Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Novelty Yarns!

I took a class with Maria of Foraging Fibers yesterday, hosted by my spinning guild.

I like the looks of novelty yarns but never seem to spin them, so a class was the perfect thing!
Maria kept us busy and gave us our money's worth. She was there to help just the perfect amount, and had some wonderful knowledge and sneaky techniques that appealed to my lazy side. I'm sorry though that I didn't get a picture of her lovely smile!
Here are some of the yarns she's spun. My favorite is the robin's egg yarn.

Doesn't that egg nestle in its nest so sweetly?
And here are the yarns that I spun. I am most inspired.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Time for Everything

The longer I live here, the more I appreciate the seasonality of living in the rural North. The summertime is for enjoying the outdoors, for putting up food for the winter, for weeding, for harvesting, for soaking up the sunshine.

The winter is a time for quiet and reflection and a slower pace.( even taking the hectic holidays into account and the social activities that seem to multiply since there is less work for the farmers.)

And so, for me, the crazy busy summer is over, and I no longer need to take time out for fiber. It fits into the rhythm of a late autumn day.

My spindles are out.

My knitting needles are busy.

And the crochet hook?
Why, I have a finished object! for the chiropractor's new baby girl.

Handspun Merino Seacell , fiber from Spunky Eclectic
I started with a pattern, but this little sweater took off in other directions.

And I have a cousin's baby to knit for, a little cabled sweater that is close to done now. Perhaps there will be another post soon?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tour de Fleece Wrap Up 2011

Well, this is a bit late!

But I did want to share the kid mohair yarn with you, the last yarn I finished for the Tour.

Julie Spins "Deep Marigold" colorway, 630 yards laceweight.

I had a wonderful Tour this year! Love the Tour de Fleece! It is so much fun seeing everyone's yarn, and seeing fellow spinners meet amazing goals. I wish I had more time for the community part of it, but what little I was able to find was so much fun. Plus, I got back in my spinning groove, which was my main goal. Completing some yarns gave me a new burst of creative fervor. Visions of yarns dance in my head.

And as vacation time approaches, I have some lovely new yarns to knit.... the angora scarf is growing and the kid mohair is turning into a Vermont shawl, and the darling new Beekeeper's Quilt pattern is just singing to all those bits of handspun and sentimental yarns that had been waiting in the stash, silent about what they wanted to be.....

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tour de Fleece Nearing the End!

On Monday I went to the annual Garden Party, where spinners and weaver gathered. It was an enjoyable, low-key event, and I met some fascinating people... one a woman who had helped preserve the textiles brought up from the Titanic.

I brought the kid mohair along... that has been the main project this week.
When my hands are tired from spinning mohair, I've been taking breaks to knit on the angora/wool scarf that is being knit for a dear sis-in-law.

This is one of the three skeins that I ended up with from the angora... a total of 375 yards to enjoy.

The question is...can I finish the kid mohair and the SCF and sample yarn for my hubby's sweater too, before the Tour ends??? Don't forget to breathe in your anticipation!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Tour de Fleece Friday Update!

Sometime a week goes by so swiftly, it a surprise to come to the end. And so with this week. But there has been spinning.

Here is the current main spinning-in-progress. It is satin angora that I lay across wool top as I spin. I am hoping to finish this yarn tomorrow.

The current spindle lineup includes color!

Here is the finished flax. 250 yards of two ply. And I am happy with it. This would be a lace yarn in wool, but I'd like to go for more of a thread next time I spin linen.

And my new resolution: spin plant fibers for every Tour! They are so satisfying and suited to the season.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tour de Fleece: Spindle Walks!

Beautiful mornings for spindle walks with my girls.... Mercy on Tuesday.....

.... and Verity today.....

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tour de Fleece Flax Progress!

Linen is a plant fiber, processed from the stem of the flax plant. It has been used for thousands of years; it is an extremely durable fiber with many endearing qualities.

However, it is very different from spinning animal fibers or cotton. This fiber is extra fine water retted flax from Louet. I love the color and the sheen, but the fibers are short in spots, so it is a challenging spin when coupled with the slipperiness of the flax. But well worth it! I am able to get an even enough single to suit me, and I am finding the spinning a leisurely paced pleasure.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tour de Fleece Day Three!

Today is day four, but this is yesterday's spinning.

The shot with the spindle shows how much I had spun up before the Tour. I started spinning this more than a year and a half ago so it feels so good to finish it! I'm thankful for that bit of momentum that comes with a spin along.

