Field Trips and the depth of the wool obsession

March 1, 2009

On Friday I played hooky from work in the morning and went to Stitches with a coworker (i love that I have a knitter coworker).  The drive down to Santa Clara was super fast (like 40 min which is amazing for a weekday morning) and we got there in time to stand in line to get into the market.  I had only been to Stitches once before – 3 years ago when I had first learned to spin and I had definitely gorged on wool then and I think that I have actually spun all that wool up by now.   This time I had a plan which I did mostly manage to stick to – get wool that I can’t get locally and try new stuff.   I wanted to get some Blue Moon fiber arts top and I did get sucked into some yarn as well.

The roving is 50/50 superfine merino and silk in Valkyrie

I had bought some top from Judy’s Novelty wool 3 years ago and I loved the yarn that it made (she’s from Utah so not local) so I nabbed 2 lots of top from her.

4oz of Merino

4oz of Corriedale

I visited sweet grass wool of Montana for some tahrgee top in very saturated colors (so soft mmmm…)

I got buttons for my recently completed Sunrise Circle Jacket

that’s the haul

oh and that finished sweater (except for the buttons)?

Here she is

All right big sis, I hope this roundup made you smile!

Busy Hands

November 22, 2008

A few things have caught my interest and have been keeping me busy.  Over the summer I bought half of a cormo fleece when we went to lambtown.  I finally finished washing and spinning the stinky brown fleece that I bought in San Diego (oh… I might not have mentioned it, pictures below) so I am free to work on this lovely coated cormo mmmm… But it is a white fleece and as lovely as it is I had to see how it would take color.  I had some locks that didn’t come out as clean from scouring as I would have liked so I gave them a quick wash and set to dying them.  Magic people, I tell you dyeing is magic!  Next time I wash fleece I’m going to take pictures of each step and then go straight from the scour to the dyepot! The cormo is spinning up like buttah and the colors are making wonderful combinations on the handcards ( teal, slate, coral and grass green!) all from cherry, yellow and blueberry.

the stinky brown fleece

the new cormo fleece

the dyed up locks

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Next time I hope to have pictures of the spun up dyed locks and documentation of my crazy dirty fleece to neon lock process (and maybe some slightly more suble color, we’ll see)

Re-entry

July 1, 2008

After nearly 2 years and more than 500 miles G and I are back where we belong, the lovely SF bay area. We have found a place to live, G has a job for the fall and I am busy job hunting. I’ll catch one of them suckers one of these days. Till then I’ll knit and spin to my hearts content (when I’m not surfing craigslist) and hopefully finish washing my long neglected fleece.

We went on an amazing camping trip as G’s belated birthday present (we trade trips for b-day presents)

First we drove up to Shasta and spent the night camping at Castle Crags campground next to a really nice stretch of the Sacramento river. Followed by a trip to the trout hatchery (so many tiny fishies, and some big ones too!) . The next morning we visited Hedge Creek falls an easy hike off the highway.

Then up towards Oregon and the Klamath river which we followed for a while with stops for dips in the water. A night in Yreka and then back to Dunsmuir where we walked next to the railroad for 2.4 miles round trip to the Mossbrae waterfall worth all the trouble to get there and all the conductors we encountered were very pleasant.

From there we headed out to Burney Falls stopping at 2 other waterfalls in the national forests along highway 89. Burney fall were very impressive and Briton lake very refreshing. All in all a lovely trip – except for the fires which made some parts of it pretty sketchy but I’m needing to focus on good stuff so lets not dwell on that. Below is Mt Shasta, then Burney followed by the upper and lower McCloud river falls in the National Forest.

More on fibery pursuits soon!

Coming up: Dyeing yarn for G’s sweater, using the viking combs and pictures of our new place!

Happy New Year

January 14, 2008

I never claimed to be a particularly timely person – okay????!!!

Happily, I have figured out how to use IPhoto to resize my pictures and so I feel like posting again without fear of boring anyone senseless (including myself) nothing coherent right now but here are some pictures…

blue grafton batt

A wonderful, fun to spin Grafton Batt that I bought in 2004 at Stitches West (it’s merino). It has become the edging for a Cats Paw Shawl for my Grandma which will have to wait for it’s debut as I forgot to take a picture before I gave it to her.

