Thursday, July 22, 2010

day 12: TdF challenge day

Tour de Fleece day 20:
today was challenge day on the Tour de Fleece, to represent the Tour de France's most challenging mountain stage of the race. i had really intended on trying to spin a lot today, but it would seem that a lot of other little things got in the way. but i am getting ever closer to finishing up this Gale's art roving, all i have left is the fibre you see in the pic above.
today was an equally challenging day in other aspects, one of which was my attempt to get some good shots of my "petite vache" to add to the pattern so i can finally upload it to Ravelry. unfortunately i think i waited a bit too late in the day because there's just way too much shadowing in the pics i took

{petite vache - shrouded in shadow}

oh well, i guess i'll just have to try again tomorrow.

and the most challenging part of today was when i somehow managed to get a really nasty virus on my computer. it's causing all kindsa havoc right now and i might even have to call in some kinda tech guy to get things straightened out. :<

and on that note i'm off to see what else i can do to rid my poor computer of this evil virus. wish me luck!



Wednesday, July 21, 2010

day 11: TdF day of rest

Tour de Fleece day 19:

well today is one of 2 official "days of rest" during the Tour de France (and Tour de Fleece) so i'm also going to take a little rest on my blog-a-thon and just post this pic of my spinning progress. i have a sneaking suspicion that i'm spinning this half a lot thinner than i spun the first half, but i guess i'll just have to wait til i ply it to find out for sure!

have a great night everyone ^^/


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

day 10: my triumphant return!

so, i've recovered from my dissapointing blog posting experience yesterday....don't you just hate when you spend so much time typing out a post somewhere and then something malfunctions and you just lose it all? i think i'm going to start copying my posts before posting now just incase xD

Tour de Fleece days 17 & 18:

{day 17 progress - navajo plying}

i decided i'd post my progress pic from yesterday so you could see the navajo plying in action. this is my first time trying out this plying method and i have to say it is REALLY hard when you're just learning it. basically it's a technique where you take a single ply of spun yarn and make these really long crochet chains. you allow the chains to twist in on themselves and the result is a 3ply thickness from a single ply of yarn.

sound confusing? well thats cuz it is :P i'll be needing a lot more practice with this technique before i get comfortable with it.

{day 18 progress - 1 finished cake of navajo ply yarn, and the beginning of the 2nd half of fibre on the spindle}

initially, i had broken this 4oz braid of fibre in half and was going to attempt to ply 2 singles together. this is another technique i have yet to try, but i decided that i wanted to try navajo plying instead.

and since this DID start out as a knitting blog i've vowed to start posting more pics of my knitting WIP's. my latest is these adorable maryjane style cabled slippers:

i found this pattern doing a random search for cables on ravelry while looking for something to knit for Herbology this month in the HPKCHC. i thought they'd be a quick easy knit...boy was i wrong! as it turns out, the soles are double padded, so instead of knitting just 2 sole peices i have to knit 4 -_-

{cabled slippers in progress}
so here's my progress pic so far. i've got 1 full sole peice done and about 3/4 of a 2nd one. i guess all in all it really won't take THAT long to knit 4 sole peices, but i swear i thought it was a typo when i first saw it xD
well th-th-th-that's all for today folks. it's been so nice and cool around here lately, i hope everyone is having the same luck with the weather!

Monday, July 19, 2010

day 9: technical difficulties


i just spent the last 30 minutes or so typing up a spectacular blog post, only to have it all completely erased due to an error in the blogger system


i just don't have the heart to type it all out this will be my blog post for today...

i need a hug :<

Sunday, July 18, 2010

day 8: beleive it or not, i do still knit!

