affreca: Cat Under Blankets (Default)
Knitting: This is the year of knitting. Which is just my way to focus my efforts on one art. My goal is to knit at least one row per day. My first project is a pair of socks (my first). I'm now at the easy part, the leg. Getting the heels done took me a week of tries until I got it right. Whee! I'm doing both at the same time, toe up on two needles because I don't want to come back to them. My biggest problem now is the laddering on the sides. I'm pretty happy with the purse that I've repurposed as my knitting bag and have been throughing it in my work bag so I can knit on my breaks.

Spinning: Not as much since I'm not making the effort to spin every day. The current project on the wheel is my sport weight merino, in English Garden. I bought more roving than I should at Wamego Wool fest, so I have plenty keep me busy.

Reading: I finished Ann Budd's Getting Started with Socks earlier this week. It wasn't a useful as I wanted since I started my socks the other direction, though it increased my confidence in not actually following set instructions.

I'm currently going through Elaine Eskesen's Dyeing to Knit. I'm eh about it, but that might be because I've read lots of dyeing books, and find the discussion of the color wheel and nature inspiration repetitious.
affreca: (Craft)
Reading: I'm halfway through one of my latest purchases, Respect the Spindle by by Abby Franquemont. Which is good timing, because I'm teaching spinning with a spindle at next month's guild meeting, and I'm not actually a great spindler.

Spinning: I'm trying to finish plying the merino so I have bobbins free for Yarn School and then Spinzilla. I'm working on the second pair of bobbins because I still can't find the broken end on the first pair I was working on. Still not sure how I'm going to deal with that.

Weaving: Apparently, Lawnchair doesn't think I have to many looms because he bought me another one while at Walnut Valley Festival. He was going through the craft area, taking pictures for the website, and became fascinated by peg loom weaving. I've read the instructions, and it seems such a weird way of doing things.
affreca: Cat Under Blankets (Default)
Reading: Finished the fall Spin-Off, so back to Spinning in the Old Way. Very nice and clear, and making me want to more on my spindle. But the wheel is so addicting..

Spinning: Almost done with the lilac merino, maybe by Friday? So I spent to much of today plotting the next spinning project instead of working. Thin two ply with one ply done in variegated silk (misty theme of lilacs to blues, to be dyed during the dye day at the end of the month), and the other using dark grey alpaca I bought at Woolfest (and blended grey angora from Lisi for the last ounce or so). Plan would be to use it to knit a shawl. Or I could dye the silk dark greens.

Knitting: Alpaca hat finished, nothing new started.

Weaving: So I chickened out on giving the blanket away at the baby shower. I wasn't happy with my sewing, and not in the mood to undo/redo right away. Blanket shall be shipped.
affreca: (Craft)
But I have a really good excuse for being late - it was that time of the quarter again. See, I have a couple of meetings every quarter. And one of them starts at 6 p.m. in a town on the other end of the state, so I don't get home until after my bedtime. The good news is that since they won't pay overtime, I only have to show up for three hours of work on Friday, so hopefully I have time to sew the edging on the baby blanket before Saturday's baby shower.

Reading: Finished The Whole Craft of Spinning by Carol Kroll. Woot! Not that it was a bad book, just that I didn't seem to get through it quickly. Blogging about it every week affects how I think of the pace of my reading. I should remember that the goal is to read some, not to finish a specific amount. But there were some interesting things that I haven't seen in other books. She seemed to be in the spin everything crowd, including dog and cat hair. And corn silk and thistle down. Pretty sure I'm not in that crowd. (this in comparison to one of the first spinning books I read that recommended possum fur. Turns out the author was in New Zealand and their possums are a very different creature from the opossum's that raid my trash. Creatures with soft fur).

So I started Spinning in the Old Way by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, which is focused on top whorl spindles. Gorgeous line drawings, and I like her focus on traditions of the wider world. A little evangelical that her way is the best, though.

Then the Fall Spin-Off showed up, and I started reading those articles instead. I should figure out what I'm doing about the Summer issue that never showed up (I emailed Interweave and was told they were going to extend my subscription, but the completist in me wants the Summer issue).

Spinning: Still on the merino, as I spent last weekend weaving. You know, spinning fine takes forever for the same weight of fiber.

Knitting: Three rows to finish the alpaca silk hat. Then what? Maybe try for socks?

Weaving: Started weaving blanket with light blue yarn and hated the look. Experimented with multiple yarns in the stash and decided it needed a dark blue weft. I had luck with mill ends at Yarn Barn, and found a dark blue cotton yarn of the appropriate weight and bought twice as much as I needed. After weaving the blanket, I wove about 12 inches of the remaining warp with a random ball out of the stash. I think that length will go to work on my plant shelf. I decided to sew binding on all the edges instead of tying fringe as apparently babies chew and choke on fringe.
affreca: (Craft)
Reading: Since I was out of town for much of last week, I didn't get in a lot of before bed reading. Therefore, despite its size, I'm still working through The Whole Craft of Spinning by Carol Kroll.

