Category Archives: Fiber

If at first you don’t succeed, try f*cking it up some OTHER way…

That’s gotta be my new motto for this year. Seriously. If it IS broke, seek repair right away instead of just trying to accept it. If you mess it up.. it’s on YOU.

Thus was Dutchie over the last week. When I first got him, he ran ok. Even though there were some assembly issues. Like how parts of the wheel were already assembled and I got confused when I went to put it together myself. Like how the drive axle didn’t go all the way in the hub and I couldn’t apply one spacer. And how a month or two down the line I’d realize I’d NEED that thing, but had lost it. And THEN, how when I got a replacement, I really had a problem getting the drive axle all the way in and couldn’t get it OUT.

Behold:

wheelhole

If you want a closer look, just click the photo and you’ll see a bunch of related pics.

I finally managed to get everything to work as reasonably as I can expect, given that one of the screw-holes isn’t deep enough and I have to keep tightening the damn thing.

Once I got THAT settled… loopbatt singles 001
Singles spun from a batt from Loop called Sunset Spectacle(email them if you want one like it. I hope you can get it!)

It doesn’t look quite like that picture, but then I pulled the silk threads out because I knew they’d get on my nerves they way they were seemingly just smashed in there. BUT I will card the threads with some other fiber I plan to spin to ply with them. Why? Because look :
loopbattspun

One bobbin has more on it than the other. I could navajo ply but it’s only 3 ounces. I’m gonna have to add a third ply in for a 3-ply without losing yardage. I chose a few colors of the Cotswold I got a while back:3rdplycotswold
So hopefully I’ll be able to make some sense of all this.

As for knitting:

lonefalllovesock
One down, one on the needles. In fact, I’m almost ready for the heel. If I ever make this sock again(and I probably will) I’ll take out the cables on the sides.. It makes the sock bulkier than I’d like and I wonder if I’ll be able to get my feet in sneakers or shoes come winter, with these on. All in all, an easy and fairly quick knit.

Stay tuned for more knitting, spinning and Oh yes! sewing! 🙂

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It’s Butter! (Park… heyyyyy)

I don’t know what possessed me, but last night I made butter. Yes, butter.

Home made butter

I’d heard of other people doing it, so I bought some heavy cream a few days ago and just went with it. Apparently, all you have to do is shake the hell out of the cream and it eventually clumps into butter. Who knew? I started shaking the container it was in. That didn’t work. I emptied some out, thinking there wasn’t enough room in there; that didn’t help any. Then I had the sense to actually use a glass jar and between me and one of the kids, we finally got the stuff to clump. After a few rinsing sessions, we had butter. And boy is it good! I learned a bit too late I could have used the food processor so next time I do this, that’s what I’ll use. And I’ll think ahead and salt the cream instead of trying to salt the butter afterwards… I gave a bit to hubby on some bread and he couldn’t tell it wasn’t store-bought. Woohoo!!

Today was even more fun!

wheelondabus

I grabbed a little one and we set out to spin in the park with Karen .
knittyspin

We had a good time too! People gathered, stared, asked questions and some wee ones even helped turn Karen’s wheel! 🙂 It was too cute. Some old lady walked up and asked me all kinds of questions, and then pinched off some of my roving and walked off with it!! WTF? *sigh*…

pattysingles

I got to work on the rest of the St. Patty’s Day ‘haggis’ roving, merino 64s I dyed back in March, and then I took a little break and worked on a mate to a sock:
almostdone

I finished it while in the park. I’ll post a pic and stats hopefully in the next blog post.

As we were leaving, we were serenaded by this little guy, dropping little bits of whatever he was nibbling on, onto us:

Little friend

Well, at least it was food, and not something else. Hee. I even got a little Saturday Sky in there, as it was nothing but clear, blue.

All in all, today was a great day. Can’t wait to do this again.

Hey, wanna check out my ‘draws’? LOL

Hee. You didn’t think I’d REALLY show you my underpants, did you?! Geez.

I promised you spinning videos.. and here they are!

Short Draw

Long Draw(sort of)

Enjoy!

ETA: the Ugly Batts come from High Prairie Fibers.

The high-pitched squeaking in the second video is the damn parakeets!

