Spinning and Knitting Goodness

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Happy spring break! Long time no see, huh? Yes, I realize my last post was more than a month ago, where I said I hoped I would be able to write more. Ha, that was super successful, wasn’t it.

In addition to not having a super amount of time to work on stuff, I also didn’t have my photo editing program on my computer. So, that made editing a pain and not very convenient at all, haha. But! I just downloaded it on my new computer, so I am set to go d^_^b

So, here I am… WITH PICTURES… (!!) to talk about that awesome thing called knitting. And spinning, that too.

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while at school, my spinning time is even less than my knitting time. Haha, probably because its not like I can pack up my wheel and carry it with me around campus. Needless to say, that’s what I’ve been doing mainly since getting home on Friday.

I first spun up some random braid I grabbed off my wall of yarny goodness. But this is something I’ve been saving since I got it… because its super special, and I have a fun idea for what I want to make with it when its done!

This is 8oz of “Baby, its cold outside” by Daybreak Dyeworks. I originally got this to be on the Daybreak Dyeworks Ravellenic Games team… buuuut, that didn’t really happen. School happened, haha.

Anyways! I’m spinning it now and loving every second of it. I’ve never gotten 8oz of any fiber before, so this is definitely a bigger project for me. It’ll be a fractal spun, 2-ply (haha… no surprise d^_^b) and I’m interested to see how much yardage I can get out of it. Usually when I spin this particular weight (or try to anyway, haha!) I usually get around 500ish out of 4oz.

Ultimately, I’d like to make the Quaker Yarn Stretcher by Susan Ashcroft with as much of my yarn as possible. True, the pattern is written for a worsted, but I can fiddle around with the gauge d^_^b

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I also finally cast this on. And you’re probably wondering, what in the world is this and why I use the word “finally”, haha. Things get so behind when theres no blogging happening, haha!

So, I got this yarn (Quince and Co Ospery) for my birthday! (Which was on Feb 15th. Hello, 21!) and I was going to cast it on then and it was going to be great. That didn’t happen, haha. If it did, I’m sure I’d be done with the sweater by now, haha.

I’ll be making Louise by Carrie Bostick Hoge and I am super excited about it, haha! So, the colors I’m going with is the coral for the bottom ribbing, neck band, and button bands. The grey for the main color of the body and sleeves. Then the navy (which is kind of hard to tell… its a beautiful navy!) for the cuffs. Still undecided on the buttons… but I have plenty of time for that d^_^b

What else am I excited about?

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These little stitch markers! And the adorable tin that they came in. They came from Slipped Stitch Studios and their Harry Potter club of the month deal. I don’t know if they have any left, I couldn’t find any on their website… But they always have super adorable stitch markers, bags, notions, all the things. Definitely check them out!

Also, if you’re in need of a super good book, I have a recommendation!

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Trains and Lovers by Alexander McCall Smith!

I’ve only read two books of Mr. McCall Smith’s (44 Scotland Street and Trains and Lovers) and I’m a huge fan.

If you enjoy people watching, you’ll love his books. What I like about the way he writes (or one of the many things, haha!) is that in addition to his own description of things (people, places, events, etc) he includes what characters think of the same things… but not really simple stuff, its more realistic opinions.

I got this book on… Monday and finished it on Tuesday. It was super super good. Also, don’t be discouraged by the Goodreads reviews about some of his books. If its an action/exciting story you’re looking for, this probably isn’t it. But if you want to enjoy the plodding along lives of multiple characters and their ins and outs… this is perfect. d^_^b

Also…

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Definitely loving all the cat time I’m getting. Definitely going to miss him when I head back on Saturday :-/

Shameless Enabling

You know you love it, haha. I know I do… though I know I should resist the urge and stay strong. No more new fiber or yarn till I use up some of my stash. Whenever I hear “Now I have some enabling” on a podcast or read it somewhere, I immediately perk up and am on the lookout for new goodies.

Saying to live by: You can never have too much yarn or fiber or crafty goodness.

