yarn & fiber

I’ve posted a bit of a destash on Ravelry.  It’s a mix of fiber and handspun and commercial yarn.  Prices are reasonably firm, but I am open to some negotiation, especially with cash-funded (cheaper) PayPal.

And for something pretty and not for sale, just bloggy:  I’ve been doing some more carding, with some of the stuff I dyed last week and various other things.


This is mostly dorset and wool blend. It’s been sitting next to my chair as a bit of a talisman through the last few days of job-hunting. (Even if all it means is “if I make progress faster, I have more time for making more batts”.)

…People Are Awesome edition.

(Some people, anyway.)


That’s an Abby Batt that some (anonymous) fantastic person sent me.  Beautiful, isn’t it? Not my usual preference for ECF, but Friday snuck up on me again.

So, here’s a photo of some fresh yarn:


A Grafton batt (now DyakCraft), bought a couple of years ago. I haven’t measured yardage yet, but I think it might make a good scarf warp.  As soon as I learn to use my new warping board…

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.

So, as I was getting ready for Rhinebeck last week, I realized that my hats are all still packed somewhere, as are most of my scarves.  I briefly toyed with the idea of knitting a hat in the car on the way up to the campground, going so far as to ball an extra skein of yarn, but then I decided that a third knitting project for the weekend would be overkill.  (Y’know, on top of the three spindles-with-projects.)

Still, when I came home, I wanted a new hat.  And now I have one.  There had to be some kind of silver lining to two sickdays right after vacation.  (I’m feeling better today than yesterday, but fever on top of feeling like crap…I stayed home.  And napped more than I knit.)


It’s another Foliage–decent pattern, top-down, and I wasn’t going to make up a pattern, even a simple one, through this headache. I wanted a top-down hat because I wasn’t sure I’d have enough Rhubarb, and I figured the Roses in the Snow would be better as a stripe along the bottom than a patch at the crown. And, as it turned out, I really like the way the Rhubarb striped.


Rhinebeck was great.  Way too short to actually spend time with all the people I wanted to see, but I got to at least say hello to many of them, and cabin-camping worked out pretty well despite the loss of electricity from Saturday afternoon on.  I may have said this last year, when it was even more true, but I love my down sleeping bag.  It kept me toasty and warm.

The weather this year was less beautiful than last year, but the forecast snow never materialized, and there was hardly any rain, either.  It was sufficiently damp and muddy that I went with Keens and handknit socks rather than my trusty plastic Birki’s, but it was nice to be wearing handknit socks in such surroundings.

I’m still sorting through my scenery pictures, and I have yet to photograph all of my purchases, but here are two of the more exciting things I bought:

icelandic lamb + alpaca + silk


That’s an ounce of icelandic lamb with alpaca and silk, from Frelsi Farm, which was rightly labelled as the nicest of this year.  (At least, nicest of the stuff they had, which was pretty much all nice.)  I bought an ounce, plus a couple of other blends of theirs, and I think they’re going to grow up to be a Flicka hat from the Knitter’s Book of Wool.   The braid of beautiful greens is Finn top from Gnomespun.  I don’t have set plans for it yet, but I’m thinking it might become a sweater yoke.

Foliage pictures and the Really Super Exciting Purchase (early birthday present) sometime later.  Maybe for ECF.

Here’s part 2:


I got three of these lovely, lovely Abbybatts this week. The colorway’s called Jungle Love, and they’re merino/silk. Mmmmm.

orange blossom

It’s brightly colored, and I got a sunlit picture the other day, so this week’s eye candy is my current travel-spindle project, an Abby batt in Orange Blossom. I love the way it changes color between drafting and yarn.

The fleece is all sorted, but still in S.’s spare room. And we only had a tall-kitchen trash bag or so of stuff we couldn’t or wouldn’t use.

I went off to meet my parents at the beach for part of the weekend (so much fun! more on that later), where I traded some of the dishes I can’t easily store in the new apartment for a giant bag of fleece.


Oh, my goodness, so much fleece.

