Wednesday, July 11, 2012

From Alpaca Hell to some nice yarn

Well I finished the dirty alpaca fiber and Navajo Plied it to the tune of 255 yards of a dk weight.  It is kinda rustic thick and thin, and I'm thinking about a cowl or small scarf.  I am not sure of the color though.  I may give dyeing a try.  LaLa from The Knit Girllls podcast said acid dyes are good.  So I will check out the Knitpicks starter set.
Working on The Dragon Tongue socks still.  On the gusset almost to the heel turn on sock #2.  I have to reconfigure the pattern to mirror the first.  A LOT OF WRITING!  But it is turning out well and I am seeing how what I do to a stitch will affect  how it looks.  I will ask the designer if I can post my written instructions to go with her charts on the blog.
Garden is going gangbusters!  I'm going to have tons of tomatoes,  I'm down to 3 heads of lettuce.  One has bolted and the other three are getting close.  I am going to try to save seeds for next year, but in my gardens, lettuce is a perennial.  The zucchini is prolific of course, but the yellow squash is just not producing well.  Cucumbers are growing tons of flowers but I only have 3 cukes.  
Here are some picks of the yarn I finished.
Closer to the real color

this pic is closer to the color of the unspun fiber

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Today I...

Today I...
Went for a walk.  It has been a while since I walked for exercise, but I walked 3.52 miles in 48.01 minutes.  that works out to about 13.37 min/mile.  Pretty good for some one so out of shape.  My goal is to do the route in 30 minutes or less.  Decided that the weight won't come off by itself and I am tired of feeling crappy.
So my reward?  Gardening and then spinning and knitting.
I did finish and ship out my Knit Girllls Afghan square #2 and Yesterday I finished my third afghan square.  Just need an address now to send it out.  May start #4 tonight.  Here are the previous ones I did.  I'll post more pics when my partners get their packages in the remaining rounds.

This is Number 2 and it went to Kristina in TX

This is Number 1 and it went to Angie in B.C.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


I finally finished DH's Sweater!!!  Sleeves are on, but they are too long.  May need to shorten them.  Will see with some washes first.

 I have more fiber to spin.  This will be a gift so no pics until it is done.  I am working on my alpaca fiber purchase.  I am trying long draw, but the fiber was filthy.  Loads of veggie matter (at least I hope it was veggie).  I combed and carded the fiber again (with slicker brushes and mane combs from central tractor)  it is cleaner, but now it is in smaller bits and lets just say I am getting a lot of practice adding in fiber as I spin.  Would also help if I spun at the same ratio as the first 2oz.

So purest fiber preppers look away...
I tried to price fiber combs and hand carders online and WOW!  I can't afford that.  I don't plan on processing my own fiber anytime soon.  SO I was thinking that the had cards look like dog brushes (really big dog brushes)  and the combs you just need to have something hold the fiber while you use another to straighten the fiber and pull out all the bad bits (the mane and tail pullers look like they may work)

Tractor Supply here I come.
Center is my Ashford Flick Carder with my new hand "carders" and "combs"

I know they are not optimal.  I get small rolags and combing takes some time, but and it is a big but, for the amount of fiber processing I plan on doing in the foreseeable future 26 bucks beats the price of the real carders and combs.  Heck I paid 20 for the Ashford flick carder.  So until I can afford the right tools I will make sure I don't buy a raw fleece and I will make sure the fiber is cleaner than the one I just bought.

Have a great day

Sunday, June 10, 2012

It's Been A While

Well it has been a while since I posted.  I have been knitting and spinning a bit.  The gardens are looking good. I have decided I am a very fine spinner.  I have trouble making thick yarn that is.  I guess that is okay since I am still in the mode of "I need to get the most yardage out of this fiber".  I need to sew on the sleeves of DH's sweater.  UGH!!  I just can't seem to sit and do it.  I also need to finish the second sock of Dragon's Tongue for DD.  I did join the afghan square swap with the knit girls.  That group are nothing but a bunch of enablers...   AND I LOVE IT.
I am watching some video podcasts now.
The Knit Girllls
Around the Twist
90% Knitting
Twisted Strands
The Fiberista Files
Knittin' on the Fly
The Anatomy of Knitting
Knit Me Happy
Blooming Knits
Here are some pics of my latest spinning endeavors.
This is From FiberMonster in the Waterfall Colorway
I got about 447 yards

This is WC Mercantile in the Pickle Colorway
I got about 568 yards

And this is Three Waters Farm in the Couture Colorway
I got about 700 yards

You can see more details on my Ravely Page, MsBusyNeedles.
I think I have finally found my creative niche.  I love to spin and knit, and I am enjoying the community I am discovering.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Spinning with the Knit Girllls

Well before I knew about the Breed of the month with the Knit Girllls I purchased a sampler pack of fiber from WoolGatherings.  LOVE IT.  I have already spun 2 one ounce bumps of fiber on the Girllls list and I am working on another.  I know I have 2 months to spin each type of wool, but being a new spinner I am giving every thing a try so I can learn my wheel and fibers.  I ended up with 55 yards of Grey Masham and 65 yards of Shetland Humbug.  There is some thick and thin in the yarn, but it is pretty well balanced as a plied yarn.  I plied 2 singles of the Masham and Navajo plied the Shetland.  I am pleased with the Shetland.  Here are some pics.
Shetland Humbug Hand Spun
Shetland Humbug

