Friday, November 30, 2007

Sunshine and Hay

I started a pair of socks again. Yes, this time with some Sunshine Yarns in Colorful, it seems a nice interlude in the gray I feel is taking over the color now that winter is here.

Hay. Breakfast for the animals. Funny that they can be SO excited about some dry grass, and run up to me, follow me around, baa, bray, and butt me in their hay-anticipation. Trixie likes it!

Not sure about these socks yet. I'm trying a garter rib, and even that seems like it might be too much pattern for all this color, oy! But, they're cheery. And soft. And maybe a mite too big.

Florence likest the hay too. Gray morning, gray sheepy face. Not much else to say really, I'm kinda in a quiet mood I guess :).

Wonderful weekends to all.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Of trips and things

We traveled to California for the Thanksgiving weekend, 11 hours in the car each way. 800 miles is a long way inside a car (bonus points if you know where that lyric is from)...

It was the first time we have left all the animals, and I was nervous to see they were all OK when we arrived home (they were, thanks pet-sitter!). We arrived home to a long overdue sight, snow.

Snow on the mountains, and snow in our yard even (a little note from the sitter said 3 inches on Friday...).

At least when we drive I get to knit in the car. I finished up a pair of socks (those baby cable rib socks I'll blog them later) and knit a pair of baby legwarmers for Cordelia's new baby Anna.

And, the kitties were all fine too, although I think they slept too much and missed the outside time they get during the day a ton. Here's Lucy in her "Jungle Jaguar Kitteh" pose in the Navajo willow in the front yard. Wow, that tree went from green to brown leaves fast, here is a picture of her in the same tree taken on Nov. 16th compared with today's.

I hope the little baby leggings fit Anna, and that they warm her legs! I've never knit these before, so I guestimated a quickie pattern. I'll have to ask Cordelia later. I used Trekking for these, of course.

And, more kitty love. Clyde loves to hang out with me in the mornings as I do my outside animal chores. So bright eyed and bonkers, he'll pounce out on the hay bales from the middle of nowhere.

Ah, how is it that 5 days off of work makes me more tired than a normal weekend?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Plyed Rainbow Romney (and llama)

I plyed the Rainbow Romney from the last post over the weekend, and still love it just as much. In fact I was debating ordering more bumps in order to spin enough to knit a whole sweater for me out of it. Then I remembered I should finish the things I've started first.

We spent a lot of the weekend outside, the weather is still in a warm holding pattern, no snow on the mountains. We finished a wood pile, I planted some garlic, we winterized the chicken coop, and I got to observe the animals for hours on end. Drama Llama is an amazing animal, and I still can't believe how bonded he is to the sheep and goats. Always alert, and watching, this is one of his classic poses.

Oh yeah the Romney. I love the colors, subtle, yet there. Dark enough I could get by with wearing a rainbow palette I think. The yarn is worsted-ish weight, and I haven't measured the exact specs yet, though I know it's 8 oz.

Pastoral sunset llama? Yep, still alert, watching the little ones.

So, if it is worsted ish weight, I'm guessing I have around 400-450 yds in these 2 skeins. I suppose I could measure and do the math, but I'll leave that to when I'm actually going to use the yarn I think.

Ideas for this yarn if I don't want to order more and knit a sweater?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Rainbow Romney

Last weekend at the Best of the Southwest wool-fest, I picked up a bump of roving from The Natural Twist, a small fiber mill in Albuquerque. Romney, in all these gorgeous dark rainbow-y colors.

I had every intention of taking a picture of the original bump. Because it was beautiful. But, I spun all 8 oz. of watching the presidential debates last night. I spun 2 full bobbins in a few hours. This is rare. This tells you something about the fiber prep. Dreamy, easy to spin, spins-itself kind of stuff.

Ruth, who processed the fiber also happened to mention she loves working with CVM. So, a local-ish mill, great prep, and she loves CVM? I'm going to have to send her a fleece next Spring and see what she can do.

I was going to knit last night, but after coming home to icky smelling dogs, bathing both, I really felt like spinning was the way to go.

Now, tonight, to ply!

Happy Friday and weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Playing with the new camera.




So far, I like it!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Like Cheese?

I put up a cheesemaking photo essay over on the group blog, House of Wool Repute.

Want to take a look? Clicky.


