Archive for January, 2009

Jan 26 2009

things arise from conversations about sheep…

Filed under spinning,wool

like this, for instance:

dorset fleece

…locally grown Dorset cross (I’ve also heard there is Suffolk and Merino and Rambouillet cross in the flock) wool, delivered right to the door.  Nice, eh?  This is after washing – about a quarter of it.  It was rather therapeutic picking through it, actually, since I felt mostly like crap last Monday when it arrived (I swear I’ve got the neverendingbugfromh3ll or something… has been kicking about since November…anyhow, digressing…).

So, this eventually led to…

dorset fleece

This is what 1 oz looks like carded.  Fluffy, soft and springy.  :)

So, then, given I’ve got about 5 lbs to play with (yeah, about two feed-bags full, pre-washing) I got ideas.  How about colouring some of this fleece and carding it with some other bits [insert Falkland, Merino, Swaledale...] on hand?…

dorset fleece

dorset fleece

I decided, given the sproingy springy-ness of the wool it would make a great sort of outdoorsy yarn which hopefully (sometime before I’m 80) will be knitted into a nifty outdoorsy-type sweater jacket.  Sounds good, no?  And I needed an excuse to learn woolen spinning, which I’m working on.  So far, so good:

dorset fleece

dorset fleece
dorset fleece

This was spun/plied woolen at 9:1 (and for the first time trying it, is typically overspun and a little crunchy and uneven).  Future skeins will be spun 6:1, plied 9:1.  The next one (so far unphotoed) turned out much softer and a little more evenly spun.

All in all, a good time.  :)

Good to chat about sheep now and again.

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Jan 08 2009

do not adjust your sets…

Yes…it really is a teenager shoveling snow.

(This was taken right about the time he asked if he was going to wind up in ‘one of those yarn books’).  You can see he’s pondering the thought.  LOL.

And here, he’s trying really hard to not do the dorky smile he usually does.  I’m so happy he didn’t.

In a cool hat [Ravelry link].  Which he wears to school (as far as I know… it’s on his head when he leaves the house in the morning and when he returns later).   Cascade 220 (about a half skein for the MC and two bits of CCs).

Impressive, I say.

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Jan 06 2009

without further adeiu…

A new design.  :)

This one was my baby for what seems like forever.  I kind of fitzed around with it in my head and otherwise (noodling around through stitch pattern books, thinking about what I wanted to represent, wanting to grab some of that Van Goghesque feel of the yarn colour-way, doing up arm-lengths of swatches… finally deciding on three lace patterns out of a zillion, making them all work together and adjusting repeat widths/lengths, charting, determining how many and how often and calculating yardage… I felt like I was sleeping with this shawl design for a good chunk of a year).  At the same time, I was really in love with it.

When it was all said and done, I needed a drink lol.  I was left wondering for a while if it was really off the needles and blocked and folded neatly in a special spot on my work-shelf.

It was a lot of fun to photograph (even some curious onlookers from the neighbourhood came driving slowly along peering at me out there in the park).  I got some early long wished-for snow (which is still around, under many further layers of later snow… did I wish too hard?) and found a fab crabapple tree to complement the blues of the yarn.  It was semi-overcast and a little breezy but not too much of either and if I was careful I was able to avoid photo-ing my footprints.  (Some photos taken indoors, too).

Anyhow, without further long-windedness -

Here is the Longest Night Shawl, AKA the ‘Solstice Shawl’ between Anne, and I.  (I’m sure she must have gotten tired of hearing about it.  ;))

Further photos available here (my Rav project page) and on the pattern page at Ravelry.  Download from my Rav shop or in the Oceanwind Knits Shop.

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Jan 05 2009

hardcore… er, batty

… well, maybe hardcore is a bit harsh.  But I am now in possession of a drum carder, which, in my mind, means I am most definitively into spinning seriously.  In less than a year, I have amassed quite a few spinning ‘toys’.  Boggles my mind, really, what can happen in such a short time.  But, it is fun.  :)  Even if I have a lot to learn (and quite a few unfinished spinning projects on the go, already, which are deserving of attention), I really find it has enriched my whole perception of wool and the creative junkie side of me is quite tickled with the whole process.

This brings to mind a few other things which have materialized over the course of 2008, on a personal basis and in our household.  2008 turned out be a year of revelations for us along with a few new beginnings in the mix.

  • I have now managed to stay on the planet for more than 4 decades (high five!)
  • I have two feet less hair
  • I became, officially, the parent of a special needs child (officially).  Up until the middle of 2008 it was still debatable but it’s pretty much apparent now.  Although it has been challenging at times (and probably will continue to be) it’s been interesting watching Sam’s perception and interpretation of the world at large develop.  It’s also opened my eyes as I try to see things through his eyes… never dull, at any rate.  We will probably have a diagnosis by the end of this year
  • I am also the parent of a teenager (eek, I don’t really feel old enough for this!)
  • I am a (beginning) spinner.  :)  Hard to believe it has been less than a year since I first held a spindle.  And now, well, you read the first paragraph  ;)
  • I am learning to play guitar.  This is not a total surprise to me (I’ve always wanted to learn) but it’s refreshing to be learning a new musical instrument without the pressures of professional performance hanging over
  • we now have Baxter living with us (something I really hadn’t envisioned last January).  He’s fitting in just fine with the other boys around the house.

So, we’ll see what 2009 brings (hint:  I am reallly niggling around for a CSM (sock knitting machine) these days… I might be nutz).

2008 also brought a few more FOs than previously mentioned:

le slouch
Le’Slouch in B&L Heritage, Grape colourway.  It’s become my go everywhere hat which is good because I don’t have many hats at all.

le slouch
Toasty, in Oceanwind Knits merino iii (truffle).  These were a quick and dirty knit.  They allow me to knit at the rink (if I’m not too busy yelling at Bantam boys lol).

And how about this – ‘merino spaghetti’?

le slouch

It turned into this:

le slouch

singlespun from hand-dyed merino roving 1:6.  I hope it knits nicely.  It looked like a perfect match for my friend Carol, so now it’s in her hot little hands.  (Have you seen what she can churn out in a year?  I am always astounded).

Anyhoo, wishing everyone a Happy 2009 (late, I know; I started out the year with near-pneumonia, but I hope it’s been kicked now.)!  Next time I’ll tell you about another FO (the Solstice Shawl) once it becomes available (soon!).

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