Updates from September, 2010 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • knitting1105 12:50 pm on September 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    I have to make this! 

    I just found this pattern on Ravelry.  KnitPicks sold this as a kit, but it is no longer available.  However, I am anxiously awaiting the pattern which is being emailed to me as I write.  This photo is a bit fuzzy, but it is a “Clock Tam”.  You can make it as either a tam, or a knitted clock!  How cool and kitschy is that?

    • Diane 10:37 pm on October 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      This is beautiful and you would wear it well. You will have to take lots of pictures when you are done.


      • knitting1105 9:01 am on October 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        The pattern is no longer available unfortunately. I will have to recreate it one day.


    • Barbara 5:16 am on October 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      That is really cool. The colours are beautiful too – hope you manage to recreate the pattern.


  • knitting1105 4:08 pm on September 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    My first skein!? 

    I am not really sure if this can be called a skein or not.  I spun the burgundy color first, then random natural dark wools.  I got them all free, so not clear what type of wool anything is.  By the time I got to the natural dark brown, I was much better.  I would not use the term good yet, but I did not split the end of the spun ply as much, and it was not as bulky as the first set.  Consequently, I have much more yardage of the brown.  I did ply them together, and seemed to get the hang of it.  I do not have a knitty-knotty so I used my swift to wind it together.  I think that I have about 60 yards.  What would that be enough for?

    • MrsPeterson 4:13 pm on October 1, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Hey! That brown single looks GREAT! I like the sparklies.

      I think you should hang on to it for now. I KNOW you want to knit it, but wait. It will be cool as a trim to the cuffs of mittens made with “later” yarn, or the brim of a hat.

      Or you could make me an iphone cozy.

      No seriously, save it.


      • knitting1105 4:16 pm on October 1, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Yeah, I think that i will save it. I will hang it in my new knitting room when I get that together.


        • Diane 10:35 pm on October 2, 2010 Permalink

          Congrats on your first skein–I am impressed. I think you need to hang on to it as a reminder of where you were and how far you have come as time goes on.


  • knitting1105 10:36 am on September 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Birthday Knitting gifts 

    Even though my party was no gifts, I got this wonderful wool roving from my friend Manning, who happened to be with me in my “learn to spin” class a couple of weeks ago.  It is from the Corriedale sheep I believe.  To use on the spinning wheel that I got MYSELF for my birthday.

    And I got these also from a friend.  Can you figure out what it is?

    “Knitted” wrapping paper!!!!

    They are too cute, can’t wait to use them.  Should I wrap only knitted gifts in them?  Or should this be my new trademark?  I have a “knitted” travel mug that I got a couple of years ago from another friend.

  • knitting1105 11:35 am on September 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Spinning Practice and Birthday Cakes 

    I threw myself a cake and wine birthday party this week with a couple dozen women friends.  My husband was out-of-town on business, and I did not want to be alone on my birthday.  I also needed retribution for the ugly cake from 2 years ago (Bleeding Heart Bakery who puts bad customer service to a new low).  So, I tried a new baker in Oak Park, The Happy Cake.  I had met the owner, Katy, at the Wednesday Oak Park Farmer’s market, and tried her cupcakes there.  I just wanted simple elegance.  The cake was a huge hit–dark chocolate cake with peanut butter, butter cream frosting; cupcakes were lemon with raspberry frosting.  They tasted wonderful.  It was so fun to have a night of women from all parts of my life, lots of knitters included.

    And today I am going back to spinning for a few minutes.  Here is my last attempt, getting marginally better:

    And, this was in a bag of roving given to me with my spinning wheel purchase.  I am going to practice with all of this….

    • Barbara 2:41 pm on September 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Happy Birthday! A great cake.


      • Diane 10:33 pm on October 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        I love the cake–very stylish. Next year see if she can make the basket of yarn cake! Sounds like you had a great day with great friends.


  • knitting1105 2:31 pm on September 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Understanding Wool 

    Now that I am an aspiring spinner, I need to really understand wool.  It’s properties, how it is processed (or not), and the differences amongst the various sheep breeds.  I used to look for wool in the stores, understanding the difference between a highly processed and minimally processed wool, but that was about it—other than the ubiquitous Shetland vs. Merino.  So, as my husband aptly predicted, this new hobby would spur its own collection.  So, this is the book that I purchased last week to start to understand the complexities of wool and the different sheep breeds.

