Monday, December 31, 2007

New computer appeared for Christmas, ostensibly as a present for me, although I hadn't expressed a need. Very fancy SONY with a huge monitor screen, beautiful 3-D pictures. I am totally unable to figure out how to import and find the pictures. Took me 5 months with the old set up but I was getting there. Wah. The week before Christmas I was incapable of thought so cast on a scarf from a bag of spindled Corriedale that jumped out of a drawer.

6 oz heavy worsted weight, about 270 yds
merino/tussah roving from Winderwood
30 st, k1 p1, size 8
5 1/2 " by 68", unblocked
Gave away the scarf, Calorimetry and 2 pair of socks. Spun up 6 oz and acquired 20 oz roving. Although I have been inspired to up the knitting by all the Ravelry stuff, I'm obviously not keeping up. Better luck in the new year.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Best yarn to date. From "Handful of Dust" by FCK. Can't find a pic of the roving but it's in her etsy archive. Brown and red. 3ply merino, used almost all of 3.5 oz. Near fingering weight, used Pony Pearl #1's, 72 stitches, 8 st = 1". The insert pattern is on page 77 of Bauerliches Stricken 2. I wanted something that would split in the middle to carry a little down the foot. The twisted stitches wrecked the points of the needles even though the fabric wasn't super tight. Friends hated the roving, didn't like the yarn. I made it for practice on 3ply sock thinking oh well, practice. EVERYONE whined about receiving the socks. NONONO. MINE. They also happen to be the most comfortable socks in the drawer.
Possibly there are other people in the world worth the production of 3ply fingering but I haven't met them yet.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Tale of Two Calorimetries

Yarn is 2ply handspun from CMF SW Merino "Love Me Tender". Spindle spun 2? years ago. This stuff failed its' sock test: fabric too stiff . Failed its' garter mitred square test: not enough definition. It wanted to be 2/2 ribbing. Mindful of all the problems reported, I went down to #7 for the bottom one, otherwise did as written. 16" x 6"" unstretched. The top one is on #6, 5 3/4" x 15 1/2". Each one took about 75 yds. I like the fabric better on #6 and it fits the average head well. The colors are like polished jasper. It would have made an awesome scarf but I only have 8 oz. Still might frog these and do that.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

More of the current 3ply-hopefully -for-socks. Superwash merino from Flawfulfibers. This does not have the body of regular merino, it's softer. Would probably wear out fast as socks. I don't like overspun, overplied yarn so sacrifice wear. If there were more it would make a lovely baby sweater. As time goes by, a coordinating colorway will likely appear. 4 oz, 320 yds. Spun on Wooleewinder Lendrum.

Mike says he hopes no one is making him a sweater out of this girly color. "Floral Embrace" merino by FatCatKnits. 4oz, 320 yds, 3ply. Spun on regular Lendrum flyer, biggest whorl.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Not going to be any swatches soon so here's the sample skeins of BFL from FatCatKnits, Part of a sizeable holiday shipment. Left is 3ply fingering, right sport. Even allowing for the sun/not sun settings, the cream has vanished. The brick is also gone. The colors are true in both pictures. The fingering was spun from an 18" length divided in half and then in thirds. The 2ply is from the other half divided in half again. Probably it will look way different when spun from longer and more random lengths. I do plan to make enough 3ply to try socks and see how they wear. This fiber is amazingly soft. The color would be acceptable for a Man-scarf. Would also make good boy-babywear.
Have had issues with the Wooleewinder making the wheel wobble so went back to the regular flyer for these. Tried "oiling the travel screw through the slit". Hoping to avoid the total taking apart of the device.

Finally got around to ordering the Knitpicks sock needle set. So slippery, so pointy. Very happy. The Pony Pearls have developed snaggy tips just like the bamboos. So annoying. If I don't lose these they should last forever.

This sock project was meant to use up 8oz spindle spun probably 3 year old merino/tussah. Hopefully the silk will make up for the loose spinning. Anyhow: ran out of yarn at the heel of the 4th sock. Looking around for a close substitute and found another skein: 150 yds. How could this be from 8oz? Addi 1's, 8st = 1". 1st pair Monkeys (gift) 2nd pair 3/1 rib.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Spinning Content: This is a small part of my CMF stash. Autumn, Ocean (maybe Azure Skies), Forgetmenot, Emerald Coast. 300 - 500 yds per 8oz. All spindled Corriedale. 1 lb of each of the greens remains unspun, grabbed when they were sadly discontinued. This was an easy fiber for a beginner, very smooth drafting. I was making 500 - 1000yds a month then which could be why the hand difficulties occurred. Then they introduced the Sock Hop rovings, also amply represented in my stash.

