Tuesday, June 27, 2006

What to do, what to do?

Many of you have asked what I am doing with the new handspun. Well, orignally, I was going to be alternative hippieish and make A Maiden's Glory from The Anticraft.

I realized when I decided I wanted to make it that I would
A) probably never wear it except for maybe Halloween or a Ren Fest.
B) feel all stupid and like I was trying to be one of those fake alternative punk knitting teen types, whose also into witchcraft. This would be made all the worse by the fact that I am not teen, punk, or wiccan.
C) be wasting my handspun on something I'd never use.

Keeping all that in mind, I want something that's unique, and beautiful and takes advantage of the colorways of the yarn, and mostly, I want something I would use.

I have another idea in mind, but I'm still not sure if it is something I would actually use, or how it will turn out in the end. Maybe I'll just end up making a hat.

Monday, June 26, 2006

More spinning, more pictures.

I've had a productive morning. I decided to try and spin up the Tintagel Farms fiber I got at MS&W. A 50/50-wool/mohair blend in the colorway "Lillypond". The last time I tried to spin it, I couldn't. Not a lick. It was just too fine, and slippy, and short. This morning went much better.

I am pleased with how it turned out over all. The fiber is overall green but it has some brilliant spots of blue, a touch of purple, and mustardy yellow as well, and when I was drafting it out, I tried to make the most of the color changes so there would be more variation. It's still mostly green, but once I plied it, it was neat to see the other colors spiraled throughout the green.

The texture of the fiber was super light, soft, and airy. The texture of the yarn, not so much. It's a little scratchy, but has the mohair halo. But I still like it.

To the left is the corriedale light green, hanging quietly in the bathroom after having it's hot water bath.

And here is the detail shot of the same. It's a thickish worsted. And the picture, a little blurry.

And this is the Lillypond, on the spindle.

And a detail of the yarn before I set the twist. Also pretty much a worsted.


Today looks much like yesterday did. Dreary.

And despite plans to knit yesterday, I didn't. I did some spinning instead.

And then, at 11:30 last night, I decided that I MUST go ahead and ply it as well. So I wound it around my hand, as referenced here.

And I slipped the "ring" off and was ready to ply.

When I was finished, an hour later, I had appoxiamately 30 yards of yarn and about 2 to 3 yards of yarn vomit.

I was also too tired to remember to take more pictures of the process. I am fairly happy with the yarn I made, but I still need to set the twist in it to know for sure. I made a point of trying to be more consistent and a touch thinner this time, and twisted the yarn a lot more while plying as well.

As a curious side note, I was listening to Beyond Band of Brothers on audiobook. It's quite good.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Badcaul or Bad Call?

I have already messed up these socks, and pretty much decided not to fix it. Here's why.

badcaul in progress

First, the errors! Or just non-conformity in my knitting.
The pattern says just to slip stitches but not knitwise or purlwise, so I was slipping knitwise. I didn't like the way it looked so then I tried not slipping at all, and then finally settled on slipping purlwise with the yarn in the back. It makes a difference, and I am happy with slipping purlwise, but then I had to decide whether or not to rip yet again or just go with it.

And OH MY! Look how skinny it is! I put the quarter there for reference. Yes, it is a most skinny sock for my most wide foot.

But it does fit, and it's comfy, so I am not so worried about that anymore. And really, the minute changes I made in slipping/not-slipping don't show up that much. So... not ripping. Hopefully I'll get to the heel today, if not past it.

They aren't perfect, but I think it'll be OK.

And to Susan from the Eastern Shore, feel free to comment all you like, it's not an intrusion. As someone who blogs, I have to realize that I am putting myself, or my craft at the very least, out there and that the public has access to it. As long as the comments aren't unduly snarky or hateful for no reason, I don't have a problem with them, nor with responding to them. :)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Run. Don't Walk.

Yes, I said RUN.
To your local Target.
Hit up the dollar section by the door.

