the yarn edition

Like I said, I’ve been spinning…

700+ yards of three ply – Superwash Panda Fiber Sock Batts from The Cupcake Fiber Company.  I bought these in March 2011, can’t believe I waited so long to spin it!

400+ yards of chain plied Villain, March’s Hello Yarn Club fiber.  This is also a blend of superwash merino, bamboo and nylon.  These will be some awesome socks!

250ish yards of mystery wool with sari silk bits – no idea what this will be!

I don’t remember the yardage on this but I had 8 oz. of it, I think it was around 700.  Another Hello Yarn Fiber Club offering – Broken Things on Falkland wool.  One of these days I’ll knit up a crazy blanket with all my multi-colored handspun.  I certainly have enough of it.

Just to cleanse the pallet, here’s a picture of the boy practicing his guitar!  He’s going to be a junior this year.  I am dumbfounded.

Yet another Hello Yarn Fiber Club offering – Splendid on Romney.  This just wanted to be singles, although I hardly ever spin singles.  The staple length was really long, I think it’ll be lovely in something lacy.

And this is what I’m spinning now – Pate de Fruit on Rambouillet.  I’ve never spun Rambouillet before – it’s similar to merino I think, very bouncy and poofy.

Honestly, I’ll be happy when this spin is finished.  I think I might be all spun out.  I’ve reached that stage that seems to come at the end of every season – I don’t want to work on any current projects.  I’m bored with it all.  But since so much of my yarn is in storage (and I haven’t missed it! Shocker!), finishing up current projects is pretty much my only option.  Which is probably a good thing, but nothing to get excited over!

 

wash day

Thank you for the lovely comments on my last post!  I took Friday off and was blissfully away from the computer all weekend – so I haven’t sent personal replies like I try to do with each comment, but I enjoyed reading them all!

The past few months I’ve had a pile of handspun growing on the counter in our nook.  We had beautiful weather this weekend and Saturday I WASHED ALL THE YARN and hung it out on the line to dry.

On the far right is a highly textured yarn from Crosspatch Creations batts that I can only refer to as clown barf.

It is every color of the rainbow with a ton of silk nubs and I think it will make an excellent French Market Bag.

Next on the line is Shetland dyed by the imitable Adrian.  I had 8 ounces and separated some of the colors out of one 4 oz. package earlier this year.  There was a lot of orange leftover, so I spun and plied that by itself, and spun the other 4 ounces without separating the colors for some good-ole barberpole action.

Next is February’s Hello Yarn club fiber – Corriedale in “Dark Waves.”

600 yards of chain plied goodness.  I was surprised to spin this so thin – Corriedale is typically fluffier for me, but this wanted to be thin, thin, thin.  I spent four days plying it.

So it deserves another picture.  I’m thinking of making a plus quilt with these colors.

I lost the tag so I can only guess about the fiber content of this.  I know it was dyed by River’s Edge and I bought it at the January Spin-In this year (so you’d think I’d remember).  I think there’s some bamboo and silk, maybe BFL.  At any rate, it’s very silky and I love the subtle colors!

The little skein second from the left has been hanging around so long I don’t know what it is or even where it came from!  It’s pretty though.

Last is some super-squishy merino in Overfond, another Adrian creation.  Love it!  And I have another 4 ounces to spin.

When I put these away in the under-the-bed storage container that is now almost 100% handspun, I wondered what will I ever do with all this yarn?  I mean really, it’s crazy.  I have so much.  Maybe I should sell it.  Maybe I should practice spinning thicker (most of this is fingering to DK weight) and sell that.  Maybe I’ll just pull it out occasionally and pet it.  Or maybe I’ll save it for retirement projects.

What would you do?

signs of spring

You can’t rely on groundhogs around here.  A much better indication of spring is when my lenten rose starts blooming, and it’s been blooming for a couple of weeks.  (I’m tempted to use an exclamation point but I’m not excited to see spring – we haven’t had winter yet!).

I decided to chance it and planted arugula in a huge pot a few weeks ago.  When they get a little bigger, I’ll thin them out and that’s when the huge snow will arrive.  Ha!  I’ve lived in Alabama 25 years and we’ve had ONE huge snow!  Maybe this will be the year… and yes, I say that every year.

When it arrives, I’ve got the wool!  More little skeinlets, spun at the January Spin-In in Destin last week.

I also spun 2 oz. of a wool/mohair/angora blend I got at SAFF for $6.  It has beautiful drape and that wonderful sheepy smell – a definite win!

I also cast on for a new sweater!

What is it with me and brown?  This is the Fuse Cardigan from Wool People, Vol. 2, knit from 3 skeins of Brooks Farm Acero bought at SAFF last year.  I’m not alternating skeins or anything, I’m just forging ahead, pooling be damned.

You can kinda see the lace pattern here.  I think it’ll be very wearable, and the silk and nylon content of the yarn will provide lots of drape.  I have no idea how they got the original yarn to drape so well, it’s 100% wool!  The magic of blocking, I suppose.

That’s what I’ve been working on… new projects while the old still languish (Lady Eleanor is STILL on my dining room table, the cat has claimed it as his bed).  I’ll get back to them eventually!

What have you been working on?

busybusy

And distracted – I have so many things I want to do all at once!

