Did I mention yet that I bought a wheel? I think I forgot that. I've had an antique Norwegian wheel for about a year now, and have never managed to make usable yarn from it until now. Some sort of magic happened and Yarn was produced; bulky, over twisted singles yarn, but usable yarn nonetheless.

my antique wheelwheel spun washed

I have large quantities of alpaca and various other wools that I will never ever spin all of in a million years on a spindle, and thought that a wheel would be the perfect thing for getting the bags of fiber out of my way so I can buy more wool. (Do we see the irony of the statement here?)
At any rate, I got some nice cormo-X out that has been waiting patiently to be spun for about as long as I've had that wheel, and Nothing. The magic mojo is lost, the wheel is completely uncooperative. Nothing spins. Not even well-prepped and evenly drafted top. It's enough to make a girl throw things at the wall and use unbecoming words. So I searched eBay and bought a used Louet S10 with skein winder and bobbins for just over $300 including shipping. It's coming from Norway. I must be destined to spin with Norwegian tools. I haven't heard anything from the seller, so we'll see when it gets here. If it gets here.

Let there be yarn!


What's New?

I feel like I haven't really done much of anything lately, spinning or knitting wise. I got all the fiber washed from my fleece sample kit, plus 8 oz of romney wool that I ordered from eBay. That one's taking forever to dry. I realized that I'm supposed to save some fleece for the sample card. Having never really done this before I feel like I keep missing important steps. There should be what? fleece sample, singles sample, plied sample, and knitted sample right? And as much as I feel like I suck at washing fleece (getting the tips clean still eludes me) I find myself combing eBay and other fiber sites for new sheep breeds I can try. I guess that's a good thing. I can start forming opinions about what fleeces I like or not, and what I think they might be used for. Not well informed opinions, but at least it's something to start working from.

Here's my plied romney, look how shiny it is!

romney 2 ply

Oh god the cat has decided to share my lap space with my laptop. :I

In other news, I finished my Bella mittens and worked on the hat. I had enough to finish, but it was way too short for my head. So I ripped it out, added a repeat, and then came up short 12 rows from the finish line. I was working from stash, and I don't have any more of that yarn. I don' t want to buy a whole skein for several yards worth of knitting. I seem to be at an impasse. No one in the de-stashing forums seems to have any to spare. :(
bella's hatbella's mittens

I suppose I should have knit the hat first, then omitted a repeat on each mitten, but that would have made too much sense. The mittens are top down, and I'm not cannibalizing them then re-knitting both of them. Grrrrr.........

Also I made a neck cozy (no photo yet). I don't like things around my neck, so this is sort of a trial thing. I was going to use the Morningside neckwarmer pattern, but It looked really messy in my handspun I was using, so I opted for a corrugated rib pattern from the Vogue Stitchionary and it worked out nicely (once I figured out how to translate flat knitting to in the round knitting). It feels OK, I might be able to live with it. And if I can wear this one, then I can definitely handle a smoke ring (which will also be from stash I'm trying to use up).


Earth Hour

I found out belatedly that Earth Hour is today :) All my lights are off. There are lots of photos of people burning candles for light, but I think that just adds some carbon footprints to the air. So I'm going candle-less as well.

Here's my house in the dark.

earth hour

I'll do a blog post tomorrow about my fibery goings-ons. :)


The Goods

Here's my haul from my shopping binge this week. I don't think I need to go shopping for a good long time now, I've got more than enough to work with. lol.


These are my new toys. It took a good 2 weeks for my hand carders to get here from CA, and I think in part that was due to the metal tines. The box was probably irradiated by every major postoffice from west coast to the east. They may be radioactive by now.

The supported spindle is a Tabachek tibetan spindle in canarywood, the bowl also by Tabachek in cherry. They're wonderful, though I still can't draft while spinning it, like this woman. And the little bitty spindle is a Bosworth mini in maple. Hopefully I will now be able to spin a 3-ply sock yarn with decent yardage. :) Am I the only one who has a hard time distinguishing woods with out a notecard or something? The differences are subtle.


bfl galaxy sampler

That's my ginourmous haul from Spunky Eclectic. The second one is much darker irl, it's the galaxy sampler, in bfl, not shetland.
The top is left to right, gin and tonic, thunderstorm, blush, sangria and route 66. That should keep me busy for a while right?

The new carders have got me started on spinning up the romney but I'll save that up for the next post with all the details. I'm not sure I'm carding right though. I get fluffy clouds, instead of punis. The yarn's got a super huge halo and I'm not sure I want that. I wish I could get just one ounce more and try again with my combs. Maybe it's time to peruse ebay. :)


The dangers of stash diving

You know you have way too much yarn when you look at your stash and don't even remember what's in there. I couldn't even reach the baskets, through all the other baskets containing handspun, and fleece, and ufos. After a little rearranging, I was able to dig through my yarn, and realized that I had no idea how much yarn I actually owned until now.

A large portion are leftovers from other projects. Somehow I'm able to use less yarn for the same ammount of knitting. Like the blue sky alpaca armwarmers I knit. They were supposed to take 3 skeins to complete, I only used two, and made the armwarmers a full inch longer to accomodate my long limbs. I have a neat little ball of leftovers in my tiny bits basket, and a whole untouched skein in my stash. How is that possible? I wish someone would tell me.

The remainder is stuff that I bought on sale at Michales or JoAnnes, impulse buy sock skeins, the accumulation of which I do not mourn, because everyone needs more sock yarn, and I have a lot of stuff in my queue that takes fingering weight, and is not socks. And I have a whole army sack of yarn under my bed that I haven't even touched yet that I procured for all of $8 at the salvation army. There's some good stuff in there like cascade 220 and Lamb's Pride worsted and bulky. A lot of these are not my colors, but I can over dye them.

I really need to start knitting more. Or buy less. I'm getting swamped over here. I have a tiny room and my stash is verging on eating me, and leaving no evidence of my passing. lol. (Actually that's not funny).


Help! I ordered way too much!

Help! I ordered way too much! Spunky Eclectic recently had a huge update, with a sale on her galaxy and astrology colorways. I bought way more fiber than I should have, and then went so far as to consider buying more so that I could have some of this organic merino and panda that everyone was talking about. I exercized some restraint and refrained. I can get some in the next update.

That's about all the restraint I had though. My order from the bellwether has just arrived at the post office, though I won't be able to pick it up until saturday. i got a tabecheck tibetan spindle (thanks Angie, you big enabler. Fair turnaround I guess?) With a lap bowl, and since I've been drooling over bossies but was too embarrased to purchase a third one directly from the manufacturer (in my defense the second one was for a swap parter, not me) I got the last mini that the bellwether had. And a wood tabecheck spindle to go with the tibetan. My hand carders are finally at the post office today too, though why it took 3 days to travel across MD I don't know. They've been in the mail forever, from a woman who was destashing all the way on the other side of the US. I can't wait to use them on my fleece study :)

As far as the fleece study, I've washed half of it, with mixed success. One I haven't checked yet, and there is still a bit of yellow in the middle of my lincoln X, but it’s not sticky, so I don’t know if I’ve got all the lanolin out. My tunis is now lanolin free after 3 washes, but there is still a lot of dirt. The corridale, romney and suffolk all came clean quickly, though the suffolk has some vm I’ll need to pick out as I’m carding it. I'm really not sure that it will card out, so much as in though. Maybe I'll go at it with the dog combs.

I'm having a lot of trouble with my cropped cardi, that I've been working on off and on again since December. I should have had it done a long time ago. I decided to knit the sleeves in the round, instead of flat, which took surprisingly little finegaling. The problem lies in the "twists". They're fiddly as hell, and driving me crazy. Honestly, is there any reason not to just do a 2 stitch cable? It would be soo much easier. I haven't even gotten one repeat done, cause I don't want to work on it at all. :(



Hi! *waves*

I've got some motivation to restart my blog again. I spend way too much time on Ravelry now, and have gotten way more into spinning. In fact I'd say I spin more than I knit now. I recently joined a spinners study group, and am going to receive soon a box full of raw fleece from a variety of sheep. The purpose is to make notes about the qualities of the different wools and make comaparisons for future reference as I wash card and spin them up. It's an educational venture. really. I want to continue this study with other bits of fleece that I can get my hands on after I run out of these. I'll try to remember to share my notes with y'all.

I also joined the Spunky Club! I'll be getting a surprise in the mail every month, its gonna be great. I have a lot of her non-club fiber, so its about time really. I made myself promise to spin up some of my stash first to make room though.

Yet another club, this one is only for a year, every other month I will be getting a shipment from the Unique Sheep every other month with a sock yarn, pattern and surprise all dyed and designed around the Lord of the Rings. The club is now called Lord of the Strings, a very cute pun, though there was nothing wrong with the original name. My first sock was awesome. Hobbiton is a very earthy green yarn with hobbit toes. I really love it, and am looking forward to seeing what comes next.


I do some more backlogged updates later, when there's not work to do. With photos.