Tuesday, September 23, 2008

We Interupt The Quilt Show Posts For........

Cubs Win!!!!! Cubs Win!!!! They won their division on Saturday.


I know I'm late, but Friday really wiped me out. Not a Cubs fan? Not a baseball fan? Sorry.

I now, Queen of Wipsluts, have a challenge before me. Remember the wool in this post. I have one more bobbin to get spun up, ply, then get those socks knitted by playoffs. Will I be able to stick with it? Not get diverted by all my other lovely projects. Check back later and we shall see.


This photo is as of yesterday afternoon. I finished the second bobbin last night. I will set the twist when I kettle dye to even out the dye.

Now for a contest. Guess how many yards are on this plying bobbin. Leave your answer in comments with someway for me to reach you by Saturday. The answer closest will win this skein of kettle dyed, by me, lace weight merino, 440 yards. If there is a tie, I will look through my bins for more lace weight.

007 012

Here's a hint, there's five ounces of two-ply lace weight merino/angora/silk.

If you have been following my blog this year, then you know my bunny Dammit is an enthusiastic Led Zeppelin fan. He was a bad bunny a week ago and chewed the satellite cable, so no Zeppelin for a week. Saturday, I relented and played How The West Was Won cds. When Dammit heard Moby Dick, he ran out from under the secretary (his daytime den) and bounced about the living room doing triple binkies. I picked up my digital camera, but smart arse that he is, he flopped down.

Sunday night I stayed up trying to capture evidence. Ran out of batteries twice. Grrrrr Please excuse rusty closet door, it's from the rain off Gd's stroller. I get to fixing it one of these days.

Hope you enjoy, it took all afternoon to get it on You tube.

Friday, September 19, 2008

An Inspiring Day part 1

It was an inspiring show, as we knew it would be. Mom and I found this gem of a show, a decade ago. However, the following years we didn't know the dates, and missed out. Luckily, last year we were at one of the vendors just before the show. I made sure to get on the mailing list, so we wouldn't miss out this year. We didn't know last year, we could bring cameras, and were disappointed to see others with cameras and not have ours.

I took so many photos, while I won't put all of them on here, it will take a couple posts to do justice. Also for consideration of those with dial-up connections.

We'll start with a congregation of Cuddle Quilts. They distribute them to local children in need. They have made over 3,000 since 1991.


In the back two ladies are knitting prayer shawls for their ministry. Mom and I had a nice long chat with Peggy, on the left. I gave her my blog address, "Hi Peggy." It was to talk to other knitters, a meet a fellow Ravelerer.

To show how strange I am, I recognized the teddy fabric in the fourth fabric, is fabric I used 19 years ago in a quilt for my youngest son.

This Cuddle Quilt really stood out. 010

There wasn't as much needlework this year as last. I forgot to get pictures of the knitting and crochet. Bad me.

I was delighted to find a Jan Houtman Patchwork Sampler. I've long been a fan of his designs.

Much work went into this one, with a nice story. I blackend out the last name for exhibitor privacy.


There were small quilts, as well.


Many spectacular and inspiring ones.


Perfect for fall. This made me want to tear through my fabric stash and start sewing.


That is all I have energy to upload right now. After the show, I did my weekly grocery shopping. Ready for a second cane to hold my weary legs up, I was glad for the grocery cart to hold me up.

The particulars for any locals who may pop by before tomorrow. It is at United Methodist Church of North Chili, 2200 Westside Drive at Buffalo Road, Rochester, NY. Saturday September 20, 9-5. Donation $4.00 or $3.00 with food donation. The food collected will go Spencerport Food Shelf.

I will definitely make sure to get my finished projects ready to exhibit there next year. Hoping to get information to be a vendor. I should have all my fabrics, threads, yarn and spinning fiber dyed and ready be then. I really hope so.

While you're waiting for the next installment, you might want to sit in their tea room for refreshments.


True to my nature of not being faithful to my projects, I wound this handspun I finished last week into a ball. 785 yards of Avalon BFL from Crown Mountain Fibers, about 20 wpi of 3ply. This has plans to be a top down raglan cardigan, I have designed in my head. Yes, I should be finishing those footies. We'll talk about my rotation methods on another day.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Multi-Crafting and Multi-Tasking - Queen of Wipsluts

It seems multi-tasking is quite a buzz word. How many things can you do at once? Argh The effects of multi-tasking are being researched, with not good results. But, I digress. This week as you can see I joined Plurk. From there I was lead to the dark side of Molehill Empire. Major addictive time suck, the garden, that is.

