Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Fiber Festivals

Why, hello there! Long time no see! I actually finally recorded an episode last week, but something was up with camera, and my mouth and the sound just would not line up! I'll try again this week, at some point. In the meantime, so the show isn't just a huge line of stuff I've bought recently, I thought I'd blog about the various fiber festivals that have been going on the past month. Columbus Day weekend was the NH Wool Arts Tour. I thought this looked fun, so I piled the kids into the car and off we went! I had thought that there would be some interesting demonstrations and that the kids would be able to spend some time with animals. This was not necessarily the case. They did get to pet some sheep and goats, but they didn't really get up close and personal with the animals. The weather was chilly and wet, so most of the demonstrations were cancelled. It was okay though - the kids chatted so amicably in the car on the way up to NH and seemed to enjoy running around the farms. When I asked if they would go next year, they pretty much answered with "maybe." I decided it wasn't really worth the trip for me.
I did a tiny bit of shopping that day. I bought 2 oz. of Cotswold roving to sample at one of the farms. Friends in Fiber was vending and I bought my first rolags from her! I also picked 2 mini batts - one of llama and one of mohair, also new fibers to me. There was a vendor with large bags of white roving. I wish I had asked about price - I wouldn't mind having a sweater's worth of fiber to spin!

The next weekend was the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival. I didn't go this year, but I sent in an entry to the handmade competition. The featured item this year was cowls. I knitted the Scalloped Ruff by Pam Powers out of a merino/alpaca/cashmere blend. A week after the festival, I received it back in the mail, along with a third place ribbon!! I'm pretty excited to have won a ribbon for the second year in a row!

(I'm sorry that I don't have a decent picture of it. I'll try to get on that today!)

Finally, this past weekend was the New England Fiber Festival. This is my first time attending this event, and I went with a local knitting friend. We left early and arrived just before the doors opened. We had a lot of fun and bought a lot!!! I totally stuck to my list, except for one skein of sock yarn (and we all know that sock yarn doesn't count as stash!)

Here's the stash: A sweater's worth of yarn, Shetland fiber and sock yarn, all from Tucker Woods. A sock spinning kit from Bitsy Knits (who is AWESOME with the customer service!), 2 oz. of merino/silk/camel to spin, and a braid of Rambouillet from Gnomespun.

All the Tucker Woods Goodness!


 I wanted to take a moment to compare/contrast Rhinebeck and the New England Festival, because there's been a lot of that going on on some of the Rav boards. New England was great for shopping. The Festival takes place in a HUGE building and booths are set up in a grid system with plenty of aisle room. It actually feels like shopping in a giant yarn mall. I think there were almost 200 vendors there, so plenty of shopping options! There was plenty of yarn and fiber, a number of rug hooking vendors, and, I think, a decent number of weaving vendors. There were opportunities to learn to spin and a few demonstrations throughout the day. Food choices were limited, but tasty and reasonably priced. The vendors, although they seemed to be tired at the end of festival season, had the time to really talk to customers, and we had several really nice conversations! This is an easy day trip for me, so I could definitely see it becoming a regular event for me.

Where the New England festival fails is the atmosphere. First of all, its inside. There's just something about shopping for yarn in the fresh air that makes me happy! Because its indoors, there's a lot less wooly fashion to admire. No one is wearing hats, scarves, or fingerless mitts inside. And although there were a few animals present, there were no animal shows - no sheep dog trials, or llama limbo, or sheep shows. Sure, there are no crazy crowds, but there's also was very little stopping strangers to admire their knitwear, or bonding while standing in line.

