First things first! We are having a Summer Sale! Happening before summer because once summer starts and my son is home everyday my time will greatly diminish! My son has ADHD and boy oh boy he is non stop go go go!
Next the News is we are going to be trying to rebrand. Since the move its been hard and being reminded of what we lost has been hard. I keep trying to get into the swing of things, but just cant seem to be able to. And therein lies the problem. Whenever I am here on this blog I am just reminded of all we lost and all the negativity we gained. My husband thought a rebrand might help with that, so this summer that will probably be the focus, if I can. Maybe this summer will be our first great summer here. Or rather I should say: This summer will be a great summer.
It has been a busy few weeks and they have been pretty crazy except for one constant : the rain! Easter also happened and my parents came up for the week to spend spring break with their grandson. My parents also brought up my aunts knitting supplies. My aunt recently passed away from cancer. She has been battling it for years. She was very young being only 49 when she passed. My mothers family was never close to us but my aunt and I knit and sharing that hobby connected us. She would also call me to talk about math as she tried to help my cousin graduate. I had talked to her during her last days in the hospital. I had asked her if she was keeping busy knitting in the hospital. Unfortunately she had a mass in her arm that was not allowing her to use both her hands, so she was not knitting. The sound of her voice was heart breaking. I do not know what I would do if I was in her shoes. She passed shortly after that conversation and I learned from my mom that she had left me her knitting supplies. So when my parents came up they brought them up.
In the supplies of needles and patterns there were a few unfinished objects. I have not figured out 2 of them, but one was obviously an unfinished scarf. I finished the scarf pretty quickly and sent it to my mom for Mothers Day. My mom was denied every little thing she asked her brother to take that was her sisters. Why is it that families get so greedy and so unwilling to be nice over the most inconsequential stuff? Anyways I know my mom will appreciate this scarf that I finished. She will at least have something that her sister made. This is the scarf:
My aunt was a great knitter who knit for everyone she worked with. She helped take care of my cousins. She was a dog trainer who was awesome at obedience competing and she loved her golden retrievers. To me she was the one family member that was nice to me. I wish she had been more apart of my life as I truly did enjoy her company. Until we meet again.
I can not say its a sad goodbye! We got norovirus earlier and just this weekend my son got the flu. Today my husband has the flu. I do not know if I already had it ( I felt crummy last week) or I am going to get it. I have been feeling weird these days. Like some days it is 60 and sunny and I am like "YASSS LETS GET STUFF DONE!!!" and then I try to organize and unpack all the stuff we have not yet unpacked from 2 years ago. Then other days I hear "I feel sick" and I am just like "meh" and nothing gets done.
I did start reading The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. When I read it reminds me of summers when I was a kid. I used to read all summer long. This is where I lived as a kid.
Thats the house I grew up in and the barn and carriage house. My parents still live here in Pennsylvania. My mom really liked the house and got to know the lady who lived there. The lady spun yarn and had a loom the size of room. The only other loom I have seen that large was at the historical farm up the street where I volunteered. There are two trees kinda near each other on the left near the creek. There used to be a hammock there and I would spend all summer reading in that hammock by the creek. I would also fish there too. The town stocked the creek and one summer there was a huge white fish that stood out among the trout. I tried to catch that fish one whole summer long. I swear I hooked it once, but never caught it.
Anyways my mom really liked the house so she took up spinning so she could be friends with the lady in the house. Eventually the lady wanted to sell the house and my mom bought it. She turned it into her dream home and eventually I got that spinning wheel that had been in the attic sitting for 15 years. I would really like to get a SpinOlution Queen Bee, but we do not have the money for it. Maybe one day.
There will be an update this Friday at 2pm EST. The update will be in the Shoal base. I have two new colors to introduce to you:
From Left to Right we have : Tea by the Sea - which is an off white base with speckles. Rose Quartz - which is light brownish pink base with speckles and Tea Cakes- which is a pink and purple base with speckles. I think all three colors go really well together. I hope to see you then and enjoy the weekend!
Yesterday was mid 40s and today it is snowing. Okay winter you had your time now let spring get some time before its 90 degrees. I have been super sick the last few weeks. There was winter break for my son and prior to that break I had norovirus! Yay that was fun. On the plus side I lost 5 lbs. Next time I get it I might charge admission for the new weight loss program. You are bound to the bathroom for a day, but hey it works!
