year. I’m curious to see how different they might be. First glance shows last year was a bit darker. I really wonder how the texture will be.

Knitting wise, I’ve done a little more on the Wine Garden, but I’m still in the Blossoms chart so there’s really not much new to show.

I started a pair of socks when we went to KC. It’s one of the sock blanks from Gale’s club this year. This is the Happy New Year one.

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I also took along some fiber that’s been in my stash since 1999 when I bought my very first wheel. It’s pin drafted Corriedale, and I’m spinning it on my small Jeri Brock with the sea turtles.

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Turkish are bottom whorl spindles. The cool thing is that when you’ve loaded as much as you want on, you disassemble the spindle and are left with a neat little center pull ball. Most of the time with spindles you have to wind off onto a holding bobbin if you want to make more singles to ply.

Other spinning has been more work on the Merino sparkle.

mersparkle

Okay, it’s really because I’m having so much fun with the mS. I got a battery so I can use it even when I’m not near an outlet. Still considering a Zuca bag, but they’re pretty expensive. Even with the 25% military discount they offer.

Posted in Smokey, Socks, Spin the Bin 2016, Spinning | Leave a comment

Spectacular!

Everything about PlyAway was spectacular. The classes. The vendors. The organization (at least from what I saw).

And the haul. Oh gods the haul.

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You know, that doesn’t look so bad really. Well, except for that little jewel in the upper left.

That is a Hansen miniSpinner.

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Isn’t it gorgeous?

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I wasn’t even going to look at them, but I saw this one and it was just SO PRETTY.

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So I took Jim by to look at it and show how pretty it was, and he went “So why haven’t you bought it?” and whipped out his credit card. How can a girl say no?

I’m really enjoying it. I can sit back in my recliner and spin. Even Mom says it’s cool.

Another neat thing I got? This little sett sample tool.

sampleloom

It lets you weave a little test swatch without using nearly as much yarn as you’d use testing on the actual loom. Which, when you’re weaving with hand spun, is important.

But even with all the good stuff I bought? Check out the goodies from the goody bag!

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Technically that dark green over on the right came with the miniSpinner (hereafter known as the mS). But just LOOK at all those wonderful samples! And there are discount codes and yarn and just lots of awesome stuff.

Got coughanothercough fleece. This is Margo, from the Diamond B Sheep Farm.

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And Crackhead. And my flip flops holding down a corner of the sheet because it’s really freaking windy out there today.

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Margo is 75% Border Leicester, 25% Shetland, and there is some wonderful variety in this fleece. I think a bunch of these are destined to be flicked and spun straight from the lock.

margo1

Speaking of spinning, I took along another of my Spin the Bin bits to work on at PlyAway. This is a Spontaneous Spinning Cloud from Loop! in Aleutian Islands.

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The next couple of bobbins might just be these beauties that came in today. 🙂

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Oh, and the fiber on the mS is one of my STB fibers too, a sparkle braid from Frabjous Fibers that’s been in the stash for a while.

And for the ride up and back I knit on my Wine Garden. Since Penny busted me, you can see it now.

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The pattern is Kailyard, in the Vintage 387 colorway of Oak Barn Merino.

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I’m still on the Cold Sheep wagon, but it’s getting really really piled with pre-yarn.

Posted in Spin the Bin 2016, Spinning, Stash Enhancement, Wine Garden | 3 Comments

I Actually Sold It

Believe it or not, I sold one of my spinning wheels. I’d been thinking about it for a while, and finally decided to go for it. I posted an ad in the PlyAway group on Rav to deliver it at the event. Someone replied and was very excited. When I tried to set up the exchange, she said something about shipping.

WTF?

Turns out she apparently isn’t an active Raveler and had no idea I wasn’t offering to ship it. And I had made her a pretty good deal because it was easy. So a little work later, I came up with an appropriate S&H figure and off went the Joy. The Sonata stays.