There are very few needlecrafts I haven't tried. Bobbin lace is one I would like to try. There are very few I don't love, crewel for one. More hobbies = more projects in progress. I laugh hysterically when someone says I have 5 or 10 things going, I've got a problem. Small potatoes. I currently have 50+ cross stitch projects, and the materials with patterns for over 50 more. Knitting is about 30 or more, I haven't counted. Crochet is about 10. Then there is my tatting and beading. Quilts I have about 5 in various stages, with enough fabric to blanket a small village.

To some, ok many, I may have a problem. My mom likes to buy quilt fabric but hasn't made a quilt in a decade. She says, she who dies with the most wins. Wins what? You're dead. Is there a prize in the afterlife for having the most of something? Well, I told her, my stash is life insurance. I'm not dying until I have finished everything I've started, it looks like I'm going to be around for a very long time.

Tomorrow, I'm going to a local needlework and quilt show. Yay!!! I rarely get to go do anything fun. Digital camera is packed, so there will be pictures this weekend. We enjoyed the show immensely last year, but didn't bring cameras, as we thought they wouldn't allowed. However, we saw many did. There was one exhibitor who had tons finished works several categories, large detailed projects. She had passed away a couple years ago, at age 103, her family must have entered them. I noticed this while admiring a pillowcase with crochet lace edging. It was 3 inches and crocheted with size 100 thread. The tag she made seven sets for her nieces before she died. Nodded to my mom, It looks like it is possible. I'm hoping they have her projects there this year.

This week, I started a pair of footies with the leftover yarn from Maude. My feet get cold during the winter, and make my legs hurt. These will be wonderful bed footies. While I was knitting these the yarn reminded strawberry ice cream with a bit of peaches.


Then, there is the Magickal Earth Shawl, I started a few weeks ago. I've wanted to make this for awhile. There is a charity I want to donate this to, so I started it, and (crosses fingers) hope to have it done by the end of the year. It's hand-dyed cashmere/silk 45/55 in violet and soft gray blue, kinda like corn flowers, gossamer weight 800 yds per 50 grams. On size 000 needles. I have about 2000 yards in that ball. I dyed an extra 2 1000 yard skeins which I will put up on etsy in the next day.


Finished spinning the merino/angora/silk, now onto seemingly endless plying.



Sorry for the endless rambling. I'll leave you with this picture.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I Can Haz Spinning

Not the post I wanted to write tonight, but I'm feeling really achey and very fatigued. Fatigue has been kicking my butt for awhile now. I did get some dying accomplished this weekend, though not all I wanted to do.


Superwash BFL in the oven. Pink and blue stuff on the left merino/angora/silk. Two on the right SW BFL. All will be listed on etsy in the next few days. I'm in the process of dying BFL and SW merino.

A couple weeks ago, after I had weighed out some SW BFL for dying, the cats grabbed one 4oz. ball and attacked it. In their defense, it did smell quite sheepy. The usual suspects were rounded up and thoroughly interrogated. No one would fess up. A small sample with cat spit evidence has been sent to the crime lab for analysis.

Meantime, what to do with the wool, as I won't sell absolutely prefect product. It looks as though the Cubs will make it the playoffs this year. So, I dyed it mostly royal blue (superwash fiber sucks dye like crazy.) To fix the lighter spots, I'll kettle over dye the finished yarn, with more royal blue. So, tattered wool will become lucky Cubs play off socks.

I'll leave you with pictures of Bootsie, one of the suspects. Is she guarding, or waiting for lessons?


Looks like she might have given up.


Really given up.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

In The Pink

It's pink day. Yesterday was pink, I know. Duck's favorite color is pink, I think she sends me telepathic messages when I dye. Here she is in her sweater. I still need to sew on the buttons. Ack! I don't know why, but I dread button sewing.


I cropped out some of the clutter.

It's been an FO for awhile and posted in Ravelry three times, I present you my Maude.
yarn: 3 ply 22wpi handspun merino/angora/silk, dyed in splotches of pink, coral and peach. After it was dried, I was excited to spin and totally forgot to get pictures of the fiber. I split the top lengthwise in 3 sections and weighed each. Broke off a piece here and there so all weighed the same. My scale must have burped or maybe it was my spinning, but I had enough singles left on one bobbin to Navajo ply 56 yards. (small skein next to the ball) Out of 8oz, 945 yards, I had 2.2 oz about 220 yards (I'm estimating with the yardage) leftover.

needles: size 2, 5 and 3 US I used the 2's for the neck ribbing, 5's for the lace and 3's for the body ribbing.

Pattern: Maude

It was a simple enough pattern. The charts for the beginning of the lace were a bit confusing, but I figured it easy enough. I'm a 34 bust and I used the size for 32-34, it has a bit of ease, I need to grow a third boob in the center to fill it out.

