Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Here are pictures of the hiking socks I made for my loving hubby. They are made from hand-spun Merino wool on size 4 double point needles. I tried using the "2 on 1 circular needle" method, but just couldn't figure it out. It was so much easier converting the pattern for double points....which is what I did. The socks turned out beautifully!! Although I did have a bit of trouble with the grafting of the toe....something that I'm sure will get better with practice. :.)

I enjoyed knitting the socks so much that it was hard not to start another pair of socks right away. I really wanted to work on finishing up the sweater that I had started last year. I did manage to get a sleeve done before casting on another pair of socks. :.) Of course there was the question...."do I even have enough hand-spun yarn for another pair of socks?" Then it dawned on me. Not every pair of socks I knit has to be from my very own hand-spun yarn. So out came the few skeins of sock yarn that I bought eons ago....and another pair of socks was born. :.)

Of course that didn't mean the spinning slowed down any. I have been happily spinning away and creating some rather lovely sock yarn for future use. In fact, I just finished plying up some shetland/mohair/soy silk blend yarn that should knit up into a lovely pair of cabled socks. And I still have two balls of shetland/bamboo/soy silk blend singles that have been patiently waiting to be plyed....which will be soon. Then there is the fiber that is waiting to be carded and spun up. I have one blend that I'm excited to do....once I finish carding up the lamb fleece I have slowly been working on. I want to blend my black shetland with my black llama and then toss in a bit of blending nylon. I think it will make a very lovely yarn...possibly even a lovely sock yarn. :.) And I do have the hand-dyed Targhee top going on my one spinning wheel. Not quite sure what that will eventually be used for. Although it, too, would make for some lovely socks. Can you tell that I have a slight case of "sock lust"? :.)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bits and Pieces

Here are pictures of my Bits and Pieces quilt. It's a small quilt....maybe 50" x 60" if that. And it is made from leftover bits and pieces from other projects. The front of the quilt is pictured on the left.....the back on the right. Took a bit for the machine quilting to be done though. I tried something new and at one point was actually stuck! So the quilt sat for a couple of days until I could figure out exactly what I wanted to do. Then it sat for another day or so until I got the courage to simply do it. :.) Sometimes it is easier to go back to what you feel comfortable with than it is to continue on with something new. I did learn a lot with this one and will be incorporating some of the new skills I learned in future projects.

Here are pictures of Stryder's lamb fleece (on the left) and the kid mohair (on the right). I really love the way the two look together and can't wait until I can start carding it all up. It is going to be so pretty!!! And definitely one of a kind least for me anyway. Especially since I no longer have angora goats. So the resulting yarn will be made into something special.

The last two pictures are of Gracie's fleece. The one on the left is of her lamb fleece after it has gone through the picker. It's is divine looking!! Looks like fluffy clouds. :.) The picture on the right is of her lamb fleece after it has been through the carder.....but before it has been blended with the honey colored soy silk. It, too, is very pretty. And so incredibly soft!! I wasn't going to blend it with the soy silk, but really love the soft honey color that the resulting batt is. Plus the silk adds a little something to it.....just makes it that much more special. :.) I've decided to card all the fiber up first and then start blending it with the soy silk. No particular reason for doing it this way. Just makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something every time I spend a bit of time in the spinning room....that's all. :.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More Fibery Fun!!

Pictured above is the 2008 fleece from my ewe, Carrie (pictured below on the left). It is all carded and ready for spinning. And it's all for me!! Yea!!! I blended it with a bit of soy silk and it came out so incredibly soft and pretty. I have about a pound to play with. Her fleece was small due to the cotting.....and having lambs. She doesn't produce a good fleece when she has lambs. She had twins last year.....which are stunningly beautiful. :.) No lambs for her this year though.....and her fleece is looking amazing!

I was so tickled to be able to finally card up fiber for myself (since so much of the fiber I have carded up lately has gone on my etsy site for sale) that I pulled out another fleece I had set aside for myself. It was Gracie's lamb fleece from last year (Gracie is pictured above on the right). She is more of a fawn color with a lovely moorit colored face and legs. Her fiber is incredibly soft! I ran it all through the picker without even weighing it first. So I don't have a clue as to how much I have. All I know is that it is for me!! :.) I am blending it with a honey colored soy silk. The end batt came out a very soft honey color.....and feels incredible! I'm thinking definitely a shawl. :.)

