Sunday, September 27, 2009


I have two scarves on the needles right now - both are somewhat lacy, and one is super easy (a one-row repeat - you can't get any simpler than that). The one on the left is a pattern designed by Marji Lefreniere, owner of Marji's Yarncrafts in Granby Connecticut. The scarf on the right is designed by Turvid. I don't know if they'll be gifts or if I'll be selfish...

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Again, it's still damp, but here's my second Dumpling Bag! I knitted the first one last fall and gave it away at Marji's annual Christmas swap extravaganza. I had enough of the same yarn to knit another, and voila! This is an EASY one day project, using size 11 needles and two strands of Noro Kureopatora. Easy to knit, easy to felt, easy to embellish.

I think I'll keep this one for myself!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Stripey Sock Yarn

The yarn's still a bit damp, but here it is - my attempt to create self-striping DK/Sport weight sock yarn! I purchased the dyed Falkland roving from Pinestar Studio - they had a booth at Fiber College. You're supposed to divide each of the two 2 oz. batts into two (stripping lengthwise), then spin one half from each batt onto the first bobbin, and do the same with the other two pieces. Then you ply them together. If you're careful, the singles ply together into lengths of the same color.

I'm very pleased with the look and weight of the resulting yarn. My only worry is that I have just 224 yards with which to knit socks! I guess these will have to be anklets...

I love to spin.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fiber Rescue

Two pounds of Coopworth lambswool has been rescued! I'm still not sure what the end product will be like, but here's what the roving
and the single ply
look like. The colors are pretty subtle, but they come to life when the sun shines in through the window I sit near as I spin. Mainly teal, but there are occasional touches of blue, light brown, green, and chartreuse. My hope is to have enough to knit a simple v-neck, button front vest.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I Graduate From Fiber College!

Located on the shores of Penobscot Bay in Searsport, Maine, Fiber College is a relatively new happening - 2009 is, I believe, the fourth year of the event. This was the first year I attended, having seen/heard of it last year, while visiting my parents, who live in nearby Stockton Springs.

The classes were held Thursday through Sunday, September 10-13, 2009, at the Searsport Shores Oceanfront Campground, right on Route 1 - easy to find. Unfortunately, being a working stiff, I could only attend on Saturday and Sunday, but there were lots of interesting-looking activities on all four days.

I signed up for 1) Natural Plant Dyeing, and 2) "The Gentle Art of Hand Carding" (love that title!)...both topics I yearned to know more about. Both classes provided lots of new information, but I especially enjoyed the hand carding class. I never knew that I'd been hand carding my fibers completely incorrectly...but now I know the secret of "gentle" carding, and I also know the difference between "woolen" and "worsted" fiber prep. (Woolen prep produces rolags,

worsted prep produces punis

- aren't you glad you asked?) Deb, the instructor and the proprietress of The Purple Fleece was friendly, knowledgeable, funny, and encouraging.

Of course, I also shopped - there was a "Shoppers Boulevard" which featured a dozen or so vendors selling yarns, knitting and spinning supplies, clothing, handmade baskets, etc. I managed to procure (surprise, surprise) lots of sock yarn, from two vendors - Pinestar Studio

and String Theory. Pinestar also offered some gorgeous merino and romney dyed roving - I grabbed some of that, as well.

All in all, a fine weekend - actually, the BEST part was the ability to spend time with my dad and mom. Not enough time, but better than nothing. We went out in Bonnie Jean V on Saturday afternoon, played the entire 13 rounds of Mexican Train in the evening, and had breakfast at the local coffee shop this morning.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Royal Colors

Here are the results of Monday's foray into dyeing my handspun merino 2-ply yarn. I used Jacquard Acid Dye, with vinegar as a mordant. Two colors, Aztec Gold and Burgundy - the Burgundy came out much more purple than I'd hoped, but I'm optimistic about how the colors will blend as I knit them.

I cast about for a decent pattern and finally settled upon the tried-and-true Broken Rib: 29 stitches, K2, P2 every row, on size 8 US needles. We'll see...

Dalarna Are Done

Nancy Bush's "Dalarna" Socks, from Knitting on the Road, are done! Knitted in Shibuii Sock in a sort of sky blue camouflage, they were a quick, easy, but none-the-less interesting sock to knit up. Another Christmas gift to check off the (too long) list.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Things I've Learned From Disaster

1. Regarding dye solution amounts, less is more.
2. Don't agitate dyed roving when rinsing, unless you really want to spend hours teasing apart 2 pounds of felted fiber.
3. Wear gloves when dyeing, unless you want your blue-ish/green-ish fingernails to scare the Kindergarteners - actually, quite a good thing IF it's near Halloween...
4. Record your dye solution formula (such as it is), because you never know if something incredibly ugly, e.g., 2 pounds of felted malformed dark green Coopworth roving is going to morph into something you actually quite like.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

28 Hours Later

Here is the yarn spun from Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club August 2009's selection. The colorway is called "Zombies". This fiber spun up BEAUTIFULLY - I was able to pull out just a few fibers to spin, resulting in, once plied, a DK Weight yarn (12 wpi) - the finest I've spun yet! Four ounces yielded 240 yards.

Not sure what this yarn's knitted destiny will be, as the hues are not "my" colors, but I'm certain that something lovely will eventually be born.

Now, on to some fiber dyeing!!!