Saturday, June 26, 2010

Golf Socks, Anyone?

Mice attacked Zig's golf club socks. I know, mice in MY HOUSE??? How dare they??? However, their incessant nibbling provided the perfect opportunity for some stash-busting. I went into the closet, pulled out some charcoal gray and cherry red alpaca (hmmm...reminds me of my high school....) and started knitting. Working from the old socks (what was left of them), I worked up my own pattern, with the "feet" being much smaller than the originals. Technically, these won't be complete until I finish the 3-stitch i-cord, but who cares? Zig doesn't leave for his golf/business trip until tomorrow. Plenty of time, right? Right?

Now that summer vacation is here (YAY!!!!!), I have even more time for spinning...witness the two (count 'em) TWO skeins of yarn pictured here. The pink/white/gray is "Istanbul Sunset" from - you guessed it - Spunky Eclectic.

The green/pink/purple is also from Spunky Eclectic, in the lovely colorway "Field of Screams". Love that name...Amy King, S. E.'s dyeing genius, explains that the colors reminded her of a field of Venus Fly Traps!

Next up in the spinning arena is a full pound of a GORGEOUS merino/tussah silk blend, purchased last October at Rhinebeck. Silvery gray, pale pink, chartreuse green. I'm already in love, and I haven't even met the yarn!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

More Handspun

This is a closeup of a skein of Organic Merino I just finished plying...the fiber came from Spunky Eclectic in Lisbon, Maine. When I received the package, I wasn't too happy with the colorway - "Storms of Jupiter" - a mix of red, blue, brown, and white. Not my favorites, at all. But spinning it was a delight, and once I started plying it, I loved the subtlety of the colors. I think this is meant to be a scarf - just not sure what pattern it wants.

Here's the entire skein. So soft. 222 yards in all, sport weight.

Here's another Spunky Eclectic skein, SWBFL, in the colorway "Ooh-La-La Tropi-Cal". This fiber didn't please me either, but I like the finished product a little better. This is a 3-ply, worsted weight. I thought the barber-pole effect would diminish through a 3-ply, but that, obviously, is not the case.

Now I'm working on yet another Spunky Eclectic - wool top I received way back in October 2009. The colorway is "Ribbons" - yup, lots and lots of red, with some blue thrown in for variety. I don't like the color, but it's pleasant to spin.

By the way, Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Where Did The Time Go?

Wow...almost four months have passed since my last post. Bad me. But it's not for lack of activity - rather, too MUCH activity. I've been knitting and spinning quite a lot, and then there's the job, the family, the house, travel....

Here's some 2-ply Polwarth I just finished spinning up. The fiber came from FatCatKnits . It was a joy to work with, and the colorway, "Lotus", delighted my eye. I managed to eke out 446 yards from 8 ounces.
The blue handspun seen to the right is a 2-ply from fiber purchased last October at the fabulous New York Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck. The booth was Carolina Homespun, and the fiber is from A Verb For Keeping Warm. I wish I'd had the foresight to purchase more - the 4 ounces yielded just 160 yards. This fiber is Blue Faced Leicester.

My first attempt at a 3-ply came out rather well, or at least I THINK it did, looking at it from my novice perspective. I have just 3 bobbins, so I filled all three and then wound off one of them into a center-pull ball. Yield was 610 yards of a DK/light worsted weight. I purchased the fiber last October from the Tintagel Farm booth at New York Sheep & Wool. I love the finished product, a 50/50 wool-mohair blend, in the "Tide Pool" colorway.
As for knitting, socks have been the focus, with the occasional bolero and tank thrown in to alleviate boredom. Not that socks ever bore me! I've been trying some toe-up patterns from the Rockin' Sock Club at Blue Moon Fiber Arts, as well as some stellar Janel Laidman treasures, inspired by epic fantasy, legend, and folklore.
To the left, Tristan and Isolde by Janel Laidman. To the right, a not-very-good photo of Laidman's Secret Garden socks, the March 2010 Rockin' Sock Club shipment. The close-up does a better job at doing justice to the colors - pinks, greens, and soft blue.

More socks! Yes, I know they are my addiction. This is a photo of Nancy Bush's Canada sock. I've been wanting to knit these for YEARS...finally got to it this May. Well, that's it for now - thought I had photos of my Lothlorien socks, but they're on another computer. Next time! And the next time will be sooner than this was, for sure!