Plus some money for the PlyAway market. 🙂

I have been working away on something, but if I showed it to you I’d be in trouble with Penny so I’m not going to let you see it. I did scour quite a bit of Smokey yesterday.

smokey0416

I’m almost done with him. Different parts of the fleece have different characteristics, so there is some sorting work to be done, but I’m ready to move on to the next fleece and to work on getting more of this ready to spin.

The other thing I’ve knit on this week is the Dog’s Breakfast blanket. Going to keep working away on adding squares after I finish in a row’s worth of ends.

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Yep, it’s ugly. But it will be warm. I thought about pitching it and sending off the yarn to Wool-Aid, but I’ve decided I want it for myself.

Probably no post next week, because we’ll be getting home from Kansas City on Sunday afternoon and I’ll need to do some chores when we get back. Mom will be taking care of my kiddos for me.

Posted in Dog's Breakfast, Smokey | 1 Comment

Made It Through

Another round of Sock Madness. LOTS of cable crosses on this sock, so my hands are pretty ready for a break.

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As you can see there’s a little extra room around the ankle, but since it’s a competition sock I couldn’t do any modifications. Although with this heel I don’t know how I would have done them anyway.

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But a cool looking design.

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Last Saturday we made a run down to Dallas. Jim had lunch with his daughter and her family, while I shopped DFW Fiber Fest.

I got another fleece. This is George, a first-shear (or hogget) Merino.

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I think it’s going to be some absolutely gorgeous fleece once it’s washed up and processed.

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There’s enough of it I may try some color blending with the white Mia from last year.

And believe it or not – I didn’t buy any yarn. Not one single yard.

Pre-yarn? That’s a WHOLE other story.

dfw2016

Honestly those Fiber Optic braids at the bottom? Those are the whole reason I went. I absolutely LOVE her stuff, and having the chance to go look and choose was more temptation than I could take. I do find it funny how so much of what I got is bright. Just like the sock yarn I bought the last few times I bought any.

120 days ago. Go me!

Posted in Finished Objects, Sock Madness, Socks, Spinning, Stash Enhancement | 1 Comment

Back To Feeling Productive

I know it’s been two weeks again, but I at least had good intentions last week. What got me was the second pattern for Sock Madness dropping right after I took pictures last Sunday. Since that’s what stopped me, that’s where I’ll start.

I did get through to the next round, despite working two overnight shifts last week. I have recovered from those now. But the socks – they had a fiddly but ultimately cool beaded, hemmed cast on.

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A nice Eye of Partridge heel

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And overall they’re neat socks. I haven’t decided yet if I’m keeping them or if I’m going to give them to Mom.

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Speaking of giving Mom things, there has been progress on her Sandbank. The little bronze safety pin marks the last time I took a picture.

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So what did I take pictures of last week? Fiber/spinning stuff. I got a Craftsy class called Fiber Preparation by Esther Rodgers and got very inspired. I highly recommend the class!

So I started with this fiber

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I took one of the braids and split it mostly by color. Then I mixed it all up on a new blending board.

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And I pulled off wonderful rolags to spin

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A little closer look

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Isn’t it gorgeous? And what a complete change from how it started! So I got going with spinning it on Sunday, but had to take a break when the sock pattern dropped. I got back to the spinning today.

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Rolags make for a lovely, fast, airy, woolen spin. I was thinking I’d leave the other braid as-is and spin it with my usual comfy short forward draw, but I’m liking how this is coming out so much that I may go ahead and blend it up too. As usual I have no idea what I might make with it, but I’m having a great time spinning it.

I also started a scarf using a pattern from the Spring Knitty. It grabbed me the minute I saw it, and when I went through my stash entries I found the perfect yarn to work with.

pincha1

That flat horizontal bit at the upper right will be the curving top inner edge. It does require paying some attention, so after I finished the socks yesterday I just worked on Mom’s Sandbank instead of it.

I don’t think the next Sock Madness pattern will drop before next Sunday, but if it does you won’t see me.

Posted in Finished Objects, Gifts, Sandbank, Scarves, Sock Madness, Socks, Spin the Bin 2016, Spinning | 1 Comment