On the Needles — June 9, 2012

On the Needles was conceived by Judy L as a way to share and motivate each other to find time to knit.  Especially during those summer months when everything outdoor seems to take up so much of daily life.  Having the garden this year and now the chickens, I could fully understand the need for motivation to make time and am happy to be a part of this.  Not motivation to knit, but motivation to SCHEDULE some knitting TIME into the days.  The plan is to post what’s “On the Needles” every Friday, with a link to Judy L’s blog where you will find other knitters, crocheters, and spinners posting links to their blogs about what’s on their needles.

Hey, it’s a perfect way to share our knitting!  And it’s start coincides perfectly with this years WWKIP!  That’s World Wide Knit in Public Day, which is not exactly a day but spreads for a week.  Details about that are HERE.

So what’s on my needles this sunny Friday morning?  Well, I had to frog the socks I showed you last week.  The color, while pretty, was pooling once I got into the main body of the sock.  I’ll find something to use that yarn on, just not socks based on 64 stitches (my magic # on size 0 needles).  And as I still needed a pair of Plain Vanilla socks for the June YOSS socks (for the Ravelry YOSS group)  I pulled out some Knit Picks Felici in the Rainbow colorway and got started again.

As you can see, I’m using one of my favorite books.  Although this particular pair is “Plain Vanilla” (i.e. no fancy stitches) I love this book because it is full of stitch patterns and heel and toe choices for all sections of socks and you can mix and match the patterns you want.  Kind of like a gazillion choices in one place if you have the imagination to play!

And as I’m a spinner too, I’ve always got something on the wheel.  This week, and for the last couple weeks as it is summer which is less spinning time, I’ve been spinning up this pretty yarn:

Isn’t it pretty!!!!!  Hey it’s the dyer that makes the colorway of the fiber pretty to make pretty yarn and I can honestly say I’m in love with this one!  The fiber is from Fiber Optic Yarns in the Emily colorway and it’s a 50% Superwash Merino/50% Tencel blend, which makes it super soft and super shiny.  I’ve got two 4 ounce braids of this particular colorway, here I’m about 3/4 of the way through the first braid spinning as fine as I can.  My plan is to spin both braids and then Navajo Ply them to get a fingering weight yarn with consistent coloring to eventually knit into a shawl.  Navajo Plying is one of my Ravelry TDF challenges that I’m doing, but more about the TDF when it actually starts.

That’s what’s “on my needles” this Friday morning, what’s on yours?  Want to play along?  Blog about what’s on your needles and head over to Judy L’s blog and add a link to your blog.  Hey, we all want to see what everyone is working on or we wouldn’t blog or read blogs!!!!!

It’s my day off!

Most Fridays I take the day off from work.  I’ve done this for several years now, and have no intention of stopping the weekly treat unless life forces me to.  Today was not a “forced to stop” day, so I enjoyed it.

After a trip into town, and a little more info on why my arm has been bothering me so much, I took myself off to do some shopping.  Not the fun stuff, but the necessary things, like groceries.  And although a pair or two of denim capris may have made it into my shopping bag, the torture of trying on bathing suits was enough to temper the fun of shopping.  Which, by the way, leaves me wondering WHY is it only the end of March and the stores are almost sold OUT of a selection of bathing suits?  It’s not even warm enough to swim yet!  Aw, but that’s the way retail seems to work.

When I returned home, I found a package in my mailbox that had me giggling like a little kid.  (take that bathing suit shopping!) It was from my friend Kim and contained the Angora fiber that I plan to spin with the Lambswool I received from Janet last week.

Isn’t it GORGEOUS!  There’s 1.5 oz of the Satin Angora, 1.23 oz of the Red English Angora, and 4.5 oz of the lambswool.  My plan is to wash/process the lambswool, then card them together and spin a fingering weight to make myself a pair of fingerless mitts.  Hey, if I’m going to all that work, the end product is going to keep my hands warm and snuggly next winter!

After I quit giggling, I took a walk around the yard.  First up, check on the coop and see if I needed to open a window.  It was debatable, but I did anyways.  And the girls are always willing to oblige for a picture.  They are so funny when they see the camera, they just have to come investigate!

They’ve grown quite a bit since they came home, and their individual coloring is starting to really show.  I’m still not sure exactly what they are, and whether or not there’s a roo in there (I think there might be 2 of the 8 that are potentially roos).

And of course when we leave the coop, Miss Cocoa Puff just MUST, absolutely MUST make a pest of herself with every step I take back down to the house as I was paying attention to something Other. Than. Her!

And then run down to the house and hide in the garden that needs weeded.

See the brown arrow pointing to her.  I know she does this just to draw my attention to all the digging work I need to do that she would be “oh so happy” to help me with!

And when you live in my world, occasionally you take really strange pictures:

The above picture is apparently what happens when you bump the button to take a picture as you’re moving the camera to insert the USB cord to download pictures.  LOL  Only in my world!  LOL

A little hand carding

Slowly I’ve been processing some fiber in preparation for spinning.  Earlier this spring I purchased some unwashed Merino locks from Janet at  Catawampus Farms and under the guidance of some friends washed and dried them.

Although at the time I was CONVINCED I had felted them in the washing process, Susan reminded me I’ve got enough experience with fiber to relax and let them dry.  LOL  She was right, I didn’t felt them and they dried just fine.

Now I’m starting the hand carding process with them and some dyed Soy Silk that I purchased at SAFF last October:

With the end result of this stage being some really pretty blending in the rolags:

They aren’t perfect rolags by far, but they’ll work for my purposes.

Lessons learned in the process so far:

1.  Washing locks isn’t that scary and I enjoy the process.

2.  Have patience while they dry.

3.  12 oz of Merino and 4 oz of Soy Silk is a LOT of hand carding.

4.  I really want a drum carder as I’m the impatient/instant gratification type; but hand carding has it’s own calming soothing rewards too!