Updates from June, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • knitting1105 1:04 am on June 30, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    BREAKING NEWS: Celebrity Couple to Marry 

     
  • knitting1105 9:34 am on June 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , polwarth wool roving,   

    Yarn Pride 

    I am so proud of this yarn.  I finally feel worthy of spinning up some of my better fibers.  This was a destash from a fellow Raveler, 4.2 oz of Polwarth from Woolgatherings, no colorway listed on the sleeve:

    I split the roving lengthwise 8 times to get a better drafting fiber:

    So, when it was plied, the colors are very blended.  I love how it came out.  And 554 yards!!!  Let me repeat that, 554 yards.  Enough to make a shawl for myself.  I love the colors.  There is only one section where I have a blip of larger spun singles.  I chose to just leave it in, as I think that it will even out in the knitting, and give it that handspun look.

    It is also a well-balanced yarn.

    Now for a great pattern that uses that yardage…

     
    • Mimi 6:44 pm on June 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      So awesome! You did such a beautiful job on this. Can’t wait to see what you knit up with it!

      Like

  • knitting1105 1:14 pm on June 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Festival Purchases 

    Okay, this is the post where I fess up to my recent Midwest Fiber and Folk purchases.  Thank goodness I also don’t have to sneak them in the house, as my husband is a great supporter of my knitting and spinning.

    First, something for my husband, the backyard, and the beautiful birds in our Magnolia and Pine trees.  A bag of fiber for them also.  I need to get a suet feeder to put this in, birds apparently love this concoction.

    This is a beautiful dyed roving from a young woman, new to this, from Urbana, IL.  By the end of the second day, she was sold out of many things, so hopefully she will do well.  The thing that I liked about her product was that everything was tested to be reproducible, and you could call her anytime in the future, and she would be able to make more of that color-way.  We all know how valuable that would be.

    4 oz. 100% Merino, color: Mediterranean.  Expertly Dyed is the company.

    This is 1 ounce each of 2 colors of Llama, with the guard hairs removed, so incredibly soft.  From Sugar River Llamas in Lyndon Station, WI.  I only bought a small bit to see if I would be able to give it spinning justice.  I was drawn to it the first day, and kept returning to pet it, so felt I really needed to sample some first-hand on the spinning wheel.  I wish that you could put your hand through the computer and feel how incredibly soft this is.  And, if I love it, I can order directly from them.

    From from the Illinois wool and Fiber Mill, the first is a 4 oz. mix of several leftover fibers, as we would affectionately call it in our house “Swept off the Floor Blend”.  Was cheap, mostly Shetland, and seemed like a good practice fiber.  I spoke to the owner of the mill, which is apparently all brand new, and she said that we can take a group up for a tour of the mill, and to see the sheep and lambs.  I am looking forward to that.

    And from the same vendor, some natural Shetland wool for part of the upcoming Breed Studies that I am participating in, and for the Tour de Fleece (more about that later in the week).  4 oz. of the dark fiber, and 2 oz. of the light fiber.

    And lastly, my Achilles heel at the fair was the booth for Fiber Optics.  I was in Kimber’s fiber club this past winter, and loved the colors.  Even though I have many here to spin yet (my spinning is almost “Kimber worthy” in my book), I couldn’t resist.  Much of her work is sold out as soon as it is posted, and it is always better to see it first-hand.  The first is a 100% Shetland, also to be used in the Breed Study and the Tour de Fleece.  4 oz., color: Aubergine (actually more dark and intense in person, but this was the best I could do with my camera).

    And then, how could I resist this when seeing it first-hand.  85% BFL and 15% Silk.  Color:  Mad Monet done with Dye Break (not exactly sure what that means, she is a Chemist and you need to read her own description of the process).  Apparently spins up with colors like an impressionist painting.

    And, lastly after seeing Kimber’s beautiful shawl creation (I forgot to photograph it, but look at her project here), I had to get this gradient fiber, but wanted a different color-way.  I got 2 packages of this, and am dreaming of a big shawl with softly switching colors.

     
  • knitting1105 11:13 am on June 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Midwest Fiber and Folk review 

    I attended all 3 days of the Midwest Fiber and Folk Festival.  I had a 1/2 day class each day with Abby Franquemont.

