Category Archives: spinning

In Progress

WIPs. “Works In Progress.” I really do have some!

I’ve been knitting, a little. The double-knitting “potholder” swatch from EZ’s Almanac has made me definitely want to knit up a baby-blanket in this technique. So yay, I’ve officially started the Miko Challenge!

I’ve also got most of a Koolhaus hat worked up for my Yukon-dwelling brother, but ran out of yarn 1 pattern repeat before the crown, boo. Do I buy another skein (Berocco’s Ultra Alpaca, pretty awesome) or fake it with some basic black merino?

Many false starts on other hats for myself have been made, and frogged, and tried again, and frogged again. I think I’ve given up for now, but will hopefully get a hat or two for my own head when I work up some of the EZ patterns.

And there’s been genuine spinning! I finally broke out the Joy wheel, and have spun up some lovely Enchanted Knoll batts in “Chai” (a decent, if ‘wobbly’ 2-ply) and some CopperPot Woolies batts in an indigo/blue/orange colourway called “Summer Iris” or something like that (DK/worsted singles, yay me!). It’s been fun getting back to spinning, and I think I need to make more time to sit in front of the wheel.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find my digital camera since we moved (in January, arrgh), so photographic evidence of all these things I’ve been working on has been nil. *sigh*

But I can leave you with one photo of another project I’ve been working on lately…

ultrasound.12weeks.Feb2010.2

Baby #2, due sometime in August. Better get knitting on “some baby’s things” from the Almanac!

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Filed under baby, fibre, knitting, pregnancy, spinning, WIPs, yarn

Spindlicity Returns

For anyone who’s into spinning with a drop-spindle, check this out!

Spindlicity Banner

Spindlicity is an online magazine just for spindle-spinning, which was on hiatus for a while… But it’s back! Yay!

There are lots of useful and interesting articles in the archive issues, and the new revamped format seems like they’re up for some great things. Let’s show them support and hope they stick around this time!

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Filed under crafting, drop-spindle, spinning, yarn

Good Mail: Spoiled rotten!!

I’ve been absolutely spoiled rotten by my SP12 pal, Tanya! Check out these lovelies:

SP gift - woven blanket
This is a better photo of the baby blanket/wrap she hand-wove (using some of her own handspun yarn!) that was sent in package #1…

SP gift - BSJ
And in this package there was both a hand-knit Baby Surprise Jacket (it’s so small and cute!) for my one-on-the-way…


And also a pair of lovely hand-knit socks for me!!

SP gift - socks that fit!
They fit perfectly :)

SP gift - polworth roving
She also sent me some wonderful purple Polworth roving to spin (and I’m even getting that wheel-spinning bug, these days!). And a handmade beaded DPN-holder!

I feel lucky to have been paired with such a generous pal. I have never been the recipient of so much of someone else’s creative energy, and am very grateful of these beautiful things. I’m sure I (and my baby) will love them for years to come!

Next time… I have been KNITTING!!

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Filed under exchanges, fibre, good mail, knitting, spinning, sweaters, yarn

Good Mail; Busy Week

What a week!
Fortunately it was perked up by the arrival of not one…
fiber package

…not two…
knitivity package

…but three packages of ‘good mail’! (and all within 2 days!)

The first little surprise had a lovely set of stitch markers (package & makers both photographed terribly, so no pic yet) sent to me by Vicki. I entered some suggestions in her “What can I make with…” contest, and if you’ve got odd balls or small skeins lying about and are looking for stash-busting ideas, you should definitely check out her amazingly long list of free patterns for small yardages.

Next up was a fantastically fibre-laden package from Allena (of Spindle and Wheel) — seriously, that photo above does not give a good indication of the scale of it!

Here’s a peek inside:
fiber package goods
From left to right, there’s a large grocery bag of lovely red/bugrundy (hand-dyed, I’m sure) roving, another large bag full of small twists of brightly coloured roving, one full bag of soft, crimpy unwashed fleece (my guess is Shetland), three handmade cotton washcloths, and that little orange case contains two needle-felting needles! I am so thrilled by her generosity!

