affreca: Cat Under Blankets (Default)
The big excitement this week (both in general and for my fiber hobby) was the Jefferson City Fiber Retreat this weekend. I went with K, who is becoming my favorite fiber buddy. I took four classes, one which was excellent (shibori dyeing), two of which were vaguely OK (spinning dual coat fleeces in the grease and fractal spinning), and one of which I almost strangled the instructor (spinning fun yarns). It was a cheap conference, especially since you could bunk at the 4-H grounds for $15 a night and they provided all of the meals. Sadly, this was the last year of the fiber retreat, as their location (farm extension for one of the universities) is starting to charge for use.

It was a little weird because K's mom passed away Friday night. It was not unexpected, and K is the type to have everything organized, so she decided to continue with the conference (which was nice for me, so I didn't have to figure out how to get myself and my stuff home, or back and forth between the 4-H grounds and the farm). I mostly asked her how she was holding up and made jokes.

I'm glad I took today off of work, to give myself time to like people again. I unpacked my dirty laundry and washed it, and unpacked my purchases and logged them. On the way home, K and I talked about going to Fiber U in July and maybe someday going to a master spinner class.

I also made good progress on March's project. I'm into the striping down the body. I'm afraid it is going to be a bit long, but I think I'll just plan to wear it over skirts. I also made stitch markers to match. I've been using a pair of split rings (with string tied on the end of round marker), but today I sat down with wire and pearls (in honor the pattern name). I still haven't grafted the under arms of February's project.
affreca: (Craft)
Spring in Kansas. It was crazy windy all day, and had a strong but quick line of storms blow through this evening. Hopefully pressures will settle down, they haven't been playing nice with the light cold I'm fighting.

February's project isn't done, but almost so. After fighting with the last bit this weekend, I just finished binding off the neckline. I still have to graft the armpits, but I'm not up to learning the kitchener stitch tonight. So that, then block. I can see all the problems other people have had with it, but it worked out in the end. The neckline is wide in the shoulders, but it isn't enough to continue futzing with.

March's project is coming along. I've changed the neckline to a v-neck, and I think it is working. I've got the back, left front and half the right front shoulders done. The arms are a new style for me, so we'll see how that works out. I haven't made a new set of stitch markers for this project, which is probably wise. The selection of split rings came in, and I've been some of them.

I finished spinning the BFL/silk. I still need to set the twist, but I did get enough yardage out of 8 ounces. It will probably be April's project. I will use the rest of the top I bought for another project. Possibly the grey sweater.
affreca: (Craft)
Well, I did not manage to finish February's project in February. Changing patterns twice will slow a woman down, and February is a short month. I did finish the lace portion of the yoke today, so almost done. Due to the heavy yarn, once I connected the body and arms, it got to be to heavy to take with me to work and I've been only able to work on it in the evenings. And then I spent two evenings celebrating my birthday and Lawnchair's promotion..

But since I couldn't take February to work, I've been taking March's project with me to work this week. I actually knitted a full sized guage swatch (4" by 4"), and cast on the back shoulders today. I shall knit a project with different colors! I mean in the same project. Considering it ranges from purple to green, not actually different colors than I normally use. I carded several random braids into 10 different colors, and spun them up. Hopefully I estimated corrected how much of each color I need. I'm still trying to decide if the stripes are going to go in order (purple, blueish purple, purple blue ... to green) or out of order (purple, purplish blue, green blue, blueish purple ... to green). There's also a bit of black for framing stripes.

Next up is finish plying the white BFL/silk for a Melusine shawl. And dig through the stash for some fiber to send. And inventory the KAWS door prizes.. and everything else.
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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