Beautiful rovings posted on etsy this weekend. I hadn't ordered any for 3 weeks. So after the stress of taking the Learner's Permit out for a ride.... Also put up a project on Ravelry. Took about an hour 'cause they kept filling in the wrong pattern name but the next one should be easier. It also said they weren't reading the blog but the link is up and works. Probably I just can't enter it correctly.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Where did 10 days go? Zapped by the Busy Fairy again. Work, laundry, ever-expanding errands. We had a Grand Opening of Super Walmart last week and I was sucked in yesterday. First thing at the door is a deli area and 4 employees having a very loud altercation over serving one of them the wrong combination of fried chicken pieces. No one in the area interested in actual customers. No manager in sight to rein them in. The rest of the store was clean and stocked but very few staff in sight. The prices were mostly better than the local supermarket but I'd rather spend an extra $5 for less walking, less traffic and nicer staff. But I had to go look.

Just spent 1 1/2 hours taking pictures and trying to get them to an uploadable location. But now I know 2 ways to move from Photoshop. Had to do a few calming rows on the sock prior to starting this. I hate to feel pressured to blog which is why I'm not looking for readers. Not much spinning, plied up another 4 oz of the olive/turquoise and started on some blue for a change. 3", a heel and a toe left on a sock. Luckily Mikey is willing to do photo duty.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The color is truthful in the slightly fuzzy sock picture. Very olive and reddish browns. 4 oz BFL from FlawfulFibers. 2ply knit on Addi 1 12 in circs. Cast on 72 stitches. This is my first BFL finished project, amazingly soft and almost slippery.
What could this be? Did someone send me a box of snakes? Look! They are trying to escape and come into my house.

Etsy is a great thing for me. There aren't any nearby sources of fiber. The choices. The convenience. Only once has something not really been the color represented but the fiber was nice even so. I am happy to be supporting indie fiber producers. So when I have a VERY BAD DAY which occurs at least every 2 weeks (or less), I reward myself with etsy. Rationalization: Cheaper than drinking and better for you and you have something afterwards. Fiber takes up less space and is cheaper than shoes. As bad habits go it could be lots worse.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

This is the yarn from the last post. Having to go to Wallyworld today as the local grocery has NO Halloween candy out. What are last-minute shoppers supposed to do? Not that we ever have many visitors, max was 15 and last year none, but you never know. Most of the people on our street close up and turn out the lights. The person next door decorated like crazy for the first few years he lived there but he got 1 kid last year and this year has not bothered. Aside from 1 baby my 17 yr old is the youngest for about 20 houses.

It's turned quickly cold with 30's at night. The kid announced this morning that he needed gloves and hats. As we were leaving the house for school. He accused me of wearing his hats and losing them. Certainly not making him any when they disappear faster than the speed of light. He already lost one jacket this week. Hope Wally hasn't sold out.

The nasty starlings have reappeared at the feeders after a one month absence. Darn. Thought they might have gone south for the winter. I can't put out food for the big woodpeckers cause they eat it in 1/2 hour. The 2 foxes were relaxing on the back hill yesterday, enjoying the sun about 20 feet from the house. The apples are about finished so maybe they'll move on. Maybe in honor of the day I'll go dig out something orange to work on.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Made some small test skeins with various combinations of the darker roving and then decided to chop up the lighter one and add bits to liven it up. I have 12 oz of the darker and 4 of the lighter. Will end up with about 900 yds of worsted weight 3ply. 350 yds finished and then it started raining. Too gloomy to take a decent picture of what is already a darkish yarn. Used up the testers making a darkish swatch on #5 at 5.5 st to 1 inch. I like to get related rovings from the same seller and mix them. This is from etsy FiberDenn, BFL, nice, smooth and colorfast. We do REALLY need the rain. No complaints.
The most same color stuff I have spun is about 1 pound. This isn't enough to make a sweater for me although possibly a vest. And it is a STRUGGLE to get through that pound. Can't imagine finishing 1500/2000 yds. Always want to move on to a new color. I think about combining my 3ply with purchased stuff but there really isn't a comparable item. Mostly rather spin than knit anyhow. Too indecisive to pick a project. My figure is not conducive to striped clothing, so the skeins continue to pile up.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Got my Ravelry invite. 3 days later. They apparently have a thingy on the queue checker that resends the invite if you keep checking. And my number hadn't moved in a few days. Possibly gobbled by AOL's spam filter although it doesn't do such a hot job on the real spam. Then I had to do Flickr. All without help from the male members of the household. Before my presence made the server go down I looked at lots of Monkeys and Swallowtails. Very informative. This will be a big help in choosing yarns and needles. Then there's the time spent following links to blogs and Flickr. Certainly going to cut into my Spider Solitaire time. Mike says: "Don't cut into Kitty-lunchtime".

