Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Now to remember....

It's been so long I had to remember how to blog! I'm not even sure why I have been avoiding it. Sometimes I just don't feel like I have much to say or share, ya know?
Anyway, life has been moving along like normal. Kids are in the school routine, oldest is adjusting to college, there's been knitting, spinning and working. Just regular life stuff.
You won't even believe this if you really know me and my yarn snobbish tendencies, but I knit this:

Yes it's true, I knit that thing (which I unaffectionately call "hairy scary"). You see it all started at a family reunion with um, older relatives. It was mentioned that I knit, and it all went downhill from there. I left with this not-so-desirable yarn in my possession and a happy relative expecting a shawl in return. I did it. I thankfully do not have to wear it! It will be dropped off soon so I don't have to look at it anymore. Heh!
I have been knitting fun things too. I just started my very first pair of handspun socks.

Who knew you could get so much satisfaction out of knitting with your very own yarn! I can't wait to start another project with handspun. I did finish a scarf from my yarn that will be a Christmas gift. More on that later.
I have been spinning as much as I can. I am not a fast spinner. I have friends that can blow me away in the speed department. I enjoy the process though, so I really don't mind.
Here are a couple of my latest yarns:

This one I tried a fractal type experiment (I say experiment because I have no idea what I am doing). I love how it turned out. It was 3 separate solid colored rovings that I spun in a pattern. The roving came from this etsy shop. Love her stuff!

This one is my very first single ply yarn. I am in love with this stuff. I hope I can do it again! It was a merino bamboo blend that I dyed myself. It reminds me of a melon salad.
I will try to be more faithful and not wait for months to post again. I have a Baby Surprise Jacket and more spinning to show off later. Oh, and that scarf! Now to remember.......

Thursday, August 07, 2008

A Month (or more) in Mosaic

Ok, since I am soooo far behind on blogging I have decided to do a little mosaic of just a few of the things I have been doing over the last month or so.

1. Stash enhancement from FatCatKnits.
2. Stash enhancement from Uniquely Yours Fiber Club.
3. Shetland handspun for a sweater for me (I hope I bought enough).
4. Handspun from CJKopec roving.
5. Handspun from above batt (pic #2).
6. Handspun sock yarn from Yarn Hollow wool/silk roving.
7. A visit to Windswept Farms. They have the sweetest sheep I have ever met!
8. I fell in love with a sheep named Zinc from the farm in pic 7.
9. Oh yeah, I had a birthday.

So that's part of what I have been up to in my lazy absence. There has been more spinning, secret knitting, hanging with friends, spinning group every Monday (the best group ever!), work, enjoying time with the kids, camping etc. It's really been a nice summer. Allegan Fiber Festival is next weekend along with another visit to the sheep farm, and I am really looking forward to that!
We leave for camping again tomorrow. It will probably be my last time this summer unless we decide to head out for Labor Day weekend. I'm going to enjoy it while I can. In just a few short weeks the kids will be back in school, the weather will start to change and before we know it winter will be here. (I know, terrible thought.)
I hope you are all enjoying your summer as well. Take care!

(If you want to make your own mosaic, you can go here.)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Summer vacation! YAY!

I am busy packing here. We are leaving for a week of camping tomorrow. The trailer is close to being ready, I have started my baking and most importantly, my knitting is packed! I took some socks, the Baby Surprise Jacket pattern (I'm a little scared to try that one), some sock yarn for mini key chain socks and yarn for some market bags. Hopefully that will be enough to keep me busy. I usually overpack and end up not having as much knitting time as I think I will. Better too much than not enough though right?
We will be in Traverse City for the 4th of July festivities. I think the Blue Angels will be there and I am looking forward to seeing them! Hopefully we will have as much fun as we did last year. There should be yarn shopping, wine tasting, biking, beaching, campfires and lots of food! Sounds fun no? The only thing I am not looking forward to is public restrooms and showers. Sometimes they are just ick! I mean ICK!
Have a great holiday everyone and I will see you all when I get back!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

No excuses

I have no good excuses for being absent again. I just plain didn't feel like blogging. I have been spinning and knitting and Ravel-ing, and I just haven't taken the time to blog.
I did finish my Rusted Root.
Apologies for the crappy-in-the-bathroom-mirror shot. I still need The Sporty One to take a good pic for me. I really love it! It fits great and it's such a cute pattern. I can actually see myself making another one, but maybe I will switch out the lace pattern or something to mix it up a little. I highly recommend the pattern. It's really fun and easy!
I've also been working on a lace project. Here's a little peek.
I have a row of tinking to do and then a new bind off and I will be finished with it. More info later on that one.
I've been spinning some more too. I cannot believe how much I enjoy it.
This is an attempt at a chunkier yarn.

