A Sheepish Little Blog.

Wool and whimsy in the frozen North.

last minute July 31, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 11:02 pm
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Yesterday was my father’s birthday. 2 weeks from today, Cory and I are flying to Colorado to visit (among other people) my father. Prior to today I had no present for him, but now… now I have 2 inches of ribbing.

Er, I mean, the beginning of a hat. This hat. In this yarn.

SedonaTahki Yarns Sedona. Had I been blogging last year, you’d recognize this yarn as the same that I used for my FIL’s Christmas present hat (which, I might add, I’ve never seen him wear). I bought two skeins and only needed one, and since this is a nice warm manly sort of yarn, I thought it would be perfect for a last minute hat. I only hope I have enough!

I also got the yarn that I bought from my friend’s emergency destashing sale on Ravelry.

Malabriiiiiigo2 skeins of Malabrigo laceweight in Cognac, and

KauniA skein of Kauni Effektgarn in color ER. I’m thinking about making a baktus with this.


photos of things that aren’t yarn July 29, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 10:13 pm
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Since all I’ve photographed lately has been handspun, here are a few things that are not that.

First, the Sunday Swing socks I’m knitting, toe-up, in Malabrigo Sock (colorway Caribeno).

Sock toesNow that I’m back on track (i never did find the lost stitch- I just picked up a new one), these are going just fine again. I love this yarn knit up. I actually like it more than I did in the skein, which is saying something.

This is what I got for myself as a “prize” for finishing the Tour de Fleece.

labyrinthThis is 4oz of Falkland wool in colorway Labyrinth, by Pigeonroof Studios. Apparently, Falkland wool is special because there are no sheep parasites native to the Falkland Islands, so the wool has never been “dipped”, giving it a nicer quality.

Remember the pear tahkli that I got at Detta’s? The supported spindle? Well, the thing about supported spindles is that they need, um, support. Normally this is done in a small ceramic or wooden bowl made specifically for the purpose (and costing from $10-$40). I didn’t get one, so I was looking around for something I could use or modify for this use, and happened upon a teeny little wooden box. I have a few tiny boxes- I’ve always loved them- and this one seemed just right. I took a knitting needle and a mallet and punched a hole in the middle, and I was right, it works absolutely perfectly with this spindle.

spindle with boxThe spindle’s tip fits loosely enough to spin well, but tightly enough that I can just leave the thing sitting straight up in the box and it doesn’t tip over. …Now, I just need to learn to spin on the thing, eh?


the waiting game

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 8:47 am
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I really haven’t been knitting (or spinning) at all the last couple of days… first because I’ve been busy, second because I’ve been sick, and third because I really can’t get the two skeins of koigu I have set aside for Endpaper Mitts out of my head.  And I can’t start knitting those until August starts- because of the mitt-a-long we’ve decided to have in the Knitscape group on Ravelry.

So, you see why I haven’t had much to talk about on here. I keep meaning to take photos of the socks I started, but since those got ripped off the needles by an errant dog (my own fault, I left ’em on the floor), I need to get them back on track before I can show off. I should also share some photos of the things I bought this past weekend at both Detta’s and the Fiber Studio, but much of that is gifts.

I also bought some yarn, as a friend of mine had a monetary emergency and was selling some very good yarn for very good prices. I got two skeins of brown malabrigo lace and a skein of pink/burgundy/brown kauni. Not sure what I’ll do with either, but they are beautiful.

I’ll try to get those socks on track by the end of tonight, and share photos for you guys.


The Finish Line July 27, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 9:05 am
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Well, the Tour de Fleece is officially over. I don’t consider myself to have “won”, since I didn’t achieve my goal of a mile of finished yarn, but I did “finish” as I managed to spin every day of the tour. Here’s all the yarn that I finished.

Tour yarns

I feel pretty good about what I accomplished, since there are a lot of “firsts” here- my first soft spun single, first camel yarn, first 3 ply, first spindle-spun laceweight.

I’m going to try to keep up with spinning almost every day. It’s kind of amazing, really, how much I improved over the course of the tour- and my stamina is a lot better, too.


Cherry Cordial July 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 12:18 am
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285 yards of 3 ply BFL, heavy fingering or sport weight. I am really pleased with this one, and I think I’ve gotten a lot better at 3 ply spinning. It comes out so nice and round! I did have a lot of leftover singles for this one, which was a bit upsetting, but oh well. I’m still very happy with the outcome.

Nicole, Kate, Kate’s sister Mary, and I went down to Detta’s Spindle today. We had a lovely time. Nicole bought herself a spinning wheel- a Kromski Minstrel, also known as an Extremely Beautiful Wheel. It’s gorgeous. I let myself get one small thing (besides the bobbins I needed); a Schacht pear tahkli, a type of Indian supported spindle for spinning fine lace and cotton yarn.

tahkliI didn’t get a bowl for it, but you can apparently use a small cup or even just put a bit of cloth over your lap and use it that way. I’m hoping to try it out tomorrow- I’m going to get some cotton at the Fiber Studio, as Autumn and Tiffany were talkin’ about going and I asked to tag along.

Tomorrow is the very last day of the tour de fleece. I don’t anticipate finishing anything else. All told, I finished 1 spindle project and 3 wheel projects. Had I not spent so much time on the camel I might’ve gotten more done, but I still think I did pretty well. My total finished yarn yardage is 1012 yards… significantly less than the mile I’d hoped for, but since that evens out to well over 3000 yards of singles… not shabby at all.


Argh July 25, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 8:32 am
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I’d be posting more if my stupid wheel wasn’t kind of a big snafu right now. For some unknown reason, the wheel is pulling on my single like the brake band is super tight when it isn’t. Color me frustrated, I’ve been battling with the thing for 2 nights now. I did manage to get a second bobbin done, but the third…. who knows.

I also started a pair of Sunday Swing socks (that’s the new knitty pattern from the summer surprises), only toe up. I’m using a skein of malabrigo sock in Caribeno, which I’ve attempted a couple of patterns on before, but this is the first one to really work. I quite like how it’s coming out, in fact I like the yarn better knit up than in the skein.

If anyone’s curious, no, I’m not really WWMing anymore because I finished every project that I had any chance of finishing within the time limit. The socks, since I cast them on prior to July, might count, but there’s no chance I’ll finish them. I’m mostly focusing on the tour now since it ends tomorrow, but that’s difficult with my wheel acting up. I’m going down to Detta’s Spindle with some people today though and I’m going to see if she has any insight.


4 hours, many yards July 22, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 11:17 pm
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Not sure how many yards I spun today, but in approximately four hours, I got 1/3 of my new spinning project done. Since this was the official “challenge” day on the TDF and this stuff is thinner than I’ve ever wheelspun before, I’m pretty pleased.

bfl bobbin

This is 100% bfl fiber, a gift from my sister for my birthday back in March. It’s spinning up nicely- I’m hoping to get a 3-ply fingering weight, thereabouts.