Goody Two-Knits

Been busy this past week or so. I will just get to the point pictures.

quiltsockclog

The Quilted Lattice Socks, in use. It’s not often you’ll see an FO ON me, or in use. I don’t know why that is. Maybe it’s time for a change. I like how they fit snug in the shoe so I don’t go slipping around. And the clogs were so cheap it wasn’t funny. I had to have them. Bring on Spring!

sherisock1

I ripped the Sheri’s Lace sock and restarted a size down. These are knit on 66 stitches and were way too big for me. I might have wide feet but not THAT wide. As usual I’m exchanging heels. The pattern calls for a heel flap get-em-up and I’m not all that fond of that. I prefer either a short row heel or an afterthought heel, and with the more precise customizability of an afterthought heel I’m liking it even more.

This past weekend I got the pleasure of meeting up with Bezzie, Stephie, Erica, and several other Knitties at the Point to kick off a yarn crawl. We sat, sipped, nibbled, knit and chatted; while there Karen gave me this:

karengift

Cotton/silk fiber to spin, and some luscious teas to drink: Chocolate Chai(WhyTF doesn’t my local market sell this Celestial Seasonings? They sell every other *uckin flavor!), and oh-my-stomach-gasmic Key Lime Colada!! I haven’t used any of it because for days, I can’t seem to make up my mind WHICH one to drink first! Decisions, decisions. ThangQ K!

Just to show you I haven’t stopped spinning(did you really think I did?), here’s a pic of the rest of the SheepShedStudio white roving, in various stages of completion:

sheepshedprogress

I’ve already 2-plied some and I have a little left on another bobbin, plus that full bobbin you see there. I plan on spinning the rest onto that last bobbin and 2-plying that too. Then perhaps I’ll dye it some wild colors!

Not to be forgotten is the Merino/Tencel blend I received a bit ago:

mertendone

Navajo plied of course. I promise I will measure these. I just got my yarn meter in the mail last week and unfortunately it’s not meant for me to measure straight onto a niddy-noddy(dammit!) so I need a wingnut(butterfly nut?) to secure my ballwinder to the table and do the swift and ballwinder thing. Then I have to turn around and wind it BACK into a hank for storage. Ah well, it beats trying to count the strands of yarn and then being distracted and having to start allll over again. You don’t know how often that happens here!

Worry not, I’m still working on that video of me spinning. It’s a-comin!

Weeeeeeeeee

Well, it sounded like a good idea…

I’m a real Jean E. Yuss. I’m looking to dye some fiber and since yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I’d combine fiber dyeing with a holiday theme. I’d also recently picked up a tip for dyeing loose fiber, which was to encase it in pantyhose to hold it all in place. Pantyhose are porous enough to allow the dye through, though I used Kool Aid among the dyes, and so it dyed the hose too.

I set to soaking the fiber, collecting my dyes and boiling water to dissolve the stubborn colors. I even took pictures of the progress from time to time. Went through ALL THAT WORK, musing all the while about my St. Patty’s Day ‘haggis’. And then it hit me: Haggis is a SCOTTISH food, not IRISH. I cried. That’ll teach me to pay attention in history class, huh?

Truth be told, we didn’t learn about haggis in school anyway. It’s just something I heard about years later, as an adult. Did it occur to me to remember which culture it came from? Nooooo.. Oh well, at the very least, I’ve got some pics for you. Enjoy!

The Making of a St. Patty’s Day ‘Haggis’

No Excuses

I could tell you that I’ve been MIA because of life getting in the way. That would only be partly true. The truth is, I don’t have any freakin excuse. Ok, maybe I do.

I keep promising a podcast and I have material for it, but with the hubby’s work hours changed there’s hardly any peaceful time to record it. Peaceful being, no snoring hubby, no screaming kids, and no phone likely to ring. By the time all three things occur at the same exact time, there’s only a few more hours before I have to get up and start my day. Worry not, it’s a-comin.

I used to ace essays in high school, so one might think I’d be really good at posting on this blog about what I have to say. Half the time, that’s just not so. (You know how many YEARS it’s been since high school? Right. )

3 Years.

It just hit me that I’ve been knitting 3 years! I’m not sure of the actual date(of course). What I do know is it was sometime between mid-February and umm, now. I only crocheted until this point 3 years ago. Oh, I’ll admit that I had some old knitting needles of my mom’s and I realize now that essentially I was doing a backwards loop cast-on, and then I’d knit, and knit and knit… NO idea how to purl, and don’t tell anyone, but I hadn’t a clue about binding off either.

How’d I get to be a knitter? I got SICK of finding nice patterns on the ‘net, only to see they were a knit pattern! Please understand I’m not disparaging crochet. I’ll never understand that (even-if-in-jest) war between crochet and knitting. But all the projects I LIKED turned out to be knitting. And I didn’t knit. I ordered a book that would supposedly teach me how to convert knitting patterns to crochet, but it took SO long to get to me I just said F it and learned myself. (I’ve since received the book and read it.. it’s a ufcking joke! With all the ‘converting’ you could just learn whichever method you don’t know, and it’d be easier!)