Wonderful restraint shopping at Stitches. I really wanted ALL of the Araucania sock yarn but left some for others. The 2 skeins on the left are actually the same color name but from different sellers. The colors of all are very close except the pink which is much darker and purply in person. The only skein wound had no knots, very even and smooth. The STR booth was well stocked when I hit it but jammed. Probably spent an hour there with trying to see the sock stuff and the very slow line. They need about 6 checkout people for the first day. 1 skein Silkie, 1 lightweight and 1 Geisha. That is about 1000 yards/8 oz of mohair, silk and nylon, incredible feel but may be a slippery slope to knit. There may have been a shawl pin aquisition also.

Bavarian Knitting with Sarah Peasely was a great class. It should have been a 6 hour one. Packed with information, the homework was appropriately listed and used, she had swatches to illustrate the handouts. Hope they hire her for next year (she was a substitute). Take any class of hers. Total accident but this was the first class I've taken where everyone was on a skill level that enabled smooth use of the time.

The Marathon on Sunday made getting home difficult. I had to hike about a mile through the mean streets to catch up to the DH. And it was hot. ALL because he wanted to get a pizza at a new place in the city. If he had come in the usual way there would have been no problem. The pizza was very good but I was too pooped to enjoy it. on Hollins St across from the Market.

It's still hot here. Endless summer courtesy of the oil/auto/Dubya cartel.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

This roving is from etsy seller Fat CatKnits. I thought it was super stunning and my fiber-challenged friends were like "Hmm". Great example of how radically spinning can change colors. The blue/purple vanished leaving a few runs of steel gray. There is a lot of orange in the yarn and much golden brown. Very difficult taking a decent picture of the yarn. It was coming out too light and yellow. 8oz, 650 yds, of fingering weight. Finally figured out lining up the pictures so they don't stair-step.
My son saw 3 foxes in the backyard this week. We have a little creek about 300 yds down at the end of a steep hill. That's where our property ends. There's quite a bit of wildlife, especially with the drought. But we've never seen 3 at once. At least the coyotes haven't moved in yet.

We finally left the 90 degree temps behind. SO MUCH nicer, easy to sleep at night. But Mike is sad. He stands at the door, flattens and then hisses at me. I am to blame for the wind and mist and cold. He only resembles a penguin in coloration.

This fiber is Shetland from Winderwood on ebay. Much softer than commercial shetland yarn. Last time I checked him, there were no dyed rovings. Hopefully he's just taking a rest. So sad if he quit; all his stuff is nice quality, no bleeding.

I've been taking classes at Stitches this weekend. Friday's class was very annoying. I sense that the teacher could have been very good but there was a woeful lack of organization. And there was one VERY ANNOYING woman who appeared not to know how to do much. Like cast on, seed stitch. She monopolized the teacher for 2 hours and then the teacher had the nerve to cross the room and start talking about choosing yarns. "Can we get back to the class?" in a loud NJ accent. Hard to believe someone hasn't lost her in a swamp before this. Today's class was good. Spin to Knit with Merike Saarniit. Even if you already knew how to spin it was enjoyable. I would take another class with her. Made a few inpulse buys of sock yarn. Just in case they stop making it any time in the next 20 years.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Famous Nancy Bush sock, knit on Addi 1's. Cast on a few extra stitches and decreased to the pattern amount at the heel. It seems as if there must be people in the sock making world who have a bigger calf than ankle. Yet most patterns assume equality. I always cast on 10 -12 more and decrease about every inch of the cuff. Medium size person. The yarn was purchased in Port Townsend, Washington at a shop called Yarndiva. Very nice lady who seemed to specialise in solid colors. This is Chinese, no idea of the yardage, I used about 1 1/2 balls at 5$ per. This yarn is most like fingering yarns from the 40's and 50's, tightly twisted, hard wool. Softens when washed but will be very durable. The stitch definition is too good. I also got a few balls of sport weight that may be from the same company. They feel like Karabella 8 but are more twisted. Very springy.
Very hot this week, they promised rain today but now have waffled to a 50% chance late tonight. Too hot to knit and almost too hot to spin. Mike is enjoying the heat. He had a collar for a few days and had to stay in. Chewed a hole in his nether regions and became infected. Shave and a shot, lots of yelling. Poor vet. Wish animals could understand not to worry at irritations.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Me Too

