Monday, March 30, 2009

OOO .. the fiber.

Very recently I picked up the drop spindle again and decided it was time for a new drop spindle and some beautiful fiber to spin..I browsed around on etsy for a few days and picked some pretty fibers out that I really like. This is the first one. It's 80% merino and 20% tussah silk. I love the colors and the shiny glow of the silk.. I haven't decided how I want to spin this yet. I was thinking of spinning it fine and using it to crochet a small shawl. I don't know yet. That's just a thought. The blue fiber is super soft. I'm not sure what it is. I think merino. Both came from Yarn Hollow on etsy.com. You can spend all day on that web site looking at all the beautiful items.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A pile of knitting cont....

Today I actually got to go to one of the local yarn shops in the Orlando area. It's been at least 6 months or more since my last visit to a yarn shop. The selection was small but very nice. There were beautifully colored yarns of all types.. and lovely fibers. Some how I came home with white. 6 balls of lovely white bamboo yarn. I also purchases some size 7 32" long hiyahiya circular needles. Now all I have to do is finish all the projects I'm working on to start this one.





















Speaking of projects ..here is my pile of knitting.. I worked a little on both during the car ride today.

















And ... a project finished..I've been fiddling with the button closure on this for a couple of days.. and I finally got it right and I like it. This cropped cardi was made with left overs from another project. The yarn is cotton and linen and has a beautiful drape. I plan to wear this over tank tops and I think it will be cool enough for our Florida weather and air-conditioning.. click for the big pic..!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

a pile of knitting..

I have off today.. I've been a little under the weather and haven't been sleeping well for about a month and I guess it I'm starting to feel the effects of this.. but anyway on my days off I try to get as much done around the house as I can and work on some projects. So this morning I cooked breakfast then went outside and raked some dried brush alone the reserve on the side of my house... when I was too tired to rake anymore I came inside.. showered and took out some projects. The first project is a sweater I started as a Christmas present and never finished. All that is left is one sleeve .. so I popped a movie in my computer and started working on the sleeve in hopes to finish this once and for all..(the movie was Nights in Rodanthe).. I got to the point where it is just knitting in st.st and increases every 6th row..I set this aside to work on the baby sweater.. I did a few rows on that.. made lunch.. watched a documentary on Hulu.com and started working on my spinning.. I have a lot more mill ends to spin into soft yarn..I work on this a little every night.. I will probably pick up both knitting projects again before the night is over. Hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow and will do the laundry thing and clean the house.. sounds so boring haha..But hey someone has to do it!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A theme

This past week I've been doing a little beading and jewelry making. I think I see a theme.. It might have to do with the yellow madden girls I purchased.. As far as my knit/crochet projects... I did finish the chevron lace crop cardi. I'm not exactly pleased with the out come.. the circumference of the sleeves seems some what small compaired to the body of the sweater.. It looks ok when I have it on but a little weird when it isn't on.. I actually ripped it back once too.. as you can also see towards the end I was running out of yarn..All that is left to do now is the buttons. I think I'll finish that right now..!!
Starting this week I plan to focus on my UFO's ...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

skunk!!

This is what has become of my spinning for the last few days..I started out with a mega bag of mill ends.. I named it skunk.. I was trying to separate the black and have some darker areas but it didn't really work out like that.. the striping is very faint. This was spun on my louet S17... I like this wheel but I have spun in my ashford traditional for so long I always have to adjust to this wheel when I use it... The spin hasn't been set yet on this skein.. it's basically right off the wheel and somewhere between a dk and sport wieght..This is a 100% wool with a little mohair in it. It's very smooth and soft and the skein is 298 yards.. looks like I'll have quite a bit to make something large!!


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I love yellow

Spring is on the way and so are spring colors.. I love yellow but can only wear yellow accessories because of my skin tone.. Working at a shoe store has its benefits.. I just purchases these cute madden girls for just about $20.. Now that is in the budget which is small these days .. and since I have a small foot I have problems finding shoes in my size. Which means I have less of a selection to choose from. Which means I don't purchase a lot of shoes...I have been eyeing this pair of yellow madden girls for months and the other day they were reduced so I had to grab them. Since I don't really wear yellow.. I needed some yellow accessories so off to Michaels for some beads... then some stash digging where I found some nice cotton/linen dk yarn.. this was the left overs from my composed mitts. (Ravelry link).. In the recent past I put a few sweaters on my queue of projects to knit and chose the the chevron-lace-cardigan (pdf) pattern for this yarn... I'm using left overs so I think I will make it a cropped cardi with short sleeves so I can wear it to work..I also purchased that cute shirt with little yellow flowers and will probably wear it belted.. Did I say I love yellow..!!

Yes.. I have been working on my spinning this week a little here and there before and after work and crocheting the cropped cardi.. Right now I'm plying one skein and will wind off the yarn that is on my spindle and ply that also today and then It's off to my knitting group INOKissimmee tonight for some knitting fun.. !!
















