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  • knitting1105 11:40 am on March 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Wool,   

    Rainbow Groove 

    This morning I woke up to several inched of surprise snow on the ground, and only a couple of days after the first day of Spring!  Not happy.  So, this bright post will remind me of what is sure to be around the corner: colors and flowers and sun.  My knitting and spinning has been on a total Rainbow groove, I originally called it a rut, but my friend Andi from SnB said that there is no way that rainbows are a rut.  Is it my desire for spring, or just need for more color in my life?

    First I knit with this amazing yarn, Monkey socks in progress.

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    Which inspired the purchase of this fiber:

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    Which prompted me recently to go to Knitterly Things, and look at her beautiful self-striping yarns, they have been on my radar for a long time.  So, my splurge included this Vesper Sock yarn, I was originally going to get another rainbow, but opted for a more serene color palate:

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    And, while I was there, these mini wee-skeins called to me to be knit up into something hopefully creative…

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    And for a true rainbow, I am making the Dot socks from the Vogue Sock Knitting on the go:

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    Here is my cuff, using JaWoll Sock yarn for this:

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    And to be totally forthright, as I was organizing and cleaning my stash today, I forgot that I had purchased this last fall at Wisconsin Sheep and Wool from River’s Edge Fiber Arts

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    Happy Spring everyone!

     
    • FogKnits 12:40 pm on March 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Love each and every one of them! I’m a bit of a rainbow addict too 🙂

      Like

    • Linda 5:07 pm on April 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Beautiful socks….love the orchid heel. I have not tried this pattern yet; makes me want to get started.

      Like

  • knitting1105 11:13 am on April 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Wool,   

    Spring at last! 

     

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    I hope that everyone had a great weekend. It was our first Easter in 28 years without the kids around.  No Easter baskets for the first time also.  We had a quiet day enjoying the gorgeous day, and a BBQ dinner with great lamb chops.

    Sofia is visiting Ethan in Japan.   I love this photo of them.

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    Last weekend was the Lorna’s Laces warehouse sale just for the Windy City Knitting Guild.  Lynette and I got there early enough (in spite of overshooting our exit while chatting away) to get the last tickets for the early admission to the sale and got first dibs.  I picked up this Helen’s Lace yarn, color Glen Elen, to make a large lace sweater.

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    I also could not pass by this beautiful sock yarn.  quite a lot of color, it will have to be for socks with pattern that will not fight it.

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    If you like Lorna’s yarn and colors, they introduced us to their newest products.  Watch their website for an unveiling this week!

     

     
    • Diane 8:12 pm on April 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      It is so great that Sofia and Ethan got to spend some time together…I bet they both missed those awesome Easter baskets. Love the mint green yarn, anxious to see your sweater when it is done.

      Like

  • knitting1105 6:16 pm on April 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Wool, ,   

    Yarn Con 2014 

    This morning I went to YarnCon, held in the Journeymen’s Plumber’s Hall in Chicago, a nice space indeed.  There were more vendors than last year, lots to choose from.  Last year I went with Lynette on Sunday and we were one of the first 50 people, so got a great goody bag.  This year I arrived 10 minutes before the door opened, and there were over a 100 people already in line.  A couple of friends got there early and received the goody bag (to the first 50 people only), but it was not as impressive as last years.

    There was knitting performance art, not really sure that I “got” it, Mimi shared it on Instagram, as she felt the world needed to see this.  My photos are not the best, as they were done with my phone.

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    I met Martha at the event, new to Chicago, she has been following my blog!  It was fun to meet her and introduce her to some of my knitting and spinning friends.  My first “selfie”, don’t seem to ever like photos of myself.  I had a photo of her great boot toppers, but it did not turn out well.  Great to meet you Martha!

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    I went with the intention of buying enough fingering weight yarn for a very large project, and was able to restrain myself as I found nothing that was perfect.  I need 2,600 yards, so it needs to be the right choice.  My amazing restraint involved only getting 2 small bags for my knitting bag (from the same vendor I got my beautiful bag last year!),

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    And, some sock yarn for Dan.  This is from Anne Hanson’s new line, all American sourced, Bare Naked Wools.  The natural colors were so beautiful, this one is called Breakfast Blend.  It is wool, nylon and alpaca.  He loved the yarn, and I can’t wait to try it.

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    There is still time to check out the vendors and amazing selections tomorrow, don’t let my restraint stop you from attending, there is some really beautiful yarn to score!