Everyone is posting about Abby's Batts so here's mine. The color is just a tad more blue, a very peacock effect. I thought I was spinning thin but as usual, wash and poof. DK weight and enough for mittens or hat. Extremely smooth fiber, almost spun itself. This is some of the most even yarn I've made. And shiny.
We've had 2 nights in the 50's even though it hits 85 in the daytime. The humidity left. Saw some falling leaves, but they were dead from lack of rain not the season. It was actually bearable at my volunteer job today, we've been drenched in sweat for weeks.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

These are two 4oz rovings from etsy seller Artateaglesfind. The colors are exact on my monitor. Plain wool. Separated out into dark and other, spun and 3 plied on Lendrum wooleewinder middle whorl. 435yds I would probably use a US5 or 6 to knit with. They were quite colorfast when washed. The dark skein is especially gorgeous. I didn't separate pink and orange, the skeins just came out that way.

The whole week here was hot and muggy, the plants are just trying to hold on in case a little rain shows up. More bad kid problems but I know it's going to get even worse. So I bought 4 units of sock yarn to cheer myself up. The power company is getting rich off us now to make up for the cool weeks in spring. Even with the AC I feel damp. Can't justify putting it on 65. Mikey is still spending the day outside but I have caught him planked on the tile porch floor.

Somehow I was able to move the pictures in my last post, can't now. Sorry they're clumped.

Monday, September 3, 2007

The socks in the previous post were Hederas from Online cotton blend. Addi 1's. Details omitted due to agitation. Things have gotten a tad better, decided to drop the weekly Carmax visit. Kid problems remain in high gear. Still very hot here, no rain but a little cooler at night. We've had the AC off for 2 days.

Started spinning up some Ashland "Baltic". Very boring but making a nice basic yarn that will be good for a child sweater. So much of the roving I'm attracted to would NOT be good on little boys. Will have about 450 yds of 2 ply from 8 oz. If I ever finish it. The first fibers I bought, back at the beginning of spindling, were from Ashland. There weren't the large variety of hand painteds available then. I have 8oz each of boring tweedy dark red, dark green and dark brown. Very nice quality, just dull. When they came out with the new colors last (?) year, I got a few of them to try. Rose Quartz wins 'Most Ugly' looks like old mortar with some embalmed spider mites stuck to it. Sadly, again 8 oz. And I finished it. If dyeing ever takes place here, that will be the first to go. Hollyberry (can't find it for a picture - could I have actually made something with it?) and Daffodil were gorgeous. The light blue I forgot the name of.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Dropped In It

So many bad things happening to one person. I had promised myself not to make this blog a personal vent but... It all started with Southwest. "Flight delayed". Then they kept sending a person with updates who kept promising there would be a plane. 6 hours into the wait a passenger with a laptop saw that the flight had been cancelled. One hour later the desk personnel admitted it, said there weren't any seats available the next day and the first open were basically in 48 hours. They then closed up shop. 10pm. This inspired an act of uncharacteristic bravery by me and a wonderful woman named Tracy as we rented a car and drove all night to our previous destination. The rest areas on 95 are very scary at 2am.

I did this because I had a meeting at the school that morning, trying to get my son registered. Counselor with a big attitude due to a problem with the previous parent. She told me my materials were worthless, I'd not prepared the proper yaddayaddayadda. This after 3 weeks of frequent communication. And being up for 30 hours. Picked up my worthless stuff, left with no word of farewell, went home, slept 4 hours and went to work. Update on this situation: after much ado she dumped my file on another counselor this Monday. Didn't hear from them, went over and cornered various people and got another appointment for Friday. Hoping for luck as school is supposed to start on Monday. No one had any intention of calling me. "So we are having this meeting so late so I don't have time to go to the superintendent?" Yes I said it, the 4 ladies were quite shocked. Getting brave in my old age.

Then my 15 year old car died. I told DH it was the alternator but I am just a stupid woman. No no you need a new car this is dead. So ALL BY MYSELF I rented a car and went to the local used car superstore. Let's call it Carmax. Picked out a vehicle by my usual method of how does it feel when I sit in it. Had the last one for 10 years. It works. There were a few minor cosmetic and tailight issues which the very wonderful salesperson (who I bought the last one from) said they'd fix. Great. Took it in after they called. 3 hours. " Oh, we fixed the lights but the parts didn't come in." OK. Back the next week. "2 hours. Oh. we had to take the door off. 2 more hours. Oh we had to stick the key up our rears. 2 more hours. Oh we're done. Now we'll start on the next thing. " Don't think so. Got a lot of work done on socks. Left there really peeved at being lied to. They had to know how long that job would take. Back yesterday for the third time. After they called and said they had the part. Looked at the service manager with daggers of hate as I went in to the waiting room where I spent another 3 hours listening to daytime TV and a mother yelling at her baby. "Oh we had a special order it was a 2 part blahblah blah." Upon examination and discussion in a heated manner with the top service manager I deduced that they had ordered the wrong part and installed it. "Doesn't it look nice, they did a great job." Sure but that wasn't broken. By that time most of my lifelong habit of docile capitulation had been hacked away. They took umbrage at my desire for their deaths. We could have been on the 6 o'clock news. "Old lady driven mad by continual lies and delays of car repair people attacks them with size 0 sock needles." The other car is now working fine with it's new alternator. And I have to find someone to take the new one in next week. Refuse to look at their evil faces again.

