The Falkland’s Will

I asked the wool what it wanted to be.
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It answered back, “Beautiful”

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I was happy to oblige.

So often I take a braid of fiber and I form it into what I want it to be. This time, I let it do what it wanted, taking me out of my comfort zone, yet soothing and easy at the same time. This braid of Falkland from Friends in Fiber spun up into such a gorgeous single that I knew it didn’t want to be plied. So I fulled it and snapped it and hung it to dry, then anxiously awaited the finished object. 

It did not disappoint. This lovely yarn is going to a dear friend and I cannot wait to see what she makes with it. Maybe it will tell her what it wants to be.

One Down, Eleven To Go

I just read an interesting study about New Year’s resolutions. In 2007, the study tracked 3000 people through one year to see how they fared in keeping their New Year’s promises. The end of the year showed dismal results. Only %12 percent of the original 3000 people had accomplished their goals. SO, how are you doing with yours?

As for me, I am going strong here at the beginning of the second month. And this is what that looks like –

My knitting/spinning goals were set out as follows –

1. knit something from my handspun – I am working on this one. I spun up a lovely merino/yak blend for the Follow Your Arrow mystery KAL and that is still in progress. It’s not my fault it isn’t finished. I blame Ysolda.

IMGP1759_mediumSpunky Eclectic Club Fiber August 2013, 8 oz of two ply sport weight. Ravelry page here.

I would post progress pictures, except that it is a mystery knit and I don’t want to spoil the surprise. If you want to see it so far, here is my project page.

2. Knit a christmas gift or christmas decoration – The Blessing’s Christmas Stocking is finished, blocked, and packed away for next Christmas. The feeling of accomplishment that fills my chest at having a Christmas item finished before February even began is enormous!

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This is a mish-mash of patterns, mostly Kristen’s Creative Christmas Stocking, and is knit in Knit Picks Wool of the Andes  avocado, lullaby, cranberry, and semolina.

3. Spin one braid (at least) I spun 12 oz of fiber in January. I showed you the merino/yak above, but there was also this gorgeous Mixed Color BFL progression.

IMGP1873_mediumSpunky Eclectic Colorway for a Cause “It’s a Beautiful World”, approx 450 yards of fingering weight singles.
Ravelry page here.

This is already on the needles and half knit. I got a head start on February’s handspun knit.

4. Keep my yarn/fiber purchases to the bare minimum (an unofficial stash down of sorts) Unsurprisingly, I didn’t do so well at this one. Thank goodness I wasn’t more specific!

This month I added to the stash 24 oz of fiber, and only spun 12. I gave/traded away 4 oz. This puts me at +8 oz.
As for yarn? I added 10 skeins and only knit 4 and scraps. But I gave/traded away 5 skeins. So +1 for yarn.

5. Keep my WIPs to a maximum of four. (In my original post I said a minimum of four, but ya’ll knew what I meant, right?) This I accomplished with great difficulty. And, right now I have five, but just since yesterday. The Mystery KAL kind of doesn’t count, because once this week’s clue is finished, I can’t work on it until the next clue comes out, which makes it kinda like a finished object each time I finish a clue. Besides, last night I didn’t want to knit my lace Hitofude Cardigan, and the rows on the Allegro are getting snore-inducingly long, and I finished my clue on the MKAL Shawl, and the other knit is taking too much brains, and I just really wanted an instant gratification type project. So I cast on a dress for The Blessing with this lovely stuff.

IMGP1845_mediumMosaic Moon Targhee DK in Burlap and Burlap Semi Solid

I am half done. I will be knitting longies to go with it, too. Awesomely cute!

One month down, eleven to go. And doing just fine. 

I love the challenge of resolutions and the feeling of accomplishment that sticking to them brings!

(I am doing really well with my healthy changes resolutions, too, but that is kind of boring, so I won’t detail it. Suffice it to say, the longer I go without sugar and coffee, the less I want it, and the more active I am, the better I feel. These are lifestyle changes, not just for this year, so I will just carry on and continue to reap the benefits thereof.)

Three Things

1. School Has Begun

First Day PixParadoxically, this has given me more knitting time. Homeschooling four different grades, plus teaching preschool and toddler wrangling and caring for a newborn, requires a pretty tight schedule if I am going to have any free time for my hobbies (and it does help with keeping me sane). Then there is the fact that everyone loves school. We have so much fun doing crafts, learning to read, studying exciting events in history, and conducting science experiments. It is exhausting but oh, so satisfying. (For those who would ask, our schooling is a blend of unschooling where we can, Charlotte Mason because it is fun and interesting (amblesideonline.org specifically), with Making Math Meaningful and Hooked on Phonics to teach the basics.