Rhinebeck has all the things that New England lacks. Plus, it has some of the bigger vendors that I would love to see in person again - Loop!, Fiber Optic, and Into the Whirled to name a few. It also has way better food vendors - lamb burgers are totally the appropriate fiber festival food! And, as another podcaster put it, Rhinebeck is yarn prom! The big kicker for me and Rhinebeck though, is the surrounding area. I LOVED the weekend I spent in the Hudson Valley last year. I loved dining at the CIA and touring the historical houses. I hope to go next year with my husband and hike the Walkway over the Hudson.
Some of the Festival Atmosphere at Rhinebeck
So, final analysis - for pure shopping, go to the New England Fiber Festival. It's much easier to browse, it's no problem to think about your purchases and go back to vendors, and there's plenty of room to breathe and move. For Festival atmosphere and a whole weekend of Autumnal beauty, site-seeing opportunities and the chance to make new friends, head to Rhinebeck. (Plus, Tucker Woods will only be vending at Rhinebeck from now on!) Wow, this turned into a really long post!!!! I'm glad to share my purchases with you here though! I hope the next time I record I'll be able to share the knitting and the spinning!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Not Even a Picture

Hi everyone! I did, in fact, record last week. But I was in such a rush that I'm kind of spastic and ridiculous, so I'm not going to post it! Last week was the last week of school and I spent the time frantically knitting washcloths, weaving in ends of cowls, wrapping presents, writing thank you notes and attending various end of school year activities. You can see pictures of all the things on my Ravelry page. Plus, on Thursday, we had one of my oldest friends and her family over for dinner. ALL of the kids behaved wonderfully and we were able to have a great visit. They stayed until 10, which meant the kids were pretty tired the next day! Thankfully, it was a half day of school and they were spending most of the time outside for a popsicle party. They all napped after lunch though, because we hosted a neighborhood ice cream party that night. As you can see, the week was pretty exhausting! I also received some awesome birthday presents! My dear husband gave me an Ashford Competition lazy kate and a super cute wpi/diz/twist angle tool! My MIL paid for some fiber braids that I ordered from Camelot Dyeworks. One is 100% Merino in blues, whites and greys called "Cinderella" and the other is red, white and blue superwash merino/bamboo/nylon appropriately called "July". July will be my wheel spinning for Tour de Fleece, and I hope to wind up with a sock weight yarn. Today is the first official day of summer vacation (because the weekend doesn't count). Our old town has school this week, so we're headed there this afternoon to visit teachers and play with old friends after school. We'll finish up the day by having dinner with my in-laws. Tomorrow we'll be busy packing because we leave Wednesday (sans DH and oldest child) for a 10 day visit with my parents. BUSY!!!!! So, short story long, don't know when I'll record next. It might not be until fall! I'll try to keep you updated one way or another on the knitting and spinning, but I promise nothing. To those of you whom I owe an email (you know who you are!), I'm sorry! I hope to get to it soon! Happy knitting!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Radio Silence

Hello there!

As you've probably noticed, there hasn't been a new episode in a couple of weeks. I was hoping to get to it this week, but it's probably not going to happen.

Real life is taking up a lot of my time lately - house stuff, spring cleaning, gardening, and kids' activities have me pretty busy, and I just haven't wanted to take the time away from all of that to record.

I hope no one takes it personally. I know there are about 50 of you out there who watch the show, and I really appreciate it! I appreciate the emails and PMs too. But right now, I need to focus on the rest of my life. 

In other things, I wanted to comment on the events of the Boston Marathon this year. I was out of town last week, but feel no less effected by the tragic bombings at the finish line. I LOVE the Boston Marathon. If my kids were slightly older, I would totally take them into town to cheer on the runners. Because that's what Marathon Monday is about. The crowd at the Marathon is 100% positive. Everyone is super polite and happy to be there. EVERYONE cheers on the runners. Strangers will walk along exhausted runners, encouraging them to finish the race. It's a great crowd, and it really sucks that people tried to ruin that.

Jerks.

Okay, that's my rant of the day.

I hope I'll find time to record soon, but if I don't, I hope you'll understand.

Thanks, and happy knitting!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Episode 7: Constant Interruptions


Episode 7 from Dorothy Minear on Vimeo.


Show Notes:

On the Needles:
  • Feather and Fan Dishcloth knit with Sugar and Creme Cotton
  • Cedar Leaf Shawlette by Alana Dakos, knit with Ball and Skein yarn on size 7 needles
  • Swatch for Dark and Stormy by Thea Coleman
Finished Object:
  • Scalloped Ruff by Pam Powers knit with Bristol Yarns King George Yarn
Spinning:
  • Still working on the Loop! Batt
  • Dyed my own wool with Wilton Food Coloring
  • The Easter Bunny brought Merino Top in the Jelly Beans colorway from Knitty in Color

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Episode 6: Without Heat

Episode 6: No Heat from Dorothy Minear on Vimeo.

