Category Archives: Wool

She shops.. she SCORES!

That, I most certainly did.

Yesterday, Karen and Tania and I set out to the NJ Sheep and Wool Festival (Garden State Sheep Breeders Festival)l and had some good fun.

NJsheepwool 001

We landed here a little before noon, I think. I was operating on 3 hours! of sleep so forgive any errors. 😉 There were the usual staples; fiber vendors selling all manner of sheep, alpaca, rabbit and yak(fiber and livestock in some cases!); food vendors(not so much actually), and ready-made knit and woven crafts, as well as sheepherding demos and fleece and skein contests.

I’ve got a scad of pics for you right here(I know that’s what you really want 😉 ).

The other highlights of the festival were spinning on a Majacraft Little Suzie( that girl can GO!) and this: a little video I took of some ducks.

What I really wanna tell you is about that set of Denise Needles you see in the flickr set.

SCORE!! dude score!

The girls and I had heard about a lady not too far from the fairgrounds selling out her shop from her home. We did our deeds at the festival and ran straight for it. All kinds of yarny goodness, a bit of fiber(though nothing out of the ordinary–there was even an old Louet wheel!), a stack of back issues of Interweave Knit or Crochet, Knit Simple, you name it, and other non-craft related items..
And then I saw it… The Denise set. I looked in and at a glance all that seemed to be missing was the end caps and upon futher inspection(like, this morning? lol) I noticed the stitch holders are gone but damn if I didn’t get a hot deal.. All this for the sum of $3.50USD!!! Yes, you read that right. Mind you, the kind lady quoted it at a $1 but even I felt cheap too go for that so I offered $5 and we settled on $3.50!! I still can’t believe it! Granted, in the past I have mentioned that I wasn’t too thrilled with the Denise set but, I still have the long 50″ cord and right now the KP Options sets are just not in my budget right now. Maybe next year.

I was on a tight budget for this trip(it was last minute so that kept me from really binge shopping), but still managed to come home with some treats. Karen, ever so generous, had brought a box down with her and I got to take home the fibery goodies you see in the picture set. Go look! 😀

I’m gonna go play with it right now. See ya!

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BeanKnits and Spins Podcast Episode 11

Yes. It’s back! Go here. Or check iTunes– BeanKnits and Spins.

Also, my latest dyeing adventures:

orangebrowndyedjob 001

The pre-soaked fiber in the pyrex dish

orangebrowndyedjob 003

My little color-squirter thingy!

orangebrowndyejob 004

In the dye pot.

Merino 64s ecru, dyed with orange (and brown if you can believe it!) Wiltons paste. Next time. REAL acid dyes!

I swear my place is haunted…

It has to be. Things keep moving when they shouldn’t. I hear things move or fall when I’m the only person home/awake. It’s mind boggling. And they did it again.

Yesterday, Karen and I hung out with the kids at a park and I took some pictures(hold your horses). Then I get home and go to take the pics off the camera and can’t find my damn cord to connect it to the computer. Yeah. Tore up the bedroom(or so I thought) and still no dice. Made me mad. Went online and checked the Canon site for accesories and damn if that thing wasn’t on BACKORDER–WTF?.. I almost wound up legging it to RadioShack today but something told me to check hubby’s side of the bed–against the wall– and wouldn’t you know it? There it was. I’m tellin you, I have a ghost in this place… Anyhoo, on with the show:

Hedera feet
Hedera, done! This was a fairly easy knit after all. No major complaints about the pattern and the yarn held up well after a soak. I’d do this one again. You might notice that one cuff has the twisted rib and the other doesn’t. I hate twisted rib. But then when I started the second sock I figured to give it a go because it DID make the sock look better. It’s a bitch to knit though.

hedera done

Stats:
Pattern: Hedera
Yarn: KnitPicks Sock Memories in Paper Dolls(discontinued)
Needle: KnitPicks Options US1(2.25mm) on the Magic Loop
Start: 8/27/07
Finish: 9/6/07
Mods: None really, other than the different cuff on one and my usual shortening of the heel flap.
Special Observation(s): Why does it seem like all of Cookie A’s patterns require you to shift stitches around? I’m not talking about the usual type of shifting like, ‘move stitches to x needle to hold while doing heel’, I’m talking about moving stitches over to rearrange the starting point or your whole thing’ll be wonked.

I encountered that in Pomatomus, Monkey and now these. Not complaining much, just an observation.

Then there’s:
Cabled sock
‘Grey’ Cabled Socks

I started this with the cable going the other way. I don’t use a cable needle anymore and I find the C4F easier to do than the C4B. So I called myself being SMRT and using the C4F and it just didn’t sit right. My guess is, the designer still uses a cable needle(as if that’ll change the outcome) or she swatched and learned what I did. Either way, lesson learned.

That’s Fortissma Socka color 1008 that Cristi gifted me. Thank you again, Cristi! I like this light orangey-colorway. It’ll wipe away the gloomy come winter.

Also, at the park(forgot about that huh?) there was spinning:

MMountFinn

Finn fiber from Misty Mountain Farm, via Rhinebeck. Yes, it’s been about a year and I STILL have fiber from last year. I’m not going this year so I can work on these and pretend I just got it. 🙂 I usually love Finn fiber but not this one. I haven’t spun roving in quite a while; I finally got the hang of spinning top a while back and started spinning that more. However it’s not the fiber prep technique I don’t like, it’s the fact that there’s so much VM left in this stuff. Their cream colored Finn fiber didn’t present like this. I guess they figure the dark color can hide the poop and no one will be the wiser. Well, sorry. I found it. I’ll keep it but it’s gonna need some major SOAKING before I knit with it.

I’ve also got some natural dark Cotswold curls on another bobbin.. It’s got quite a bit of Lanolin still in it, and makes for sticky spinning. But it’s coming out fairly ok.

And I recently completed the Bubblegum Romney fiber I got from Spunky Eclectic. Again, I’m no fan of Romney but I loved the colors and I’m glad I got to experience it. There will be pics of that next post.

Ok, done rambling for now.

“Spin me in the morning…

..and just walk away…” (to fix my cup of tea!)

Back! with a cup of Celestial Seasons’ Chocolate Caramel Enchantment chai tea. Mmmmm.

Just so you don’t think I’ve gone the way of zany blabber-blogger, here’s a pic of what’s on the bobbins right now:

Early Morning glint

That’s Sarabella, from Spunky Eclectic. She’s part of 4oz. of 100% handpainted Merino. She’s sooo pretty!
I’m spinning her up fine, for a Navajo ply, and then I’ll make her into some comfy socks. I have some peachy-orange sock yarn with nylon to make the heels and toes. Hmm. I’m already thinking of some patterns I might want to use the yarn for.

I’ve all but finished the Phineas socks. It’s a cool pattern. I knit the first sock on 0s with 72 stitches, per the pattern but it’s a tad big on my leg. And you know how big my legs are, so that’s saying alot. 😉 The foot fits well though, so I decided to keep on. The cuff ribbing holds it in a bit.
But I’m knitting the mate on 64sts. It’s very easy to manipulate the pattern to use a different stitch count but if you want to try it on 64 sts just comment and leave an email address and I’ll send off the chart I made up. For the actual pattern, check out Quietish.

I haven’t made much progress on Stripedy, if any. The needle is getting to short and the stitches are crammed on there to where it hurts to knit after a few minutes. And I’m on 7s. I’m holding out for a particular needle so I’ll have to wait til I get it. Shell/Tank only sees progress at home. But none significant enough to warrant a new picture. I need to bang out another foot of SYES(see sidebar) and that’s coming off the needles. I will block it to within an inch of its life, and it should be the size of a toddler bed. 🙂 The mate to bmp is being done on a larger needle so I don’t need to wait for Phineas to come off the 0s before casting on, now that I have some good black yarn.

With that, I’m off! TTFN

Solid… as a sock!

(as per Ashford & Simpson, not that pick-up truck commercial).

First off I want to say a big THANK YOU!! to everyone who commented and sent me their thoughts concerning the last post. That $hit just didn’t make any sense. And now, with the RagShop stores closing..I’ll have to find a new hangout for sewing stuff! *muttercussgrumble*
Anyway….

Poke these socks with a fork, they’re done!
fallingsocksfront

And the back of the leg:
fallsocksback

This was a runaway knit, for sure. I couldn’t seem to put it down half the time. It was almost as if Startitis doesn’t exist with these. By the second sock, I pretty much had the stitch pattern memorized and it flew off the needles. If the socks look a little, um, fuzzy, it’s because I’ve already worn and washed them once. Hee.

Stats:
Falling In Love socks(from Feb. 2007 Magknits)
Yarn: ZwergerGarn Opal in Turquoise(Thank you Susann!)
Needle: Addi Turbo 2.5mm circ–gotta love that Magic Loop!
Started June 4,2007–Finished June 12, 2007
Thoughts: With all the hoopla that was Opal yarns I’m a little disappointed with how they fuzzed up after one wear. Granted I’m a figety sleeper and I wore them to bed. Washing them just made them fuzz even more. But overall the pattern held up good. At least it’s superwash and doesn’t felt. As for the pattern, as previously stated I wouldn’t add the cables in again. It was hella fun(most of the time) making them without the cable needle, and I’d like to try that technique again soon. But getting these into a pair of shoes/sneakers? Though I have rather wide feet, I don’t really need wide shoes.. I sure don’t want to buy a pair just for these!

Right after I knocked those out I started the Phineas socks:
phineasheelprog

I have a confession to make: I lied when I said I didn’t have solid sock yarns. Ok, I didn’t REALLY lie, but rather my stash is so big I’d forgotten about them! So, expect to see more of those nice lace patterns where solids really shine. Like these. Yes. I know it’s in Spanish. I can understand it, so it’s all good. Just follow the chart, right? 🙂

So yeah, Phineas. Been bopping around Ravelry and found that. I’m not brave(read:crazy) enough to try real argyle socks, so these ‘fake’ ones will have to do. they’re knit on 0s–Yes, I said 0s– so these’ll take me a little time. I’ve got other projects I’d like to work on.. I’ve never been comfortable as a one-project person, you know.

Which brings me to:
foolproofsofar

The Simple, Yet Effective Shawl, from CosmicPluto. Also found this on Ravelry. I saw it and said, “Yessssssssssssssss finally a shawl I can’t screw up!!”, and dubbed it thus. (To be fair I kinda forgot a few YOs but made them up on the return rows. You won’t tell anybody, will you? *pokes lip out sadly*) Hee.
But seriously. This shawl is so damn easy I could cry. I’m already about done with the first of four balls of Jaeger Luxury Tweed I got as a b-day present last year. I intend to keep knitting til it’s all gone. Gotta whittle down that stash. So I can make room for more of these:
Handspun Stash

I’m basically half way through that pile, counting approximate yardage and labeling them. Then I’ll know how much of something I have when I need a yarn. My goal is to be at a point where 90% of my stash is handspun instead of commercial. Hopefully by 2010. Click the picture to see what’s what.

And with that, I’m off. Happy Crafting!

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