Friday, June 25, 2010


I had such an exciting week of receiving roving orders that I had to share. Since I’m still beginning, it’s going to take me some time to get through all these, but I’m so excited to see how they spin up that I just wanted to post some photos and share the love.

Hand Painted BFL Roving from Alchemy Fiber Arts - un-named colorway, so we shall call it Sunset

BFL Roving from Sakina Needles - Colorway Snake in the Grass - purchased from the Loopy Ewe

Polwarth Roving from Perchance to Knit (also purchased from the Loopy Ewe) - colorway Apples, Olives, Pistachios

My cat, Clio. She was asking me what I was making for dinner.

Happy Weekending!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My Head is Spinning

I can’t stop. I am a woman possessed. I went from being an idle knitter to an avid knitter to an avid knitter-and-idle-spinner to this latest stage: avid knitter-and-spinner. I feel like I’m gaining new levels at World of Warcraft or something. Except I could never be so nerdy as to play World of Warcraft. I’ll limit my nerdiness and weirdness to the fiber arts, thankyouverymuch.

I love my wheel. I’ve stated this before, but it’s getting a little ridiculous how much time I spend thinking about spinning. I’m still forced to slog to my day job so there’s a minimum of 9 hours each day that I am stuck behind a desk pretending the phone cord I'm twiddling is really merino or BFL. I go home at night, kiss Dear and then plunk down in front of Lola. I’ve spun a solid 4 ounces of purple wool (no specifics as to what kind of wool).

Three bobbins full, although they weren’t evenly full. I did a 3-ply until one ran empty and got about 62 yards of slightly scratchy but lovely purple worsted hand-spun.

Then I plied the remainder of the other 2 bobbins together and got about 37 ½ yards of slightly scratchy but lovely purple 2-ply – about a sport weight (that little bit of blue was on the bobbin when I bought the wheel and I just plied it all together. This is me living on the edge).

No plans for any of this yet … it’s not really enough to make anything besides gadget pouches, but who says you have to make anything out of your first hand-spun anyway? Right now, I’m still having fun marveling at my own genius.

After plying and skeining all of that (still have to soak and set the twist), I plied two singles that I had spun on my drop spindle and Kool-Aid dyed.

Color isn’t great in this photo, but there’s a single of a kind of maroon red color (black cherry) and a single of royal purple (blue punch and black cherry) and they came out to a light chunky (I didn’t measure the yardage, so you’ll just have to guess). These are scheduled to become a new gadget pouch for my digital camera – one that my cat hopefully does not find quite so interesting and playful.

I started spinning some merino wool … a nice mix of deep blues and greens with some purples and blacks in there for fun. (We shall not speak of the look on Dear’s face when I buried my face in this Merino and took a deep whiff … and then held out the ball and encouraged him to do the same. This behavior is apparently tantamount to growing a second head.) Merino is a little harder for me to draft, but I’m getting the hang of it. I purposely measured it out into three somewhat-equal parts, so the plan is that ALL of this will go into one skein of 3-ply, and we’ll see how much I get. Dear is already grumbling that I’m never going to sit next to him on the couch again, and I told him to be quiet while I’m drafting … oh yeah, and then I thanked him for the lovely and generous gift that is my new favorite thing.

I may have gone a little overboard with excitement and ordered several different kinds of roving to practice spinning with (I Love and Hate the Loopy Ewe). Those plus what I already had in my stash for spinning should leave me fairly satisfied for quite some time (this is what I'm telling myself). The only bugger is that I only have four bobbins, so I have to do one project at a time. I would much rather do two or three simultaneously because I cannot wait to see how some of these others turn out. Wait’ll you see what I’ve got coming from Alchemy Fiber Arts … Ooooh the drama!

Monday, June 21, 2010

There's Another Hole in My Head

This weekend was a largely anticipated weekend for me. Yes, I know it was Father’s Day, and I called my father and my grandfather to wish them both a happy day. I sent my Dad a framed photo of our entire family, which doesn’t come together too often: me and Dear, my brother and his fiancĂ©e, my dad and his wife, and both of my Grandparents. He loved it, and it now sits on his office desk. It was also the last weekend of World Wide Knit in Public for 2010. I was planning to attend the meet-up in Houston, but then our trip to Dallas came up.

If I couldn't attend WWKiP, I had to celebrate somehow. What better way than to pick up my birthday gift from Dear? That's right, my perfect boyfriend was going to give me the best early birthday gift ever on the face of the planet. No joke, top two birthday gifts ever (that bike when I was 8 is a close contender). We drove to Dallas Friday night, and Saturday morning took a pilgrimage to White Rock Weaving Center. We were there for about an hour, and when we left we came out with this:

Isn’t she beautiful? Her name is Lola. She’s a Louet Julia wheel, and I could not be more thrilled with her. The ladies at White Rock Weaving are impossibly friendly and helpful. Anna patiently answered all of my questions and let me spend some time with the wheel before we left (she had put my name on it earlier in the week so that no one else would buy it.) I also got a lovely tour of the shop and an explination of the different weaving looms and techniques that the class was working on. I'm not too interested in weaving at the moment, but I can tell it's only a matter of time until the yarn lures me into yet another variation.

I spent some of Saturday and a little time on Sunday doing this:

and then some. I’m expecting to have another bobbin filled tonight, and then let the plying commence. I have lots of other rovings in my stash to play with, and more coming this week (maybe today???). I plan on plying the singles I spun with my drop spindle as well.