(I think that needle-felting is going to quickly get a place on the list of crafts I do obsessively — I’ve only made two little cat toys so far, but wow is it ever fun to stab at fibre with sharp things!)

And last, but certainly not least, there was a gorgeous skein of sock yarn from the Knitterman Ray (of Knitivity.com).
knitivity sock yarn close-up

Ray’s a one-man hand-dyeing wonder, and this skein was given in trade for one of my spindles. Who says “barter and trade” economy doesn’t work anymore?

knitivity yarn  - from swap
As you can see, this skein is a one-of-a-kind, but if you’re wanting some of your own it’s close to his “Cygnus” colourway.

It was really nice to have these goodies waiting for me, as I’ve really been keeping on my toes lately. Beyond the usual office business and household chores, I taught two classes at the Purl this past week!

On Wednesday I taught my first knitting class, an introduction to stranded knitting. I’d made up little swatch-charts (that could be easily seamed an tuned into little coin purses), let my students mix-and match their front design and background pattern (like you’d have in a mitten), and then showed them the one-yarn-in-each-hand trick (basically teaching Continental style to English knitters and vice versa). I think that it went over well — there were several moments of happy-dancing in their seats, and a couple of “I thought this was going to be awful, but it’s really easy!” comments. I hope they all go forth and knit with many colours for here on!

On Sunday I taught my beginner drop-spindle spinning class again. It seems like this is becoming a once-a-month regular class! I’m really please with that: it’s so much fun to watch people turn fluff into real live yarn for the first time, and the students are always so different! This time around one of them had been given several bags of fiber already, so we even had some “show-and-tell” time, and she even had collected some qiviut (musk-ox down), fresh from the rocks, in Greenland (what a lucky new spinner!). I’m really please to be able to hook in more people to hand-spinning, and think that I should probably start working on a “Beyond the Basics” spindle class for the future…

So, while I have accomplished practically no spinning or knitting of my own recently, there has certainly been a lot of two-way enabling going on!

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Filed under crafting, drop-spindle, fibre, good mail, spinning, teaching, yarn

Scattered and Spinning

I’ve been feeling very scattered lately; overtired, unfocused and distractable. It seems like there’s been no progress on anything! Intellectually I know that I’ve “produced” things (the shawl, Nate’s hat, many spindles…) but creatively I feel unaccomplished. (Guitar Hero hasn’t exactly helped either, save to rock.)

I’m uninspired at the knitting end of things. I have more languishing socks-in-progress than I want to count, a pair of Icewines for myself that have lost all momentum, and a shawl, and… I just can’t seem to find a project that addicts me. Any suggestions??

I have, however, tried to take a bit more “calm-time” and give myself space to sit and spin. While spinning is another thing I feel horribly under-accomplished in lately (having produced not a single full bobbin from the Joy, nor a spindle’s-full, in a very long time), I’m trying not to let that get me down. Dru pointed out last night that in the summer I was spinning on a borrowed wheel — I knew that it would go away, that I had to get as much experience from it as I could before it left — and now there isn’t that kind of pressure or drive. I can relax about spinning-time, and I should relax over it!

spinning nook

Me in my spinning corner, at the Joy wheel: Ikea lamp and large windows behind, Fortuna and the Joy carry-bagin the background..

I’ve been working with this lovely fluff from Copperpot Woolies that Krista gave me for my birthday:
Wild Siberian Iris -  fiber blend
“Wild Siberian Iris” 100% merino

It’s an even balance of indigo-purple, teal blue, and a melon orange, which I find very intriguing. It’s also the first time I’ve had the chance to spin from a more batt-style fiber preparation (it’s in a very wide “roving”, about maybe 6″ across). Here’s how it’s spinning up so far:
Wild Siberian Iris - singles on bobbin

I haven’t fully decided on how I’ll ply it (probably just plain vanilla 2-ply). But I can say that I ‘heart’ my WooLee Winder!