     
    • Diane 7:35 pm on April 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Love the little bags. I think the group was knitting and meditating at the same time, reflecting on their lives.

      Like

      • knitting1105 5:13 pm on April 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        I hope they were reflecting. Performance knitting just doesn’t do it for me…

        Like

    • tricotreat 5:01 pm on April 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Fun seeing you at YC and meeting Martha! I totally went back and got the yarn buddy. I’m so weak.

      Like

      • Martha 9:21 pm on April 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        It was great meeting you and your knitting and spinning friends 🙂 I am so glad I found your blog a while ago and can put a friendly face to it. See ya one of these Sundays…

        Like

        • knitting1105 5:14 pm on April 7, 2014 Permalink

          Good to meet you also. We had a nice spinning group yesterday, hope you can join us soon.

          Like

    • Manning 10:33 pm on April 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Cute picture! I can’t wait to get my cast off so i can knit again.

      Like

      • knitting1105 5:12 pm on April 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Cast?!!! I told Dan and he said that he had seen you at church, he thought I already knew. Not being able to knit would be pure torture. Hope you recover soon.

        Like

  • knitting1105 1:34 pm on October 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Falkland Islands, , Polwarth, Wool   

    Spunky 

    FIHPCH-CTA-G-795-T  This fiber was from Spunky Electric, a part of the CTA spin-along on Ravelry this past spring.  Unfortunately, I did not finish this during the designated timeframe, but it was part of my recent bobbin clearing mania, and I am slowly catching up.  The inspiration was a glacier photo, and this really captured the nuances of the colors well.

    The fiber is Falkland, this is the first time that I have spun this fiber and did not really know what it was.

    The term, Falkland wool, refers to wool grown only on the Falkland Islands and not in any other location. The wool clip from these islands is a very good white and is grown from Merino and Polwarth breeds. The majority of the wool produced emanates from the Polwarth.  

    Fineness ranges from 18/19microns to 32/33microns with the bulk of the wool being in the 27- 30microns category. The length is 80-100mm with the fleece showing good bulkiness and soft handle. In some ways, and for certain applications, it can be considered better than Australian grown wool, especially for knitting yarn, where good bulk is required.


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    It is very soft, and really puffed up a lot when I washed and fulled it.  It is already being knit up into a special surprise…

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    • Diane 8:54 pm on October 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Love the colors, very pretty whatever it is.

      Like

    • Vonna 6:46 am on October 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Those colors are absolutely gorgeous!

      Like

  • knitting1105 7:05 pm on June 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Wool   

    Baby Girl 

    I knit this over the past month for my newest Niece, beautiful baby Ria. It is a Dale of Norway pattern, from one of my many DoN books, but I have neither the book or pattern number with me to refer to. I will update that info at a future time. I have yet to give this to my sister, but I am pretty sure that she is too busy right now to read this blog.

    The pink pearl buttons are so perfect, I think that this is such a beautiful baby girl pattern, which is ironic, as I started it just prior to Ria's birth when we did to know the sex. It seemed like a great boy pattern, just with a blue edging. However, I am glad that this is for a baby girl, because now that I have the pink edging on it I could not imagine it as a boy version.

     

     

     

     

    It still needs blocking, and of course being wrapped up.

     

     
    • Diane 7:36 pm on June 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Frances, this is absolutely gorgeous and will be forever treasured. I can’t wait to see of picture of Ria in the sweater. We still have all the sweaters you made Traver over the years.

      Like

      • MrsPeterson 11:18 pm on June 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        This sweater is absolutely perfect. The buttons are just right. What a beautiful way to welcome a new life into the world. Miss you and thinking of you.

        Like

    • atangledyarn84 9:48 am on June 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Beautiful!!

      Like

    • Janice 9:41 am on July 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Such a pretty sweater, it will be beautiful on Ria!!

      Like

  • knitting1105 7:42 pm on June 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , Wool   

    The Longest Day 

    This solstice evening finds me knitting in the comfort of my lounge chair on the back porch, listening to the birds, and enjoying a cool breeze (in lieu of the scorcher that had been predicted, thanks to an afternoon storm). I am working on my shawl using the Fiber Optic gradient Turquoise to Tangerine that I spun up a couple of months ago. I started this on our trip to Japan, and worked on it while sitting with my Mom in Hospice, she is still hanging on but my brothers are with her. There will be a lot of different memories associated with this article, it is something that I certainly need to keep for myself. My Mom got to see it in progress and loved the colors.

