Short Track Medal

Short Track Medal

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Baby Blanket Update

Where has the time gone? I haven't posted anything in a week and I've been working on things full steam ahead! Spinning has been going well. I was able to spin the autumn covered roving into a nice thin yarn.

Now that I'm spinning more evenly and have some better control over thickness, I purchased a fast flyer. It didn't arrive yet. This is all plied and washed and ready to go but it hasn't been to its photoshoot yet.

As a matter of fact, neither has the baby blanket, which is going swimmingly as well! I am probably at the halfway point or just a little further and it is beautiful.

In other news, I do have some nice pictures for you to see. Spring has finally sprung here, at least for a few days. It's not even spring, it's summer. We went to the North Shore of Long Island yesterday for a cub scout trip to Garvies Museum. It was 86 degrees there but barely got over 73 down here on the south shore due to the sea breeze. I took a few nice shots.

The boys, accompanied by my DD as honorary sibling, went on a nature walk through the woods and then down to the beach. There, they learned about the glacier, the ice age, and how the boulders got there. They also learned about how the Native Americans used the clay deposits to make pottery. DS was able to find a nice vein of clay and proceeded to dig in it.

I was proud of him for making his sister get into the act and get equally dirty. It was fun though. It was really the second nice day of spring, slightly hazy on the water but all in all a good day. It's early in the morning and I'm in shorts and a tank top. The temperature is supposed to go pretty high today as well. Two more days of this and we'll probably be back to autumn again...we'll see.
Well, off to start the day, tons of errands to do!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Eye Candy Friday - Spring Tease

It was "warm" on Thursday. Well, just a bit over 50 but at least the sun was shining. The spring nippy breeze was blowing. It's just a tease, I tell you. We'll be cold again. I was able to take a few shots of some flowers that survived the hard freeze the other night.

Being I saw my cardiologist (heart is still beating, thanks for asking...) and my heart is bleeding for spring, today's picture is appropriate!

Bleeding Hearts

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Actually, I'm Low on Roving...

I cleared up my fiber mess!

My husband did some house cleaning the past few days and now we have useable space. It seems that the house is alot bigger and alot neater without so much clutter. However, I've been spinning alot and I'm actually a bit low on fiber. I do have that gorgeous Deep Sea green merino tencel to spin. Hmmn...Let me think about it. I also have dark green merino top, Evergreen Grove. Tomorrow is the Guild meeting and I need to bring something to work on and don't feel like it being knitting so it's going to be one of those. Decisions Decisions!

I'm knitting away on the Pinkaboo blanket. Still sick and still coughing. My son is better, nearly, but baby girl has a sinus infection. They had a lovely Easter. There was traditional egg coloring..

We bought this kit that makes 'marble' eggs. Kinda weird, the one on the right is shiny and marble like. The one on the left (green, I made that one!) didn't come out right. I didn't 'swirl it in the oil' first. Remind me not to use this for yarn ... ever..

Someone double dipped. She got an Easter Basket from the Bunny and some money from the Tooth Fairy in the same night. They saved on air fare, joining forces in these sad economic times. Or maybe the Bunny rode on the fairy's wings?

And no, we didn't start off with DD in a white shirt.

The little egg coloring project and excitement over Easter made them even smile and get close like they like each other. They'll love this picture in about 30 years. It's one of the first shots where I am starting to think that they look a bit alike.

Speaking of 'in 30 years'. DD announced that she is going to grow up and have a 'nice husband and 6 daughters' and live around the corner from her brother who will have a 'nice wife and 11 children'. She thinks it will be neat if they all could "get together". Yes, I thought. Counting their spouses, they have enough for two baseball teams and two coaches......

For "Easter Monday" we went to the preserve for a walk.... in the 46 degree "APRIL" weather. The kids were supposed to look for 'Signs of Spring' while I looked for 'Signs of a Blizzard'. Here's two that they saw.

