Obsessed knitting geek, mother, and science teacher - not necessarily in that order

Friday, June 27, 2008

Reasons to smile today:

1. Last day of school - whoohooo!!! Long, lazy days of summer knitting and spinning here I come!!

2. Tomorrow is my birthday and we are going to the Olds Fiber Festival where my dear hubby is going to buy me my first spinning wheel, and I am going to indulge in fiber, fiber and more fiber...oh and yarn too...

3. Next week two of my LYS's will be having sales!!! Yes, I feel it is a sign that since this will be during my "birthday week" I should be given free reign to spoil myself!

4. Happy, happy mail day. Received my long coveted Lexie Barnes Flo in my absolute FAVORITE LB print, and two new spinning books from Amazon:

My new LB bag inspired me to take a picture of my LB collection:
Yes it is an addiction but it makes me HAPPY :)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Spinning Frenzy!!!

So I went to my Beginner Spinning class last Saturday at Make1 Yarn Studio and it was awesome. Amy Swenson was the instructor - she was super nice and easy going, very encouraging despite any spinning mishaps. Let's just say my attempt at Andean plying left me in a bit of a tangled mess, but still look what lovely product resulted:

And here have been my other attempts this week:

So I am totally hooked on spinning now and since next weekend is my birthday and coincidentally it falls on the exact same day we are going to Olds Fiber Week - my hubby is getting me a wheel!!! I am so excited I can hardly stand it!! At the top of my list are a Lendrum or a Schacht Ladybug. I am hoping to try a bunch of different wheels out before making my final decision.

In knitting news, Mr. Greenjeans is hibernating. I need to rip out the one sleeve I completed because it is way huge. I am going to finish the button band first so I can see how the sweater sits on my shoulders. I am hoping this will give me a better idea for sleeve length - I want a 3/4 length and right now it is hard to guesstimate where that will be because I can't tell exactly where the sweater will close yet.

I also started my June socks - there are the Spring Forward pattern from the latest summer Knitty. Chose a spring-y colorway - STR in Calico. So far loving the pattern and how the colors are working up.

I swung by Pam's Wooly Shoppe yesterday to check out their selection of wheels (they carry Lendrum and Ashford) but the lady working did not know anything about spinning sadly. Still I was able to pick up a couple of practice rovings and best of all my long-lusted for sock blockers. There are unfinished and not fancy but less than ten bucks!! And I can easily sand and stain them myself. Here they are showing off my latest sock WIP:
Here is a cool sock project needle-keep I got off etsy from marelle:

It's very sturdy and perfect for keeping my DPNs safe from breakage or dropped stitches.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Look what I got from my Mystery Theme swap!

The theme was organic/earth-friendly - some beautiful organic yarns from Elann, cute patterns, and lovely Brittany needles. I can't wait - the pakucho is perfect for summer knitting.

And a few pics of knitting:

I finished my May socks (basic stockinette using self-patterning Online Beach - pretty boring but I needed a quick knit to get caught up and start my June socks). I plan to cast on the new Spring Ahead pattern from the latest knitty.

Here is the first square from my Lizard ridge Afghan. I am slowly collecting single balls of random Noro Kureyon colors. Can't get enough Noro - the colors are positively scrumptious.
And last but not least - my second spinning attempt with some merino roving from Doodlebirds Creations:
I am still doing "park and draft" which is slow but I am enjoying the process and watching the fibre twist - it is so satisfying!!

Here is a close up of the yarn:

Sunday, June 8, 2008

My first yarn...

is kinda lumpy, bumpy, and pilly - but I made it and it was fun!

I checked out a few videos on Utube to get started and I know I will still have lots of questions for my spinning class next Saturday. So far I am really enjoying practicing with my spindle. I was really reluctant to start spinning because I did not want "another hobby" that would detract from my knitting obsession but I find it has has only re-focused my obsession. Now I can hardly wait to spin up my own yarn to knit.

My hubby has hinted that I may get a spinning wheel for my birthday at the end of the month (he really is spoiling me). And I have been looking to get some books or magazines on spinning - I already have the Spring issue of Spin Off and I have heard that this book is another good reference: A Fine Fleece. I will be adding it to my wish list for sure.