I took this photo after S. and I had sorted through about a quarter of the giant bag of wool.  Those two piles are “medium crimp” and “high crimp”; in the first half of the bag, it looks like there’s one very crimpy fleece, one not so crimpy fleece, and parts of one or two fleeces of intermediate crimp.  (Fortunately, S. has a room that can be closed off from the rest of her apartment, and that is where the fleece is now.)

I’ll try to get some good pictures of the fully-sorted-through piles, which will be huge…

I camped at Patapsco again, with my friend Sarah.  We were both really amused by the size of the tent we stayed in–it’s officially a ten-person tent, and there were just the two of us this year, but it’s hard to argue with a free tent.


This photo is from last year, when there were three of us in the huge tent.  It’s a very different experience, camping in a tent that’s tall enough to stand up in, that has a porch, and that has room to spare even after all of everyone’s stuff is inside, instead of using a backpacking-type tent.  The only drawback, really, is that it takes up all the space in the trunk of the small rental car when you shove it in without folding because it’s raining out.  (It was a good thing there were only two of us in the car on the way back.)

I didn’t take a lot of pictures during the festival.  On Saturday, I thought, “Oh, I’ll just look at stuff today and take pictures tomorrow, when it’s less crowded and I’m done with shopping,” and then Sunday was rainy enough that I left my camera in the car.  (So there’s one photo of Sarah spinning on a charkha at the Journey Wheel booth, but that’s it.)

The bulk of my festival purchases were things I saw in the first half-hour or so, in the first row of tents.  (That is, the middle row of tents, but the first row we looked into.)

ceramic turtle

This is a ceramic turtle that I picked up for my mom for Mother’s Day.


And this is 8oz of wool/seasilk (I think the wool is merino, but it doesn’t say) from Creatively Dyed, which I think I’m going to spin as singles.
This is 4oz of cormo/bamboo in a gorgeous Tiger Eye colorway that looks even nicer in real life than in this photo.
And this (fiber, the Kundert I already had) is a green Shetland from Spirit-Trail, which I started spinning on Saturday evening.  Spinning in front of a campfire is fun, but it’s a lot harder to spin evenly without proper light.
felted cat toy shawl pin
I didn’t buy any fiber on Sunday, just a felted cat toy with a faint rattle inside–Mel likes it more than his expression in that photo would suggest–and a shawl pin that may occasionally act as a hairstick, plus some dye and some amazing honey.  I continued to try out spindles, but I didn’t find any that had to follow me home.  The one piece of equipment I tried that I really wanted was a right-hand-orifice 30″ Schacht-Reeves.  It spun sooooo smoothly.  I still want to try a single-treadle CPW-type at some point, but I figure there’s plenty of time before I have the space and cash for a big saxony.

The other big excitement was seeing a grey treefrog–that more than made up for having to walk through the rain at 4:30am to get to the bathroom.  I was slightly disappointed that I didn’t get to hang out with anyone outside my usual fibery circle, but I had a lovely, relaxed time, even with having to pack the car (and disassemble the tent) in the rain.  I need to pretend more often that I don’t have electricity–it’s not such a bad thing to go to bed early.

And, now that I’ve finally finished this post, I’m going to read for a bit and then go to bed.

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).

I think I have a new fiber obsession: batts.



The above yarn, spun from one of Amy Boogie’s Monkey Farts batts, is my current favorite handspun.  Just need to come up with a project worthy of it…

I spent a little while being responsible (i.e. working on a long-term spinning project that I’ll post about later) when I finished that yarn, and then I gave in and started spinning the other Amy batt I had next to my wheel:

green banana

green banana

This is Green Banana, and has llama instead of silk noils.  Yum.  It’s not drafting itself as much as the Monkey Farts batt did, but it’s still really nice.

And next in the queue, after I finish the bobbin of Responsible Spinning, is this pile of wool from Handspun by Stefania:


You may recognize the fiber in the front, which I bought at MDSW this year.  Well, I couldn’t figure out what to do with it, except that I wanted to combine it so I could have a 6oz project instead of 2 3oz projects, and then Anj suggested blending them.  So I did.  :)

(I’m also still spinning that red Abby Batt, but it’s slower going because it’s on a spindle.  And I got sidetracked for a bit by that targhee.)

