Spins A Good Yarn

Archive for September, 2007

Ravelry, Finally! NOT!!!

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

Here’s what my “Antsy” Ravelry check says:

Found you!
You signed up on July 25, 2007
You are #20458 on the list.
410 people are ahead of you in line.
16927 people are behind you in line.
53% of the list has been invited so far

I am trying to be patient! So close, but still so far! I first signed up in April or May, but my email address was lost to them by some spam filter and I didn’t even know I was off the list until I checked the Antsy page and then had to re-sign up in July. Arrrgh!!! It has been a long time… Tomorrow may be the day, possibly Monday. Then it will be party time for sure!!!!!

How about a picture of a really cute, little alpaca baby and it’s mama!
baby-alpaca-mama.jpg

I went to an Alpaca Farm today to spin and took lots of pictures. I’ll write all about it tomorrow!

mandie-sleeping.jpg
Mandie says it’s time for bed!

Alphabet Markers & Koolaid Sock Yarn

Friday, September 28th, 2007

As you know, I have been happily knitting along on my socks from Cat Bordhi’s book, “New Pathways For Sock Knitters, Book One”. Did you know that there is a Knit-A-Long set up for this book? You can find this KAL here! I am sure there are a LOT of folks who would like to be a part of this KAL. There are many nice photos and posts there already from some very busy sock knitters.

I have been making sets of the alphabet markers to be used with the book. I am going to be selling them at some of our local yarn shops as soon as they get in some of the new books.

stitch-markers-ll.jpg

I had quite a time trying to figure out how to display these. Any opinions on how you think they look? Leave me a comment if you have any suggestions. I’d be ever so grateful!!!

Here is my story about some UGLY sock yarn! If there could be such a thing, LOL! I purchased a very soft skein of pretty sock yarn at a shop about two months ago. After I got it home, I realized that the ball band was missing so I didn’t have any of the “particulars” of the yarn. So, the next time I went to that shop, I wrote down all the pertinent information and brought it home to be put with the yarn. I kind of like to know these things! Well, when I looked at the yarn again, I realized it was quite an odd color, to say the least. It was mostly cream with little splotches of dark brown and some peachy/coral stuff going on here and there. When I turned the skein over, the dyes hadn’t even gone all the way through. I couldn’t figure out why I had bought it. Maybe the lighting was bad in the store, or MAYBE the yarn fumes were getting to me!

Anyway, here I was with this very strange looking yarn (did I mention it was very soft?!?!?) that I knew I would never knit into ANYTHING! So, I was feeling rather adventurous and decided to dye it with some Kool-Aid! I mixed up two packages of Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade with one package of Arctic Green Apple in a bowl of water and plunked that into the microwave and cooked it for 2 minutes on high, turned it over and cooked it for 2 more minutes and then poured the water off and finished it up with 2 more minutes. Take a look at it now!!!

green-brown-skein.jpg

Tah-Dah! A beautiful skein that has my very favorite color green as the background! I LOVE it!!! Who knew?!?!?!

Clapotis Update and Weave-It Afghan

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

I have been working right along on my Clapotis and have reached the 11th repeat in the straight section. I added two repeats in the increase section, so I will have to work two more repeats in the straight section before I can start on the decrease section. I want this shawl to be quite large, so I am guessing as to how big to make it since this is the first one I’ve knitted. You know how the first time you knit something, it is quite experimental. I am very happy with how it is looking!

Here’s a new photo:
12-clapotis.jpg

I received my Harmony needle set today from Knit Picks. I was hoping they would come today when I was home and not tomorrow when I’ll be working. I switched the Options tips for the Harmony tips (size 8’s) and started knitting away. They are very nice! Not too slippery, but very smooth. I HAD to knit several rows to get a good feel for them, you know! LOL!!! I tried to get a picture of the set, but the plastic case is very shiny with my flash. The needle tips are very pretty. I like how they look with the raspberry yarn I’m knitting with!

harmony-needles.jpg
I wrote all the sizes on pieces of paper and slipped them in the needle pockets so I’d know what size the needles were. I did this in my Options set, also. Might look a little primitive, but it works for me!

needles-handspun.jpg
I finished another 2 oz. of spindle spun sock yarn singles. I want to ply them, but am trying to hold off. I have another 4 oz. or so to spin. Lovely fiber!!! And a closer look of the Harmony needles just waiting for me.

Back in June, there were some garage sales on the street where my mom and dad live. We were selling some stuff, too, and I had to check out the other sales that were close by. At the house next door I found this beauty:
weave-it-blanket.jpg

It is made up entirely of 4″ Weave-It squares. There is a crocheted edging all the way around it, also. Some of the yarn is acrylic and some is wool. The wool squares felted after being washed so the blanket is a little wonky in certain places. I paid $3.00 for this blanket and it is one of my favorite things in the world. It is very large and smooshy. I use it ALL the time. I have some weave-it looms of my own and know how much time must have gone into this blanket. I am glad that I was given the opportunity to save it from being a dog bed and to appreciate the person who took so long to make it.

And to finish off this post, here is a picture of Tiffany!

tiffany-on-couch.jpg

She is JUST that CUTE!!!!!

Feather & Fan Socks

Monday, September 24th, 2007

I just finished the Feather & Fan socks that I started in MARCH!!! Quite a long time for a pair of socks, don’t you think?!?!? They sort of got set aside and then many other projects took their place and there they were, buried! I only had to do the second leg, so it really didn’t take too long once I got started back on them. They are a Christmas present, so shhhh!!!

f-f-1.jpg
I used Wendy Johnson’s free pattern and Regia Stretch yarn with 2.5 mm Knit Picks dpn’s. I got 9 stitches per inch with these needles. This pattern is knitted with a short-row toe and heel.

f-f-ll.jpg
Here’s a close-up shot of the feather & fan pattern on the leg. It was really fun to do.

p1010002.jpg
I used my beaded row marker that I made to keep track of the four-row pattern. It worked quite well!

I am planning on making these socks again, although I would like to start the feather and fan pattern after the toe section and continue it up the foot and then the leg. I’d also like to use a little thicker yarn as this yarn was very thin. I guess I’d better get back to knitting as I still have five more pairs of socks waiting for me to finish them up!

Clapotis, Finally!!!

Friday, September 21st, 2007

I have finally jumped on the band wagon and am knitting the famous Clapotis from Knitty.com! I found a Second Wave Clapotis KAL on the internet, and happily joined. I tried several different yarns and finally chose my Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed to knit it with. The yarn is a lovely dark raspberry color with a navy fleck in it and is made up of 85% wool, 10% silk and 5% cashmere.

jo-sharp.jpg
This yarn is so soft and warm feeling!

The KAL isn’t supposed to start until the 23rd, but I started my Clapotis after making my swatch and just couldn’t stop knitting!!! I have done the set-up section, the increase section and am on the fourth repeat of the straight section!

Here’s how it looks now:
clapotis-1st-section.jpg

I have posted on the KAL my apologies for sneaky, start-up knitting and have promised to not knit on it until the 23rd when we “officially” start the KAL. I made it a little wider than the pattern so I can wear it more as a shawl than a scarf. I already just want to curl up it it because it is SOOOOOO cuddley!!!!

Goldings & Bosworths & Fiber, Oh MY!!!!!

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

On Saturday, September 15th, Meagan, Marcus and I went to the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival in Hemlock, NY. This is a great fiber festival which has been going on for around thirteen years. This was our fourth time to go and we had a wonderful time! We left around 7:00 a.m. and arrived around 9:30 a.m. so we had plenty of time to purchase our tickets and check out the festival brochure before we bolted through the gate at 10:00.

