Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Felines Vol. 6 2015


AKA Mommy's Furry Shadow ...

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Down, down, down ...

This is a very cool pattern.  Down the Rabbit-Hole by Purrlescent.  The stitches for the right and left sock travel in opposing directions, which can make for some oopsies when alternating knitting on both socks throughout the week.  I have to pay attention to which sock I am working on so I make sure that I am working the stitches correctly (there has been some negative knitting on these socks).  Its not a difficult pattern, but interesting enough to not be boring.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Fun Day at the Farmers' Market

For the last 3 years we've been meeting our friends in February for the Farmers' Market at a garden center about an hour away. Its a nice break from the cold and snow of winter to be inside a greenhouse full of sun and warmth and GREEN, GREEN plants.  We always pick one of the Fiber Days ... just for me ...when there are local yarn and fiber vendors as well as the food and other goodies.

Good haul this year (since last year I was unemployed) ...

I got 2 4-ounce bags of fiber from Foxhill Farm.  I also have 2 4-ounce in my stash from the previous year ...

Then I couldn't resist this colorway and it was the last one of its kind out on the rack ...

I've been on the look out for plying balls for my supported spindles, dryer balls do the trick and my friend wanted them for dryer balls, so we got the 4 for $18 deal and split them ...

And this ridiculously delicious smelling tea came home too, with an infuser and some lavender.  This vendor was selling Cranberry Lavender Lemonade and it was BEYOND delicious!!  We also had lunch there, I got seafood chowder and one raspberry and one tiramisu cannoli, with chocolate chips of course.

My husband found the best gift for his parents.  They live up in the mountains where there are bears ... my father-in-law and I get along famously ... we're both grumpy.  I guess its a rule not to sit in his chair at the table ... well I did and guess what ... didn't get kicked out.  Anyone else ... no way!!!

And, since we've been there before, I knew they had some awesome Koi ponds and I had just finished the mitts for a pattern I've been working on.  So the night before I did my nails up in a coordinating color and we got some awesome shots!

And Mr. Penguin is now in his new home (they sent me a photo when they got home) ...

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Spinning Study Vol. 1 - Cotton

Cotton is a very interesting fiber to spin.  Its very different from other fibers, like wool and animal fibers.  The staple length is extremely short and it requires a long draw with barely any grip on the fiber supply while spinning.  It also requires A LOT of twist to stay together ... a REAL lot of twist.  

This spindle is called a Tahkli.  It is a metal spindle with a brass whorl that spins super fast.  This is the traditional spindle for spinning cotton.  

Cotton comes in various preparations: sliver, roving, punis, rolags and fluff.  It can be spun on hand spindles or wheels.  It often creates slubs when drafting, but they are easily removed by pulling on the yarn and introducing a little bit more twist to hold it together, this is referred to as "double drafting".

Cotton usually needs to be boiled after spinning to set the twist and remove any wax from the plant and dirt that has accumulated on the fibers.  It can leave a little bit of a sticky residue while spinning, but its barely noticeable, the spindle shaft sometimes feels a bit sticky, but the singles themselves don't stick together.

Cotton is a very strong fiber,  but does  not have the elasticity of wool.  It will not felt and very minimal loss in weight or yardage occurs in finishing the yarn.  The staple length ranges from 1/2" to 1 1/2" depending on the species.  Cotton is best spun very thin.  Cotton comes in some natural colors ranging from white to cream to brown and green.  

Cotton yarn can be used for knitting, crochet and weaving.  Cotton is extremely durable and absorbs moisture making it an excellent choice for kitchen and bath accessories.  It should be completely dry before storing because it does hold on to moisture and is susceptible to mildew.

"The music of the spinning wheel will be as balm to your soul." - Gandhi

"One hour spent in spinning should be an hour of self-development for the spinner." - Gandhi


Saturday, February 14, 2015

March of the Penguin

I am not a huge fan of seaming (who is?!?!) and this guy had quite a bit.  Don't forget I also kitchenered the top of the body and the bottom of the wings previously.  

I can seam quite well, but that's because I take the time to do it right (part of why I don't like it, it takes sooo long).  He's got 2 side seams and a bottom seam, then the top of the wings I seamed, then sewed on, then his feet are sewed on and his beak and his eyes are sewed on with sewing thread ..... uuugghhhh!!!!

But he's done now and all that's left is his scarf which I am about half way through.  

I was surprised to figure out, he took 517 yds of yarn.  Not including his scarf.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday Felines Vol. 4 2015


Whoops ... I interrupted the Princess' Royal Beauty Sleep.  BTW ... that's my bean bag seat that she usurped in the name of the royal crown she thinks sits atop her head ...

The other day I was fluffing it and getting some fur off it when she came running out of nowhere and jumped on top of it ... MINE!!!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Penguin Pieces & To Dos

The Penguin Pillow is looking more like a penguin ... well parts of one anyway.  The body is done, its soaking now.  I am going to attempt to block the edges to make seaming easier.  Both wings are done, a foot and half the scarf.

I had a list of things I was trying to get done yesterday that I am still working on today.  They are just things that I should get around to.  

For example, I got a new supported spindle recently and the maker has notes on the receipt ... on how to store them ... and how NOT to.  I was storing them in the NOT to category previously.  This new spindle has NO WOBBLE whatsoever, so I want to keep it that way.

It is better to store them upright with no pressure on the shaft, this avoids it bending over time.  For now I found a box and poked some holes in it.  I hope to make something more permanent and out of wood, like a shelf I can hang on the wall.

I also took pics of all my supported spindles to add them to Ravelry.  Don't ask how many ... ok I'll tell you ... 25 ... yup.  You can see them here, I'm still working on adding them, but more of them are up.

Hopefully I'll get some yarn wound today, that's last on my list ... because the one other notation left on the list, I don't entirely understand what I meant, LOL!!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Sophie's Universe CAL Clue 1

This is Clue 1 completed for Sophie's Universe CAL 2015.  I'm really loving this crochet.  Its a great pattern with really excellent photo tutorials and tips and hints throughout ... great for the not so experienced crocheter like me.

When I started I had to look up single crochet, double crochet and half double crochet.  Since I don't crochet often, I usually can't remember which one has how many yarn overs and how many loops to pull through at a time.

This clue also had front and back post work and a magic circle start.  I've learned a ton already and its only clue 1!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


I've been wanting to advance my crochet skills for some time.  I found a Mystery CAL that also includes great photo tutorials for each section.

Sophie's Universe CAL

I am a little behind because I found it after it started on January 18th.  I had to order yarn and I ordered a nice wooden hook ...

I started today, I am hoping to catch up quickly, but either way I am enjoying it and learning quite a bit.  I found it funny that the designer said for round 4 she had to frog it a few times, pay attention to what stitches are going where.  I finished round 4 after this photo and thought, hhmmm that wasn't too bad.  Well when I went to round 5 ... then I noticed I did indeed missed some stitches on round 4, LOL!!

So back to round 4 ...

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Practicing Supported Spinning

I haven't been practicing supported spinning for a while ... I say practicing because I am still fairly new at it, even though I own over a dozen spindles now ...

I was practicing for a while minutes here and there to build up the muscle memory, which is pretty much set. Now I just have to practice, practice, practice to finesse my technique.

One reason I'm pretty sure I stopped spinning for a while was that I got this beauty of a spindle and dropped it on the hardwood floor and broke it ... YUP, RIGHT ON THE FLOOR. Didn't even get to spin on it yet or try it out and smash. Not to mention these spindles are fairly expensive ... OUCH in so many ways!!!

I repaired it and it has a slight wobble, but nothing that stops it from spinning or still being a beautiful spindle ...