Show Notes: On the Needles: Lacy Baktus by Terhi Montenen, knit on size 3 needles from my handspun. Never Enough Thyme Polworth/Silk in the Winter's Chill Colorway Scalloped Ruff by Pam Powers, knit on size 7 needles in King George Yarn Spinning: Still working on the Loop Batt. Thinking aboug dyeing up some merino fiber Finished Objects: Husband's Socks knit out of Fishknits Shades of the Proverbial knitter yarn on size 2 needles. Techknitter provided the instructions on how to lengthen the leg. Spring Forward Socks by Linda Welch knit out of STR Lightweight in the Saving Grace colorway on size 0 needles. Knit for the Knitabulls STR KAL Family Tip: Visit kidsbowlfree.com and sign up your children to bowl 2 free games a day all summer long!

Monday, March 18, 2013

No Show This Week :(

Sorry everyone, my house is undergoing some work and it's too crazy to even think about recording! I HOPE all will be relatively normal by next week, and I look forward to showing you all the knitted progress! Have a wonderful week! Dorothy

Monday, March 11, 2013

Episode 5: Shedding is a Problem

Episode 5: Shedding is a Problem from Dorothy Minear on Vimeo.

On the Needles: Husband's Socks Spring Forward! Socks Lacy Baktus Spinnning: Loop Batt Coming Up: Scalloped Ruff Marshmallow Bunny Scarf?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Episode 4: Resolution Check-in



(I love how YouTube gives you me with my eyes closed. Brings back memories of my 5th Grade class picture)

On The Needles:
Spinning:
  • Finished plying Never Enough Thyme Polworth/Silk in Winter's Chill
  • ~360 yards of a 2-ply fingering weight yarn, and 104 yards of an undetermined weight of a navajo-plied yarn
  • Up Next: Loop Bullseye Bump in Full Bloom!
Stash Enhancement:
  • Fishknits self-striping sock yarn in "Shades of the Proverbial Knitter"
 What I'm wearing: Gail (aka Nightsongs) by Jane Araujo knit in handspun gifted to me by Jane!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Episode 3: Sweater Lessons

 

I really wish I knew how to control what frame Youtube freezes on. I hope to get the show notes up by tomorrow!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Episode 2: Nothing New



(I love how YouTube gives you me with my eyes closed. Brings back memories of my 5th Grade class picture)

On The Needles:
Spinning:
  • Finished plying Never Enough Thyme Polworth/Silk in Winter's Chill
  • ~360 yards of a 2-ply fingering weight yarn, and 104 yards of an undetermined weight of a navajo-plied yarn
  • Up Next: Loop Bullseye Bump in Full Bloom!
Stash Enhancement:
  • Fishknits self-striping sock yarn in "Shades of the Proverbial Knitter"
 What I'm wearing: Gail (aka Nightsongs) by Jane Araujo knit in handspun gifted to me by Jane!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Episode 1: The Pilot


Show Notes:

On The Needles:
  • Taiga Cowichan in Cascade Eco (NOT Cascade 220 Eco)
  • Hermione's Every Day Socks
Spinning:
Finished Objects:
  • Christening Cap
  • Ski Lodge Socks
Thanks for watching!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Zipper and a Handle

Yesterday, I finally got around to sewing my February project bag. It took me about 2 hours. Again, I'm pretty sure it should have taken 45 minutes or less, but I'll get there! I only had to rip out one seam, so I'm improving.

I used this tutorial because I wanted a larger bag and I wanted a handle. Now that it's done, I wish I had added the little pulls on the sides to make zipping it easier. So, next time I will do that. I think I'll also use some heavier interfacing to make a more structured bag. Actually, I think the next zippered bag I'm going to attempt will be a wedge shaped one. We'll see.

Anyway, here's my Valentine bag:

I think it came out really nicely!!! Here's a shot of the inside:

It's just large enough to hold the Taiga Cowichan sweater and what's left of the purple ball of Cascade Eco+. A child's sweater project would definitely fit easily in the bag.

