Monday, September 26, 2016

FO: Yoda

My first try at crocheted Amigurimi.  It was a little tricky and fiddly but I figured it out.  

Yarn: Included in kit
Hook: 3.5mm
Started: May 15, 2016
Finished: Sept 26, 2016

Definitely fun, much easier if you know what you are doing and its pretty quick to work up.  I have to work on my crochet tension, I tend to "throw" the yarn as if I was knitting and it makes for awkwardness and uneven tension.  

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

New Spinning Wheel!!

I recently got a new spinning wheel.  I had been thinking about another one for a while.  The JMS Cassandra has different ratios and a larger orifice than my other wheels.  The operation is also different.  She has a stretchy poly drive band and the whorls are on the back, it goes up to a spool on the back of the flyer to drive the flyer and bobbin.

She arrived in a huge box.  All wrapped up and ready for assembly.

Assembly was easy, I did have some huhs?  and oopps? but it was all me - its really quite simple.

She quickly got along with the other two, but doesn't quite fit in the room, LOL!  I have to do some rearranging to find her a permanent spot.

She spins very well, minimal noise from the bobbin design.  There are no cores in the bobbins like other wheels.  Its straight up wood holes, so they chatter and jiggle on the shaft sometimes, but its very rhythmic, so not annoying.  

The orifice is HUGE!!!

I had fun testing her out with some left over BFL from another spin ...

The bobbins are also HUGE to go with that big orifice.  This is probably around 2 oz or so on there and you can see there's still plenty of room!

She's all unfinished reclaimed hardwood.  Every once in a while she'll need some oil - she's so small though its not a chore, once I had her all set up and spun a little on her I grabbed a rag and some lemon oil and shined her up.  

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


We have this crazy squirrel that hangs out in our yard.  I can always pick it out because its just so freakin weird.  Also, its tail is never puffy like the others, its very sleek.  It also walks a lot - where the other squirrels all hop to get around.  When I first noticed it, I thought it was ill, except then I started noticing that all the things it does are very energetic and it looks very healthy.  

It randomly decides to wrestle around on the ground and do somersaults ... ALL BY ITSELF - like its wrestling a phantom squirrel.  I'm not sure the other squirrels like to associate with it.  I've seen it eating leaves and flowers (I am wondering if it was mimicking the groundhogs).  And one day when a skunk was below the bird feeder munching on seeds, all the other birds, squirrels and chipmunks were nowhere to be seen ... this guy was about 2 feet from the skunk checking it out.  All squirrels use their hands to pick up food and things, but this one uses its hands more like a raccoon or a monkey.  While it does odd things and I sometimes think its mentally disabled, I think it might actually be an idiot savant (mostly because its still alive and hasn't been picked off by a hawk).  

Today I saw it eating a mushroom (which may explain a lot) then commando crawling across the ground ... it is an oddball for sure!

Friday, August 26, 2016

FO: Take it All Shawl

Pattern: Take it All by Lisa Hannes
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Bare (dyed by me)
Cast On: 7/27/16
Finished: 8/24/16

This is a great pattern.  Its super simple, but never boring.  Its knit sideways starting with a few stitches that continually increases to 200+ at the end.  There are two options for the last section, I liked this one with the picot bind off.

The pattern called for one MC and 8 CC.  It suggested solid or tonal yarn (not striping or variegated).  Since most of my sock yarn stash is striping or wildly variegated, I decided to dye up some yarn!

I used Wilton's Color Performance System - a liquid food coloring.  This gives a much wider range of colors (while staying non toxic for the kitchen sink).

Just for curiosity sake I kept track of how long this shawl took to knit.  Ever have those non-knitters or crafters 1) ask you how long something took to make and 2) tell you that you should sell these things (to make money).  Well I now have an answer to them - I had a snarky ballpark comment I usually give - "Do you want to pay $350 for these socks?!?!" Now I know I wasn't that far off:


It took 30 hours to knit this, that doesn't include weaving in the ends ...

Or blocking ...

Now you know ;)

Monday, August 22, 2016

Micala Shawl Pattern & Summer Sale!

Micala is a heart shaped shawl knit from the top down beginning with a garter tab. The body is worked in garter stitch and lace with a lace spine.

Comfy garter stitch flows into open and airy lace making this a perfect accessory in early Spring and late Fall. Delicate enough for evening wear and intrepid enough to spice up jeans and a t-shirt.

Delusional Knitter Designs Patterns

20% off any patterns in my Ravelry shop Delusional Knitter Designs with coupon code DOGDAYS now thru 8/31!!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

FO: Moab Shawl

Pattern: Moab Shawl by verybusymonkey
Cast On: 2/8/16
Finished: 7/17/16
Yarn: Handspun Loop Bump Sugar Plum

There was some yarn chicken involved in this one ... above was all that was left after bind off.  I excluded a few rows at the end.

It was fun to knit something up with handspun and this shawl was specifically made for that and could easily be adjusted for different yardages.  This was one of my first handpun skeins and also a first for chain plying.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Tour de Fleece 2016

This TdF was so much fun for me!!  I went into it happy if I got one finished skein .. I have THREE!!!  I have a Sport, Worsted and Bulky.  I spun two new to me fibers.  I have a 2-ply and the others are chain plied.  And I split up one colorway into a gradient of sorts (I didn't bother with blending the transitions, so its not a true gradient).  And I continued with my supported spinning.

First up Corriedale - a new to me fiber.  It was pure joy to spin, especially thick.  I typically spin fingering weight and my goal for TdF was to spin thicker to get more done.

Into the Whirled
Corriedale - Flounce
110 yds

Then I went to a known to me fiber and did a two ply in BLF.

Into the Whirled
BFL - Eureka
198 yds

And lastly another new to be fiber Targhee which I split into a psuedo gradient.

Into the Whirled
Targhee - Winds of Change
236 yds

I am glad TdF is ended, but I enjoyed this one so much!!  I am looking forward to a new outlook on spinning and getting more spinning done.  I was also happy since I went through physical therapy not too long ago for shoulder/neck pain I was cognizant of posture and repetitive motions and I didn't hurt myself spinning!!  Towards the end I was feeling it, but nothing too outrageous.  In the past I have not spun very much because of pain ... no more issues with that!!!

I also finally got over my not spinning because I didn't want to "ruin" the fiber ... I now have at least (I stopped counting) 48 club shipments of ITW ... so I have no problems using this for "practice" spinning.  I have pounds and POUNDS of fiber in my stash ... no more waiting until I get "better" or this or that to use up this fiber ... its taking over the house, LOL!

Besides, last time I checked, you don't actually get BETTER at something unless you DO IT!