I will be posting a knitting update later this week :)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Well I finally caved and did it!!!

I signed up for my first spinning class - it will be next weekend. I am hoping to learn how to spin in time for our trip to the Olds Fiber Festival at the end of June.

I am also hoping I resist the temptation to buy a wheel....

Oooooh so excited and nervous. In anticipation I am ordering a whole whack of fiber from Crown Mountain Farms from an upcoming coop - the prices are just too good to resist. I will also be getting some sock yarn for myself and my Summer of Yarn Love swap pal - whoopee!

kinda fun and pretty accurate...

You Are An INFJ

The Protector

You live your life with integrity, originality, vision, and creativity.

Independent and stubborn, you rarely stray from your vision - no matter what it is.

You are an excellent listener, with almost infinite patience.

You have complex, deep feelings, and you take great care to express them.

In love, you truly see relationships as an opportunity to connect and grow.

You enjoy relationships as long as they are improving and changing. You can't stand stagnation.

At work, you stay motivated and happy... as long as you are working toward a dream you support.

You would make a great photographer, alternative medicine guru, or teacher.

How you see yourself: Hardworking, ethical, and helpful

When other people don't get you, they see you as: Manipulative, weak, and unstable

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Summer of Yarn Love Questionaire

Here's the list of questions for the swap! Have fun! Please post this to your blog and make sure your pal and I can easily find it!

  1. Do you knit or crochet? How long have you been at your craft? Knitting for 3 years
  2. Do you spin? What type of spinning? YES - new spinning wheel - NEED fiber!!
  3. What are your favorite yarns/fibers? What are your least favorite yarns/fibers? Favorites: merino, wool, alpaca, tencel, bamboo - I love handpainted sock yarns or other yarns with variegated repeats. Currently in love with Noro and collecting more Kureyon for my Lizard ridge. Other favorites include STR, koigu, Misti Alpaca, malabrigo, schaeffer yarns, Claudia Handpainted, Shibui, Fleece artist/Handmaiden, Zen Yarn Garden, DIC Smooshy. Things I avoid include acrylic and mohair (unless it is blended with a natural fiber) - dislike viscose /rayon/ and other synthetic fibers.
  4. What are your favorite colors? What are your least favorite colors? My favorite colors are autumn hues or jewel tones - I like rich colors - dislike pastels
  5. Are there any yarns/brands that you are dying to work with but never have? Have never tried any handspun, Sundara, Colinette Jitterbug, new Noro Silk garden sock yarn, STR Ravens series colors, DIC Classy, Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece (for a Rusted Root), Sheep Shop
  6. What is/are your favorite types of projects to knit/crochet? I always have socks on the needles, and alternate with another larger project (sweater, shawl, etc), and then another small travel project like a scarf or mittens or hat. I usually knit garments but do have a few toys/accessories on my list that i just haven't gotten to yet. I do not knit bags.
  7. What are you currently working on? Anything you plan to work on this summer? See blog for current WIPs. For summer knitting I plan to work on my Lizard Ridge, continue with my pair of socks a month challenge, and maybe start a lace shawl of some sort.
  8. What is your favorite FO? (Post a pic if you would like.) Sorry too hard to choose one - I love my chevron scarf, my peekaboo mittens, and my current Noro striped scarf (which is still a WIP)
  9. What is your oldest UFO? Baby Bolero from Debbie Bliss knitted in Phil Eponge - heading to the frog pond
  10. Are there any techniques that you want to learn? more advanced lace knitting, steeking (yikes!!)
  11. Are you on Ravlery? What's your ID? Birdee
  12. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? yes, size 7.5 shoe (but I like a short cuff)
  13. Do you collect anything? yarn and knitting bags
  14. Do you have a yarn winder and/or swift? yes
  15. Do you love sweets? What are your favorites? chocolate - 'nuff said
  16. What are your favorite scents? none
  17. Where do you keep your needles/hooks? various cases
  18. Do you have a wishlist (Amazon, Etsy, etc?) yes etsy favorites; amazon wish list;
  19. Having a birthday this summer? June 28
  20. Are you allergic to anything??? Please let your pal know! Cats