Tour de Fleece day 16:

i had a pretty busy sunday, a lot of cleaning up around the house and playing with my friend Justin's dogs, but i did manage to get some progress done on my Gale's Art Crayon Box roving. with just about a week left of the tour this will probably be the last yarn i get done, which will bring my tour total to 4. not bad for a rookie spindler i must say, although i do quite feel like a little fish in a big pond with all the wheel spinners cranking out skeins after skein of gorgeous yarn. i'm definitely going to have to save up for a wheel, not only to be able to spin faster but to spare my poor aching shoulder.

and while i'll admit that since i got bitten by the spinning bug i haven't been doing very much knitting, i have been slowly chipping away at some WIP's like this Banana Split Vertex:

i used 8 different samples from the April "all creatures great and small" Phat Fiber box, and while i had them all lined up to see that the colors would go together i realized that each of the different yarns i used corresponds to the color of a layer of a banana split. i've hyperlinked all the shops so you can just click on the names and you'll be redirected there.

Banana - "Mallard Duckling" from Desired Haven Farm

Vanilla ice cream - "Sheeps Night Out" from Sandy's Palette

Butterscotch syrup - "Honey Bee" from Comfed out Kaiser

Hot Fudge - "Chocolate Dreams" from Moonlight and Laughter plied with "Chocolate Ganache" From The Fuzzy Bunny

Whipped Cream - "Rustic Roving" from Bitsy Knits

Nuts - "Spring Peepers" from Fiber Diversions

and the Cherry on Top - "Lady Bug" from WC Mercantile

i took this pic pre-blocking because i was just so excited to finally have it done. This project spent the last 2 weeks at a friends house where i had forgotten all about it due to all the TdF excitement. all it needed was the crochet border which i finished last night.

aside from this FO i'm also working on a pair of cabled mary jane style slippers which i'll probably post progress pics of tomorrow.

and that's all for today folks, except to say that today was the first day in a week it wasn't swelteringly hot here! it's been such a nice change of pace, i only hope it lasts as long as possible .

ttfn ^^/


Saturday, July 17, 2010

day 7: what the heck is a feedjit?

{rainbow roving at it's finest - my progress from day 14}

Tour de Fleece day 15:

i can't BELEIVE it's day 15 of the tour de fleece seems like the tour just started! today was somewhat of a monumental day for me because it was my first time spinning in public ^.^

i met a few friends down at the local starbucks today for coffee and decided to bring my spinning with me. neither one of my friends is in to the fibre arts, so they were oooing and ahhhing while i was spinning and asking me all kinds of questions. now they want to learn how to spin too!

{day 15: spinning in public progress}

as you can see from the pic at the top of this post, i got quite a bit done at starbucks. the only bad thing is that i ran out of fibre to spin while i was there! note to self: next time spinning in public bring moar fibre!

so, by now i'm sure some of you are wondering what the heck is a feedjit?!?!?!?

well...this is a feedjit:

i was browsing through some of the blogs i follow yesterday evening and i came across this really cool widgit that is actually a real time feed of the activity on your blog. everytime someone visits or posts a comment or does anything on your blog it tracks them and shows where in the world they are from. it's kinda like a much fancier version of my flag counter. i thought it was really cool so i had to get one for my blog. mine is located underneath my blog cat in the sidebar to the right.

i'm sure all of you want one now, so go get one! just click on the bottom of my feedjit and it'll redirect you to a page where you can design your own with whatever colors best suit your blog.

and this will be yet another short post today. this blogging everyday thing is a bit harder than i thought as it turns out. my life just isn't involved enough to fill up a blog post everyday. but i'm still determined to acheive my goal of blogging everyday for a month, even if it's just pics of my TdF progress!

stay thirsty my friends


Friday, July 16, 2010

day 6: finished "laceweight"

Tour de Fleece day 14:

it's another sweltering day here in southern california, but i didn't let that stop me from plying the rest of my attempted laceweight and skeining it up.

{Azlan - 100% Merino wool, plied and ready to skein}

so, for my first attempt at laceweight it didn't come out that bad. i ended up with 363 yards from 85 grams of fibre. a true laceweight would have probably been about double that yardage from that many grams of fibre. but there are definitely PARTS of it that are laceweight. it's funny because the last yarn i spun i was trying for laceweight too and ended up with a dk-ish yarn, this time it's closer to a light fingering. but at least i'm getting closer!

and right after i finished skeining Azlan i started in on my next spinning project for the tour: Crayon Box Merino roving from Gale's Art.

this is sinfully soft Merino. i remember when i got it in the mail and opened it up i probably stood there for a good 5 minutes rubbing it against my face, in awe of the softness. i'm going to try to spin this up a little differently than i normally do, i've split the braid in 2 and i'll be plying 2 seperate strands together instead of just spinning it all at once and plying it on itself. i'm hoping to be able to maintain the integrity of the colors so that the finished yarn won't have that "barber pole" look to it. wish me luck!

another short post today because i have a splitting headache and this heat is making me cranky. i think i need a nap...



