Thursday, January 26, 2006

Spinning Leicester Lamb


LeicesterLamb
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
Went on a mini trip to The Knitter's Garden yesterday and splurged on a new set of bamboo knitting needles with pink bunnies on them, some lilac alpaca/wool, a handmade circular needle holder (fantastic!) and picked up this GIGANTIC ball of fiber to spin for the owner, Joanne.

The leicester lamb fiber is way bigger than my head...it's so funny seeing anyone hold it! The colorway is salmon, lilac and a turquoise/green color. The colors are beautiful in fiber form, but not so beautiful spun...the colors are becoming muddy and almost a gray with flecks of colors now and then. It's very pleasant to spin and has a nice, fuzzy, crunchy texture...it's almost like Lopi.

Since this is an 8 oz. ball, I should get a good amount of yardage from it. I'm planning on trying to spin a 2 ply yarn this time instead of a single. I'll definitely need Vicki's assistance this time...(she taught me how to spin...and got me addicted!).

Have a lovely lamb-y day!

Angora Addiction Addition


LittleMissTubbsie
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
Meet the newest addition to our family....an English Angora bunny...3 months old...named Little Miss Tubbsie. We adopted her on Sunday and she is just adorable. She is sooo silky soft and very sweet...she let us hold her right away and is very affectionate.

Only problem is....she's a POOP MACHINE! I didn't realize how much poop can come out of such a little fuzzy bunny. I think I clean up her cage (and the floor) at least 3 times a day. At least I won't have to worry about losing her in the house...just have to follow the trail of little round poops!

I'm still getting used to all the finer details about owning an Angora bunny....the amount of food she eats is just staggering! She loves her hay, too....

In the spring, I'll be able to start plucking her fur to save and spin. That's very exciting....at least I'm planning on doing that IF I'm not buried up to my head in poop by then. Hopefully not.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Super Secret Pal 7!


SuperSecretPal!
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
I was so excited when I looked out the window and saw a package hanging on my mailbox...I thought, "Is that what I think it is?" I ran out, almost tripped over a root in the front yard and with a less than ladylike way, grabbed the package off the mailbox and rushed back into the house.

Here is what I found inside:

- Small bottle of lavender Eucalan...was just saying the other day how I wanted the lavender scent since I only have the eucalyptus right now....eeee!

- A new Chibi tapestry needle holder with two needles...not only that, but the case (the one I have is just a solid cream color) is turquoise blue with a clear blue cylinder....adorable!

- Box of bing cherry chocolates from the Henry and David Co...now, I love chocolate...I love cherries...I had one and almost died of happiness...mmmm...my older son swiped two and then stole a third off his younger brother...I know that my husband will want one when he comes home from work, too...maybe if I hide them in the laundry room.....no one goes in there except ME!

- Final, and most awesome gift, a skein of Berroco Air in the exact color I wanted (Technicolor).....I was going to make the Berroco teddy bear out of it, but I'm thinking now I might make myself a pair of mittens.....oh, so soft and sweet looking.

*To my Secret Pal 7...you are wonderful and I appreciate every one of my gifts....I'm very lucky to have you!*

Three Cheers for my Secret Pal 7!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Fabulous Fushia Scarf


FushiaCotswoldScarf
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
When I saw this yarn at the the new yarn store in a neighboring town, I just fell in love with it....the color is so vivid and so ALIVE! It even made my dark hair look nice and complimented my skin tone....so....HAD to buy it...wouldn't you?

It was in two skeins...approx. 134 yards (5.6 oz) total and made of 3 ply 100% Cotswold handspun wool.

It's not as soft as I hoped it would be....kind of like a scratchy mohair...but it makes up for its scratchiness with its fabulous fuzziness.

This is the pattern I created to make this scarf:

Gauge: 15 stitches to 6 inches....or 5 stitches to 2 inches...or 2.5 stitches per inch....hmmmm...that's right.

Size 9 needle (circular or straights)

Cut 22 12 inch pieces of yarn to use as fringe for the two ends.

CO 15 stitches with both needles held together.
Knit 3 rows.