That being said – read at your own risk. These online shops I’m about to inform you about have many EXTREMELY gorgeous things. Resisting them is definitely a challenge. With that, I wish you good luck!

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This was some of my loot from Christmas! My family knows me too well, haha.

On the left, we have “Tealberry” from Cloudlover. (Which when I found the link, I saw two other colors that are so gorgeous. Sugar Plum and North by Northwest really caught my eye). As of right now, I don’t have any set plans for this. When I start spinning, I’ll see what it wants to be and just go with it! I’ve never spun anything from Cloudlover, but I’ve only heard amazing things about it. I can’t wait! Its superwash BFL, and it looks like she has some Tealberry left! Definitely go check it out!

In the middle, is one Three Waters Farm. No surprise there, right? I’m quite addicted to their fiber. The colors… I want them all, haha! They are a bit more pricey, but still a really amazing deal for the quality you’re getting! Haha, every time I look at the shop page, the fiber nut in me goes a little crazy. So many possibilities! The two colors that I got are Summer Rooftops (which is a BFL wool roving) and Gold Tonal (which is Polwarth and silk).

As of right now, I don’t have any plans for Summer Rooftops, but the Gold Tonal, I have an idea. I’d like to try spinning just a single (which I haven’t done before) and then possibly making something like CatReading’s Curtain Cowl. I still need to do some research on spinning a single. I’ve heard theres a semi-complicated bath process to help calm down and re-energize the fibers. But I look forward to the challenge ^_^

Then on the right, is Daybreak Dyeworks! I love Dawn, she’s so incredibly sweet and her products are just amazing. Its been fun to see her business grow! The color I got is called Desert Sky and its superwash merino. I actually started spinning this last night, and its turning up beautifully! Its going to be a fractal 2-ply, and so I’m really interested to see how the fractal ends up! I’m hoping for maybe a worsted, but we’ll see d^_^b There are so many fun colors in her shop right now! “Baby, its cold outside”, “Lollipop”, and “Hipster” look super fun! Definitely check out her shop!

Heehee, so thats my shameless enabling for now. But I have a little bit more enabling for later ;-P But you should go check out these online shops, they have so much awesomeness to offer!

Also, I wrote this post with the help of the Frozen soundtrack (Does anyone want to build a snowman??) and a warm cat laying on top of me. I love not having any school to worry about ^_^

FO!: Handspun Norie

My goodness, things have been busy! But busy with good things! And lots of awesome things have happened as a result of being busy… so its all good d^_^b

One of these things, was that I had my NSC (New Student Conference) at A&M last Thursday+Friday… which is where we got kind of oriented and registered for my classes! Yessss!!!

And of course, I brought a long my knitting… I can’t bear to sit still for long periods of time (or any time at all, haha!) without knitting or doing anything with my hands. I had two goals for the two days.

1) I was going start and finish Norie (a hat pattern by Gudrun Johnston) the first day.

2) I was going to at least start, and get some progress on a pair of socks knit with some A&M yarn that my bosses (who are some of the sweetest people ever) gifted me.

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Tada!! I got my first goal done! In one day! BAM! Haha, if you follow me on Twitter or on Instagram, you probably saw my progress through out the day :-P

I don’t think I’ve mentioned my yarn before… I finished it pretty shortly before we left, and I didn’t get the time to write a post about it :-P

But this was the last braid that I got from before the Tour de Fleece from Daybreak Dyeworks (which now I have to decide which of Dawn’s new colors I’m going to get… ohhh, the trials of a spinner ;-P)

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(Bertie couldn’t restrain himself and just *had* to be in the picture… he just *had* to.)
The colorway name is Dance Fever, and its some of the softest most vibrant things *ever*!

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When I started to spin it, I had a hat in mind.. so I was super excited to find out that I had gotten what I wanted/needed – a DK weight with a ton of yardage (404yds in total… I used about 200ish for the hat)

Once again, its a fractal spun 2 ply ;-P Haha, I don’t see the pattern of fractal spinning will be changing any time soon.. its so much fun!

So, as soon has I finished it and got it niddy-noddied up, I threw it in a bath so I could get it ready in time in order to knit Norie while walking around campus and sitting and listening to people talk about financial aid.

