Knitting

With An Umbrella And Everything


LOVE THIS

It finally stopped raining and we were able to step outside and enjoy our newest patio purchase:

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It was a long time coming and I predict  many, many happy hours.  Next on the purchase list: a glider and a wading pool for the grands.  This will be a perfect spot to work on my art journal and my knitting projects.  I might even bring Violet, the spinning wheel, out for some fresh air every now and then!

PARTING SHOT

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Can I help it if I’m easily entertained??

E=mc2.  Albert Einstein 

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Knitting

Spinning Sunday #1 3/23/14


I’ve decided to devote one blog post a week to another aspect
of fiberlove – spinning. Six months ago I became a spinner almost by accident when on a whim i made a drop spindle out of a dowel and a small wooden wheel like what would be on a small pull wagon or push toy.

My first attempts were …. interesting.  I kept practicing and got a little better but my slow pace using the drop spindle was frustrating.  It was easy to see that creating a pair of socks from roving to actual wearing was going to take months, if not years.  This dampened my enthusiasm a bit and planted the idea of someday owning a spinning wheel.  I did some window shopping on the Internet, feeding my imagination a little more.

Then, remarkably, I heard through the grapevine that someone who worked for the same facility I’d retired from had an Ashford Traveller wheel for sale, and get this: in my price range!  This clearly was meant to be, no doubt about it. So, almost before I knew it, I was sitting at my own wheel, surfing YouTube for spinning demos, trying to get a handle on basic spinning techniques.  Did I mention that before this I’d never even SEEN a spinning wheel?  Gotta love YouTube.  The rest, as they say, is history.  By the way, my wheel’s name is Violet and yeah, I’m one of those weird (I say eccentric) people that name things.  Meet Violet.

 

Always do more than is required of you.  George S. Patton

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Knitting

Still Not 100%, Spinning


Still enough under the weather to forego treadmill time today, so I decided to show off a couple spinning projects.

ON THE BOBBIN

Corriedale Cross Roving from Eweniquely Ewe Fiber Creations, dyed with Jacquard Acid Fast Dye, Lilac

More Corriedale Cross from Eweniquely Ewe, dyed with Jacquard Acid Fast Dye, pink

Great fiber, great customer service!  Two thumbs up!  I still have some undyed roving, I’m thinking green this time.  After all the gray weather, I need some Spring!!!

Never grow a wishbone where your backbone ought to be.  Clementine Paddleford (is this a great name or what??)

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Knitting

I Brake for Fiber


MY PHIRST PHIBER PHESTIVAL

Yeah, yeah.  I know that that’s lame, but I couldn’t resist.  As I tell Mr. Iknead all the time, “Just humor me, OK?”  The first ever Diamond State Fiber Festival starts today and runs through Saturday and I’m soooo excited.  I’m taking a beginning spinning class and hopefully I won’t have to unlearn many bad habits from being self and YouTube taught.  This will be Violet’s first road trip, hopefully the first of many.   I’ll have to remember to take lots of pictures, though what usually happens is that I get so involved in whatever it is I want to photograph that I completely forget to take pics.  I’ll do better this time, I’ll keep the camera around my neck as a reminder.

SPINNING OUT

I ordered four Knitpicks Bare Wool of the Andes and I have to say, it’s been a pleasure to spin.  As I get better and better at it (and I am, even I can tell), I’m spinning finer and finer yarn.  Think sock or fingering yarn.  From someone who a year ago never had any desire to spin, I’m now the proud owner of Violet, my Ashford Traveller wheel and spin some everyday.  I find the whole process very calming and centering.  I’m planning on coming back from the festival with loads and loads of roving and maybe some fleeces too.  Here’s a look at the Knitpicks Bare Roving after spinning.

Now, should I dye it or let it alone?  Decisions, decisions.

When our eyes see our hands doing the work of our hearts, the circle of Creation is completed inside us, the doors of our souls fly open, and love steps forth to heal everything in sight.  Michael Bridge

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Knitting

Shutdown, Spirals and Festival


YOU CAN DO THAT?  REALLY?

Mr. Iknead and I woke up this morning still wondering about the predicted government shutdown, even though we pretty much knew from last night that nothing had changed or had been agreed upon.  This hits pretty close to home for us – Mr. Iknead works for the State of Arkansas, which in turn is contracted by the Feds, so we’re sort of up in the air.  I feel very, very fortunate that at this point in our lives we don’t have to worry about our finances and if Mr. Iknead is furloughed for a bit, it’s not a crisis situation.  I know others who are not so fortunate.  Thank you, Mr. Iknead, for the austerity program, even though I gripe about it sometimes.