I did finish a couple of things, here’s one:

Roniroos by Suvi Simola – cute pattern, fun to knit, horrible name (makes me think of Underoos), need to buy a top to wear under for proper finished object photos!  Also need colder weather – it’s in the mid 60s today.  Sigh.

Encouraged by Blogless Lynn, I started working on the fringe of my Lady Eleanor scarf/stole, that has been sitting in the abandoned WIP stack since 2008!

Cutting fringe?  Easy.  Tying fringe? Tiring and a PITA.  I finished 2/3 of the first side and quit.

This WIP is now Mack’s favorite place to sleep.

There has been spinning —

Around 800 yards of polwarth dyed by the fabulous Adrian, a fiber club offering but I don’t remember the month.  Chain-plied to make the most of the beautiful colors.

I’ve also been playing with my hand cards.  This fiber (BFL/silk) is another Hello Yarn club offering that I separated out by color, carded and spun:

I’ve been thinking of doing this for awhile.  Yes, it results in small skeins, but it’s perfect for colorwork and while I love the look of a multi-colored skein as much as the next person, the project options are limited.  At least in my world.  This is all part of keeping in mind the question:  Will I actually use/knit/wear this?

Finishing these spinning projects cleared off most of my bobbins – just in time for the January Spin-In in Destin!  Tonni and I are headed out early in the morning for several days of spinning and hanging out with fiber peeps, I can’t wait!  I’m bringing my handcards and multi-dyed roving and plan to come home with lots of little skeinlets!

That is…if I don’t get distracted…

keeping on

Ah, the spinning continues. . . slowly!  I have two bobbins done for the second mega-skein, just started the third last night.

I knit a sleeve with the first skein and it’s perfect.  The stitch substitution is spot-on and I just love it.  I think this sweater will be my winter coat!  I decided to spin more before continuing the knitting, which is slow-going and monotonous.  And necessary.  When this mega-skein is finished, I’ll have to knit awhile to build up my spinning reserves.

Because yeah, I want to wear this NOW!

This weekend I made tomato jam, the last item on my list of my must-make-this.  I wish I could say all these tomatoes are from our garden, but I got them at the farmer’s market (the little ones are ours).  Our tomato plants have “the wilt” and it’s just a matter of time before they are history.  At least our yield far surpassed last year’s whopping ONE tomato crop!  We’ve gotten enough to have a homegrown tomato on our lunchtime salads most days, which has been nice.

I borrowed from several recipes and the ingredient list of a locally-made tomato chutney that we love, and it will either be really, really good, or a complete waste of time!

I’m letting it age for 30 days or so and then we’ll do a taste test.  My goal is a spicy-sweet jam to serve with cheese and crackers, but I’m worried that I made it too spicy.  If it’s good, I’ll post the recipe!

Had to take this photo last week – can you see the moon?

 

I don’t know why I’m doing this

I mean, I’m on a diet.  Yet I keep making jam, at least one batch every weekend.  This weekend I made Spiced Blueberry Peach Jam.

I learned a lesson from Bridget Jones and tied the cheesecloth with white string, not blue – but for some reason I thought a single layer of cheesecloth would hold the cloves, allspice and cinnamon stick throughout 40 minutes of hard boiling and constant stirring.  It didn’t.  It only held the cinnamon stick.

As soon as I realized that a breach occurred, I took it off the heat, poured it into a bowl, put a strainer into the pot and strained the jam, spoonful by spoonful, picking out escaped spices as I went.  Then I made a new spice bag with quadrupled cheesecloth, and resumed cooking.

I ended up with 6 half pints of jam and I hope none contain whole pieces of spice!

I think I’m making all this jam just so I can lick the spoon (and the ladle, and the pot, etc.).

I also finished spinning this!

I split the fiber into thirds as best as I could eyeball it.  On one bobbin, I spun from light to dark, on the second I spun from dark to light (both with no further separation), and on the third I split the fiber even more to have shorter repeats of color.

Voila!  I think I made Trekking XXL!

500 yards 3 ply polwarth, sock weight.  I can’t wait to knit with it!  I washed it and hung it on the line to dry in the sun yesterday, but a summertime shower while we were out foiled those plans.  Maybe tonight it’ll be dry enough to cast on!

How was your weekend?

 

spinner down!

I’ve pulled something in my back/shoulder area.  I had to keep those singles under a lot of tension while plying this weekend, and all that stress made the muscles on the left side draw up, which made me unable to raise my right arm or turn my head to the left without sharp shooting pain.

After navajo-plying, I started spinning this Wenslydale.  It’s really luscious.  I may have another pound on the way…

The only thing I’ve knit – and it was knit purely to determine if a two ply would knit on a reasonably-sized needle.  I knit this with 5s and like it fine.

Want to hear some ramblings?

1.  Deciding to pluck your eyebrows after taking half a Lortab may not be a great idea.

2.  There’s a mosquito in my bedroom.  Spring – it was nice while it lasted.

3.  I googled “tired spider” for a picture for this post and ran across this.  I have a whole new respect for spiders.

4.  How lucky am I that the secretary down the hall is also a massage therapist?  She was absent yesterday so I medicated with muscle relaxers and Lortab.  Today she put the hurt on me and I feel somewhat better.  I should put her on retainer…

5.  I’m actually at work today because I don’t trust myself to be home with that Wenslydale.