Then it was winter break and my little guy had off. I wanted to take that time to go through a lot of books and donate the ones that he could read. So every day during break he had morning work while I made breakfast which was doing a math worksheet, then morning reading when he had to read 3 books I picked out to me, then afternoon work which was writing while I made lunch, and afternoon reading where he read 3 more books to me. He also had to continue bedtime reading and practice his drumming everyday. After that week was over we managed to put into a box 30 books to donate. Some of the books were difficult and made it back to the shelf. I was pretty proud of the little guy when he came back with a certificate that he is up to level 16 reading. We still have more books to go through but luckily for him there is spring break in a month (or unlucky for him lol). Then my son went back to school for 4 days (yay another snow day) and then I got a cold. Lol. The joys of school!
I also knit up these Rose City Roller socks! I used a skein of Hedgehogfibres Sock in Monet and a skein of Wickies in Hecate.
I must admit that socks are not my thing. I dont know if it is the size 1 needle or what, but I dont find them too enjoyable to knit. I want to knit more pairs, but meh not really. Its like a love hate relationship. I like them when they are done, but knitting them is just meh.
I also spun up some fiber in some neon colors:
And lastly some news! This Friday there will be a Shoal update! I have two new colors! Rose Quartz which is based off all the quartz we used to have in Little Compton. There was a piece of quartz that was around 2 feet in diameter on our property. It was slightly red colored in places from all the iron in the ground, but it was pretty amazing. The other new color is Tea Cakes. Both of these colors pair really well Tea by the Sea! More to come on the update so look for that later this week!
You read that title right! I only have one unfinished object left! I just finished non troppo by Åsa Tricosa.
I used one whole skein of HedgehogFibers Cashmere/Merino in Ammolite. I wanted to make it longer but I sold the second skein of Ammolite when we needed money to move. So I used the whole skein of HHF and one skein of Adrift in Frozen Bay. I have come across a little problem though.
So I like knitting a lot. I like making new items and combining colors and yarns, and lets face it I also just cant sit. The idea of not knitting during a movie or tv show is not a thought on the radar at all. Yet I have a little bit of an overrun of knits. So I have this new scarf that I just finished yet I have no idea what to do with it. My family does not need anymore knits, and to be honest I do not have any close friends that would appreciate this as a gift. So what do I do with it? I have even thought of ripping it out just to knit something else with the yarn, and then to do it again. I could give it to the PTA in town for fundraising, however it will probably sell for $25 and thats half the cost of yarn. I was thinking I could do an auction and the money could go to the Childrens Literacy Foundation (this is the most appealing current option to me). Let me know what you think I should do!
My last UFO is a scarf that I started for my husband yeeaarrss ago. It is cables and cables and more cables on size 1 needles (I CRI). I am about half done with it, although it is draining to knit. It requires row by row following on two 50 row charts. It is gorgeous but omg so hard to just concentrate on. Hopefully if I can manage to do half this year and half more next year it will be done.
BUT instead of working on that I am going to do some spinning! Lol!
I took a little break from all the knitting to spin up a little yarn. I mixed some grey CVM from Marushka Farms. I mixed it with alpaca. I ran it through the drum carder pretty haphazardly. I did not comb the locks, just opened them up and through they went. I ended up with this small skein of yarn.
It is so bouncy ! I could not believe just how much spring this tiny skein of yarn has. The color is a very nice grey, but it is only like 2 ounces. I am going to have to make some more of this blend! Enough for something substantial. What do you make with tiny skeins of yarn?
I started this shawl maybe 2 years ago. Then we moved and well I always saw it, but was never motivated to finish it. Until I decided it was time to finish some projects I had been working on. I picked this up and dedicated a lot of time to finishing it.
Pattern : Celestarium by Audry Nicklin
I used one skein of Hedgehog fibres in the club color Nebula along with some cashmere I dyed black with a slight blue and pink tint in places. I alternated between the two yarns randomly. I also used 4 colors of beads based on the star intensity. For stars brightest in our sky I used mostly silver with a few gold beads alternating (about 3 silver to 1 gold bead). For stars a bit dimmer I used a teal bead (I liked the color!) and then for the dimmest of stars I used red beads. I forgot to put the star in the middle of the shawl (sigh).
Well when I was almost done I thought : this isn't going to be large enough. Sooooo I added a border. I found a pattern online and forgot to write down the name, but the pattern is on my Ravelry page.