SCF Koala, can't remember the fiber, and I don't know the yardage. But it is nice yarn, much softer than I had expected from the feel of the singles. And I love the subtle colorway.

The spindling project for today will be some lovely linen fiber that I have in a silvery color. Hopefully I'll have some progress to show you tomorrow!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tess Shawl

I finished this away back in March, I think, before we moved. It is from the Tess shawl pattern.
The yarn is that which is pictured in the spinning stage back in the "Nature's First Green" post, two different club offerings from Southern Cross Fibre plied into one yarn. Sadly, I didn't have enough yarn to make it as big as it should be, but I still like this shawl.
Garter stitch=cosy.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


We were blessed, as first time home buyers this spring, to be buying in a down market. Our house is roomy enough for the nine of us, has many horticultural delights, and a studio space all for me!

Can you see what I put on the wall? "Whatsoever things are lovely..."

The studio is for all of my different types of crafty stuff.... books, knitting needles, fabric, paints, spindles. I am storing my colored fiber here now, but most of my fiber is stored under the stairs. My wheel is upstairs where I am more apt to use it.

Here is a small sampling of the horticultural delights.

I know the gardens will keep me extra busy this summer as I get to know them and get the weeds under control.
But this year's Tour de Fleece approaches, and I will be sure to stop and sniff the fiber a little!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Respect the Spindle Review

I am so glad to finally have a copy of Abby's book, Respect the Spindle

I've taken a few classes with Abby, and have learned so much to help my spinning... she is a well of spinning knowledge, though, and always leaves me wanting to learn more.

This book fills some of that knowledge-hunger.

It is a book that covers a lot, from the basics of spindle spinning to spinning with "specialty" spindles like tahklis and Russian spindles, Turkish and Navajo. These sections are great... but the funny thing is, in my opinion, it is not where the real value of the book is found. After all, how to videos abound on the web and if you really want to learn to use a particular spindle, you can probably find out how without spending extra pennies.

No, the delightful chapter "The Science of Spindles" is my favorite so far. Maybe it is my inner geek peeking through, but truly, understanding the physics of spindles is helpful in so many ways. My little heart warms to discussions of torsion pendulums, as long as there is no math involved. And there isn't! Just a knowledge of the different factors that affect the behavior of spindles, and some concrete examples to which anybody can relate.

The rich chapter on getting more done... the detailed breakdown of what you need in a spindle repair kit...The wonderful sections on drafting for spindles and plying management. Full-color photos and a pleasing aesthetic. This is a book that I will read and re-read.

....the next time someone suggests that you are doing something very simple and old-fashioned, you can reply that you intuitively understand and work with mechanical engineering, advanced calculus, and rotational and fluid dynamics every time you pick up a spindle. ---Abby Franquemont, Respect the Spindle

It's all in the hands.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Nature's First Green

Nature's first green seems far off from us.

We are still engulfed in the purple blue shadows of winter

But spring will come and among the purples and blues of my spinning is a touch of gold and green.

Falkland in Huckleberry Train and another coordinating but unidentified club fiber from Southern Cross Fiber.
4 of 8 oz. spun

Journal entry in acrylic and gouache.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Here I am with my biggest FO of the year 2010: Hope! She's six months old now, and such a sweet baby. We have been blessed by her and in so many other ways this year.

I managed not to post at all in 2010, for various reasons, but I want to change that this year. I enjoy the blog genre, and often compose entries to you all in my mind even though they haven't made it to the net.

With the new baby and the growing family, I find that my crafting has morphed a bit. (Making food for this hungry crew devours many a pleasant hour!)

I have accomplished some knitting this year (mostly hats and scarves), but although I spin often for a few minutes at a time, my progress is slow. And I find myself wanting to branch a bit.... drawing and mixed-media are attracting me, and I've started keeping an art journal.

so this years aspirations are:

to blog as I have time and inclination

to continue my art journal---it helps empty my brain of all its teeming ideas!

to make cards with my artwork and send notes to friends and loved ones

to accomplish some of the spinning for other people that I've promised to do

to make socks... I have joined Janel Laidman's sock clubs... the first time I'll use storebought yarn in a while, but there's no shame in that, is there? :-) Since spinning is more of a process than a product for me right now, if I want to knit, then that's the way to go!

I don't know if anyone will even notice this post after sooooo long away... but if you do, I'd love it if you'd say hi and let me know how things are with you, and what you are hoping to accomplish in this new year.

"Love and joy come to you
And to you your wassail too
And God bless you and send you a
Happy New Year"