There were actually three geese together here. I made it look by two, being this is a G-rated blog.

Things are actually growing near the edge of the lake. Amazing that the FREEZE we had the other night didn't kill all the vegetation.

As you can see, nothing is really growing yet and most of the trees don't even have their buds. It's like we are living in Alaska... no sun, gray sky, nothing growing. Still dark, still dismal.

When will it be spring?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Eye Candy Friday - Is it Spring YET????

Crocus Blooming, several weeks later than they should have because it STILL isn't spring!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

There's Snow Cone on the Pumpkin!

Good morning, world!

Do you like today's title? We're going to talk about the weather and colors of the season.

It's sunny and freezing here today. Ok, nearly freezing, it WAS below freezing overnight but right now it's about 35. Warming up to, say, 40. I want to plant things but the ground is really cold yet! My hands are frost bitten, too. However, I've been spinning. This roving made a 4oz,
2 ply, 125 yard skein of "Snow Cone", 50% Merino/ 50% Tencel. I like this blend very much.

I plied, washed dried and photograped it. I must say, I was quite pleased with the result. I took these pictures in the early morning light; hence, the shawdowing. It's weird, there were so many colors in the roving and it's almost tweed - like spun up.

I bought 20oz of Merino/Tencel top in a solid color, "Deep Sea" (ok, it's close to green but not really, more teal like) on Etsy and can't wait for it to come. I want to knit this up to see how I like the blend but let me tell you right now, it's totally awesome. It has a bit of a sheen and it's ULTRA soft. It feels silky, like a blouse made out of wool and rayon. I guess, wool and rayon is really what it is. Tencel is quite similar to rayon in the way that it feels. This skein (not wound on the niddy noddy so well so you can't really tell) is very well balanced. It is relatively even in thickness throughout but hangs perfectly in a nice loop. It has great elasticity and spring and bounce. I want to knit it into SOMETHING, maybe a very skinny scarf for my daughter? Maybe I'll get some more in a solid contrasting color and alternate them to make stripes? We'll see. It may be hard to match up.

The only thing I'm a bit miffed about is that I'm only getting 125 yards out of 4oz and the yarn is somewhat thin. I didn't do the wpi thing so I couldn't tell you for sure. (I'll try and check that out later).

Anyway, last night I spun 2oz of REALLY pretty roving on a different ratio on my wheel so I could make hairlike yarn. Nearly laceweight.

Let's see how much I get out of this...

Yes, I know, it's pumpkin and autumn! It's supposed to be spring! Well, the other night, the sky looked all gray and had puffy clouds and it rained and you know what it felt like? Thanksgiving. Yesterday, it snowed! So, autumn it is. Besides, autumn is my favorite season, followed by winter, spring and summer. I actually enjoy snow! This year, it's been so utterly cold though I may be bumping winter to number 3. I like them all, actually, but I hate being hot in the summer.

Time to break out the laptop for telecommuting. Stay tuned for pumpkin yarn update!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Gods or just the Fiber Napper?

Hmmn...I must be losing my mind. After suffering with sinus pain for a few days, I took some Claritin-D. I was coughing and sneezing and very, very congested on Saturday. In fact, I stayed on the couch with my lovely alpaca and spun and spun. Today is Tuesday and I'm finally feeling better. Maybe there is a reason why they keep it behind the counter other than the kids use it to get high.

So, I broke open some 50/50 Merino Tencel in the "Snow Cone" colorway that I bought on Etsy from Moonlightbaker. I wasn't thrilled with the colors but they were different. After all, something to brighten things up after tan and tan and tan would be a change of pace. It was on sale, it was over 4 oz and I wanted desperately to spin Tencel after fondling it at the last guild meeting. I hope mine is as soft as that. I divided it in half (by the gram) and was nearly done spinning the first half but I misplaced 7 grams of fiber. Or...was it 'napped? The Fiber Napper is out there, still at large. You can read all about this infamous person in the Long Island Knitters group on Ravelry if you like. Hmmn...

