Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Today my Mama Blue Knitting Goods Troika Sock in Beekeeper came and I was not disappointed.

This yarn is some of the most gorgeous, buttery soft yarn I have ever held in my hands. I'm not exaggerating, not even one little bit. These two little skeins are a treasure. I actually considered winding it and starting another Henry immediately. I really shouldn't since I have so many projects on the needles right now. I'm wondering how long I'll be able to hold out.

Also, as promised, this is the remainder of the beautiful Funky Carolina roving.

The purplish one at the top is called Grey Room, the bottom left is Mikos and the bottom right (and my personal favorite of the three which I am most likely to keep for myself once it's done) is Tweedy Fellow.

Today I'm about half way done with my Pigeonroof Studios BFL. I think I'll have it all done and plied by Friday, which is perfect because it looks like the AllSpunUp Spin-A-Long fiber may come as early as Friday after all. Perfect timing.

This Spin-A-Long fiber is going to be it for me for a while. I'm going on a diet... in more ways than one. For the last four years I've progressively been gaining more and more weight. Sadly, I've not been able to find the motivation to do something about it - until yesterday.

My husband and I have both decided to go on a diet January 1, 2009. In the past, my main difficulty with weight loss is that I lack
the discipline required to reach my goal. It takes a lot to get me properly motivated, and yesterday I stumbled on just the thing to help me stay dedicated toward reaching my goal.

I've promised (not just myself, but my husband and now any readers of this blog - so there's no backing out) that I will not purchase any more roving until I lose my first 10 pounds, and then I'll allow myself as much as three 4oz braids. Then no more roving until I've lost another 10 pounds. Every 10 pounds I lose will earn me another 3 braids.

This plan seems too easy, but it's already working. Usually I would be spending my last two days of calorie-consuming freedom indulging on everything I could get my hands on, but I'm already terrified about not being able to buy more wool. Right now Pigeonroof Studios is having an update and though I wasn't going to buy any wool today anyway, I'm really bothered by the fact that I couldn't if I did want to. My impulsive desires for food are vanishing. It's as if my brain is in control again. Now when the body says, "food?" my brain says,

"Nope. It's all about the wool."

Let's hope this newfound motivation lasts. Wish me luck!! =)

Monday, December 29, 2008


Last night I finished another handspun merino sock yarn. This one was spun from some of that gorgeous Funky Carolina roving...

The colorway was called Sickly Petunias, but I'm renaming it 'Lullaby'. It's a soft combination of pastels with just enough gray to tone it down a little. I've thought about keeping it and knitting a February Baby Sweater, but it was only a passing thought -this one is for my February update.

It's a Navajo 3 ply handspun merino sock yarn
Approximately 3.6oz and 375 yards
Fingering Weight

I've been meaning to take pictures of the rest of the Funky Carolina roving I have and just haven't set aside the time to take pictures. Today is a cold, overcast day so maybe I'll get out there and make myself do it.

Now that this one is done I'm spinning some Pigeonroof Studios BFL I got last week. It's in the Harlequin colorway and it's very Caribbean-looking. It makes me want to drink rum (which I don't really even like, I'm more of a gin lover). It's soft and pretty and is being spun into a nice 2-ply fingering weight yarn. The spinning has been a little awkward for this one as I've been doing 3-plies for a while, but I think it'll come out alright as long as I remember to take things slowly.

Other than that I'm expecting my Mama Blue purchase to arrive any day now, and my AllSpunUp spin-a-long fiber should be on it's way soon, too. Cheers =)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


I'm happy to say that the Henry is done, and just in the nick of time, too. I really want to post pictures (I've tried several times this morning) but every time I begin uploading pictures to the internet my modem plays dead. I'm so thankful that my Dad will be getting this in time. I had a few spasms of fear the other day thinking that I might actually not make it. It feels nice to have this little victory.

I am so behind on my Christmas shopping that it's frightening, so I'm heading off to get everything else done. At least I'm nearly done baking.

I'll try again later to post pictures of the Henry. Merry Christmas everyone!!

ETA: Yay! I finally got the picture up. =)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Feeding Frenzy

Well, it's only a few days before Christmas and I'm fighting through the effects of my procrastination to finish the Henry by tomorrow, so I can do the crazy-long bind off and get it washed and blocked in time to give it to my dad on Christmas eve. I do anticipate finishing this on time, though it's not going to be done without cheating a bit -I've decided to do only six of the seven pattern repeats (which I can get away with because this scarf is already much wider than I expected it to be). This is double good news for me as I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I can't possibly run out of yarn with this decision either. Aside from that, here's some yarn...

It's approximately 4.3oz and 430 yards of 3-ply handspun sock yarn (Navajo plied), spun from gorgeous 70% SW Merino/30% Alpaca top from AllSpunUp. I love this blend and this skein is a total triumph for me. A while back I got about a pound of this lovely fiber blend from Kristin (in different colors) and I've been saving it to spin for a Serrano. Until now, I've been extremely worried that I wouldn't be able to spin it fine enough to get the yardage I need. I did the math a while back and I figured that I'd need to get at least 420 yds out of each 4oz braid. So this project (while still a long ways off in my queue) is something I can conceivably pull off at this point. Deep sigh of relief.....

At this time I'm spinning for the next update, which wont be happening for a while, definitely not until after the new year and possibly as far off as February. It's a long time to wait, but I've got way too much that needs doing around my house at this time to be spending several hours a day at my wheel. But I do think this next update will be well worth the wait...