I navajo plied that one and it's ok, but not my best.
I tried another thicker yarn using a modified long draw (I think). I used a pastel roving and plied it with plain white mill ends.

With the white in there, the colors are very soft. I might try a Baby Surprise Jacket with it. It's quite cute in person.
And finally, my first thread plied yarn.

I had some Karaoke that I got in a class with Abby at The Spinning Loft. I plied it with some sewing thread and now I have about 440 yds, which I hope will be enough for an airy scarf. It's really soft and the colors are really saturated. I think it will be pretty. Now to find the right pattern.......

Friday, May 30, 2008

Accidental hiatus?

Wow! It's been almost a month. That is the longest I have gone without blogging. I guess I unintentionally took a break. I am finally catching up here. My committee responsibilities are almost finished, graduation is over and things are getting easier. My daughter's open house is next week followed by her Spanish class trip to Mexico and then it's summertime fun! I can't wait.
I have been knitting and spinning a little, but not as much as I would have liked. I just finished this skein:
It's from Crown Mountain Farms, one of the discontinued corriedale pencil rovings. For the life of me I can't remember the colorway, but it's all shades of purple. I really love this one. 8oz and about 475 yds. I think it's probably around dk or light worsted. Any ideas for a project?
I have an almost finished Rusted Root too. I am so close on this one. I need to finish one sleeve and then do the neck and it's done!

I'm bummed that you can see where I wove in some ends, but I think that will block out fine. When I pull it tight with my fingers, it doesn't show at all. It's so cute. Now I just hope it fits! (I'm ashamed to admit, I am too chicken to try it on. Silly.)
Now I am happily spinning away on some more fiber from Crown Mountain Farms. This is the superwash and it drafts like a dream. I'm excited to ply this one and see how the colors play out.

It's looking very nice so far. One of these days I need to knit some projects from my handspun. For now though, I am just content to look at it and know that I made it.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

For Jenna

My spinning, dyeing, knitting friend Jenna informed me last night at our SABLE meeting, that she no longer wanted to see the hairy chip. Haha! That cracked me up, so I thought I should do a new post (not like it wasn't completely overdue anyway). I had so much fun again last night. We have the best bunch of ladies ever! I keep forgetting to take pictures though. Chris has a few here (scroll down a little), but some of them don't seem to be showing up. She is always stalking us with her camera while we TRY to look natural, right Chris? I can't go next week and I am seriously going to have withdrawals. Sniff. Erica, you can sympathize. We may have to pout together.
I worked on my Rusted Root a little this weekend. I really like this pattern so far. I should try it on, but I'm just too lazy to put it on some yarn and do it. I'm not worried about it though, because if it's too small my daughter has already laid claim to it.

It's looking cute so far, yay!
I am doing pretty well on my committment to stop buying yarn for a while, however I have fallen off the wagon in the fiber department. Oops!

All 3 of these gorgeous creations are from Coby. Kim and I had way too much fun on our visit with her.
I'm also eyeing this and this in Jenna's Etsy shop. Actually I'm drooling over a lot more than those 2, but I promised myself I would spin some of what I have before I buy more. I might have to wait until June the way my schedule is looking.
I'm so ready for summer vacation.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hairy chip?

Did that get your attention? I couldn't resist posting this, because how often can you use a title like that? I found this in the chip bag the other day.
I know it's not really hairy, but ewwwww.
It's been very busy here as usual. The Monkey had a big history project due in school last week. The 3rd graders have a "wax museum" where they dress up like someone and write a report. Then they are displayed like wax museum characters. He was George Washington.

He looks so funny in his wig lol! He had fun, but he didn't like it that kids laughed at his hair. That wig was tight on his head and made his little cheeks pop out like a chipmunk. It was cute.
Only secret knitting going on here. I have halted on the Juliet. Cotton fleece doubled weighs a ton. I am not sure I want a 2000 lb summer top. Any ideas?
I finally took some pics of my latest spinning project.

Northern Lights pencil roving in Icy Winter. I really like how the colors played out in this one. I have just a few overplyed spots, but hopefully they won't be a problem.
I'm not sure it will happen, but I am really hoping to get some knitting and spinning time in this week. It has to be better than last week right? My wheel stayed in the same position for the whole week. That is way too long!
I'm really excited for Friday. I finally get to meet my online friend Kim. We are meeting at Coby's studio for some shopping and chatting. We've sent messages and stuff for a while now, and finally we found a time to meet up. I can't wait!
Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Catching up

It's been a busy week here. Spring break just makes for a whole different schedule. When the kids are home the time just flies by, the house is continually a bit more of a mess than usual and we just don't get the same things done.
Small amounts of craftiness have occurred.

