Thursday, June 29, 2006

New Bags

I haven't posted in a while; still recovering from graduation hangover. Metaphorically speaking, of course. I spent last weekend creating. A lovely woman from the Spindler's List some time ago said that she wanted to clean out some of her stash, specifically some of her earlier homespun she didn't feel was up to snuff. So she was offering it for shipping cost to anyone who would actually USE it. Lucky me, I was first to snap it up. I told her I would most likely make a felted bag from it; and here it is.

I am quite pleased with it. It's completely my own design, made up as I went along. It's shallow, as there wasn't much yarn to work with, but it makes a perfect spindle bag. Just large enough for a spindle or two and some fiber. I'm putting a magnetic closure in as well. I like the bag so well, I'm considering entering it into the Ventura County Fair in August.

I also created this one. This was made from odds and ends of some rug yarn passed on to my by my mother (thanks, Mom!). Again, it's totally my design, made up as I went along. It's not really my personal style, but I'm hoping to find someone who'll like it!

I finally made it to "Modern Gypsy" in Ventura. Heaven. The woman who owns the shop is very nice, and may be having a spinning get together on Tuesdays, which would be FABULOUS. I bought some black merino which I'm currently spinning on the Gem. Not quite sure what I'm going to do with it when it's done, but I know I wanted some black to spin. I also bought two precious ounces of cashmere. Sooooo soft, and a lovely camel color. And I bought some silk roving sheets in white for dyeing. That's going to be FUN.

I joined another "along." This is the Mystery Stole along. It begins July 1st, when the first "clue" will be released. We don't know what it will look like until we finish. It's going to be a bit of a challenge for me, as my knitting skills are fairly novice, and my lace skills are nil. I've now knitted the test swatch 6 times, and this time, I ALMOST have it down. I'm using Misti Alpaca in a natural, which I plan to dye after the stole is complete. I hope. I'm using size 4 aluminum dpn which I HATE with a passion of a thousand suns. The threes I really wanted to use are too small. So I'm going to go buy my beloved bamboo circs in size 4. I finally took an inventory of my needles and hooks, and am hoping to do my fiber this weekend. Will help to remember what I have!

UPDATE: I finallly got a semi decent swatch, with almost visible flowers. (And if you're thinking that the swatch looks a little rough, you'reo right... but you should see what the previous ones looked like!) This is not blocked yet. I'm going to do one more with the size 3s just to see the difference, and get more practice; I apparently need it!

My Trekking Along has sort of died. The ZERO needles I was using were way too small. So I"m going to try again, with size 3 and a different pattern. I will probably not finish them for the Trek Along, especially with the Mystery Stole, which I really really really want to do. I must; anyone who knows me knows I never EVER do swatches, much less six of them!

I'm still spinning the locks I got from the Sheep Shed Studio in a lovely blue, which has a TON of VM in it, but it's so pretty! I'm trying to decide whether I should try to comb or card it, but have done a bit of it just from the lock which is interesting! I get covered with hay. It's my first experience with anything but nice clean prepared roving.

I finished the crocheted flower scarf, but it needs blocking before I photo it.

So I'm pretty busy with fibery things. Still having a blast, really enjoying it. More later, I hope!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Graduate

Congratulations to my wonderful son, Eric, who graduated from high school on Friday, June 17th. I'm so proud of him! He's turned out to be such a good person. He's smart and generous and has a great sense of humor (a necessary thing in this house!). He's patient with his little brother and passionate about the things he cares about. I am so proud of the person he has become.

The ceremony itself was very nice. Nana and Grampy came up from Florida to go with us. It was very hot! Several kids gave addresses which were all nice and mercifully short. One talked about going on in life after school, and MLK's comments that if you weren't anything but a street sweeper, you should do the best job you could, causing people around you to say that you were the best street sweeper ever. All in all, it was a very nice evening. We went home and had cake and presents and collapsed into bed after a very long day.

Eric had a lot of things to overcome in order to graduate. He's had to change schools about every two years for about the last eight years or so, which is hard on anyone. He's had his own problems in dealing with ADHD, and with teachers who didn't understand the process. He worked very hard, especially this year. He's so very much better a person than I was at his age, and I'm so proud of him and so grateful to have him in my life.

