Posted in Spinning

Tour de Fleece Wrap Up and Daybreak FO

Tour de Fleece ended yesterday, so it’s wrap up time!

I started out by finishing up the All Spun Up Superwash Merino. I think I had maybe 2 ounces left to do, then had to ply it. It was nice to get that done and out of the way quickly since it’s been sitting around untouched for MONTHS now. After that was done, I moved on to Corridale in the TDF colorway from Zarzuela’s Fibers. 8 WHOLE OUNCES. I’ve never spun 8 ounces of any one fiber before, so this was quite an experience for me. That took up most of my tour, especially since I had some days where I didn’t spin at all, but only did fiber prep because my spinning mojo had suddenly disappeared. By Day 21 of the Tour, though, I had spun and plied all 8 ounces. Still too lazy to figure out my yardage or WPI on that, though. On Day 22, I realized that it wasn’t the last day and I still had one more day to get in spinning, so I broke out the Cheviot from Zarzuela’s Fibers in a colorway called DC Sunrise. It’s really pretty. I managed to get a little over an ounce spun up before I had to call it quits yesterday.

TDF Wrap Up

Overall, I’m quite pleased with how I did this year. The biggest improvement I think I made was in plying. I think I’ve finally got the proper hang of it and yarns aren’t turning out to be a bit loosely plied now.

The last week of the Tour, I may have overdone it a bit. My left hip and lower back have been feeling sore off and on during the entire Tour (which I chalked up to all the rain we’ve been getting), but yesterday I was in quite a bit of pain. I’m sure the amount of sitting we ended up doing this past weekend didn’t help, but I think it’s time to listen to my body and take a break from spinning for a while. When I do get back to spinning, I’ll make sure to take more breaks when I do spin.

Last time I posted, I mentioned finishing Daybreak, but that it still needed a wash and block before it was really “done.” It’s been washed and blocked and now I have pictures to share!

Daybreak (Full)
Daybreak, fully laid out

Pattern: Daybreak (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: May 28, 2010
Completed: July 17, 2010
Yarn: Dream in Color Starry in Happy Forrest and Punky Fuchsia, 1 skein of each
Needles: US 5 bamboo circular needle
Notes: From end to end, this shawl is roughly 64 inches. I did the “medium” size with 16 stripes. Followed the pattern completely and made no changes to it. Easy knit and I probably would have been done long ago, but I frogged it at one point because I’d dropped a stitch pretty far down and the spot was bothering me, so I frogged it nearly to the beginning where the dropped stitch was. My only real issue with the pattern was the way the increases were done in the first solid color section. There is an increase done at the halfway point between the first marker and the center marker (and the center marker and the last marker), which changes every row because there are increases at the beginning and end on the WS rows and the beginning, center, and end on the RS rows. You couldn’t even place a stitch marker in the middle for that reason since the increases would be uneven on one side of the marker. It’s a total pain to try and keep track of. I feel like there could have been a much easier way to do that part other then constantly keeping track of your stitch count. I did manage to use stitch markers to keep track of where to do them, but they had to be moved on each halfway point increase row to keep it in the right place. I’m not sure I can even explain it properly! That was definitely my least favorite part of the pattern. The rest was simple, though.

Daybreak (Chair)
Daybreak

Daybreak (On Me)
Best picture I could get of the sparkle in the yarn.

I’ve started a new project and want to update on other projects I’ve been working on and planning, but I’ll leave that for next time. πŸ™‚

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Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects, Spinning

Tour de Fleece and Project Updates

The Tour de Fleece is going pretty good. On Day 11 (last Tuesday), I finished plying the first 4 ounces of the Corridale from Zarzuela’s Fibers.

TDF Day 9 & 11
TDF Corridale, Plied

Wednesday was a day of rest, so I didn’t do any spinning. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday I did some fiber prep, but no spinning. I think I may have lost my spinning mojo after that day of rest on Wednesday! 😦 I think I’ve been a bit distracted by knitting. I’ve been itching to finish some things that I’ve been working on, so I’ve been picking knitting over spinning almost any time I have the chance to do one or the other. I’ve also felt rather busy this past week and kind of worn out when I get to the point in the day that I can finally relax. Still, I’m pretty pleased with all I’ve done up to this point! Hopefully I can get my spinning mojo a kick today and get some spinning time in.