I did cast on a new project. It's the Juliet pattern. I have loved this little top since I saw the pattern come out and just never got around to starting it. (Sorry the pic is inside out, oops.) It's very simple to knit and goes really fast. I am just not sure how much I will like the finished object. I think it's going to be REALLY heavy. I am using Cotton Fleece doubled and wow, it already feels like it weighs a ton. Not sure I'm gonna like that.

The cotton fleece I am using is a "second" and has these little areas that didn't seem to take the dye. I can't quite decide whether this will bug the crud out of me or not. At least it's a fast project, so if I hate it and decide to rip, there won't be so much time lost. Hmm...what to do.
I have been spinning a little too. I finished the Caribbean roving.
I still have to figure out the wpi and yardage. If I have enough, I may try to make a little shrug out of this to go over tank tops. I'm pretty happy with it. I was trying for a thicker yarn and this is definitely thicker than sock yarn. The learning process is fun at least! :)
I started some new fiber too. I got this at the Spinning Loft. Beth had a great swatch knit from this pencil roving and I couldn't resist it.

Pretty huh! I'm hoping for a hat and scarf set out of this one. If this Michigan weather doesn't stop it's ups and downs, I may still be able to wear it this spring. (That is so not funny!)
Yesterday The Sporty One passed her driving test. I have survived another one. If you've never been through it, it's one of the most stressful hours of a parent's life. You are not allowed to help them at all and you have to just sit and pray they do nothing wrong and that they pass. Ugh, it was so nerve wracking. I'm just glad it's over. Now I just have to worry about her being on the road by herself! Yikes!

Friday, April 04, 2008

I make good yarn!

Me! I can make good yarn! And it's not just me saying that.
This past weekend I went to a spinning class at the FABULOUS Spinning Loft. It wasn't just any old class either. It was a spinning-for-socks class with Abby. THE ABBY! ABBY FRANQUEMONT Abby! (Breathe in, breathe out. I'm ok.)

Can ya tell I am a little starstruck? I grabbed her and made her have her picture taken with me. This woman is amazing. Not only is she a fantastic teacher, she makes gorgeous batts, writes a great blog, and produces wonderful videos.
So anyhoo, at this class, we learned a TON! How to spin long wearing yarn, how to spin a sproingy yarn, how to preserve color in a roving, long draw, navajo plying...yeah...all that!
I took along some of my yarn to show Miss Beth the spinning queen. It was this yarn, the 3rd one I spun.
Not only did Miss Beth tell me I did a nice job, so did Abby! She even said it on her blog! She used the word impeccable and my yarn in the same sentence! Eeek! I couldn't be more excited. I think I actually almost peed my pants. It was a wonderful day and I would take another class from her in a heartbeat. Between Beth and Abby, we were truly in the midst of mega knowledge and talent. Sigh.........
I could talk all day about that class, but I will stop gushing.
I do have something else to talk about. I even have another FO to share. Eh, not a great one, but hey it's finished right?

Simple stockinette socks for my niece. Boring by yarn used from stash and a gift finished. That can't be all bad right?
Well I'm off to work on another secret project. I will share when I can.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Mad spinner

I hope all you knitters out there don't desert me. Where are ya all anyway? (translate - leave me some comments would ya?!!!) I digress. Don't hate me because I am addicted to spinning.
I am improving! Yay!

Here is the Pigeon Roof. I love love love this skein. This is actually taken before I soaked it. It's nice and "fluffed up" now. I might save it for a hat. :)
New stuff on the wheel is some roving I dyed myself.

I took a dyeing class at City Knitting a couple of weeks ago from the fabulous Rita. I had so much fun and absolutely loved dyeing, despite the fact that I was the most math challenged pupil there.
I started spinning it and I just love it. It totally reminds me of the Caribbean. Maybe that's why I love it so much. Me, the one who lives in Michigan and fears never seeing spring temps again. (It's supposed to snow again...sigh.) Anyhoo, when I spin it, I will just imagine myself on a cruise ship looking out over the ocean. Who says I have to live in reality all the time right?
Even Brodie wants spring. He loves laying in the sun. ;)
P.S. - I have been knitting too. I almost have the niece socks done and have completed a few more rows on the shawl.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Goals met

I hope everyone had a nice Easter. Ours was pretty relaxing. Church this morning, lunch at my mom's house and then basically trying to keep the kids out of the candy for the rest of the day.
I have been trying to keep up with my routine of setting small goals each day. I find this really helps me to prioritize what I want to get done and actually do it. Today's goals were to ply the Pigeon Roof singles, upload a couple of things to Ravelry, and finish the pink Gedifra socks.
I had these kitchenered for about 2 minutes before they were snatched from my hands and quickly put on The Sporty One's feet. She even said she would model for the blog. I'm sure these will rarely be in the sock drawer. They will probably be snagged off the drying rack right onto someone's feet.
I finally edited the pics of the latest handspun. This is Crown Mountain Farms pencil roving in Chocolate Bar. (I think it's a discontinued color.) At first I really didn't like it, but as I was plying, it started to grow on me.

