Spins A Good Yarn

Little Tiny Doggies

October 12th, 2007

As you can tell from my website and former blog-posts, I do love those little, white doggies. Check out these favorite pictures of my wee little ones!

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Here’s Mandie!

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And Tiffany!

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And last but not least, Dustin!

Now, I have a special treat. Here is a cutie, little doggie that I knitted from the Simply Knitting magazine, Issue 19, September.

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You see, she has her own doggie bed, blankie, three balls for playing fetch and a special rope bone.

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She was really fun to knit. I knitted her with Classic Elite Lush which is 50% wool and 50% angora so she is very, very soft. She has a little white scottie button on the back of her little hand-dyed alpaca sweater, too! Her blankie is made from some leftover Twisted Sister cotton yarn. The little “fetch” balls were felted to make them nice and sturdy.

The really funny thing is that I knitted this whole bunch of stuff at a QUILTING retreat!!!!!

Alpaca Yarn and the Apple Festival

October 5th, 2007

Last Sunday, Dan and I went to the annual Apple Festival that is held in Busti, New York. We got there just as it opened and the fields that they use for parking were already full. It was a beautiful day and there were lots of food and craft vendors, and lots and lots of people. We bought some maple syrup candy, cinnamon almonds and, of course, some apples! There were demonstrations of old time crafts like butter-making, log hewing, corn grinding and leather tooling. Everything was very interesting to watch.

Kat and Jen from the Waterways Knitting Guild were selling some items at their table and I scarfed up these little beauties, lickety split!!!
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Four (count them!) pairs of Fetching Fingerless mittens knitted by Kat! I couldn’t decide which ones to get, so I bought them all!!! What wonderful gifts these will make, although I will keep a pair (or two) for myself! Oh, how I do love fingerless mittens!

I also plied up the two bobbins of black alpaca roving that I spun last Saturday at the Y B Normal Farm.

It really filled up my Niddy Noddy.
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It was the first time I had spun any alpaca and I didn’t think it was any more difficult than wool or a wool blend to spin. I used a short draw technique and didn’t let any twist get past my thumb and finger into the fiber. It’s hard for me to spin very thick yarn, so I was pleased to get 227 yards out of 10.5 oz. to make a lovely worsted to aran weight yarn. I’ve been trying to spin what I want as far as thickness instead of having everything end up as sock-weight yarn!

Here’s how it looks in the skein:
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I think I’d like to make up a teddy bear of some sort with it. I don’t wear hats and there isn’t enough for a scarf, so a teddy bear would be perfect.

Spinning at the Alpaca Farm

October 2nd, 2007

Last Saturday I went to the Y B Normal Alpaca Farm in Frewsburg, New York, to demonstrate spinning during their weekend open house. My friend, Carol, invited some of the girls from our spinning and knitting guilds to just sit and spin or knit for the day using their lovely alpaca fibers and yarns. We sat inside the gift shop and had a great time. People came and went all day long, looking at the beautiful yarns and knitted items and then going on tours of the farm. The owner gave us alpaca fiber to spin.

I chose a very soft, black roving that was so easy to spin. I spun two full 4 oz. bobbins. I still need to ply them together.

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This is my new, little Louet Victoria Spinning wheel that I purchased at the Lake Farm Park Fiber Festival in June this past summer. It spins like a dream! I love it! It only weighs 6 1/2 pounds and is so easy to carry around by it’s little strap on top of it. I slide it right under my table when I’m not using it. It comes with it’s own carrying case that has hand straps, a shoulder strap and even backpack straps built right into it.
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Here I am using the backpack straps at the fiber festival:

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So, how about some pictures of those cute alpacas:

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The alpacas let us walk right up to them. They were SO tame. The babies were only about 3’tall. They were really good at turning away from me just as I was taking a picture of them. Camera shy, maybe!

It was a really fun day and I hope to be able to see them again!

I’m In!!! Horray for Ravelry!!!

October 1st, 2007

After waiting all day, not so patiently, I checked my email and found that at 9:11 p.m. on September 30, 2007, I finally received my invitation from Frecklegirl for Ravelry!!! I can’t tell you how excited I am. Meagan was signed up right after me, so she should have received her invite, too! I was thinking it would be December before we would get in, but the list moved so much quicker than I thought it would. I can’t wait to check out all the groups and patterns and forums and yarn and…

Well, I will have to wait until tomorrow because it is way past my bedtime and I promised I wouldn’t stay up all night looking around.

Here’s the photo I used on my profile, and my user name is Spinsagoodyarn.

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Hope to see you there!

Ravelry, Finally! NOT!!!

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

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Mandie says it’s time for bed!

Alphabet Markers & Koolaid Sock Yarn

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.

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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!!!

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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

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:
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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!

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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!

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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:
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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!

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She is JUST that CUTE!!!!!

Feather & Fan Socks

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!!!

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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.

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

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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!!!

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.

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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:
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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!!!!!

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!

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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.

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