I have been enamored with The Mandalorian from the Disney Star Wars series. I have finished all the season “chapters” as they are called and await this fall when the new new season comes out. Ugh only one season a year. But while I wait, I bought a Mandalorian stitch markers set with a Yoda progress keeper. I got them from Adoreknit and as usual they are wonderful. She even gave me an extra progress keeper that has the Mandaloian helmet in color and a stitch marker holder to keep them safe. She is a great maker!
It’s Spring here but not, I have seen a few Robins, no pictures yet, might not happen this year, go into that later. I have seen the Geese coming back, but because I live in the mid-west, Mother Nature said it’s not Spring until she says so and she sent us more snow last Saturday. It was raining today. Spring will be here sooner than later tho :).
The Saturday before last I went to a fairly local fiber fair with my son and his spouse. Picture shows part of their set up and I have a picture of my son using his new sock knitting machine. He loves it and makes a pair of socks pretty quickly :). They had me bring my more portable Rick Reeves spinning wheel and spin while I was there. Almost finished with bobbin number 1 of the Alpaca/wool blend I was spinning at the Mall fair in Dec (yeah I’m a slow poke sometimes) then I will spin another bobbin and ply a skein of yarn :). It was a fun day. This wheel spins very well and I’m enjoying the experience on a double drive wheel.
I did get another charity hat done, but haven’t gotten around to getting a picture yet. Caught another cold about 3 weeks ago (does that make 4 or 5 this winter?) and just dealing with some bronchitis now. It’s not as bad as usual but I haven’t felt like doing a lot. I’m doing my best to stay inside because of that dang virus going around (that is why I don’t have any first Robin pictures, but I’ll keep trying), tho once in a while I remember something I forgot at the grocery store, I try not to go, but you know how it is :P. I was able to start and finish all of the 2 seasons of Lost in Space. It was pretty good but oh my gosh the new season doesn’t start until next year! All these one season a year shows will make our heads explode! In the mean time I’ll just re-watch Merlin, Harry Potter, Star Wars, and the Star Trek series, at least they are all finished and aren’t going anywhere. I do enjoy a good marathon from time to time :).
Everyone stay safe.
It’s either my photo skills or my camera (could be both), but my spinning pictures are really muted. In rl (real life) these are brighter. The fractal spin does mute things a little bit but the purple bobbin on the bottom was brighter purples and the aqua is a little darker (tho not dull) and has more blue hues scattered through out in it. I got 274 yards of yarn and it weighted 106 grams, that would make it a light sport weight I think. It was a fun spin and I will have to dig around for patterns that require that much yardage or less to make something nice. Maybe a cowl or if it’s enough yardage a hat and mitt set. I’m not a big fan of yarn chicken, so I will be looking at patterns. 🙂
I’m going to start the scarf for my friend from the teal yarn that I finished spinning just before this last spin. I think I’m going to knit my Little Lace Daisy Scarf pattern. But I will add a few more stitches to the edges to make it a little wider. I showed her the finished yarn and she loved the teal color :).
I also am going to work on finishing the Changing Staircases Shawl that I have been working on. I think I only have two more complete pattern sections (20 rows each) to be done. Then I can block it and store it, it’s a Christmas gift. Not waiting until closer to Christmas like I did last year, because if you remember “Murphy” moved in and I broke my hand last August and there was no Christmas knitting. “Murphy” isn’t allowed at my house anymore :P.
I will be planning my next spin, but I want to finish the shawl first and get started on the scarf, then I won’t feel so anxious. I generally do not have more than 2 to 3 projects going at any given time. One is always a mindless knit for stressed out and non thinking days (usually a dishcloth or diagonal scarf, both which are very mindless knits.) When I have more than that, I feel drawn in to many ways and anxious. When I get more comfortable with the heels and gussets on socks, I will add them to my mindless knits :). Besides I need a reason to test out my Flexi Flip needles (looks like they are on sale for 20% off at the moment.) Maybe they will still be on sale when I get paid!
