Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Sleeve Island

I'm on the equivalent of sleeve island on the Diamond Fantasy Baby Blanket. No new photos, because it looks mostly the same, just bigger. One more skein of yarn to go!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Too hot to knit

At 4pm in the shade:

I kept checking all day, but it never broke 100, even when the sun was beating on the deck this morning. It did hit 99, but I didn't take a photo for fear of melting.

I know many of you are thinking, "It's about time they shared some of this heat." I hope everyone in the rest of the country and in Europe who have been sweltering, had a cooler day. It's supposed to be a breezy 85 tomorrow.

Although it's been too hot to knit, or spin for that matter, the fishing has been outstanding. In the throw back category:

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Ouch, this looks painful

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Be free!

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Funny how we have no photos of the salmon, rockfish and crab that we have been gorging on. Good job guys (and gal).

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Is it the weekend yet?

Is it the weekend yet?

This week seems to be dragging on forever, and for no good reason. I should be making plans for the upcoming birthday season, but the thought of throwing three birthday parties in a row has me well, piqued. Any suggestions on how to entertain a yardful of 8-9 yo's? Boys. A yardful of 8-9 yo boys?

And right in the midst of birthday party season, we have back to school and end of contract. Yep, I'll be unemployed again, for at least 100 days. The team I am working with has already expressed interest in me coming back, although there are no promises. I plan to spend the 100 days reducing the fiber stash and bonding with my kids. I am actually looking forward to the break.

DH will be starting a new job soon. You can stop holding your breath, we are staying here! WooHoo! The new job is supposed to keep DH closer to home, but instead it seems to have given him the time to spend here and here and here doing this. OK, so not all of the pictures were not taken locally, but some of them were. I'm ok with all of this, because when he retires and is a scuba instructor, I'm gonna open a fiber studio. I just hope he retires to someplace cold where people actually wear wool. A girl has to have a dream, right?

Speaking of dreams, pretty soon a new baby will be able to have sweet dreams under this:

I sailed past the halfway point and am starting the decreasing side of the blanket. It looks like it will be big enough to fit an almost 4yo comfortably.

The original concept of the DFBB was to knit the DFS edging, with a garter stitch middle. Sivia has made a few, and she knit two triangles and then seamed them together. At knitting night a while back, spinner extraordinaire suggested out loud that I should just be able to double-decrease the way back, and knit the piece all in one instead of two triangles that would later need seamed. I took her advice and am doing the following:

right side: yo, slip 2 as if to knit, knit, pass 2 slipped stitches over (for a left leaning double decrease)

left side: k2tog, slip this stitch back to left needle, pass next stitch over, slip stitch back to right needle, yo (for a right leaning double decrease)

Here's a close up of the corner. You can see I have started the decrease rows.

Source of inspiration for double decreases? The Mystery Stole 2:

I'm on row 37, first side, of the 100 "released" pattern rows so far. This is my first project with laceweight yarn, and I am taking it slow. I should probably put in a lifeline soon. Knock wood, I hope I have not jinxed myself.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

What will it take to get Jen to write poetry?

Evidently, a sock yarn contest.

My contribution:

This mom does not touch spiders,
better get your Dad.

So there.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Story of my life

If you can find the end, I'll send you a prize.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Experimenting with fleece - special guest star Zoboomafoo

I am fortunate enough to work in a place where pets are welcome at work. Well, at least well behaved pets (I would never bring Bagel). My officemate, Marco, is a trainer for a very special, famous mammal. His name is Zoboomafoo, and he is a lemur.

Zoboo spends a lot of time in our office. He does not like to stay home alone. In fact, the only time he stayed at home alone was when the World Cup was on, and Marco left the tv on all day for Zoboo to watch.

Now yesterday when I came into the office, Zoboo was distraught. Marco was going to be late getting in to work, and Zoboo was lonely. Fortunately, I had brought some mail with me from a very special friend, and I asked Zoboo if he would like to help me open it. This proved a great distraction, as Zoboo turns into a charm in front of the camera.