I'm making steady progress on the Taiga. I finished the pockets on Monday night while watching Larry Crowne (which was really not very good. And I didn't have high expectations). I'm slowly working the bottom portion of the sweater. I made a little progress on that last night while watching Lars and the Real Girl (why yes, I totally hit up the grown-up movie section at the library this week). I was pleasantly surprised by this movie! It wasn't nearly as quirky as I thought it would be! It was both sad and sweet and I liked it a lot more than I expected!

I'm pleased with the sweater so far. I need to have the main body done by Monday for the steeking class that I'm taking. I also have to look for some kind of closure. The pattern calls for toggle buttons, but I'm not in love with that idea. Maybe I'll hit up Joann's later this week. Any opinions would be welcome!

The dangling parts in the front are the pockets   






Friday, February 8, 2013

How a 6 Year Old Spends a Day Off of School with No Snow

Who do you think will win, the dinosaurs or the soldiers?

Plus, I finally finished my Ski Lodge Socks!
 They're off by ONE ROW!

The snow is falling slowly but surely in Massachusetts. I foresee lots of knitting time tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Photographic Evidence

I thought I'd give some photographic evidence of my 2013 goals so far!

First up, I have the first half of the Taiga Cowichan that I started last week:
 The yarn is Cascade Eco and I worked the stockinette section on a size 10, but I'm doing the colorwork section on a 10.5. I haven't actually checked my gauge in the colorwork, but I feel like it it's looking the right way, so I'm going to go with it. The band in the front are my extra stitches so I can cut a steek. I'm taking a class on steeking in a couple of weeks, so I hope to have this ready to cut by then. I'm pretty confident it will get done, since I'm halfway through and I've only been working on this a few days. Don't you just love bulky yarns for that reason?

You can see the two balls of yarn in the corner of the photo. I think I'm going to have quite a bit of yarn left!

Spinning-wise, I've finished two ounces of my Never Enough Thyme Fiber in Winter's Chill. (Sorry about the shadows in the picture). I know that there are A LOT of over spun parts to this, especially towards the end of the bobbin. I don't really know what happened, but I had a mess and had to pull off a few yards of the singles and toss them because they were so over spun. I'm putting the other half of the fiber on another bobbin. I'm about 1/2 ounce through the second half, so maybe by the end of next week I'll have some new yarn to show you!
 Finally, I still have not finished my Lollipop Yarn socks. This is the first one:
I have the stitches for the heel picked up on the second one and maybe it will get finished this week. I've been too occupied with the sweater to think much about the sock. I knit these socks over 56 stitches on a size 2 needle instead of my usual 60. I find that my socks slouch just a little bit and I'm curious to see if this helps. The smaller sock fits fine, but I do have to be a little careful when pulling it over my heel.

Nothing else has really gotten any attention this week. It's been very quiet around here the last two days, and I've sort of been relaxing and not worrying about much, besides laundry and dishes (we really can't go any amount of time without thinking about laundry and dishes).

Friday, February 1, 2013

2013 Goal Check-In

On New Year's Eve, I laid out my knitting goals for 2013 here.

I thought I'd try to check in monthly to see if I've made any progress!

So far, I have not watched the Andrea Wong DVD, so I'm no closer to learning to knit Portuguese style and I have not picked up the Birthday Pi shawl once. However, I've made progress on all the other goals!

I spun up the byMelody batt that I bought at Rhinebeck and I've been slowly spindle spinning the fiber I bought from Into the Whirled. I had knit up one of the sock yarns and the red and white sport weight yarn before Christmas. This week, I cast on for a sweater using the Cascade Eco. I think I'm doing very well attacking the Rhinebeck stash! The Cascade sweater also fits into my knit myself sweaters goal!

I'm hoping to knit 4 pairs of socks this year. I almost have a completed pair of striped socks - they are both awaiting their afterthought heels. Yesterday, I picked up the stitches on one of the socks, and hope to have the heels in by the end of the weekend. I've also knit the leg of another sock.

Finally, I sort of participated in the Knitgirllls Expand Your Horizons challenge for January. By sort of I mean that I have some Babydoll Southdown fiber and I spent one or two afternoons attempting to spin it. I plan to give it some more time this weekend, so I'm going to credit myself for this one.