1. Go read this. And this. And then e-mail or write to the HHS.

2. I went up to NYC this past weekend, to hang out with my parents. And I finally managed to get myself to the Yarn Tree. (This requires being in Brooklyn on a not-Friday with some extra time.) I have to say, that was perhaps the second-nicest yarn/fiber store I’ve been to so far (after Shuttles in Boulderish, though I may be shorting NEFA a bit because I didn’t really know what I was doing when I went there). So many kinds of fiber I hadn’t seen (or noticed, at least) yet! Lots of colors of basic wools! And, not least, a table and chairs in the middle of the fiber/spinning room, so my parents didn’t get impatient. They actually seemed interested in some of the things with odder names or appearances, like the silk cocoons and silk hankies, and they agreed with me that the Kundert spindles were very pretty.

I had planned to buy very little–maybe an ounce or two of some unusual fiber that I hadn’t tried before, but nothing much. Instead, I, um, bought a lot. Including a spindle.

recent acquisitions

I had been thinking I wanted a new spindle that was heavier than the two Bosworth Midis that I’ve had for three years. This isn’t that (it’s 1.2 oz, between the 1.0 and 1.3 of the Midis), but I love it.

The fiber that’s already on it is the targhee I bought.  (Also YUM.)  I haven’t yet tried the silver baby alpaca or the merino/yak or the masham, but I’m looking forward to them. And that beautiful merino/tencel on the left is from JulieSpins (jsandell on Ravelry); it just happened to show up on my desk yesterday.

I’ve been meaning to finish posting about Maryland Sheep and Wool, if for no other reason than I’d like to maintain the organizational use of my blog, but I’ve been running around like a madwoman.  I mentioned last week that I went to see Eddie Izzard last Monday; well, I also went out to see Philadanco on Friday and to the Barnes Foundation on Saturday afternoon.  Photography wasn’t allowed in either one of those, but it was permitted on the (lovely, lovely) grounds of the Barnes, where I found, among other things, this columbine.


But back to the sheep!  This sheep’s expression of contentment makes me smile.


On Saturday afternoon, I made my first purchase of unwashed fleece:



This is a total of three ounces of llama fiber (plus some extra to make up for the weight of the dirt); the brown is from Bella and the silver is from Moonbeam.  (Alas, I’ve forgotten the name of the farm.)  I’m thinking I’ll blend these together, possibly with the addition of some of the natural-brown BFL I bought (which didn’t seem picture-worthy).

My Sunday morning impulse-buy fiber was two ounces each of three colors of wool from Handspun by Stefania:



These are both corriedale/silk dyed with osage orange and indigo.  I love seeing the range of possibilities like this.  (Actually, I spent a lot of time looking at natural dyes and mordants.  I’m not sure why I got into spinning before dyeing, but I’m getting more and more absorbed.)


This, well, part of the reason I stopped at Stefania’s booth was because I wanted something fun to spin that afternoon.  I did, in fact, start spinning this (BFL dyed with cochineal, fustic, & madder) while at the festival–at the Ravelry meetup, in fact.  This is maybe two thirds of the two ounces I bought.

I might have finished spinning the BFL if I hadn’t gotten sidetracked by this:


Cashmere-tussah, from last summer’s trip to Colorado.  I’d been thinking I needed to spin this on a spindle, and I hadn’t really spun much on spindles until MDSW…  If I had an unlimited supply of this stuff, my spindles would get a lot more exercise.

I was going to put all of my yarn and fiber from Maryland into one post. I was also planning to take a picture on the way to work this morning for ECF. Alas, it has been overcast, making fiber photography tricky, and today it was pouring, so I have failed at both those plans. Here, then, are two of the more colorful purchases I made on Saturday:


400 yds of fingering-weight wool from Spirit Trail, which will become some sort of shawl


2 4oz bundles of sliver (wool and seacell) from Fleece Artist, purchased from a vendor whose name I don’t recall right now; I’m thinking of combining these somehow, but I’m not sure if I want to spin them together or ply them together or what.

Next Page »