Zoboo with llama card

Inside the envelope was an adorable llama card and some corriedale fiber processed in 2 different ways. One was hand combed with a dog brush, and the other professionally processed.

One piece is a gorgeous gray, which ZB is holding, and the other a pretty grayish brown. I wonder if these are from the same fleece?
Look at this gorgeous gray cloud:

I can see why people get addicted to processing their own fleece. Who needs yarn, when you can have a little piece of heaven to work with?
Here are the two samples of fleece side-by-side, with a rubber rainbow colored egg for size reference (don't ask).

I couldn't wait to start working with these samples, so right after dinner, I dug through the stash until I found my abandoned drop spindle and spun up the brown sample.

It was easy to spin, but I do have to say that Kerry was right when she said the fiber is hairy.
The little one (who is back) helped me wind a center-pull ball on my ball winder. From that, I plied the single back onto itself, using both ends of the ball. A perfectly balanced hank will hang straight. You can see that this hank is a little overspun, since when hung without tension, the skein is twisting back on itself. This will probably even out with washing.

The next experiment will be to spin the gray fleece, ply using the same method, and compare the two.
Special thanks to Kerry for supplying the fleece samples, Zoboo and Maggie for modeling, and Alex for being the Official Ball Winder. No animals or children were harmed during the processing of this experiment.

Friday, July 14, 2006

New friends, great fiber

I was finally able to attend the Village monthly spin in last night. I got to see two new friends again, whom I first met at Black Sheep, Becky and Peggy. They are the greatest wheel pushers in town! Becky is in black on the left and Peggy behind. Readers of this blog will of course recognize my good friend Barb who is finally blogging and her SIL Tina. Barb brought a still damp hank of Sky Drama that she finished spinning and it is to die for - go take a looksee and tell her how Fab-O it is. I'll wait.

Beautiful, isn't it? And did you see those cute pictures of Missy? What a doll.

The coolest thing about guilds and spin ins is that you never know who you will meet. You could be sitting in the same room with a well known designer and not even know it until a little birdie whispers in your ear. You better believe that I got off my tahootie and introduced myself!

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Evelyn was winding some buffalo that she had been spindle spinning. This is the first time I had ever felt buffalo, and boy, is it soft! Pat, to the right in yellow, was spinning a yummy alpaca/mohair that her husband drum carded for her! I am so amazed by how well these spinning women have their mates trained .

I also had the pleasure of meeting LindaK, who I recognized from somewhere, and it turns out that I had been reading about her adventures to India! Hi LindaK!
Linda brought her electric drum carder for us to use, and Kim was nice enough to bring lots of fiber for us to play with.
First, Linda demo'd how to use the carder:

I still need to photo some of the batts that Linda taught me how to card. I'll probably be spindle spinning them (if I can locate those spindles, that is!)

Being the bad blogger that I am, I neglected to get photos of Kim, Marti, Holly, and Denise, wonderful virtual friends from FiberTraditions who repeatedly show up in unpredicatable places at all fiber related events to remind me that they are true flesh and blood friends.

And finally, I leave you with a photo of a piece of mail that I received from another virtual real friend, Kerry.

Is that the Spinning Vortex I hear winding up?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Orca Sighting

What's this?

Could it be - nah - maybe - is Jen knitting with laceweight yarn?



Friday, July 07, 2006

Modern Log Cabin

Mindless knitting

Inspired by the modern log cabin blankets in the Mason-Dixon Knitting book. Knit in Rowan Handknit DK Cotton, from the stash. Will knit until a) I run out of yarn or b) am sick on knitting on the thing. I hope it will be a blanket for DD or a throw for the living room.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Diamond Fantasy Baby Blanket

If you were a newborn baby, wouldn't you love sleeping under a blanket called the Diamond Fantasy?

For Joan

For Joan:
Crocs with buttons to suit your mood...

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Monday, July 03, 2006


I finally finished spinning and plying this sock yarn:

A close up of the navajo plying:

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My entry in the "Animals With Fiber" collection: