A Big Old Pi

I’ve made it through the final increase for my Kailyard, aka Wine Garden. That means I’m knitting 1,024 stitches per round.

1,024 is not a typo.

The nice part is I’ve knit the first patterned round, and I came out even at the end. It’s also a pattern that makes it easy to check if you’ve missed a yarn over on the subsequent plain round. After the first round of patterning I can read my knitting and see if I’m off track somewhere.

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The little puckered up hole with the tail hanging off over to the left is actually the center of the shawl. I’ll snug that up before I block it. I think I’ve decided for sure that I’m going to use the grey for the border, to give me a nice rock wall around my Wine Garden.

Speaking of protecting things, we have a pair of cardinals nesting in the back yard. Unfortunately they chose to use a bush instead of a tree. Not a huge surprise, they like fairly dense cover. The bad part is that while Brandi hasn’t figured out they’re there yet, once their babies hatch and start cheeping it will all be over because she’ll have no trouble reaching them.

Enter my awesome husband.

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That can come down in less than a month from what we’ve been able to figure out. The eggs hatch in 9-13 days, then the babies actually fledge and leave the nest in about 11 days. It’s so hard to not go poking around in there to see what’s going on, but I don’t want to disturb the birds. Honestly if it were sparrows we probably wouldn’t bother, but we both love seeing the bright red cardinals flitting around in the trees and visiting the feeders. We’ve been seeing more of them the last couple of years, and hope that continues.

I had a really busy fiber day yesterday. I scoured three batches of Margo, and have probably finished over half the fleece already. I haven’t been bagging the locks, so I’m able to do more in each batch. I also processed the second 4 ounce braid of Falkland on the blending board, and made lovely fluffy rolags out of it. I actually go them all spun up, and am ready to ply.

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Thinking I’ll knit through the ball game and do the plying tonight. There are a couple of huge thick Rib Eyes in the fridge for dinner, and since my stomach is growling that may come sooner rather than later today.

Posted in General, Kailyard, Spin the Bin 2016, Spinning | 1 Comment

It’s Not Boring To Me

My only showing one spinning project might seem boring to you, but it’s certainly not to me. I finished all the singles of the Aleutian Islands.

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And then I plied them.

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And then I washed and snapped and thumped on them a little and got this lovely yarn.

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There’s about 430 yards in total. But it’s poofy, so even though 215-ish yards for 4 ounces sounds about worsted, it’s actually more of a bulky.

One of these days I’ll start knitting with some of this stuff, but for now I’m happy petting it.

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

The Last Of The Goodies

During PlyAway one of the new-to-me vendors was YarnGeek. Her fiber is so amazingly fluffy, and had such gorgeous colors, I had to have some. I got this one there.

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And she had another color I loved but not enough of it to suit me. So I ordered it and it came last week.

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That is gorgeous, lovely, soft Falkland. There’s 16 ounces of it, which should be enough for me to knit up a sweater. I’m having a really hard time not starting on it, but I’m going to try to hold it off for a Tour de Fleece project this year. Since Jim is driving us to Wisconsin for Camp I can work in the Jeep using the mS. I’m going to pull the 16 ounces of Coopworth out of my Bin and replace it with this.

I’ve spun more than I’ve knit this week, but what knitting I have done has been on the Wine Garden, aka Kailyard. I’m almost through three of the five repeats of the Blossom chart, which is the next to last before starting the border.

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Of course being a pi shawl, the number of stitches and number of rows to knit double for the last section, so I’m just getting close to the second skein of yarn. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to play yarn chicken or if I’m going to use some gorgeous grey in my stash to put a rock wall around my garden. I’ll figure it out when I get there.

I finished the Merino sparkle from Frabjous.

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My singles came out really uneven, so I just wound off the leftover into a center pull ball. I may or may not ever do anything with it, we’ll see. I wound up with 530+ yards of a lace weight yarn. It’s a fractal, and I’ve got my eye on a Knitty pattern from a couple of years ago for it.

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As of this morning I had finished off the first four ounces of this lovely Loop spinning cloud.

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I thought I’d spin for a little while this afternoon, then wound up filling a whole bobbin during the Cards game. I’ve still got about 2 ounces to spin, then I’ll ply it off on the mS. Those ginormous bobbins should hold the whole 8 ounces no problem.

Happy Mother’s Day to those of you it applies to!

Posted in Kailyard, MOTI2016, Spin the Bin 2016, Spinning, Stash Enhancement, Wine Garden | 1 Comment

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.

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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.

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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