After one month, I'm feeling pretty good about achieving my goals!

How are you doing?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Zipper Foot

Yesterday, I spent about 3 hours making myself a small box bag. (I used this tutorial). I'm pretty sure it should have taken me about 45 minutes, but I'm new at this and I had to rip out and resew at least three seams.
Isn't it cute?
 It's very small. I don't think it will fit any of my knitting projects, but since it only used 2 fat quarters (and not all of the fabric), it was an inexpensive project to try out some new skills. It's even lined:
 I had meant to do this on Sunday night, but I couldn't find my zipper foot. I totally thought I knew exactly what it looked like, and I didn't understand where it could have gone, since all of the feet to my sewing machine are stored in a pouch attached to the machine. Monday night I finally got out the book to the machine, just in case I didn't know what I was looking for. Turns out, I didn't. My zipper foot was right where it belonged.

I've never sewn in a zipper before, so despite some ripping and resewing issues, I'm so proud to have been successful without calling my mom for help!
 I even managed to add the little pulls on each end of the pouch.

Now that I've been successful on a small scale, I'm going to try to make a larger bag, one that might actually hold a knitting project. I'm also going to attempt to attach a handle to this one, although I'm super confused by the directions on how to do that. It will be Valentine themed:
I know, it's a lot of black. But the remnant bin was 50% off, so the price was totally right!
Maybe I'll have a project bag for every month!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Rambling on...

I feel very rambly today, but I'll try to keep some coherent line of thought going!

First, a couple of finished objects. I finished a 2x2 ribbed scarf for my FIL's birthday (he's 87 today). I did not take a picture of it, because it's black and ribbed, and I just didn't see the point. I've also finished the first of three christening caps for BFF's triplets:
The ends haven't been woven in yet

I'm using a pattern from Easy Baby Knits by Claire Montgomerie. I've actually knit this bonnet at least two if not three other times before - I love it! I've cast on a second one for the other boy baby, but the only girl will get something a little fancier. It doesn't look like the Christening will be until April, so I have some time. I'm using Cascade 220 Superwash for all of the hats.

I also knit myself a pair of Fetching fingerless gloves. This was the extent of my participation in National Knit Mittens month. Had I known before January started that it was NaKniMitMo, I might have planned something a little more exciting.
I still need to block these.

The yarn is Scrumptious Aran by Fyberspates and it's a wool/silk blend. It is VERY scrumptious! I have to weigh what I have left to see if I can get a pair of kids' mittens or some other accessory from the remaining yardage. I'd hate to have it just sitting around.

Besides the second bonnet, I've been knitting on a stockinette sock, a different scarf, and another sock. Here's the other sock:

The pattern is Hermione's Every Day Sock and the yarn is the Secrets Kept colorway from Creature Comforts. This was the Bardic Circle club that I tried out and we read "The Winter's Tale". My only complaint about the club is that there is very little discussion about the play. I think only three people actually read it. The price was incredibly reasonable and the yarn is GORGEOUS! My picture does not do it justice. It goes from almost pastel blues to lovely jewel tones. I'm actually knitting socks instead of a shawlette because I knew the socks would get used more and therefore, I'd enjoy the colors more often.

I've also swatched for a sweater for myself and hope to cast on for that very soon! There's some steeking involved, and I'm taking a steeking workshop in mid-February, so I'd love to have it done to bring with me to the class. The pattern is Taiga Cowichan. It's a short sleeve sweater and uses bulky yarn, so I think it will go quickly.

That's all for today. Hopefully, I'll have some sewing to show you tomorrow!

Happy knitting!



Monday, January 28, 2013

A letter

Dear blog,

I have a TON of stuff to tell you about and to show you. I have a ridiculous number of projects on the needles - a scarf, two socks (different ones), a baby bonnet, and a sweater. I have finished stuff to show you - a scarf, a baby bonnet, the hat and sweater that I finished in December and still haven't told you about. I have spinning going on! I've signed up for a steeking class! I even have some potential sewing projects (potential because there's been cutting and interfacing and pinning, but no actual sewing yet).