I’ve been busily knitting away on Daybreak in an effort to get it off the needles. I decided that I couldn’t start any new projects (anything besides socks) until it was done and since I have a few projects in mind that I’d like to start, I wanted it done. Last night I finished up the last few rows and did the bind off!

Daybreak (Pre-blocking)
Daybreak, Pre-blocking

I have no idea how many stitches I had when I did the bind off, but it took me almost an hour to do. SO. MANY. STITCHES. I’m pleased it’s done and quite happy with how it turned out. I’m glad I decided to only do 16 stripes and not 20 because it would have been absolutely huge on me if I had. It’s just the right size with 16 stripes. Now it just needs a wash and block before being completely done.

I’m participating in this year’s Summer of Socks (though I’ve been lacking in my posts in the Ravelry group), so I’ve been working on my fair share of socks. It seems like I’ve started and frogged more socks then anything else so far, but I finally have a finished sock! Tuesday I finished up the first Maelstrom sock. I think this might be one of my favorite patterns I’ve knit. I may need to knit a second pair after this! It’s just enough to keep my interest, but not too much that it needs a lot of concentration. I haven’t started the second sock, yet. I figured I’d make myself wait until Daybreak was done to go back to this project.

Maelstrom Sock (left)
Maelstrom Sock #1

In between finishing this sock and trying to finish Daybreak, I caved and started another sock. I saw someone’s Jaywalkers recently and suddenly needed to make another pair RIGHT NOW. I pulled out the MacKnitosh Skye Sock yarn in Camo Girl that I attempted to knit KawKawEsque out of. Turns out the Jaywalker pattern makes this yarn stripe!

Jaywalker
Jaywalker Sock

Here’s the part where I make a confession… I have totally been taken by knitting socks using the Magic Loop method. I used to hate it. I even blogged about how much I loved DPNs. Then I did one project using a long circular and “magic looping.” It wasn’t so bad. I tried a pair of socks after that, also done Magic Loop. Then another… and another… and now? I really want to do this sock Magic Loop, but I don’t have the proper needle to do it! I never thought I’d be into it and even after the first two projects I did, I wasn’t totally convinced I liked it. After the Maelstrom sock, though, I really like it. It definitely makes knitting socks a bit faster for me and I feel incredibly slow going back to DPNs now. Looks like I need to make a Knit Picks order for some circulars in sock sizes very soon!

I’ve got some projects that I’m thinking about working on, but swatching must commence first. Sweater season is not that far off and I’m already thinking about what to knit for Rhinebeck. Next time I’ll talk a little about what I’d like to knit in the upcoming months.

In a little while I’m headed off to knit with some friends at a local cafe. Should be fun! I love being able to spend time with other knitters. πŸ™‚

Posted in Current Projects, Gardening, Sewing, Spinning

Tour de Fleece

Tour de Fleece is in full swing here! πŸ™‚

Saturday I started out with what was left of the All Spun Up superwash merino (full braid was 6.2 ounces). I started on this fiber months ago. I managed to get two and a half bobbins done and even plied up the first two bobbins before putting it aside. I think I had about 1.5 to 2 ounces worth of fiber left when I started out the Tour de Fleece.

All Spun Up (Spinning in progress)
All Spun Up Superwash Merino

I didn’t spin that much on Saturday. We were busy getting ready for having people over on Sunday and we ended up going to see Knight and Day with some friends in the evening. I did get about halfway through what was left of the ASU fiber, though!

TDF Day 1
TDF Day 1

Sunday we had a full house, but even while people were over, I got in a fair amount of spinning time between playing hostess to our friends and family. I managed to finish up the rest of the fiber and ply it!

TDF Day 2
TDF Day 2

I didn’t figure out how much yardage I had right away because I’d never written down what the first two skeins were. I took the time to calculate it on Monday and I figured out that I have about 776 yards. After thinking I’d lost it, I managed to find my wraps per inch (WPI) tool and figured out that I have about 16 WPI (14 WPI in some places) giving me 776 yards of fingering weight yarn. That’s WAY more then I imagined I’d end up with or even thought that I had! Not sure what I’m going to do with it yet. It’s pretty variegated, so something simple. Suggestions welcome!