It actually didn’t dry in time.. but I set it in front of a fan, and that fixed things real quick d^_^b

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I am super duper happy with how the hat turned out… I followed CatReading’s mods by excluding the Cat’s Paw lace sections and just putting in plain stockinette instead. Also, because I was using size US6s instead of US5s, I didn’t do as many repeats before starting the decreases.

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In my rush to get everything ready to go, I forgot DPNs, haha! And my tape measure (which Sarah of Knit York City replied to my tweet of despair with a recommended measuring tape app, haha. Thanks, Sarah!) So that was a huge bummer… thankfully, I was able to squeak by at the end with two circulars (I have a 10″ circular I carry around in my notions bag… super handy, haha!)

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The hat can be worn so many different ways, and its really long… but not too long to look goofy, haha! And its the perfect pattern for handspun :-P

I’m definitely going to be making more of these… I foresee many Nories being made for Christmas presents d^_^b

Pomme de Pin – Just Needs Buttons!

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Although all the knitting is done on my Pomme de Pin cardigan… its still not finished. Buttons, thats all it needs!

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But I had to take some pictures because its just to awesome – I love it so much!

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(I spy a cat ^_^)

Once I sew on the buttons, I’ll get official FO pictures where you can see the whole thing, haha. Its hard to get the whole thing while sitting on a bed and using a mirror for pictures ;-P

Tour de Fleece catch up!

Its been crazyyyyy busy! Like, holy cow. What is going on?!

Not really, but it seems that way, haha.

This past weekend, my family and I went over to College Station to start all the prep and painting of our apartments/flats/whatever. Mainly mine… right now. We’ll eventually to my brother’s place, haha.

All the woodwork and baseboards and all the walls are done downstairs. All the woodwork is done upstairs… annnd.. thats it, haha.

We were extremely sore and tired when we got home. And the first night staying there, we had an unfortunate mishap with the fire alarms in my place. Which… was just bad bad bad. No fire, or anything. It was the paint fumes… not fun. We got things fixed, hallelujah. But, yes. We were extremely tired.

But we’re home now! For a couple days, we go back on Wednesday to continue the work and painting, and my brother has his New Student Conference – woot woot! Unfortunately, that means not very much spinning and/or knitting. So, I’m getting in as much as I can before we leave again.

So yeah, I’m behind on posting about Tour de Fleece stuff. Here are some pictures ^_^

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Here’s Neon and Neutral by Daybreak Dyeworks (can’t say this enough – go check her store out, it’s the BEST!) I got around 230yds of a heavy DK/light worsted weight.

(Sidenote: Dawn, from Daybreak Dyeworks, just started a Farmers Market series in her shop, and I want to buy all the things. The Eggplant is just… aaaghhh, haha! Back to the post, heehee :-P)

I’m not sure what I’m going to be making with this.. I want something that’ll be fun and funky. Maybe I’ll make a plain hat, but add some stripes or something. Or use this as the stripes. Oooor… maybe a Stephen West pattern? Or something? I don’t know, haha.

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This was quite amazing, actually. We got home on Sunday afternoon (and the AC wasn’t working. Fellow Houstonians, you’ll understand how bad that was, haha. Its fixed now, hallelujah) so, we got home… and unloaded, then I came up to spin. And, I spun and plied the entire 4oz braid in an evening, finishing at around a little past midnight. Which, I’m pretty happy with.

Second yarn! Woot woot!

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I’m insanely happy with how this turned out. Like, oh my goodness… So happy, haha! This is the Lavinia color from Into the Whirled (from the Knitabulls SAL d^_^b) (which, I now realize that I’ve been posting “Into the Whorl”, and thats not right, haha. Its “Whirled” :-P) and I got 270yds of a worsted weight. The barber pole (ha! Got it right this time, haha! Not barbera pulling :-P)

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Anyways, the whole fractal spinning… so addictive. Can’t stop, haha!