And speaking of great updates, I just scored 2 beautiful skeins of Mama Blue Troika Sock in Beekeeper from the Mama Blue Knitting Goods update tonight -I'm stoked! Last update I managed to get a skein of Sea Merino in Palomino, but I've always wanted to get one of her yarns in the Beekeeper colorway- it's one of my absolute favorites. Ever since I've been working on my dad's Henry I've had this thought in the back of my head that I would probably never knit another Henry unless I could make one out of Mama Blue in Beekeeper. Now the thought of knitting another Henry is sounding appealing (I should totally slap myself right now). Oh well, I'm still stoked. I'm confident that I'll love this color and I've heard incredible things about the troika yarn. I do hope that this will quench my hunger for Mama Blue for a while, though. Shopping one of her updates is like finding yourself amidst a school of hungry piranhas. Seriously. Brutal. I'm going to consider myself a very lucky woman.

I'm off to finish my row requirement for the Henry this evening while watching season 7 of Smallville (I do miss TV sometimes). Cheers =)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Celebrating Progress

Here I have what is hopefully the last of the yarn I need to knit the Henry. It's funny, as much as I've talked about loathing the Henry, and never wanting to see this color again, I can't help but love this yarn and want to rub it against my skin... So soft....

And for a yarn that is so brown and austere, it's quite likable. I'll have to remind myself of this when I'm another fifty rows or so into the Henry and I'm hating it again.

I've also been working on some beautiful Freckle Face Fibers merino in the Enchanted Hollow colorway. I'm spinning this into another 3-ply sock yarn (for my Etsy shop) and I think it's going to turn out beautifully. I'm hoping that I'll be done spinning it by tomorrow night.

After that I'll be finishing the second half of the merino from my last post and then I think I'm gonna dig out some of that beautiful Funky Carolina Merino (assuming I can handle waiting that long, I've been wanting to spin the Funky Carolina since it came). Cheers =)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Yay For Monday...

I'm glad it's Monday again... I love having my husband home on his days off and I love having my little girl home on the weekends (sleeping in, if possible, is always awesome), but sometimes I'm just happy when it's Monday again and I have the house to myself for a while.

There wasn't a lot of progress on the knitting this weekend except that I started yet another scarf. I'm beginning to think that my startitis was actually scarf-itis (I'm currently working on 4). I was reading through the show and tell posts on the ravelry AllSpunUp forum and Kristin (the amazing lady behind AllSpunUp) was knitting a beautifully simple scarf for her niece out of some lovely semi-solid orange handspun in a slanted garter stitch that showed off the handspun beautifully, and realizing that I already had yarn spun that would be perfect for this pattern I dug out the yarn and cast on right then. I'm going to keep that project with me this week (since I don't need a pattern) and hopefully it will get done quickly.

I did get some spinning done. This is the first half of some hand-dyed merino. It's a fingering weight Navajo 3-ply, approximately 216 yards. I pulled this roving out of the shop as it seemed no one was going to buy it. These aren't exactly my colors, but I think someone out there will love it.

I'll also have to get some photos up soon of some beautiful roving I bought from Funky Carolina on Etsy. I've got more of her beautiful rovings on the way right now and I can't wait 'till they get here - they're gorgeous! Carrie is one of the sweetest people I've had the pleasure of buying from on Etsy and a very talented dyer/fiber artist, too.

Anyways, this morning I'm finishing up what I hope will be the last of the yarn I need to knit my Dad's Henry (I'm currently in the middle of plying). I've spun the 3oz I had and am thinking that it might get me through till the end of the scarf, since the first half that I already had spun (and thought wouldn't get me quite half-way through) is making it further along in the pattern than I expected for its yardage. If not, at least I have more of the top to work with if I need it.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Knitting for Christmas... Or not.

Well, Christmas is approaching and I've been doing a lot of knitting lately. I think I'm almost over my startitis (thankfully) and I'm trying to finish first-priority knits first.

First in line is my Dad's Henry. It's coming along beautifully. I'm almost halfway done knitting it and when I did the math, I discovered that if I knit 6 rows a day (2 in the morning, 2 in the afternoon and 2 before bed) I should have this bad boy all done in two weeks, and before you scoff at my six rows a day, I'd just like to mention that each row is over 450 tiny fingering-weight stitches, and takes me about 20 minutes to knit.

I am also happy to report that the spinning for the Henry is almost complete, though I did end up ordering more of the Ashland Bay Merino in Forest (I'm never going to want to see this color again. In fact, I anticipate that any future sightings of it will bring on fits of violent, projectile retching.) because the last bit that I ordered, and assumed was 4 oz (that's what I paid for) ended up being only 3oz when I weighed it. It's odd, I would never normally weigh fiber bought from a big online store but it looked a little on the small side when I retrieved it from the stash and I had this feeling that maybe I should just weigh it, which proved to be a very good thing, as I would have ended up being a whole 100 yards short of my needed 800 yards total.

Then there are the Selbuvotter mittens (NHM #5). These mittens are from the tail-end of my startitis. I wasn't planning on knitting these right away, but my munchkin started nagging at me about them a week ago, and as I was still in startitis mode, I cast on immediately.