TDF Day 2
All Spun Up Superwash Merino Fingering weight, 776 yards total

Yesterday I was finally able to start the fiber that arrived last week.

TDF 2010 Roving
Corriedale in a special Tour de Fleece colorway from Zarzuela’s Fibers

I split the first 4 ounces into three equal lengths and prepped the first bit by doing a bit of pre-drafting. I wanted longer bits of each color, so after separating it into three equal lengths, I didn’t split the sections further into 2 or 4 (split in half, then in half again for) and just drafting as I go or doing just a little pre-drafting like I have been doing. Instead I pre-drafted the whole length of the first section and just went for it. It was kind of nice because I didn’t have to pick up or add any fiber to it as I went. By the end of the day I was able to get through the first 1/3 of the first braid.

TDF Day 3
TDF Day 3

This is my first time working with Corridale. So far, I’ve found it to be a sticky fiber (as in it likes to stick together). I’ve been trying to spin it a little thicker and so far the singles by themselves are looking about a fingering weight. I’m going to ply it, but not sure how yet. Considering trying to Navajo ply it since I’ve never tried to do that before. The one thing that I’ve noticed about my spinning vs others that I’ve seen is that my yarns end up rather loose when plied. Not really sure what I’m doing wrong here. There are parts that seem tighter then other parts, but overall it just seems loose. From what I’ve read, it seems like I’m plying correctly and when I’m plying it seems tight enough. Maybe I just need more practice. The third skein of the All Spun Up superwash merino did seem like it was an improvement. The first two had more loose parts and the third had much fewer.

I forgot to mention my goals for the Tour de Fleece in my last post. My overall goal is to spin at least an hour a day. I haven’t been keeping track of all my times like I did last year, but I can estimate how much I’ve done so far, so I might from here on out. My first goal was to finish up the All Spun Up fiber (check!). Second is to spin up the Corriedale in the TDF colorway. Beyond that…. well, I’m not sure! I thought that 8 ounces of fiber would take me a good long while to spin up, but thinking about how many days are in the tour and how much I’ve done so far… yeah I think I’m going to have to find something else to work on after I get done with the Corriedale. I’ve got enough fiber in my stash that I don’t think it’ll be a problem to find something else do spin up after that’s done. Might finally get around to the CJ Kopec fiber I got last year.

Between spinning breaks, I’ve been knitting. I’m working on the heel flap of Malestrom, I frogged the KawKawEsque socks I mentioned in my last post (wasn’t liking the yarn/ribbing combo), and yesterday I started the Serpentine Socks for this month’s Socks From the Toe-Up KAL. I’m still working on Daybreak, too. The rows are getting quite long and seem to take forever, plus it’s been hot and sticky out, so I’ve been favoring the smaller projects. I haven’t worked on my crochet top or the Rippleghan in about a week since other projects have been taking up my interest. I think once I get Daybreak done I’ll focus on the top again.

Can’t wait to get more spinning done later today! I’m sure the Corriedale will be done in no time πŸ™‚

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects, Spinning

Chicken Clutch, Projects, and Tour de Fleece 2010

It’s been one of those weeks where all week I try to blog, but every time I try, I can’t figure out what to say. Today isn’t much different. I’ve sat and stared wondering how to start out this post or what to say. Since the words don’t seem to be flowing easily, I’ll keep them to a minimum and speak mostly with pictures!

First, I have an FO to share. After my friend Jessy saw this pattern, she said I should make one for her for her birthday, so I did. I’ve decided he’s a free-range chicken, since he’s not all white like the original pattern. πŸ˜‰

Chicken Clutch (Right Side)
Chicken Clutch

Pattern: Cluck Clutch (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: June 24, 2010
Completed: June 26, 2010
Yarn:Vanna’s Choice, 1.75 skeins in a heathered brown/grey (can’t remember the name of it), bits of red and yellow from stash
Needles: H/5.0mm hook
Notes: It was pretty simple to make and the only thing I didn’t do was add the button.

