Sunday, May 31, 2009

This is what I learned today...

Today I learned how to do this...
I learned how to use a quill spindle. I also learned how to do long draw so that I could use the quill spindle properly. Seriously, I feel like some kind of spinning super hero right now. I've read about long draw but the idea of drafting fibre with only one hand seemed crazy to me. Every time I tried I would end up with a horrible mat of fibre that was useless so I gave up. Friday I got the quil spindle so I had to learn. It's totally possible to use the quill spindle without using long draw but what would be the point? Aside from it making a nifty sound it's not really efficient to use a worsted method of spinning with a quill spindle.
The instructions that came with the spindle were not great so I looked up a video on youtube and watch about 20 seconds of footage and then gave the spindle a whirl (hehe) I surpirsed myself by being able to almost immediately do long draw, there were some snags at the start (pun intended) but after a total of 20 minutes of effort I consider myself introduced to the mysteries of long draw. I am not saying I am consistent or that the yarn is saleworthy, but I can do it and damn it looks cool when I do! I am going to be demonstrating spinning at the Courthouse sometime this summer and I think I will do the quill spindle, since it's not nearly as common.
Seriously...I feel like a spinning genius...

Friday, May 29, 2009


Hooray! I had my first Etsy Store sale. I sold 2 skeins to a weaving couple in California! I swear it was the most exciting $30 I have ever made! I couldn't sleep that night I was so excited about shipping it! I hope they love it!
I got some amazing blue faced leicester handdyed roving from Twist of Fate Yarns. I love the colour so I bought 200gms of it and am spinning it with my jumbo flyer on the ashford tradional. It's not a particularly thick single but I have no intention of plying it so I don't want the twist to tight, I also wanted to spin the whole 200gms into one nice long skein. The plan for this yarn is to spin into a single ply of considerable length so that there is enough yarn for a decent size project at a reasonable price.

I actually got up early this morning so I could watch Red Dwarf and finish spinning this yarn...I'm such a nerd...

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Albatross has landed

I finally finished the Kilosweater...the damn thing has been hanging over my head for nearly 4 months. I started this sweater at the beginning of February and have had half of one sleeve to knit for nearly 3 months. It's handspun merino silk. I finished the back, both front pieces, one sleeve and had just cast on the second sleeve when I couldn't wait any longer and decided to sew it together to see how it fit. It didn't. It's much too large. This was incredibly frustrating because I "got gauge" I triple checked afer realizing it was way too big for me and yup...the gauge matches the pattern. So rather than rip out 6 million miles of yarn I decided to finish it up and give it to a friend of mine.
And then I procrastinated.
After that I procrastinated.
Recently I was procrastinating over it...
Today at about 8:30PM I was about to start spinning a lovely bobbin of romney and I said "F%$#! it!" I picked up the last ball of yarn and finished the last sleeve, wove in a bajillion ends and sewed the damn thing together.
Now I have this:This thing weights 1.15 Kilograms. I think it weighs about 15-20 pounds when it's wet (no joke), I pray that Angee does not fall into the water when wearing this sweater, the guilt would kill me...
Thank god it's over...

I have been doing a LOT of spinning and dyeing lately. I am trying to stock up my etsy shop I also found some time to do some spinning for myself. I got some Blue Face Leicester roving from Twist of Fate and it's the most incredible colourway, I came up with the name "Japanese Plum" for it.
These are picures of the singles, I have navajo plyed it to preserve the colour gradations. I think I am going to knit a plain sweater with it to show off the colourss

Also, I just noticed that Herman the Spider is gone...R.I.P. Herman.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I'm Dyeing

Today I only had to work a couple of hours so I came home and dyed sock yarn. I got a whole bunch of sock yarn at Michaels for an insanely low clearance price, which I skeined and am now dyeing for my etsy store. My first attempt turned out pretty cool, but the batteries on my camera died, so I couldn't take a photo. I tried scanning the yarn on my scanner and I ended up with some horror movie yarn...seriously it looks like it's going to break through some kind of tarry film and take over...
The photo doesn't do the colours justice, so hopefully I will remember to get some batteries for my camera so I can add the stuff to my store. I also dyed some yellow and orange, and I am going to call that one Jonquille, and I dyed one this great purpley red which will be called Blackberry Subway Jam. I don't know what to call this green and purple one...B Movie?
I also died some romney roving and it turned out light purple and pink, I haven't decided if I am going to spin it and sell the yarn, sell the roving, give it's pretty neat colours, although I am going to have to dye some more of the romney in something that is not pink...

Monday, May 11, 2009


So today I planted my outdoor kitty litter box...I mean garden, I planted my garden...OK, I have to be honest here...I planted 1/2 my garden...the other half I am sure will happen at some later date.
I am starting my 2 year noplant plan. This doesn't mean that in 2 years I won't have plants, this means that in 2 years I will only have to plant stuff if I want to. I am planting a corridor of perennials down the centre of my garden with annuals on the border. Next year I will fill in the border with perrenials. I could do it all this year, but that would be rather cost prohibitive since perrenials cost more than annuals...
So today I cleaned up the silver wispy perrenial (whose name escapes me...) and planted a rasberry cane that I bought at the Farmer's Market, Hostas, a hibiscus of indeterminate flower colour (one tag claims multicolour, the other white...) and strawberries for my perrenials. I also planted a border of marigolds. Now I m not a huge fan of marigolds, I don't lie they smell and I am unimpressed by the orange and yellow blooms, but they are cheap, cheap cheap. So I lay my preferences aside in the interests of being economically minded (cheap) and try to pick ones that have blooms with at least a little bit of red on them. I also am hoping that their malodorous blooms will my feline friends from using my garden as their latrine.
After I finished my planting I proudly took a picture of my lovely little garden for my blog. But when I looked at the picture I took I realized my garden isn't lovely at all (although I will admit it is little)
This is what I saw when I looked at the picture...