    Friday I went out with Manning and Anne Marie for the entire day.  I shopped in the morning, and had a “Wheel Basics” class in the afternoon.    I signed up for this a few months ago, and when I went recently to look at the description, realized that this might be too basic for even me.  It was a fun class, reinforced that I am doing quite well, and at the end we rotated wheels so I got to try out several different versions.  Maybe it is because I am just used to my wheel, but I concluded that I really like my Joy.  This class I probably could have skipped and taken something else instead.

    Saturday and Sunday I went out with Jeanne (a fellow SnB’er who has yet to make a meeting).  It was great to have someone to drive out with (an hour each way), and talk knitting and spinning.  I took a class on plying.  That was good (except that I forgot my Lazy Kate).  We did 2-ply, 3-ply, Navajo Ply, Andean Ply, and cable plying.  I was not real successful with the Navajo plying, even though I have done a good job of it at home.  Need more practice.

    Here is the 3-ply, the blue yarn is much thicker.  A left-over from my weekend spinning retreat with Jacey Boggs

    And my cable plying.  I am not sure when I would use this, perhaps for sturdy mittens or outerwear.  I will say that when we cabled plyed some linen wool the 3rd day, it became much softer.  I will have to try a simple knitting project with this.  The process it to have two 2-plys that you then ply together in the singles spinning direction (in this case clock-wise).

    And the 3rd day class was on blended fibers.  My favorite by far.  We got to try out a wide variety of fibers from wools to silk to alpaca to linen, all in different types of blending.  I now want a drum carder.  If anyone is interested this is the one I covet.  Here are the singles taken off the bobbin, I probably could not tell you what any particular section was, and they are twisting back on themselves because they were not plyed.  I have them washing now, and will see if they relax at all.

    The Festival this year had an amazing line-up of teachers.  I could have taken more classes even.  The market was really good (I will show all of my purchases tomorrow).  Two years ago, my husband and I had driven out to this Festival (different location), and listened to music and walked through the market.  At that time there had been no classes that I was interested in taking, the market was underwhelming (very crafty, there was nothing that I wanted to buy), but the food and music were good.  This year the market was very good, not as big as the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival, but lots of interesting and tempting items.  The only thing that I saw missing was good woodwork items related to knitting and spinning.  I guess that I will have to wait for Wisconsin for that.  The food and music however, were not as good.  Only 2 greasy meat-oriented vendors, and one tiny stage set up with music with the audience situated a ways away.

    No animals at this market, except bunnies.  Here is one being hand clipped, which they apparently love.

    And another photo of Abby.  You may know that I am not a particular fan of tattoos, but this was really fun, and appropriate for her.  A skull and crossbones, the crossbones are spindles, and the eyes of the skull have balls of yarn.  Great teacher by the way.

     
  • knitting1105 11:31 pm on June 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Hallelujah! 

     Pure Heaven.  Hearing Hallelujah by KD Lang at Ravinia tonight.


     
  • knitting1105 11:42 am on June 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Carless in Chicago 

    I am ending week 2 of my summer without a car.  We decided to give my son our car to take to college for the summer, as he needs to come home to check in with work periodically, and it was definitely cheaper than buying him a used one.  His campus is really sleepy during the summer, and this allows him to find a frisbee team to play with.  My summer school class was cancelled, and I work from home.  We thought that this would be pretty easy, and a challenge to see how we can live without a car for a few weeks.  My husband takes the train to work, and can go to the Farmer’s Market in the city twice a week, and we rode our bikes to the local market last weekend.  I can walk to the pet store, my knitting night, and supplies for the house.  What has proven to be the most difficult are getting to a free ATM, going to the gym (I will use my Groupon for the local yoga studio next month instead) securing wine (no location within walking distance), and the organic veggies that are not in season yet at the Farmer’s Market.  I will admit to cheating a bit, as we will stock up on the occasional weekend that he is home.

    Not having a car has also meant that when I am bored, I cannot hop into the car and go out on errands or shopping.  So, more knitting and spinning opportunities.  I will admit that I have less face time with people, which has it’s good and bad points.  When I am feeling a bit squirrely here, I take Lloyd out for a walk, so we are both benefitting.