Chicken Clutch (Open, Side)
Chicken Clutch – Open

Yesterday was a Good Mail Day ™. I got 8 oz of Corriedale fiber from Zarzuela’s Fibers in a special Tour de Fleece colorway and she put in a skein of sock yarn for me in a Camo colorway as a thank you for doing the Summer of Socks 2010 group banner and button. Thanks Jessica! πŸ™‚ I also got June’s shipment of the Knitterly Things Sock Club (a four stripe colorway called Summer Hill), which matches the Tour de Fleece fiber quite well.

Good Mail Day 7/1
Good Mail Day!

Speaking of the Tour de Fleece… I plan on participating this year! The Tour de Fleece goes along with the Tour de France. It starts and ends the same day as the Tour de France. You spin every day, either on a wheel or on a spindle, for however long you determine as your goal. For the full details, see the Ravelry group here. I’ll be spinning up that lovely fiber above and hopefully finish the All Spun Up roving I started who knows how long ago. There’s probably 2 or so ounces left to do, so I don’t think it’ll take long. I plan on working that up first, but I’m already anxious to get the TDF colorway started!

I’ve been working on Malestrom and I think I’m up to 6 repeats of the pattern so far.

Malestrom Socks
Malestrom Socks

I was itching to start something new, so I started a pair of KawKawEsque Socks (Ravelry page) Wednesday.

KawKawEsque
KawKawEsque Socks in MacKnitosh Skye Sock in the Camo Girl colorway.

This weekend is a holiday weekend here in the US and on Sunday we’ll be celebrating the 4th of July (Independence Day), which also means a long weekend for most people I know since they’re getting either Friday or Monday (or both!) off work. We’re having some of our family and friends over to do the traditional grilling out and fireworks thing. Should be fun! I’m looking forward to it. For once there isn’t a ton to do to prepare other then getting food and some light cleaning! Have a good weekend everyone πŸ™‚ Good luck to all the other Tour de Fleece participants out there!

Posted in Current Projects, Spinning

Hey Teach Blocks, TDF Wrap Up, Stripey Socks and Starlight

Last night I got out the blocking mats, washed Hey Teach, and it’s now blocking.

208/365: Hey Teach, Blocking!
Hey Teach, blocking!

I also finished up Clue 3 of the Secret Garden Shawl. The yarn is Green Sheep Fingering from The Unique Sheep and the colorway is Hearts on Fire. (Sorry, forgot to mention that yesterday!)

Secret Garden, Clue 3
Clue 3, laid out as best as possible

Secret Garden, Clue 3
Clue 3, close up

I did some spinning last night, though I forgot to take a picture. It feels like it’s taking a long time, but these are pretty thin singles, so I’m guessing that’s why it seems to be taking a while! I don’t think the rain has been helping, either. My knee, hip and lower back haven’t been allowing me to spin as much as I’d like to. When did my body get like an old lady?!? This morning I woke up sore and thinking, “It’s going to rain today.” Not 5 minutes later the radio said, “There will be showers and thunderstorms this afternoon.” I had to laugh a little at that! My body knows about the rain before the weather people tell me! Hahaha πŸ™‚

Speaking of spinning, I should do my Tour de Fleece wrap up! Counting it up, I did 30 hours and 25 minutes worth of spinning from July 4th through July 26th. That’s a LOT of spinning time! Here’s the break down:

July 4th: 1 hour 5 minutes
July 5th: 1 hour
July 6th: 2 hours
July 7th: 20 minutes
July 8th: 20 minutes
July 9th: 20 minutes
July 10th: nothing
July 11th: 2 hours 20 minutes –> Finished first yarn
July 12th: 3 hours
July 13th: 2 hours –> Was the scheduled day of rest, but I did some spinning since I β€œrested” on Friday, July 10th
July 14th: 1 hour 30 minutes
July 15th: 1 hour
July 16th: 2 hours
July 17th: 1 hour -> Finished second yarn
July 18th: 1 hour
July 19th: 1 hour 30 minutes
July 20th: 4 hours -> Was the scheduled day of rest, but I’m β€œresting” on July 22nd instead (knit night)
July 21st: 2 hours
July 22nd: rescheduled my day off
July 23rd: 1 hour
July 24th: 2 hours
July 25th: 1 hour
July 26th: 1 hour

Not bad! I was able to finish up 3 rovings and get part of the way through a third.

Tour de Fleece 2009, Wrap Up
Top Left: “Thinking of Fall” BFL from Zarzuela’s Fibers, 137 yards
Top Right: Pink and Purple BFL, 153 yards
Bottom Left: “Emerald City” Merino from Zarzuela’s Fibers, 210 yards
Bottom Right: Superwash Merino from All Spun Up, still in progress

I frogged the Fountain Pen Shawl last night. I decided I wanted to do it on bigger needles, so I frogged it and decided that I’ll try again later since I’m already working on a shawl right now. I would like to do it at some point, just not right now. Now that Clue 3 of the shawl is done and Hey Teach is blocking, I decided to get back to some projects I haven’t been working on. Last night I finished the heel on my stripey socks.

Open Flame Socks
Vesper Sock Yarn, Open Flame colorway

This morning, as I was thinking about what I’d take with me to knit at work, I decided on the Starlight sweater. Yes, THAT sweater. The one that I started in April 2007. My oldest WIP. The sweater I keep thinking about frogging, deciding I’ll frog, then deciding that I can’t possibly frog it because it will be so beautiful once I’m done. I’m going to finish this. This is my next “big” project that I’m going to work on until it’s done.

209/365: Starlight
Starlight Sweater in Rowan RYC Silk Wool, colorway Porcelin

I’ve been meaning to reply to the comments people have left, but recently, my webmail was blocked at work and I usually spend my lunch hour responding to emails when I have them. Since I’ve been busy at work, when I get home, I don’t even THINK about getting on my computer since I spend 8 hours sitting in front of one at work and I’m usually exhausted when I get home (or even on the weekend). As it is, it’s a struggle to make and dinner, do any house work that needs doing, and maybe get some time to relax and knit or spin, but most of the time I’d rather just come home and go straight to bed. I feel like I haven’t been sleeping well, but can’t really pinpoint why. Only thing that’s really changed recently is the stress at work, though I don’t see that changing any time soon – nature of the season and job I suppose. Don’t get me wrong, I do like my job quite a bit, it’s just mentally exhausting most days. This means that by the time I get home, my brain is mush! Anyway, all that to say I plan on getting back to you soon if you’ve left me a comment or emailed me recently. I haven’t forgotten, just been busy and tired lately. I think it’s a combination of moving and the new job and I’m just trying to get readjusted still. Though it doesn’t usually seem like it, there’s still TONS of stuff that needs to be done around the house to make Matt and I feel less stressed by the state of things. This weekend we’re planning on getting most, if not all, of the “To Do” list done so that we can get back to “normal.”

Hope your week is turning out to be a little less stressful then mine so far πŸ™‚

Posted in Current Projects, Spinning

Secret Garden Shawl, Spinning, and Hey Teach

Wow, this weekend was a BUSY one. I feel like I didn’t get done anything that I’d planned to, but I suppose that’s the way things go sometimes. I’m planning on not doing anything this weekend except work on house stuff with Matt so we can stop feeling so dragged down by the things that are still disorganized and packed from the move. I did get in some knitting time, though!

Saturday I started on the Secret Garden Shawl. I started this KAL a bit late. It’s a mystery shawl KAL and while I attempted one other shawl, I fell way behind and kind of glad I did at the end because I wasn’t to fond of the design at the end. I tried to get in on another one, but I never ended up starting it. I was a little worried about this one, but I really want to complete a mystery shawl KAL and a circular shawl, so why knock out both at once? They’re up to clue 3 (released Friday), so I’m working on getting caught up. I got through clue 1 pretty quickly that evening. It’s a shawl worked from the center out, which is what makes the first parts go quickly (smaller number of stitches).

206/365: Secret Garden Shawl, Clue 1
Clue 1

Sunday I started on clue 2, which also went pretty quickly. I started clue 3, but then realized I’d missed the last row of clue 2, so I had to tink back the 2 rows I’d knit on clue 3. The below photos are of the shawl through clue 2, minus the last row since I thought I was done with clue 2 when I’d taken these pictures.

