But of Course, Just Throw it in the Bag

It's that most wonderful time of the year again. Where fiberistas get their craft desires fulfilled. This past weekend at the NY Sheep and Wool Festival did not disappoint.
Look at how gorgeous the day was!

Just to mix things up, my shopping was not the result of acquiring stash for specific projects or to obtaining the new and unfamiliar fiber. No, the whole time was dedicated to picking up whatever my eyes and hand found fetching and to throw it in the bag. It was my theme song for the weekend! Here's how it went:

Besides a huge amount of lovely fiber, I splurged on this Golding spindle called, Midnight Sky. Not sure when it happened, but I seem to be smitten with owls. Whoo knew?

Thanks to all the wonderful animals, farmers and artisans represented at the festival, we knitters, crocheters, dyers and spinners have once again been reminded of the foundation of our craft. Thank you!!

Ah, to revel in the works of creation. It makes me appreciate the Creator more and more. We are loved in profound depths of care and beauty. Things to think about as we stitch...


Laughter is Good Medicine

And I've got jokes!
Hahaha, wipe your tears. Actually, that was my random attempt at learning to crochet while traveling. Without benefit of pattern or instructor,...or wine, honest!
I just made it up as I went along. A chain morphed into a bowl, into a vase, into a...hey! that kinda looks like a mitten. Wonder how can I make a thumb and how do I go back to the cuff without breaking the yarn... A mind is a terrible thing.


June Review

While June wasn't the busiest month for me craftwise, I'm not sorry. The rest led to a renewed focus on that other thing I used to do. What was it now? Ah, knitting! That's right.

Even though I was not terribly excited about the colorway from this BFL, it was pretty cool to see my handspun yarn become the Edgar cravat found on Knitty. T'ain't easy working 98 yards of worsted weight into something usable. This clever pattern was just the ticket.

My most recent project is the Altered Austin Jacket from Sally & Caddy Melville's new book, Mother Daughter Knits. They chose Needful Yarn's (now discountinued) London Tweed. The label says that it is 95% wool, however the feel is more like cotton. Given the short sleeves and the character of the yarn, I'd say this jacket is sure to get lots of wear in spring and fall.

There was some spinning going on the month of June. Lace!
I don't know about you, but I can't rush through any lace spinning. It seems to go on forever and when forever arrives, the razzen frazzen fiber in my basket seems to have multiplied.
Here's the singles from 2 ounces of merino/tussah that I scored half price at The Yarn Tree.
120 yards when 2-plied.

Finally, here's the yarn that drained my soul dry for a good week and a half. From 4 ounces of Frabjous Fiber's BFL in the tapestry colorway, I spun up, slooooowwwly, 210 yards of 2-plied lace with 18-20 wpi.


May Spinning

All spinning, little blogging, that sweet tart of a distraction called Ravelry, all lead me to this summary post of projects completed in the month of May.
Last Wednesday, I completed a wheel workshop at Downtown Yarns. It was a tremendous help in learning about different drafting methods, draws and gaining confidence in what I'd previously caught on my own. Most valuable of all was the practice. Previously, my wheels sat in a lot of dust in the two years that I've owned them. It was good motivation to spin so that I'd have intelligent questions before starting classes. Now my goal is to spin almost all of my current fiber stash before the next NY Sheep & Wool Festival.
Now, on to the yarns. They are all cozied up together in the Senegalese basket that I bought from the Dance Africa Bazaar on my birthday. If it's purple, it is mine :P
You may recognize the tweedy purple and green skeins from a previous post. From the pound of mystery wool, came 312 yards of aran weight yarn. I'm going to have to incorporate it into a design for a jacket or sweater.
My next two biggest skeins come from the English wool noted earlier in the olive colorway and at the top right of the pile, Tamerak & Spruce targhee roving.
The targhee from Spinning Bunny is exactly one year old. Not bad for fiber hoarders, eh? That hank is 160 yards of everything from sport to heavy worsted weight sections of spongy soft gold and green fiber.
Three small skeinettes. Resting above the Old E, is 25 yards of Mountain Colors targhee. That is my attempt at navajo ply. In truth is mostly faux boucle. In the middle is 49 yards of a 2oz red wool from a batt prepared by Suzanne Higgs. Top of that is less than 2oz of merino/tussah blend from Three Waters Farm. Poor 'lil skein is waaayy over-plied.
At the left is a 98 yard hank of brown BFL. Easy to draft, easy to spin. From 4 oz, I expected to get a lot more out of that fiber. To be honest, I only bought it for practice since I'd not touched the stuff since last year at least. There was a distinct halo that was pronounced during plying. Yuck! What is your experience with BFL? Does it want to only be spun worsted to prevent the 'fro zone?
While targhee has my heart, falkland is it's newest rival for my affections. The blues/purples/browns at top comes from Bullen's Wullens that sold this wonderful wool at this year's MDSW. 3.5 oz for only $10. I thought sure that all my fine spinning of it would yield a sport weight that I could use for socks (like I'm actually going to knit socks, lol) It is 106 yards of DK. Hmmm. Can I get a hat from it?
What do you all do with a skein of this, and a hank of that?


