Blerg.

Jan. 19th, 2011 12:14 am
fallingbooks: (Default)
I have a toe mostly worked up for a sock in nice but uninspiring yarn. (At the moment. It's a dreary navy blue tonal with some dye breaks - goes oddly lavender in places, slushy charcoal in others. It may be more inspiring yarn when everything isn't so grey out.I may rip it out and start something new as an alternate travel project but honestly, I've got so many WiPs on needles I have trouble picking one to focus on. I know what my problem is - I want to so everything at once and somehow expect it to be magically finished within a week - somehow ignoring the fact that 4 rows can take me an hour to complete. ::rolls eyes:: I need to buckle down and focus.

--

I HAVE been spinning a bit lately. Hopefully there will be some washing and whacking this weekend and I'll have some pics. I haven't really been feeling the spinning thing this winter, but I think that's because I'm avoiding a project I started - about a pound of tightly curled cormo mix roving. I do not like spinning it, Sam I Am. I do not like it as top or batt, or having been slept on by my cat. I do not like it in the fresh air, hell, I do not like it anywhere. I'm not sure if it's how it's been processed, or is it's too sproingy, or too lanolin-y or what, but I just dread working with the stuff.(which isn't to say cormo doesn't make lovely yarn that I'd be happy to knit with, just, y'know, not when it's made with my hands.) BUT! I will finish it eventually because, well, I'm stubborn like that.

--

If you are a fellow Ravelry junkie, you've probably heard by now that Remnants, the ridiculously sprawling Big 6 forum dedicated to whatever ravellers had on the brain that day is kaput. Done, dead, finito! Personally, I'm not sad to see it go and I'm all for whatever makes the site easier for TPTB to run, but I am sympathetic to the folks who hung out there regularly. It's know fun when your Internet watering hole up and vanishes. Been there, got the mousepad. RIP Remrants, you were something else.
fallingbooks: Schact Ladybug #51! (spinning)
First off: SUCCESS! I finished the sweater in the week smalls of Saturday morning (possibly fueled by some boxed riesling,) and will try to get some pictures and notes up about it later in the week. I gotta wash and block it first. Which reminded me:

I bought a couple bags of unwashed alpaca (gorgeous natural greys and blacks, which are my favorite,) at  a show this year and decided that in order to have it ready for the Tour de Fleece, I needed to wash that sucker asap. I have a pound of it, and I have plans to get through it and about a pound of other miscelleaneous pretties while watching Dr. Who avidly.

(I admit, I am not so much into bicycling races as I am into having an excuse to be single-minded about a project for a set period of time. I am on teams Tardis and ITW on Rav.  Join us!)

(Incidentally, I now have 'Doctor, doctor, gimme the news' rattling around my head.)

I had no idea the sheer amount of ick that would come out of this stuff. Oh. My. Unspecified Deity. I threw a few ounces in a large mesh laundry bag and started rinsing it out with a little shampoo and I'm quite frankly not sure my tub will ever recover from this. As it stands it's still not perfectly clean, but it's good enough that I should be able work with it without watching the ick build up on my hands in horror.

I think this may cure me of my fleece-lust, at least until a get a bigger place (and a scrub sink) to work on this stuff in.

On the other hand, I now desperately want a drum carder and some silver angelina.

It's always something. ;)

--
Edit: Alpaca with his own personal wading pool. Very funny.
fallingbooks: Fiber fancy punta. Whoo! (fiber)
Just a heads up for any other intrepid spinners who may want to get in on this wacky spin-a-long thing, the May-Jun SAL fiber for Into the Whirled just went up on Etsy, and it usually sells out in a day or so. It's a highly nifty BFL this time around. As with the previous the actual SAL fiber colors are a surprise, but the inspiration picture can be found here (it's the hypercolored birdie,) and the available coordinates do give a hint (and are also optional, you don't have to buy them if you don't want to. I got the teal just in case. I may have a mild SAL addiction.) More details are available at the ITW Ravelry group.
fallingbooks: Schact Ladybug #51! (spinning)
Or something.