(*K1, yo...*across the row
Knit across the row, dropping all the yarn overs. Knit 3 more rows.

*K1, yo twice...*across the row.
Knit across, dropping all of the double yarn overs. Knit 3 more rows.

*K1, yo three times...*across the row
Knit across row, dropping all of the triple yarn overs. Knit 3 more rows.)

Repeat the pattern between ( ) until desired length or you almost run out of yarn.

BO the 15 stitches.
Add fringe.
Wear and Enjoy!

Happy Knitting!

Spinning Silk


PeachSilkToSpin
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
This 100% silk was not as nice to work with as I thought it would be. It has a lot of white "bumps" in it...not sure what those are...and also lots of dirt and other foreign matter.

The color is just beautiful, though, and I like the way it's coming out....it's more of a raw silk kind of yarn, not a smooth, silky silk, you know?

Hopefully, I can think of something nice to knit with it so it's inner beauty will shine through. Any ideas?

Knitting Project #1 Done!


IPodHolderHawaii
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
My first finished project of the year....an ipod holder (using the KnitPicks pattern....very nice) for my best friend, Ann. I used the 100% merino yarn Sock Memories in the color Hawaii...only one skein and I even have leftovers. Felting it by hand wasn't as hard as I thought and, once I got used to that finishing stitch for around the cut pieces, it was easy. Such a nice yarn!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Happy-Hand-Spun-Skeins


Hand Spun Skeins
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
So....here they are! 4 of the pink/raspberry skeins I spun from the VT wool (not sure what kind it is)...in order of my first ever spun skein (top left) to my most recent spun single ply skein (bottom right). Each one is like my little baby.....I just want to cuddle and squeeze it! I'm showing everyone I know who is even in the least bit interested in crafts (or anyone breathing who happens to come near me). Most say, "Oh, nice"...in a semi-interested way, but when someone says, "Oh, you SPUN this? Wow! How soft....what a nice job!"....then I KNOW I've made a friend for life : )

I noticed that, with each successful fiber I spin, the yarn gets more and more uniform and beautiful....I flatter myself in thinking that my purple yarn slightly resembles Manos del Uruguay in it's thick/thinness, but I might just be in my own dreamworld (which happens quite a lot). I'm feeling more comfortable with the technique and love using the drop spindle. I'm hoping to go to the NH Sheep and Wool this year to try out newer bottom whorl spindles so I can get another one and also check out the spinning wheels...right now, I'm looking at the Ashford Joy....that looks perfect for me....but I should try it first before I fall in love.....

Taking a tiny (very tiny) break from spinning so I can continue to work on my lace cardigan....also have Ian's Socks That Rock on hold (well, I knit on them now and then) and a baby sweater for Ian's friend's baby to be. Trying VERY hard not to start more projects than that, although I'm itching to make a quick scarf out of that hot pink handspun I bought from The Knitter's Garden yarn store last week. Oh, must blog the needles I got there! Next time.....

Happy Knitting!

Merino And Corriedale


Merino And Corriedale
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
I'm so happy with the way my white merino wool came out with the drop spindle! The first 4 pink skeins I spun (from the fiber Ericka bought me from the Sheep and Wool Festival in VT) came out okay...but very thick/thin and I wasn't quite used to the process yet. When I felt the merino...oooohhhh...so soft and luxurious! It spun so easily and I think I had become more used to the spin, pinch, open, spin technique of my spindle. If only you could feel the finished yarn....it's only one ply (z single) but it's just perfect right now!

On the right is my lavender (or lilac?) Ashford corriedale fiber from Halcyon yarn....just beautiful and, though a tiny bit stickier and less soft than the merino, is still very wonderful in it's own right and I enjoyed drafting and spinning it. One ounce made a good deal of yardage for this single ply yarn, as well. Halcyon has the most wonderful fibers and I'm hoping to get another sample of fibers to spin...like the angora/lambswool or the soy silk.