Sadly, these aren't exactly beautiful, but as I'm not ordering any more yarn right now and I don't have time to spin for anymore personal projects at the moment, she's getting a blend of some rainbow BFL handspun that I had on hand and some leftover commercial sock yarn. Even with the mis-matched yarns they're not all bad. She seems to be pleased with them at the moment and if she's happy, then I'm happy. (Please note: I'm still working on the whole fair isle thing. I haven't done fair isle in a long time, but it's improving as I go. I'm hoping that some of the unevenness will come out when I block them -cross fingers-.)

And here is a project that I love more and more every time I look at it.

It's my munchkin's eyelet heart scarf from my own handspun and it's getting prettier and prettier all the time. This yarn is so soft (if I do say so myself) and the colors look so great on her with her little pale-redheaded complexion. I love knitting things for my little girl, but this is definitely the kind of hand knit gift that should be loved and treasured.

I'm pleased that I haven't let myself fall prey to the delusion that I could knit gifts for my whole family this Christmas. I'm just finishing my Dad's scarf, because (though he doesn't know it) it was supposed to be his Christmas presents last year and my spinning/knitting endurance was, obviously, not as awesome as I hoped it would be. If I didn't get it done on time this year I would have to hang my head in shame. Instead, I started several projects and decided that if some of them happened to get done in time, and could work as gifts, then that would be cool...

Turns out it's a good thing I expected so little of myself, because I do not see myself getting anything but the Henry done. To those who are facing the Christmas challenge, I wish you luck. =)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

This morning has been a blur of pie-baking fury, but I did find enough time to list this new handspun. It's another 2-ply SW merino sock yarn, spun from Allspunup roving, 384 yards. I loved spinning this one and plying it was even better. It's very soft and lovely and I was tempted to keep it and make myself a Simple Yet Effective Shawl, though in the end I decided to list it (mainly because I came up a few yards to short, and I haven't any desire to alter the pattern if I were to run out of yarn, even though making an alteration would probably be much easier than I think). We'll see what happens. If no one buys it by the time I finish my Dad's Henry, I might take it back. =)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I'm off to change for dinner (I've got yam on my pants).

Friday, November 21, 2008


I've just added a beautiful new superwash merino sock yarn to my etsy shop. I love this one. I had to slap it on the wheel the second it arrived in the mail from AllSpunUp. I finished it early yesterday and I've been very tempted to keep it, but seeing as I've been giving into my fiber-temptations too often this last week, I'm going to have to sacrifice this one to the shop. I have got some absolutely gorgeous rovings piling up around here. I like it a whole lot.

This one is approximately 4oz and 392 yards of 3-ply (Navajo/chain ply) superwash merino sock yarn. I've called this one Driftwood. It's soft and lovely and it should make some lucky person's feet very happy.

There's been so much spinning lately that there has been almost no time for knitting, though whenever I think about it I try to slap out a few rows on my father's Henry.

I've also been spending a lot more time deep cleaning the house which is very, very good. I don't know why, but I like cleaning in the times right before and after Christmas more than at any other time of year. Those few weeks (beginning in late November and lasting through December) are the one time of year that seriously industrious cleaning seems to just happen 'naturally' for me.
Well, I'm off to do some laundry and work on the lovely 2-ply that's currently on the wheel. Cheers.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Lots going on...

I have been a bad, bad blogger. Lately there have been just way too many things going on and I've had start-itis big time for the last few weeks. I've finished my socks from the Allspunup Spin-A-Long (I forgot to post a picture here- maybe next time I'll remember), I've also been working (a bit less diligently than hoped for) on my Dad's Henry for this upcoming Christmas (I'm about 1/3 done with the knitting, which is good, but I still have to spin the second half of the yarn which must be done soon), and in the last two weeks I've also started an Icarus Shawl as well as this cute little scarf...

I'm using the eyelet heart stitch pattern from the Vogue Stitchionary (Volume 1- Knit and Purl) with some of my own sport-to-worsted weight handspun merino yarn.

In between the knitting there has been a lot of spinning. Here is the first half of some SW Merino sock yarn (fiber by AllSpunUp). It's another Navajo 3-ply, and I like it very much. It has a very beachy feel to it. The colors remind me of sand, foamy waves, driftwood and seaweed. The second half should be finished in another couple of days.

I've just bought a few delicious fibers from some other sellers in the last few weeks (I even splurged on some Mama Blue Knitting Goods SeaMerino Sock Yarn in Palomino- yay!) and there should be some very beautiful stuff coming along soon (well, maybe not so soon- these 3-plies are gorgeous but they take a long time).

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


This morning I decided to go ahead and list the spinning fibers and yarns that are ready to go. The shop has already been updated and there will be a few more yarns coming soon. Cheers!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

New Rovings Done!!

I have spent the last couple of days dyeing all of the remaining roving. I still have to take pictures of the others, but was able to take a picture of this one as it was dry.

It's around 4oz of plain merino. I was going for a rainbow coloring. It came out very... psychedelic? Close enough, I guess.

I'll have more pictures of the others once they're dry. I'm still on time (sort of) with my spinning schedule. I should finish the merino/silk I've been working on by tomorrow, though it's still looking like it's going to be a while before the shop update.

I do have good news, though. A while back I had that wonderful dye pot mishap that became the mountain colorway, and I had been worried that I wouldn't be able to repeat it. Well, this morning I came close to repeating it. The only difference is that in the first one I used some olive green and since I'm currently out of olive I mixed a green which came out different, but still pretty. As far as I can tell it's going to be nice. Oh, and it's a merino/silk!! Yay!!