Artic Lace Silk Shawl

This is a big weight off my back, I started this puppy in February, but didn’t finish it until November…It is knit out of Kathmandu laceweight 100% silk from a pattern in last years Winter Interweave Knits, it was an excerpt from Arctic Lace. The silk was hard on my hands and the skeins had a ridiculous number of knots. I recently discovered a lace weight made entirely out of soysilk which may be easier on the hands. This was also a gift and hard to give away because it really is a great size.

While in SF this winter I picked up set on of indigo hound hand combs and some washed Columbia wool from Carolina Handspun and started learning how to comb locks into light fluffy roving. It is a dream to spin, a finished skein will show up next post but here is picture to give you an idea of the amazing fluffyness

Columbia wool nest

It is really a slightly yolky yellow color which I’m really excited to try to dye to see how other colors interact with the base hue. This is in preparation for procuring a raw fleece to process from start to finish once we move back up north.

Happy New Year to everyone!

Fall is here

October 12, 2007

At least on my head even if the weather won’t cooperate!

leaf-cap.jpg

I finished a foliage for a friend a few weeks ago and here it is modeled in a lovely green and flashing red trail that was new to us and a lot of fun and a challenge for sure.

In the que are a sweater for my sister, a Cobblestone for G and some assorted and sundry holiday knits!

I’m scheming up handspun sweater for myself natural cormo/soysilk for the body and sleeves and a colorful yoke. It’s gonna be a long time commin, I haven’t even begun to decide how I’m going to do this or even what weight to spin. It’ll be an adventure for sure.

round here…

September 10, 2007

we like to procrastinate.

No kidding. But I did have wonderful trip to the San Francisco Bay area (Oakland! Berkeley!) and then a visit from my lovely sister to distract me. I had a wonderful visit with the knit night ladies at Stash where my bag may have grown heavier with yarn and a sale at deep color should keep me occupied at the spinning wheel for a while. On the foodie front we ate an incredible breakfast at Tartine complete with quiche, passion fruit cake and almond croissant. It’s a good thing I love walking in SF! Also delicious was pizza with a friend at the Cheeseboard Pizza Collective, mmmmh good.

MS3

A mystery stole accompanied me on our trip to northern ca and was finished last weekend in desperate need to finish something. I think that some blocking wires are going to be required to get this puppy to turn out the way I want so a blocked picture will be a while coming as I don’t currently have any.

I found a wool tank top that I knit a couple of years ago that really, really needed to be something else. It was huge! I don’t think I was very concerned about gauge back then. There was room for two of me inside there! So rip it went and got reincarnated into a top down raglan sweater following the directions in Barbara Walkers Knitting from the Top. It grew more than the washed swatch suggested that it should but I’m still pretty happy with it, it just still needs buttons. I’ll get a picure up once I get some buttons.

unfelted

I also cranked out a sample slipper for stash out of some Malabrigo (the Fibertrends pattern) and as usual it is ridiculously huge but I’m sure a good washing will do the trick. I’m making some slippers as a wedding gift out of Malabrigo and I wasn’t sure how much I would need so the sample (they only wanted one) was a perfect test. I think I’ll need three skeins to make any of the women sizes and would want to have a back up fourth skein for any of the men’s sizes. My claves are massive but they are definitely not as large as they look in the picture!

I have wanted to make an Ene’s Shawl for a long time and I finally acquired some lovely yarn that I think will be perfect – some teal Malabrigo lace-weight. I have some concerns the strength of the yarn as it’s a single but I think it’ll work out.

I’ll leave you with a bit of my weekend adventure. I’ve been a little under the weather, see above productivity was the result of not functioning enough to think but enough to knit. We took a little trip to the Quail Botanical Gardens and I was trying to take some pictures of dragonflies (my favorite insects of. all.time.) and I slipped and fell and dropped my tank of a camera on m left hand which got pretty ugly. The camera weighs upwards of four pounds and is almost all metal. It smashed my middle finger but hey, the camera is just fine (thanks for asking!). So I’m definitely out on the injured list for the next little while. I can still knit, just nothing heavy.

Oddly enough just this time last year I slammed the same finger ( I think) in the car door on my second day of graduate school, what a way to commemorate the second year. There is a picture of said injury but the squeamish should probably not scroll down

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(Mom, you may not want to look at this)

owwie

owwie2

Finito!

