Monday, July 27, 2009

Um yeah, about that blog.......

I thought I'd post again before a full year has passed. Because a full year passing would mean this blog is officially dead, not just in lifeless limbo. Or something like that.

So, since I last posted a few things happened.

Our miracle Natalie Marie arrived May 20th. It was a bumpy arrival, involving 7 days in the NICU due to breathing problems related to the c-section. Yes it sucked. I really had hoped we would dodge that. But, she's here, she's almost 10 weeks already, she's amazing and beautiful and healthy and a chunky 12 pounds already.

I have managed to finish one wool soaker for her. It only took me most of my pregnancy to finish. It's the Curly Purly pattern in my very own handspun - whoot! My first handspun knit. The handspun is BFL, from SpunkyEclectic in her Sangria colorway. I didn't ply it tight enough, but it worked in spite of that.

The only other knit I've made for her are her leggings. They're cute, but the thighs are big, even though her's are plumping up nicely.

So there you have it. She is officially my very best finished "object" ever :-)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

More fiber goodies

First I shall announce the (almost) completion of Eris! The only thing that remains is that I sew in the zipper, well first I have to find a zipper to sew in. Regardless of zipper status, she shall finally get worn this winter!

There she is blocking.

Wing of the Moth is coming along slowly but surely. I am going to love this when it's done!

And here is the unveiling of more fiber. I'm finding fiber to be far more addicting than yarn. Good thing I've been able to sell off some of my yarn stash!

Spunky Eclectic
Burning Bush colorway, merino and silk. My first attempt at spinning singles. Slow and steady is the key. Amy's colorway's are amazing!

Luscious Abby Silk, Tuscany colorway, purchased from The Spinning Loft. Beth is awesome! My first attempt at lace weight yarn. It's slow going because it's so thin, but this fiber is so amazing!

More goodies from The Spinning Loft. I love doing business with great people! On the top is some Australian Wool, hand dyed by the amazing PippeeKneeSocks. The 2 braids in the middle are more Abby Silk, Faded Rose colorway. The braid on the bottom is more PippeeKneeSocks in the Pagoda colorway. The fiber is Masham which is a long wool and Beth has raved about.

I'm also super excited to be able to take advantage of some of the classes that Beth is offering. I'll be taking all 3 of the classes that Abby Franquemont is teaching December 5th and 6th - Low and High Whorl Spindle, Fabulous Blended Batts and Blended Fibers: Carding and Spinning. I have a feeling I'll be wanting a drum carder after this. I'm also debating going up for the November 1st Breeds Exploration class. I think that would be a lot of fun and a great opportunity to learn about different wools. I feel so lucky that Beth is within driving distance, about 3 1/2 hours.

And from the lovely Amy at Spunky Ecletic I have some Blue Faced Leister (BFL) top. The top braid is Gin & Tonic colorway and the bottom braid is Sangria.

More Spunky Eclectic goodies. We have BFL in Toronto (on top) and Alpaca/Corriedale in Monkey Farts (how could anyone resist a name like that?!). I am also super excited that this month spaces opened up in Amy's fiber club and I moved off the wait list into the club!! Each month she hand dies a club exclusive. The suspense builds until some lucky person gets their package in the mail and shares pics over on the Spunky forum on Ravelry.

And now is the unveiling of my goodies from the annual Yellow Springs Wool Gathering last weekend. My goal was to get fibers that I haven't yet played with. I achieved the goal :).

Yes, this is an Abby Batt. And yes, I have 2 other Abby Batts. But it was so much fun to spy these in the middle of the tent and ask the vendor "Are these Abby Batts??" I unfortunately didn't write down the fiber info, but I'm pretty sure the colorway is Grape Crush and it's merino and tussah silk. And unfortunately I don't know the name of the vendor.

Here we have llama fiber. So amazingly soft. I purchased this from Donna Berbig of Berbig's Woods Llamas in Bristolville, OH. Funny story here. Last year when we went I was dying to try out a spinning wheel. Donna was kind enough to let me try her's - I think she had an Ashford Kiwi. I was afraid I was going to completely mess up her yarn but she was very gracious. It was great fun to see her again this year and tell her that I now have my very own wheel.

Here are some silk hankies from River's Edge Weaving Studio
Can't wait to give those a try.

Also from River's Edge Weaving Studio is White Baby Camel and Mulberry Silk Top 50/50 and the caramel colored one is Baby Camel with Bleached Tussah Silk Top 50/50.

Last but certainly not least is some luscious alpaca. Yuuummmm. This is from Frontier Fiber Mill in Indiana. Lisa is a hoot. She loves mixing fibers and creating yarns. Kind of a mad scientist type :). The lighter caramel colored one is 4.8oz and the striped one is 7.5oz.

All in all it was a lot of fun!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Introducing Queen Julia!

Drum roll please........

Yes, it is the fair Julia. She is officially out of the closet! Haha. She was a piece of cake to put together. Great directions. And she is positively dreamy to spin on. I'd heard someone mention that it was like learning to spin all over again switching from bobbin lead (the Louet s15 I've been learning on) to flyer lead (Julia). Fortunately this was not the case for me, although it could be the fact that I haven't been spinning for very long on anything. Or, it could be my tremendous just getting tapped spinning talent. Hahaha. Yeah, that's it!

I started off with the Louet Corriedale sliver. My first time with sliver. It spins up kind of fuzzy. Or at least this did.

After a little bit of that, it was time to move on to some colors. So I whipped out my Fiesta from Woolly Wonders. I'm loving the colors and can't wait to see what it looks like plied and knit up.

Dan watched me unpack my latest spindle arrival last night and wondered why in the world I bought one of those "tiny" things when I had my wheel now. Well..... it's hard to explain, but wheel love does not replace spindle love. I used to think spindles were just to hold you over. Now I'm realizing just how much fun they are. It's a different experience with a spindle. Obviously it's a slower process and when you have yummy fiber to play with it becomes this amazing tactile and visual process, quite different from wheel spinning. Especially when you have a good spindle - and now I have 2 really good spindles. The one on the top is a True Creations .8oz bubinga and the one on the bottom is a Greensleaves .5oz Ethan Jakob. Plus they're gorgeous!

And a sweet spindle bag for them, handmade by Woolly Wonders.

And speaking of delicious, yummy, amazing, gorgeous fiber. Here are my latest acquisitions. Probably the last for a bit - time to get spinning and knitting.

This is a merino/silk blend from Amy over at Spunky Eclectic. Just gorgeous. It's the Burning Bush colorway.

This is a Grafton Batt - lovely purples and gold. Corriedale fiber.

Then we have the famous Abby batts, made by Abby Franquemont, but sold by the lovely Spunky.

First up is Sunrise. An amazing blend of 50% Corriedale, 30% tussah silk, and 20% camel down. Drool. The pictures don't do the colors justice. I started spinning Sunrise on my bubinga spindle.

And in honor of the approaching fall, we have Autum. 60% superwash, 30% tussah silk and 10% camel down. More yum. I'm amazed how much fiber is wrapped into one these little knots.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Spinning and fiber

Slowly but surely the spinning is coming along.

My beginning efforts were Shetland. It produced yarn only a mother could love.

I spun more of the Shetland and was still having a hard time avoiding the corkscrew effect of overspinning. Then I finished the Shetland and broke into my BFL. Something clicked at that point. I don't know if it was the fiber change or the learning curve, but needless to say it was a relief to be seeing some improvement and a decrease in the corkscrew effect.

Here's the Shetland and BFL plyed together.

Here's the BFL by itself. I think it's underplyed.

And of course that meant I needed to buy some more fiber. Below is TerraCotta from Tuscan Grove. It's Australian wool. I love the colors, not all that crazy about the fiber. It's a bit sticky. I need to pre-draft it a fair bit - which creates these beautiful, fluffy piles. I think this might be roving vs. top. The Shetland and BFL were both top (I think).

Then I heard about Iron John and his Etsy shop. So I bought some hand dyed Rambouillet top. I haven't done anything with it yet, but it sure is pretty.

And in spinning wheel news. I have purchased a spinning wheel - a Louet Julia. I bought her from the one and only Amy over at Spunky Eclectic. Amy rocks. She threw in a some of her amazing, hand dyed fiber. Black Cherry to be exact. It's an alpaca/corriedale blend.

You might be wondering about pictures of the wheel. Um, yeah. About that. She's still in the box. I know, it's a crime, it's a shame. So here's the story. DH and I have been saving up our own personal "stashes", money that goes to our own fun purchases. We split the proceeds of the garage sale, Dan puts his wire money in his, I put the proceeds of my stash sale and book sale into mine and
the occasional tip. Dan knows my stash money goes towards the wheel. His is going towards who knows what. I thought a new bow, but now that he's shooting really well with his current bow, who knows. My stash has been climbing pretty steadily. I was only $60 short. Until I went to Salt Lake City last week for a conference. Hopefully the books I have listed on Amazon will sell. Plus I have audio materials to put up. When those sell, I'm golden. Here's hoping. Then the unveiling of sweet Julia will occur. Oh and yeah, dh has no idea what's in the closet. Oh and the reason I purchased it "prematurely" was to take advantage of the intro special.

And a bit of progress on the knitting front. I'm finishing up the left strap for the 2nd side of the tank Amelie. I'm tired of this project and I still have the hem to do. Sigh.

Only 1 sleeve left on Eris, although she's been put on the back burner due to spinning and Amelie.

Maybe for my next update I'll have a picture of Julia! Actually, if all goes as planned on the IVF front I'll be leaving for Denver Sept. 2nd - decided to road trip it vs. mess around with coordinating flights with Dan and not knowing when we'd be returning. One of the other motivating factors for driving was being able to take my wheel with me. Julia will be the wheel traveling with me - so adequate stash money or not, she will be coming out of the closet by Sept. 2nd. Here's to speedy selling!

Saturday, August 09, 2008


We took a trip to Michigan a few weeks ago for the family vacation. This was the first time we'd met my niece Mallory. She turned 4 months while we were there. As you can see, she's completely adorable.

Here's my "little" brother Eric, Mallory's dad. Yes, you can play cards and put the baby to sleep.

Dan looks very sweet with a baby in his arms too.

We climbed to the top of Hog's Back Mountain. It's one hell of a climb, but the view is totally worth it.

Here's my brother Ryan and his wife Sandra (Ryan's my sibling after me).

Here's my sister Katie - the youngest at 17 1/2

Me and Katie

Dan and I

And here we have all the siblings together - a rare event. From the left:
Dan, me with Mallory, Eric (#4) sitting in front, Amanda (Eric's wife), Katie (#5) sitting in front, Sandra (Ryan's wife), Ryan (#2), Laura (#3), Ben (Laura's boyfriend).

Thursday, July 03, 2008

I won!!

I'm pretty psyched. 7 skeins of Cascade 220. I can't believe I've never knit with this before. I love the color too! Thanks Claudia and Bonne Marie! Maybe my abandoned Ribby Cardy will finally get made - I stopped liking the Knit Picks pumpkin color, oh and if I recall correctly I also screwed up when I attempted to avoid seaming by knitting the sides and back all together.

Knitters Connection was loads of fun.

I took a beginners spinning class with Shannon Okey and a class with Amy Detchen on stranding. They were both great - very personable and funny. Amy is a riot! She brought several of her Fair Isle sweaters to share with us - gorgeous! I loved hearing her little tips and tricks.

As for spinning - unfortunately I spent the first hour trying to feed fiber onto my leader. I really thought I was going to be the only person in class not to get it. Sensing my frustration, Shannon let me try her wheel, an Ashford Joy, and it was a "holy shit, I really CAN spin" moment. Later as I was lugging my Louet S15 around the vendor's area, a lovely vendor offered to take a look at it and realized that I had the wrong band on the wheel and it was way to tight. $8 solved the problem and while I still liked the Ashford Joy better, it's at least workable now.

Last Friday I drove up to Cleveland to take another spinning class with Susan from Conover Workshops. There we discovered the miracle of pencil roving. Pencil roving can make anyone feel like a competent spinner. Then we moved on to real fiber, and experienced the frustration of drafting. Needless to say I'm hooked and I can't wait for September's Wool Gathering where I'll be able to try a variety of wheels and see what suits me.

Back to Knitter's Connection - Thursday night I went to the talk that Jess, Casey and Mary-Heather gave on Ravelry. Jess was squishing a skein of neon green yarn most of the time to calm her nerves. She did great. They all did. It was so cool to see them live and in person and to hear their story.

I also had the pleasure of meeting the Briar Rose gals. After hearing Brenda talk about them on Cast On for so long, it was like arriving at Mecca.

I wasn't planning on buying any more yarn. Famous last words. Well my loophole was "unless it was something extraordinary", like not something I could buy at the LYS down the road. So I bought a skein of Celebration - a lovely, gorgeous colorway and I suck at describing colors, so see for yourself.

It's a luscious blend of merino/bamboo, worsted weight and will grow up to be some kind of sweater.

I also bought a skein of Angelface in these gorgeous blues. Laceweight - 100% alpaca. Yum! It will grow up to be the Feather and Fan shawl from A Gathering of Lace. I think.

Other purchases included a spindle. Because I was going to be in Denver for 2 weeks without my spinning wheel for our IVF adventure. Only the trip got canceled because for a nanosecond I was pregnant. On the pill, while taking injections for our upcoming IVF. Uh huh. Nanosecond being the key word. Now we're back to square one and I'll be in Colorado after all, just a few weeks later than anticipated. Better late than never I suppose.

And some roving - the grey is shetland, the white is BFL.

Eris is chugging along. The body is done and I'm in the first few rows if the left sleeve.

I also bought some Malabrigo online that was on sale for making xmas presents for my mom and sisters. I thought it would be fun for us to all have Koolhass hats.

And 4 skeins of Jaeger Trinity.

It's the first time I've ever bought the yarn that a pattern was written for. I've cast on and knit 4 rows of a summer tank. It's the first time I've knit something I can wear in the summer, provided I finish the damn thing soon enough. Let's not talk about the 4 inches of knitting I already frogged because I had 1 stitch too many. Nor the huge amount of time I spent trying to figure out where the fuck the extra stitch came from, and surely I must have forgotten a decrease and why does 122 minus 10 equal 113????? Only to realize I really did cast on an extra stitch. Sigh.

Wing Of the Moth is also coming along, growing slowly. But oh is it lovely to fondle.

We're taking off for the North Pole aka Marquette, Michigan tomorrow bright and early. 10-11 hours in the car = lots of knitting time. I can't wait to see the lake and my siblings. Looking forward to some R&R.