I almost wanted to add beads to each point in the border, but was I ever ready to be done with this....so I didn't! I am very happy with how this shawl turned out. It is lovely and huge. My son wants it for himself because he loves space and recently we woke up him at night to see the blood moon with his telescope. So when I finished this he said "mom did you make this for me!" and I replied "someday it will be yours".
I have hopes that I can finish a couple of unfinished projects within the next three weeks! I am almoooost done with a shawl that I started maybe 3 years ago, but I need to dye more yarn for it. I also have this scarf that I am playing yarn chicken with.
I am using a skein of Frozen Bay on Adrift knit along with a Hedgehog Fibres merino cashmere club color in Ammolite. I am running out and do not know if this should be longer or if it will be okay. I sold one of the two skeins that I got when we needed money to move, so I only have the one skein of Ammolite. I am thinking of either making it a cowl, trying to find a second skein of HFF , or putting some border along it to make it larger. Ack which to do! This project may just find itself back into bag until I figure something out.
I also have the Constellation shawl on the needles and also a cables from hell on another set. I also have one bobbin of fine yarn spun, but am pretty sure it will take me another week and half to spin another bobbin and ply them together. Too many big projects! After this I am going to knit some socks!
When I went to Japan a long time ago I spent a day with a lady who made jewelry. She taught me and another woman how to make some fused glass cabochons (I will update with a picture when I find the piece I made). She was very nice and afterwards I found out her husband was a potter and she also wove scarves. The scarves were creative and full of life. Not a typical patterned fabric, but full of life, color, and movement. Later through going to spinning groups I had learned that this was Saori.
My friend just had birthday and her favorite color is pink. So I decided to weave her something that while is not completely Saori in technique ( I am not there yet) is in feeling. I picked out a skein of Sunburnt on Tender to be the main color and a bunch of handspun yarns. I got to work and this is what I ended up with:
I learned a bunch making this scarf, one of the biggest factors being if the colors are too close then it is hard to see the colors interact. I can't wait to try another scarf!
I finished spinning this skein of yarn earlier last week. It is dark teal, blue, and purples. Plied with the color Dionysus on Catwalk that I had left over from a scarf I knit. I based the colors off a Mercy skin (Sugar Plum Fairy) from Overwatch that came out for the holidays.
Well after plying the Sugar Plum Fairy singleI still had some singles left on the bobbin. I also had some single of this last spin on another bobbin. I need bigger bobbins!Well I decided to spin the singles together, but I didn't think I would have enough left over to make anything substantial, sooo I added some silk that I use for making tsumami kanzashi to make this skein:
You can see the dark from the Sugar Plum Fairy fiber and the light from the last spin paired with the pieces of silk cloth strips. I plied it again with a purple to tie it all together color wise. Here are all three skeins:
o the middle skein is left over singles from both the right and left skein paired with some silk fabric. I can't believe how different they all look, from dark and broody to light and ephemeral to the funky. It is so interesting how color and texture can change the feeling of yarn.
So my birthday is December 26th. I struggled writing about what happened or lack of, but instead I am going to say some good news! My husband bought me a Ashford SampleIt loom. I went through all my left overs and made this:
I was pretty excited about this, but one thing is it is wayyyy to short to be used by an adult. Now my son it fits perfect! My son was excited and wanted to make a scarf for himself, so he went through all my left over yarns and we started his! He would do maybe 8 inches or so at a time. In an effort to get his scarf done in a timely manner I helped, although he did around 30 or so inches of weaving himself!
Now his scarf on the other hand is really long for a 6 yr old! lol. I am pretty excited to start my next project! Hopefully I will get it started this week! Hope you are all having a great new year so far!
Whew. I made it! My 6 yr old is back in school today! While I did enjoy all the 3 + hours hikes and 2 hour walks and game of laser tag, I am beat, but also happy that I can spin yarn without having Ninjago on. Happy that I can weave or knit without "mommy when are we going on a hike yet" every 5 minutes until we leave the house. Just plain happy that I do not hear "mommy". Don't worry though, summer is just around the corner (sigh).
Anyways this Friday I will be updating the Handspun category!
I use US grown merino , alpaca, and kid mohair that are all under 18 micron. I also used processed merino, alpaca, and silk. For me personally I love the soft feel of fine fibers. I was that kid that would not wear wool sweaters because they were too itchy, despite being worn over shirts. Needless to say as an adult I am very much the same. Comfortable and soft are my jam. These 9 skeins will come online this Friday (time TBA on Instagram) and hopefully I will get more skeins spun up and online soon.
