Monday, January 25, 2010

Spinning Pepi La Pue

I finished my Citron Shawl late Friday night.  Emily is clamoring for it, we will see how that works out.  But I do love the colors, and the pattern was nicely done.  No complaints here.  I'm back working on the white prayer shawl.  Note to self:  think twice, maybe three zillion times before knitting a white item in the dead of winter.  Also, after knitting on something else for a week, don't be surprised when you stumble bumble your way through a few rows before you fall back into a comfortable rhythm knitting again.  But I'm half way done on the white shawl, so there is hope if I can power through that I can finish over the weekend.

I finished spinning the lime green roving as well.  I will give it a nice long soak and some serious thwacking tonight and complete it.  The color is pretty spot on in the picture, maybe just a bit brighter, but that is what you get trying to take pictures at night in winter.  I'm happy with it, I had less than four ounces and have almost 200 yards.  So that will do and it is not spun too thinly or tightly, it is nice and squoishy.  I think it would be great in a fair isle hat or mittens.  I'll think on it and see what is calling me.
And finally here is the next spinning pound of Pepi Le Pue!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Due to the grayness outside...

knitting on the white shawl has been temporarily suspended for this.

This lovely riot of colors that reminde me of rhubarb, is the Citron shawl, which I found on Ravelry.  It is a fast and prety shawlette.  And I love the pinky/purpley colors that meld with the spring green.  Perfect to banish the winter grayness away.  I'm on the last repeat and will start the 11 rows of 550 stitches each for the ruffle.  Fun times people!  But it is simple stockinete and I will glady take it.  It will cover the shoulders in just a barely there type style or will be very cozy wrapped around a throat for comfort as well as color in these winter doldrums.
I should be nominated for the bad mommy award today. The two neighbor kids I drive to the bus stop with Emily were at our house this morning, all dressed in their usual snow pants/jackets/hats/boots/mittens.   Emily hops into the laundry room to get her gear when we both gasp. We totally forgot that last night I threw her jacket/snowpants into the washer. And there they were, STILL in the washer. And still very wet.  Not damp, but WET.  So not dry.  Not good. I pull another pair of pink snowpants off the hooks and they fit Emily perfectly. Grabbed her last year jacket (also pink) and with her pink mittens and another hat we were set. Now her jacket is a light weight winter jacket but I think we are ok today. She will have it on for recess for about 20 minutes and with her running around she should be warm enough.  How can I forget my childs winter outerwear in the washer!  In January!

We are down to the final week before my mom heads south for the month of Feb.  She is so excited and I too am looking forward to having time alone and alone with the girls.  I'm planning on taking at least one day off for me.  No kids.  Just me.  And I see some yarn hopping in that day.  Lord help me.  I will be loose, alone, in yarn shops.  No promises on what will come home with me.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Trolling for roving

When I'm knitting lace and it is the same pattern repeat that I had in the last update, there really isn't much to photograph to show.  Just more of the same.  It is pretty, but just more of the same.  But I'm on the 7th repeat of 14, so whoo hoo!  I still love it and it actually moves along quickly but just not much to show.  I did break out the electric lime green roving from my stash basket and started spinning it last night to combat the blahness of knitting with cream yarn in a dreary stretch of winter days/nights in Minnesota.  It is spinning up nicely, I'm trying to get a bit of a thicker yarn, with more bounce and squishness quota than I've been getting lately.  So I'm slowing down on my treadling spead and trying to take my time instead of chanting faster and faster and faster as I spin.

I went on a roving search this week.  While there are a few yarn shops in the area that also sell roving, it isn't as easy for me to get as yarn.  So I started trolling the net to find some possible new shopping places that include purchasing directly from a sheep or alpaca farm in the area.  What fun.  I found Becky at the River Oaks Farm I emailed her and after a series of exchanges ordered some beautiful charcoal gray/black roving.  It is soft and feels great.  Her service was extraordinaryly quick.  I confirmed my order in the afternoon of Tuesday and Wed had a box of roving waiting for me at my house.  Talk about wonderful service.  I can't wait to spin it up.  (or take a picture of it, sorry!)

