Thursday, July 28, 2011

sample knitting

i can tell a true kindred spirit when that someone not only thinks like you, but starts to fill your needs before you even know you had them!
amythefibergoddess was chatting with another fiber friend(ff), when the ff mentioned that she had just received a huge shipment of yarn. it seems that she sent her wool off to the mill and had it made into yarn in four different types. left to right is cotswold yarn in worsted weight singles, 3 ply worsted, 3 ply sport and 2 ply bulky. it is stunning yarn. a beautiful shade of ivory with a sheen. it has a 'halo' effect to the yarn and almost appears fluffy. she has already had an experienced technical knitter/crocheter work gauge swatches, so i was offered the chance to play with it.
usually i don't like open ended directions, but for some reason this was a snap. within 12 hours of getting my hands on the yarn, i was on ravelry searching for patterns.

i went over my choices with amy and my patterns were given her stamp of approval. i wanted to make garments ( and given the time constraints they needed to be small) so that shoppers could see the yarn worked into stitches and fabric.
i'll start with the current project on the needles. i'm using the singles to make: eyelet yoke baby cardigan. this pattern has a variety of stitches and i think that will show off the versatility of this single. the only challenge is my inability to count. go figure!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

the ride to paris!

i made it! today under sunny skies, warm (and less humid) breezes, i finished the tour de fleece. i plied the six remaining bobbins of naked and my basket was full.
so, i've got 1 1/2 lbs of 'blue jeans' dyed cotswold from robin nistock. i purposely spun this lofty and it looks handspun which is what i was hoping for. this may become a sweater for my sister and since she doesn't read this blog, i'm okay! i have an additional 1/2 lb which i will spin up this week to give myself enough to work with. i don't think i can handle another 'i've run out of yarn' too soon.
the second batch is 20 ounces of blue face swirl from gayle's fiber art in the 'naked' colorway. this was lovely to spin. smooth and soft.... i'm envisioning a sweater with subtle cables.
i'm still feeling the spinning drive, so want to take advantage of that by doing some small stash amounts.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

headed to paris

i can't believe it.... but i think i'll make it! spent the day at the artisan's fair at autumn mist alpaca's. it was a much smaller event this year with only 8 vendors. the sun was hot, the breezes were hot, it i was able to finish spinning all my fiber for this challenge. there are 6 bobbins to ply together, but it looks like a lovely ride into paris tomorrow.

joan and i took a tour of the fiber mill today. it was amazing to see all the steps up close and in action.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

easily distracted

a mom in our spinning guild asked for our help in creating preemie caps. her daughter was a preemie and spent 83 days in the NICU. her plan is to collect and donate 83 hats (one for each day her gal spent in the NICU) on the baby's birthday which just happens to be thanksgiving day. i was so easily pulled into this project. i love spending the time planning and knitting for someone who is going to appreciate the product. here is my first one. it is a swirl hat and the variegated yarn just worked so well with this pattern.

and not to be forgotten.... here is the remainder of my tour. i have all the blue jeans spun, ready to be plied. i have 8 ounces of naked to spin then it will need to be plied. by sunday. feeling the heat!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

staying the course

one more week of the tour, and while i'm not panicked, i do need to stay on task. i made great progress at yesterday's guild meeting another beautiful day at - high bid farms- in brockport. bob & sue welcomed about 35 members to sit, spin, knit, and wander through gardens. i acquired the remaining fiber i need to complete my tour (thanks to robin) and it matches perfectly. i am always surprised that there can be so much deviation in color in the same batches. who knew? so i've got my work cut out for me....

Monday, July 11, 2011

rest day

no, i'm not observing the tour rest day. if i'm going to stay on course, i've got to up my spinning game.

last night i finished filling bobbins with the blue jeans that i had. this is only a pound, so i can't do more until this saturday. i decided to ply the middle bobbins that i spun, leaving the first four to ply with the last four that i spin.

then i started the naked ~ blue face leister. wow, what a difference in fiber. i realize that all those wools are unique, but the coolest thing about this challenge is that i focuses me to be mindful in how and what i'm spinning. the blue i'm trying to have be lofty and soft as a possible sweater yarn. with the naked, it is spinning much faster and is so very sleek sliding onto the bobbins. once i get a few filled, i'll have to start plying. luckily tonight is the season premier for the closer. i can spend a solid hour with my friend brenda catching up.

Friday, July 8, 2011

back on track

i have had the worst time getting started on this tour. i realized after i set my goal, that i was short a 1/2 lb of the 'blue jeans' fiber. i had purchase a pound at the shepard's market this year, only to find that i had 1 1/2 lbs sitting in the stash. well, i had already started spinning the smaller amount when i noticed that the colors don't match the other batch. topping it all off, i really can't get un-tired from all the vacation fun and get spinning (it appears that it has reached my brain)
so today, i took myself to task and ordered another 1/2 pound from robin nistock.
joan met me at the lake for an afternoon of concentrated spinning therapy. i'm happy to report that i have made up my lost time and finally, finally feel the thrill of the competition. it was also a hoot to have the neighbors see another spinning wheel on the break wall. they are the sweetest people and always comment on my spinning. hopefully this will confirm my tales of 'lots of people do this' and 'we have a really big fiber community'. i'm sure they believe me, but it does help cement my claims!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

stage 2,3 & 4

not alot to see for all my spinning efforts. i've got two bobbins full and will work tonight to add to that total. my goal seems achievable now, but that can all go down hill with the first flat tire :)
i took the wheel to the lake for the fourth to spin in the sun and enjoy those lake breezes. my family doesn't even blink when the wheel is the first thing out of the car and set up on the shore. even the neighbors comments have gone from 'what are you doing?' to ' now, what do you do with all the yarn you make' it seems that my education efforts have paid off and they actually understand that i end up with a viable, usable product.
yesterday was the first time i've had someone want to try their hand at it. my friend sat himself down on the stool and gave it a go. having been on many field trips to a local historical museum, he thought that he could show off. and he did! it wasn't pretty, and it was very twisty, but he did spin wool.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

tour~stage 1

the tour. stage 1. i have been doing alot of this...

and some of this.......

i even took my spinning wheel on vacation and every day i was spinning in the ocean breezes.

but today? today was travel day. return to the real world day. the stay-awake-while driving-day. i did not embrace the thrill of stage one today.

i did decide on my challenge. i have several 'lots' of fibers that i want for sweater yarn. i have 1& 1/2 pounds of nistock farms blue jeans and 20 ounces of naked fiber that i got in maryland. so that is my challenge. i will have enough yarn for 2 sweaters at the end of the tour. if my sleep deprived brain is adding correctly (and it may be hampered by my sun soaked, wine tainted day) that is 44 ounces of fantastical fiber.

let the spinning commence (probably tomorrow, i'm really to stupid tired to spin tonight :)