Over Committed

That’s me. Not anything really major, just lots of smallish stuff. So you only get one project picture and some wool porn today.

This is the Tunesian Crochet scarf I started last week. It hasn’t got a whole lot of work because of those other commitments, but I like it. I did modify the pattern to make it narrower, which meant I changed the location of the open squares. This yarn has way more drape than what was used for the original, so I really don’t want that many since they’ll just sort of sag around.


I ordered a semi-obscene amount of white Shetland to spin a few weeks ago when Paradise Fibers had it on sale. On a really, really good sale. When I had no merchandise and no update after 2 weeks I sent an email. I got no answer in 4 days, so I hit them up on their live chat to ask what was going on. They told me they had changed computer systems and I must have been lost in the shuffle. Since I’ve gotten great service from them before, I choose to believe that. Anyway, they upgraded the shipping, and when I said something about trying to expand my spinning horizons Rachel said she’d toss something in that would blow me away.

Holy shit.


It may not be much to look at, but it’s absolutely unbelievable. When I stick my hand down into the bag I almost have to look to see if I’m touching the fiber yet. I have never, ever felt anything so soft and ethereal. I know I’ve gushed about how soft some other fibers are before, but this is just on another plane. It’s 50% bamboo, 30% Merino, 10% bison, and 10% cashmere. I was actually planning on spinning some of this up before I ordered more, but I just went to verify the content and it’s on sale for 50% off. I may be in trouble.

A couple of other quick wooly things and I’m off to do other stuff. I didn’t plan this, but apparently I’m patriotic today.




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That’s A Wrap

A couple of things wrapped up this week.

One was the spinning project I talked about at nauseating length last week. It’s about 255 yards of poofy springy worsted-weight yarn and I absolutely love it.


blorchdone1The color is off, it’s purple not blue. I can’t wait to do more using that method.

Next up from my Spin The Bin Challenge though is this braid of Fiber Optic. I got it at SSK in 2013, and I have to admit I’m wondering why. Denise suggested buying frenzy, and I think she’s probably right. Why do I wonder why I bought it? Well, it started off in nice blue, purple, then red. And now at this end?


Yeah. Orange and yellow. Not exactly my cup of tea. But I am enjoying the spin, and am looking forward to the chain plying to see how much I come up with. It’s spinning pretty thin, which is what usually happens to me with Fiber Optic merino/silk braids.

I have totally wrapped up the whole buying less and starting less phase. Yesterday was Gourmet Yarn‘s February Yarn In, and I had a great time visiting with my friends and spending money. One of the buying highlights is this lovely blue shaded Malabrigo Lace.


There’s also a gorgeous wine color of it, some purple sock yarn, some coned cotton for warp, and some interesting transition dyed fingering weight wool. And some needle tips. And a couple of interchangeable needle cables. Yeah.

I also got my shipment from Wollmeise, including this Pure in Granatapfel (translation: Pomegranate). I absolutely love this color.


I have worked more on the Ashworth Scarf. It may not look like much progress, but the marker shows where it was last week.


That picture is really over exposed, sorry.

Here’s the truly odd thing. I’m about to start a crochet project. Using some of my hand spun yarn. This stuff to be exact.


It’s for this really cool looking wrap, done in a method called Tunesian Crochet. The designer lives in OKC and was at Yarn In last night and showed us the model. I’m going to do a little bit of modifying (fewer holes) because this yarn has a totally different drape and body than the yarn she used. Believe it or not I swatched this morning to make sure I understood how to work it.


As you can see I just used some leftover sock yarn, and it’s now been ripped and the yarn dropped back into the sock yarn blanket bag.

Tomorrow’s a holiday, so I’m looking forward to a whole lot more crafting. Supposed to get icky overnight, so I’m glad I don’t have to get out tomorrow. It’s still going to be cold Tuesday, but as of right now there’s not supposed to be anything dangerous going on. Of course this is February in Oklahoma, so that could change before then.


