It Just Might Be Okay...

It's difficult to take a photo of oneself, in the bathroom, at night.


Love and Peace!

Half of the Cardinal is done and I was too excited and couldn't wait until I finished the second skein for the big reveal!

Two cops of singles awaiting plying.

Plying ball (2 plies wrapped together).

The finished skein, which was whacked to within an inch of its life - it really works!

I am so incredibly, inordinately proud of this little skein. It's 90 yds of love. I just want to snuggle it and pet it, seriously. It's like yarn. Real yarn. (Doesn't it look like real yarn?) It's soft and shiny and mostly even. It's 1.5oz big, which means that if I keep spinning the way I have been (fingers crossed, and I'm halfway through with the remainder already) I'll end up with about 180 yds of 2-ply fingerling (~14 wpi). It's new name is Vash the Stampede, having been inspired by the Humanoid Typhoon's stylistic choices in wardrobe and firearms, not to mention his mantra.

Love and Peace!

Pass the doughnuts.





One Quarter and a Teeny Bit More

Wow, my post titles are inspired lately, non?

I have finished the first quarter (~ 3/4oz) of my BGD fiber and spindle club fiber, Cardinal, and it looks like this!


Yes, this is a major accomplishment for me. Actually it is already wound off onto a toilet paper tube and the second cop started. I am going to try spinning this yarn all the same so that I can make something useful out of it! I decided not to fight the fiber and spin it a little thicker than I maybe had initially wanted, and to use my Golding instead. It is a lot easier to do on the Golding because the spindle spins faster and longer, so I think I made the right decision.

Since the little BGD spindle was then free I of course had to break open another whack of roving I purchased last month:


It's called Twilight, it's 80-count merino, and it is lovely. It's from moonlightbaker. It is very soft and very dense and very short! At least, short for me. In the braid it almost feels like it is felted, except that it's not. I started spinning a little bit fine on the BGD spindle and it is heaven. It's much easier to spin than the merino/bamboo blend.


Of course I don't have a photo of it on the spindle, but take my word for it, it is nice. I'm probably going to just try plying this little bit (2-ply this time) and seeing how it turns out, another little test skein. There are 4 1/4oz of this one, enough to make a little something. I'm getting the hang of rolling the spindle off my thigh, which is good because otherwise I can't get it spinning fast enought to have a good go at it each spin.

Speaking of spindles, I am thinking of naming mine. Is that completely crazy? I think it might be, but I think I might do it anyway. My one lone Golding could be Tsunami of course, since that is what model it is, but the BGD spindles (two more coming!) can't just be "Italian Resin", etc.

I have no photos of it either, but the body of Henley is done. At least, I hope it's done! I guess I'll find out if it is big enough soon enough. It's drying right now. And just for fun I'm going to bump up the completeness percentage up to 50%.


A Little Bit Finished





Not As Smart As We Think We Are

Or at least, not as fast, anyway. I haven't finished the BFL roving yet because I've been sicker than a dog. I did manage, however, to get a wee bit of spinning in on the new favorite child. And skeining. And setting the twist. And drying. Ahem. Anyway, here's the little sample skein in all its glory:


I'd call that lace-weight, wouldn't you? The little skein was so wee that it had trouble supporting the dime.


I love the way it looks. It's dark and shiny...and dark and shiny... It's about the size of one of those little skeins of embroidery floss, is nine yards long, and is maybe one gram, maybe (my kitchen scale laughed at me when I tried to weigh it).


Thing is, I didn't terribly love spinning it. The combination of merino and bamboo proved difficult to handle at such a small scale. The yarn broke a lot while I was spinning which resulted in its being overspun (overcompensating, you see). By quite a bit. I had to dry it with a tin of baking powder hanging off it in order to get it to hang straight. Still, I love the fiber and have already started spinning up more at a slightly thicker weight. The new single is probably around laceweight-to-slightly-larger, and I'm enjoying it a lot more.

So, grasshopper, do what the fiber (and your skills) tell you to do...

Meanwhile, back at the Henley Ranch...

The back is done! And the left front! All that's left of the body is the right front, from the beginning of the armhole shaping and up. The bad news is there's only about five grams of yarn left from this skein. Definitely not enough to finish the whole front. I though for a minute about cannibalizing the back (sort of ripping as I knit, ripping back a few rows farther, then adding in a new ball to the back instead of the front, so it would be less noticeable), but depending how far I get with the little bit that's left maybe I'll just try starting a new ball on the front. I'll probably end up ripping out some of the back. Let this be a lesson - when knitting in the round, always knit the front of a sweater first, that way if you run out the join will be on the back, where you won't be able to see it (at least not while you are wearing it!)


Pretty Bird

I frequently miss my New England home, especially in the winter when the news reports are rife with blizzards, ice storms, and power outages. (And if you think I'm not being serious, believe me, I'm serious. I have a serious sense of nostalgia for winter.) One of my favorite aspects of winter are the colorful winged denizens of the forest that visit the feeder on my parent's back deck on those cold, crisp mornings. What they lack in song they make up for in spades with their beautiful plumage: the blue and white Blue Jay, with his striking black bands and royal crest, bossiest of the backyard birds; the Tufted Titmouse, steely blue-grey above and pure white below with a little blush under the wings and also a tiny crest to top it all off; the Black-capped Chickadee with his distinctive black hat and familiar chickadee-dee-dee call that echoes thorough the still winter forest; and of course the Northern Cardinal, regal, brilliant, and a shocking splash of red in the midst of that most colorless of seasons in the northeast.

