23 July 2014

Up...

at the crack of dawn this morning.  It's supposed to be less humid today, so I think I'll take my wheel out on the deck for a bit and spin with the birds.
The boys are already out in their usual spots.

 And here are my two lastest spins.



This is what I've chosen for my next spin, and I may also have some fiber soaking to play with some dye.


13 July 2014

Knitting............

and dyeing have taken a back seat  in the last couple of weeks and I really need to step up on the baby knitting.  Those 2 little beauties will be here before I know it, and as a surrogate grandmother I can't let them down.  All babies need something hand knit as far as I'm concerned. 
Here is the start of the second baby blanket.  I'm knitting it in Stray Cat sport weight, one of my favorite bases. 
More on the pattern will be revealed when it's finished and hopefully that won't be too long.

My knit-obsession has turned into a spin-obsession.  I can't stop.  After the first couple of skeins I felt the urge to make more.  I think I need to try all the different breeds, just to be able to figure out which ones I like best.  So far Polwarth and BFL are leading.  I'm spinning up a Falkland now and it's doing quite well too.  It's almost like a box of chocolates, you just can't stop at one.



My favorite girl spent the morning on the deck with me. The breeze was lovely, but there was a storm brewing so she didn't stay too long.

6 July 2014

Practice............

practice and more practice.
As a child I remember my parents selling our piano because I wouldn't practice and now I regret not keeping up with it.
And as the old saying goes, the older we get the wiser we get.  I've learned through knitting and sewing that patience really is a virtue.  If you take your time and be patient you will get to the end with the results you love.

A while back I bought my mom's spinning wheel.  It's an Ashford Kiwi, and such a nice little wheel, perfect for beginners.
She wasn't using it and I kept seeing so many beautiful hand spun yarns on ravelry, that I wanted to make beautiful yarn too.   I picked up new parts at the local fiber shop and got her all tuned up and ready to spin.
I tried and tried, but I think I had high expectations that the fiber would spin itself and I would have gorgeous yarn instantly.  Boy was I wrong.  Then the discouragement set in, and the wheel was put in the back corner taunting me everyday.

With some videos by Judith MacKenzie and YouTube, I got my mojo back and dusted that wheel off again.
I think the bobbins are just as beautiful as the finished yarn.


I took it slow and learned that my first yarns wouldn't be what I was ultimately shooting for and just kept spinning.



The practice and perseverance has paid off, I finally got a yarn that I love and can't wait to knit.

This is my favourite so far. It's 100% Polwarth and I couldn't wait to get it plied and ready to knit.  Now I just have to find the right pattern.


27 June 2014

In the Pink.........

Tess is off the needles, blocked and pretty as a picture.  Knit in Top Cat Lace, dyed in a very feminine shade of pink.  There are more photos and details on my project page on Ravelry.

The beads are very subtle and they were fun to add.   I will certainly be adding more beading to  future projects.
Now I'm busy with some more baby knits and more dyeing and of course I'm still fascinated with spinning.
I'll post some of those photos in a few days.

18 June 2014

Pretty in pink.....

is the knitting porn for today.   I have been knitting a new shawl with a few fellow ravelers in an impromptu KAL.  No rules, no time restrictions, we're all just knitting the same pattern and hanging out with each other.   My kind of KAL, no stress.

The is Tess.  I'm knitting it in Top Cat Lace.  BossCat and I don't knit with lace that often so we only had a few skeins in our personal stock, it never made it to the shop. 
I actually had the beads before the yarn was dyed and I think I matched it perfectly.

 It has an unusual beginning. You start from the bottom and do a crochet cast on with a chain 5 in between each stitch.  Then once you get past the lace section it is worked in short rows.  The start was a little fiddly, but once you get going it's smooth sailing.  This is the first time I've actually used stitch markers between each pattern repeat and it paid off. It made it so much easier to keep track of the pattern in case of mistakes.
 
I especially like the star stitch pattern in the short rows.
I'm totally into pink these days, so I'm sure this won't be going into the "gift box".