Thursday, August 25, 2011

Black Hole Knitting

I love the Stargate tv series, mostly Stargate Atlantis, but either is fine.  Perfect knitting/spinning tv watching or should I say listening fodder.  There is plenty of techno babble speak throughout the series involving time dilation fields, out of phase episodes, alternate realities, and black holes.  I fear my tv world is turning into a reality.  I swear I'm in the black hole of knitting.  I've been knitting and knitting and knitting and KNITTING on my Atalanta scarf.  Now I love this scarf.  See?  What's not to love. I am much farther than this picture.  YES I AM!  I love the yarn.  I love the pattern.  I especially love the criss crossy border.  However, I'm still knitting on the first skein of yarn.  I actually did start knitting the pattern as if I'm at the half way point.  But I'm still on the same flipping skein!  I look at it each time I start, convinced that today will be the day that it will run out.  The second skein is wound into a cake and ready to go.  Each night when I'm putting it away I look and.... sigh...that little ball is still going strong.  I keep telling myself to just keep finishing each pattern repeat and before I know it I will be able to start the decreases and then WHOOSH!  I will finish it. 

Now I will admit I have let spinning take the forefront in my crafting time.  I finished two skeins of frolic.  I love how it turned out, it is very girlie I think.  There is enough roving to have another 2 skeins so I think I will end up with over 900 yards of Frolic.

The BFL variegated spun up beautifully.  I have two nice skeins of that although they are still waiting for a soak to finish the twist.  But what needs to really happen is knitting some hats out of my handspun.  My goal is to have some hats knit out of my handspun along with kits of the pattern and yarn to sell both at Lila and Claudines as well as at the two upcoming fiber/art festivals I'm participating in this fall.  So black hole of knitting or not, I must put aside my scarf and whip up some cute hats, I'm leaning towards one baby/kid hat and one hopefully two adult hats.  Did I mention the first event is October 1?  And looking at the calendar, that is a mere 5 weeks away.  Oh ya, can't see why I'm stressed over that at all!  Besides what have I got to do other than spinning, devising an oh so clever little pattern or two or three,and knit those clever patterns?  Oh just a full time job, two girls starting school in a couple weeks, shopping for final school clothes for my girls, getting girls and/or mom to various Dr. appointments and finding time to sleep.  No problem. 

If only I could figure out that time dilation field thing where time goes much slower in one reality than the other.  My luck?  I'd whip myself into the time that is moving exponentially faster than now....hmmmmm....maybe I already did!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Spinning Frolic

Since I'm sitting on a MOUNTAIN of roving, I've been spinning like crazy.  So far I've completed 2 skeins of a yummy chocolate brown that is merino and silk.  What should have been a luxurious spin was one of frustration.  I just don't like spinning from batts.  These batts were really soft but as I spun, I could never find a good rhythm and found little nepps hiding in the fiber.  And to top it off, it lent itself to a really FINE FINE spin.  Which meant it took a LOOOONNNNNGGGGG time to spin.  Now that it is done, I like it, but for now at least I'm going to shy away from batts.

Once I was done with the chocolate puddle of yarn I turned to this...the first of the 9 pounds of fiber I selected from Fat Cat Knits.  Let me introduce you to Frolic.  Now you may need sunglasses at the almost psychedelic hues but oh my what a treat.

I spun it into a nice 2 ply, which I think would be great for something for a baby maybe.  You can see the single and if you squint past the flyer you can see a bit of the 2 ply.  Currently the 2 skeins are hanging on the lighting arm of my ceiling fan to dry after a nice soak from last night.

Which brings me to a dream I have.  Currently my yarn is in my bedroom.  Along with my wheel, a large cubby unit that holds ALL my yarn, a dresser, a queen size bed, two bedside tables and a floor Ott light.  This is my present yarn studio.  I don't claim any longer to have a bedroom, I have a yarn room with a bed in it.  My dream is someday I will have a dedicated yarn room or dare I say a studio.  I guess the luxury I have is I can plan and dream and decide what I would have in that studio.  Interweave has a new issue of its magazine Studios out and the amazing organized chock full of crafting goodness just made me long and dream about what mine would like like.  I think one of the things I'd like is some type of island that would have a top that I could use for blocking out my completed knitting.  It would have shelves underneath that I could fill with baskets of roving and yarn.  A practical item but at the same time one that would be a feast for my eyes and yet keep me organized.  I want a place where I could hang yarn to dry as I set the twist.  It would have a wall unit of some type that would be flexible enough to hold skeins of yarn as well as my books and magazines (which would be magically organized so I could find whatever pattern I wanted).  Someday I will have this type of space.  But right now, I'm happy in my version of a yarn room.  It is filled with yarn and fiber.  My girls come in and spend time with me all the time on their own (I know!).  I'm blessed.

But back to spinning...this is the next batch on the wheel.  It is a variegated BFL and it feels like silk....

Friday, August 12, 2011

Lila and Claudines

This has been a banner week in my spinning/knitting world.  I brought a basket of my handspun into a local yarn shop, Lila and Claudines.  And I heard such lovely and warm compliments on my yarn.  And to my delight and amazement, they bought a chunk of my handspun to have in their store!  Yup, bought it from me.  And asked me to come back and spin at their store and attend an upcoming festival and sell my yarn.  This is one of the most vibrant color exploding yarn shops I've been in.  Take a look!
Doesn't that just read fabulous!  And full of creative and funny people who encourage and guide customers into really exploring yarn to its fullest.  I'm thrilled to be "part of the family." 

Monday, August 1, 2011

The aaaahhhh from up north

We went to Grand Marais this weekend.  It is one of my very favorite places in the world to visit.  The air is fresh and clean and gazing out over Lake Superior is just awe inspiring.  This isn't actually in Grand Marais, but is Goosberry Falls.  The best part is the weather, the temps at home have been in the 90's with high humidity.  To the point you feel like you have to physically push your way through the air.  But in Grand Marais, it is usually 20 degrees cooler.  You are on the lake so the breeze is cool and soothing (at least to me). 

The girls were going to go swimming until they stuck their toes in the water and gasped at the shock of 45 degree water!  But still we played and walked up and down the shore, looking for magical rocks, dragging up driftwood for my mom (which is now safely home nestled among our potted plants).  I was content to laugh and watch as the danced in and around the water.  Emily was the one who would wade out and grab the rocks from as deep as she could reach.  Anna and me?  We picked the rocks actually on the shore! 

Once we returned home, it was back in the humidity and grateful for air conditioning.  Went to work today and what was delivered to me?  But a BOX of roving from Ginny at Fat Cat Knits, I mean a BOX people!  I got NINE pounds of roving.  NINE!  Don't even ask me how long it will take me to spin that up.  I placed the order 2 wees ago and have spun madly trying to clear the way from my stash so I can nestle these beauties in the basket...

Is that not the MOST fabulous pile of roving ever?  There are 8 colorways jumbled together and another pound not pictured of a natural light beigy taupy bfl.  So I'm in heaven and it is the most I can do to not dump out the roving from the box on to the floor of my cube and rolling around in it.  It is a mix of BFL and Merino.  Just can't wait to start it. 

Oh and while in Grand Marais, I found a small yarn shop and Emily picked something out there for my upcoming birthday.  I picked out a book Knit! Swirl!  This is the most beautiful sweater idea I've seen in awhile.  And I'm toying with spinning enough yarn to make it for myself.  Can't think of a better way of showcasing my own handspun at events than to work up something like that. 

Well I better get back at it and NO I don't mean rolling in my roving!