Wax nostalgic much?

Anyway, it was more than fitting that my first delivery from the Butterfly Girl Designs fiber & spindle club was this pretty bird:


"Cardinal", a 60-30-10 blend of merino, bamboo, and firestar (in that order) along with a 0.8 oz Italian resin spindle. (I love the colors of the "Blackbird" batt too.)


The spindle itself is nice, light and sweet, and the whorl reminds me of fudge swirled ice cream. I especially like the little bit of carving detail on the shaft. But the star here is the fiber. I love it. It is so pretty and shiny and soft and red. I would never have thought I would have been a huge fan of the sparkle, but even that (which is not nearly as purple as the photos would have you believe) I love.

Of course I had to take it for a little test spin, even though I promised myself I would not start a new spindling project until I finished my first batch of test fiber (the BFL. That fiber is actually almost all spun up, it might be done in a day or two, and will be plied soon I hope.)


This spindle allows me to spin far, far finer than anything I can do on the Golding (as much as I truly love it) and with less effort to go so small. The fiber is a little odd so spin with, and will take a little getting used to I think. This little test spin ended up being mostly bamboo with a bit of the firestar and only a tiny bit of merino. While the batt is super soft, when drafting out the fibers they are kind of squeaky-sticky - just a little. I think it must be the bamboo. The staple length of the fiber seems quite a bit shorter than the BFL as well, though it isn't anything I couldn't handle. All in all a very interesting fiber. I can't wait to see how it looks spun up.

I wonder what it will be when it grows up?


Moving Slowly Along

So! I have been something of a slacker in the blogging department, sorry about that. I have also been something of a slacker in the responding-to-comments department (which is doubly say because I don't get that many and, really, how long does it take to send an email?) sorry about that too. I feel like an update is in order though, so a quick post and them it's off to dreamland for me.



This was from about a week or so ago. Actually, I just looked it up - it was December still! (The very end of December, but December nonetheless...) So much for my "quick" knit. At this point I had strung in onto a KnitPicks Options cable with caps securely fastened, gave it a good soak, and pinned it out to see how it was coming along. (Also, I didn't swatch the lace so I needed to get a sense of how big it was blocked out.) There are 24 lace repeats here. Something like three days later I had this:


(It was cold, and apparently damp in my guest room.) It's a little slanted but I think that's because of the funky way I had it pinned out to the bed. I am knitting it in the round, so it's a little hard to manipulate right now.

This is only 1/2 the lace chart, and it weighs in at 1 1/2" tall. Too bad I didn't measure the width of the "swatch". Nevertheless, sizing looks good, the body looks good (I think it's going to fit), and I'm currently making my way through the second repeat of the lace pattern. I took another hiatus to figure out the armhole shaping but i think (fingers crossed) that I've got it figured out correctly. The armholes will be 7" deep, and that's about 2 1/4 lace repeats, but I've completed almost one full repeat (the decreases are almost done) of armhole shaping on the back. I'll have to knit the fronts separately, obviously, so hopefully my notetaking was up to par.

Buona sera!


Buon Anno Nuevo

Ciao amici!

It's a new year and a new me. I resolve this year to complete the things that I set out to do. Not too difficult a proposition, eh?

The first resolution of the new year was to do something with a little something I rescued:


Sweet. It's a 400MHz Power Mac G3 (Blue & White), and it's been sitting in the center of my living room floor for the past three weeks. (No that's not my living room, it's my kitchen.) At this point yesterday I had no idea if the thing even turned on. No sense rescuing the thing if I wasn't going to do anything with it, right? ;)

Anyone remember this?


Heh. Well, since I am already running one Mac, and I have no need really for old OS 9 (as good as it was), as nostalgic as it is (everybody say "awwwww") I have decided to "upgrade". Actually, my first thought was to trick this machine out and give it to my aunt so that she can finally get an iPod. She is currently using a old laptop (make and model unknown) running Windows95. That's right, the computer is so old it won't run anything newer than Windows95. (Although now that I think about it, I'm sure I could do something about that as well..) Anyway, I popped this puppy open to see what I was working with and discovered I had a 9 GB HD (quite impressive back when this machine was new), a temperamental CD-ROM, and only 384 RAM. Well the RAM is easy to take care of, it is upgradeable to 1GB, although it's a tad pricey. Even the CD-ROM I can probably replace by myself (when it spins it sounds like a sick cow), and I'm not sure it's entirely necessary anyway (although it is if I wanted to make this into a machine for my aunt). But the HD... oh the HD. 9 GB isn't much space these days, and it would be great to upgrade, but there are a couple of issues though that make it difficult. I won't talk about it here just yet, as the tech speak may make you go blind. Anyway, what's the next best thing?


Ah, bliss. And free free free.

Resolution #1 - check.

So what do you have on your list?