While I was playing with Gracie's fiber I got to thinking about Stryder's lamb fleece (which I also set aside for myself). Stryder is Gracie's twin and is this beautiful dark moorit color. I know I wanted to do something special with his fleece, but wasn't sure exactly what. Until I got to digging through the little bit of fiber stash I do keep. That's when I discovered a pound and a half of first clipping kid mohair locks. BROWN first clipping kid mohair locks. How perfect would that be blended with Stryder's dark moorit fiber?? So off I go to get my hand cards so I can blend a bit and then finger spin it into a small sample. All I can say is that there was defnitely a reason those kid mohair locks didn't get used before this. The blend is absolutely perfect!! Lovely color, lovely sheen. And it looks like I will end up with close to 3 pounds of this lovely blend when it is finally done. Yea!!! Not quite sure what the finished yarn will be used for. I really don't care at this point. All I know is that I have yet another carding project all figured out....and it's all for me. :.) Now if I could only figure out what to do with the last of my lamb fleeces.......

Friday, February 6, 2009

Playing with Fiber

I thought I would share pictures of the latest fleece I am working with. This is from Carrie. Her fiber is gray in color with black "hairs" (for lack of a better word) scattered throughout. Makes for a very pretty batt.....and very, very pretty yarn. Her fiber is always soft. Feels like silk. :.) I had already carded and spun up her fleece from 2007 so I decided that it would be fun to blend her 2008 fleece with a bit of soy silk......which is pictured above. This was after the first run through the carder. I put the blend through a second time and it came out just lovely!! And this isn't even one of her better fleeces. She had lambs the spring of 2008....and when Carrie has lambs she tends to put all of her energy into her lambs.....and not her fleece. There was a bit of cotting on this one. At first I thought it was the entire fleece.....but it ended up being just a small bit up around the neck area. It's been alot easier to deal with than what I had thought it would be. The small felted bits are coming out rather nicely with the carding and I'm left with an incredibly soft batt to play with. So far I have about 3/4 of her fleece blended and carded up. Haven't quite decided what I will do with it yet though. Part of me is saying "shawl.....lace shawl". We'll see. :.)

Here is an updated picture of the aran doggie sweater I've been working on. This is of the belly part and the turtleneck portion is being knitted. That was a couple of days ago. As of today the sweater is completely done. Instead of doing a full turtleneck, I opted for a mock turtleneck instead. My schnauzer isn't alway the most patient of canines when it comes to putting on a turtleneck sweater. Most of the times he is ready to go once the sweater is on and doesn't want to wait to have the turtleneck turned down. The sweater is a bit snug on I was afraid it would be. Ever since he got sick last fall, he has put on a bit of weight and is rather chubby. He might become more active when warmer weather arrives and lose a bit of the extra weight. Who knows. Until then he can wear it as it is. I think he would rather have his sweaters a bit snug than too loose anyway. Less chance of him getting it caught on something when he is outside exploring. I hope to be able to share pictures soon......if he is willing to be a cooperative model that is. :.)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Applique Update

Here are pictures of the latest completed blocks. The block on top is actually January's block. The one pictured below that is October's block. October was such a hectic month for me that I didn't get a chance to get that month's block done. It is now though. Yea!! And I am all caught up with the block of the month program I am doing. Another....Yea!!!! I actually took some time and looked over the quilt diagram that came with the pattern.....and figured out that the quilt can be put together in sections. No waiting until all the blocks are done. I can start sewing the quilt together as I finish the blocks for each section. Section one is done (pictured above).
I'm still working on getting my bits and pieces quilt machine quilted. It's coming along....slowly. Just haven't had the big blocks of time that I really need to get a whole lot done on it. That's okay though. It's not going anywhere.....and I'm really enjoying how it is turning out.
As for knitting.....finished up the belly part of the aran doggie sweater. Both parts are now pinned together and waiting to have the seams sewn. I hope to do that tonight. Then I will get started on knitting the turtleneck collar. I figure between that and the ribbing on the sweater bottom it should give me plenty to do while I'm sitting in the hospital waiting room Wednesday. I will try to get the ribbing around the leg openings done at home. I will need to use dpn's for that and would rather not travel with them. With my luck I would end up losing one.
Not much spinning has been done lately. The last spinning I did was to spin up 8 ounces of a bulky weight yarn for some mittens for my loving hubby. It's been spun, plyed, and is waiting to have the twist set....along with two other skeins of plyed bulky yarn.....and two skeins of singles. Maybe later this week when things have quieted down.
Update on my two kids....the youngest is mending very nicely. The doctor told her that her wrestling season is defnitely over. The chances of re-injury are too high. Her shoulder is about 85% right now. As for the oldest.....all I can say is no news is good news at this point. Life keeps her busy and she doesn't always have time to give mom a call....and can be rather difficult to get a hold of at times. So I quilt, spin, and knit to keep me busy. It's so much better than worrying about things I have no control over.