Marcus had a hard time keeping up with us as we sprinted to the main building to see Jonathan and Sheila Bosworth of Journey Wheel fame. We love the Bosworth’s and had a nice time visiting for a few minutes before the rush of people came streaming in. I was trying to talk to Jonathan, but those spindles of his kept calling to me. So I had to go at least look at them and ended up buying a little pink ivory spindle with a tulipwood shaft. It was a need! I only have about twelve other Bosworth Spindles!

bosworth-spindle.jpg
Isn’t it pretty! I love the shiny whorl and tulipwood is one of my favorites.

We then made our way over to Tom and Diane Golding‘s booth. What can I say about these fiber tools other than: I wants it, I wants it all!!!!! I SERIOUSLY want a Golding spinning wheel. I tried one out last year and it’s been stuck in my mind ever since! I may start a little fund and squirrel some money away each month and see how much I can save. They have some beautiful, new spindles made from vintage ring materials and handmade whorls using mandalas from Napal. So pretty and so nice to spin with, of course! Here are the ones I purchased:


This one is silver-plated copper with walnut. See the little birds? It weighs .9 oz.

golding-spindles.jpg
From left to right: Sterling silver with handcarved cherry whorl – .8 oz., Nepalese Mandala Tibetan Silver whorl – .9 oz., Mother of Pearl with handcarved linden whorl and painted tropical fish – 1.1 oz.

I have several other Golding spindles and love each of them. They spin so evenly and so long. They are a joy to use. Here is a skein of yarn that I just finished spindle spinning and plying using them:
sock-yarn.jpg

It weighs 2 oz. and has about 195 yards, which is just the size yarn I was hoping for. I have 8 oz. of this roving and want to make socks or perhaps a lace scarf or shawl with it. I should end up with about 800 yards. It hasn’t been washed yet, so it looks a little wonky!

We saw alpaca, llama, sheep, oxen, BIG horses and bunnies. We ate belgium waffles with fresh strawberries and warm maple syrup, apple sausage and bratwurst sandwiches, french fries, maple cotton candy and fried dough. We bought silk caps, angora/wool, wool/silk and just plain wool fiber. We also bought some fibery gifts for our spinning guild’s Christmas party. This little guy came home with me to hold my stitch markers on my desk. I think he is an egg cup of some sort.
sheep-head.jpg

The fiber festival was really fun and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for lots of fun and fiber!

Socks and More Socks!

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

I have been working on my several pairs of socks out of Cat Bordhi’s new book, “New Pathways For Sock Knitter’s, Book One”. I’ve now finished three of the baby socks, and a pair of Coriolis socks.

charlies-wiggle-socks.jpg
Here is the “Charlie’s Wiggle Sock!

nanies-coriolis.jpg
And here are the Coriolis Socks all finished. I used Trekking XXL, Color 100, and held two strands together and got 7 stitches per inch using two 3.0 mm 24″ circular needles.

plain-coriolis.jpg
I read somewhere that the socks from this book look a little funny until you put them on your feet. This is very true! I have taken some on the foot and off the foot pictures so you can see what I mean. These socks fit so well, though, after you put them on. It is very easy, after you learn the architectures of the various socks, to customize each pair to the person you are knitting them for.

woven-ridge-socks-1st.jpg
I am working on the leg of the first sock of the Woven Ridge Socks with a strip of linen stitch going up the top of the foot. I’m using two 2.5 mm fixed circulars and getting 7 stitches/inch. This yarn is from the Sheep Shop Yarn Company and is 30% silk and 70% wool. It is very soft and has a beautiful sheen.

philosophers-house-socks.jpg
And… I started a pair of the Philosopher’s House Socks (5 sts./” on 5.0 mm circulars) and am up to the arch expansion on the second sock. I just can’t help myself!!!!! These are so much fun.

I am finally getting a pretty good handle on the technique and don’t have to have the book right there with me at all times. There are some errors in the book and a page of corrections can be found on Cat Bordhi’s website. Most of them aren’t that big of a deal and you catch them after you know how the patterns go. Hope you enjoy the pictures!!!!! The socks are a dream to wear!