I'm lucky to have met some wonderful people on knitting blogs, knitting sites, the whole wide knitting internet. People who do really, really nice things like send me yarn for birthday presents!

Laura sent me lovely green merino laceweight yarn, and 2 balls of Jojoland (TX yarn!) sock yarn. Thank-you Laura!

Magatha sent me not only 3 balls of Trekking (she knows of my Trekking addiction I see), but some delicious dark chocolate, a Vegas themed lollipop, and....

A skein of Helen's Lace yarn that is to die for. Thank-you Magatha! The colors!

And, Theresa and Kristen had Carol at Black Bunny Fibers dye up a special mega-skein of laceweight (seriously, one skein, 2400 yds!) for me. Oooh, Sampler shawl here we come! Thank-you Kristen and Theresa!

So much yarn, so little time to knit it all.

Tania gave me some amazing Artyarns Alfabeto. Already CO for a little something with this and some handspun. Thank-you Tania!

Thank you Nate, for everything.

Still learning how to use this baby!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Rustic Yarn.

This is why I love handprocessing fleeces, why I love natural colored wool, and why I love handspinning. All summed up in one skein of yarn.

That little bit of black marled with the gray, taupe and creams.

The fuzzy halo.

The little nubbins of an end or tip of a lock here and there.

And how, something with no fancy colors, can have so much depth of texture, and such a range of subtle tones.

This isn't a fleece that makes a super soft sproingy yarn like Cormo, or CVM. This fleece makes a fuzzy, hairy, silky-draping, softly variegated yarn. It likes to be spun to a nice worsted weight, and not perfectly even and smooth. Letting it be spun this way really rewards me with a pretty cool yarn I think.

One you definitely couldn't buy commercially. And the colors, you can only get this from handprocessing, sent to the carding mill, this would come back a uniform light gray.

Now, wouldn't fuzzy cuffs on a nice sweater be kind of cool? Or fuzzy mitten cuffs?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Fleece Kitty Sniffs Wool.

So, my fleece has officially become Tele and Dory's bed I think. They come in for the night, chow down on some Friskies, and then snuggle in until its time to come up for bedtime.

And, Dory really is getting into the fiber habit.

I was very, very tempted to do a LOL Cat caption for this one, but comedy evades me at 10am with only one cup of coffee imbibed.

Ahhh, the cuteness of sibling kitties never fails!

I have a sewing project to work on tonight, then hopefully I'll CO for a new knit...big plans, big plans.

Oh, and I'm still flicking and spinning that fleece :).

If you haven't yet noticed, I'm part of a new collaborative blog, House of Wool Repute with a group of amazing co-fiberphiles. We'll be blogging about all things fiber, food, and basically whatever tickles our fancy, so come check us out!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Fleecey Goodness

I just washed and started processing and spinning a fleece over the weekend. A small (3 lb) Border Leicester-Colored Corriedale cross fleece rated as a prime handspinning fleece.

Step 1, wash (in the tub for me, 2 washes in hot water with Dawn, one hot water rinse, spin in the spin cycle, then lay on a towel in the sun to dry).

Optional, add cat to pile of fluff, or alternatively let cat add herself.

Step 2, I started using a Flick Carder or Flicker to comb out locks and spin, put my prepped locks in a basket, went to eat, then came back to notice said cat had removed herself from the fleece, and tried to fit into the little basket of locks.

Step 3, remove cat from lock basket, re-arrange locks, and continue to flick locks.

Step 4, grab a handful and spin!

The single so far. Fuzzy, and hairy, with subtle colored bits that blend in with the creamy gray and natural. Softer than I would have guessed. I think the Corriedale part of the cross makes this a pretty nice yarn, good hand.

I'll keep working on this, I'm really excited to see a whole skein!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Kaffe Fasset Socks

My first pair of Regia, Kaffe Fasset Design Line socks, made for me! I have to say, I love these socks...the colors, the stripes, and I made them VERY long and tall.

A super secret Christmas knitting project made with a Morehouse Merino kit:

And a detail of the toe striping. I love that they are slightly "off". Makes them feel a little more funky and handmade.

(oh yeah, and the colors are more accurate in this toe pic, cloudy sky did not like me...).

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! I think we're chopping/cutting up wood this weekend, playing with animals, and I might make a bunch of quiches since I'm in an egg surplus right now.