Road Trip!

Just a little road trip, yesterday before the storms started up. We left about 8 in the morning and got home about 2 in the afternoon. Jim drove so I worked on my sock.

moon2

Past the heel turn and sailing down the foot now.

I just finished the singles of the Magic Trick a few minutes ago. Seems like it’s taken forever to spin, but considering how the weather has been the last week I shouldn’t be surprised.

magic2

I’ll probably ply it tomorrow morning. Right now the idea is to have a cook out with David and his family some time.

The road trip was to Bartlesville to pick up this.

norweigeian

The wheel, not the dog. Brandi has been here for a long time. The wheel is a walnut Reeves Norwegian. I did a little tweaking on the setup yesterday and spun up a little sample before the storms got close enough to make me stop and get dressed and help get the animals down in the shelter.

She spins as beautifully as she looks. Absolutely fabulous. I’ll probably sell my 19″ Reeves eventually, but right now I’ve got a project going on it that I want to finish. I’m trying to hold off starting a new spinning endeavor until I get through the two or more I’ve currently got on bobbins. This was about 30 minutes of work from last night and I can’t wait to do more.

testspin

Happy Memorial Day to all who have served, and to their families who have given so much to keep us free.

Posted in Socks, Spinning | 1 Comment

A Little Slower

I hadn’t been doing much fiber work this week because my elbow tentonitis has flared and I haven’t wanted to aggravate it. Then yesterday’s mail happened.

shipment

All goodies from Loop!, which I found irresistible. So all evening last night while we were watching the storms I spun.

magic

Since I took that picture I’m almost through the mustard. Not a color I like, but somehow when you finish one of these bumps it always looks right.

Did a little bit of knitting and finished the first of my socks that should be visible from the moon.

moon1

They don’t look very bright there, but trust me they are.

Now I’m going back to spinning.

Posted in Socks, Spinning, Stash Enhancement | 1 Comment

Can We Be Done Please?

There hasn’t been a whole lot of knitting this week because of the weather. We only put the animals in the storm shelter one evening, but we never climbed in and closed the cover. It was a very long, very stressful evening though. Other than that one evening there hasn’t been anything dangerous close to us, but holy shit has it rained. I’ve had to change my route to work because one culvert type bridge washed out. It’s not a big detour, and hopefully being the type of bridge it is it won’t take too long to replace. As many people as use that road every day I hope it’s pretty high on the repair list for the City. Also didn’t have to go to work for power outages, which I would have given you pretty good odds would have happened this week. Even though we weren’t in danger the rest of the week, thunderstorms mean scaredy dog/cat, which means being buried underneath them. Not conducive to knitting.

So what little I did knit this week was on the Dog’s Breakfast. For whatever reason I’m just happily working on it almost exclusively.

dogbreak2

I did finish up a test knit for the Six Sox group. No picture since it was a test. I also did a terrible job choosing yarn, so once I finished the gusset decreases I launched right into the toe shaping to be sure the directions were right. Once I’d gone through them I ripped that sucker. The yarn (a bamboo/merino/silk blend) will become some sort of slinky neckwear – probably a mobeius cowl.

So let’s talk spinning. From all sorts of directions.

This is a cell shot of a wee bit of Smokey’s fiber I combed Monday night. It’s an absolute joy.

smokeyclouds

I didn’t clamp the comb, just held them both then set the one with the fiber on it down on the cabinet to diz it off. Speaking of dizzing, this is the one I ordered from The Clay Sheep on Etsy.

diz

And while I was poking around I found these absolutely adorable stitch markers that I couldn’t resist. The little swirl came with the diz.

hedgehogs

I also got my 3D printed bobbin from Akerworks. It fits great, spins smooth, and I like it. I’ve got so many bobbins already I probably won’t order more unless they start making the jumbo ones.

akbob1

And I was just on a roll Friday night so I went ahead and spun the second half of the fiber too.

akbob2

It’s some swirl BFL from Unwind that I picked up the first year I went to SSK. I kind of forgot about the faster ratios on the Sonata’s regular flyer/bobbins, so my singles are pretty overspun. I plied them yesterday morning and gave them a soak, and they did soften up some. I wound up with about 244 yards from 4 ounces, so it should be a light worsted. Honestly I haven’t checked WIP to be sure.

fadedglory

I finished the little bit of Spotted Circus.

spottedfold

I’m curious how it will compare to the stuff I’m spinning short forward draw. I’ve decided I’m going to go ahead and spin up all the remaining fiber into singles, then ply it on the Sonata with the jumbo flyer on it. Maybe I can just get one really loooong laceweight skein out of it.

spottedbobbin1

So here’s hoping for a much quieter rest of storm season. I don’t mind the rain, and not even the thunder too much, but I’m really not a fan of visiting the storm shelter.