2. Knitting has happened

IMGP0127Not a whole lot of knitting, mind you, but just enough that I can show off a new finished project (and the baby. I never miss an opportunity to show off the baby!).

IMGP0101This cute little hat was a test knit that I did for perfectdisplay on Ravelry. There is no pattern, yet, but I will update my Ravelry project page when there is. Working with this yarn (Cascade Yarns Epiphany) was a heavenly experience, which came as no surprise seeing as it is spun from alpaca, silk, and cashmere. And the buttons! Oh, the buttons! Tessa Ann makes the most adorable buttons and these are no exception. 

3. A very little bit of spinning has happened as well.

IMGP9986And by “very little bit”, I mean a very little bit. This is the sample I made before I committed all 5 ounces of my muga silk to the wheel.  (This braid was a gift, purchased from Lucky Cat Crafts on Etsy.)

IMGP9960Talk about heavenly! This stuff is amazing and spins up into a gorgeous laceweight. It wants to be threadlike thin so it will be two ply. And when I said it is spinning up slowly, I was thinking of the fact that, though I started it weeks ago, I have yet to spin even half of it. 

Spinning is the hardest thing to do right now. My spinning time is at the end of the day after all of my little ankle biters are asleep in their beds. But, these days, despite my best intentions, I only have enough energy in the evenings for a little Netflix watching (currently we are enjoying old episodes of Lie to Me) and then to bed I go, falling asleep before my head hits the pillow! So, some nights I spin for an hour or so, but most nights I satisfy myself with dreaming of spinning, which is the next best thing, despite the fact that I have nothing to show for it in the morning!

 

 

 

 

 

A Collection Of Randomness

First off, I would like to thank all of you who have been asking me if I am still alive. Yes, I am here, still pregnant, and healthy, and extremely uncomfortable. Hence the lack of blogging. I don’t want to make this blog my whining place about all of the ways that this pregnancy is torturing me, so I simply stay away. And then there is The Cave, which is once again beckoning me to hide away and finish off this gestation in solitary confinement, preferably in a warm bath with soft music and occasional, brief visits from the little people whom I love, but are who so loud and energetic!

There are some things that I can share with you, though, of the knitting and spinning variety, that would make a decent blog post. So, here is a random collection of my yarnie activities from the last month. (to shorten my sitting at the computer, I am not going to provide individual links to all of these projects. The details can be found in my Ravelry notebook here.)

1. Rainbows!

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2. Billowy Blanket

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IMGP9134_medium3. Fishie Socks!

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4. A baby sweater that came out too big (and so was reassigned to The Fraggle) and a second version that came out just right.

IMGP9197_medium2IMGP9192_medium25. Some sewing has happened, too. Necessitating some matching knit shorties, of course. (Super easy and cute sewing pattern from here and adorable fabric from this Etsy shop – you gotta check out her fabric. She has Mo Willems Pigeon fabric! Oh my! Too cute! )

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6. And, of course, some spinning. It feels like cheating to not properly post about these yarns – they were all great learning experiences and I have a lot to say about them. Maybe I will come back to that later. (Notes are on the stash pages if you can’t wait) For now, just enjoy the pretties. ooooooo, pretties!

IMGP9167_medium IMGP9211_medium IMGP9131_medium IMGP9171_mediumIMGP9162_mediumThere is knitting in progress, some baby related, some not. Spinning is on hold for now, as my feet swell horribly after I sit at the wheel for any decent length of time.

In other news (since this is a random post), my three June Bugs are turning 6, 4, and 2 years old this month and there is a super frilly, pastel pink, girlie-girlie, ballerina tea party coming up that will be very fun to show you. I think that I enjoy planning the parties more than the kids enjoy the actual event, which really is a good thing, because it is a lot of work!

And, now, the obligatory belly shot – 35 weeks down, 5 more to go (give or take)

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SO, that is me for now. I’ll try to check in again before baby comes, but I make no promises. Just know that when this pregnancy finally ends and I have a wonderful new baby and a body that doesn’t torment me anymore, I will surely return to being a good blogger. Thanks again for all of your support and well wishes. I enjoy hearing from all of you, both here and on Ravelry. I have such a sweet group of cyber friends. Thank you for hanging in there with me!