ETA: The 2nd attempt at the Mountain Colorway came out lighter (a lot more gold than brown) than the first but is gorgeous none the less. Yay!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Whole lotta stupid...

Things are coming along here, if slowly. Here is proof that I have been spinning.

It's the first half of a light fingering weight yarn I've been working on for about a week. Approx. 198 yards of Navajo 3-ply merino/silk. It has gorgeous shades of brown, green, gold and peacock blue.

And these are some of the latest from the dye pot. This one's merino/silk...

And this one's just good ol' merino.

I tried to make progress with the dyeing again today and had an absolute disaster (as far as I can tell). I was trying to do a similar roving to the brown/blue one from my last post and as I started putting the dye in the pot, I had a moment of unbridled stupidity. I poured a whole lot of navy blue in the pot instead of brown. I did my best to make it work, but this afternoon when I put it in the washer to spin out the excess water, I had a second moment of stupidity and forgot that I'd just removed a comforter from the washer (sadly, in our house washing a comforter = a washing machine full of dog hair). It's going to take me a while to remove all the Jack Russell contributions.

I'm hoping to have the merino/silk yarn done by the end of the week, as well as the last two merino/silk rovings all dyed up and ready to go. Then (hopefully) just another couple weeks of spinning before the next update. Cheers. =)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Learning Curve

After spending the majority of last week finishing off my Spin-A-Long fiber and knitting, I've started to get back to work for my Etsy shop.

Today I finished spinning some sock yarn (tomorrow I ply- yay!) and I also finished up with the first of the merino rovings from the dyepot, which turned out pretty good...

The last merino rovings I dyed came out okay (they spin up fine), but there were still a few neps and they were still a bit fuzzier on the outside than I cared for. This new roving is the least fuzzy I have done so far.

The last few months I've spent a good deal of time reading (particularly through the hand-dyeing forums on Ravelry, which have been incredibly helpful) and I think I've finally found a dye method that suits me. It's helping me to get a more interesting-looking roving, there's no felting and the fuzz problem seems to be going away more and more as I get better.

I'm aiming to eventually do more spinning fiber than yarn. I love making handspun and always want to have it available, but I've been noticing lately that I rarely get to keep any for myself anymore. I think that having the rovings available will help to keep the shop from being so empty when I need some 'me' spinning time (at least that's the way it worked in my mind). I also want to offer more handspun that is made from my own hand-dyed fibers (though I still plan on offering handspuns from other fiber artists to keep things interesting).

I still have about a pound and a half of fiber left to dye and I'm hoping to have those rovings all done in the next couple of weeks. I have 3-4 more rovings that are in line to become handspun (including a merino/bamboo and a merino/silk) and when everything is done I'll be doing another update. Though it may be a while longer than usual as I'm doing a few 3-plys.

I'll try to have more pictures and details of my progress as I go, 'till then, cheers. =)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Spin-A-Long and Scrubbing

For about a week, I've been taking a time-out from spinning for my Etsy shop and indulging in some spinning time for myself. Last Thursday, my fiber for the Allspunup Ravelry Spin-A-Long came in the mail and I started working on it that night. I had the first half of the fiber spun and Navajo plied by the end of the weekend and have since been knitting it into a beautiful sock while I work on spinning the remaining fiber. I still have about an ounce (from the original 4.4oz) left to spin.

When I finished the first half of the yarn I was (and I'm most disappointed in myself now for ever doubting its beauty) worried that it wasn't going to look all that nice knit up- mainly because most of the bright yellow blended with the other colors in a way that made it less yellow/magenta-ish/navy blue-black and more orangey/lime green/dark green. I'm so glad I was wrong. It still looks quite different from the roving, but I absolutely love these colors together.

I clearly haven't been knitting with enough of my own handspun. The colors in this sock are absolutely gorgeous. This project is making me want to knit with almost nothing but my own handspun (or other peoples' handspun).

I know that I have made a rule for myself about not knitting or spinning when Paige is in school, but I think I'm going to make at least a half-day exception so I can finish spinning this yarn and get it plied tomorrow. I do have an excuse (sort of) as nearly all of the yarn has sold from my shop and I really do need to get working on yarns for restocking. So it's important that I get this one off the wheel, right?

So, I'm going to finish this up and then resume deep-cleaning the kitchen, which I've been having a surprisingly good time doing. I worked for half the day yesterday and a couple of hours the night before cleaning my kitchen cabinets with a home-made cleaner that works better that anything I have ever used. I found this recipe here for the General Purpose Cleaner I've been using. It's awesome. I've never before been able to entirely remove the grease build-up on my kitchen cabinets (which for the record was partially already there when we moved into this house) not even with 409, hot water and the rough scrubbie-side of a sponge. All I've had to do is spray this stuff on, let it sit for a minute and then gently rub it with a dry cloth to remove all of the greasy build-up/residue. My kitchen cabinets are cleaner now then they have ever been since we moved into this house.

The sanding is also coming along better now than it was before, and it's making me feel encouraged. It's a good feeling.

ETA: Tonight I ordered a pound of merino top and a pound of merino/silk top, so hopefully I'll be adding a number of new spinning fibers in the next couple of weeks-yay!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


This is a new addition to the etsy shop. It's a 2-ply handspun and hand-dyed merino sock yarn that I've been hoarding in my stash, not wanting to give it up.

Approx. 3.8oz and 400yds. I call this colorway "Mountain". It came from a dye-pot mishap, and I mostly didn't want to sell it because I love this colorway and I'm not sure if I can repeat it. Maybe next time I order more merino I'll give it another try.

Also, I updated my shipping thing-a-ma-jig this morning, and now I have several more international shipping destinations (yay!). It feels like a big step for me, but I've had a couple of international buyers recently (Australia and Germany) and I've had such awesome experiences with them that it seemed like a good idea to add some of these countries onto my shipping permanantly.

Lastly, I've got another beautiful merino sock yarn on the wheel right now, with a beautiful merino/bamboo in line behind it. I'll try to remember to get more pictures up soon. Cheers!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I updated the shop this morning. It isn't quite everything that I've had in the works, but it's still a healthy-sized update. I have a really pretty merino/bamboo sock yarn on the wheel right now and more in line behind it. I also still have some merino/bamboo roving to dye. Another small update should be happening in the next week and a half or so.

Back to work... Cheers.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Just a quick one...

I've been spinning and dyeing like a wild woman in preparation for my next shop update. It will be the largest shop update I've had so far. (I feel kind of silly saying that because mine are still so small compared to most.) A few weeks ago I was aiming for an Oct. 1st update, then about a week ago I realized that it just wasn't going to happen by then. So I'm planning to list everything sometime before the 15th (this should give me a generous window of time to finish all the spinning, dyeing and drying).

There will be 5 or 6 (maybe more if I get the time) sock yarns to list as well as a few rovings. I'm getting very excited!

For now though, I'm getting back to my plying!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Meet Charlene...

I spent all of yesterday morning spinning this beautiful yarn that I have named Charlene (after my late grandmother) who loved to wear these kinds of colors. This is some of the merino roving from the stash recently dyed for the shop. I was going to make it into a variable worsted weight 2-ply yarn, but when I began winding it up to ply it, I felt the distinct sensation in my gut that told me I was about to make a mistake. I'm glad I paid attention...

She turned out beautiful. Up till this morning I wrestled with whether or not I should keep her because she's so nice. I was even looking through my stitch dictionaries for a stitch pattern that would work nicely with a scarf or a cowl. After some consideration (which included thoughts of balancing the checkbook today) I decided to list her.

Charlene is approx. 450 yards of beautiful single-ply, fingering weight handspun/hand-dyed yarn and is available at my etsy shop.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Half done?

Not even... but I'm working on it.

Here are four of the yarns I've been working on (each of which is only half spun). From the left they are SW merino sock, merino sock, alpaca/merino/silk sock and BFL sock.

They're all lovely and soft and I would like to work on them 24/7 'till they're all done, but for now spinning in the evenings and on the weekends will have to do. I still expect to have a shop update around the first week of October. If I'm diligent I can probably finish these four by that update as well as a couple more BFLs.

I'm getting very excited about digging into that stash.

Monday, September 8, 2008

In preparation for winter...

I have been dyeing lots of wool. About 2 1/2 pounds worth in the last week alone. I've been working on my techniques for dyeing merino. What I've dyed so far is drafting and spinning up nicely, but it's still not as nice looking as some of the rovings I've bought from other Etsy sellers. I've bought a few that were the same as mine have turned out (which spin up nicely), but there are still a few rovings I've bought from other sellers that are perfect -presentation wise. I'd like to begin selling more rovings at some point, so I'm working towards perfection (as much as is possible).

So far, I've dyed up one pound of BFL and 1 1/2 pounds of merino. I'm still working on spinning my last batch of hand dyed rovings, but I've been having issues with being faithful to any one color for very long. I have three different rovings that each have half already spun and plied. And sadly, I've another two new rovings that I just started spinning since this new dye batch.

I'm thinking that shop updates are not going to be happening anytime soon, but when one does happen, it will probably be my biggest yet. It will also probably be all yarn.

I'm wondering how long it's going to take me to finish up with this bin. I've been spinning a lot faster since I got the Minstrel, but on the flip side, my little one is in school now, and I have been working diligently on the house. I actually promised that I would not knit or spin whenever she's in school -at least until the house is finished. Even so, I imagine I'll be through with this bin by the first of the year.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

One more...

Here's one more little sweater...

... for Finn. Finn is about two months old now. He was born on the Summer Solstice and is the second child (but first son) of my friend Kathy, in Wisconsin (who loves green). He's adorable and this sweater ought to fit him perfectly sometime around Christmas.

Knitted from Classic Elite Classic One-Fifty in the color 'ivy', it turned out great and was far less expensive than the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran the pattern called for (I'm not at a place right now where I'm willing to spend $50-60 on a baby sweater which will surely be puked on). Very fun and quick to knit, I'm sure I'll make this one again.

Now, I'm off to find an unfinished sock.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

By the skin of my teeth...

... I'm finished with my Must Have Cardigan. It turned out very well, I'm very happy about it and I even finished it before my Ravelympics deadline (apprx. 9:00am tomorrow).

Now I must go. My house looks like crap (it's been neglected since 8/8/08- the start of the Ravelympics) and so do I (I'm very, very behind on my sleep).

As soon as I get the house back into livable conditions it will be time to dive back into the roving. My wheel has been staring at me reproachfully for days.

I'm very much looking forward to fall.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Food is better than wool...

... Well, at least today it is. I'm thinking I'm going to have to stay up late to get the cardigan done. Though I'm nearly to the part where I'm done increasing (about half way done) for the second sleeve and I think I can get it done before bed if I put on a pot of coffee and overindulge (just a little).

