Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I got to play with some fiber over the long weekend. Definitely nice!

Tempted Hand Painted 80% superwash merino/20% Cashmere - Handspun by Me

Tempted Hand Painted  80% superwash merino/20% Cashmere - Handspun by Me

Fiber Purchased at

The Loopy Ewe




Roxanne - Red & Black

I had been lusting over this fiber for a bit before picking it up. Love the colors, combined with it being merino/cashmere, I couldn’t resist.

I confess that I was a bit disappointed that the dye didn't reach the center of the fiber in some places. So there are lighter patches in the yarn. They aren't too noticeable, but it wasn't what I figured when looking at the online pics. I still like the end result.

It was spun & Navajo plied on my Babe Double Treadle Production wheel.

This is my first time doing an entire skein of yarn with Navajo plying. I think it came out pretty well. I don't think I overtwisted it. But it is hard to tell until I skein & soak it.

I think it is definitely too thick for socks. Not sure what exactly I will do with it. I have been thinking a scarf on a diagonal or something to accentuate the stripes of color. Feather & fan could also highlight that.

I need to skein & soak the yarn. Despite finishing this on Saturday, I never got around to do that. I hope to do that soon as I need to figure out the yardage & wraps per inch.

Custom Cashmere/Merino/Silk Batt from Winderwood Farm on Etsy

Cashmere/Merino/Silk Batt from Winderwood Farm on Etsy

I got a great deal on this stuff. It is beautiful. The terrific guy at Winderwood Farm dyed it especially for me. The colors are a rich purple & a deep red. Yummy.


I think this is the listing for the remaining fiber:


He produced more than I requested. So I bought as much as I could afford to. The pics in the original listing don’t do it justice. The color in the photo show the deeper & richer color than the listing. Super yummy batts. Soft and lofty. A pleasure to spin.

I find I can spin this fiber thinner than most fibers I have used. I don't know if that is about the fiber blend, the batts or just magic. *chuckle* I did nearly identical fiber from the same folks for a present for a friend & loved it so I had to get some for myself. I got 10 oz. and so wish I could have afforded more. This is heavenly stuff.

Valentine's Day Pressies

My DH was super sweet this year. He gave me etsy goodness!

I got the cutest little guy on the top of the pile from my hubby. He made by http://Beastlies.etsy.com. His name is Pepper according to the artist.

The description is great as well as more detailed pics

I think Pepper is going to need some alpaca knitwear to understand there can be non-itchy stuff. But see what he got up to...?

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Of course, that is with a bit of help from some new friends. *grin*

I have been oogling the Beastlies figures for a while. And given my need for heat during the winter, he is a perfect addition to the clan.

Also, he gave me some lovely handpainted yarn from Moonlight Baker http://moonlightbaker.etsy.com

The colorway is Crushed Reds. Different shades of red. Super yummy and soft.

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75% Superwash Merino/25% Nylon

Not to mention he got me some Godiva chocolate as well. Yummy!

I am a lucky gal!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

WIPs & Spinning

I cast on the Brigit socks by Monkey Toes/Gigi Silva last night. The February Sock Knitters Anonymous KAL choices are Socks for a Cause or Gigi Silva or Entrelac. I like the patterns Gigi created. There are some really nice ones. Despite how much I swore at the Kaylee socks, I do like them. *chuckle* (With those, it was just about having difficulty visualizing how to do a certain stitch that is unique to that pattern, not a badly written pattern.)

I have been wanting to do something with an interesting cable design for a while. But I tend to skip it as I am more drawn to handpainted yarns that really don't show up patterns well. So while looking through Gigi patterns, I recalled just how much I wanted to try the Brigit socks.

I remembered I had the Colinette Jitterbug in Vatican red. It isn't solid, but has some subtle color shifts. But I think that will work well with the pattern.

I can't recall where I heard that Jitterbug is kinda short on yardage. So I decided to do them toe-up. The pattern isn't directional, so it should be fine. (Of course, I checked Ravelry and someone else did them toe-up. *grin*)

Here's a pic of the pattern in case you don't have Ravlery:


The woman who designed the patterns passed away last year. Luckily someone in her family was kind enough to post the patterns on Ravelry. She had posted them for free on her own site. But when she passed away, the website was closed.

I think they will be really lovely in the red.

I am not sure what heels I will do. I need to look at the Kaylee socks to see if I liked that heel. But I might use the one from the Toe Up Feather and Fan Socks by Wendy Johnson. I really like the way those came out. She does this neat wrap while picking up the stitches so there aren't any holes. I like the way it looked for the other socks. Not sure. I figure I can see what I want to do when I get there.

BTW, if anyone is interested in some heavenly fiber in purple & red, winderwoodfarm.etsy.com listed the remaining fiber that he made.


These pictures really do not do it justice. It is a deeper purple and a nice red. It looks really pink in the pics and it isn't at all. I am sorely tempted to grab the rest myself. But I am resisting.

I did however decide I need to get the gauge card. I have been saying I would get one for a while now. So I broke down and ordered one. I went with the Woolery.com. Their price was good. I also broke down and got an umbrella swift. I adore the ones my darling hubby made. But the wood wasn't very hard and they have warped. When I was winding my yarn last night, the cross piece kept hitting the upright. It is chipping the wood. The Woolery had a nice wood one for $65 which is a good price. And I realize that given just how much I use the ones I have, it is well spent money.

