Saturday, December 13, 2008

Morning Surf Stole-Scarf

Wide enough to be a stole, drapey enough to wear as a scarf, I love how this pattern turned out.

Fiber: Susan's Spinning Bunny cultivated silk
plyed with
Lisa Souza's "Mardi Gras" colorway in superfine superwash merino

Over 600 yards of light fingering weight yarn

knitted on size 3 needles.

Low Whorls are for Klutzes

I was able to take two more Abby classes last week. At The Spinning Loft. One on spindling, one on drum carding.

Sadly, I was a bad blogger and forgot my camera, so I missed taking pictures of all the fun and fibery people that I met.

All I have is a little knowledge.... and so much of the knowledge that I have is very physical, the type that is difficult to describe in words.

But there are a few things to share.

Because a bottom whorl spindle does not have to be secured with a hook, it is excellent for klutzes like me who tend to drop drop spindles. If you are a top whorler, you know that if your hook is out of whack, your spindle does not spin well. If there is no hook, you eliminate the Achilles heel. This reason alone makes me want to become proficient on a bottom whorl.

Abby had us trade spindles around the room, so we could see how cop shape and winding on methods change the feel of the spindle. That was such a fun exercise! Everybody spindles a little differently, and I definitely learned from trying some new things.

Abby noted that spindles are adaptable to a person's individual physiology.... there are many different ways to approach spindling, and experimenting to find what is most efficient for you personally is a good thing.

When questioned on how to decide what kind of spindle to use for a particular project, she said, well, it depends. Sampling is a must. There are so many variables with spindles, fiber, the kind of yarn you want,...... even the weather can affect your spinning! (Abby told how she had difficulty in learning to spin cotton until she tried it on a very hot and humid day, when everything clicked for her. )

Well, with the scenes beside my spindling basket showing my deck engulfed in snow and the icicles getting long in the tooth, I have no urges to spin cotton.... just lots of warm woolies!

Many secret Christmas projects in the works......


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Skeleton Leaf Bookmark Pattern

***Revised. as of Feb. 2011/ thanks to Alexis for her helpful suggestion....I think the pattern is much improved now. I do recommend that if you want your leaf to look much like the pattern, use a fine laceweight yarn

Remember this?

I have had several requests for the pattern here and on Ravelry, so here goes. I don't have the capacity to do a graphed pattern on my computer, so I have opted to use a sort of knitting shorthand instead of using words. Hopefully it will have a visual quality to it that will help you grasp the pattern of the pattern.

I used laceweight and size 3 needles. Your gauge may vary.

K= knit
O=yarn over
V= knit two together
(ssk)=slip slip knit

Starting at the base of the leaf, cast on 5.


All even numbered rows until row 10, purl across




Row 9 Bind off 3 OVKOKOK(ssk)OK(ssk)OK

Row 10 Bind off 3, purl remaining stitches.

Rows 11-14 Repeat rows 7-10 once more.

Row 15 VVOKOKOKO(ssk)(ssk)

Row 16 Purl across

Row 17 Bind off 3, OKOKOKO(ssk)(ssk)

Row 18 Bind off 3, purl across

Row 19 Bind off 3, OKOK

Row 20 Purl across

Row 21 Knit 5 together.

Break off, weave in ends. Block. Finish with cord and tassel or as desired.

Let me know if you have any problems with the pattern! I am kinda new at this.

Lots of snow here....

ending with some pictures for you!

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Work of Their Hands

About a month ago, for the first time, I crossed this bridge

over to the Upper Peninsula

to visit Christian Freedom International's store. Note where it says "handcrafts?" There were lots of those, produced by Christian artisans in other countries where they suffer for the faith in various ways. Proceeds from the sales go to their support.

look at the lovely weaving.....sigh.....

cute knit hats.....

jute monkey that Mercy bought..... for every jute toy that sells, a child in Bangladesh gets one too....

The store was full of gorgeous woodcarvings like the one on the wall. Here are the happy little shoppers! Maybe we'll be able to go again sometime.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Ugly Duckling

I loved the fiber as soon as I saw it. The softest, finest Wensleydale I had ever seen, and the subtle colorway appealed to my inner aesthetic. (from A Verb for Keeping Warm) I determined that I would spin a heavy laceweight single to preserve both the softness and the colorway as much as possible. I used my Golding spindle, and span as I knitted.

The project was fraught with difficulty in the spinning and the knitting. Mistakes that could not be ripped out because of the fuzzy singles nature of the yarn, spinning irregularities that bugged me. But I kept on to the end, and when I blocked out my shawl, I was pleased that the problems with the shawl seemed to fade to the background, and the beauty of the Old Shale Lace Triangle and the fiber came to the forefront.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The socks are simple stockinette from the handspun Spunky Eclectic "Flowering Weeds" that I spun in the summer. Benjamin is very happy with them.

There have been lots of knitting and spinning here, but for the present blogging will be sporadic. So much life has been going on lately that I just can't be focusing on the blog much. But for the family members who enjoy pictures of the kids and my few loyal readers, I give this post.