Posted in Dog's Breakfast, Smokey, Spinning | Leave a comment

The Dog’s Breakfast

The first time I heard the charming phrase “It looks like the dog’s breakfast” was in a class with Sally Melville. It loosely refers to a tossed together mess. Which is what this is.

dogbreak1

The yarn is all from a sock club I was in a few years ago. Unfortunately much of the yarn, while nice, was this sport weight stuff that’s only got limited sock use to me. I’ve been thinking about what to do with it for years, and had been thinking about starting some sort of modular thing for it. I finally decided to go ahead and do it. I’m knitting it together, and will do ends every row or two so they’re not too terribly overwhelming. I’m just grabbing a ball out of the supply bag, and when I get done I drop it in another bag. I’m trying to pay no attention to what winds up side by side. Yes, I still have a fingering weight throw working too. But this goes fast and it feels good to get it out of my stash.

The Hippie Hat got finished.

hippie2

I wasn’t crazy about it so I ripped it. But I had it in my head that the yarn needed to be a garter stitch hat (hmm, theme to my knitting lately?) so instead I made a Langfield.

langfield1

And it became a gift for Jim today.

langfield2

I got my new fleece, and it is lovely.

smokey1

smokey3

smokey2

The first batch is drying now. Nowhere near as much lanolin as Mia, which I expected since Mia is a Merino and Smokey is Border Leiciester. There is a whole lot more dirt in it of course, since he hasn’t worn a coat like Mia did.

Spinning wise I tried an experiment with a Merino/alpaca/baby camel/silk blend I’ve had in my stash for a while. I spun about 45 yards total from the fold. I’m not sure it was the right blend for that method, or if I was using the wrong wheel (the double drive Reeves, which I still struggle a little with in terms of takeup) but I didn’t enjoy it much. But this is the yarn, which I haven’t soaked yet.

scfold

And I have started the rest of the braid with my old standard short forward draw, and am much happier with the process. Plus I’m really enjoying working on the Reeves wheel.

scsfd1

And those combed nests I was struggling with last week?

mianests

Yeah, got it figured out. It’s not a speedy process but the outcome is amazing. I went ahead and mounted the comb on the edge of the counter, plus used a diz to pull off the finished fiber and it’s made a world of difference. I want to comb out a few more nests before I start spinning the stuff, but I think it will be a pretty awesome experience.

Of course now I’m thinking about a blending hackle. I look at my stash and think about how it would look if I did a little of this then a little of that and on and on and on. The obsessions never seem to end.

I know I’ve knit on other stuff in the last few weeks, but right now I couldn’t hope to say what they are.

Posted in Dog's Breakfast, Hats, Mia, Smokey, Spinning | 1 Comment

I WILL Get Better At This

You know, things dealing with fiber are generally pretty easy for me. For whatever reason, it normally just feels easy as soon as I get started.

That hasn’t been my experience yet with prepping raw fiber. I feel like I’m just fumbling around making a mess of things. I did a little more carding this week and feel a bit better about it, but I also ordered some combs and have been playing with them. Carefully playing.

combs

Those suckers are wicked sharp.

So you load them up with fiber like this (sorry about the blur, flashless)

combload

and then you comb the fiber and eventually wind up with a lovely little nest of fiber like this.

nest

They’re lovely airy little clouds, and I totally suck at making them. Part of it is I’m being so cautious because I really don’t want to stab myself on the combs, part of it is just plain awkwardness, and part is that I think I overprocessed my wool a little bit so it’s crazy flyaway. The bunch I washed this morning I eased off of a little and am hoping it’s clean enough to use without being quite so floofy. Not that I don’t want floof, but I need something a little easier to work with than what I have right now.

So no post last week because I went to Vegas with Mom. We saw Elton John in his very aptly named Million Dollar Piano show. It was 90 minutes of awesome. Mom was good, although her COPD is pretty hard on her. I took along the Ashworth

ashworth9

and the Sandbank

sandbank3

but I really didn’t do much knitting. Even on the planes I spent a great deal of time just staring out the window. I did finish the sixth Outlander book on the way home. Started on a Stephen King the next day – I’d forgotten how fast his books read.

Yesterday I was thinking about how many of the Rockin Sock Club kits I haven’t knit, and decided to look back at the last few years that have included a pattern other than socks and pick something out. I settled on a kit from 2013 and a hat pattern from Franklin Habit.

hippie1

Right now it’s a funny looking thing, but it’s going fast and will be a nice warm thing when it’s done.

What little spinning I’ve done has been with the Turkish. I’ve decided this fiber is a little too slippery for me and spindling, so the rest of it will be done on the wheel. So this is the cop (or turtle) on the spindle.

turtlefull

And this is what happens when you start taking the spindle apart.

turtleoff

When you take that last arm out, you’ve got a perfect little center pull ball to either knit, skein, or ply from. I’m going to go ahead and ply this, but I’m thinking about trying to spin the rest for a singles yarn. As much spinning as I’ve done, it’s all been plied.

Oh, and as for getting better with the fleece prep? I’d better hurry, because I’ve got a 5+ pound one coming next week.

Posted in Hats, Mia, Sandbank, Scarves, Spinning | 1 Comment