Wednesday, March 11, 2009

a long spinning story.... 0.o'

Today is my day off and I want to work on some spinning. Although I learned how to spin a very long time ago I have just so to speak " dabbled" with it. At the time that I learned to spin.. spinning in the raw or in the grease was all the thing.. and I did learn on a drop spindle. But since that time I have never really liked using the drop spindle and I pretty much suck at it. And come to think of it I have really bad spinning technique.. even though I did take lessons that back in the day were very expensive. The teacher would show me what to do.. watch me for a few minutes then go do stuff and come back like 20 minutes latter and see how I was doing.. so.. in that time I developed some bad habits and never did pick up the correct way to spin.. I was missing the pinching part and for some reason I never heard her say anything about pinching.. just drawing the fibers..that part I could do..I then purchased my own Ashford traditional spinning wheel and some how produced decent yarn...but I continued to spin the same way until recently.. a series of events transpired that led me to watch spinning on youtube.com and noticed that I was missing a step in my spinning.. you are probably wondering why I haven't noticed this before.. part of the reason is that most of my life I spent crafting alone. Back when I was learning there wasn't anyone close by that spun or knit(no internet!!).. there were a lot of quilters and yes I did that too.. So up until the last couple of years I didn't really know that I was spinning incorrectly.. because I was producing some nice yarns..I first noticed this in one of my knitting groups when Jody brought some of her spinning with her to do at the meeting..this inspired me to spin again and I then noticed that she spun a little differently than what I had been doing.. ok..enough rambling on and back to the series of events...Elaine from my knitting group wanted to learn how to spin and I suggested she bring her supplies to the next meeting but that I wasn't the best person to show her.. so.. I brought my spindle with me and proceeded to demonstrate how to spin telling her that maybe someone else should show her how because I had poor technque .. well this rekindled my desire to spin with a drop spindle again.. and I started to practice with it more and decided I would like to get a nicer drop spindle at this point.. this is my drop spindle in the picture below.. yes.. it is the same drop spindle I learned with and is probably and antique by now.. most definetly..This led me to look online for some pretty drop spindles.. and man I dont remember them being so pricey..which led me to ask my son who just started wood carving to see if he could make me a pretty one.. which led me to send a bunch of pictures of pretty spindles to him .. then he wanted to see how it was used.. which led me to watch a bunch of youtube spinning videos .. which after seeing them over and over a little light went off... so I went back to my anchient drop spindle and we started to get along better and I'm actually spinning the correct way now which is way faster and for some reason.. It's like learning to knit continental after knitting the throw method.. So today I'm devoting to some spinning both on the drop spindle and the spinning wheel.

















I purchased this fiber a while back and haven't touched it because I got caught up in Christmas knitting so I want to complete a skein today if I can. I was thinking of adding a little angora here and there on the second spool.. sounds interesting to me..

Monday, March 09, 2009

Jayne Cobb hat week..!!

This is what a week of knitting Jayne Cobb hats will get you..I started out with yarn I had from left over projects.. that hat came out a little small so I bought some lion brand wool ease thick and quick. I used a size 10 1/2 needle and cast on 64 stitches and completed the hat as directed in the pattern.. I only picked up 18 stitches for the ear flaps...This hat came out just a little over sized but good for man.. It was also a little stiff or dense... For that last hat I tried size 11 needles and only cast on 54 stitches. I also only picked up 16 stitches for the ear flaps. This is the hat I like the best.. it's just a little snugger than the other 2 hats and is a nicer fabric.. not as stiff... So.. what can you do with left over yarn in these colors ... well there seems to be just enough to make one more hat.. so that's what I'm doing.. I just don't want to have more left overs to add to the pile..


























Friday, March 06, 2009

and a pompom on top

The pompom maker... Wrap each side of the pompom maker

















Pop the 2 sides together and cut the yarn using the grove as a guide...tie a piece of yarn around the middle in between the pompom maker.. and pop the tool apart... ta da.. a pom pom..(^_^)


Thursday, March 05, 2009

yellow orange and red .. omy

In the last couple of years my income is about half of what it used to be.. I'm not alone when I say this.. anyway.. it has forced me to stay at home more and basically just go out to work and the grocery store and a knit/crochet group close to where I work... I do happen to work at 2 fun jobs though.. at one job I'm surrounded by a sea of shoes and purses and at the other .. a store full of crafts..yes this includes yarn and knitting books... I have always enjoyed staying home and being crafty anyway.. so.. I had a couple days off and besides going to my knitting group.. I've been trying to knit as many hats as I can with the yarn I purchased for the Jayne Cobb hat.(I love these colors.. so bright and happy) These hats are pretty fast to knit and I do not need any more left over balls of yarn to add to the pile that is already taking over my closet from finished projects in the past.. so here is my progress for the last 2 days.. I hope to finish one more hat before heading out to work today..
A messy knitting basket..


















Almost finished..one and 1/2 ear flaps to go..


















Two down.(minus the pompoms). working on the next one...


















I squeezed in a little beading.. and made some pretty spring stitch markers and a scissor fob.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

bitten by firefly..!!

Something new in the making.. my attempt at the Jayne Cobb hat from the series Firefly... just to let you know .. there are over 20 patterns to knit this hat and the knockoff version is on sale everywhere... who knew it was so popular..!! I tried to make it with scraps from the stash but the colors are just a little off... so that means a trip to Michaels today for better colors.. This hat wont go to waste.. more on that later..

















Brit finally had a minute to model the cropped turtleneck.. a perfect fit in my opinion.. This sweater is fast and fun to knit and I would definitely knit it again. I love the textures.. The only mods I made were .. shortening the neck a little ( I didn't knit the full 8 inches) and knitting the sleeves in the round instead of flat . I have worked with this yarn before and it can make a pretty big seam no matter how careful you are.. you can see it on ravelry..(^_^)

Sunday, March 01, 2009

no knitting today...!!


Today I spent most of the day hemming a pair of pants.. being short has it's disadvantages.. like always having to shorten every pair of pants that I purchase.. I haven't hemmed pants with a cuff in a few years.. or probably more.. so it they turn out exactly right the first time and I ended up picking it all out and starting again.. The second try was better and the pants will be a good length for either pair of shoes I will wear them with. One pair of shoes has a heal the other a wedge... Now I'm going to have some lunch and either knit or do some beading I have put the the side since before Christmas.