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).