207/365: Secret Garden Shawl, Clue 2
Clue 2, full

Secret Garden Shawl, Clue 2, Close Up
Clue 2, close up

I’m still working my way through clue 3. With almost 200 stitches, each row takes me a while! I’ll be sure to share photos once clue 3 is complete (and after each clue is complete).

After my not-so-great attempt at spinning that batt on Thursday evening, Friday evening I pulled out some superwash merino I got from All Spun Up to spin.

All Spun Up, Superwash Merino
This reminds me of a Scarlet Macaw
(I really like birds and have had a number of them, I always wanted a Scarlet Macaw)

I tried a different way of drafting this time. Instead of doing a lot of pre-drafting, I took sections and just separated them into 4 to 6 strips of fiber and only drafted as I went. I found that this seems to give me a nice even single! I still need some practice, but I’m already loving how this is turning out.

205/365: Today's Spinning
Superwash Merino in what I’ll call the Scarlet Macaw colorway πŸ˜‰

I had hoped to finish this up this weekend, but I ended up being really quite busy and hardly home at all, so I didn’t get in much time to spin. I spent time prepping the rest of the fiber and spun a tiny bit more then what you see on the bobbin above. I’m hoping to finish this up this week, though!

I’m so very, very close to finishing Hey Teach! I finished knitting all the pieces on Saturday, but I haven’t blocked them and I haven’t taken an updated photo yet. I had to get some blocking mats first, since it’s just about impossible to block anything on hardwood floors! I knew Costco had some of those mats a lot of people use for blocking for $15, so I went there on Saturday with Karen and we got the last two. Now I just need to set them up and wash Hey Teach. Maybe this will be the week it gets finished!! πŸ™‚

Hope your week is going well so far and your weekend was a good one!

Posted in Current Projects, Spinning

Not so Great Fiber and New Project

Aren’t Friday’s supposed to be “easy” days at work? Usually less stressful? For me they’ve almost always been the “easy” work day, but not today! It was one of those Murphy’s Law days where anything that could have gone wrong, did. Since I’m pretty wiped out this week (yet again it seems), I’ll keep this post fairly short.

Yesterday I went home and tried to spin one of the batts from Gonmegarden…

Gnomegarden Fiber
Gnomegarden Batts

…only to find it was pretty matted. I tried drafting some of it up and was mostly successful, but there were what I can only call knots or lumps in the fiber that was messing everything up when I tried to spin it. To make things even more frustrating, the sparkly bits were in knots some places, which didn’t spin well at all. I spent an hour attempting to spin it up and got only a little done. I was not enjoying it at all, so I pulled what I’d done off the bobbin and put it all away until some other time that I feel like dealing with it.

Instead got out the Green Sheep Fingering in Hearts on Fire from The Unique Sheep

Hearts on Fire
So pretty!

…and knit a swatch for the Secret Garden Shawl KAL.

Swatch
Swatch done using the first chart in the first clue of the pattern.

I knit the swatch on US 4’s, but I think I need to go up to US 6’s. I’m not super worried about getting the right gauge with lace. For me, it’s what the fabric looks like and if I like it. I know I’ll have plenty of yarn, so if it’s a bit bigger then the pattern calls for, I don’t need to worry about it. I can’t wait to get caught up through clues 1 and 2 (the pattern is put out in clues each week) and started on clue 3 which was sent out last night. I have to say, I really like this yarn and it gets even softer with washing! Hopefully I’ll have some progress to show you next week πŸ™‚

Do you have any plans this weekend? I’m going to Knit On! (LYS) tomorrow with Karen. It’s their first day open at their new shop, so we’re going to go check it out. Later in the evening, Matt and I are going to Game Night. Sunday morning I’ll be spending some time with my mom and any other free time this weekend has to go to getting the house clean and more in order. Will it ever end?!? I think I need a vacation!

Have a good weekend everyone!

Posted in Current Projects, Spinning

Emerald City, Nanners, and Buttons

Last night I spent two hours plying and skeining the lovely merino singles I finished spinning Monday night. I ended up with about 210 yards.

202/365: Emerald City - 210 Yards
Emerald City, merino, 210 yards

Emerald City - 210 Yards
Close up.