GONE TO POT

Pottery class is going well.  Teach told me yesterday that I definitely had gotten the hang of using the wheel and with practice, I’ll get better at it.  Still have nothing post worthy, but I’m planning on going in to work on the wheel more this week and hopefully, I have something at least minimally postable.

Here’s the spiral bowl I glazed this weekend with shiny black.  Can you tell that I totally didn’t check the background when I whipped out my phone to take a pic?  This one cracks me up.  It looks like it’s drinking out of the bowl –

LOOKING AHEAD

The first Diamond State Fiber Festival is this weekend.  I’m really looking forward to it and I’ve already got some extra money budgeted for whatever strikes my fancy (up to a point, of course).  Hoping to come home with enough fiber to keep me spinning for a little while, at least.  Violet, yeah, that’s my wheel’s name, is making the trip and hopefully, I’m going to learn a lot in the beginning spinning class I’m taking. I’ll take lots of pictures.

The goal of life is living in agreement with nature.  Zeno

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Knitting

FO Friday 09/13/13, Face The Facts Friday, Whaaaaa…..


I’m again hooking up with Tami’s FO Friday blog and Frontier Dreams KCCO.

FACT FACING

If you’ve been sort of keeping up with my sock project the last week or so, you’ll know I started a pair of Blue Day socks last week, knowing full well that I didn’t have enough yarn to complete them.  Even with my little feet, I just couldn’t shake that feeling that I was going to come up short.  No problem, I can always get more yarn.  Wrong, wrong, wrong.  I started these using Fiesta Yarns Baby Boom, in the color Sweet Pea.  Yeah, I saw that I’d paid a LOT for this one skein, especially when you’re talking just one sock of a pair, but still, sacrifices can be made.  The ONLY skein I found after hours of internet searching was $47.00!!!  As much as this Sweet Pea stuff floats my boat, $47.00 for a sock???  Not even in loonyhoot’s world can that be justified.  So, I gritted my teeth and completely frogged Blue Day and plan to use – thanks to better judgement and a deeper stash dive – some great sock yarn I remember buying on Etsy.  I even remember the color name – Civil Disobedience and, I have a lot of it.  Plenty for Blue Day and maybe then some.  No decision on different sock pattern, but it’ll happen.

OFF THE NEEDLES

I finished the Diagnonal Lace Cowl from Classic Elite Yarns, just in time for today’s post.  It took just under one ball of Mini Mochi, color number 113 (no name, just number).  I probably could have squeezed a few more rounds in, but being paranoid because of the abovementioned sock thing, I decided to give myself a little wiggle room.  My fingernails thanked me.

I think its official name is Lacy Rib Cowl.

HEAD SPINS

Here’s what I learned today spinning:  cotton spins up differently than wool.  Duh.  It felt completely different, it took a different “hand” I suppose you’d call it and seemed to be a little more nubby; that could have been, really, that I’m a newbie spinner and nothing I’ve spun up yet is what you’d call smooth.  It’s getting better, but smooth?  Nope.  Luckily, the person I bought my wheel from threw in a couple of bags of raw fiber – one of wool and one of cotton, giving me a lot of chances to practice and try out different things.   I’ve spun my way though them both, glad that she was generous enough to include them.  I see a serious roving/fleece stash building – especially after the festival in Greenwood in October.

Spun cotton

Spinning wheel Violet and I are becoming better acquainted all the time, I’m learning her quirks and she, mine.

IN THE OVEN

It’s a few degrees cooler this morning and I’m revved up and ready to do some baking, hopefully Cinnamon and Sugar Pull Apart Bread and/or Snickerdoodle Bread.  Unhappily, I can’t seem to be able to buy cinnamon chips here in LR.  I found a package once, at the Stuttgart Wal-Mart.  I suppose I could order a couple of packs online and the recipe I have includes a recipe for the chips, but I think the store bought ones are better (for once).

MAMA

She continues her decline with her dementia.  I miss her and would love to occasionally be met with a smile and an I’m happy to see you instead of the now normal vacant stare.  I do know that this is the disease and all that, but a little bit of responsiveness can keep me going for quite a while.  There are some days I terribly dread visiting and I wonder how long – for her and for me.  What do I pray for??