Of course, I do know in my heart that the money would be better spent on new tires for the car or taking the cat to the vet. And I also know those are $500 and $350+ respectively. (It stuns me that the vet costs more than my doctor's appointment even if I didn't have insurance!) So they will wait a bit longer.

I have been plying the Twisted Fibers Roxanne colorway. It spun up nicely. Though I suspect I really should have spun it thinner. But I wanted to keep enough loft in it to make it nice to touch.

I am Navajo plying it. I did it on my lowest ratio bobbin & have been going slowly with the treadle. I don't want to overtwist it so that it loses all the soft goodness. I think it is going pretty well. It is always hard to tell while on the bobbin. I will have to see how it comes out.

I don't really think it is thin enough for socks. Given it is 80% superwash merino/20% cashmere, there was some hope that might work. I will see what I get for WPI after I have set the yarn. But I really suspect that it will be too thick for anything except house yarns.

I feel like I have learned a trick/technique to avoid the bumps I had been getting while Navajo plying. If I pull the yarn back & taunt when I am transitioning from one loop to the next, this smooths out the transition. In many cases I can't feel it at all. The exception is really when the thickness of the single at the transition point is is thicker than the yarn that is coming up. Then I get a bump. But I think with the slow treadling and all that the yarn won't be too harsh.

I am hoping to finish spinning that this weekend and get it soaking. *crosses fingers* With President's Day it is a 3 day weekend for me, so that may actually happen. Woohoo!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Reptilian Lace Socks in Handpainted Yarn

I finally got around to taking pics of these socks! I had been meaning to for nearly a week. But my darling hubby had been tender from having two cysts removed. So I didn't want to trouble him to help me. It is kinda funny doing them myself. Propping the camera up on something and then bending over to snap the pic. *laugh* So the pics aren't as good as they usually are. But hey, they are done! *grin*

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Cast On:
January 11 2009

February 4 2009

Reptilian Lace by Sivia Harding

Made for:
Me - 9" circumference, 9 1/4" long

Knitpicks Options & Harmony needles in US 3 / 3.25 mm, US 2 / 2.75 mm & US 1 / 2.25 mm
2 socks on 2 circs

Cosmic Fibers Bamboo Sock in Black Orchid - Dyed by me, not Dharmahey
0.9 skeins = 346.5 yards (316.8m)
Purchased at Dharmafey's Cosmic Fibers http://cosmicfibersyarn.etsy.com

I was debating what to do for the January Sock Knitters Anonymous KAL. I could do either socks with beads, an online pattern or the beaded mystery sock. I was tempted by the mystery sock. But that would have required going out and buying more beads. I really didn’t want to do that given I have a lot of beads sitting around unused.

These are socks with beads strung onto the yarn. So they are smaller than the ones I would have needed to the mystery sock. Though I want to do those some other time.

This actually fits in the KAL in two ways. It is a beaded sock & it is an online pattern. *grin*

I did write the moderator to make sure bead knitting was also okay. From what I have read, beaded knitting can mean that the bead is slid onto the stitch vs. bead knitting where the beads are stung onto the yarn. She said any sock with beads were fine.

I was curious how these will fit. The gauge says 36-sts, but then only has you cast on 66 sts. I started with a size 3 needle in hopes they would fit okay. With all the yarn overs & such, I think they will fit just fine on the leg. I went down to a size two as I got closer to the heel. And then I went down to a size one needle for the foot so it would be a tighter fit.

The funny part is that I actually wound my Schaefer Heather into balls with the intention that I would use that for the January project. But after looking at some patterns, I decided I really liked this one. I went looking in my stash for a yarn that could work well. And this one grabbed my eye as a great match.

I suspect I should have done silver beads instead of gold/copper ones I used. But I like the way the beads play off the purples. I think it does make the black look more brown. But I think they are nice.

I wish the beads had been a larger size though. The pattern said to use a larger bead size, but I have a lot of beads and didn’t want to buy more. So I used seed beads. They don’t show up a lot, but there is a nice shimmer there.

I like the way they came out. It is a nice pattern and was pretty easy.

I didn't notice until this morning that these socks match my handspun shawl pretty well! *chuckle* It is the black, purple & burgundy combo I like so much. I really think I dyed this yarn before I ordered the fiber that I used for my shawl. Too funny!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Yummy Yummy Fiber!

The wonderful guy at winderwoodfarm.etsy.com made me an offer on some more custom fiber. After spinning the lovely fiber for my friend's Xmas present, there was no way I could say no (despite knowing I should have...*chuckle*)

The pics really do not do this justice:

It is a deep, rich purple & a dark red. I think the pic has the flash on which is why it looks much lighter.

He blended some extra. I wish I could have afforded to buy it all as it is amazing. But I had already picked up more than I should have. But I am sooo glad I did!

I only wish I had enough bobbins free to start on this. But I really do want to finish up the lovely Tempted merino/cashmere blend I have on my bobbin right now. It feels lovely.

With the Tempted I am going to Navajo ply it. I am nervous about that because I have only done extra bits of leftover singles with Navajo plying. I haven't done a lot of it. But I think with the black & red pieces, it will look much better if I do the Navajo ply. The tricky part will be making sure not to overtwist it when I ply it. I don't want it to lose the softness it has.