I really need to get a wraps per inch tool so I can get a better idea of the weight of yarn. Looking at it, it looks about worsted weight to me. I also need a niddy noddy to make it easier to wind skeins. I’ve just been using my swift, which works okay, but it’s a bit of a pain in the butt to do. A niddy noddy would make it a lot easier! I’m thinking about getting this one since it’s a) cheap and b) the same company that made my wheel. Eventually I’d like a nice wooden one, but this would do for now. I’ve even considered just making one out of dowels. I don’t know that I have the tools to do that, though. I wonder if just gluing some dowels together with Gorilla Glue or something similar might work. Anyone ever made their own niddy noddy?

Tonight I’m taking my “day of rest” (supposed to be Monday – the day I spent 4 hour spinning!) for the Tour de Fleece since tonight is knit night. Tomorrow, though, I’m going to be spinning up the batts I have from Gnomegarden. I was going to spin up one of the bumps of fiber I got from All Spun Up next, but with the Tour de Fleece ending on the 26th I wanted to be able to finish up one more bump of fiber before it’s over. Plus, I did want to see the difference of spinning with a batt vs pre-drafting a braid. I might have time to at least get started on one of the ones I got from All Spun Up, we’ll see. Spinning definitely isn’t going away once the Tour de Fleece ends, so I can still plan out what I want to do next! πŸ™‚

I got the toe done on the second Nanner sock and started the lace pattern last night. I really like how these are turning out. The only modification I’ve made is that I did 2 x 2 ribbing instead of 1 x 1 ribbing. I didn’t even change the heel to a short-row heel! I will say, though, that this heel flap business seems to take SO much longer. After this pair, I’ll probably go back to short-row heels.

203/365: Nanners!
Golden Nanners!

Even though these socks aren’t done yet and I’m still working on both the Absinthe and the Open Flame socks, I’m already thinking about the next pair I’m going to knit. Me? Obsessed? Nahhhh πŸ˜‰ I’d like to do another “quick” pair (thicker yarn/bigger needles), so I’ve decided I want to use a skein of Vesper I bought from a Raveler in Pumpkin Spice (special sock club colorway) and do the Tadpoles pattern. I think they’ll go nicely together πŸ™‚

Pumpkin Spice
Pumpkin Spice Vesper Sock Yarn

I decided on some buttons for Hey Teach and the Button-Up Neck Warmer, which I received on Monday. These buttons are from The Button Shop – probably my favorite place to get buttons.

Buttons
The top buttons are for Hey Teach and the ones on the bottom left are for the Button-Up Neck Warmer.

I haven’t picked up Hey Teach in a week or so, but tonight is knit night and I plan on bringing it with me to work on. I’m up to the lace on the right front, which I think I can get done tonight and maybe even start on the sleeves. Hopefully I’ll have an FO to show you soon!

Happy Hump Day, everyone! πŸ™‚

Posted in Spinning

Spinning and Tour de Fleece Update

This past weekend, I finished drafting up the rest of the mernio from Zarzuela’s Fibers in the Emerald City colorway.

Pre-drafted Fiber
Picture taken using my iPhone since I forgot to take one with my camera before I started spinning – whoops!

Friday and Saturday I spent an hour each day pre-drafting. Sunday I spent about 20 minutes finishing up pre-drafting, then did some spinning for an hour and 10 minutes for a total of 1 hour 30 minutes on Sunday. I had about half of a bobbin full on Sunday.

Emerald City, merino
Sunday’s Progress

Yesterday, I spent 4 hours spinning. I couldn’t believe I spun for 4 hours!! Matt was playing a new video game (Red Faction on the Xbox 360), so while he played, I was watching and spinning.

Spin, spin, spin!
Spin, spin, spin!

I finished up the first bobbin…

Bobbin 1
First bobbin, 2 oz of fiber

Then the second bobbin…

Bobbin 2
Second bobbin, 2 oz of fiber

Then I realized it was 10:30 pm and we’d been sitting there since 6:30 pm! I did get the rest of the merino spun up (took 2 bobbins), though, and today I plan on plying it.