I had to take some time away from the knitting to put food back in the house again. So this afternoon my little one and I went to the natural foods store and got the makings for a wonderful dinner. My husband is working late tonight, and though I miss him and wish he didn't have to work so late, I also enjoy the nights he's not home for dinner, because then I get to make things that I really like to eat. I really enjoy eating healthy foods. He doesn't.

So tonight we got to eat this...

Sri Wasano's Infamous Indonesian Rice Salad from the Moosewood Cookbook.

Along with some Gypsy Soup, also from the Moosewood. It was great. Much, much better than knitting the last few inches of the second sleeve on my cardigan. Ha.

Oh, and here's some wool. Some very pretty 70/30 SW Merino/Alpaca sock yarn. I added it to the shop a couple of days ago and forgot to mention it.

More handspun will be on the way as soon as the cardigan is done. Cheers.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ravelympics 2008

Guilt has set in. I've been doing a terrible job with the blogging lately, but I have been so busy with this....

This is my project for Ravelympics (specifically the WIP Wrestling event) which are during the summer olympics. It's a Paton's Must Have Cardigan. I picked up what I had done so far (which was about 1/3 of the back piece) on the first day of the summer olympics and I've been working on it nearly every day. By the way, when I say working on it, I'm not saying that lightly. When I pick this up and knit, I don't stop for hours. I'd be really sad if I failed to finish this on time. I'm so close.

The picture above was taken just a couple of days into the ravelympics. As of now, I have finished the back, both fronts, and I'm just a few short inches away from finishing the first of two sleeves. I have through Saturday (roughly) to finish it- I think. I've also blocked the back and one of the fronts and tonight, once I finish the first sleeve, I'm going to block that with the front that hasn't been blocked yet. If I cast on for the second sleeve before I go to bed, I think I can probably have it done by Friday afternoon. I've also planned on sewing up the shoulder seams and knitting the collar/buttonband while the last sleeve is blocking to save some time. Then I'll just have to set in the sleeves and finish seaming it up.

I'm not going to give up. I really think I can do this. Admittedly, I want to cry a little whenever I pick up the cardigan to work on it. However, seeing how much has been accomplished in such a short amount of time is amazing. I wouldn't have thought it possible, but I now know that I can knock out a sweater in under three weeks. I didn't think I could knit fast enough but now I know the truth: I AM fast enough... I'm just too lazy.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Time warp...

Ever since the new wheel came, I've been spinning...

And spinning...

And spinning.

And this is only about half of what I've done. I think that going without a wheel for what seemed like such a long time has really made its mark on my spinning speed. Thankfully, the new wheel and I are bonding very well (though my plying experiences have been only marginally better than with the Joy, so I know I'm going to be shopping for a WooLee winder very, very soon).

I've been spinning so much lately that today (for once) I don't even really want to look at the wheel. I think if I do anything crafty today, it will be to pick up a baby sweater I've been working on and finish it.

The home-improvements are still crawling along at a snails pace, though Paige is going to be starting all-day Kindergarten (new here in WA state) in just a few short weeks, and then I think things are going to start barrelling right along. Today's agenda includes finding boxes while I'm out running errands so I can pack up the books in the den.

Speaking of which, I'd better be off. I've got to get to the post office early today.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

It's Finally Here...

Well, the Minstrel finally arrived...

Beautiful, isn't it?

It was the biggest pain in the rear-end to put together, as the instructions were the most poorly-written instructions known to man (I think it took me over two hours and I'm usually a whiz about putting things together).

After a few minutes of testing out the double drive I was off and running. First off, I started spinning some fine singles for sock yarn out of some reject BFL I had kept just for this occasion. After a while I grabbed my Amazon fiber batts from Fiber Monster on Etsy and I spun and plied this gorgeous 93 yard skein of worsted weight 2-ply.

I hardly ever spin anything heavier than DK weight, but I have to say...

... I loves it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sick of Socks...

Well, here they are...

... The monkeys are done.

Today I'm planning on digging out the only unfinished pair of socks I have left and resuming working on them. It leaves me feeling a little queasy. I should be excited that I only have one pair of socks left to finish (if I really work on them in every spare minute I may actually reach my goal of finishing all unfinished socks before the wheel arrives on Friday), but I don't even want to look at them.

Last night I found myself reading in one of the forums on Ravelry about different methods of color knitting (knitting with both hands vs. knitting with one/knitting with or without the use of a fingerthimble), and I realized that I have more of a desire to pick up my unfinished ugly Christmas sweater and work fair isle than I do to knit one more stinking pair of socks. I am going to pick them up and finish them regardless of how I feel right now (because I do want them done) but after they're done, I'm tempted to swear off socks 'till fall.

I also really mean what I said about the fair isle knitting, too. Last night when I was reading I came across a discussion about the Norwegian Purl. I'd never heard that term before, so I went straight to You Tube and found this video of it, and so I picked up my knitting and tried the stitch out left-handed, and it really does work very nicely. The only thing I don't like about continental-style knitting is purling and the Norwegian method of purling solves the problem for me. I'm really glad I came across this technique because I do love the look of fair isle and some day (hopefully not too far off) I want to do a bohus sweater, which I think would be undesirably challenging if I wasn't comforable with my two-handed fair isle knitting.