I'm hoping for a pair of socks out of this and I know there will be enough left for a pair of wristwarmers and/or a hat.
Pics of the Pigeon Roof will have to wait. I don't have it off the bobbin yet.
Tomorrow's goals include: start spinning something new, get the niece's 2nd sock to the heel flap, do at least 4 rows on the new shawl I have started and get the Pigeon Roof yarn wound off and set the twist. I think I can do that.
Just to give you a glimpse of the silly stuff that goes on around here, The Monkey thought his Easter bucket would be a good hat.

Crazy cute little bucket head.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Introducing Melody, a lovely lace scarf made from silky cashmere yarn.
Skill level intermediate.

3-page pattern calls for one skein of Mama Llama Silken Cash and includes both charts and written directions.

Available in the sidebar.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A whole new SSS

Those of you that know me, know that this would not be Second Sock Syndrome. I almost ALWAYS finish a pair of socks, unless there is a problem with the yarn or the pattern etc. I love wearing handknit socks too much to NOT finish.
So what's this new SSS?
The saga started with a request from the Sporty One to knit her friend a pair of socks. So I cast on these:

They were turning out very cute, but they were too small. Doggone it. (Later they will be gifted to my niece. She will love the colors.)
So....on to the 2nd pair. I started to make these:
What was the problem with these? Absolutely nothing! The girls fell in love with the yarn and forbid me from giving them away. Strike 2!
3 strikes and you're out right? Well good thing I didn't strike out.
At last! A finished pair. Simple stockinette socks in Opal yarn. They have been gifted and she loves them. Yay.
So that's the end of my
Now to finish those two other pairs.......
(It's easy Maple, really.)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Hope Lodge

A while back I was asked to donate my time to knit and design some squares for a blanket. This blanket will help benefit the Hope Lodge. I had been thinking and praying about doing something knitting related for charity and then Kim contacted me. It was perfect timing and so appropriate. I have an aunt that was diagnosed with cancer (she's doing well by the way), so this cause was near and dear to my heart.
Kim also set up this blog highlighting this wonderful opportunity to give back. You can read about you can win this beautiful blanket just by dontating. Chris from Briar Rose dyed and donated all the gorgeous yarn for this one-of-a-kind blanket.
Isn't it beautiful? It is a total joy to knit with!
I made 4 different squares for the blanket. Each stitch was knit with love and the hope that it will do some good.
Click here if you would like to help.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Something new

This week was a time of new things for me. First I started spinning some new fiber. This is Crown Mountain Farms pencil roving in Chocolate Bar. It is very hard to photograph and get the colors right. This is the best I could get.
I split it into 2 - 4oz balls so I can spin two singles and ply them together. I am anxious to see them plied together because they are quite different. Half of the fiber was much darker than the other, so that should be interesting.

The first one is dark chocolate brown, some black and dark copper.
The 2nd one (excuse the crappy flashed out pic) is more rusty, peach and brown. I hope I like them when they finally meet up. I do love the barber poling effect, so hopefully I will get some of that.
I really want to finish it so that I can start this!

I got this gorgeous stuff from Pigeon Roof and it is even prettier in person. I am dying to spin it.
Also in the mail this week, I received a wonderful package from Opal in Hawaii. It was a total surprise and I totally love it. It was a little because of these!

They are delicious whole macadamia nuts covered in chocolate. I bit one in 1/2 there and laid it on top of the box so you could see the inside. I can't even tell you how yummy and how much of a treat they are to me.

Also in the box was this gorgeous pair of gloves. They are in my favorite colors (pink and green) and they fit perfectly! I have really long fingers, and can rarely find a pair of gloves with fingers long enough for me. Now I have some and they are handmade by a friend. How perfect! I absolutely love them. Thanks Opal!!!!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

At least my feet are warm

Well I think (actually I am sure of it) I have a bad case of the winter blahs. I have accomplished very little, I am totally sick of snow and dreary weather and I'm just a little grumpy.


At least my feet are warm.

AND I have really cute slippers. Finally I finished (including embellishments) my own Felted Clogs. I still say this pattern is genius, a great stashbuster and it's such a comfortable slipper to wear. Perfect! Go make yourself some! Really.
This is going to be the shortest post on record but the last couple of weeks have just been the kind where nothing is very exciting. I have done some knitting, organizing, baking and spinning but the slippers will have to be enough for the blog for today.
What do you all do to keep yourself from getting the winter blahs?