feeling a bit sheepish

the wooly-brained ramblings of a knitter and novice spinner... it may be 'a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing'...but it's mine ;-)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

i've been outed...

here as a crack bunny fiber addict user afficianado ;o)

and it's all true lol

she did warn me...

...but i guess i didn't think she was going to do it so soon...so if you've visited because susie put me up in the spotlight, only to find that there's not much going on here...i apologize.

being behind is unfortunately something i'm "good at" (i was about 3 weeks late for my birth day and i haven't caught up yet--that's my story and i'm sticking to it lol)...and one thing i'm horribly behind on is the ABCalong...so as there are a number of b things to blog about, i'm using this as my b entry and i'll be catching up as quickly as possible

(all photos are thumbnails...please click to enlarge in another window)

a spinner/teacher in her element ;-) she was showing another customer her spinning technique

i had a lovely visit with susie, her daughter katy, and local knitter sharon (who took the above pic, hence the similarity to the photo on her blog lol) a couple weeks ago at threadbear--katy was back in michigan for a visit (her husband is in the military stationed in okinawa) and wanted to visit her 'fiber mecca' ;-) their visit allowed me to get my greedy paddies on receive the hand-dyed sock yarn mentioned in the previous post, complete with a complimentary stitch marker and a mini ball of extra yarn for swatching :-) (i still haven't gotten a picture of it...i need to work on that)

the rest of that weekend was taken up by Beth Brown-Reinsel's 2 day Nattrøjer workshop--a long workshop, but worth it...many new techniques to learn, and Beth was great :-) rob and matt opened their home to us, and rob cooked both days! "lunch included" should have been translated as "i'm providing enough food that you won't need to eat again until monday" ;-) and of course it was all delicious...

yes, i finished my sweater :-)


Nattrøjer on bear

i think the color is more accurate on the bear (which belonged to my mom, and got volunteered to be a sweater model ;-))

the yarn is Bartlett shetland 2-ply in Larkspur i believe...i liked using the yarn, but i don't think it was the best for this project--the patterns look much better in a smoother yarn, especially one with a lot of twist...i've got some Gems Opal that i plan to use for another mini-sweater, just for the heck of it...and maybe some day when i'm really feeling inspired, i might try a full sized one. :-) one of the neatest (yet most difficult to get the hang of) techniques we learned was the 'twined purling' that forms the neckline...it takes some patience, but the effect is very nice :-)

i've got a number of photos of Beth's various workshop samples, taken (by matt...thank you!) during a break in the workshop--i'll try to make a large 'collage' of them and post a link to it, rather than trying to post them all individually on the blog...then again it might not be a bad idea if i checked with Beth first to see if she minds.

and in the "well i'll be hornswoggled" department...apparently i CAN spin 'froghair'...

specifically, the hair of Rana snoozicus azurensis, var. silkiatum, the rare "Mamasnooze's Silky Blue Frog" ;-)

silk on spindle

sett gauge

and now the rest of the story lol...i offered to let susie try out my kundert drop spindle, but didn't give her any fiber to use...remember that blue stuff she's spinning in the above photo? that was silk top she pulled a bit off the end of the roving and spun some of it onto my spindle...then handed it back to me and said 'very nice...now YOU do it' lol...and by golly i could too :-) it's not nearly as difficult as i was thinking it would be, and this ended up wanting to spin very fine. i'm not sure how many yards i got out of the sample, but it lasted quite a while...and yet it doesn't register on my scale, even with the quill (more info on this handy technique here) still in the yarn!

i think that's enough for one post...i'm not even sure blogger will allow such a long one! more soon...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Mrs. Peacock...in the Conservatory...with a Highlighter

(great name katy!)

(these pics have been 'borrowed' from susie, dyer (AND spinner) extraordinaire, until i receive the yarn and take my own shots)

she dyed this gorgeous stuff for me for my sockapaloooza socks...just hope the recipient likes the color as much as i do :-)

i'm really thrilled that susie was willing to do this for me--she does great work, and she's a busy lady--she has an etsy shop (PerchanceToKnit) and has just recently joined the creative sellers at kpixie! (i'm going to have a blast saying 'i knew her when' lol)

now i just have to come up with a pair of socks to suit this yarn and my sock pal...hmmmm...;-)

[edit: the kpixie link now points directly to susie's yarns]

Saturday, March 04, 2006

could you say that again?

am i the only one who heard the name of a popular hand-dyed yarn every time the commentators mentioned this guy during the hockey games? ;-)

final olympic update

(or should that say "finally! an olympic update"? ;-))

yes i'm posting the large version...i'm a gold medalist and i'm proud of myself for earning it (and very impressed with franklin's creativity)

olympic gold!

(as always, click image to enlarge--this photo used with permission of ThreadBear FiberArts...THANKS rob!)

Pattern: Oat Couture's Bistro Shirt

Yarn: Tahki Stacy Charles' "Tweedy Cotton Classic" Color 480

the yarn knits up very nicely, though there can be some uneveness of stiches (which fortunately evens out in the wash *whew*)...at this gauge (18/24=4"), the fabric is rather open and soft, draping beautifully, and isn't overly heavy, which is a bit surprising considering it's cotton. i got quite a few comments on how nice it felt :-)

fabric closeup

at a distance (in other words not when it's under your nose while being knit on), there is a kind of odd 'stripey' effect, which may possibly be due to my difficulty at keeping an even gauge (or just the way the yarn knits...hard to know for sure). i think the neckline on this is a bit low--i'd probably wait another inch or more before starting it. if/when i work with this again, i will WASH the swatch before starting--i think i could have gone down to 8's on this, and still had the proper gauge once it was washed--it did expand some.

this turned out to be an enlightening project, despite its simplicity. i learned that i don't much care for unrelieved stockinette worked flat rather than in the round--it gets boring quickly, and seems to drag...and the addition of even the simplest detail (ie the sleeve shaping) made it go faster. i find i have a harder time keeping even when knitting with cotton, especially when the gauge is a bit looser than the yarn calls for. using a long cable (yay for Denise needles!) and doing all the parts simultaneously was a very good idea for me--everything "matched" (ie row counts, length, width)...i'll remember that. there's something very frustrating for me in finishing the back, and then having to 'start over' working the fronts.

amazingly enough, i've proved that i actually CAN keep (mostly) to one project without going insane (mostly ;-)) if i have to...but i'd rather have a little more variety. i'll just have to remember i do get finished quicker if i'm 'exclusive'.

and now...as antidote to stockinette....something to challenge me ;-)

and now for something completely different ;-)

yes i know it doesn't look like much yet...more info when i'm a bit farther on :-)