My blending cloth came today from Howard Brush Co in ME, USA. I ordered it this past week end and it was sent on Monday and I received it today, I have to say not only is the quality excellent but the process was so fast!! In the first picture is some of the fiber that will be spun on the 2nd bobbin for the yarn I am working on. The 1st bobbin is pictured below (lol obviously way below.) The 2nd picture is my first rolag, more on that in a moment. The blending board DIY project is not hard, it will requite a 12X12 piece of blending cloth (mine is 72 TPI, teeth per sq inch), that seems to be a reg normal. Cloth for finer fibers will have 90 TPI. You will also need a wooden cutting board large enough for the 12X12 cloth, I got mine at Tuesday Morning it is a 16X13.5. You will also need a dowel cut into 16 inch lengths (you should get 3 from one dowel, you will only need two 16″ lengths so one dowel is plenty) I had mine cut at Home Depot, which is where I bought the dowel. I’m sure Lowe’s would cut it for you if you bought it at their store as well. If you already have a staple gun you are good to go, if not you will need to purchase one of those as well. My staple gun was only $16. Ok, big fopah there, my dad always taught me never to say only and money in the same sentence. Sorry Dad! Staple the cloth to the cutting board (DO NOT glue it) the cloth will need the flexibility of NOT being glued down. You will need a stiff paint brush or if you don’t mind spending the money, Howard Brush Co has special tools you can use to push the fiber into the teeth as you put it on the blending board. Total cost for me was Blending Cloth $52, Cutting Board, $11, Staple Gun $16, dowel $1.50. I already had a tool to help push the fiber into the teeth of the blending cloth. If you buy the blending board it can cost up to $200. DIY is nice :).
I will put a link to a video on youtube by the Knitting Expat for how to make and use your new DIY blending board :). I follow her knitting podcasts but if you are only interested in the blending board info it starts at about 13.27 into this video. There are many other video’s on youtube that you can watch as well for using the blending board.
Ok two lessons I have learned for using the blending board already: #1 DO NOT roll your rolags to tight when you are rolling them off the blending board or it’s a real struggle to get the dowels out, hahahaha #2 be careful when using the blending brush with the metal teeth (or dog grooming tool if that is what you get), because the teeth on the blending board are not forgiving on your fingers!! :P. Think I will get a stiff paint brush to test out as well :). I’m sure there will be many more lessons.
Ok earlier I said to see the picture below for the 1st bobbin of singles I just finished spinning. I’m ready to put it in now, sorry I am a bit wordy when I try to explain things :P. I wish the colors would be more true, it really is much brighter than this. It is dark aqua (or light teal) and varying shades of purple. This bobbin is mostly the purple. The 2nd bobbin will have mostly the dark aqua with some purple running through it so it will contrast and and be more fractal. Looking forward to seeing how it will turn out :). No plans in my head yet as to what I want to knit with it. I’m sure it will be next week before I have a plyed yarn, because tomorrow I have a young family member coming so I can show her how to make an fresh apple pie and apple butter. 🙂
I gave my Kromski Polanaise spinning wheel a work out this week and got a skein of yarn done! I have always struggled with left over singles on a bobbin when I’m done plying, so I thought (after I started of course and was on my 2nd bobbin) that I was going to weigh the 3rd empty bobbin I had to see how much the bobbins weighed. Then I would weigh each of the singles when I thought I had them about half full (always hard for me to judge) and see if I could get close to not having much left on one of the bobbins after plying the two singles together. As you can see the first bobbin weighed 101 grams and the 2nd bobbin was 93 grams, so I took 8 more grams of the fiber and added it to the 2nd bobbin. They both weighed 101 grams. The empty bobbin for plying was 53 grams.
So I plied the two singles and ended up with 139 grams, and I thought, um, how is that, oh yeah the weight of the 2nd bobbin. I weighed the now empty 2nd bobbin, it was 57 grams, ugh didn’t take into consideration that the bobbins might not weigh the same. So all in all the 1st and 2nd bobbins weighed 57 grams each and the 3rd bobbin that I used to ply them with was 53 grams. I ended up with 90 grams (202 yds) of plied yarn after it was washed. It looks like a light sport weight yarn. I ended up with only 1 yd and 6 inches of left over singles on one of the bobbins, so my experiment was successful. I know the differences between the amount of the singles on each bobbin will always be there because of the inherent inconsistent spinning for hand spun yarn, but I’m pleased over all with how it worked out and how to cut down on left over singles on a bobbin. 🙂
Off to find the perfect pattern for a scarf for my friend, and then on to my next spinning project :).
