Three on Thursday: Stitchy Edition

I made yarn on a spindle!

I can’t resist the fun that is Three on Thursday! Here’s my Getting Stitchy edition:

  1. I took a spindle spinning class with Marce Smith at VK Live in NYC last month. Even though I started out spinning on a spindle at my first class at Village Wools (RIP) ca. 2005, and despite having a very small and lovely collection of Bosworth and Golding spindles, I never really took to spindle spinning. Now, though, I think it’s finally taken! Kirsten advised me to spin 10 minutes a day, and while I’ve missed a few days, that consistent practice really makes a difference.
  2. I’m taking a class at my LYS, Marji’s Yarncrafts, on the Cocoknits method. I’m making a lopi Emma pullover at the same gauge as my Stopover. I had to rip out my first start, but I’m knitting away on the yoke now! I can’t wait to try her on and see how those shoulders fit!
  3. I have my second year-long embroidery project going. Every day I do a little stitching. You can follow my progress on Insta!

What’s new in your stitching world?

Summer of Spinning Challenge

Dave put out the challenge to spin stash this summer, and I took it up. I haven't yet inventoried my fiber, but it shouldn't take me too long to do so once I'm off for the summer.

In the meantime, I've been spinning this delicious tussah I purchased from the lovely Nancy at Long Ridge Farm at the CT Sheep and Wool Festival a few weeks ago. It is dreamy. I only have 1/3 ounce, but I'm hoping to get enough to knit a little something wonderful.

Connecticut Sheep and Wool

Img_1141It’s a small festival, but fun.  I saw lots of Ravelers (sorry, I’m lame with names and links today) and plenty of good looking fellows like this.

I came away with a few ounces of handpainted silk hankies, and three ounces of the loveliest fiber from Long Ridge Farm.  The ten minutes I spent in that booth made me add another "must learn" to my list: natural dyeing.  The colors are out of this world, and I want to give it a try this summer.  Stay tuned for that experiment!

Thanks for the Gifts and Nifty Tips on Grading Avoidance

Img_0901Annie joined me and Blogless (not for long) Sara at our motel, and as a thank you for sharing our room with her, she gifted us with some swank turn down service.  I’m not even going to mention her gift of having Yoda guide us to the Ravelry party.  Ok, so I mentioned it.  I liked having Yoda in the car with me, and although I generally have no need for any type of GPS help (my commute is almost a straight path), it was darn cool.
Erin gave me a set of her stitch marker jewelry–gorgeous earrings and a lovely necklace, all tucked into a festive Halloween sock bag.  Sorry the picture’s wonky…my still-nameless computer is being fresh with me when it comes to editing pictures today.

I know I’m not alone in the essay-grading hell that is my life today, and I wanted to share a tip on grading avoidance:


Img_1287 About the time I’d been in New Mexico for a year, green became my favorite color.  I love my pinks; they remind me of my Gram.  Green, though, speaks to me of fresh starts, of potential, of anticipation.  Since my lesson at the TVSnB last Thursday, I’ve used my spindle every day with this "bunny bundle" (angora/wool blend) purchased at Village Wools last spring.  My Bossie and I are becoming fast friends…she spins like a dream –on and on and on.  The lessons I’ve had at the hands of a variety of spinners are finally coming together in my head and translating to a yarn I can be proud of.

Img_1289 Lest I ignore Project Spectrum in my zeal for green, here is my Calorimetry.  I finished it in early February, before my epic cold, and I can’t quite remember the details.  I used Malabrigo, size 7 needles, and 88 stitches per Shiny Red Type.  I loved knitting this–quick and fun–but I don’t love how it looks on me and my wonky little head, so I think I’ll make a matching pair of Fetching and call the set a Christmas gift.

Among the many urges I feel during Spring is the urge to purge.  I went through my purses and found a couple I don’t use.  I also admitted to myself, painful as it was, that I don’t use my Kate Spade pocket organizer.  I adore how it looks, but I’ve been hooked on Moleskin for the last two years.  So I’m going to offer a few things for sale…if the organizer doesn’t find a new home, I’ll take it as a sign that I should start using it.  Want a peek?  I don’t have the 2007 inserts for it, but there are lots of To Do and Project sheets, along with the tabs for the address section.  First $115 + shipping takes it, or make an offer! 

Img_1297 Here’s the Ralph Lauren red leather purse.  This is in like new condition, and the first $25 or best offer (+ shipping) takes it home.


Img_1284 Earlier in the week I received my final package for the Spin to Knit swap.  Ingrid sent me a beautiful skein of lace-weight yarn made on her spindle, a pattern, adorable needle protectors, a card made from her own paper, and the loveliest smelling soap.  I really enjoyed her package and am so impressed with her talent.

Speaking of talent, have you seen that the Spring Knitty is up?  Go take a look, then tell me what you’re dying to make.  I love Kirsten’s Tahoe, Romi’s Bauble, and there is no other word for how I feel about Clessidra than crush.  These socks are going in my pattern queue.

Img_1285 Remember that dreamy spinning I mentioned a while ago?  Here’s the finished skein, now on its way to Hamburg.  I felt good about this yarn, in part because I felt like I understood double plying better than I had before.  Zinnia gave me some flack while I plyed on her, but in the end, we worked it out, and I made what I think is my best yarn to date.  Margene’s studious ways with her spinning have inspired me to approach my own more mindfully.