And I realized that when I was done and proudly looking at what I thought was my fantastic garden, I was look at what my garden will look like in the future, not what it looks like now. I can see where it's going. And if everything does not wither and die, I know it will look if I post a picture in 2 months you'll know it turned out great. If I never mention anything again, you'll know everything died and there is a mini desert in my front yard...

I have been spinning a lot lately. While I was on Saltspring I focussed almost exclusively on knitting so now I am going overload on spinning and trying to fill up my Etsy Store with stock. I have been having fun and doing creative things, and trying to make yarn that may not appeal to me, but other people will love, like this...
Seriously...the pinkness of it makes me feel a little ill...OK a lot ill. But it's not just about's about the customer.

I also made a yarn that I am extremely proud of, I think it's elegant, classy and beautiful.
It's a natural cream alpaca single plyed with rhodonite handbeaded silver thread. I knew it was going to look amazing but when I finished it I was ecstatic. I love the tiny glimmer of sivler that adds shine without being disco tacky. I can just imagine the beautiful item this could be knit into...
But now I must depart from my garden and spinning, I shall be finished my fair isle socks tonight!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

F!*%$in' Rabbit

So the first thing I saw this morning was this...
So I ate the F!*%$in' thing...

I dyed some romney roving with kool-aid and it turned out pretty awesome.
It's coral, pink and purple. It should spin up pretty vibrant. Kool-Aid, Vinegar, Water and a Slowcooker.

We have been spending a lot of time with lambs. Frieda had triplets and is only willing to look after one so the other two are int he house getting bottle fed.
Their names are Oliver and Dodger. There was some worry with Oliver at first because he had to be forcefed, but Dodger is a voracious little bugger. You can stuff him full and he will be unable to drink anymore and he will still suck on your arm while you are feeding his brother.

I finished knitting the Birthday Yarn socks. They are super comfy and smooth, they are light enough I might be able to wear them in the summer.
I also finished one fair isle sock.
This is my first solo Fair Isle project and I am pretty happy with how it's turned out. I think I might do the second one in negative...

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Post a Day

Why Yes, I am posting 2 days in a row!! There is a lot going on here and I have the time to do so...
First of all, this is what I woke up to this morning...
OK now you have to go and read the post from yesterday to understand just how creepy that chocolate bunny really is...

I also wanted to point out that Tim's cat is a freaking weirdo...she was sleeping in this cage today...I have no idea why...In Duncan I bought a couple skeins of Fleece Artist. This is Scotiasilk, it's a Worsted Weight, I have 2 skeins totalling 400ydsI also got this skein of "Leba' which is DK weight and 65% kid mohair, 20% wool and 15% nylon in the most incredible jewel tones of green and blue
I also bought 200 grams of brown Llama fibre, which in retrospect seems rather silly, but how was I to know that the future would bring this?A friend of my Mom's GAVE this to me!
A couple pounds of unwashed beautiful reddish brown alpaca

Nearly 2 pounds of amazing Shetland/Alpaca batts

And over 2 pounds of lovely soft white Romney roving
And in between all the yarn gluttony and fondling I did manage to get some knitting doneI anticipate finishing these tonightish (or maybe tomorrow)
I have no idea what to do next...I keep getting flustered and my heart starts pumping to hard when I start thinking about all this yarn and fibre...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Rock

This morning I got up and went to Saltspring...really early...really, really, early...I got up at 3:15 am. It sounds crazy I know, but when I get up that early I get to my parents house at about noon instead of in the evening so it's like getting a whole extra day there! The trip was fairly uneventful (Except for the part where I really had to pee and there was nowhere to stop, and then I had a severe sneezing attack and thought I was going to pee my pants...not cool...)

I bought this cool ring in Tsawassen for $20 (on sale) it's peridot and I love how it is offset.
I took some pictures of Saltspring from the ferry. Yes I was willing to let myself look like a freaking tourist just for you my intrepid blog followers...

The mountain in the background is Mt. Maxwell where my parents live.
Honestly, sometimes I miss the ocean so much that it is almost physically painful.
After taking the photos I went back to my car and almost freaked out because I thought there was a spider in my pop.
But it turned out to be a bit of fluff. It made me miss Herman the Spider. I am sure he is on my computer patiently waiting for me to return.

In the afternoon we went to Ruckle Days and I forgot my camera. It's at Ruckle Park which is a Heritage Farm. I had a Lion Burger (which is almost as good as a slug burger) watched the blacksmith, talked to some sheep, and watched a chainsaw demonstration. I briefly flirted with the idea of stealing some of the wool from the fibre display but decided not to because it wasn't particularly high quality and if I was going ot commit a crime it should be for the good stuff.

There was an incredible rainbow this afternoon. You can say what you want about hating rain, but you can't have rainbows without it!
You can see at the bottom the little Airstream trailer I stay in when I visit (if it's not too cold!)

There were some strange goings ons throughout the day that involved some chocolate bunnies. Mom had put them in the freezer and somehow they got out onto the counter so she put the in the cupboard. After supper I walked in to see this:

How did he get there? Did he break free from the other bunnies? Is there some kind of strange Cocoa Watership Down going on at my parents house? Not gonna lie, it weirded me out a little bit...

I finished the mystery project on the ferry, which is a Wrenna sweater for Mom for Mother's Day. Here it is blocking:
I also hung out with Calypso for a bit. She was a kitten last time I saw her but now she is all growed up!
Now after a night with less than 2 hours sleep it is time for bed!