I started out with ribbed swatches, learned more solid cast-on methods, learned to *gasp* bind off, and never looked back. The last time I picked up a crochet hook since then was probably around a year ago? heh. It feels sooo…awkward now. I keep saying I’ll still crochet things like doilies, and I even purchased a big-ass ball of crochet cotton for the job. You think I’ve touched it? Hunh.

So, That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Of course, I have been spinning. Ya’ll must be sick of me by now. I love you anyway. But seriously. Spinning is just so much fun. It allows me to just think. Ever get time to do that? TAKE IT!. It’s totally possible to just zone out and mess up the spinning but it’s wayyyyy easier to do with knitting. The next several planned knitting projects will not allow me to do that. And yes, they’re coming. I know I haven’t put much in my sidebar WIPs list. It’s been slow going. A lot of doc visits(surgery coming up soon) and yet, I don’t get enough time to knit anything. The day I DON’T bring something to read or work on, is the day I’m sitting there ’til the cows come home, waiting to see the doc. Got Dammit.

I have to get those Quilted Socks off the needles. I need the needles. hehe Also, just to get them done. Oh, and if it says that Knitpicks Sock Memories is handwash only, believe it. I washed and dried a pair at the laundromat and dammit. They didn’t felt, but they did shrink. DD will have a nice pair of socks now.

Last but not least, since I can’t seem to get these pics up for Fiber Friday on Craftster(I love the place and I’ll always go and oooh and ahh but I’m done posting pics there), here’s some twisted pr0n for you:

Spunky Navajo Gems

Spunky Eclectic’s Navajo Gems BFL. I had alot more fun spinning this thick instead of thin. I need more practice spinning thick and thin singles. This gave it to me. Just a little curl there.

Littlebarn wool/silk blend

Remember Shiny Yellow, purple too? This is the yellow fiber, all by itself. OMG Can we say BRIGHT!?

I love it though. Unknown wool/silk fiber blend from Little Barn, via Rhinebeck. I don’t think I could DYE a yarn this bright. Not sure of the yardage.. will find out soon though 🙂

BFL madness 002

Hello Yarn BFL in Oatmeal(gray). Despite the slubs it was a pleasant spinning experience. I like the natural coloring. Approx. 321 yards. May turn into socks. If I can get hubby to sit still long enough to measure his feet.

And there you have it!
Enjoy the pr0n.

Oh! Hello there!

I was paying attention, really I was. Just got a little distracted. hee.

Meet my new best friend, Tensioned-Kate. This one doesn’t have a problem with food though. Her feet don’t always stay on though, so some super-glue is in order.

forair 001

Kate’s been helping get my navajo plying together. There are still some kinks to work out, but overall, tensioning has improved my plying, period. Now, if I could just remember to measure out my fibers before spinning so I can come close to even amounts on 3 or 4 bobbins..

Speaking of bobbins, can someone explain to me why Majacraft bobbins are more expensive than Fricke bobbins when they’re the same damn thing?? No, really! Sheesh.

I’ve been under the weather the last few days, but intermittently I’ve been able to spin some of the Spunky Eclectic Navajo Gems BFL:

spunkyspun

I like being able to spin thin, but I don’t want to do it ALL. THE. TIME. Also, I kind of prefer my thin yarns to be shinier and this fiber isn’t all that shiny. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE it, but I’m gonna have to spin the rest of this up thicker..

Like this merino-tencel, also a spinning WIP:
merten-1

But worry not, for I HAVE been knitting:

wallywsleeve

Wonderful Wallaby!! I’ve finally started a sleeve. I got to knit on it a bit while waiting to see a doctor but I had to stop!…because I left the proper size needles at home! grrr… When I got home though, I simply switched out the needles and there you have it. I wonder if the sleeve won’t be too big, but then I remembered the recipient will probably be wearing it with a top underneath so, it should work out fine. It’ll be a lesson learned, for sure.

I’ve completed Elbac, though with a ‘revision’ or two, and in a few days I should have my blocking board so I can block it. I already wore it once but it’s too narrow; I just wanna block it out some.

That’s it for now.. I promise not to stay away so long

Oh, and stay tuned for a new BeanCast. Unfortunately there were some problems with the recording of Episode 9 at K’s house, so I’m going to have to re-record the pod with just me alone.