Thus concludes my 200th post on this blog. 

Spinning Love

There’s nothing but gray skies and rain-snow here, so I haven’t been able to get a glamour shot of my fabu birthday gift from Scout.  Take a look at her picture here, though.  That, along with some samples of S.O.A.K. and Bonne Marie’s Ribby Pullover pattern were in the box of love she sent to me.  Isn’t she a dolly?

I’ve been working on the toe-up socks for Neal.  After an afternoon of frustration as I tried to knit two on two circs, I caved and took one off.  My brain power hasn’t gotten back to full strength I guess!  I’m just about ready to do my first heel–toe up style.

There has been some swappy spinning, too.  For the Interweave Spin to Knit exchange I just completed two bobbins of a lovely green wool/silk lap purchased from Leah at Yarn or a Tale.  One word for it:  dreamy.  After the mutts get their walk, I’m going to ply it up.  I can’t wait to see how it looks–I’ll take a picture before it wends its way to Hamburg.

New Skills

I subscribe to a number of Yahoo lists, and one of my favorites is the Spindlers list.  I like the tone of the posts to it, and I have learned quite a bit from it.  Recently one of the Spindlers posted a review of her new stone whorl spindle.  I’d seen her sign-off before, but only after reading her review (I lust after one of these, but need to touch before I buy) did I contact her.  I found out that she lives in the CT town where I grew up, only about 20 minutes from my location now.

On Thursday night we met over coffees (well, mine was a dolce latte) and knit and chatted.  Jenny showed me all sorts of lovelies…angora yarn she’d spun, a beautiful scarf she’d made, her Kundert spindle.  Best of all, she demonstrated how to Navajo ply for me.  The video that I linked to is great, but I wanted to see it for myself, in person, when I could ask questions.

Tonight I finished up about a single of about 150 yards spun from my hand-dyed Romney roving and guess what I did?  Yup, I Navajo plyed it.  Thanks to all the comments about my shawl yarn, I don’t plan to use this technique for it, but I loved–yes, loved–the process of Navajo plying.  It makes me want to spin more, more, more.

I’m happy to have met another spinner who lives close to me.  She’ll be at the Guild meeting on Saturday, and I’m looking forward to seeing her there and thanking her for the mini-lesson in person.

Runagogo check-in:  20.5 miles. 

Shawl Progress

Img_1257 I kept hoping to take a picture outside, but the sun has been a bit elusive.  This is the fiber I purchased at Rhinebeck.  I kind of knew at the time that Neal and I were going to get engaged (well, at least I was hoping pretty hard), and I decided that I wanted to spin yarn to knit a stole for our wedding.  I’ve almost got a bobbin full, but I’m a dork and have no clue about how to tell how much yardage I might have.  I’m going to design the shawl using one of Barbara Walker’s fern lace patterns, and I’ve figured 1,000 yards should more than do the trick for me (based on yardage for much bigger shawls/stoles than what I’m planning).  So I guess I’ll spin two bobbins worth and ply (I checked with the fabu Spindlers group, and I think I’ll make a two-ply, not the Navajo ply I’d wanted to try for no good reason), and check the yardage.  Anyone have a better idea about that for me (Kay)?  I didn’t weigh how much of the one-pound bag I’ve spun; would that be of help in figuring this out?

I’m planning a crafty weekend.  Tomorrow I’ll finish sewing my KMKS bag, and I may try my hand at these booties for a baby due to make an appearance soon.  I’ve got a hankering to do some sewing and embroidery.  I just brought a bag of three  of my almost-finished quilts home from my parents’ house, so there may be quilting in my future soon, too.

Spindle Spinning

I’d gotten to where I felt pretty comfortable spinning on my cd spindle when I acquired my Bosworth Beauty.  I took out a baggie of alpaca that I’ve been hording (why do we hord fiber?  or good stationery?  Or nice linens?  No more, but that’s for another post).  I wanted my first spinning on her to be a lovely fiber, and it’s a sensual experience: the smoothness of the wood, the softness of the fiber.  I ran into a problem that I didn’t have on the cd spindle, though, a problem that it has taken me three days of searching to find a name for, let alone a solution.  As I spin, the spindle quickly reverses direction.  This is called backspin.  The Spindler group archives had some information, as did this site that I’ve been enjoying this evening.  Apparently the qualities that made my new spindle desirable to me (lightness, quickness) are the very things that are hindering me now.  The solution?  Practice, practice, practice. 

But not tonight.  I don’t know about you, but the time change leaves me wanting even more sleep.  And I want that beauty rest.  Tomorrow I’m finally going for my new license–gotta look good in that picture!  It’s more than the picture, though.  I’m also changing my name back to my maiden name.  I’m nervous about this move.  When I got married, I used only my husband’s last name, and I felt lost, as though some of my identity had been removed.  I took back my maiden name and used it along with my married name (no dash, just two names), and it made me feel better.  At this point that double name has been a part of me for over 16 years.  I’m afraid that once more I’ll have a loss to deal with, but I know in my heart that it is time to make this move.  Here’s hoping I don’t experience a backspin of my own.