So, Congratulations, Graduate! I hope you achieve in life the things that are important to you. I hope you are very happy. I hope you find love to last a lifetime. It's all just starting for you, all possibilities are open. Choose well, and be happy. I'm so proud of you.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Update on Dyeing Exchange

Jen at Crowhill House Fiberworks has been fabulous. She sent me a picture of the roving I dyed which she took after putting it through her drum carder. She also separated the colors. Here's what it looks like: Amazing! It's so fluffy and soft! Then she spun up a sample skein.
Here's the results: I can't believe it. It's.... cool!
I can't wait for the next guild meeting to borrow the drum carder. Guess what's at the top of my Christmas list?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

First Wheel Yarn

Finally! It's done! My very first wheel spun yarn. I have a full pound of this brown tweed yarn, looks to be about a dk weight, but I haven't measured it yet. It's plied, washed and skeined and seems to be fairly balanced. I'm so thrilled! The early spinning, mostly gathered into a 6 oz skein, pictured, is less even, less consistent than the end part, in a separate skein. I think that for a first effort, it's pretty decent. What looks blue in the picture is actually white, and far less noticeable in the actual yarn.

I also received my first skein from my "One Skein" secret pal. It's Peace Fleece and has a wonderful story behind it. It's a very pretty teal with flecks of red and green. My secret pal sent a pattern for a nice tote bag with the yarn, and I may very well make it, given my current love affair with making bags. It seems she may read my blog..... Thanks, Pal!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Project Updates

I've started my Trek Along Socks. Oh my. I now know why I like crochet; it's so much faster! I've worked several hours on these socks and only have about an inch and a half or so of ribbing. I'm using size 0 needles, yikes! They're like toothpicks! And getting used to four needles is a trip. But so far, I like the look. I'll be lucky if I can finish them before the entire "along" is over. The parameters are: "Start Date June 1 st – End date August 31 st. You should take a picture, at least once a month (twice would be better) of you and/or your sock on a hiking trail during June, July and August. Post the picture here or on your blog with a link left here for us to follow." I'll be lucky to finish the socks by September! But if I'm really that slow, I'll just trek a bit and knit there, and take a picture. Ok, so I'm not really the hiking type. It's more than likely going to be the bike path behind my house, but it'll still get me out of the house and maybe get Murphy to Libbey Park.

Next project is another knit, mercifully a much faster pattern. It's the
Berroco Brea Bag which is made with a double strand of worsted weight yarn. I'm using a pound skein of a commercial acrylic that I've had hanging around. It's actually a good choice (though I'm not wild about the color, whichi is kind of a grey olive green) because it's stiffness will help keep the bag's shape. I've completed one side, and need to duplicate it, then make a strap. The pattern shows a purchased one, but I may knit or crochet one. I'll decide when I have the bag together.

Finally, the Dyeing for Spring Exchange. The idea was to take 4oz of wool roving, dye it and send it to a partner from the Spindler's List. Yesterday, I received mine from Elisabeth in CT. It's just lovely, a beautiful lime green, and the thing I'm most excited about is that it's Border Leicester wool, which I have been really wanting to spin. Thank you, Elizabeth! As for my contribution, I attempted another batch yesterday. I wanted a kind of dark blend. I used red, blue, purple, and just a touch of black. I didn't quite get what I wanted. the red went hot pink, the blue went purple, and the black just... went. I actually do like the result; it's just not what I was trying for. I understand that happens a lot when dyeing! It also compressed a lot after dyeing, so perhaps that's just the way it is. I'm not sure which I'm going to send, batch one or batch two, but I'd better decide soon; I want to get it in the mail today! Then it's off to try plying on my wheel; Elisa E. from the Spindler's List gave me a TON of advice and I really want to figure this out. I have three bobbins of the brown tweed to ply and one each of white mohair and seamist silk. Please don't let me screw them up!

What kind of spindle are you?

Which Spindle Are You?
You are calm, industrious, productive, and natural!