I am absolutely thrilled with this wheel. It has the smoothest treadle and is easy to use. I am working diligently at keeping my singles consistent (it’s helping that the wool I’m using is breathtakingly simple for a beginner) and trying not to overtwist. I can’t wait to see more and more come out of this … I have some plans to dye my own rovings and them spin them up and see what I get! I’ve got merino and alpaca to practice with, as well as different kinds of sheepswool until I get the hang of things. I am all too aware that I needed another hobby like I needed a hole in my head … but at least I resisted the Cricket looms (for now).

And now, a gratuitous kitty-and-boyfriend shot. This photo is small evidence as to how spoiled my cat is, and how that is totally not our faults.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Toooot! Tooooootie toot toot toot!!!

Okay … I’m not going to toot my own horn in this blog post. Who am I kidding, I’m TOTALLY going to toot my own horn. I’m going to play a freaking fan fare in this blog post. Call me Lizzie Sousa.

I have been having great success with finished objects this week. After months of hardly finishing a pair of socks, I’ve cranked out several looming projects in only a few days. Some are part of the super top secret project I’m working on, some are of the more simple gifting nature. Anyway, enough of the drumroll … on with the show!

It's too big to even take a proper photo. You should see the one of me holding it. I am dwarfed by my creation.

At long last, after 14+ months of having this thing in my project basket, I’ve finally finished the monstrous Kick Ass Cable Afghan {rav link}. This afghan came out to a whopping 7’ long and spans a queen-sized bed. It began as a birthday present for my brother (even though I started it last year after his birthday) and then mutated into a wedding gift when he got engaged a few months later. Fast forward a fistful of months and two additional cabled panels, and this is the end result. It’s huge (long enough for my 6’3” brother to pull it up to his chin and have it tucked under his feet) and heavy and totally appropriate given that their wedding is in July and they are moving to New Orleans. What better gift for the newlyweds moving permanently to the Gulf Coast than a queen-sized wool-blend BLACK afghan?

Also finished? Baby Chewy-I-Mean-Michael’s Baby Surprise Jacket {rav link} by Elizabeth Zimmermann. This was my first time knitting this pattern, and the yarn is chosen for it’s colors and content. The blue-browns combination are the color scheme of Chewy-I-Mean-Michael’s room, and the content is cotton and acrylic, making it machine washable and wearable in the Houston climate. I had a fairly easy time following the pattern (if you can call it that – how about “suggestions”). After a design alteration towards the end, it’s a small-toddler robe of sorts. Luckily, Paula (Chewy-I-Mean-Michael’s mother) is able to make any alterations to the arm seams that are necessary so that Chewy-I-Mean-Michael can wear it for a long time.

Wait, what’s that? You want MORE? Well, I just don’t … I’m not sure if … ha! Just kidding! I TOTALLY HAVE MORE! I’m calling this one the Clio Cloche {rav link} … you may recognize this as my first felting project, and I decided to needle felt a little Clio onto the side of it. I’m really pleased with the way this one came out, and I can’t wait until it’s cold enough for me to show it off.

My lovely model, Gwyneth.

I LOVELOVELOVE it. Exactly how I pictured it. It looks like she's looking out the window. In my head.

This is Clio. She is an epic napper.

And just to leave a bit of suspense with you, dear reader … an upcoming hat.

Dear and I are spending this weekend in Dallas with his Dad and little sister to celebrate Father’s Day. I’ll have more exciting news after the weekend (hint: it involves a trip to this place). In the meantime, enjoy the World Cup and Happy Daddy's Day to every Daddy (especially my own)!

Monday, June 14, 2010

I came ... I felted ... I dyed.

Welcome back, folks! It’s been a while since my last blog post because … well … I felt un-blog-a-riffic. I wasn’t happy with any of my ideas for content because I didn’t HAVE any content. I hadn’t finished any projects, hadn’t taken any photos, didn’t really have anything new to report. So I didn’t.

But now … NOW … I have something. I have been working on something super duper top secret for the past week or so, and I will be dropping hints throughout until details are finalized and I know I won’t get fired from my day job or hunted like the scurvy dog I am for posting it on the internet for every Tom, Dick and Harry to read. But until then … I present:

and other random wooly goodness

This past weekend, I did my first felting project. I forgot to take a photo of it before I started felting (I have issues remembering to photograph various stages of projects … it’s part of my charm), but here it is in the first stage of felting.
Ooooh the Thrills! The Chills!

And here it is on my lovely hat model, Gwyneth.

Say hello, Gwyneth.

Still planning on needle-felting a little something-something onto this, but that will have to wait until I get a couple more finished objects completely finished (almost doesn’t count in this case, as they are gifts).

Also spent some time dyeing my latest hand-spun effort.

Mmmm, my favorite. Purple Kool-Aid Yarn Soup.

The color is a little washed out, but it’s actually a lovely and bright purple.

I love the smell of hot, wet Kool-Aid-y Wool in the morning.

To be plied together with my other hand-spun effort, dyed a maroon color. But that’s another blog post.

Everything else I have that I would like to share – will be shared in later postings. Gotta save my material, you know?

In un-related to knitting news, Dear and I went to a Polo match this weekend – my first! I felt so British! Cheerio, pip pip old chap! We had a great time, even though it was hotter than Hell (I’m going to start saying hotter than Houston. It’s more accurate).

Awww, so cute!

And the horsies looked like they were having some fun.
Pass the Pimm's Cup, please.

Hope everyone who cares is celebrating World Wide Knit in Public Week (June 12 – 19)! I got together at Memorial City Mall on Sunday to scare the Muggles … what did you do?