Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Good Bye 2008

It was a great year, and it was a year of turmoil at the same time. I enjoyed the break from work, and endured the challenges of the new school for Mitch. The world changes in a dramatic, catastrophic way, I am still thankful that we are able to spend the last day of 2008 together and healthy. I hope that the year 2009 will be a better year for all of us.
Happy Knitting and Spinning New Year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fingerless Mitts, Fingerless Gloves, Fingerless Mittens

No, I haven't gone insane, if you were wondering. Not yet anyway.

I finally managed to knit a pair of fingerless mitts, and I get to post about it. I'm dying to see if I can attract some Googlers that come to visit our blog as a result of searching "fingerless gloves" or "fingerless mittens." Between the fall and late winter, those who come to see Liz's post that was written nearly two years ago are a half of the hits on our blog. You see, it's like a study on statistics...

So there.

Sorry about the dark pictures. It's just a gloomy day here... The pattern is "Mitt Envy" by Weezalana. I love this pattern! Used Nature's Palette fingering superwash. Probably used about a half of a skein with US 1 DPNs.

As much as I love them, I don't get to keep them... They are going to our beloved neighbor Lia. Yup, I am going to knit a pair for myself before it gets warm!

I've neglected to post, but I've knitted a pair of socks for my mom using the same yarn earlier. They are done and safely arrived in Japan, and she loves them -- phew! It was the first time I've used this yarn, but I was shocked by its rather poor quality. The color is great -- it's the uncreatable "Mystery" colorway. But the yarn was cut in three places, and on top of it there were about six places where the yarn was thin, barely held together by a fiber or two. The second ball I wound up was the same way. I've contacted the owner of the yarn company, and she promptly contacted me, to which I was pleased. She mentioned that she suspects a moths damage (which never occurred to me as the cuts were all clean, perpendicular cuts). I offered to send her the yarn so she could inspect, as she did show an interest, but after that no reply. I have a ball of yarn just sitting here... And yes, she did offer to send me replacements -- very nice of her.

Seed Stitch Ribs from More Sensational Knitted Socks. My mom has tiny feet, so a skein was more than enough to knit this pair.

Ok, here's Mitch's Cowabunga, knitted with my handspun merino. See the post below for the link for the pattern. Another great pattern!

Should have made it larger (or deeper). It'll be way too small next year!
I've spun the camel too. Three-ply with two strands of Camel/Silk 50/50 blend from A Verb for Keeping Warm, and a strand of Mongolian camel I spun at GGFI. Some of the Mongolian camel was re-carded and respun after I practiced long draw with cotton. Fulled and whacked. 12 wpi.

I'm not sure if I LOVE this yarn... I'll see when I knit it. It was quite confusing to me to spin the Silk/Camel blend. Silk is very long, and camel is short. To which fiber do I apply the twist to? I felt like I was doing a core spin, the silk fiber being the core. I love the camel though -- so I decided to treat myself for the camel/merino blend from Herndon Creek Farm. I thought these two fiber might be more akin to each other, and less confusing.

Great quality, great service -- and the red ribbon is a nice touch! Oh, did I mention GREAT price? I highly recommend them. Can't wait to spin it, but now I have to concentrate on casting on and finishing a pair of mittens for Mitch.

I need to take a breath! Boy it's a loaded post. Happy Holidays everyone -- wishing you a great time knitting and spinning, and being with the family.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My Hat Model

My son's Cowabunga hat was going well, until of course I ran out of my handspun yarn just short of finishing it.

When I spun the first batch of merino for this hat, I thought I had messed it up -- I did intend to put more spin and ply twists, but it seemed way too much. So I was expecting the yarn to be tough and harsh on my hands as I knit, but in fact it was one of the nicest of my handspun to knit with. It was bouncy and even, tight but smooth. I'll remember to recreate this again when I spin for socks.

So he models the propeller Cowabunga while I spin more yarn. But so far it fits.

While the wet-finished merino yarn dries, I knit another item for Llama Llama's Homeward Bound Knit-along donation. We needed more kid-sized hats. I think I'd call it a acorn hat.

I love this yarn (Sabrina from Tahki Stacey Charles, needles US 13 and 10) -- it was an odd-ball in my stash, but now it'll be useful somewhere and hopefully loved.

My hat model, a.k.a Mitch, has been working hard on learning reading, writing and numbers at kindergarten (and at home too -- the amount of homework he gets!). He helped me make a grocery list today. I think I'll save this one for myself -- the first one went to his grandma. I just hope that he'll start curving the "J" to the left soon!

Friday, December 05, 2008


I forgot about it, but I've signed up on a mailing list for Herndon Creek Farm at the last California Wool and Fiber Festival in Boonville. I bought some Sally Fox organic cotton from them (and drooled over their nice wooden tools).

A very nice letter came from Herndon the other day, announcing their Fiber Special for the month of December -- be still my heart -- baby camel and fine merino blend. Just look at the sample I received in the mail.

What a teaser! And oh so effective. I'm trying to remind myself that I have enough fiber to last me for the next five years, but my voice is getting less convincing. Sometimes, less works better than more.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Procrastinating or Love

I am so in love with this.

Naturally dyed Merino-Bamboo 60/40 from Tactile. Erin got me four hanks for the use of my car (which is not getting much attention lately and sitting lonely on my driveway). I really don't know how I always strike such a good deal with her.

This really is nice to spin. Well-blended, so I don't feel like I'm spinning a chunk of merino here, a chunk of bamboo there. I'm thinking to do a three-ply and knit a sleeveless sweater. Llama Llama Knit now carries their spinning fiber!

I wonder why I've been spinning so much lately -- aside the fact that I do love spinning -- then it dawned on me that it's like avoiding to study for a test. Yeah, what's that word, procrastination? I escape from the pressure of the Christmas knitting and run to the comfort of the wheel. Now back to Mom's socks...