Both bobbins
Both bobbins together (1st on the right, 2nd on the left)

Each bobbin I spin, I see my progress. The singles are getting thinner and more even with each one! I’m anxious to see how much yardage I’ll have once I ply these together. I’m hoping to have enough for the Button Up Neckwarmer from the Summer 2009 issue of Spin-Off magazine. Over in the Zarzuela’s Fiber Junkies group on Ravelry we’re doing a Spin-Along/Knit-Along for the Quant and Button Up Neckwarmer patterns in this issue of Spin-Off (Quant is also a free pattern from Knitty). I have to say, these singles feel like buttah! Really quite soft πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to get it plied and skeined so I can squish it! I’m looking forward to knitting with it, too πŸ™‚

Here’s my updated totals of how much time I’ve spent spinning throughout the Tour de Fleece 2009 so far:

July 4th: 1 hour 5 minutes
July 5th: 1 hour
July 6th: 2 hours
July 7th: 20 minutes
July 8th: 20 minutes
July 9th: 20 minutes
July 10th: nothing
July 11th: 2 hours 20 minutes –> Finished first yarn
July 12th: 3 hours
July 13th: 2 hours –> Was the scheduled day of rest, but I did some spinning since I β€œrested” on Friday, July 10th
July 14th: 1 hour 30 minutes
July 15th: 1 hour
July 16th: 2 hours
July 17th: 1 hour
-> Finished second yarn
July 18th: 1 hour
July 19th: 1 hour 30 minutes
July 20th: 4 hours -> Was the scheduled day of rest, but I’m “resting” on July 22nd instead (knit night)

My total so far: 24 hours and 55 minutes. Wow! It doesn’t seem like much looking at the list, but that total blows me away a bit! For a while, I just couldn’t really get into spinning. Since I was still learning, I just wanted to knit instead of work through my initial issues with the wheel and learning how to draft/pre-draft and how to join a new bit of fiber… all of it just overwhelmed me. I took on the Tour de Fleece challenge in hopes to overcome those things. I think you’d agree that it worked!

I finished my Nanner sock last night, too, but don’t have a picture of it yet. Starting the second sock today and hoping to have them done really soon so I can get back on track with the 52 Pair Plunge! I’ll update on my progress with that, soon. Another busy day here, but I hope your Tuesday is going well πŸ™‚

Posted in Spinning

Just keep spinning, Just keep spinning!

Yesterday I spent a good 2 hours unpacking and re-organizing things in the house. Our kitchen really doesn’t have enough cabinet space! I was able to remove a shelf from one cabinet and add it to another, so things fit a lot better, but we still have a number of boxes that have no place to go. I can’t wait to be able to re-do the kitchen and add a LOT more cabinets (and stove and counters and….). I think that if there’s one room I’m least fond of, it’s probably the kitchen, sadly. There’s a lot of physical space, but not enough storage space. Plus, I really want a gas stove! Anyhow, I got a lot done and the only things left to still unpack is the rest of my books in my craft room, a few kitchen boxes, and bathroom stuff. I’d say we’re about 75% unpacked now. Soon I hope we’re completely unpacked and can have our housewarming get together!

Since I did some work around the house, I didn’t feel so bad about spending time spinning. I knew that if I didn’t get to the house stuff soon after getting home, I wouldn’t do it, so I made sure I didn’t sit down to spin until after I felt pretty accomplished about unpacking and re-organizing. I was able to finish the rest of the fiber and filled the bobbin almost full.

Second Bobbin
Second Bobbin

I was half tempted to just keep them as singles after putting them side by side.

Both bobbins, before plying
Pretty Singles

But, I decided I wanted to ply it.

197/365: Plied!
Two Ply Yarn

I really like how it looks plied, so I’m glad I decided to do that. I haven’t taken it off the bobbins yet and don’t know how much yardage I have. Total, I spent 2 hours spinning yesterday. Next, I think I’m going to spin up this:

Zarzuela's Fibers: Emerald City, Merino
Zarzuela’s Fibers merino in “Emerald City”

And maybe after that, I’ll spin this:

Gnomegarden Fiber
Gnomegarden Fiber

I did do a little bit of knitting on Hey Teach yesterday, but no real progress to show. Spinning has become about as addicting as knitting! As if I needed another addiction! I blame all the spinners who’ve been slowly sucking me in with all their pretty fibers and yarns they make from them πŸ˜‰