Hope everyone is having a great Spring. We have had rain for most of our days throughout this Spring. I dream of sunshiny days. I am not a rain person, one reason I don’t live in the northwest coastal areas, I need the sunshine! The few days we have had that were dry, sunny and warm enough to be outside on the balcony without high winds, had me outside on my balcony spinning on my spinning wheel , it’s a peaceful thing to do. Hope you find a peaceful thing to do too. 🙂
Meet (yellow and green) Princess Peach, and (teal on the top and blue on the bottom and some white) Yoshi. My son and his spouse weren’t having enough time for these love birds because of their alpacas and shows to sell their alpaca yarn, etc. So I inherited them. Unfortunately they are both females so they have to have separate cages because, tho they like each other, it’s from afar, lol. I didn’t realize just how noisy and loud love birds can be, they make a call similar to the kookaburra, :P. They also have quiet noises as well. You can’t see the color well on the teal/blue love bird, but she is beautiful. They are not friendly so I have to love them from afar as well :P. They are very intelligent as most parrots are, Miss Peach figured out how to get out of her cage and I had to secure all the doors on her cage, she is naughty :P.
Ok, re-posting the finished spool of singles and the progress on the 2nd spool and showing the rolag with it. I have four more rolags not counting the one I draped across the wheel, however I have the 1st spool about 1/2 way full and tho I can get more on it, if I have 2, more than 1/2 full spools, I worry that it will be overfull after plying, and my Baynes wheel doesn’t do plying well once that happens. So I might have to just spin what is left over, after filling this 2nd spool 1/2 way, and ply the left over singles from a center pull ball and use it if I need it for the scarf that I am planning on making with this yarn. I’m hoping to have this done tomorrow evening or Monday sometime, been a long time coming with this skein :P. Then I can concentrate on continuing learning to spin on the Rick Reeves double drive wheel ;).
I did finish the Alpaca!! 222 yards at 14 wpi, which looks like a fingerling weight. It was very fun to spin and will become a hat for my daughter :). For the Tour de Fleece tho, I can only count half of this because I already had one spool spun, so just the 2nd spool and the plying went toward this year’s Tour de Fleece.
It’s ok tho, I’m ready to start my next hand spun which are 4 ozs of these lovely rolags by The Wooly Witch. I’m excited to see what they spin up to be yarn wise :).
More Fog Frost!
Close up of fog frost on a tree
We had a fog advisory today until noon. It created fog frost in the trees again, and these are the pictures I took.
The one on the right is a close up (you can click on both pictures for enlarged pictures.) The frost in the trees like that is really strikingly beautiful. It makes the end of the branches look like they are made of glass. But I’m thankful it’s Feburary and that Spring is right around the corner (it’s a longer block here to round the corner of than the south and the west tho, but soon.) 🙂
Maybe it’s the economy and having to post and give from your blog, but I was surprised that I only have one person to give a PIF gift to. Remember you will not have to give one to me, just post and give to 3 people who sign up on your blog for your PIF. I have room for two more if anyone is interested. Please do it soon tho so it will be easier to leave a post about it, as I will be putting my security safeguards back up soon because I’m tired of clearing out the spam that my security program takes care of. I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t counting anyone’s real post as a spam. Once you post and I accept it, it’s much easier to post.
Well, I will be looking for another source for the handmade soaps I love to use, as Autumnoak
has some health issues and the soap was taking alot out of her because of the time she was putting into it to make sure she had everything just right for her customers. She is still selling her beautiful handspun yarns to help with the medical costs. Spinning is always peaceful and restful. If you love knitting with handspun and you don’t spin (or even if you spin) please visit her etsy site (click on her name above) and look at her beautiful handspun yarns.
Hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine’s Day. 🙂