    I am almost finished with the Roxanne shawl.  I will reserve my judgement on this until it is blocked.  The instructions are not the best at the moment, but it was a mystery KAL where the designer was trying out a new pattern.  Other mystery KAL’s that I have tried have been much more organized and clearer though.  I have to bind off, the instructions for that part were really confusing.  I think that I figured it out after letting it mull around in my mind for a couple of days.

    I caved when I was purchasing my pressure canner from Amazon, and bought the book Knit Your Own Royal Wedding.  It was just too funny, not sure that I will knit from it, but it was not too expensive.  And here is the funniest video using all of these handknit dolls.

    The photos are so cute, I don’t know how she captured the personalities so well:

    Try as I might though, I could not get Camilla to come in clearly.

    And here is my current spinning.  I need to get this plyed, as I am off to spinning classes all weekend at the Midwest Fiber and Folk Festival.

     
    • Mimi 10:56 am on June 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I hear ya on the carless deal. I have spent most of my life carless but even for me it becomes a challenge at times. I also think it’s hilarious that you caved and bought the royal wedding! I of course have to point you to a story about the group of librarians in Washington who knit the wedding:
      http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20110424/NEWS01/704249913

      Like

      • knitting1105 11:16 am on June 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Of course a bunch of wild and crazy knitters would make this! I bet it was quite the hit.

        Like

  • knitting1105 3:12 pm on June 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Pressure canning 

    I just ordered and received a new pressure cooker, so that I can expand my canning this summer.

    And, my first pressure canning was asparagus on Friday.  They all sealed (7  quarts, the maximum that can fit in the canner), a couple seem a tad short on the water, but we will see if the preservation lasts to next winter.  Asparagus is my favorite vegetable, and the season is just too short.   I have 5 quarts of full pieces, and 2 quarts of small pieces, which I will use to make soup.   The only thing about the pressure canning is that they are cooked quite a bit.  I will let you know when I open my first jar next winter.

    Continuing work on my next shawl.  I think that I am going to be disappointed in the size, but I only had one skein of this yarn.  If it is too small it will make a great scarf with a coat, lots of color to brighten up a dreary day.  I started this on a size 6 needle (pattern recommended a 5 or 6 and I wanted it to be bigger), and went up to a size 7 where the lace started.  I sort of wish that I had made the entire shawl with the size 7 needles.

     
  • knitting1105 2:41 pm on June 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Japanese American internment,   

    My Civic Duty 

    I spent yesterday sitting in the Jury Pool room downtown.  My group got called up to a courtroom once, but never even saw the Judge or lawyers.  I spent most of my day knitting and reading (in uncomfortable chairs).  I started this shawl, a free pattern from the blog feministiy.com.  I originally saw it on Ravelry in a forum.  While she suggests using a solid or semi-solid color yarn, I on the other hand, thought it would be perfect for this highly variegated yarn.

    I also finished my book club book, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.  Pretty good book, and an easy read.  The story is a love story between a Chinese-American boy, and a Japanese-American girl during the Japanese internment.  While I have some issues with a couple of the characters in the writing, and some of the believability of the “coincidences”, I enjoyed reading this, and would probably recommend it to others.

     
  • knitting1105 2:19 pm on June 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Lloyd 

    After playing outside this morning.  Good thing he is at the groomer’s now:

     

     
    • happymousefairy 3:30 pm on June 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Oh how gorgeous he looks!

      Like

  • knitting1105 11:57 am on June 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Canning jam, ,   

    Jam and Merino 

    I spun up this Merino before leaving for my trip to Michigan.  In fact, I was originally going to take my Joy with me on the trip so that I could spin, and stayed up late to clear out a few extra bobbins.  In the morning, my mind changed as I thought of lugging it through the train station.  It was a wise move, as I really did not have the time on this trip to spin anyways.  Knitting is much more portable.

    Before spinning:

    And 350 yards of 2-ply later.  I love the softness of this yarn, and how the colors spun up together.  I am glad that I did not try it in my early days of spinning, as the Merino took a bit more getting used to.  I keep touching this, it is so soft.  It will become a scarf for my husband.

    Yesterday I spent the afternoon making 3-berry jam (blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries).  Heaven.  My new favorite, the combination jams are definitely the best.  I yielded six 1-cup and four 1/2-cup jars, plus a little bit for the refrigerator.

    This jam on Whole Foods Seduction bread is to die for.

     
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