January 2010

Pretend it’s really eye candy, okay? It’s supposed to be sunny later today, but it’s been a while since there’s been sun in my kitchen.

First, the shetland singles I alluded to last week:


This is the Banff colorway from Spunky Eclectic (4 oz, just split into two skeins). I have yet to count the yardage, but I’m happy with the yarn (despite some overtwisted spots). It’s really soft. And now I’m especially happy that this month’s club fiber is shetland.

Next, weaving!



I’ve finished sampling for my mom’s birthday stole. This piece is about 3.5″ wide and about 2.5′ long. The bits with superwash merino/silk weft are softer than the bits with the Falkland weft that I’m planning to use for the actual stole, but I think the Falkland will be quite nice when not right next to a silk blend. And if I can refrain from beating quite so hard. (Should be doable.)

And, lastly, here’s some knitting:


I couldn’t resist the Funhouse singles (from that same post linked above) for very long, at all. This is the first chart (aka 25 rows) of a Revontuli.


From my walk to work the other day: the pond in the garden in the middle of campus.

Lots and lots of yarn, even (at least if you’re counting by yardage).  I used to be really prompt about washing my handspun, but I’ve been doing a lot of laundry in the sink since I moved to my current apartment (which does not have an in-unit washer and dryer, or even laundry in the building), so I’ve been putting off anything resembling optional laundry.

First, the yarn of which I am proudest right now:


That’s David/Southern Cross Fibre’s December club, Falkland wool in Funhouse. I got about 850 yards out of my 4 ounces. I think it’s going to be a Revontuli.

The yarn I spun right before that was this stuff:


There’s about 230 yards of 3ply, plus a smidge of 2ply; it’s Finn wool in Acadia, from the Spunky Club shipment from September, 2008. It’s really soft, and it was a lot of fun to spin. I’m glad I bought another 4 oz of Finn at Rhinebeck.  (No idea what this’s going to be.  Suggestions are welcome, as long as they’re not “send it to me!”)

Last November/December, I signed up for a handspun swap with the Enchanted Knoll Farm group on Ravelry, for which I spun this:


Superwash merino in Fawkes, plus a smidge of silver angelina. I didn’t measure the yardage on any of them, but those are 1-ounce skeins.

….And, since I was enjoying spinning the Funhouse as singles, I decided to try spinning some Corriepaca as singles.


The first sample was finer than I wanted, so I plied it; the second sample was okay, but I’m not so fond of the way the color was working. So I’m spinning some brown/grey/black shetland now, instead, as singles practice. (Note that the corriepaca mini skeins are not washed.)

In other spinning news, I’m nearly done with the Hibiscus Abbybatt that’s been on my travelling spindle for the last few months. I’m going to see if I can get it finished tonight, lest I run out halfway to work tomorrow morning.

This week has been full both of things going wrong and of wonderful time spent with friends (even if some of that was because I said, “hey, I’ve been having a rotten day, can I come over for a while?”).  Today, there will be napping and cooking and maybe some more baking, to reassure myself that I can actually bake successfully.  (I remain unsure about why the vegan chocolate cake turned into a pudding cake, but it went over quite well anyway.)

Today is also beautiful and sunny, so I’m going to enjoy the sunlight in my kitchen and living room and make tomorrow the afternoon to spend in the microscope room.


No, that’s not contrition on Mel’s face, that’s fascination with a reflection on the floor.

And these are the fibery goodies I picked up from Josette on New Year’s Day:



The braid is bluefaced leicester in Natural Turquoise. Not really my usual colors these days, but I love it.

This is not being a good morning. I couldn’t bring myself to get up when the alarm first went off, and eventually abandoned my plan to come in early.

Then, while I was getting the trash ready to go out, Mel went into full frenzy mode. Not only did he leap up to my waist, he kept climbing as far as my shoulder, only realizing he was really in trouble after he’d scratched my face. (Ow.) So, he’s got shorter claws now…but he kept being a pest until I got in the shower.

Oh, and I nearly left for work without my glasses.

So today was the first day in a few weeks when I spun on my way to work. It’s been cold, and I had a bit of trouble getting the spindle going (until my fingers warmed up), but that bit of spinning made me feel much more human. And capable of dealing with the rest of the day.

Mel has a new favorite pillow.

I’m not sure I’m going to get to spin that silk hanky….

I said last week that I was planning a blanket for my next weaving project, but I ran into a problem. I don’t think I have an appropriate warp yarn.

Sort of understandable, since I originally assembled this yarn for a knitted blanket…

So I warped the loom with some merino/bamboo to sample for a stole for my mom. I’m thinking of giving her a woven stole instead of the lace cowl I’d planned, on the basis that it might actually happen by her birthday.


Note my lovely new shuttle, made out of the end of a Settlers of Catan box.  There are occasional benefits to procrastinating long enough to miss a week’s recycling pickup!


I had actually dyed this warp yarn myself, a couple of summers ago; it was supposed to be black with bits of bright colors, but I rather like the silver.  (The purple weft is Rowan 4ply soft; the blue-green is from one of my first batts on my new drum carder.)

As I said, I’ve got some fresh spinning to post:


This is an ounce of cotswold/cvm from Jen at Spirit Trail. I had spun half of it, then set it aside, and spun the other half and did all the plying during Chanukah, by candlelight and trying not to look at the drafting much. It was a fun project–I could see my (pale) hands, but not the fiber, so I watched my hands and how they moved. I’m not really thrilled with the yarn–the dark red was much more prominent in the roving–but it might be in the right color family to go into that woven blanket I (think I) mentioned yesterday.

And this, though it isn’t skeined or finished yet, is my Acadia Finn:


And, since he inserted himself into both of the yarn photos, here’s a photo of just Mel:


Complete with a smidge of Acadia in the corner.

Alas, I’m still busy.  But I’ve managed to fit in some Finishing of Objects, so here are a couple of pictures.

First, I finished my first Official Weaving Project, the scarf I posted about in…probably November:



It’s not perfect, but it’s a first project, and it’s totally usable. It’s long enough to wrap around twice, to keep my face warm, and it’s soft and only 156g. The weft includes some commercial yarn, some of my handspun, some of my handdyed/carded/spun yarn, and some handspun from my friend Sarah. I love it.

…And I finished this fall/winter’s one knitted gift, for my dad’s birthday:


In case it’s not immediately obvious, it’s a tea cozy, specifically designed for his favorite teapot. Most of it is Manos, with stripes of my handspun (merino/mohair from Spirit Trail Fiberworks and merino/silk from probably Louet, purchased ages ago at NEFA).

Time to finish my lunch and stop typing one-handed. There might be spinning pictures tomorrow.