When I can’t handle/get to/be bothered to sit at the wheel, I’ve been picking up my new spindle. It’s a Hound Designs ‘laceweight’ top-whorl in rosewood (I think?) and comes in at a teensy 16g. It is also the first spindle I’ve ever had that I haven’t made myself!
hound designs spindle whorl hound designs spindle

I’ve been spinning away with little pieces of a Pat’s Colours merino/silk batt. (Both were picked up from the Purple Purl). I must be in a batt mood… or maybe I’m just going “batty”?
purple merino-silk batt
A small batt-bit. Soft and shiny!

More crafts keep intruding themselves into my mind, as well. In particular, I’d really like to try my hand at some nuno felting and ATCs (not necessarily at the same time!).

What about you? Are you focused lately, or being distracted from/by/with various crafts?

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Filed under drop-spindle, fibre, rambling, spinning, spinning-wheel

Comfort and Joy

* * * Comfort * * *
Apparently the good people at Canada Post still have to work on Family Day — my Mmm… Hot Cocoa swap package was delivered to my door this morning!
package

What’s in the box?
package -open

A whole host of winter-blues-busting treats!
cocoaswap package

Meet Harry the Hedgie, who came with a lovely note of introduction.
harry hedgehog

Some awesome foxie stitch-markers!
fox stitchmarkers

Super-soft merino yarn:
yarn

KnitPicks Harmony needles, size 3.5mm (I sense I am on the precipice of a very slippery lope , here!)
harmony needles

Mmm… organic chocolate, and gourmet fudge-sauce/hot chocolate decadence!
organic chocolate chocolate sauce

Thanks Deb!

* * * Joy * * *

The gods of spinning really do have a way of aligning things just so. Through an amazing series of potentials and possibilities*, this weekend I have taken home this:

Joy - bag Joy - opened Joy wheel
Ashford Joy portable spinning wheel, double treadle.

She’s come with a great carry bag, 6(!) Ashford bobbins, a repair kit, and…
woolee winder
A WooLee Winder, complete with 4 bobbins.

I can’t believe this wheel is now mine!

2 spinning wheels
My two wheels: Fortuna, and the new (as yet unnamed) Joy.

Pardon me, I have to go drink hot chocolate and spin now…

*I’ll tell the whole tale later; just trust me, it was a lot of coincidence and good timing and luck.

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Filed under exchanges, good mail, knitting, spinning, spinning-wheel, yarn

What’s in a name?

I’ve been making spindles for my own use for a while now, experimenting with many different kinds of materials and construction, finding out what works (and doesn’t) for hand-made — but not lathe-turned — spindles. I’m relatively proud of the things I’ve made.

Lately, I’ve even been selling a few to the Purple Purl, which has gone over better than I’d ever have expected. They might not be as fantastic as the lathed spindles you can find from the professionals online, but my spindles are nice, functionable tools and are very affordable to boot (all the better to rope in new spinners, I say!)

spindles
“Purple Purl exclusive” spindles.

It hit me yesterday as I was showing Jennifer some new prototypes (a 20g lace-weight spindle! a 40g ‘student’ one!) that (OMG-WTF-LOL) if I’m actually conducting business with these folks here, maybe, d’y’think I should have a business identity?

Now, anyone that has been reading here for a while, or has looked a my (pathetically small) profile on Ravelry, probably knows by now that self-identificaiton is not one of my strong points. I know who I am, but I can’t describe myself to get me out of a wet paper bag. Heck, I don’t even like my blog title (but I guess I’m stuck with it, eh?). So I’m asking for help — I need a name and have no clue!

Some bits that may help:
* I think “Foxden FibreStudio” would be a great name, if I were a dyer (but I’m not).
* “Amelia” (and all it’s variations) is my inescapable name. I’ve dealt with this, and am willing to work with it.
* I like things Celtic, and folklore and mythology (ambiguous, I know, that’s why I’m asking for help!)
* I’m don’t really like pun-names, but I do appreciate cleverness.
* I’d like a name that alludes to what I’m making here (i.e. spindles/spinning tools).

If you help me figure out a good name (bonus points for ‘logo’ ideas to match), I’ll send you a spindle and something to spin!

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Filed under contest, drop-spindle, meta-blogging, rambling, spinning, Uncategorized