Sorry for the Debbie Downer….

For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.  Harry F. Banks

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Knitting

Spin Cycle and Begonias


ADVENTURES IN WOOL

With the acquisition of my spinning wheel (I’ve named her Violet) last week, I inherited a bag – make that a sealed bag – of wool, unwashed, unpicked and really, really greasy with what must be lanolin.  First time experience with raw wool.  It smelled very sheepy – not a bad smell, just……sheepy.  So, I did what anyone would do.  I went on YouTube to see what you do with raw wool to make it spinnable and eventually, knittable.  I washed it good with the recommended Dawn dish detergent; remember: Dawn takes grease out of your way, which it does and then rinsed it and ran it through the spin cycle a couple of times.  Lucky for you, I documented its transformation.

Just out of the sealed bag, unwashed

After first wash, rinse and spin

After another rinse and spin, then out into the sun to dry

I’ll start carding it tonight, to hopefully begin its change from a fleece into sock yarn.  I’m completely convinced that you can learn anything by checking out YouTube.  Amazing.

Mr. Iknead is still firm on his NO SHEEP policy.  Won’t even talk about it.

GREEN GROWING THINGS

A couple of my begonias are blooming and a couple more that I’d pretty much given up on have decided to perk up and promise more blooms.  My mom loved begonias and I suppose that’s rubbed off a little.  I love these colors –

Habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it each day, and at last we cannot break it.  Horace Mann

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Knitting

Look What I Got, WIPW 08/21/13 and Snakewoman


I’M SO EXCITED AND I JUST CAN’T HIDE IT

OK, so I’ve been lusting after a spinning wheel, putting a little money back every now and then and doing a lot of window shopping online.   Then, yesterday, I found out that a lady who worked where I used to work had a spinning wheel and was wanting to sell it.  She and I e-mailed back and forth, she sent me some pics and now, as of 5:00 p.m., I have a wheel and not just any wheel, an Ashford Traveller!   Here in the south, it’s considered bad manners to talk about money, much less bragging (that’s what I was taught, anyway), but without stating the amount, it was less than half of what I thought I’d have to pay for one.  Isn’t she beautiful???

Pay no attention to the fact that I’ve never used a wheel before, hopefully, I’ll catch on pretty quick.  Isn’t that what YouTube is for?

ON THE NEEDLES

I’ve been so excited about the new wheel, I almost let this WIP Wednesday get away from me, but here’s my WIPW offering this week –

Ruffle Tank, using the Knit One Crochet Too Kettle Tweed I named My Destin-E.

and last, but not least

BY THE BOOK

My current book in progress is Snakewoman of Little Egypt by Robert Hellenga and I’m loving it!  Very quirky, just like I like it.

Snakewoman of Little Egypt

Here’s to learning new skills!

I almost forgot – I’m linking with Tami’s and Frontier Dreams today.

A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again.  Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism

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Knitting

Sort of Bluesy


BLUE ROVING, BLUE ROVING

I know it’s red rover, but I have blue roving and am excited to share it.  It’s from Three Waters Farm, who I found on Etsy.  The colorway is Rainy Day and it’s 100%   Blueface Leicester, a joy just to touch and even more to spin.  I see now what all the excitement is about.  I’m afraid that after this, anything less than BFL is going to be totally unacceptable.   Look how beautiful it is –

I’ve been dropping broad hints for a couple of weeks that my life would be perfect (not that it’s not pretty darn close already) if I just had a spinning wheel.  I’m not sure if Mr. Iknead has picked up on them or not, knitting, spinning and their accessories are not exactly what floats his boat, but since most of what makes me happy makes him happy, getting one is not completely out of the question.  Anyone have one they’d like to donate???  Here’s a little bit on the niddy-noddy – I’m getting better with the spindle, the thickness is getting more consistent, but I have no idea about plying-can that even be done on a drop spindle?  I’m calling what I spin artisanal yarn, which makes all its flaws sound really expensive and something I worked on  for hours getting just right.  😉

MORE BLUE

Mr. Iknead found this little guy yesterday while he was working in the yard.  I’ve never seen a blue tailed skink this small, I think it looks like a piece of jewelry and I’d wear it for sure!

Growth itself contains the germ of happiness.  Pearl Buck

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More links to Three Waters Farm

www.etsy.com/shop/threewatersfarm

www.ravelry.com/people/threewatersfarm

www.facebook.com/threewatersfarm