Friday, March 30, 2007

And now for something completely different*

I just don't know what to think.
Maybe the paint was a gift. Or free.

*Actual color of a house in Seattle, or as close to it as I could get with my Exilim digital by Casio. But it's pretty darn close.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Black Lace

**Edited on November 5th to remove certain words and photos for personal reasons. Nothing added.**

Before you guys get too excited about how many things Peggy and I knit and spin, I want you to know that I began this project long before we even had a blog, so long ago that I've missed three birthdays since the one it was supposedly a present for and the forth is coming up fast. Finishing it came down to a battle of wills: me against me not wanting to knit with black yarn. Small, fuzzy black yarn. Thankfully there was a solution: Ott lights. I also thank Joann Fabrics for the occasional 50% coupon. I now have three Otts.

I promised myself I'd finish this UFO before I began another and so I give you:

The Scalloped Wrap. In Black.

Close-up of 24k gold beads


Knitter: Rebecca
Pattern and Fiber: Scalloped Wrap and Scarf designed by me; #7 ndl, 2 skeins of Kid Silk Haze, #8 seed beads in 24K gold from Fusion Beads.
Details: start date August 13, 2004 and an end date of March 21st, 2007. Finished measurement: 18" by 50". I went up a needle size and the pattern calls for 3 skeins but I wanted to see how far two would go. It shortened the length by 20" and makes it a nice little 'over-the-shoulder' wrap or a scarf that is not too long. I love the 24k beads with the black and I have left-overs ~ now I just need to find the perfect yarn to go with them. A not-black yarn. Definitely not black.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Dicentra Gulf

First dye lot
(on the right)
Second dye lot
The difference in dye lots
1st on top, 2nd below
Spinner: Rebecca
: Dicentra 70/30 Merino/Mohair blend in the color called 'Gulf'.
Details: 11 wpi, chained singles and a total of 505 yards.
Project info:First dyelot spun back in November 2006 and the second in February 2007. I chained the singles and
will knit socks with this yarn. Perhaps knee-highs, the legs with one dye lot and the feets with the other (feets don't fail me now) and this is because one dyelot has far more blue than the other. Or, conversely, I could do one sock per dye lot...that would be eclectically fun!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Orifice Hook

This is my new orifice hook, made just for my small wheel and which fits so perfectly. Natasha made it to match the flowers on my wheel. She makes beads here in Seattle and designs the most wonderful jewelry. She knits and just started spinning and is very good at everything she sets her hands to. Her website is easy to navigate and, while she doesn't have more orifice hooks up right now, it's easy to email her for information and ordering. Natasha is very talented.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Crown Mountain Corriedale

Spinner: Rebecca
Fiber: Crown Mountain Corriedale Pencil Roving, 16oz in the colorway called Spring Blooms. Purchased at Madrona Fiber Arts in January, 2007.
Project info: Spinning began on February 4th and plying ended on February 9th, 2007. 4 hanks for 1140 yards, 2-ply at 13 wpi and a total weight of 14.7 oz. I enjoyed this roving and would buy it again in another color. There's something about Corriedale that works great for shawls ~ this yardage should make a nice big one. Or maybe a vest. Yeah, a vest.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Pink Faroese Shawl

Spinner/Knitter: Peggy
Fiber: purchased at Black Sheep Gathering in June 2006 ~ 20 oz of 60% wool, 30% angora and 6% silk from Velta Mack of Sialia Llamas in Sheridan, Oregon who had the wool fiber carded by Ewe Gotta Love 'Em in Dayton, Oregon and then dyed it with Kool-Aid. There's still a very faint pink lemonade smell every once in awhile. She then carded in the silk and angora, both of which remained creamy off-white.
Project info: 5 hanks of 2-ply measuring 1192 yards and weighing 18 oz. Faroese shawl designed by Myrna Stahman, a shawl pattern (the white one) out of a book published in 1999 by XRX ~ The Best Of Knitter's Magazine Shawls and Scarves. Knitting began on February 3rd, 2007 and the shawl was blocked on March 10th, 2007. (see Rebecca's version of this shawl here.)
Comments: I used a US #8 Inox 29" circular with my handspun worsted weight yarn. (The pattern suggested using fingering weight with a #6 needle.) I spun it using Paula Simmons method of spinning for softness and speed, which is very fun if the fiber is adequately prepared, which this just happened to be! The goal of knitting this big shawl was to have something cozy to wrap up in at home. I never planned for outside wearing -- it's just too PINK and HUGE.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Knock Knock

I'm sitting in my yarn room minding my own #@*%@#bidness (working on my 'puter and watching TV while listening to my 3 Budgies chat each other up) and I hear someone knocking at the door. So, I walk over and open the little door to which the door knocker is attached in order to peek out to see who's there. At this point, all hell breaks loose. BIG MOTH flies into my FACE. I slam the little door, thinking the thing flew back out the hole and feeling all 'whew, dodged that bullet' when I turn around and go back into my yarn room only to be RE-HIT in the face with the GIANT moth. CRAP. And it's got WINGS. 3 feet wide.