Grey Masham Hand Spun
Grey Masham

I am also working on Gush or Dragon Tongue Socks a sweater for Wiley and a Scarf for my favorite "Wicked" step mother.  No really I love her dearly!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Day Off

Today I am taking a day off... Well a bit of laundry some vacuuming, but no work.  We are having FIL over for dinner.  I will be knitting on the remainder of yarn from SIL gloves.  I am hoping to have enough for a buttoned very small scarf.  Still at the same point on the socks for DD #1 and the sleeves are still needing to be sewn on. Guess I am having finishers remorse on that sweater.  I finished Multnomah in 5 days and got it blocked and photo graphed last night and today.  I love it.  DD's want to wear it as camouflage.  Yeah a nice lace shawl in the woods...NOT!

I am pleased at how soft the yarn is all washed.  I am really loving this shawl.  I hope to wear it soon.

We are headed to SIL's this weekend to help her celebrate her birthday.  Can't wait.  Maybe even a trip to the Erie Mall for some Shopping!!!
Well off to meander and switch loads...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Starting New

Well I have decided that Yvaine is just not working for the Cloudlover Haunted Vineyard Yarn.  So I frogged it  today and began the Multnomah by Kate Ray.  I think Yvaine's stitch patterns were just lost with the yarn colors.
I have received some fiber from Three Waters Farm.  It is 4oz of BFL top in the Couture colorway.  I think this may be a bit later in my spinning career as it doesn't draft super easily.  I am sure it is just me, but I love the colors and i would like to make some pretty yarn and not the thick and thin coiled mess I just recently made.
I also received 3 4oz bumps of Merino Wool Top from WCMercantile.  I got the Merlot, Pickle, and Patina colorways.  It is very soft and it may be the next thing on the wheel following my education with my sampler of fiber from Woolgatherings.
In the Woolgatherings sampler I got 1 oz of each of 16 breeds.  They are Romeldale, Polworth, Wensleydale, Black Jacob, Falkland, Brown Merino, Corriedale Cross, Grey Gotland, Shetland, Finnish, Icelandic, Grey Masham, Devon, Black Welsh, Cheviot, and Cormo.  I think I am going to start with the more scratchy stuff so if it doesn't work out, I won't be to disappointed.
Still working on the Socks and the sleeves are still not sewn in.  Oh well...  Off to do the laundry and more knitting on Multnomah

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Spinning, Knitting, and Remembering

Well I have made my first yarn and knitted a scarf for my DS dog Wiley.  He is a nut and absolutely loves it.  It is one of the ugliest things I have ever seen.  Lotsa thick and thin, a few over spun wiggly parts sticking out but all in all.... oh who am I kidding it is hideous.  LOL
I am still working on the sweater still have to sew in the sleeves.  I finished the gloves for my sister in law, at least I will make her birthday.  Still knitting on Yvaine.  I have finished a pair of socks for DD #2 and I have cast on a Pair for DD #1.  We call it Dragon's Tongue and it is done in Red hand painted Cascade Heritage.   The pattern is "Gush" by Yarnissima Marjan Hammink.  It is up on my Rav project page.

My big thing this post is I have figured out my Grandma Genevieve's Mile-a-Minute Afghan. Every one in the family has one in all its acrylic glory.  Mine is pink, Mom's was teal, and DS's is dark blue(I think).
And here it is for any one who wants one too.
Just a warning  I am not a pattern writer nor do I play one on TV.  This pattern is for personal use ONLY!

So here it goes...
                                     (C6B)                               (C6F)

Pattern repeat is 18 stitches
You can use any yarn and any size needles. This is an example of unknown yarn type in about a sport or DK weight  I cast on 37 stitches with the center stitch being a purl stitch.
When Gma knit the pattern she made strips and then sewed them together and added fringe to the cast on and off edges.  I don't like seaming so I added a purl stitch between pattern repeats.  In order the carry all the weight, you will need a large cable needle to work back and forth without doing damage to the carpal tunnel all knitters tend to aggravate.

Strip Instructions

Cast on 18 stitches
Row 1 (RS): K4, P2, K6, P2, K4
Row 2: (WS): K2, P2, K2, P6, K2, P2, K2
Row 3-6: Repeat Rows 1 and 2
Row 7: K4, P2, C6F, P2, K4 (you can also C6B if you prefer)
Row 8: K2, P2, K2, P6, K2, P2, K2

C6F=Slip 3 stitches to cable needle and hold in front.  Knit next 3 stitches, then knit 3 stitches from cable needle.
C6B=Slip 3 stitches to cable needle and hold in back.  Knit next 3 stitches, then knit 3 stitches from cable needle.

If you want to do all the strips at once Cast on a multiple of 18 stitches plus an extra stitch minus 1 for each repeat.  i.e. 2 repeats you would cast on 37 sts, 3 repeats 56 sts, 4 repeats 75 sts (I hope).

I am  not sure if this pattern is published anywhere, this is what my Gma taught me through her swatches that were left to me.