I bought a beachball of romney/cormo a couple weeks ago. It's lovely squishy moorit brown (which is kind of between oatmeal and a good medium brown in color) but as I discovered while spinning it up the other night, it is just loaded with lanolin still. Upside? my hands are all soft and silky today. Downside? aside from the vm, I'm not quire sure what it's going to be like as a properly washed yarn. (I figure this will come with experience, I'm just not there yet.) I've got a couple ounce skein drying out in the bathroom right now to use as a sample. I put a teensy bit of Palmolive in the wash water (and I subscribe to the hot/cold method of setting a twist, so said soapy water was quite warm) and it turned yellow the second the skein hit it. Yikes. It rinsed clear, though so yay?

Because I tend to be monogamous about spinning projects, I'm going to try my hand at carding tonight. A friend of mine gave me her spare handcarders and I have some plain silk and mohair kicking around as well as the roving I trashed a few weeks back (never did finish spinning it.) This can't be too hard, right? Right?


Yeah. I'm laughing, too.

ETA: Oh my gosh I'm bad at this. :D ::mangles fiber::
fallingbooks: (yarn)
I saw, I SAL'd, I survived.

First up: Desert Garden Farm's 'Bunnies' SAL. Jennifer's SALs are a trip, (this is the second one I've been in, the first was based on Shel Silverstein poems,) and she has a fun sense of whimsy combined with a love of pop culture. This was one where within the overarching theme of bunnies, we got to pick our own fictional inspirations. Being the geek that I am, I selected the Evil, mutant bunnies. Of Doom. from Girl Genius.

I received 4 ounces of floofiness:

Lalala, we are all soft and floofy.

And we ended up like this:

Rrrrrowr, we are all sexxxxxxay curves now, no?

The purple is something I had kicking around. I'm pretty sure it's repackaged Ashland Bay. It's nice stuff. I ended up with about six ounces of three-ply, 290 yards of at 12 wpi (DK-ish weight).

The colors in the batts were really subtle pinks greens and lavenders with the occasional splash of bright red blood sparkles. It shows up better in the detail:

sparkle sparkle!

I'm quite fond of it, but it's a little dense (if ridiculously soft!) when knitting up. I was thinking mittens, but I may end up doing something a little more scarf-like.

Next up we have the Fiber Fancy Greek Goddesses SAL. I like Diana's products a lot (as witnessed by my ever-growing fiber stash,) so much so that I bough my first braid of fiber from her before I even had something to spin on! This SAL was also one where you could pick a goddess, so I picked Lachesis, who is the fate that measured the thread of life. I've always loved the Fates, and was perhaps overly influences by Piers Anthony as a kid.

Anyway. This is the awesomeness that is Di picked this as her inspiration picture:

Ladies, what are you up to?

My batts were almost too pretty to spin. Don't they ki9nd of remind you of golden apples?

Like golden apples.

Eventually they ended up looking like this:

Hey, we're learning. I get excited.

It is very soft and luxe feeling. About 150 yards of light worsted, n-plied. I think it'll make a very swank neckwarmer, or maybe a small bag. (I have a book of Louisa Hardings I keep eying. I love how it's mostly natural colors with the occasional flash of gold sparkle or hint of red.

Mine. Mineminemine.

Finally, I was in the Into the Whirled Inspirations SAL for March and April. The colorway is called 'Just Figs' . Cris is a relatively new-to-me vendor, but is (relatively) local and was spoken of very highly by the ladies at the Spin-a-long I attended a couple months back. My before pictures are awful, so I'll omit them (it was a bad camera day) but in addition to the surprise variegated SAL fiber, there were also a handful of complimentary semi-solids offered. Very cool! I used the lavender semi-solid to extend the purple sections in the variegated.

I ended up with about 485 yards of DKish yarn. It's not the most fabulous yarn - I learned to n-ply for this project and there's some less-smooth bits and some (::horror::) worming in a couple of spots, But on a whole, I think it turned out, and the right project can his a multitude of sins.

tadaaaaaaaa!

I had a lot of fun working on these, but three all at once was a bit much. I felt like I was back in school facing three papers that were due all at once. Yeah, I've had enough of that for this lifetime. So I'm taking a break from that and working on some of my booty from Clermont. Which I'll try to talk about soon.
fallingbooks: (yarn)
::flail::

So. There are these things called Spin-A-Longs.