Of course the alpaca is keeping me spinnning, and when I send off the second box, I'll let you all have a peek. Lots of knitting of small things, because lately I have felt like knitting. In due time, I may post more of those too. In the meantime, I hope to have a chance to visit all of your blogs soon!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Baby Vest and Skeleton Leaf Bookmark

The vest for a new nephew was from hazelnut superwash merino laps, overdyed and spun in my attempt at a soft single. It was a bit overspun in spots, but worked up nicely in the vest....which I am calling a Tomten Vest as it is based on EZ's jacket pattern.

I love skeleton leaves. Like snowflakes, I wish I could translate their beauty into a fibery medium, and I will probably tackle other versions in the future. In the meantime I like how this turned out.

From handspun laceweight two-ply merino-tencel.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Making a Dent

It took me a while to find my pace with the alpaca. First I tried flick carding and spinning on the wheel. It took forever, over a week to get a measly 50-yard skein. Then I tried spinning from the lock on a spindle. That catapulted me into the 80 yards a week range. It doesn't take much calculating to figure that that is NOT FAST ENOUGH!!!

Then I tried blending on handcards, and spinning the rolags, and suddenly I was accelerating....spinning an average of 65 yards a day.....

carding early in the morning,
spinning singles on the spindle during the day,
and plying on the wheel at night.

Certainly not the fastest production spinning ever, but I do have a life outside of fiber! So I am pretty happy with this sort of progress.... I have sent the first box off to my aunt with over 800 yards of yummy skeins.

Want to meet them?

Left to right..... Pucci blended with carbonized bamboo
Pucci blended with rose colored tussah
Diamond, pure
Pucci, pure
Marlayanna blended with coyote cotton
Pucci blended with merino
and in the back, Riana blended with dyed merino-silk.

I'm taking a few days of "break" to fill some swap obligations and finish the present for a baby nephew... but looking forward to jumping back into the alpaca pile!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Hopi Black Dye Sunflowers

Apparently the Hopi tribe use the seeds from these sunflowers to make both black and purple dyes for cloth and baskets. If my seeds mature before frost, I will enjoy experimenting with them. In the meantime, they are a cheerful sight in the garden, with blue and purple morning glories climbing them, the bees clustering around them; plants green and vigorous in a brown and crispy yard.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Eclipse Rug

When I consider the heavens, the works of Your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have ordained..... what is man, that You are mindful of him, and the son of man, that You visit him?

Spunky Club "Eclipse" fiber in Romney. I spun the singles holding the club fiber with natural colored Black Norwegian, and sometimes with grey Icelandic. Plied on my new Julia. Smiles. Crocheted with a few other handspuns into a rug that to my imagination does look reminiscent of an eclipse.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008



tagged me for a meme.....six quirky things about me.

1) Link to the person who tagged me
2) Mention the rules
3) Tell six quirky yet boring things about yourself
4) Tag 6 other bloggers by linking to them
5) Go to each person's blog to let them know they have been tagged!

1. I do not spend change. It is a Detail too big for me to handle. You mean, you want me to hold on to my purse, while handing over the proper number of small metallic objects? Such doings make it far more likely that I will forget to take my purchases with me.... (something that has happened more often than I care to admit) So I spend bills and keep change. When I got married I had a great deal of change in odd places. One of my old roomates said I was like the girl in the fairy tale, who opened her mouth and roses and jewels dropped out.... except with me it was change. Now my dear husband is my change manager. He takes care of it for me.

2. I like fresh air. When I was in my early teens, in central PA, we lived in a house with no heat upstairs, and that was where I slept. Loving the wind, I kept my windows open all winter, and prided myself on using a single blanket. While I am much more fond of my comfort in my, cough, advancing years, I do still like fresh air.

3. I am clutzy and have knocked myself flat on the pavement with my own car door.

4. I have an excessive dislike of fake flowers.

5. I find it very difficult to invite people to my home because I feel like I'll be bothering them. It is this same quirk that will keep me from tagging people with this meme. ;-) However, you are welcome to pick it up from my blog at will. I'd love to read about your quirks!

6. I read and reread letters over and over before I send them, obsessing over the wording, and subsequently forget to send them. I have found many letters that I thought I sent, tucked into books and other odd places.... If I owe you one, be assured of my kind thoughts toward you.....

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Covering a Scar

The Society for Knitted Upholstery, a group over on Ravelry, inspired me to get this project accomplished.

Bruce bought this chair before he even knew me, and it reminds me of him when I met him.... in his brown leather jacket and Indiana Jones-style fedora. Masculine and with a patina of adventure. Well, the chair has been weathered by a bit too much adventure since then, and it needed help!

A pound of Gulf Coast Native wool from Running Moon Farm, from my stash, was perfect for the project. Bulky spinning went fast on my Spindlewood spindle.... the wool was already clean, and I simply spun from the lock (or maybe the for a textured yarn that suits its purpose well.

It is good to see the chair back to its old self, except better.