There you will find some little bags that they call "Fabric Treat Cans" and I call "I just got a neat little wrist bag for making sock knitting easily portable and didn't have to pay a bazillion dollars for the Lantern Moon one" bag. I got two. (They also have loads of Napoleon Dynamite stuff on markdown too. Vote for Pedro Fridge Pad ftw.)

OK. Got your bag? You can walk now.

Here is the yarn I spun up Monday night during knitting group. The wonderful Amie helped me out. Basically, spinning on a spindle is indeed as slow as I seem to be doing it, I can't make it faster, and I need to be more patient. But I ended up with not quite 20 yards, and I'm not giving myself blisters anymore, (don't ask!) so there is some definite improvement.

And finally, OMG! I won the yarn naming contest that Mama-E had. BEAUREGARD won! So now I get some of that SO SO BEAUTIFUL purple yarn. And I even got to pick the name. How cool is that?

And since several people asked, the reasons I didn't like the Hedera socks were... While the pattern was good, it wasn't toe-up, and with it as written, it looked horrible on my ankles. They looked like fat stuff sausages and it was just unattractive. I am sure this wouldn't have been a problem had they been taller, but they weren't. And I didn't want to randomly make them taller because I didn't want to run out of yarn. So I am doing the Badcauls because everyone in the knitblog universe says they are superfast, and because they are toe-up. I can make these puppies as tall as the yarn will let me and I think that's a good thing.

And finally, I am curious about the people that actually read my blog. So if you read it fairly regularly but haven't ever commented, leave a comment! I'd like to get to know you!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Round X.

What once was this:

Is once again this:

I am going to try Badcaul next.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

7 little yards.

No new knitting content, but I did do a little spinning. Very little actually. But I plied the little bit I had on the spindle and this is the result.

And close up.

I even rinsed it and hung it to dry to set the twist! Of course, it is only 7 yards. What am I going to do with 7 yards? It's so very litte, but I feel the need to do something with it. It's yarn I made with my own two hands, I MUST do something with it!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Change is the only constant.

For those of you who liked the armwarmer, I'm sorry. I decided I didn't care for it, not one bit!

So I'm doing Knitty's Edgar instead. Seen above with a "blanket buddy" I started for the upcoming tot of shmoo's bestestest friend ever.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I am knitting for both of my extremeties right now. Socks and Armwarmers.

My Hedera sock is progressing along. Slowly but surely.

And all stretched out so you can see the lace pattern.

And I took the same stitch pattern and stuck it in the armwarmers.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

At the zoo.

As promised, here are a few highlights of the zoo trip.

This guy was determined to get to the tree bark, despite the fence and the heavy screen protecting it.

This colorful bird reminded shmoo of a Nike commercial for some reason. And the red eyes aren't from the camera, they are actually that red.

These boys are located at the sea lion enclosure. I think this photo is my favorite of the bunch. In fact, the original is my current desktop wallpaper. The super-saturation of the light, the cool gray of the stones, and the faint greens of the moss give the picture a stark, surreal, almost alien feeling.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

I've seen London, I've seen France....

Ok.. I haven't seen France. But I have certainly seen a ton of D.C. this week.

We ended up taking TourMobile on Tuesday. I think it was a good decision. You got lots of random touristy info, and there wasn't as much walking. I was a little worried about wearing Nana out. TourMobile helped with a lot of that and I learned more about D.C. and some other places besides the Smithsonian and the Monuments that would be nifty to visit.

Wednesday we went to the Phillips Collection Gallery and the Textile Museum. I didn't like a lot of the paintings the Gallery had on display but I was definitely impressed with the breadth and scope of the collection. I am normally a Dali girl all the way, and I loved loved LOVED the Dali Museum in St. Pete, Florida, but I did find several things to like in the Phillips Collection. El Greco, and his repentant St. Peter, was just beautiful. I also liked Kandinsky's Succession, and one of Picaso's blue period paintings I don't remember the name of.

There were also some Manets, and I think one Monet, and Van Goghs and just an astounding scope of artists in the Gallery. If you are an art lover, I suggest you try to make it one of your stops if you are in D.C. (And I mustn't forget the Renior, considered the jewel of the collection, even if not by me.)