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Before I had spun it up, I had thought I was going to be making these mittens… but after its bath (its drying now ^_^), it sooo much more softer. Which is amazing, because it was already really soft to begin with, haha. But who knows, haha. We’ll see what happens ^_^

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Bertie was not happy that we were gone over the weekend. This does not bode well for when I actually leave for college. *sadface*

Tour de Fleece – Day 1 and Day 2

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The Tour de Fleece is one of my favorite times of the year.. Spinning is SO MUCH FUN!

So, as a result of Day 1 and Day 2, I was able to finish this skein of A Pineapple Under the Sea by Daybreak Dyeworks (She has a colorway I haven’t seen in her store before called Imaginary Delight… its calling my name… its so gorgeous!)

I got 370yds of a sport weight. Fractal spun… Don’t think I’m going back. Its definitely definitely my favorite way to spin things now.

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The yarn got definite Bertie approval….

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He came and nested on it… then I had to intervene because he started chewing and biting it. Which he wasn’t too happy about, haha!

My mom picked out this fiber, so she’ll be picking a pattern at some point. I’m so happy with how it turned out! I’m glad I did all that training before the Tour started so now its not as much figuring things out and experimenting as much as it is enjoying seeing the results of lots of practice. And then getting the reward of some fun yarn in the end d^_^b

But this is amazing fiber, it’s so nicely prepped… its a dream to spin!

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So whats up next on my wheel? Well, as soon as I finish this post, I plan to go and start my Into the Whorl in the Lavinia colorway.. with the Knitabulls SAL

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I got it all divided last night, so I’m ready to today ^_^ I want to spin this a bit thicker and maybe make a pair of mittens… I’ve never made mittens, and I’d kinda like to have a pair. I hate having cold hands… especially while walking across campus ;-P

Stash Enhancement – Daybreak Dyeworks!

Tada! More finished practice yarn! Woooo!

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I split this braid down the middle, hoping that it’d be somewhat evenly divided. Which, I think it was… but I had a fair amount of singles on one bobbin than the other at the end… which I don’t think is too weird – from what I’ve heard from really good spinner people, they do that occasionally too. So, I just navajo-plied the rest of the singles ^_^

But I’m quite happy with what I got! The 2-ply yarn was quite overspun, but loosened up with a nice long soak and about a day hanging up with something heavy hanging on the bottom. I’m getting there! It’s getting better! Woooo!

The fiber was from Northbound Knitting, in the “Wine and Debauch” colorway. It was about 4ozs… and a mixed BFL combed top.

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I got some pretty good yardage too – the 2-ply ended up being around 274 yards. I also got 134yds of the navajo-ply.

Like I mentioned before, I really want to make a pair of these Easy Handspun Mitts by Vera Brosgol. But I might wait until I make more 2-plies and see which one is my favorite… But then again, who says I have to have just *one* pair of these mitts ^_^

In other fiber news – more prepping for the Tour de Fleece! It’s getting closer every day! I’m so glad that my French class is online this summer, so I can dedicate even more time to spinning every day. Oh, the joys of a knitter/spinner/fiber person d^_^b

So, a couple posts ago, I mentioned the teams I had joined for the Tour, one of which being the Daybreak Dyeworks team. A couple days ago, I ordered some of Dawn’s fiber from her shop (go check her out – she has a Tour de Fleece coupon code! 15%!) and my braids of fiber came today! Eeeee!!

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Figuring out which ones I wanted was definitely a challenge, haha! They’re all so prettyy! But in the end, I ended up with “Neon and Neutral” (the bottom.. Which is 4oz of 100% Falkland. This is also the Team Braid.) “Dance Fever” (the middle. This is 4oz of 100% Merino) and my mom picked out “A Pineapple Under the Sea” (the top right. This is 4oz of 100% Falkland.)

She also included an extremely sweet note in my package of goodies. If you’re in the market for stash enhancing for the Tour or for whatever reason – you definitely need to check Daybreak Dyeworks out, because it’s awesome! Dawn is so sweet!

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Bertie approved of the braids as well, haha! Well, he was probably more interested in the bag… But you can just see the approval on his face…

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See? That is cat approval, right there.