Unfortunately I am not a production spinner. Buying raw fleece and washing them isnt exactly time saving. Also my drum carder is not an electric 4 oz art batt drum carder, it is more like a 1.5 oz batt maker. And finally my wheel bobbin only holds about 5 oz of fiber. I would like to get a larger drum carder and a wheel that has 10 oz bobbins, but right now it just is not financially feasible, so please bear with me as the selection of handspun yarns will be quite limited.
This week I have a Bomb combo.
This is Siren on Surf a merino single paired with Qing Fibre Melted Baby Suri in Oyster. I also picked out a pattern for it too! My Chrysalis Shawl by Lavanya Patricella. I think it might be my next knit!
I have been doing a lot of fiber combing recently and also dying a few skeins to pop in the shop next week maybe. One is a new color called Pomona! Can you guess what colors it is! More information about an update to come!
I just finished this handspun yarn! I dyed merino, alpaca, and silk in a fairy type garden colorway. I added large Swarovski pearl beads, crystals, and a few handdyed feathers.
The one thing I wish I did differently was add more sparkle and more pearls. I just kinda rummaged around and found these large beads and was like YASS! however I just wish there were a lot more small ones all through out. You know what that means right! Another spin! I really do like the colors though,but maybe I will add a hint of another color to the next spin. hmmm what color to add? Blue? Pink? Yellow? Hmmmm! Oh and definitely more angelina next time!
I am going to start doing yarn combination spotlights. Hopefully once a week! Although with Christmas coming up.... Yikes!
Anyways here is this weeks spotlight!
Tender is this featured yarn. It is a non superwash merino. It has such a different feel from superwash merino. It is plush and feels more like wool. It is soft at 19.5 micron and just has a great squishy feel to it. The colors featured are Seamist, Frozen Bay, Lighthouse Grey, Heather, and Lavender. I have a few yarns laid out for a fade cardigan but this is really calling to me too!
Also today I listed a few more knits, and after tomorrow hopefully all the knits will be uploaded to the site!
A few years ago when Brandon Sanderson released the Way of Kings book. I was blown away by Michael Whelans art for the cover. Not only was the book awesome to read (ps I am ready for book 4!) but the art just captured the book. Take a look at this cover!
So I knew I had to knit a shawl inspired by this artwork. So I got to work spinning and dying yarn. I spun roving that I bought from JulieSpins that variegates from the yellow to orange to pinks to blues. I dyed a skein of yarn in the light blue. This is what they looked like:
I got to picking out a pattern and knitting the shawl based on that wonderful art and story. I finished it and this is it!
I ended up giving that shawl away to someone who really loved the colors and the book. Then I was kinda sad to not have one around, so I made another!
This shawl always reminds me just how great of a writer Brandon Sanderson is. Although I will say that I sometimes wish the romance aspect felt more like romance and less like a toned down version, but his writing of action is just awesome. This shawl reminds me that I can create knits that speak to me and in this case remind me to read all the epic fantasy books!
I hope you enjoyed this look into knitting an art inspired shawl. Have a Happy Thanksgiving and see you the week after!
So here are two skeins of yarn. They are spun using the same base of fibers and colors, but with just a little change each skein resulted in two very different yarns. The base is mix of black alpaca and shades of navy and blue merino with a dash of purple and turquoise silk.
This is the first skein I spun that is core spun with a thread I dyed that variegates from yellow to pink with beads on it. The core was very thick so this weighs about 5 oz and is 50 yards.
Here is the second skein I spun. This one I spun a single and instead of thread and beads I incorporated mohair locks. I then spun that single around a thin thread core. It weighs 3 oz, but is also 50 yards!
Honestly I do not know which skein I like more. They are both so different and awesome in their own ways. Next I am going to spin another one that has both some thread and mohair and noils! Whew!
Also be sure to check out the knits section. I have been adding new knits each week. I hope you like it!
Okay so I updated two knits today and I am going to keep trying to update a few everyday.
All the knits are handknit by me using either commercial yarn or yarn that I spun. I love luxury fibers so you are likely to see a lot of cashmere and silk. A lot of the fleece I process to spin is US grown and very nice, (I should get more). Here are the two I uploaded today:
More will be uploaded this week! I hope you will stop on by and check them out!
Honestly I don't even know. I have been feeling pretty beat and run down just with general life, Summer was tough as this was our first summer here in NH away from the beach. I never really liked the beach a lot, but when you have a kid the beach is like a big play area. We used to go to the beach at least 3 times a week and this summer was a struggle to find stuff to do outside in the heat. Then school started and that hasn't been easy either.