 

 

 

It’s A Lot Like Working Magic

Bibbity

IMGP8910Bobbity

IMGP8964Boo!

IMGP8990Spunky Eclectic April 2013 Club, Seashells on Oatmeal BFL
480 yards of worsted weight, true 3-ply, fractal spun with a tiny skein of leftovers that I navajo plied (I hate waste!)
Ravelry stash page here

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This is quite possible the floofiest, squishiest, airiest yarn that I have ever spun. I was trying very hard to not overspin it and I think I did a pretty good job. On the other hand, while I was spinning it I thought I was going to get a DK weight yarn, and what came out was worsted to bulky, so fluffy – yes, DK – no. At least it is fairly consistent.

 

IMGP8985I have no idea what to make with it so into the stash it goes. I am sure inspiration will hit and this will become something awesome.

 

 

 

 

Spinning Day Lilies

Sundays are for spinning. It is a most relaxing way to spend my Sabbath – especially when I am navajo plying.

I started spinning this gorgeous South African Fine Merino from the Spunky Eclectic Club a couple of weeks ago:

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February 2013 Club Day Lily

Because I was spinning it super thin, and because I also spent a lot of time knitting and mothering, it took me a long while to get this four ounces to look like this:

IMGP8915This is probably the thinnest that I have spun yet.

Navajo plying has got to be the most relaxing activity there is. I just love it. I love the yarn that it produces, too.

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I got about 415 yards of fingering weight yarn out of the one braid. Then I sold my other two to a fellow Raveller because, while I love this yarn, I have no idea what I would make with 12 ounces of it.

IMGP8918As it is, I have no idea what I am going to do with 4 ounces! It is very pretty and I am happy to let it ruminate in the stash for awhile. Maybe socks? Maybe a baby thing? We shall see.

As for me, I have moved on and already have a bobbin full of this months’ Spunky Fiber, a gorgeous BFL that has me completely over the moon (and not just because it is purple)!

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Romney Wool

 

One thing that I love about spinning is the many varieties of fibers available. A knitter looks for wool, whether washable or not, perhaps specifying “merino” or “BFL”, but a spinner has a plethora of breeds to choose from and each has its own unique qualities.

 

Romney is my new favorite. And this is the Romney that I just finished spinning.

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This is another Spunky Eclectic club fiber, Lightening Strike, and, as you can see, it is purple. I was in heaven for all 12 ounces!

IMGP8704I got approximately 520 yards of mostly worsted weight yarn and I have big plans. Today I will be swatching and figuring and soon I hope to be wearing this gorgeous Romney.

 

 

Combo Spin

The Spunky Eclectic Group on Ravelry is having a Combo Spin Along. This is a new thing for me. You take one pretty braid and another, different pretty braid, and you spin them up and ply them together to make something totally new and unique. This is a huge challenge for me. I mostly prefer to let someone else choose the way colors go together, and then I just make the yarn. But I can rise to a new challenge, and this sounded really fun. Besides, since being sick, my fiber stash has grown and I have been itching to spin it – all of it! (to participate in the spin along, at least one of the fibers has to be from Spunky Eclectic, Southern Cross Fibre, or Hello Yarn. See actual Ravelry thread for more details)

So, I started with these. The fiber in the top right is BFL from Dear Husband, colorway Country Fair Girl and the fiber on the lower left is falkland from Spunky Eclectic, colorway Aurora Borealis.

IMGP8402I spun a full bobbin of each.

IMGP8441I confess that at this point I almost chickened out. I am not really impressed with the colors in the Dear Husband fiber. I didn’t like them when they arrived in the mail last summer and I still don’t. In contrast, I am completely enamored with the Spunky braid – and the purples and blues of that colorway were utter perfection on their own. How could I blend them with a lesser ply? Fortunately, I recieved three braids of this particular months club, so it didn’t hurt too bad to sacrifice one for the sake of experimentation.

And I am glad that I did.

IMGP8452Now, the Aurora Borealis was a little bit bleedy, if you know what I mean. My fingers turned purple while I was spinning it (to which The Princess inquired, “Why are your fingers purple? Can I dye mine green?”). There had been some discussion in the Spunky Ravelry club about this, so it wasn’t a surprise. I knew it would bleed into the water when I washed the finished yarn, and I knew that the flashes of yellow and white might pick up the blue and become greenish and blue. But, at this point, I was in experimentation mode and was just going with the flow. I love the way it worked out, even without the yellow and white.

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It’s going to make great longies!