March 2010

So….I’ve continued to spin kind of a lot.

Superwash batts from Enchanted Knoll Farm, in Gold Dust Woman and Jester/Chestnut (with Mel because someone on Ravelry complained that GDW wasn’t as nice without him).

Superwash top from Enchanted Knoll Farm, in Fawkes (I will need more of this colorway.)

Polwarth from Southern Cross Fibre, in the January club colorway Pandora. I’m much happier with this round of thick-and-thin, and I’m considering making a scarf with the 2ply as warp and the thick-and-thin as weft.

sumac plying ball
And, on Saturday, I finished (the singles of) this sorta long-term spindle project (2oz of merino/bamboo in Sumac, from Spunky Eclectic), which is now ready to ply (on the wheel, as soon as I finish plying that plying ball I showed last time, and maybe a couple of smallish batts that are also waiting to be plied).

The bouquet I bought last Wednesday is still pretty and making me smile to see it.

And I’ve continued to knit some on Revontuli, because it’s really good socializing-knitting. But I’ve been wanting to knit on something that grows a little faster than Revontuli but which I’m not making up (like the chai/phoenix shawl) or modifying (like the Hedgerow mitts). Just for fun. So I cast on another shawl.
springtime bandit
This is Springtime Bandit, in Acero from Brooks Farm, which I think I bought a year and a half ago at Rhinebeck. I cast on and got through the setup chart last night. As long as the wavy edge blocks out, I think I’ll really like it.  And I’ll at least kinda like it anyway.  It’s been lovely to see how much color variation is in that yarn–I’d totally forgotten.

Just a quick coffee-break post of one of the flowers in the bouquet I bought on Wednesday:


Flowers are an unusual indulgence for me, but I’ve left them where I can see them from either the kitchen or the living room, and they’ve been making me smile.

Whew! I had intended to post a spinning update (at least) over the weekend, but I was out and about a whole lot, and the weekend disappeared. It was one of those weekends where the outline of the original plan can be recognized in what actually happened, but only just… There was some science, I got to see some people I haven’t seen much at all lately and meet some new people, and I did a lot of spinning in friends’ living rooms, at bus stops, and on buses, plus a fair bit of walking (in flipflops, which aren’t quite my favorite shoes for more than my standard just-over-two-miles-per-day).

I don’t think I’ve mentioned the Great Stash Spin-Up here, but a bunch of us on Ravelry are spinning a lot and chatting about yarn in preparation for this year’s fiber festival season. In that spirit, and because I will be moving again by the end of June and yarn takes up less space than fiber, I am trying to spin as much as possible. I’m also using this lovely opportunity to try some new spinning techniques, first of which is thick-and-thin singles.

mel inspects the fresh yarn
The front yarn here is organic merino in “Twilight”, from Spunky Eclectic. It came out more as thin-and-slightly-less-thin than thick-and-thin, but I think it’ll still make a pretty good scarf weft, and it was fun to spin. It’s 2.6 ounces, something like 300 yards.

The yarn on the bobbin and more obscured by the dear and darling cat (who wants to know why fluff is more interesting than he is) is Good Fortune, from Enchanted Knoll Farm. It actually showed up around the same time as the Twilight, but it took over a year to spin… Yes, with breaks, but the fact that it’s 1200+ yards of 2ply makes me feel better about that. (I am very excited to start knitting with it, at least as soon as I manage to skein the bobbinful and wash it all, but I really do need to finish the Chai Phoenix shawl before I start a third shawl…)

So, I finished that Girl Drink Drunk batt in a week, and thought for sure the Hibiscus batt would take a lot longer than a week because I wouldn’t be travelling and because it was something like 30% heavier….and then I finished it in a week, too.  And had to spin what was left of a merino/silk batt of mine that I’d lent out for aspinneration (and was going to take back anyway, the new spinner having gone home).  The yarn from my carding is on top of this picture; the four cops that everyone keeps telling me look like carrots are the four AbbyBatts I’ve been planning to combine for a lace shawl.


The left two are Orange Blossom (merino/silk with some firestar) and Hibiscus, spun last fall; the right two are the Girl Drink Drunk (wool/cashmere/bombyx/tussah) and Hibiscus (merino/silk) from the last two weeks.  When I finish the rest of the plying queue, I’ll wind these off and start plying them–hibiscus with not-hibiscus until I run out of not-hibiscus.

And spring continues!  The crocuses are just about done, now, but I found this really cheery patch of stripey crocuses (my favorites, really, though I prefer the yellow-and-burgundy to purple-and-white) on Saturday afternoon:


And this star magnolia on Saturday evening:

star magnolia in bloom

I bet the tulip magnolias are blooming by now, too, but I haven’t passed any of them since Saturday morning.  Lots of cherry trees are all pink, though!  And the forsythias are starting to leaf out.  It felt so springy on Saturday that I picked up some mint and had my first mint julep of the season that evening.

Maybe there’ll still be some cherry blossoms out tomorrow, when I can probably arrange to pass by a few on my way back to work from the bank.  (They’d better actually have tokens this time.)

Spring flowers:



Autumnal shawl (I’ve been thinking of it as New England Fall With Pond):


Wintry spinning:

Frosted Forest singles

I’ve also been doing some carding, and some other spinning, and a very little bit of cooking… I’m really not at all ready for the weather to get close to 70ºF, but it is very, very nice to be able to sleep with the windows open again.   Almost enough to make up for the discombobulation of Daylight Saving Time.


Crocuses! The first yellow crocuses I’ve seen this year. Only a smidge later than usual…  Alas, my favorite flower-photography walk is blocked off while they redo the path, but these were/are right near the sidewalk.

Okay, not quite a whole weekend’s spinning, but I started this batt when I was just over halfway to New York on Friday, and spun a bunch yesterday and more today while waiting for the bus to come home:


And, just for the heck of it, here’s an updated photo of my Revontuli, which grew by a few rows on today’s bus ride:


Oh, and while I’m posting, and it’s just after sunset and I’m sleepy, here’s a photo of last night’s sunset:


And now it’s time for more plying, and then some knitting, and then bed.


Just after sunrise this morning. Not quite as cozy as trees outside one’s window, but a pretty nice view to wake up to.

(I gave my mom her birthday scarf last night–it went over quite well. Which is good, because I already have plans for other woven things for my parents.)

It’s late, I’m just about to leave work now, and I’m not taking my computer home, so here’s a quick photo:


It’s my mom’s birthday present, the scarf I warped on February 7th.  It’s also the Pleasant Stuff I alluded to just after the weekend of the 13th/14th, when I finished the weaving, but it took until last night for me to finish twisting the fringe.

I’m really happy with it (hence the hurrah mentioned above).  I love the way the carded Zombies goes with the handpainted merino/bamboo, and it drapes beautifully and is really soft.  It’s still got a few signs of my inexperience, mostly along the edges, but they shouldn’t be too noticeable when it’s in active use.


Also, in case anyone other than Chris wasn’t sure what I meant by angelina, it’s one of the varieties of sparkly stuff that sometimes get blended into batts.

I have recently rediscovered a few things:

• How much I love spinning from batts.

• How much sari silk and angelina get *everywhere*.

• How much fancier a quiche seems when I take the time to make even a shortcut-y crust.

Photos soon. Since I’ve also discovered the joys and frustrations of twisting fringe.