The Textile Museum was neat. So much intricate embroidery/needlework on display. When you consider the man hours that went into that, it's overwhelming. I wish they had had more on knitting, as they had very very little. They did have a little fiber and spinning display, but the spindle that was there wasn't really user friendly and I think they are recycling previously spun fiber. It was still nice to visit however, and it was free (donations welcome/suggested).

Thursday we went to Mt. Vernon. We didn't get to go on the cruise down and back that we wanted because it was booked full on the day that everyone could go, but we hit up Metro and Fairfax Connector and it was just fine. The restaurant at the Inn was very reasonably priced as well.

Friday we hit up the National Zoo before they had to leave to catch their plane. It was a little hot, but if was fine if you stayed in the shade, and there was a nice breeze. I have tons of animal pics, but I haven't edited any for blogging yet, so perhaps I'll toss some of those up tomorrow.

For now, we are off for a leisurely breakfast at IHOP! Don't forget it's Knit In Public Day!!!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


I am spending this week touring my Nana around D.C. Not much knitting is getting done, however I ripped my toe-up sock and decided to do Hedera instead and I am happy with. So perhaps I'll actually finish and like a project some time soon! Here's a picture of some of the critters from Dark Crystal. Sorry for the blurriness, the case didn't like me. :)

Saturday, June 03, 2006

We've Got Spirits, Yes We Do!!!!

Remember Wine in the Woods? Hot, busy, crowded, loud, I was kinda sick, and mostly overwhelming? We ended up buying from only one of the wineries. ( Loew's)

So it turns out that Loew Vineyards and Elk Run are in the same town, on the same road (Mt. Airy, Liberty Road aka MD 26). And I like to plan little local day-trips for us. So this time we decided to do a winery, and since they were both right there together, it just made since to go there and hit both, right? Exactly!

While at Elk Run, the nice lady mentioned Linganore/Berrywine (They were also at Wine in the Woods, but neither shmoo nor I remember tasting them. That's not to say we didn't. We just don't remember. There was a lot of wine and a lot of tasting. It got confusing. But I digress.) and that it was right in the same area. So we decided to check them out as well. Compared to the other two, they were GINORMOUS! Their current building is rather largish by comparison and they are putting the finishing touches on another, larger, GIGANTIC building. It's the size of a barn. They also had multiple staff members, unlike the other wineries. They even had a guy with an accent (british maybe? seemed a little softer than that to me, perhaps he's been here a while) to do the tasting recommendations and pouring.

So we had a great time, tasted tons of wines, and come home with 12 bottles. When you add that to the one we had leftover from Wine in the Woods, we have 13, yes 13, bottles of wine. I'm feeling a little lush!


Editting to add the wine info in case someone is interested. You can click on the picture to see it full sized and read the labels, or just read here!

Elk Run: Sweet Katherine and Cabernet Sauvignon
Loew : Serendipity, Country Classic, Harvest Red
Linganore: Sangria, Spicy Regatta, Black Raven, Merlot, Terrapin White

Friday, June 02, 2006

How cool is this?

You can make your own Opoly board.

I am not sure I'd want to spend hours doing it, but it sure sounds neat if you had kids or a theme in mind to give someone.

On the knitting front, I am working on some armwarmers. Cause, you know, you NEED them in June when it's 90 degrees out. Yeah. In all actuality they'll probably get frogged too because I'm didn't write down or chart out my cables as I went and I need to be able to reproduce it for the second one. I am sure I can just figure it out and continue to wing it, but I'd like for them to match.


Not long after I posted, shmoo found the cat entranced. He was staring out the door to the porch intently.

So we look on the porch to see what he's obsessed with, and there's a ginormous pigeon, on the porch rail. Excuse the blurriness of the shot, I took it through the door so he wouldn't fly off.

Then shmoo quietly opened the door just a touch. Where Bri could get a paw thru. So he attempted to go-go-gadget his paw towards the bird.