Old E

I just had to share this finished spinning project from some braids purchased at Rhinebeck 06. The label called the braids "English Wool". (Hence the Old E tag.) Anyone know what kind of wool that is? Me neither. I fell in love with the olive colorway. Looks like every color in the rainbow is in there. Originally, I had two 8oz. braids to work with. In my head I imagined that I would perhaps have enough to make a sweater with. Maybe a vest? That was naive. After mangeling the first braid, this was the one that survived.

What the 8oz. produced was only a whopping 153 yards of two-ply aran weight yarn. Please, tell me what I should make with it.
Here's the Old E in more hopeful times. Check out the colors!


Maryland, Good Times

This past Saturday was my third visit to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, Howard County Fairgrounds! Fellow fiber enthusiast BronxKnitter joined me on this trip and it was big fun! Thanks for introducing me to funnel cake! Yum! As is my tradition, here are the highlights:

There were cute as a button animals, of course

Lots of wonderful fibers to try out,

Fabulous gadgets and products: WooLee Winder for my Victoria wheel, (a spin control card not shown),Goats milk soap for some aroma therapy later on,

Plus, corn dogs and chocolate ice cream for Seemore. A good time was had by all. Hopefully, I will behave myself until I do this all over again at Rhinebeck!


Skein! We Have Skein!

This is 4 oz of plied heavy worsted/tab bit of bulkyish yarn. It came out to about 81 yards. Hope with me that when all is said and done, I can at least get a vest out of this deal. Will have to swatch and see....

The Purple Green Project

Yarn! Not sure if this will knit up marled or tweedy or both, but I'm excited! I had this left over on the lazy kate because my plying bobbin overfloweth.
These were the singles. It is mostly fingering with some worsted here and there. Hoping to get more consistent with practice.


Familiar story?

In the beginning...
But what had happened was...
And at some point, like a thief in the night...all will be revealed.


Some Spinning

Finally, I'm back at the wheels in anticipation of another trip to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival coming up in just two weeks. The original goal was to spin up whatever was in my basket and then to go for stash busting "practice" fibers.
That worked for a little while until I followed whimsy and tried my hand at the wheel to spin silk, baby camel and bamboo. The easiest and dreamiest to spin was the camel. I heart it. Didn't want to stop spinning it. Camel is the potato chip of fibers in my book.
On the otherhand, the bamboo and silk gave me the blues. I had the hardest time attaching the bamboo to the leader yarn. It is very slippery and seemed to want to be thick singles. As for the silk, perhaps spinning from gummy hankies is not the best form. Much of it matted together before I got twist into the section. Hopefully, there'll be a nice blend to redeem the experience at the festival.

My bottomless bag of turquoise merino top is almost exhausted. A smidge is plied with some dark coopworth. Here's a small hank of my beginner-again yarn below. Next up...purple and green wool. Wish me luck that I make way for other goodies by show time.


Unintentional Swatching

Is what happens when you make a square for gauge that is accurate, cast on for the back and still come up with a project that is five times too big. Grrrr. This is what I get for not spinning every chance I get before the next wool festival.
I am attempting to make the Drop Collar Jacket found in the premire issue of the Debbie Bliss magazine. It had better work out, shoo. This yarn, Wool-ease Chunky, has already been frogged from a wretched Vogue Knitting pattern that I gave up on. Hoping...


What's new knitty cat?

Hot off the needles is the Ursula shrug that I first saw at NY Sheep and Wool Festival 08 at the BriarRose Fibers booth. I've knit the pattern in their awesomely dyed Charity yarn.
It feels great to have used yarn bought within the last twelve months.
My only modifications were to the sleeve length. I steam blocked as I knit along and bound off at 66 inches. I still need to wash the shrug, so I anticipate it being a tad bit longer in the back once dried. This project was so easy and enjoyable. I can't wait to do lots more lace this year.