(click for bigger)


I have more of this fiber, I'm going to dye in shades of violet, blue and turquoise. If I decide to make this again, I think I'll make the neckline smaller. It keeps drooping off my shoulders. I'm thinking of just using the basic shape as a baseline and create something different.

In the theme of this title, I update Kreative Kitties with a few things today.


Finally, Dammit wants to know why is the child laying on the floor, is she awake?


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Yummy Spinning

I'm trying for a bit more regular posting. Look, it's only been a week. Baby steps. I'm also trying to get organized around here, some sort of daily schedule. Now that my granddaughter is here five days a week, it's a bit easier. I have to keep a schedule for her. My life felt better with organization.

Right now I'm spinning the yummiest fiber, merino/angora/silk blend. It's spinners crack, I tell you. Just like the batt from the previous post. I'm spinning a fine singles for 2ply lace. There has been a shawl, I've had in my head for about five years, that this yarn will perfect for.


I have a 10 oz of undyed, that I'll be dying this weekend for etsy. Plus, 6 oz for a second Maude in cool shades. Oh, that's right, I didn't post about the first Maude. Well, that will be fodder for a post tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Spinning Myself Silly

I guess it's about time for my almost monthly post. So much for more regularity. I wonder if there is an Activia for blogging. (So not funny, right?)

As I said before, I really do have plenty of material to blog about, and often think about how I should post. The truth is, I hate coming with titles for posts. I'm not good at coming with a witty or clever titles as so many others are. Any good advice about coming up with titles, please give a comment.

I like to see what search queries lead readers to my blog. The top three are, "learning to spin" or "learn to spin", "Mediterranean shawl" and "Peacock shawl". Strangest search query, "knitting needle went thru leg." Ouch!! I really hope they got medical help.

I don't think my post about how I taught myself to spin is really that helpful, or as relevant almost three years later. Back then, the only video available was the Joy of Handspinning. Now, with the help of YouTube, there are plenty of videos if you look around a bit. Also, if you haven't joined already, Ravelry, has several spinning forums with very knowledgeable people willing to help.

My best advice for those starting out, is what I did, that is, take the commercial equivalent of what you want to spin and dissect it. Cut about a three or four inch length an untwist the plys. Then take one of those strands and carefully untwist it, watch which way you untwisted. Now, take a look at how much fiber there is in one ply. That is about how much fiber you will need to work at drafting to get the yarn you hope to make.

Next bit of advice I have, is to practice every day, even for ten or fifteen minutes. You'll get better much faster by practicing for a short time daily than you will with one large session a week. Really, it's the truth. Be patient with yourself.

On to my current projects, at least a couple of them. I'm almost finished with Stor Rund Dug. As I stated before, I'm using a 2/30 hand dyed silk, on 0000 knitting needles.

I was a bit disappointed when I dyed the silk, one small section took up too much dye and was very dark. Another small section, didn't take up very much dye, therefore was much lighter. Overall, the rest of the hank was pretty evenly colored, so I went ahead with it. I like the effect of the bits that are uneven. It reminds of the lines in a tree trunk.

018 (click for bigger)

Overall, I think this pattern is much easier than it looks. On the start of rows 54, 88 and 122 there is an extra stitch leftover from the previous row, that is not noted in the pattern. I just knit it together with the first stitch. As of this picture, I have three rows left to go. As you can see, I'm still working with seven dpn's. I really could have been better suited to switch to circular's awhile back, but didn't feel like ordering a pair. It was a bit tricky making sure the stitches stayed smooshed together on each needle while I was knitting, but I managed without incident.


Right now, I'm on my least favorite part of lace knitting or knitting doilies. That is the chain stitch bind off. It's so easy to drop a stitch in the process. Silk has a habit of "going for the gold", so to say, as it runs really fast to it's starting point. There has been a few incidents, where I had to catch a stitch. Luckily, I keep a bunch of cross stitch needles in the arm of my chair. Then, hold it in place, while I grab a second crochet hook to carefully weave it back up. Much cursing ensues. I'm not in any hurry to torture myself in one long session, so I'm finishing slowly, snail's pace.

A bit on the spinning front. Not having spun from a carded batt before, I bit the bullet and bought this. It was a pleasure to spin a very fine single from. Now, I'm wanting a drum carder to do my own blends.
Statistics: two 1.5 ounce batts, each spun on a separate bobbin = 965 yards lace weight yarn.

I'm planning on knitting it into a lace stole I have planned out in my head.

014Burnished Fiber

019Burnished 965 yards

Lastly, I'll leave you with a picture of a happy bunny listening to his Zeppelin.