Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hello Again!

I have decided it's time for me to crawl out from under my rock.  Not that I have been stagnating.  No, not me.  I have been steadily busy since I last posted -- always with the overriding buzz in my head that I need to post on my blog. I worked so hard during the year, I needed a little break. After my show season ended in November, I spent time getting my Etsy shop back in order and then I embarked on a journey of spinning and knitting like a mad woman making lovely things to gift to my family members, sons, sons' girlfriends, etc. at Christmas. I knit many hats (Simple Pleasures Hat), numerous pairs of fingerless gloves, and scarves and cowls.  And dummy me, I forgot to take pictures before they went off to the recipients.  

Well, then I began spinning and spinning and spinning, in between having lots of needed work done at my house -- wallpaper removal (ugh! ugh! ugh! what a mess!) and then painting and other repairs.  Still working on some upgrades of things, like my dishwasher that decided to give it up last Monday.  

So . . . I have quite a bit of pygora roving that I have been aching to spin. And here is a skein I have named "Chunky Monkey".  Not that the yarn is chunky.  By all means, it is a light fingering weight two-ply.  This is one continuous strand, no knots, 872 yards long, that weighs 12.9 oz.  I think this is a record for me -- the biggest skein I have ever spun.  It look me a little over a week to spin two full bobbins of singles -- spun while watching my friend Margie (who is not a weaver) weave two projects.   Don't even ask how long it took to ply all that.  This yarn is destined to be part of a sweater, and my plan is to divide the skein into about 6 skeins and dye each skein a beautiful pastel or muted color.  I have other skeins of pygora that will make their way into this sweater, too. Stay tuned.  This might be a project to be entered in the fiber competition at Black Sheep Gathering in June.

And I just had to do another Simple Pleasures Hat.  This one is not as slouchy as in the pattern.  What a great take along project.

I've also been wanting to knit a pair of socks again.  So I used two rovings that I bought from my friend, Miryha Runnerstrom (Blarney Yarn) when I visited her at the Renegade Holiday Craft Fair in downtown L.A. at the Los Angeles Historic Park.  I think the colorways were "Sunflower" and "Evergreen".  The pattern is from 25 Favorite Socks -- Embossed Leaves Socks.

Then there has been more spinning -- constant spinning -- while I got myself up to speed on Downton Abbey.  Had never watched it and wanted to be all caught up by the time the third season began.  I spun a whole lot of a merino/yak/silk roving that I had dyed randomly, seen below -- the purple, gray, rust and blue roving and then I have been plying it with one thing or another.  This first one is plied with a Blarney Yarn "Iris" in a Blueface Leicester/Silk blend.  
 This next one is plied with another of my randomly handpainted merino/yak/silk rovings.
 And this last skein is plied with one of my "Sargasso Sea" rovings in Polwarth wool/Silk.

And this past week, I have begun handpainting fiber again after taking a little vacation from dyeing. Ordered more fibers, too. I have been doing well on Etsy so my little fiber cubbies are starting to look bare.  I'll be doing lots of dyeing and restocking my Etsy shop.  

So excited -- just two days ago, I had track lighting installed in my upstairs weaving room.  This new found light motivated me to pull out my Ashford table loom and set it up. [Just getting it out puts me in a different mind set.] I have such a collection of interesting Habu yarns that I have been wanting to weave with so I'm going to warp my loom this week.  New year, new adventures.

Can't promise anything, but . . . I will try to be more consistent with my blogging.