Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Orange, Part II

After a night of rain, everything was perfect this morning in the garden, even the little bees asleep in the squash blossoms.


I spun more orange over the weekend, orange that Angela dyed.


Remember the pumpkins last week? 10 days and so much more color!


The garden makes me like my orange wool more. Appreciate the color of a ripening fall.


Naughty chickens...digging up my baby carrots. You're on chicken detention, only supervised visits to the garden now.


Maybe this wool wants to be knit into a fall hat, for the final visits to the garden before the snow and cold?


Slow to ripen, but so worth it. Like candy.


I think next....purple.


Yarn Specs:

100% wool (unknown breed)
2-plied yarn, sport-worsted weight

Total, 7.6 oz, and 363 yards.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Brown.

Brown eggs, brown yarn.


The first eggs from our hens!


VERY excited.


Brown yarn from brown sheep, brown eggs from red hens.



Specs:

3 eggs, medium, from 2 Rhode Island Red hens.

2 skeins yarn, 100% Shetland wool, spun with a short forward draw from the above roving, 2-plied.

Big skein:
278 m/304 yds
5.5 oz/156 g (dang that short draw thing really eats fiber! I normally get a lot more yardage from a similar weight if I do long-or semi-long draw!)

Little skein:
116 m/127 yds
2 oz/57 g

I know what brown can do for me.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Little Coopworth

Ah, remember I dyed this:


(Coopworth fleece from Merlinthecat)

And was spinning it into this:


(singles I started oh, over a month ago)

Well, I finally decided to spin the rest up (and try and manage all my spinning WIPs, which I realized have become quite numerous, and far outnumber the amount of bobbins I actually own).

And it became this:


(523 yds of laceweight 2-ply yarn)

Which, I think I will of course knit into something from Victorian Lace Today.


(not sure which pattern yet, I think I'll browse and look for the one with the closest yardage)

Love the colors of this, it definitely makes me want to spin up the Fred fleece I dyed at the same time!


Specs:
523 yds/478 m
3.6 oz/102 g
2-ply, Z-spun singles, S-plied.
WPI, didn't check, but high I'm sure! This is definitely a laceweight.
100% Coopworth wool, dyed with 4 packets of KoolAid (2 grape, 2 black cherry) mixed in water and a little vinegar, then popped in the oven for a couple hours (this is my easy peasy dye method when I only have a small batch of a fiber that will fit in my big Pyrex).

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Aubergine.

Just picked.


I know some I shall roast and blend with garlic. And some I shall make into a dish with cheese and tomato sauce.


And some, I shall just grill.


Anyone know any amazing ways to make them great?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Orange and Green

Corriedale Wool, spun by me:


Pumpkins indeed! Just turning a hint of orange now,


The skein and the sky:


Details:

100% Corriedale wool from a prepped roving handyed by a small dyer in Utah.
3.9 oz/110 g
222 yds/203 m
3-ply, chain (or Navajo) plied.

Now...the interesting bit....

CIMG6049
I spun this mostly on my drop spindle! We went camping a couple of weeks ago, and I threw in my socks to knit, and on a whim, this roving and a spindle. Surprisingly, I wasn't in a sock knitting mood, and so I picked this up. Its probably the first significant amount of yarn I've spun on a spindle in a long, long time.

And...I liked it! Yes, it was definitely slower than my wheel. But, it was relaxing and I enjoyed taking a little more time to play with the fiber. I did however, ply it on my wheel for speed.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Urban Aran Update and the Menagerie

First, a little detail of the central cable in the middle of the back of the Urban Aran:


Next, something I've been trying to get a picture of for a long time, the baby goats standing and climbing on top of the llama. They love each other so, they love to climb on him and sit on him, alas the picture is fuzzy, but you can still see what's going on!


My progress so far on the back of the Urban Aran, I'm at 11.5 inches, at 14.5 inches you start doing the underarm decreases. Note for Magatha, I am knitting the cardigan zip up version ala Brooklyn Tweed. I'm knitting this tight and thick, and envision it as a light jacket for me this winter!


I've been asked if all the animals get along. So far, so good. Telebear snorgles Florence the ewe:


We were worried a bit about the dogs and the sheep/goats. But, at this stage, they've totally worked it out. We can let the dogs out into the pasture, and they sheep will run up to them and sniff em all over. I think the facts that we have non-agressive dogs without strong prey drives and that they share a fence help.

Edited to add: I'm pretty sure that the mystery squashes are green pumpkins! After searching the internets, and getting advice from friends and blog readers, I'm going with pumpkins.

