Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's all His Fault (THANKS!)

At 8am my phone rang and I was greeted with the question, "So, what are your plans for this morning?"

Hmmmm, I thought, he needs or wants something...

Turned out I was right. His lunch was sitting on the dining room table about 1/2 mile from my house. Since we live so close I have keys to their house and they have keys to mine. Getting the picture?

You guessed it. Off I went to run some errands, stop by the house, and then drive about 25 mins., through road construction, to my friend's work. He was very happy to avoid buying take out.

Now, I could have gone home at this point. But, I am on vacation. That's no fun. Being half way to a yarn store I rarely visit was enough incentive to keep on trucking north. After all, I need a niddy noddy. I've spun enough to be tired of using my forearm or the back of a chair. That's a good enough reason, right? (Say right!)

The trip was a definite success. See?
I've never seen this type of niddy noddy before. It makes a two foot skein and look...
It comes apart into two flat pieces! Perfect for traveling with a spindle. So clever.
Um, while I was there, I may have found some more top like the purple Colonial I showed you on Tuesday.
The one on the left is more of the Colonial top and the one on the right is Merino. Both are four ounces of loveliness. The price on all three was just too good to resist. The top was actually less than what I paid for the first 4oz on-line!

So, to my early morning caller... It is all your fault, thanks!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

False Faroese Fantastic!

If you guessed that the Kauni was a shawl, you were right! The Mock Faroese Shawl by Lily Chin to be exact. Come to think of it this is the same pattern on which I used Noro for the first time. Must be good luck!
Here the shawl is blocking with the Wool Inspector looking on. She actually had to be convinced to leave this one alone as the crinkle of the plastic under the towels got her all excited. Thank goodness for pins holding it all down! It received her seal of approval. After drying...LOVE!
There is always that moment when you first put on something you have made and pray that it will be as wonderful as you imagined. Larger than the first, beautiful drape, the right colors to make you look good. Sigh. No disappointments here!
It is hard to see, but the first section is a deep purple, followed by a black and then a light gray. As the colors progressed the black and purple became lighter/more vibrant and the gray deepened. Here I thought there were just three colors when I picked it out!
Now, back to the baby blanket (and of course some more spinning). =-)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Kauni Konvert (and spinning)

See? Even though I have been bitten hard by the spinning bug, I still crochet.This is fresh from a soak and ready for blocking. You'll get to see it tomorrow if the rain stops so that I can take some pics. This Kauni is the ET colorway of blacks, greys, and purples. I just love it. When I purchased it two weeks ago it was set aside. Motivation to finish the baby blanket. Is the blankie done? NOPE. What changed? I need to do the border on the blanket and that just didn't fit with my weekend away. However, a full skein of Kauni, I figured, would be enough to keep me busy. Um, well, I finished this item on Sunday evening and had to switch off to spinning (poor me - LOL).

Speaking of spinning... My spindle collection has grown to five. The two newest are perched atop that lovely superwash merino roving. I bought one spindle from Zebisis and received two! WOOT! The one on the left is Dichroic/Murano Style Glass (the bonus) and the one on the right is Empire Jasper. I haunted her Etsy shop for a good week before clicking "buy" on that beauty. I have an affection for stone, and just could not resist any longer! The Jasper is now busy spinning up that merino.The glass one was pressed into service almost immediately to ply the two cops of lace weight from my True Creations spindle. Since I don't have a lazy kate and did not have a good experience with plying from center pull balls, I tried this:
The two toilet paper rolls were threaded onto the handle of my broom and resistance was provided by laying it on the slick wooden surface of my coffee table. It worked pretty well! I didn't have to stop and untwist the singles and when pausing just snugged up the singles and set down the spindle. By the next time I do this I'll have put together some type of Kate.

And here's where the spindle went next. This is Colonial top that I got on sale from Yarn to Spin. I was curious to see what the striping of the colors would do when spun, and also hadn't tried this fiber before. Two very good reasons to give it a go! Well, the fact that it is purple, blue and red didn't hurt either. The fiber is actually much darker and quite vibrant. Once I got the hang of the less slippery Colonial, it has been a dream to work.
Any ideas what the finished Colonial would be good for making?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Color Play

The advantage of purchasing three different colors of merino at once is being able to play around with confidence! I'd wondering what would happen if I just lay two colors on top of each other and let the spindle pull the wool pell mell into the yarn. Then, I read about doing just that in Spinning the Old Way, so of course I had to try it.I used bright blue with purple and this is what I got. It is not quite this muted in real life, and I think I like the effect. I'll have to set and then crochet this sample to see how it plays in the stitches before I decide if I want to make some more.
Of course once I tried that I wanted to see what it would look like if I alternated sections of two colors. This sample is the same blue worked with scarlet as the second color. I like the effect. It is also my first Navajo ply! I had seen this done on a wheel two years ago so just dove in and figured it would turn out alright, and it did. =-)
I'm reserving judgement on the Navajo ply until I see how it looks after its bath. Why? The down side to this technique is that if a section is a bit thicker, it gets MUCH thicker when plied together with itself than the surrounding yarn. Still, I like the color section, so I'm sure I'll be doing more spinning this way.
Anyone wondering about the baby blanket whose center is due to be completed today? *Cough* I'm a bit behind *cough*. I have firmly set aside the spindle for the evening until two repeats are done (more if I can manage it). I'm finding it hard to balance these two hobbies.
I'm sure it will become easier as time goes on... right?

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Falling Behind and Leaping Ahead

I have to play catch up on the baby blanket today as I am now two days behind. At one point I was ahead, but then this happened:

Well, to be honest "happened" isn't the right term. This was quite intentional. I wanted some peaceful sleep. Don't laugh! I have been jonesing to make lace weight yarn, work faster than the Spindolyn, and not be stuck sitting down. I was dreaming about spinning...constantly.

So, I gave in and went shopping yesterday. As luck would have it the little beauty above was just waiting for me. It was the only lightweight spindle in the shop. This bubinga topped lovely was made by True Creations and weighs just 4/10 of an ounce. It took a little practice while standing in the shop to get a feel for making a fine yarn, but it just suddenly clicked. I wound off my sample and plied it back on itself. See?

I knew yarn this fine on a drop spindle was possible; I just didn't think I would be able to make it. Ha! I'm learning not to underestimate what can be done with a bit of reading, the right tools, and a strong desire to reach that goal. (Of course, beautiful fiber doesn't hurt. I may have purchased some of that, too. But that is another post.)

As for sleep? I slept very peacefully last night, thank you! ;-)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


I think it is time I do some scheduling...including blogging more regularly!

Why did this come up? Well, I have been doing some deadline crocheting lately and not enjoying the pressure I put on myself. Crochet is supposed to be fun! That's when I realized that part of the fun is seeing the progress.

I considered doing the schedule a few ways:
1) A set amount of time to work each day.
2) A set number of inches.
3) A set number of repeats/rows.

As I thought about it I realized that #3 was my best bet. Why? Well, since I know how many rows it will take to finish the body of the pattern, I can predict on a calendar when it will be done. Very motivating!

So, this project now has a daily deadline of one pattern repeat (4 rows).

As of this evening I have completed row 52 and should be done with the body no later than Monday the 6th. The pattern is the Nostalgic Wrap by Kay Meadors, a baby blankie for one of my favorite co-workers. Her baby boy is due in June. The Bernat Baby Softee has a really soft texture which I just love.

How's your latest project coming?