(There are also Knit-A-Longs and Crochet-A-Longs and even Dye-A-Longs, but these are not causing me angina right this second.)

You have your favorite fiber crack dealer. They have a Ravelry group. They go 'Hey! Let's have a SAL!' Everyone else goes 'Yay!'. You go and buy a minimum 4oz chunk of themed fiber from their Etsy shop and are supposed to spin it up and post pictured to said rav group by a specific deadline. Winners get accolades and goodies from said crack dealer.

Guess which idiot is supposed to be spinning for THREE SALs right now? I mean it. RIGHT. NOW.

(Guess who also has a 8oz project on the wheel eating up all of her bobbins and has NOTHING to do with any of these SALs?)

I have one set done. It is the small and easy one. One is a 4oz set that requires some thought and another is a 8oz that, dude, I just do not know what I'm gonna do with.

AUGH!

::runs off in a panicked fit::
fallingbooks: (yarn)
There are a bunch of posts I feel like I should be making before this one, but if I wait to post until I'm ready to write them, I'll never get to it. Hi, hello, I fell off the face of the Earth, I'm sorry.

This is what my bathroom looks like right now:

a rainbow of yarn hanging of the shower rod. Which is this side of snapping.

Yes, the wheel and I finally made friends. Huzzah! And I find that more than buying and using commercial or even indie dyed yarns, I like making my own better. (I will probably like it even more once I get better control over the thickness of my singles. Now everything calls for fingering weight yarn.) There's just this real sense of satisfaction in knowing that it's all your doing from start to finish and that it's exactly what you wanted.

Which is why I'm going to start dying my own fiber.

(I should note: I did not dye any of the stuff in the picture.)

I know, I know, I'm nuts. But I'm getting a free microwave to use for dyeing when a friend of mine moves next month. She and her husband bought a house that has a built in, so this one's going out the door which is fortuitous for me! This means dyeing shall commence with terrifying fervor next month. (Or maybe April. I'm not sure when she's moving just yet.) I think this means I'm going to back off on buying dyed stuff unless it's really gorgeously gorgeous so I can funnel the funds into supplies and suchlike. I'm really quite !!!!! about the whole thing because it really changes my whole fibery worldview. spinning aside, so long as I buy the right base yarn, I can dye it to be whatever I want. No more hunting for the right color in the right fiber in the right weight. No more grumbling about the lack of semi-solids in affordable commercial yarn. No more whining because my favorite color isn't currently in fashion. (Not true at the moment as I'm totally into that dark teally blue floating around, but how long can my luck last, really?) I'm not saying that it isn't going to be an incredible, insane disaster to start out because it so totally is going to be, but eventually I'll get there, and it is going to be AWESOME.

Ack.

Jun. 26th, 2009 08:20 pm
fallingbooks: (Default)
I'm think I might go buy a wheel tomorrow. I am all a-twitter (literally and figuratively.) More tomorrow.
fallingbooks: (yarn)
I've found that spinning, for me anyway, is a lot like playing Rock Band. For the first hour or so there's some attempt at artistry - or at least competency. After that it's a long downhill grind to meet a certain goal, and it might be best to pack it in for a while. That said, I find that I really, REALLY, like spinning yarn. It's fun. I love taking a multicolored braid of roving and seeing how it spins out. So far I seem to do best with a low whorl drop spindle (tried a top whorl, we don't like each other,) and I'm working with merino, which is apparently not a usual beginner fiber choice. Eh. I'm doing fine with it. I like it better than the Falkland I'm messing around with now. Eventually the plan is to get a wheel - I'm pretty sure I want a Schacht Ladybug, because it's supposed to be newbie friendly, but also carry me for a while afterward, but that's still a while out yet. (Also: red wheel OMG.)

My first attempt in progress:
Delusions of Spinning Grandeur

And relatively completed:

FirstYarn!

(The pictures are fail. I am not much a photographer, my apologies.)

I spun that mostly while sitting in Amtrak trains between NYC and DC. I definitely got some odd looks from passengers. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it as there's really not all that much of it. Maybe I'll just hang in a shadowbox on the wall somewhere as a trophy. Ideas?

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Sarah

January 2011

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