Ooooh! And, it's my 2 year blog-iversary today!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

WIPs and What is this here Squash?

This morning, in the garden I wandered with a cup of coffee, light low, and sheep grazing behind me. Sometimes I feel like I get myself in a bit of a funk over various things (life, eh?), and I need to remind myself of all the good. The good is the garden, the animals, the fiber, friends, love, family, light in the morning, and simply, a cup of coffee sometimes.


The garden is lush and green. Mystery squash is almost taking over, you can barely see my basil plants! And the potatoes and onions in the background are tempting me daily to dig a bit, take a peek at what's below ground.

And a sometimes too, with the knitting, I need to go back to basics. Simple.


Let the yarn (Mountain Colors Goat, and Tierra Wools Organic Churro) be simply, knitting, not fancy (lengthwise garter stitch scarf).

And, then things sometimes make you breathe in a little with wonder when you see them for the first time.

Mystery squash! Big, green, striped....solid? Cross pollinated mystery sqaush? Strange heirloom variety unknown to me before (yes, I did randomly plant my garden without plant markers this year, I'm crazy like that)?


Urban Aran (cardigan modifications planned) started too (thanks Magatha for the pattern). Mystery tweedy-heathered dark navy blue wool, bulky weight, gave me gauge the first time, I knew it was meant to be.


I wonder if I should dig out the old cardi that needs seaming first...

nah.


And, whatever she may be, this squash plant is happy. Very happy. Many, many mystery squashes on the vines, now, lets hope they taste good!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Red Diamonds

Aka Scarf #3 from Victorian Lace Today; Actually the real "title" in the book is: "Scarf with the open and solid diamond lace edging from Weldon's, 1904".

I started this in July, and finished it up last week. An enjoyable knit, particularly the borders which I really enjoyed knitting.


The borders are knit with a red handspun yarn (from red Brown Sheep mill ends), and the center is knit with two strands of a commercial (alpaca I think) laceweight held together.

Victorian Lace Today is still my favorite knitting book of the moment, and I think this illustrates why. Beautiful patterns, and one after another after another, and not all triangle shawl patterns like many other lace books.


Yardage requirements from 300 yds to 3000 yds also make it a versatile book (I think I used about 600 total for this one).


Modifications, well, first notice the little "viney" edging on the edges of the center diamond panel? I added that in. In the book, the picture shows a scarf with only 3 border panel repeats. BUT, the written directions indicate to complete 4 repeats of the border panel.

So, I started with 4. Then noticed that the picture only had 3. At this stage I wasn't happy with the fact that there would be huge garter borders on either side of the central diamond pattern, so I added the viney bits to the edge.

I think in the end, with the border of the viney bits, and the 4 repeats of the edging, as well as knitting 8 repeats of the central panel rather than the 6 in the book, it is a lot more like a stole than a scarf. Which suits me just fine!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Pretties

First, I'd like to thank Rae for knitting me these lovely, lovely fingerless gloves. They're 50% merino and 50% silk, and heavenly soft. Not to mention, the pattern is of her own design as well, and you can find it here!


I finished a little special surprise for a friend's special surprise who will be here in September! A peek:


I'll put up a final photo on the blog when I know she gets it :).

It was a fun, cute knit...I can see knitting more of these little guys in the future!

Susann asked how I liked the Regia Cotton Surf that yesterday's socks were knit with. I liked it just fine :). Actually, I don't like sock yarns with cotton nearly as much as I like the exclusively wool based ones (to knit with that is), but in the end, I like the finished socks just as much. I'd recommend it!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Long time no post.

Lets see, what have I been up to.

Knitting these socks, Summery Sockies in Regia Cotton Surf:


Which I knit very slow, I started them in June, and just finished them this past weekend!

Playing around in the garden, watching the animals frolic, herding chickens, hiking with doggies, petting kitties, camping, boating, fishing, hanging out with hubby.


That about sums it up, really. Spinning? Not much lately. In fact, I have a minor spinning wheel issue that I have to fix, then I'll be finishing up that pink-purple Coopworth.

Summer here has been good, I'm glad the garden is finally in now. It really is nice to pick veggies, then eat them for dinner.

I'm working on the Red Diamond Lace stole still, I'd like to finish that this week too, as well as a secret baby project for a friend!

Ah, and next up on the needles, a pair of baby sockies, and....Kaffe Fasset sockies! I'm still looking for the perfect pattern, but I plan on casting on for those this week.

You guys want more animal pics? When I can't post a knitting or spinning update?