Friday, April 30, 2010

The Wind

Yesterday, the official weather scanner in my office announced that it was going to be windy until 1800 hours (6pm). Dadbugger if they weren't right on the money. Let it be known that the state government got something right on April 29, 2010. Maybe we should put the weather service in charge of some other areas, like the budget perhaps. But enough sarcasm.
I have new roving to play with. "They" call it Sandalwood. I can live with that. It's smooth and silky and has a merino top (no, I have no idea what that means.) that has been a challenge for a newbie such as myself to get a good consistent spin. New toys. New challenges. Its good.
The last of the plain ole domestic stinky sheep roving in its spun plied dried version is awaiting its dye bath. My imagination is wandering to a hand-painted project with lessons learned from the Kangaroo Dyer herself, Miss Gail Callahan. 

And lastly for today, rounds and rounds of button band-across the bottom-button band-neckline fun on my v-neck cardigan. It's too cumbersome to take the beee-uuuu-teee salon appointment this afternoon so I'll be bored to tears with no knitting project for people to stare at while I'm being processed. Bored but blonder will be the result.

Now, perhaps I'll call the state weather service to ask how many clouds will roll by today.

Monday, April 26, 2010


I spun and plied. Threw 2 hanks in the kitchen sink to soak. My kitchen smells like sheep. Not loving it.
I washed and blocked 4 sweaters, 2 new ones, 2 I've worn to death. Still waiting for buttons to come in. But you wouldn't know I was waiting for buttons because that was in the post that would Now you know. 
"I'll stay out here on the porch until you get that stench out."

Friday, April 23, 2010

Somedays You Can't Win

I had an entry all written, typed and unaccepted. I don't feel like doing it again so I'll just post this.
It's a silk swatch. Stayed tuned.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I Am A Patriot

I love me a long weekend. Massachusetts has a few wonky holidays and this Monday was Patriots Day. It has nothing to do with the football team. The best known event of the holiday is the Boston Marathon. This Patriots day was picture perfect weathah-wise.

I dyed. I spun. Here's the proof.
My latest hank in it's undyed state. 143 yds of "Getting There". Still have that thick 'n' thin thing going but better than the blue hanks. How do I know it's 143 yds-ish? I made me own niddy noddy out of pvc pipe and T connectors. Not as elegant looking as a whittled wood one but did the job.

The dyed hanks are very different in color even though they were both in the same pot. Amazing. A 1/4 teaspoon of food dye gave me a lovely robins egg blue yarn.

They make me lumpy. The challenge will be what size needle to knit with. The un-dyed hank needs to be washed but I'm going to wait until I ply off the singles on the spindles as they will have the same look in unevenness texture. I'll try dyeing it all in a solid color yet to be determined. 
The sweaters in process, one wool, one cotton, both with steeks, are in two different phases. The wool cardigan has had the steek cut, button bands done and needs only a collar, blocking, buttons and finishing of the steek in that order. The cotton is ready for the steek to be cut (it was too late last night for steek cutting, if you know what I mean.) I'm thinking the bottom, button bands and neckline will all be one with mitered corners (it's a v-neck cardigan, forgot to mention that) at the button/hem edge. So what does this mean?
I need buttons, roving and since they have their anniversary sale going I'm sure to find some morsel to bring home for the stash.
I do love a long weekend.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The AH-HA Moment


You know that moment I mentioned in my last post, the one where the proverbial light bulb goes on in your head and your eyes widen? Your mouth opens and out comes "ooohhh". You get it. The frustration suddenly disappears and is forgotten. Well, I made it. I was waiting for water to boil and passing the time with the drop spindle. I was still unhappy with my uneven drafting and suddenly---instead of trying to pull down on the roving with my hand closer to the spindle, I pulled back with the hand holding the roving. Can I have a resounding "DUH" here? All the descriptions I've read specifically said, "if you're right handed, draft with your left hand." Right there in black and white. And yet I continued to dismiss this part of the training.
As a result of this epiphany, my spinning is more consistent. In fact, I'm getting it too thin and will end up plying 3 singles to get a worsted weight. That's not a bad thing. I still need to perfect my joins, though now I'm not removing and working on a section of roving, I'm working straight from the ball. Unless I don't get enough twist and the fiber separates, I am not constantly joining. Such a small adjustment changed the whole dynamic. Next item to work on? Spinning the same size balls of singles so when I ply them together I come out with a 4 oz. hank of yarn. I'm sure someone out there has already written that out but I'll ignore it and think myself quite the genius for figuring it out on my own. I figure it this way, if I buy 4 oz. of roving, divide it in half, spin each half, ply together, I should have a 4 oz. hank. Nothing evaporates in the process or gains weight. Should work. My other thought is: weigh my spindle. Spin until I reach the weight of my spindle plus 2 oz. Then I don't have to split the roving. I'll let you know how that works out.
"Yeah, yeah, you're a genius, just let me in the house and give me a treat."

Monday, April 12, 2010


Along with two sweaters I am diligently practicing my spinning. The spinning is getting there but not up to my expectations just yet. My mechanics are still off, but no fear, I'll figure it out. 
The lime-green number is destined to be a v-neck cardigan. I cannot get enough lime green. The blue, charcoal grey, red, green item is another cardigan using up bits and pieces. I had alot!
Practice, practice. I seem to do better late at night. I have also taken the term "drop" spindle to heart. So much so...

I broke it. I think it's fixable; it still spins but has developed a wobble.
It doesn't wobble when I'm plying so that may be it's sole job.

Here is my progression, counterclockwise. The hank is from my first attempts. Thick and thin. Folks pay alot of money for that! The ball on the right is less lumpy but still too thick in areas. The ball on the left ...I'm getting there. I know my "Eureka" moment, that moment when you say to yourself, "you dope" and smack yourself in the forehead is coming but as you all know I have zero patience so I hope it comes soon. 
Meanwhile, I'm gathering glass jars for my next phase of fiber obsession--dyeing. I thought I had a stash of mason jars but darned if I can find them. Once I get another load I'll find the ones I had. Too bad I have to work for that money stuff. I'd much rather be spinning/knitting.