    The book first explains in great detail what wool is, the anatomy of the fibers, and how superwash wool is made.  Then it discusses turning wool into fibers.  The most exciting chapter for me (and my husband, the future sheep farmer) is the “Meet the Breeds” section, highlighting the pertinent facts of 37 different breeds.  Lastly is a section on blending wool with other fibers.   The back 1/2 of the book is taken up with patterns using wool (although most could be made with virtually any yarn).  None of the patterns wowed me, and I wish that she had just kept to the topic of wool, and more detail there.  Not a book that anyone would ever purchase for the patterns, and I think that it took the focus away from the main subject.

    The author is not a sheep owner, and I would be curious to see the reviews from those who raise sheep and have a first-hand knowledge of the product and process.  Clara Parker did write an earlier book The Knitter’s Book of Yarn.  That one can wait for my Christmas list, but it is one I would also like to own.

    • ai731 11:45 am on September 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Just stopping by to say “hello” and Happy Birthday.


    • Shirley 4:33 pm on September 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I came over from Ravelry to wish you a Happy Birthday! I liked your Barbie outfits. I like the fitted top in the previous post. Will you be putting the pattern on your blog?


      • knitting1105 4:45 pm on September 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        I will try to rewrite the pattern–might take me a bit of time.


    • Neen 4:41 pm on September 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      just stoping to say happy birthday 🙂 Neen


  • knitting1105 1:51 pm on September 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Barbie Continued 

    I have knit another Barbie outfit for my 5-year-old niece.  This time I reworked the pattern a bit to make it fit better.  I got the skirt perfectly, but the top is a bit wide.  Barbie is sure a lot less chesty than she was in my day.

  • knitting1105 8:05 am on September 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Why my knitting is slow 

    In addition to adding spinning, this has been keeping me away from knitting:

    Theresa and I, second canning day, and our most successful.  16 quarts tomatoes, 10 quarts peaches, 14 – 1 cup jars and 12 – 1/2 cup jars of grape jelly.  Grapes from Andrews grape vines.  Beautiful dark purple grapes, remind me of the grapes that my mother used to pick and make grape juice with.

    • Rae 11:21 pm on September 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Wow very cool I think I need to learn some canning maybe leave a jar of grape jelly on the porch for me lol.


      • ai731 11:47 am on September 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Haha – your kitchen counter looks just like mine, except it’s apple sauce instead of peaches and jalapeno jelly instead of grape!


        • knitting1105 3:48 pm on September 22, 2010 Permalink

          Just finished some bread and butter pickles, and it is applesauce next here also!


  • knitting1105 8:00 am on September 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply  


    Woodcut with woman spinning with a spinning wheel

    Image via Wikipedia

    Part of my weekend at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival was taking a full day class in beginning wheel spinning.  I was so excited to take this.  I have been thinking for years about having a spinning wheel and learning how to spin.  I am not sure what was holding me back, but perhaps the empty nester syndrome gave me the courage, opportunity, space and time to consider learning this new task.

    The class was taught by Mary Underwood from Ann Arbor, Michigan.  I had originally tried to sign up for the Sunday spinning class a couple of months ago, and missed the last spot by 5 minutes (registration initially went through, then I got an email that it had already been full).  I agreed to be put on a waiting list, and fortunate for me, Mary agreed to teach this Sunday class.  I was joined in the class by three friends, Manning, Amy and Christina.

    The class was small, 10 people, so the attention by the instructor was fabulous.  We got the basics enough to make me dangerous on the wheel.  I wish that it had been a 2 day course, but now I have an excuse to look for another teacher and another class to keep me progressing.  I learned how to start the wheel, sort of get tension, correct problems when I break the fiber, and ply yarn.  My first “skein” (in quotations as that word should be used very loosely here):

    As fate would have it, I was looking online earlier in the week at spinning wheels that would be good for a beginner.  The class allowed you to rent a wheel for the day to practice on.  I had arranged for the rental, then saw a posting on Ravelry in my guild’s forum of a spinning wheel for sale.  An Ashford Traditional, one recommended by many as a good beginning wheel.  The seller lived a bit outside of Chicago, but was going to the Wool Festival, and would meet someone there.  How perfect!  I agreed to purchase this, sight unseen, knowing nothing about wheels.  I picked it up at noon on Saturday, and with my husband’s help, took it to the class.  I was able to make my first spinning attempts on my own wheel!