    It is addictive knitting and watching the gradients evolve, I love it! I chose not to do the bind off with the pattern, as it would not have kept the gradient intact. The pattern is Ice Fantasia by Anne Hanson. Instead I opted for another repeat of the last section, and now need to figure out how to end it. This may be the hardest part.

     

     
  • knitting1105 4:24 pm on February 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Wool   

    Washing Woolens 

    Today was a wool washing day.  I had read this article and was waiting for a fresh soft snow to try to wash one of my wool area rugs.  I have left the rung on the back porch, and think that I will give it another go around tomorrow and really try to work the snow into the fibers more.  I love ideas like these!

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    And it was also a sock washing day.  I only make socks out of superwash these days, and with it being cold here finally, Dan and I were both running short on handknit socks.  They go into the machine (front loader) on gentle with some mild dish soap, then hung to dry.  This represents 30 pairs!!!!!

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    • Mrspeterson 11:18 pm on February 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      How did it work? Did you see a lot of dirt in the snow? I am excited to try this!

      Like

      • knitting1105 2:20 pm on February 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        It really worked well to refresh the rug. Not as good as a washing, but a perfect winter solution. I ended up putting it back out a second time and literally walking on the rug, first face up, then face down.

        Like

    • Diane 12:46 am on February 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Love the idea on cleaning the rug–let me know if it really worked. I guess you would by how dirty the snow is after you stomp on the rug. I especially like pictures of all of your socks hung outside!

      Like

  • knitting1105 11:26 am on March 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Breeds, , Wool   

    Wool, lots of it! 

    A friend has a friend who has a sheep farm.  Do you know where this is leading?  The sheep are meat sheep, and they normally shear the sheep and throw away the wool.   Doesn’t that seem like a crime?  Well, I was asked if I would like the wool, and how could I say no?  I was thinking I would get a small bag that I would try my hand at washing and carding to spin.  Not knowing what the breed of sheep were, I happily accepted the offer of wool.  It was delivered to me at the Magnolia Party, they took me to their car to show me 2 huge black contractors bags full of wool!  At least 10# each!!!  That is a lot of wool, if you need a comparison, just think how much your favorite sweater weighs.  The wool was lambswool, a cross of Suffolk/Hamsphire (Black wool- natural color cross).

    Hampshire Lambs:

    Plus Suffolk lambs:

    When I read about it in my favorite fiber book, The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook, they said that while not often available to hand spinners, it spins up as good outerwear, soft yet durable, often overlooked as a good fleece for handspinners.  These breeds are in the Down classification (from Down area of southern England, nothing to do with soft under down of a duck).  The staple length is short, 2-4 inches

    I wish that I had taken a photo of the bags of wool, one white, the other black with white.  I very quickly realized 2 things, one that I could never hand process all of this wool, and secondly that the strong sheep farm smell was more than I wanted to put up with for a long time in my house, especially as it was very warm that week.  So, the day after coming back from a trip to Michigan to visit my Mom, I drove with a friend to the Illinois Wool & Fiber Mill in Belvidere, about a 90 minute drive each way.  We dropped off the bags and got a tour of the mill, the machinery was custom-made for them:

    First the drying racks after the wool has been washed:

    Then to carding:

    And to processing into roving (the owner Jane is in the blue shirt):

    And, you can’t leave a fiber mill without a little sheep time!

    Now, I have a 6 month wait before they are caught up on their backlog.  Plenty of time to figure out what to do with all of this wool.

     
    • Lisa 4:11 pm on March 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I am so jealous!

      Like

      • knitting1105 5:18 pm on March 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        You will be welcome to take some if you want. There will be more than I will ever need….

        Like

  • knitting1105 10:28 pm on August 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Wool   

    Thank you Punkin’s Patch! 

    I received this yummy box of fiber in the mail yesterday.

    This is some scrumptiously soft, beautiful lambs wool from Punkin’s Patch, a wonderful group on Ravelry that had a Tour de Fleece group called : “My Favorite Sheep”, run by thecrazysheeplady on Ravelry.  My favorite sheep for the tour was Shetland, as I was trying to spin and understand the breed.  I must admit, I like the rougher, more primitive wool of the Shetland a lot.  And, I do love knitting with it for Fair Isle.  So, I was the winner for meeting my goal, and this was my prize.  I am so excited to spin it.  I do not have a scale right now, so I am not sure what the weight is.

    Tomorrow is a visit to the Michigan Fiber Fest.  My first time there, my husband is as excited as I.

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

    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.

     
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