January 21, 2014

January Books and Events

Books are great!  I got a the new pocket edition of The Field Guide to Fleeces by Deb Robson and Carol Ekarius.  My version is signed by Deb, a big thank you to Elaine from my guild for ordering our group some books.  How lucky are we?  :)

There are a 100 sheep in this pocket guide, which is under half of what is in the Original Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook that the two fiberistas put together.  I don't know how they decided what to cut, it must have been a hard job.

The layout of the book is simple and will make this book an amazing resource up at WI sheep and wool this fall.  Each breed gets two facing pages, with the name in BOLD letters at the top, one page has a picture of the sheep with a light overview of the sheep, how it likes dyes, and what people use their wool for.  The opposing page shows some locks of the fleece, and stats of the wool, staple length, color etc.

I think next year Sheep and Wool is going to be so much fun!

Events are kind of a downer.

I've known it coming for a little while now, but now the shop front is empty.  The LYS, Fuzzy Wuzzy Yarns, where I taught stands empty.  Posts on classes might become a periodic highlight now, until I find another location to teach at.  It is a pretty big loss to my little knitting world, but there are lots of other shops in the area.

Other events include joining a new Guild, The Hollow Tree Spinners that meet at the Fold in Marengo, IL welcomed me.  Welcomed me so much that I'll leading a sock tutorial with another member sometime this year.

January 5, 2014

January spinning and a sock review.

have done some spinning lately.  Excitingly, some long term projects are off the wheel, some what.

I finished the New To You Spin Along from October.  I was trying to spin a sock yarn out of some destash fiber I picked up from Into the Whirled.  It's a super wash merino wool in a color called Its bigger on the Inside.  A bright pop of teal in a mix of oranges, that reminds me of the interior of David Tennant's tardis.

I have not washed the yarn yet, but the 3 ply gave me 616 yards out of 100 grams.  A little on the thin side for what I wanted.  It will fluff up after a wash, and I will measure again then.  I think I will still make them into socks either way, that's why I have a set of double zeros.

I started plying the prism on polwarth from the first installment of the rockin whorl club from August.  I hand carded the fiber with Angelina dyed to match.  Then I did the same with some polwrath dyed in Rauen, a dark brown.  The singles were plied together.  With coordinating sparkles.  I started with all the red, plying through the rainbow.  I got almost all the way through the orange before I realized I didn't have enough Rauen spun up.  I need more Angelina, and it should ship this week.
I love it!  I can't wait to work with it, but I need to put in more work to get to the knitting.

My speed spinning was gifted yesterday.  So happy with the results, and I'm sure Jess will make something amazing with it.

I took a friend to spinning guild on Monday, let her play on the wheel.  She learned to treadle, and draft and ply.  She has no fiber experience, not a knitter or needle arts.  She welds, so working with her hands and tools to create is not foreign.  
Lumpy and bumpy and amazing!

She did wonderfully don't you think?

I am not teaching or taking any classes for the foreseeable future.  So I have a sock review.  

I made the Hot Rod socks by Melanie Gibbons back in 2010.  I was in the yarntini sock cocktail club back then, and the club yarns were amazing basic colors.  I picked up the black in an update (how lucky!) to make these socks.

The socks are mostly stockinette with sections of color work, and these socks combined these yarns in a way that rocked.  So I wore the heck out of them.  And it shows.

Pros: The pattern is amazing although I would have gone up a needle on the color work part, but the placement of the color work is exactly where I like my socks to grip a little tighter.  So pretty, very fun, great for coordinating scraps of sock yarn.   The yarn is wearing well, no felting.

Cons: The pattern is not easily adjustable for in between sizes, not a big deal, but it is also hard to memorize.  So it's a medium difficulty pattern.  The yarntini yarn sells due to its amazing color, but mine bleed like a stuck pig even after 2 years of wear.  I cannot wash anything else with my yarntini socks, and these socks show it.   The black has bled into the yellow and muddied it and the toes are almost 2 shades lighter than the cuffs.  I have the rest of my yarntini in destash on ravelry for sale.  I recommend a good wash before working it.

January 2, 2014

The December & 2013 Wrap up

2013 was a good crafting year for me.  I love working with yarn and fiber.

I grew in my skills as a crafter and a teacher.  I can only hope to continue my growth, and the growth was most evident in the area of my spinning.  I felt good enough about my yarn to make a sweater!  I felt good enough about it to GIFT it!  I felt good enough about my skills to spin on purpose, for a gift, AT THE LAST MINUTE.  This is what I ended up with:

You know you wish that this yarn was for our.  I would say this is a 4 ply worsted/aran weight yarn.  So PRETTY, 50% BFL, 25% Merino, 25% Silk.

I got to give some great knitted gifts this year.  A cowl with Packer colors to my Sig Other's grandma.  She loved it.

And a bunch of those Seamless Salomas.  I have a couple at home for myself, and I just couldn't stop making them.  I sent a few off to AZ for kids to skate on the hardwood floors (since ice skating isn't really an option right?) and a few for my grandparents with puffy paint on the bottom for anti slipping purposes!  And a couple for small toes since I wanted to see what the sizing was like, I started out with the smallest size.
Forgive the blur, she's only 3, standing still is hard. The slippers are a couple of my pink colorways of sock yarns held together.  They are what I would call "princess puke pink."  Yup.  So PINK, with purples and greens and POW!

I hope your holiday crafting was successful.  Gifts were given, loved and will be worn out.

Did you make any crafting resolutions this year?  I did.  Here are mine - put some of yours in the comments.
1.  Never purl with Lion Brand Homespun again.  I have yarn for another blanket.  (I did finish my homespun blanket at 1:05 AM on New Years day)  I will work the next one in garter stitch (knit every row).
2.  Watch the craftsy classes I signed up for.  I have 2 that I haven't watched yet.  A knitting class on knitting with beads and a sewing class on tote bags.  I don't use my sewing machine often.  I probably could use a craftsy class on ironing skills.
3.  Spin 4 pounds of fiber before Yarn School in April.  This assumes that I'm able to register and go to Yarn School.  I have time off booked and can likely register on time, but you never know.  Yarn School was advertised in Ply Magazine, so demand could go up, and Spring session usually fills up fast.  I'm excited either way.
4.  Finish the blankets on my needles.  This includes the giant needle blanket and the Building Blocks squares blanket, not the Hexapuff blanket.  Hexapuffs are a long term project, I am not in a hurry.  The other blankets can be done.

And those are my 2014 crafting goals.  Really attainable, and there are only 4 of them.  4 is the right number.

But you might ask, what were my 2013 crafting goals, and did I do a good job on them?  I have to look for them.

I set only a few goals, one to finish decorating my new home.  Mostly done.  But that keeps shifting as we paint different areas of the home.  I'm pleased with what we have done right now.  A couple more things to go on the walls, but yay!  I had set a goal to finish the TKGA Master Knitter Program level 1, and I did not.  I don't have the motivation to finish knitting the swatches.  Does this make me a bad knitter, no.  It makes me a project knitter.  I want my knitting to lead to a finished object I can wear or gift.  This isn't what this knitting leads to.  I don't know that I will finish it.  Last goal was to spin every week.  I don't think I spun every week, but I have spun every month for at least 4 days a month.  Averaging it out, yes, I spun every week :)

I don't think you've had enough pictures this post - here's a bonus picture of how cold it is here.  Wear all your knit wear at once.