Aside from the knitting, I'm going to use today to catch up on my housework. My husband had the last three days off from work and my little one and I have been sick since Thursday morning. Today is the first day I've woke up feeling like myself and my little one still has a runny nose and cough. I can hardly see the floor of my laundry room.

Where's a good house elf when you need one?

Friday, July 11, 2008

It's almost here...

I think it's time for me to be cut off from buying any more fiber (for a while).

In preparation for the new wheel, I've been buying some fiber here and there, and I've really put together a fantastic bit of rovings (like maybe 10) between my own rovings and those from other etsy sellers. The only thing really bumming me out about these rovings is that I don't see how I can justify holding on to all of them. Normally, I always keep the handspuns made from Etsy rovings (from other sellers) for my own personal stash. It doesn't seem very cost effective to sell them and it's hard enough selling and shipping away the handspun I've done from my own rovings. I'm thinking I'll have to pick one or two for keepsies and then the rest are going in the shop.

I also ordered about 1 1/2 pounds of different fibers for dyeing and spinning (I really got to splurge big because of the generous fiber credit that came with the purchase of my wheel). So that should be a lot of fun. Though, I am going to try to make it through my pile of rovings before I dye and spin the rest.

Also, as of yesterday morning I placed the order for my wheel. Today I was sent a tracking number with UPS and my wheel is scheduled to be here next Friday. Would anyone care to guess how I'm going to be spending the majority of my time next weekend?

I'm stoked!!!! The not-spinning window of time is almost up!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Here are hubby's socks. All done. I finished them late last night. I'd say I'm surprised they took me so long, after all they're such a fast knit, but that would be a lie. I know myself too well. I can have one sock in a pair finished and the other pair finished except for the toe, and if something else comes along asking for my attention I'll set them down and abandon them for 3 1/2 weeks.

Now that these are done, I'm going to rummage through my drawer of UFOs to cast on for the second monkey sock (I think I finished the first monkey sock back in May). After that, I'm going to finish my Vintage KAL socks. I should have had those finished a couple of weeks ago, but I pushed them further down the list to make room for Hubby's socks and the impromptu baby sweater he asked me for.

Speaking of baby sweaters, it's been a long time since I went all out and splurged on knitting books, but either late this week or early next week I can be expecting a whole lot of them. Knitpicks is having a sale through early August: 40% off their entire stock of books. Considering that most of the books I covet for my collection are all expensive (for me that would be $25.00 and up) I used the sale as justification to go a little crazy.

I ordered The Best of Interweave Knits, Debbie Bliss Special Knits, Selbuvotter A Biography of Knitting Tradition, Things I Learned from Knitting Whether I Wanted to or Not, The Opinionated Knitter and Knitter's Almanac. Seriously, this is a lot of book spending for me, but totally worth it. I don't think I'll be even remotely tempted to buy another knitting book for a long, long time. I think I made some pretty good choices, too. How could I possibly go wrong with Elizabeth Zimmerman?

Speaking of spending money... It's only a few more days before I order my new spinning wheel. The Joy was sold last Thursday and shipped out this Monday- all the way to Virginia, too. The lady who bought her was an absolute sweetheart to work with. I'm happy to say that the process of selling her the wheel restored my faith in humanity a little (I had faith before, but now I have just that much more). I'm glad to have the process almost done with and I'm looking forward to having the new wheel come. I have been preparing for its arrival by splurging on fiber from my fellow sellers on Etsy. Besides the few I've already gathered from Allspunup and FiberMonster, I just ordered yet another from Allspunup and one from FatCatKnits. They're all going to be beautiful. I'm stoked.

Well, until the wheel does get here I've plenty going on around the house. My daughter celebrated her 5th birthday on Monday and we're having a party for her this weekend.

We're still working on the house. My hubby has much of the outside of the house all spiffed out now- It's looking very nice. I'm going through closets and drawers, throwing things out and boxing things up for goodwill. I still have a lot to do. I'm so thankful to have the wheel sold, and I am (sadly) benefitting greatly from having it out of the house. I'm getting a lot more done than I would if it were here. I'm a little ashamed of it but it's the truth.

So off I am to do some more (I'm thinking there's still hope for me yet)!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I can't take it anymore....

Okay, that's it. I'm done with waiting. I'm not entirely sure what happened, but the buyer I had for the Joy has gone MIA. The Joy is still here, waiting to be shipped. As of Friday I'm re-listing her for sale, but this time there will be a stipulation: I'm spinning on her while I wait for her to sell.

I'm just going to include the stipulation in my listing, and make sure that anyone wishing to buy her knows that they may have to wait 2-3 days for me to finish something up and get her shipped out.

Not having a new wheel isn't really bugging me, but having over 2 pounds of fiber waiting to be spun with no way of spinning it is.

P.S. As of Friday afternoon, the Joy will be available for purchase again. If you find yourself reading this and are interested in buying her, please feel free to contact me! =)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Fresh off the needles...

Just finished these today. These are the AllSpunUp handspun socks I've been working on. With a car ride to Poulsbo and back yesterday afternoon, I ended up having an abundance of knitting time and was able to get these done.

Also, my wheel has found a new home. I'll be shipping her to it on Monday. I'm very thankful to have had her, but I'm also looking forward to the new one.

In the mean time I'm checking these guys off and getting started on finishing the next UFO knitting project on my list:

#2. Hubby's work socks (currently about 60% done).

