Wednesday, July 23, 2008

From Dyepot to FO

It has become a tradition that every year for her birthday I knit my best friend's daughter Carys a present. For her first birthday it was a sweater, a tank for her second and last year she was gifted the metro bear. This year I decided to take it a step further and enlist some of my newly learned skills in the creation of her present. I started by dyeing up some Coopworth/Merino blend, I call the colorway Starburst, after the flavorful fruit chews.

I then spun it into a nice lofty single.
And then created a two-ply yarn from the singles, I had about 150 yards of heavy worsted weight, an adequate amount to knit up her present.
I chose to knit the adorable felted ballerina slippers from Bev Galeskas. I had knit them once before and was thrilled with the result so I decided it would be the perfect project for the handspun. Here they are prior to felting.
And after.

I love the subtle variation in the colors of the yarn and how it patterned on the slipper.
I use the grip it mesh for dish shelves on the soles, they are an excellent way to prevent slipping, although they take away the fun of "skating" on the wood floors as my son will attest to.
Pretty ballerina slippers can only be adorned by the cutest buttons.
Although she has her eyes shut in this picture, I do believe that she liked them. I hope they keep her feet warm and dancing this coming season.
I did have a bit of the yarn left over so I used it to make a new little knitting accessories pouch.

And once again affirmed my lacking sewing skills by tackling a lining. I even managed to make a little pocket for my embroidery needles.
I found some needle felting supplies at Hobby Lobby and decided to add a few accents for a little flair.
So there you have it, two finished objects from start to finish. On to the next project.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Here is my latest yarn that I am so in love with! It started as this batt from Wooly Treasures. It is BFL, Alpalca and Bamboo. The singles:
All finished. It is 17wpi, 360 yards, navajo plied. It is probably the most consistent I have spun to date. I am thinking it will make a lovely pair of socks that I will knit up as soon as I finish some of the other projects I have on the needles currently.
Up Close:

Ooh I just love the colors. I am so pleased that it changed very little from the batt and that it did not get muddied.
I also recently dyed this. It is more Coopworth/Merino. I call it geranium. I am really thrilled with how it turned out. It was supposed to be pink and brown but somehow the brown turned green, but I love it all the same.
And I finished the socks I was making from the Superwash Merino from Spunky in the Dogwood colorway that I spun up. I love how the socks turned out. I did them toe up two at once on one circular, my favorite way to make socks.
They are definitely not identical but I love this yarn so much that it doesn't bother me one bit!
Up next, another project that went from the dyepot to FO in just a couple of weeks.
Have a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

California Dreaming

At the last minute we decided to pack up the Yukon Xl and head out to CA. for the 4th of July weekend. We drove all night Thurs and arrived by noon on Friday. We checked into our hotel and promptly engaged in a nice long snooze. When the kids were at wits end and tired of Cartoon Network we awoke and headed for the beach. We were staying just a mile away from the shore in Manhattan Beach. Little A had previously avowed his disdain for salt water but there was something about the Pacific that cracked his resistance. He took to the water like the little fish he normally is at the local pool.
Maddie loved the water as well. All three days we were there we spent a good block of time at the beach, swimming, dodging waves, boogie boarding and the like.
A was a natural boogie boarder and could spend the entire day riding the waves if we had let him.
Friday night we went and saw the fireworks at the marina in Rodondo Beach. They put on a lovely display that was right above our heads. While watching we dined on some delicious local BBQ. Nothing says 4th of July like fireworks and ribs.
On Sat. we headed to Hollywood to do all the touristy things. I have been to Southern CA several times but have never seen Hollywood, Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills and all the tourist traps. It was indeed a lot of fun.

Ian's one desire while in CA was to hit Roscoe's. Apparently it is a favorite haunt of Snoop Dogg and he wanted to have the opportunity to dine on this unique combination. It was actually very good, some of the tastiest fried chicken I have had in a while. The sweet potato pie was unbelievably good.
Sunday we spent at the beach again and then we headed home Monday morning. On the way home we stopped at In-N-Out in Vegas for one last fix of our favorite burgers. Oh how I wish they had In-N-Out here in CO.
We made it all the way through Utah Monday, but ended up spending the night in Grand Junction, too exhausted to continue on.
We were happy to arrive home safely Tues. but will definitely miss CA. The kids are ready to move, Ian is thinking of applying to schools there and I am still on the fence. But for now I am satisfied to be home where the gas prices aren't quite as bad.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

HHHH Questionairre Answers

1. How long have you been spinning? A year and a couple of months
What skill level do you consider yourself?Beginner
2. What kinds of yarn do you create (singles/2-ply/3-ply/art yarn)? Two plies, navajo plied and singles
3. What do you spin with (spindle/wheel/both)? Pretty much just my wheel since I bought it last fall
4. What are your favorite fibers to spin with? Anything you don't like? BFL, Merino, Bamboo,Soy silk, Blends. I don't like anything too scratchy, I pretty much stick to stuff that is next to the skin soft.
5. Who are your favorite crack dealers fiber sources (etsy or otherwise)? Copper Pot, Wooly Treasures, All Spun Up, Spunky Eclectic
6. What kind of fiber do you want to try? I am open to anything but cotton or linens...Nothing too difficult
7. Is there any techniques you would like to learn? I am really trying to get 350+yards of 3 ply out of 4oz. Not quite there yet.
8. Do you dye fiber? If not, would you like to learn? See previous post
9. Do you have fiber prep tools (and like to use them) or would you prefer ready to spin fiber? I would prefer ready to spin, although I am getting a drum carder this Aug!!!
10. What do you do with your handspun? What projects have you completed? Love it, pet it, admire it. I started a scarf and a pair of socks and am looking forward to knitting up more of it. 11. Are you in need of any spinning gadgets (WPI Gauge, threading hook, etc)? WPI would be great
12. What colors "fall into your shopping basket"? Any colors you just can't stand? I pretty much like all colors, Reds, oranges and jewel tones are my faves.
13. What is on your wheel/spindle right now? A lucious surf and sand bat from Wooly Treasures
14. What other crafts/hobbies do you have? I make stitch markers, beaded jewelry, scrapbooking and cards
15. Other than crafts, what are you passionate about? reading, spending time w/ my kids, cooking, shoes
16. Do you have an online wishlist?Nope
17. Is there anything that you collect? sheep, shoes, Louis Vuitton (wouldn't that be a fun swap lo.)
18. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What magazine subscriptions do you have?Nothing off the top of my head. I subscribe to Interweave, Spin off, but buy most all the other ones on a reg. basis
19. When is your birthday? Aug 5
20. What book or movie character do you most resemble in personality? Hmm... that is a tough one, not sure.
21. What is the climate like where you live around this time (need to know for careful shipments of anything meltable)? Hot, Hot, Hot.
22. Tell us one weird fact about yourself! I am a weekend goth girl with a closet full of black vinyl.
23.Favoritesfavorite painting/picture(link):
Candy: Dark chocolate, marshmallows.
Food: Sushi, Thai, Italian
Drink: Chai, Vanilla Stoli and Diet Coke
Movie(s): American Beauty, Pulp Fiction, Little Miss Sunshine
TV Show(s): Law and Order and SVU, anything on the History Channel, Forensic shows (the non fiction ones)
Book(s): Jennifer Weiner, Augusten Burroughs, Anita Shreve, Amy Tan are a few of my favorite authors
Guilty Pleasure(s): Massages, manicures, pedicures, hot baths, ice cream