Ok, not 3 feet, but maybe 3 inches and ok, not a moth but an LBB...
(little brown bird). An LBB looking for a place to build a nest.
A nest in the hole in my door.


Luckily (for me and the LBB) I have multiple bird nets , owing to the providential fact that I have English Budgies. And a husband. A husband motivated to get the askayo* creature out of the house. ewwwww.

The only thing I didn't have was the presence of mind to grab my camera along with the nets.

End result: LBB released into the wild of the back yard and fiber stuffed into the potential birdy palace. Fiber which the LBB's of the world are welcome to use for their nests. Their nests elsewhere.

C'est la vie. (ok: "La vie!")

*askayo: Sephardic for filthy dirty nasty non-Jewish uncleanliness. Examples: a damp paper towel on the kitchen counter or dust on the windowsill. Also any legitimate in-door animal such as cat or dog or Budgie. One can only imagine the askayo-ness of an uninvited wild critter flying about, leaving its askayo-ni all over the place. Oy, the horror. (In his defense, he can't help it. He was raised by a Jewish mama.)

Friday, March 09, 2007

Blue Moon BFL

Spinner: Rebecca
Fiber: 9.25 oz Blue Moon Blue Face Leicester in the color Rare Gem, purchased at Black Sheep Gathering in June 2006; spun March 1st thru March 4th, 2007, washed and hung out to dry without weights.
Project info: 8.6 oz, 2-plied for 650 yards at 12 wpi. I loved spinning this fiber; Blue Moon offers a BFL top that is everything it should be. Love the color, love the finished 2-ply, can't wait to knit it into a shawl and I'm sorry the spinning is over.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Seaman's Scarf

Knitter: Peggy
Pattern: The Barbara Seaman Scarf from Stahman's Shawls & Scarves by Myrna Stahman.
Stash Reduction Yarn: a lovely vintage Berger du Nord yarn of 70% wood and 30% camel ~ 2 skeins of dk weight of 135 yards each plus about 30 yards from a 3rd skein.

Knit between January 15th and February 18th for a dear friend, I was just not willing to knit the pattern as written. I started both halves at the bottom edge, knit up 6 pattern repeats, knit the neck ribbing on both halves for 6 inches and then grafted the two halves together at the center back with the Kitchener Stitch. The seam looks ok but not as well as I had hoped.

I have enough of this soft and yummy yarn to make another Seaman's Scarf and next time I'll follow the directions.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Shawls for Betty

Back in June, 2006, while Peggy and I were in Oroville, WA at Betty's house to pick up Peggy's new wheel, Betty gave us a bag of her hand spun and asked us to make her a couple of shawls with some of it and we could keep the rest. There were 2 hanks of brown wool, one of pale blue wool, 2 of the pale blue wool and a brown wool plied together and one hank of a creamy white lace weight. What a fun challenge! Betty wanted 'a big shawl that would stay up' . Here are the two shawls we ended up with.

Shawl #1
Knitter: Peggy
Pattern: Spinners Lace Shawl from Evelyn A. Clark and Fiber Trends.
Yarn: hand spun from Betty Roberts, 5 oz of 100% wool and 4mm (#6) needles. More photos of this shawl can be found in our October 30th post called Spinners Shawls. As usual, Peggy finished her assignment far sooner than I. She's the good twin...

Shawl #2
Blocking on a double bed
Trying it on at Starbucks
Thanks to Pat B. for modeling.

Knitter: Rebecca
Pattern: from Shawls and Scarves, an XRX publication, the white shawl on page 34 called Faroese-style Lace.
Yarn: Approximately 600 yards* of my hand spun CVM Romeldale from Reflection Farm for most of the shawl; the last repeat of the pattern plus the lace edging is Betty's hand spun ~ the blue/brown 2-ply. Finished weight: 12.8 oz. I knit with a 5mm (#8), started on Feb 3rd and finished on Feb 26th. Finished measurements: top neck to lower point: 32"; top neck to front point: 38.5"; top of shoulder to edge: 27.5".

I must admit that I loved knitting with my own hand spun. This yarn was yummy and warm and the variations intriguing. It was perfect on the 5mm. I must get more of this blend from Reflection Farm and knit a shawl for me!

This was my first Faroese and it started at the top neck, which is perfect for hand spun yarns because when I'm out of yarn I can just cast off. I'm willing to do another with a different lace pattern. I like how it fit and it will be perfect for Betty - it is, after all, 'a big shawl'.

*I tried combining a couple of Betty's yarns but some didn't work together color-wise and those that did had too little yardage for a 'big' shawl. My solution was to use some of my own hand spun (which was appropriate since it was spun on the wheel which Betty made for me) and finish with one of her yarns which blended rather nicely.