Off to do more of my lace Mary Jane cardigan....halfway done with the bottom half of the lace pattern....it's much more enjoyable than I thought and the Knit Picks Shadow (100% merino laceweight heathered) in Jewels is just yum. Soft, pretty and nice to knit with...the texture is very similar to Koigu....just thinner and lighter. Pics of that to come soon : )

Saturday, January 07, 2006

For the Eyes of My Secret Pal 7

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Yes, sorry , I tend to be pretty snobby when it comes to yarn : )

2. Do you spin? Crochet? Yes, I do spin...but I’m a very beginner drop spindler and have only spun 5 small balls of yarn so far....just got myself a niddy noddy.

3. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? I usually use my BoogyBag straight needle roll and bag for my straights and dps, but my circs just have a clear plastic zip bag right now.

4. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I’ve only been knitting for a little over 2 years, but I’ve done over 120 knitted projects and I think I’m more in the intermediate level now.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Yes, I have an amazon wish list, but I’ll have to update it...it’s old.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.) I love coconut, sandalwood, amber, cotton candy smell and honey....more of a foods smell than flowers or perfume-y.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? OH YES...but unfortunately, I’m on Weight Watchers and doing well, so I can’t have candy too often. My favorite is the Cadbury Fruit and Nut or any milk chocolate.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? I like to do Creative Memories scrapbooking and beading in addtion to knitting and spinning.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I like Kelly Clarkson (don’t have her cd yet) and more pop stuff....I also enjoy classical “mood” music. I don’t have an mp3 player, though...just cd.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand? I really like pink and pastel colors (light blues, purples, yellows, mint green and apricot). I’m also into white lately and spring type colors. I really don’t like go for autumn season colors or very dark colors.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? Let’s see....I have a husband, a 13 year old son and a 3 year old son...also have 2 black male cats...Mr. B and Jack.

12. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? I do like scarves, hats and mittens...not so much ponchos.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? I LOVE angora...really love it...or even a wool/angora blend....I also really like cashmere (who doesn’t?), alpaca, and merino wool. Mohair is nice, too. Hand-dyed homespun is the BEST!

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I like cotton, but hate to knit with it...I really don’t like acrylic....but that’s about it....

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s? I’m really into spinning beautiful rovings into my own yarn right now...but I also like knitting socks, scarves for fun and am just starting on lace work. Knitting baby clothes is so much fun, too : )

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? I’d have to say baby items if I want to try out new techniques, socks because they are so portable and practical and scarves for a nice, relaxing break from thinking.

17. What are you knitting right now? I’m just starting a pair of socks for my hubby and the Mary Jane lace cardigan from Knit Picks.

18. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? I do sometimes...if I know that person spend lots of time and love into making something just for me, than I would love it.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Depends on the project.....circulars for sweaters and socks....straights for scarves and other things.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Clover Bamboo for most everything....Addi Turbos or Naturals for circulars.

21. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? No, neither...I usually use the back of my dining room chair.

22. How did you learn to knit? My mom taught me a little, but after my youngest son was born, I took a beginner and advanced class at a local craft store.

23. How old is your oldest UFO? Luckily, I’ve finished pretty much everything before the end of the year in Dec....but I did cast on a few stitchs for a lace shawl and didn’t knit anymore on that since then.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird? I love Hello Kitty and I love birds...especially egg shell blue parakeets.....or owls.

25. What is your favorite holiday? I think probably Christmas....although we usually celebrate the Winter Solstice.

26. Is there anything that you collect? I collect yarn! Ha ha...also love antique books (especially on knitting) and antique magazines. Oh, and quartz crystals and such.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I think Interweave Knits and also Spin Off....but that’s all. Would love the british Simply Knitting subscription or any overseas knitting magazine.

28. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? Yes, anything by Elizabeth Ziimmerman (except the Knitter’s Almanac and Knitter’s Workshop...I have those), I would love 2 skeins of Anny Blatt angora super in pink, or patterns for knitted foods or cute things like that.

29. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? I haven’t done much with color knitting and that’s what I’d like to try next. I have a pattern for a Lopi sweater, but haven’t bought the yarn yet.

30. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? Yes, I love knitting socks. I have an American size 8 shoe...my foot length is 9.5 inches...also the circumference.

31. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) May 23