August 7, 2007

The sockapalooza socks are done!

pink-socks.jpg

The pattern is the Queen of Diamonds from Spin Off and the yarn is Lornas Laces knit on size 0 using magic loop. The picture was taken at the north end of Mission Beach on a Sunday when G tried to teach me to bodyboard but there were a ton of surfers with hard fiberglass boards everywhere and they scare the bejesus out of me so I swam out past the breakers without the board and got intimidated all over again. There must be some beach around here where a girl can just swim?!!!
The socks have been shipped off to my pal today, they should get there in a couple days. I hope she likes them!
I keep trying to find the right needles to get started on the mystery stole but so far, no luck.
In a few short weeks I’ll be in Northern Ca for a visit and then it’s back to school for me, I’m really looking forward to it though.

I may have had a Harry Potter binge these last 2 weekends but I can help it, once I start one I can’t stop. I keep meaning to full the yarn i showed here last time, maybe it’ll happen soon.

Quarter Century

July 23, 2007

Good day to check in.
G and I took a little trip up to the the Big Bear Mountains this weekend for my birthday. The sock pal sock got some attention at the lake in Crestline. I have turned the heels on both socks and am steadily marching up the leg, this mountain should be conquered soon.

sock

I was able to gift the great big green thing this past week and it was well recieved by my friend who wil be having surgery this week, so send some good juju this way if you don’t mind. G took this picture at the native plant garden near our house. The pattern is the Seraphim Shawl by Miriam Felton. I had always admired it and felt like it was an especially appropriate for this kind of gift, the word seraphim refers to angels, good for one you’d like to offer some measure of comfort to no? Other info about this knit should include that it was knit on size 8 needles in Collinette dk weight handpainted yarn in the Spanish Moss colorway.

seraphim-shawl.jpg

I got a beautiful bracelet from G for my birhtday that has proved hard to capture in a photo but here’s an attempt with our very nosy building cat.

bracelet.jpg

This birthday began in a lovely way, curled up on my couch with a very compelling book and I didn’t get up until I had finished the book. I was reading the new Michael Chabon book, the Yiddish Policemen’s Union. It was a slow start but really picked up maybe fifty pages in. I always find that Chabon really tends to stay with me for a while after I’ve finished the book. The themes of home and identity run through this book and are mingled with questions about what one will do to survive and how far one might go to protect someone or something they love. The story posed some difficult questions about redemption and intention and the role of faith. I’d reccommend it for sure but I think that I still prefer The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Clay. That’s all I know for now, next time I’ll try to have a better pic of the bracelet and the finished sockapalooza socks.

One Very Pink Post

July 3, 2007

pink-socks.jpg

I have made some progress on the very pink sockpal socks. The yarn is Lornas Laces Shepard Sock in the Tropical Punch colorway. The pattern is the Queen of Diamonds from the spring Spin Off. I’ll admit that there may have been some ripping and tinking due to me taking the sock pair to a very stressful Padre game. Indeed, I did say sock pair, the race is on with this pair. I frequently end up with slightly fraternal socks and since these are for a deserving knitter I thought a sock race might produce a pair of identical twins. In this here sock race, I knit one sock to a good stopping point and then catch the other sock up and so on.
Additionally, I am frantically knitting on a big pink thing (of Harlot style fame) only mine is a big green thing and it’s got a deadline so I’ll get pictures of it when it’s all done.
I’ve spent some of the laast few weeks getting cozy with my sewing machine and actually produced a very funtional bag for a friend and there will be more of that for sure.
Next time, More Socks!

Finally

May 22, 2007

The hell semester has finally ended and I couldn’t be happier about it. As the grades trickle in and my greatest fears are assuaged I am begining to feel some relief. I have been knitting and spinning to stay sane and I even have couple pictures to share. I had aquired some lovely merino and BFL from Lori Lawson of Capistrano Fiber arts a while ago. I spun up two, here is one of those plus the remaining rovings.
roving.jpg
here is a bad shot of the singles on the bobbin, before being plied back on itself from a center pull ball.
new-singles.jpg

I went on a bit of a headgear bender during exams which resulted in these
hats.jpg
and a few others that will show up around here eventually. I started my new job today so that’s it for now but more fun stuff to come I promise.
Additionally, I joined Sockapalooza 4 a knitted sock swap! I always wanted to try something like this and I’m excited! Have no fear, sock pal I am on the prowl for the perfect yarn! If you are my sock pal I swear I really do sort of blog! And uhh, ignore my current location, someday I will ive in a place where all wool socks are loved.


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