Spinning: I'm still in the first 2 ounces of the merino singles. I did take a break and spun some of the second color and plied up some mini test skeins to see how I wanted to deal with the two colors. The two ply of the same colors ended up looking like a regular two ply, while have different colored singles in the two ply leads to the chain look.

I packed my Turkish spindle with the silk so I could spin while traveling. I really didn't do much more than five minutes each night, so not much new. But it counts for the spin every day goal.

Knitting: I'm almost to the decreases in the alpaca hat. Not sure how much I like the pattern.

Social: KVFG meeting tonight. Showed off my projects, scheduled dye day for end of September. Showed off my projects. Some new ladies, we'll see if they keep coming.
affreca: (Craft)
Reading: I finished The Spinner's Book of of Yarn Designs: Techniques for Creating 80 Yarns on Wednesday. I then started Step-By-Step Spinning and Dyeing by Eunice Svinicki. I read the first few chapters but skipped the chapter on natural dyeing (last year's focus) and projects because... See this book was so very 1970s, and that's not my aesthetic. Currently reading another skinny one, The Whole Craft of Spinning by Carol Kroll

Spinning: Continued the green woolen practice. I'm out of batts, so the next bit will be carded off the a variety of green rovings.

I also plied the merino/tencel into a cable/cord/(different books name it different - 2x2 plies z s z). I'm surprised how little green you see (only one of the four is green). It's a weird looking yarn, especially with the shininess of the tencel.

Sunday I started some singles of Malabrigo Nube merino. This is my first time using this roving, and I'm finding a lot of nubs. Which is annoying, because I'm trying to go even finer than the last project. The eventual plan for the singles is another cabled yarn, this time for socks. Spinning this fine takes forever.

Knitting: I decided to start another hat with the alpaca/silk that I keep recycling (I knitted it into a scarf, never used it, ripped it to make a hat, which did not fit, and so I try again). Similar style so, but with a different lace pattern. I've been to save it for the road trip. I'm taking another ball with me, but I don't know what I want to do with it.
affreca: (Craft)
Delayed post due to a site visit and the resultant migraine (to much sun).

Reading: Still working my way through Sarah Anderson's The Spinner's Book of of Yarn Designs: Techniques for Creating 80 Yarns. I might have to experiment with oddball yarns here soon.

Spinning: Practicing carding and long draw. I've managed a bobbin's worth of inconsistent woolen singles. I like to think I'm getting more control, but..

Knitting: Finished the hat (except for blocking). I haven't decided on a new project, but I should probably pick one out before next week's road trip. Not sure if I should cast on another hat or go back to the brown scarf. Am I brave enough to start the merino sweater?
affreca: (Craft)
Next attempt at regularly updating.. doubt it will last. Since I did pretty good last year with focusing on naturally dyeing, I decided that I would focus on spinning this year. The goal is to spin and read from my spinning books a little every day. Despite deciding this in November, I didn't start spinning until halfway through January. I'm trying not to kick myself to much on days I don't spin, but I have a spindle project "started" so I can spin even if I'm traveling.

Reading: Currently working my way through Sarah Anderson's The Spinner's Book of of Yarn Designs: Techniques for Creating 80 Yarns.. I like the tips and pictures, and it is pretty comprehensive. She doesn't go into yarn stability as much as Jacey Boggs did in Spin Art (the last spinning book I finished), but I like that she gives examples of how the yarn looks knitted and spun.

Spinning: I finished the merino sweater spinning a week and a half ago. Hopefully it turns out to be more yarn than I need for a sweater (3.5 lbs of roughly sport weight).

I'm mostly a worsted spinner, so I decided to practice long draw. I'd collected bits of green wools, and started carding them into rolags. I lasted a day trying to woolen spin before switching to the blue Bonkers (Tencel/Merino). I'd split it into thirds for a three ply, but I'd found a length of Bonkers in green so the new plan is to make a four ply cable (inspired by the Boggs book). I finished the singles on Sunday, and so I'm back to long draw practice, on the hitchhiker to see if that works better.

Knitting: Thanks to [personal profile] thistleingrey (who I also stole the idea for Fiber Tuesday from), I found a new hat pattern to try, Meret. It has the one design element I'm currently looking for in my hats, room for my bun. I started it with light blue handspun meriboo, and got halfway through before realizing that I didn't have enough yardage. I thought there was a second ball in my stash. Instead I found a ball of dark blue meriboo (half knitting into a scarf), and a small ball of teal meriboo. So, ripped out all the stitches and restarted the hat with stripes of blue. Also made a beautiful set of matching stitch markers, because that's how I roll (and people keep telling me that I should incorporate the marker beads into the hat, but I think they're to big.

Social: Last Friday was KVFG's annual retreat (name changed from sleep over because some people think retreat sounds more grown up). I have managed to put off the dye day with the excuse that 95F is to damn hot), so September. Should be able to clean the house by then. Had a great time bonding with the ladies. There was definitely interest in PlyAway, and M's pile of roving made Harveyville Yarn School sound tempting. If I wasn't trying to save all my leave for Peru....

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