I'm also exchanging emails with a yarn shop in Wisconsin near my sister's home in Barnes.  She is calling some local sheep farmers and finding out what wool they may have for sale and will get back with me.  Again, that is going above and beyond customer service.  Can't wait to find out what wool the wilds of Wisconsin may have.

So this weekend I will kint and spin and I will try to take pictures of the results.  The lime green roving reminds me of a slushy and in this weather seems appropriate to spin.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dipping my toes into the lace pool

Question is, will it be the shallow end or head over teakettle jump into the deep end.  I've only worked one "true" lace project.  That was the shawl I made for Kristin's wedding and it turned out so well and I loved it.  While I've worked on lace type projects (Girasole and the Hemlock Ring Blanket) they use regular yarn and so don't have the intimidation factor for me.  During my previous crafting lives I loved to get books on the history of craft.  I have some absolutely beautiful books on embroidery/samplers.  At the end of an out of state trial I worked that consumed nearly a year of my life, I bought a linens book that still just takes my breathe away.  And tucked onto my bookshelf I have a lace book.  It is called History of Lace.  I toyed with finding classes on making lace with all the clacking bobbins and watching it transform into amaizing ribbons of lace.  Who knew many years later I would create lace using knitting needles and laceweight yarn.

A friend of mine is going through a rough patch personally, so I thought I would make her a prayer shawl.  I debated about doing something simple and fast in order to get it to her quickly.  Then I remember my Knitted Lace of Estonia book.  I paged through it, loving each item.  I kept going back to one pattern and decided that is what Liz needed.  A delicate simple rectangular shawl.  My stash provided the yarn necessary and so after a week this is what I have.

And I love it.  It is not without a few mistakes but don't we all have some glitches in our lives?  I'm hoping it will be finished in a couple weeks.  And I hope Liz can feel the comfort when it is wrapped around her shoulders.

As far as whether I'm dipping my toes in the shallow end or going headlong into the deep end of the lace pool?  I guess we will judge that later in the year.  I do have some suri baby alpaca to spin...laceweight should be easily achieved with that....spinning?  lace?  spinning lace?  sounds like heaven to me.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Spinning up a New Year

I like New Years.  I like the promise of new things, opportunities seem endless, and the hope to change some of the challenges from the past.  I don't do a lot of resolutions or things like that.  I do think of some things I'd like to accomplish, some big, some small.  And everything seems possible in the early part of January.  A couple goals I have this year include opening an Etsy shop for my handspun.  I love to spin.  Sometimes I love to spin more than I love to knit.  Which means I end up with LOTS of yarn.  And it is really nice yarn.  There is a real difference in using handspun in place of commercial yarn.  So far this year I've spun up these...

The reddish orange is 100% wool and it is perfect to deal with the winter grayness and blahs that seem to creep over me during January and February.

I also finished the blue green skein that is 100% Falkland wool.  Falkland wool comes from an island, the sheep aren't dipped so their wool is wonderful to work with.  This was one of my favorite spins recently.

 Then I did the purple skein called Sugar Plum.  All of them turned out nicely, all are squooshy.  A lovely problem to have is that right now I want to spin more than knit.  Currently I'm working on 100% alpaca.  Now that has to be the most exquiste spinning experiences I've had to date.  It is spinning up almost by itself, I can't wait to see how it plys together.  And I bought some new roving this week after visiting the Knitter's Palette in Lakeville.  I walked out with some fabulous lime green and a deep blue black top that I can't wait to see how it turns out.

But the most interesting thing I found was this.  That my friends is 3 ounces of CAMEL!  Who knew?  In the frigid darkness of a Minnesota winter, I will be spinning up CAMEL.  The possibilities are endless....Stay tuned....