Posted in Scarves, Spin the Bin 2015, Spinning, Stash Enhancement | 1 Comment

Metaphorically Spinning

I’ve been spinning quite a bit this week, at least by my standards. I got my Trindle out even. That was partly spurred by finding they had posted more of the 3,000 year old bog oak shafts in the store and I was able to get one. It’s not here yet but I can’t wait to get it. I missed them the first time they went up. I forgot to take a picture of the spindling though.

I did get a picture of the finished yarn I had started last week. This is Into Ashes from some KnittyAndColor rolags. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to put the finished yarn into the Spin The Bin prize pool, or weave a scarf from it to use as a gimme-mas gift. It’s neat yarn, just not really my thing.


The fun part of it was the spinning method. It’s my first serious stab at long draw. I think technically the method I’m using is called supported long draw, but I’m not going to split that hair. It was so much fun I just had to do it some more. Nothing else in my Bin was ready for the method, so I grabbed some fiber that’s been in my stash for a couple of years waiting for just this moment. I have added it to my Bin. This is the unspun part of what I’ve started on.


The picture doesn’t show the colors correctly at all. It’s called Black Orchid, and as the name implies it’s very dark navy/black with purple parts. This is what’s spun so far. I hope think what’s left will fit on the bobbin.


So long draw spinning is very different from the short forward draft I normally use. With SFD you’re very much controlling the fiber, drafting small lengths and smoothing them as you go. The result is a smooth, shiny, compact, uniform yarn. Long draw is a whole different animal. While you don’t completely give up control, you have to use a light hand and just let the fiber go and do what it will. It’s not total chaos, and you do decide how things will come out in broad terms, but it’s very much a let go and enjoy what happens method.

Anyone who knows me well knows that letting go rather than trying to stay firmly in control is something I work on every single day. While I was thinking about trying to describe the spinning it hit me that the long draw spinning method is very much a metaphor for how I’m trying to live my life.

Whew! Enough of that deep stuff.

The fiber I was waiting for last week arrived. From Loop! is another of these awesome Spontaneous Spinning Clouds, in the color Sea Kelp. This is the same prep as the Black Orchid above.


Also from Loop! are two matching Bullseye Bumps. My plan is to draft them together to get a really long gradient. I did that with another color a while back and really like the result.


The first shipment for the 10th Anniversary year of the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin’ Sock Club arrived this week, and HOLY CRAP it’s impossible to miss.


Called Feelin’ Groovy, and I really like both the sock and the mitten pattern. I might even knit both patterns, but use one of my stash colors for one of them. I think maybe the mittens should be out of this, because they’d be great if I were ever stranded on the side of the road. No way anyone could miss me wearing those.

The fiber from My Little Sheep arrived, and it’s going to be great fun to spin.


The brown is Shetland (along with the two little samples of the other colors she has – and boy is it tempting!) and the cream is Babydoll Southdown. The cream is going to be great fun to spin, it’s incredibly springy. Supposedly it’s pretty much safe to machine wash even. If you only follow one link in this post though, make it this one that takes you to the My Little Sheep web site. They are the most adorable little sheep you’ve ever seen. I’ve been visiting any time I felt like I needed a smile.

There’s been so much spinning for me that I haven’t knit a whole lot. I’m coasting along towards the toe on the test knit, and the pattern so far has been good.

aprss2I’m going to work through a couple of the rounds of the toe shaping the way the pattern calls for to make sure they work, but before I start on them I’m going to set a life line to rip back to. The pattern continues on through the toe shaping, and since I wear my socks under my work boots I don’t want to have holes on my toes. I’ll knit the toe plain.

And I’ve worked more on the Ashworth Scarf. Progress is slow, but it’s really going to be nice when it’s finished. Last week it was at the marker on the edging. The one out in the fabric shows me where the last cable was twisted so I can count correctly for the next one.


Hopefully next weekend I can go to Yarn In at Gourmet Yarn. Jim has a mild case of the flu (he went to the Dr and tested positive), and while I seem to have dodged it so far I don’t want to risk giving it to my friends. Especially the pregnant one. The CDC says most people are contagious for a full day before they start feeling bad. I’m hearing conflicting things on possible incubation periods. I’ll decide when it gets closer.