Thinking that maybe I didn't lose it but rather spun it onto bobbin number one, I proceeded with spinning onto bobbin number two. I weighed them and sure enough, bobbin number two is 7 grams heavier but the fiber is no where to be found...they sorta look the same. I just have visions of plying and running out of fiber on one well before the other. Ticks me off.

Snow Cone looks nice and shiny and very blue/purple. I was thinking more red. We'll see how this plies. Pictures next time!

Additionally, a few days ago, my Pampered Chef Bar Pan cracked. I was heartbroken. Luckily, Pampered Chef is going to replace it. I miss it desperately and can't wait until the new one arrives.

Tonight, I used my 9x9 vanilla Pampered Chef pan to make luscious crab cakes and you know what I saw? A hairline fracture. Sheesh! Only a matter of time before that cracks all the way through. Dagnamit.

So, the God took my pans, the Gods made me sick and the Fiber Napper took 7 grams of my Snow Cone.

Moral of the story? Keep your receipts, always please the Gods and for God's sake, hide your fiber! You never know when it could be 'napped!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Oooh La La Alpaca!

I was jumping for joy last night over my latest homespun yarn. I started with 10 oz of roving and now I have soft luscious yarn. I spun, I plied and I plied...and I plied. Honestly, it was endless. I was taking my time and being careful but I do think that I'll be much better off with the plying head. I made small hanks. This is right after plying but before they had their bath. They total about 320 yards.

Then, I washed them. They actually were quite dirty, there was even some alpaca silt in the basin, sandy like.
(Yes, if you're thinking it, I did count the number of treadles. I wanted this to come out good!)

Here they are drying on a Shamwow. (They make good towels for yarn! Dried in no time!)
Then, the moment of truth. When I held them up, they each hung open in a perfect loop. Nice and balanced! Yeah!!! NO Twisting to the left or to the right. It was great!

A close up of the wet yarn. (Hope you're enjoying this as much as I am. Also, if you actually read this far, you probably are.)

They were barely wet when I hung them off the handles of all my kitchen cabinets and then, the next morning, I had beautiful yarn in my kitchen.

Et voila, the finished product. The yarn bloomed beautifully and it enjoyed being beaten against my countertop a few times. I love it! It softened up so nicely and will make something nice and toasty. A shawly scarfy thing, for sure!

Another dreary, rainy day here on Long Island so the pictures aren't all that great but you can see how nice an even they are and all four are very much alike.

Oooh la la, Alpaca!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Oooooh....Ahhhh... Alpaca!

I bought 10 oz of alpaca/dorsett at the February Guild meeting and I've been trying to spin it up for two months! It's been on the wheel, staring at me night after night as I worked on other projects. Last night, I finished the spinning and started the plying and made one 100 yard hank.

This isn't ultra luxurious but it is nice. I'm thinking shawly scarfy thing but we'll see how it is after I wash it and thwack it on the countertop a few times.

Alpaca is nice but you have to be careful not to overspin, or so I'm told, otherwise it can get coarse. I tend to underspin and it did break on me a bit. It'll be interesting to see how I do when I go back to merino! I was quite happy with how nice this came out and I'm generally hard on myself. I am pleased that I am making useable yarn but I still want to get better. I also want to learn different plying methods and be able to spin even more thinly so I can make 3 ply yarn.

I'll get it.

Nice to see from whence I came a mere six months ago....

This was some undyed Corriedale that I killed, thick, thin, messy...but, hey, we have to learn on something. The important thing is that I've learned alot and I'm thanking all the nice people I've met at the Guild! Imagine where I'll be in a year!

Now, off to cleaning and working on something else I can't do...a toe up sock.

Oh, and I may even get outside a bit today. Spring supposedly has come to Long Island and it's going to be '60' today. I'll believe it when I see it. It's only 49 now and it's after 10 in the morning.