    My spinning in the morning was much better than the afternoon.  Life was busy when I got home, and I just tried it last night again, the first since the class.  I started to get the hang of it, but quit when the fibers became too bulky.  I need to really work on the drafting of the fibers.  You have to pedal with your feet, draft the fibers with one hand, and control the twist and take-up with the other.  Much more complicated than standing on one foot and rubbing your belly!

    I watched several YouTube videos yesterday before trying spinning again.  I found this one helpful in going over the basics mechanics of the spinning wheel, and this one great for a beginners refresher course on how to spin.  This woman has several other spinning videos which I am sure I will visit often.  It is recommended to try to spin for just 10 minutes a day at the beginning.

    I had my first spinning dream last night.  I was doing quite well.

    • Diane 8:30 pm on September 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Looks like you had a great time. Don’t you love watching the sheep dogs–maybe you will have to get a friend for Lloyd after-all. I have always been amazed watching people spin. I am sure you will soon become an expert and do wonderful work just like everything else you set you mind too!


      • knitting1105 7:54 am on September 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Have you really looked at the first spinning sample? I have quite a bit of way to go. Thanks for the encouragement though.


    • Lisa 9:04 pm on September 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I took this class with you! I had a great time. I am thinking of taking another class. I went to the local Spin in Public Day and they set me up with a wheel and I was trying my hand at it again. It is so addictive.


      • knitting1105 12:36 pm on September 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        It is! So glad that you found me. I loved that class, and Mary is a great teacher.


  • knitting1105 2:48 pm on September 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Sheep & Wool Festival 

    I went to the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival with my husband over the weekend.  We had a blast.  We saw sheep shows, sheep shearing, baby lambs, sheep dogs in action, and of course a great vendors market.

    This one reminded me of Lloyd.  The same color of curls.  I should have gotten a photo of his head.

    The sheep shearing was fascinating.  The unruly and scared sheep were grabbed around the head, pulled into the shearing area and flipped over on their backs.  The minute that their feet were not touching the ground they became very complacent and let themselves be sheared.  The demonstration sheep were all yearlings, so this was their first shearing.  This man completed a sheep in just over 90 seconds.  He stated that on a normal working day, his top # of sheep sheared was 370+.  Apparently there are men out there who can do 500 in an 8 hour workday.

    And the lambs were so adorable.

    My husband loved the Shetland sheep.  I think that it is because they are an older breed, and the color ranges that they come in.  Apparently 13 colors of Shetland sheep.  So, our dream farm includes a pasture with one sheep of each color.  First we will start by adding Chickens to our animal family.

    • Andrew 11:08 pm on September 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply


      Lets find a farm with a couple of houses and you and Dan can raise Shetlands and me and John can make cheese? Hell, I’ll even restore and live in the barn! As long as we can commute to our Chicago jobs to support the pastoral lifestyle?? Whatdaya think??


    • knitting1105 7:53 am on September 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      We are in! Dan can tele-commute, but closer might be good. Hey have you ever thought of lofting the barn, with a big accent chandelier?!


  • knitting1105 9:43 pm on September 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Plugging away 

    I finished the back of the Chess sweater by Hanne Falkenberg, and am about 1/3 of the way done with the front.  As usual with her patterns, they are slow, and lots and lots of knitting.  But, that is what I love about them, the gauge of the fabric and the attention to minutia.

    I am very excited about the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival this weekend.  I am taking my first spinning class (with a real spinning wheel, took the drop spindle class last year).  I know that the time is right to purchase a spinning wheel, so I need to do some research and see what works best for me after this class.  Also, looking forward to seeing the different breeds of sheep and understanding the wool differences, and to seeing the sheep dogs in action.

    • Barbara Smith 8:35 am on September 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Your post prompted me to look at Hanne Falkenberg’s website – wonderful designs. Your Chess sweater will be great. Lucky man.


      • knitting1105 7:24 pm on September 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Aren’t her patterns beautiful. I made a sweater of her’s years ago, and get tons of compliments on it whenever I wear it.


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