I have thoughts on yarn and on color and on the squeak my wheel makes. I've signed up for a spinning group that meets bi-monthly and it turns out that Sheila Bosworth is a member of the same group!

I'm thinking about making bread and made two really delicious desserts last weekend.

I would really like to tell you about all of them and show you some pictures.. I haven't wanted to stop the knitting/spinning/blocking/thinking stuff to take any pictures. So I haven't. I planned to do that today, but I'm just too tired.

I hope you understand, and I do hope to update you soon.

Sincerely,
One Tired Mommy

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

From Batt to Finish

When I was at Rhinebeck, I bought a small amount of fiber to spin on my drop spindles. I only bought a little because I know it takes a long time to spin on a drop spindle. I bought the pink Romney from Into the Whirled that you've already seen, and I bought this batt from the Ulster County Guild booth:

The Polworth/silk batt is from byMelody, and while she doesn't have fiber in her etsy shop yet, she hopes to start selling it sometime this year. I had grown a little tired of all the white "practice" fiber I've been spinning and decided it was time for some color.
 Lots of color!
After I unrolled the batt, I divided it roughly along the color lines.
 
Then I divided each color section in half.
I predrafted each section and rolled it into little balls. Then I spun them, following the color progression of the batt onto two separate bobbins.
 (Here's the first start of the first bobbin, and then I forgot to take more pictures!)

I plied the two bobbins together, and I wound up with about 106 yards of this bright and colorful, sportweightish yarn:

I LOVE IT! 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Some Finished Yarn!

I skeined up some yarn yesterday, soaked it, thwacked it, and hung it up to dry. Here are my two finished yarns:

The first is Romney fiber from Into the Whirled that I bought at Rhinebeck. I spun the singles on my Golding spindle, but plied them on my wheel:

 As you can see, it's a bit overspun, although it's much better since I soaked it. When I first took it off the niddy noddy it completely spun up on itself.
Obviously, it's very uneven, but I think there are signs of hope for consistency. I have about 50 yards of a dk-ish weight (the weight varies A LOT through the skein.) I still have some singles left to ply and about 1.5 oz of the fiber left to spin.

Next, I have the wheel spun skein:
 This picture actually doesn't do it justice. The skein is very well balanced. It had just the slightest twist when it came off the niddy noddy, but hangs beautifully after its bath.
Again, very inconsistent. I have about 50 yards of again, a dk-ish weight. The fiber is Romney sliver that came with my wheel.

Yesterday, I moved the driveband to the faster whorl and I'm spinning singles significantly thinner than these.

Despite the spinning time, I have been knitting too!

I have a friend who is having her third child any day now. I've been working on this cute little sweater:
It's supposed to be a 6 month size, but it feels a little narrow to me. We'll see how it looks after the button bands are in place. I LOVE the cable detail along the raglan lines and if the size seems right, I will definitely knit this sweater again! I'm going to a new knitting group tonight and hope to finish one if not both sleeves.

My car and holiday knitting was this sock:

 The yarn is from Lollipop Yarns on etsy in the Ski Lodge Colorway. (The odd blue stripe between the red and the black is for the afterthought heel). Lollipop Yarns updates every Sunday at 7 and you have to be quick! The updates usually sell out in minutes! It took me 3 weeks to finally get some yarn! The toe is ready to be grafted and I have yet to start the second sock. There on hold until I finish the baby sweater.

I'm also working on a 2x2 rib black scarf out of Cascade 220 for my father-in-law. It's black. It's ribbed. I'm sure you can picture it. :)

Not much else is going on here. The house is slowly returning back to normal. I've been putting Christmas decorations away at an astoundingly slow rate, but am trying to find the motivation to really work at it until it's done (SO hard to do with my wheel staring me!). I'd like to do a little organizing every day as we still have lots of loose ends around the house. I know that in the long run, the better organized the house, the more time I have to do fun stuff. Maybe I'll have be really focused this weekend! (Maybe........)

I hope you're enjoying whatever it is that you're working on these days!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Spinning!!! On a Wheel!!!

Yesterday, I w finally able to spin on my wheel (there might have been a moment on Sunday night where I had to sternly tell my husband to SET THE POLYURETHANE DOWN). I had so much fun!!!!