Our son started 1st grade this year. He is a really nice awesome kid, and he cant keep his body still. It doesn't seem to matter how good he is at reading or math. They just want him to be quite and sit still. The teacher is really nice, but 10 days in we were already having meeting where she was asking if we have seen anyone for medication for him. We explained to her that we already took our son to see a Harvard child psychiatrist who wont put kids under 10 on medication, and who also thought our son was behaving normally. When I talk to other parents they all tell me "I would just find a doctor to put him on meds". It is an incredibly frustrating experience.
In any case I feel so stressed out with that and the holidays coming up that I have been just living in hole, trying to escape because instead of teaching our kids how to behave it is easier to medicate them.
As far as my business I do have some Superwash DK that is waiting to be dyed and a new category to add. I am also going to discontinue Catwalk and replace it was a merino/cashmere/silk blend eventually.
So if you do not know Countess Ablaze, well you should! She has put together a whole slew of dyers and designers who have come together to donate to their charity of choice. Please read her blog post about why she put it together ! I joined and dyed this colorway:
It is called If I want Exposure, I'll Get My Tits Out - For a Better Tomorrow. It is dyed on Shoal, which is a merino/nylon sock base. 20% of sales of this colorway will be donated to the Children's Literacy initiative. Being a mom of a 6 yr old boy who hates to read while I love it is hard. I hope as he grows and learns to read better that he will love to read. My husband has a reading disability and also hates to read, but still he reads to our son every other night. This colorway will launch on July 1st at 8am (hopefully!). I am going to try to update before the day really starts and after breakfast! There are lots of other dyers and designers, so please check them out as well!!
So I have been spinning some Corriedale that I have had around for a while. I combed the fiber to aim for a worsted yarn. This is what I got.
I got 600 yards (a bit more but close enough) and it weighs a little over 8 oz. I am not very happy with it as it is kinda fuzzy. I really wanted a smooth yarn. It is though quite shiny! Now my only problem is I have no idea what to knit with it! Ideas?? Help!!
At 10 am today there will be a yarn update. It will be all Wickies! I hope you enjoy the new colors!
The next update will be Shoal. If you have any colors you want to see on that base drop me a line!
So I have been spinning a lot (and knitting too) with an attempt to become a better spinner. I combed some Corriedale fleece that looks like this:
It combs up beautifully into yummy top
At first I took some top and drum carded it along with some nylon. I spun a DK weight 14 wpi yarn. It is 3 ounces of Corriedale and 1 ounce of nylon of woolen yarn.
Next I want to spin a worsted yarn with the Corriedale. It is probably my weakest spinning method. I am not very good about not allowing twist into my drafting fiber. I have been trying really hard at shortish draw and not allowing twist to enter my draft. This is what I have so far.
But do you see how fuzzy it is! I am getting a bit discouraged. I might look into a spinning class or something to help. I do like spinning woolen and getting fluffy yarns, but I would like to be able to get a smooth worsted yarn as well. See you next week with hopefully some better spinning!
Sometimes I go through lulls where I feel uninspired. I really wanted to do the makenine2018 projects on Instagram, but I am a pretty slow knitter. So I decided to do a make spinnine2018. Now I will probably spin more than this, but these are my inspirations. Spins that I really really look forward to!
From left to right and top to down we have: InglenookFibres, Kid Mohair, Pigeonroof studios, Alpaca, Another InglenookFibres, Merino, Hedgehog Fibres, Corriedale, and JulieSpins. Whenever I am feeling a little blue I might take out some of that fiber and start to prep it. I do not have projects in mind, but they are fibers and colors that really speak to me! I already started combing the Corriedale (bottom middle). I have quite a lot of it washed and do not know how much I should comb.
I also really want to take a Masters Spinning class but cant seem to find one near me. I thought that it would be really neat and I would love to get some advice on how to improve my spinning. I started spinning like 12ish years ago and taught myself with youtube lol. I probably have some pretty bad habits! My biggest problem is I have a hard time spinning short draw worsted yarn. I usually end up with a semi-worsted. I am going to try to spin the Corriedale worsted as I think that will really lend to its shine and durability. I just need to be really careful not letting any spin into my drafting. I do like a short long draw usually with twist entering my draft, so all of my yarn ends up being woolen or semi-woolen. I want this to be perfectly worsted though! So onto the combing I go!
Mother, dyer, knitter, and gamer.