Add to all this the continued poor behavior of child. Wasn't able to spin for 3 weeks. Had to order lots of fiber as reward for the pain. The picture is of the new bigger socks for Alison. Haven't figured out how to move it so it's up there.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Spontaneous Generation

This process does exist and not just as a property of dirty clothes on my son's floor. Ants have it too. Squish squish squish. Clean the area. Stare at a perfectly empty white space and 3 or 4 ants will suddenly POP into existence running in all directions. No eggs needed. Maybe it is more sinister: they've developed teleportation. Beam us up Ant-Scotty!

Mike is no help. He rolls in their roadways outside and may be doing the Trojan Cat thing. I've avoided calling the van with the bug on top in the past out of fear for the cats but the situation seems to warrant professional help this time.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

This was my first experiment in dissecting a roving. A rainbow Corriedale from Winderwood. 4 oz. about 200 yds of 13 wpi light worsted weight. Although the skeins look very different, they go together well, just enough of the light green in both. Magic. The singles and ply are almost perfectly balanced too which isn't a common occurrence here. I have only tried Navajo plying once on the wheel and found it stressful. It's certainly tedious on the spindle. This is a fun alternative.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Philosophy of Sock Knitting

I made my first pair of real, turn the heel, socks in 1972. Red worsted acrylic, one is still in existence. It will last till the Apocalypse because my husband only wore them about once. VERY STURDY sock. I should keep it in the trunk in case we need traction on ice. Started again when self striping yarn showed up here. Tried fancy patterns and settled into plain on Addi 0's because I liked the fabric. One short row heel that wore through fast, then all heel flap. Now some of them are in need of darning. I did a few pair for Moose (DH) and put the rest in bags. Cause I would rather - almost- knit a new sock than darn. Since his are size 12 I forced myself. It's all going to be afterthought heel now. It will take about the same amount of time to reknit and be less painful. The down side is that the 3 needle bind-off isn't nice in that area so I have to Kitchener. The only directions that I've been able to follow with minimal trouble have been in Charlene Schurch's Knitting Marvelous Mittens, when I could find it under the piles of sock yarn. So I'm now using the waste yarn chimney method. Bonus: no idea why this happens but most of the time there are no ears.

Lately I've tried using my handspun. I've mostly been using Addi 1's and getting a gauge of 8 st = 1". But the row gauge is different every time which necessitates fiddling the heel decreases. This is the seminal pair, in Twist and Shout, from CMF. One flap, one not. Not a useful pic of the heel. But it is visible in the previous post. The feet look really fat in this pic but they aren't. Just a side effect of being knit on 1's. They fit well and don't slide around. If I could upload my own pictures and not wait around for Moose, I'd take a better one. But this shows the beautiful color variations of the yarn.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Have to start sometime

After many years of agonizing about a title and reading helps, I still have no clue about how to do this. Finally guilted my SIL into setting this up. Then she abandoned me, with 2 pictures posted. The pictures are of a huge batt, from ebay seller WinderwoodFarms. It was supposedly 8 oz but lasted forever and there are 500 yards of 2ply sport weight. Mixed fiber and lots of glitz that doesn't show up well BECAUSE: I can't figure out how to get Supermacro on my camera. Chats with tech support have yielded non-applicable page numbers for the manual. My last email of "Just tell me which button to push - 3rd request" remains unanswered. My teenage son has been less than helpful although he has had no trouble figuring out how to work the big tv.

Hopefully this blog will spur production of fiber related items. There's a moderate amount of spinning and less sock making. I spindled for about 5 years but wrist and hand issues forced the purchase of a Lendrum in February. Woolee Winder ordered a month later. Handling wool is difficult with the temps over 90 but I have made 2 pairs of Hedera anklets with part cotton yarn. These, if the picture shows up, are Meilenweit. I used Addi 1's and an afterthought heel. These were going to be for my neighbor Alison but she lied about the size of her foot. Can you imagine if someone offers you handmade socks, concealing the fact of EEEness?