Here's me spinning in my new little spinning nook in the dining room (and by new I mean I put the spinning wheel in front of the chair and put my fiber in the little basket that makes up the bottom of the table).
 The learning curve for basics wasn't too steep. Here's my first and second attempts.
First Attempt

Second Attempt
I think it's okay for a beginner. I spun up another batch of singles this morning and I'll ply the two better ones together tomorrow (I think the first singles will not be saved).
I also used the wheel to ply some of the pink romney I've been spinning on my Golding spindle. I was tickled to realize that my antique bobbins fit very well on the Traveller's bobbin holders and I could ply from them. (One bobbin obviously had more fiber on it than the other.)
Here's the plied yarn:
  

I have more to ply, but this was SO MUCH FASTER than plying on the spindle.

I'm using the wheel as a single drive and spinning on the lowest ratio. I wish I understood more about when to use the different ratios, but I'm sure I'll learn as I go. Next time we go to the library, I'll see if there are any spinning books around. 

I have been knitting too! Right now, I'm working on a simple 2x2 ribbed scarf for my FIL's birthday and a baby cardigan. I hope to finish them both by the end of the week; I want to start a sweater for me! I'll try to get some pictures up this week.

I love that the kids are content to sled outside (we have a small hill in our yard) or play with their new toys. I'm giving myself a break in getting stuff down around the house this week and just resting and enjoying all the fibery goodness!

Happy knitting!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Christmas Gifts, Part II

Yesterday, I said I still had one more knitterly gift, but I actually have two!

The first is this beautiful row counter bracelet that my mom bought at her LYS:
(I have a new camera. You think I'd be able to take a half-decent picture, but not so much). It's much prettier than the photo and I love it!

The second thing is this:
That, my friends, is a Bosworth spindle. I actually picked it out at Rhinebeck and my mom bought it for me. It was a pleasure to unwrap it at Christmas, and I came prepared with fiber to spin! I'll show pictures of that once it's skeined and washed.

Re-entry into normal life is always a bit rough in January, especially since besides re-entry there is also all the Christmas clean-up. I don't really enjoy taking down the tree - it's just such a chore. Plus all the putting away of gifts and generally getting the house back in order. It will get there though. I'm giving myself until next Wednesday to get it all back to normal so I'm not driving myself crazy trying to do it all at once.

I'm off to grab a quick nap before its time to get the kids from the bus stop. Happy knitting!


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Christmas Presents!

I received some AWESOME knitterly Christmas presents!

Here's a few of them:

My mom gave me the Knit One Below book, and my husband bought me Knitting Without Tears, the harmony knitpicks sock needle set, and the yarn is the Snowstorm Scarf kit, also from Knitpicks.
I've never used the harmony needles before, but I love that they're so pretty! The kit is for a double-knit scarf and I'm excited to learn that technique.

All of those gifts are really nice, but they were slightly eclipsed by this one:
Look closely at the box. Do you see what it says?
It says "ASHFORD"!!!!!

Inside the box, is this:
An Ashford Traveller Spinning Wheel!!!!

I can't tell you how surprised I was! My husband is well aware that I wanted one, and we had spent a little bit of time talking about them and the kind I might like (and by talking about them I mean I talked at him and didn't really think he cared). Turns out, he was listening! He spent the weeks before Christmas making some phone calls to a couple of spinning wheel dealers and asking some questions, before he picked out this baby. Isn't he awesome?!?!?!?!?!?!

Unfortunately, we were only home for a little while after opening Christmas presents before leaving for my mother's-in-law house for Christmas dinner there. We got home pretty late and then left the next day for my parents' house and didn't get home until last night. Which means, the spinning wheel is still in the box. I opened the box today, took a quick look at the pieces, and quickly decided that spinning wheel assembly is a husband job. He's much better than I am at putting stuff together (and no, I don't think this reveals anything at all about the differences between genders. I think it reveals a lot about my strengths/weaknesses versus my husband's).

The wheel is unfinished, so it will need some work after it's assembled. I'm hoping to start spinning on it next week.

I have one other gift to show, but it's upstairs and I'm not, so I'll save it for tomorrow.

Happy Knitting!