If I push it, I may be able to finish all of my unfinished sock projects by the time the new wheel comes. It's good I'm getting them done now. I probably wont want to pick up a pair of needles for 2-3 weeks after the Minstrel arrives.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


I love summer in the Pacific Northwest. It's warm enough for t-shirts, but the heat is rarely uncomfortable. It still rains, but not enough to bother the spirit (the wind is a nuisance some years-but that's another story). The green things grow with speed far surpassing the speed at which I am capable of weeding, and it's just lovely....

I even have some delicate little strawberries turning red- I don't know if I will end up with enough strawberries to make anything yummy, still, if I see one single deer come near them this year I may have to buy a gun. Mmmm... venison steaks (with home-made strawberry jam?).

I still have not planted any annuals in the flower bed (shame on me) but I'm heading out later today to buy some. I'm really not the gardening type but seeing as we're trying to sell the house I'm going to give it my best shot this year.

The lavender is blooming everywhere I look and I'm encouraged when I see fuzzy little bumblebees swarming all over it. Lavender is so popular around this area. The neighboring town of Sequim is preparing for it's annual Lavender Festival next month and even if you're not particularly nutters about lavender the smell is really something you can appreciate. Walking into one of the stores on the lavender farms is an experience. The first breath you take when you walk through the door is intoxicating (in a good way).

Aside from the plant life I noticed that the snow is nearly gone from the mountains. I'm going to try keeping myself motivated to work on and inside the house through July and maybe if enough work is done by then, August can become a month of rewarding our household with hiking, fishing and camping. Mid to late August is spectacular around here, especially if you head out west and up into the mountains. The Olympic National Park is one of the many reasons I can't picture myself living anywhere but the Pacific Northwest.

The knitting is coming along well, if I get enough work done today I might be able to make it through the heel turn of my second sock. I've also been spinning (just barely) with a drop spindle, but it's very slow in coming. I miss spinning on a wheel. Badly.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The waiting begins...

I have only had an ad (for the sale of the Joy) in the paper for a day now. No calls. Seriously dissappointing... did I mention I'm not very patient when it comes to this kind of thing?

Yesterday morning when I woke up I immeadiately went to the paper-box to get the paper to check my ad and found that my ad wasn't there. So right off I called the paper and placed an ad (the old-fashioned way) as my online ad placement was unsuccessful.

This morning was a repeat of yesterday morning except that my ad was there. I was very pleased, except for not having a single call about the wheel all day long. I was hysterical every time the phone rang (I even threw myself from the shower, dripping, to answer a call).

Alas, day one is over, there's six more to go till the ad is over.

In all this time I don't think I realized how attached I've become to this wheel. I desperately want it sold, but in the mean time I keep entertaining the thought of getting it out because I want to spin so much. I've even been entertaining the thought that if it doesn't sell in a week that maybe I should just keep selling handspun 'till I make enough to buy the wheel I want to replace it with. It might not actually take that long when considering that the Etsy shop has been doing pretty good- at least when you consider how slow I am (some of the sellers on Etsy seem to be able to pump out gorgeous handspun like machines or sweat-shop laborers... as much as I love spinning I don't want to be chained to my wheel). If I get a yarn or two out every week I might even be able to afford the new wheel come mid-autumn.

My mind just keeps going around and around the situation. I've even thought about throwing my moral compass out the window and just buying the wheel I want, but I know it's wrong. I even know that my husband would ultimately let me get away with it (dissapproving as he would be) but I don't want to dissappoint him. For once, I think I'd also like to not be dissappointed in myself, which I would be if I bought a new wheel without selling the old one.

I hope day two of waiting goes better than day one.

On a better note, I'm getting a lot more knitting done. I hadn't quite put it together that the reason my knitting has been going so slow was because I've been spinning so much. The last couple of days I've been working on a pair of socks.

I'm knitting them with this handspun BFL yarn bought from Allspunup on Etsy. They're turning out really beautiful. I'm going to wait to post pictures of them untill they're all finished. I imagine I'll be done with them in another 2-3 days. After that I'll be finishing a pair of socks for my hubby.

I'm actually a little glad I'm so far behind in my knitting. As long as I can keep my focus on knitting, it should help me to keep my mind off of the other thing.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Taking a break...

I've been spinning like a crazy lady lately and here are a few of my latest efforts. This one is about 255 yards of handspun/hand-dyed 2-ply BFL fingering-DK weight yarn in deep olive greens, dark grey and plum.

The second is 340 yards of handspun/hand-dyed 2-ply superwash merino sock yarn. I love the colors: there's browns, golden browns and just about every beautiful rosey shade of pink from pale petal pink to deep magenta. If I had given this one a fun name it would have been Rosey Cotton Dancin'.

And this last one just came off the wheel late this afternoon. It's just over 275 yards of handspun/hand-dyed 2-ply BFL sock yarn in yellows, light greens and navy blue. This one really surprised me. When I first saw the roving after I dyed it I thought it was hideous.
However, it decided that it was going to turn out lovely no matter what I thought of it. Shame on me for judging it so harshly.

It also happens to be the last one off the Joy. I am taking a short break (hopefully short) from spinning while I put the Joy up for sale and purchase a new wheel. I hope the Joy sells quickly because I'm not known for my patience when it comes to spinning/knitting goodies. At least it should give me some time to work on the house and catch up on my knitting (I have loads of socks that need finishing).

I have done a lot of reading and asking around in forums and with all that information, decided that a Kromski Minstrel (with the mahogany finish- it's just too pretty to pass up) will be my next wheel. Wish me luck!