January 2009





These are from Wednesday morning, on my way to work. Fortunately, the sidewalks only had slush on them, not ice…  It’s good to have new photos again.

The batts I sent off for that swap arrived yesterday, so I can share pictures!

First, the ingredients:

sherie batt ingredients

I dyed some superwash merino and unbleached tussah silk with blue and green, leaving some undyed spots, and added some natural brown BFL.  I also dyed some icicle with a green that split into green and yellow.

I blended them kinda like how I cook, by starting with the merino and adding silk, BFL, and icicle until I liked the way it looked.  I had a lot of trouble with the test batt’s second pass through the carder–it was getting stuck on the licker-in drum–so I kept the silk out of the way of the licker-in for the rest of the batts, and all went well.  Those of you who really know what you’re doing: is there another likely problem with an easier fix than feeding silk blends directly onto the main drum?


This is Sherie‘s photo of the batts I sent.


Carding will probably continue to eat into my spinning and knitting time, since I just got some bamboo and sari silk bits for blending…

*like Caturday, but Mel’s been camera-shy lately.

For quite a while, I have been wanting something to keep my ears and forehead warm while my hair is up. A friend of mine has a 2×2 ribbed hat that is extremely stretchy and fit pretty well as such if I was using a stretched-out hair elastic, but the similar hat I knit last year only fits with my hair down. So I spun up the Rhubarb BFL that came with my new wheel into as thick a 2-ply as I could get, and knit this:


This is this headband by DROPS (also available not on Ravelry), with slight modifications. That is, I was too lazy to measure all of the increases, so I estimated, and then I made it a bit longer because 48cm would be really tight on me.



…and I still have half the yarn left, for either another headband or a cowl or something.

Here’s what the yarn originally looked like, since I can’t find where I posted it:


Did I post about my drum carder?  I got a drum carder last month, a Strauch Petite.  Aside from some shipping issues, and the fact that I needed more tools* to put it together (I got the kit) than the instructions suggested, I’m happy with it.

This is the first batt I carded with it, as soon as I put it together:

It’s a wool blend that I dyed with jacquard russet, with natural light brown CVM and some red sparkly bits.

These next two are the same wool blend, but with some tussah silk (partly dyed pink) instead of the CVM.  They’ve grown into yarn and have left my house.

second batt third batt

Next up were some test batts for a swap and then the swap batts, but since I’m about to ship them today, I can’t share pictures.

After them, though, I couldn’t just leave the carder alone this weekend, so I made a few more batts:



Each pair weighs about 30g and is merino and silk with a bit of sparkle.

There’s also been some spinning, and some knitting; pictures when I finish the knitting.


*The instructions call for a screwdriver, and there’s mention of possible need for a hammer, which I did need, and I also found pliers to be very, very helpful.  I had all of them, so it was fine, but I’d recommend gathering them before starting to assemble the carder.


Friday snuck up on me again this week, so here’s another photo from December 30th. Happy weekend, everyone! Stay warm!




I went up to New York this past weekend, mostly so I could see the Calder exhibit at the Whitney. I would highly recommend it to anyone who can get there while the exhibit’s still on (the next month or so), and I also quite liked the William Eggleston photography show they had.

They don’t allow photography in the museum, though, so my weekend’s photographs are from my ramble through Central Park after leaving the Whitney.  The snow was sticking more in the park than on the streets, and it was simply lovely.  (By the time I got back to where I was staying, though, there was enough snow on the sidewalks that I regretted not changing out of my earth shoes–I got snowpacks in the heels.  Not fun.)


Also, according to Chris, at least, today is Delurking Day.  Say hi!


I finally have shoes that are perfect for wearing with them.  These are my shoes for Too Cold To Not Wear Socks (below 40ºF) While Too Wet To Have Exposed Sock Toes.  (This isn’t counting the waterproof hiking boots that I also use as snow boots when there’s snow.)

(Yes, I am too lazy to hem my jeans.)

(Socks pictured are these, my most-worn handknit socks.  Not just because they were the first pair I knit for myself.)

I don’t have control of mine. My landlords set it up for theoretically optimal timing for people with “normal” work schedules. It woke me up this morning, as it often does, when the heat came on to warm it up from my preferred temperature to a few degrees warmer. I had a couple of things I wanted to try online in what seemed to me to be the middle of the night, so I got up and opened the laptop, but I’m about to head back for a bit more sleep.

First, though: I’m going to be in NYC this weekend, so if you are, too, especially if you want to see the Calder exhibit at the Whitney, let me know.

Yesterday was a damn good mail day.

dinosaur merino-silk

champagne wool blend

Rt. 66 BFL

lobster corriepaca

golden banana batts

Almost makes up for experiments failing, except that repeating those experiments in a hurry means a lot of long days this week (and correspondingly less fiber/household time).

For the first ECF of 2009, I present three of my last photos of 2008. These are all from my (early) walk home on Tuesday.




I’m not making resolutions this year beyond “graduate” and “find a job”.  I think those’ll take plenty of time and energy.  Still, I am optimistic that 2009 will be better than 2008, which was better by far than 2007 or 2006.