Happy Sunday!

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It’s Super Bowl Sunday here in the US, which is all the excuse I need to do food stuff. There are two loaves of pumpkin gingerbread in the kitchen. One of them is going to get wrapped up and frozen, and the plan is to start on the other with some fresh whipped cream tonight. However – we just finished these:


That’s a french onion grilled cheese sandwich, and it was fabulous. Totally worth the time to get the onions just right.

Knitting has been slow this week. I’ve started on the April Six Sox test knit, and it’s coming right along.


Since it’s a test knit you can’t see it. Made from BMFA STR Lightweight from stash. Two other things: The sandwiches were totally worth the cut thumb, and holy shit my hands look old. I guess I’m 48, so I shouldn’t be surprised.

The last planned food for today is a caramelized onion chorizo dip. It’s ready to put in the oven, I guess I’ll try to time it for about half time.

The WM lace from the destash came in, and it’s great stuff.


As usual I have no idea what I’m going to knit with it, nor with the 2 colors of Pure and the hank of LaceGarn I ordered on Friday. I do know what I’m going to do with the combed Shetland I ordered from Paradise Fibers today, and the dark brown Shetland and Babydoll Southdown I ordered today. I found the latter two on Etsy, and went to check out the web site of the farm. You really need to go see these absolutely charming little sheep.

The other knitting this week was on the Ashworth Scarf. I really really love how this feels, but being true lace weight on small needles it’s slow going.


I’ve got a major urge to spin some really fine lace weight yarn for some reason. Once I get the sock test finished I might spend some time working on that. Or maybe I’ll clear the spinning projects I’ve got going first. Or not.

Sounds like things are totally back to normal.

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Know Thyself

I was starting to get a little worried with all this finishing and the lack of stash enhancement. This week I’m back to myself. And I’m pretty sure I’m in the process of proving something else I’ve suspected for a while.

First the project(s). I did do more work on the Ostrich Plumes Scarf, and I’m still in love with it. I also made some more progress on the sock yarn blanket. No pictures though, they’re pretty same looking.

What did I start? One of the tams I got yarn for at camp last year. This is #13, and eventually it will have cute little birds just above the ribbing.


I used 2×2 rib instead of 1×1, just because I like it better. I thought about pulling it back to the rib and going down a needle size because the hat seems kind of open, but I decided to keep going since the yarn blooms some when you wash it.

In the stash enhancement arena, I’ve got two skeins of WM Lace-Garn on their way from a destash. According to USPS tracking they’re going to be here tomorrow. I hope so, I love getting them.

And I didn’t just start one thing. I also started an Ashworth Scarf. I’ve been thinking about making it out of handspun, but for some reason this gorgeous silk/cashmere blend I picked up at Gourmet Yarn a couple of years ago jumped into my head and reminded me it would be perfect for the pattern. I went ahead and gave in. Didn’t even fight it.


I made one small modification to the pattern, narrowing the blocks to 24 stitches instead of 30. I just prefer to not have it that wide. Of course once I get a few of the cables done I may change my mind, but for now I’m really liking it. Stupid simple knitting, but the fabric feels awesome. The high silk content in the yarn (52%) means it doesn’t have much give while knitting, but the fabric is so soft and drapey it’s going to be great to wear.

And about that whole confirmed suspicion thing? It has to do with this Spin In Progress (SIP).


Sorry about the picture, I didn’t realize I was so close. Too lazy to go back and take another.

Anyway, it’s made from these really cool rolags I got at SSK in 2013. They’re pretty and there’s nothing wrong with them, but the blended fiber preps like this are just not really my thing. I think the yarn is going to be really cool arty-looking stuff, and I’m enjoying working on my long draw spinning, but I think it’s just not a type of prep I’ll really enjoy spinning or yarn I’ll want to knit with when it’s all over with. I am going to finish it though, because I want to see how it comes out and I don’t want to give up on it just because I’m not digging it part way through. We’ll see.

Posted in Hats, Scarves, Spinning, Stash Enhancement | Leave a comment