Thursday, July 15, 2010

day 5: i got my Etsy widget back!

Tour de Fleece day 13:

{plying and more plying}

as you can see my progress today has consisted of plying my "almost laceweight" yarn. now that i'm plying it i see that i've got a lot of work to do on spinning laceweight. i'd say it's "mostly" laceweight, but there are quite a few spots that are clearly fingering. it's funny, i spun up my first 2 yarns of the tour so quickly that i was afraid i might run out of fibre to spin, but since this laceweight has taken me about 8 days to spin i guess i don't have to worry about that anymore ^.^

but i did manage to get some work done on the etsy shop today. i listed the 2 yarns and circular needle holder i blogged about yesterday, and i finally got my etsy widget back on the blog! if you look to your right


you'll notice the lovely Etsy widget in all it's glory, complete with my new listings :)

i'm going to spend the rest of my blog-a-thon crafting new merchandise for the shop, as well as finishing up some patterns to add too. then i'll have a Grand Re-Opening to celebrate at the end of the month (which will actually be the middle of August.) i'll be doing some giveaways here on the blog and probably have a sale in the shop, so be sure to check back around mid August for the details of the Grand Re-Opening sale!

and on a truly random note: i think i want an angora bunny...

{angora bunny babies from Spang Angoras Rabbitry}

i was perusing the forums on Ravelry today and i came across an ad for Susan's Spinning Bunny. this is a great little shop with all kinds of fibery goodness for spinners. as you can obviously tell from the name, Susan has an Angora bunny (the grey one in the middle in the pic above.) and she has a cute little story on her site about how her bunny, Smokey Blue, came to live with her. i spent a few minutes just now fawning over her gorgeous little guy and now i want one of my own! that's not crazy right? i mean i already have a guinea pig, maybe they could be friends ^.^ head on over to Susan's if you want to read Smokey Blue's story, but be warned! you'll probably end up wanting an angora bunnie for yourself!

well short post for today folks, i'm actually "working" right now, which basically involves me sitting around my apartment waiting for an order. i'm a "mobile server" which is basically just a euphemism for "delivery girl" xD

i hope everyone's finding a way to stay cool. ttfn ^^/


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

day 4: new plans for the Etsy shop

Tour de Fleece day 12:

it's been tough spinning in this heat, it just makes me feel so lethargic. but i'm glad to announce that i FINALLY managed to finish spinning my "attempted" laceweight today :)

i say attempted because i can tell that some parts are closer to fingering weight. but at least a good majority of it is definitely true laceweight, not bad for a first attempt!

{all caked up and ready to ply}

i've been plying it sporadically throughout the day as i clean up the house a bit. had to dust off the ol' fan now that our first heatwave of the summer has hit us full force. there aren't a lot of things i miss about living in Las Vegas, but at least out there it was a criminal offense not to have air conditioning in apartments xD
but despite the opressive heat i'm actually starting to get some things done for my Etsy shop. today i took pictures of the first two handspun yarns i'll be offering in my shop and the first circular needle holder i finished!

{cotton candy blues - 163 yds, dk weight 2 ply, 100% Blue Face Leicester wool}

these two yarns were spun from roving i got in a swap on Ravelry. this first one is from Long Dog yarns and i loved the addition of a smokey, almost periwinklish navy blue to the traditional cotton candy colors pink/yellow/blue.

{the color purple - 107 yds, dk weight 2 ply yarn, 100% Merino wool}

and this one is Fleecemakers Fibers. this is one of the SOFTest Merino wools i've ever worked with. seriously, this yarn is like butter.

now, every time i've offered one of these circular needle holders in a swap they've been snatched up faster than you can say Malabrigo! so i got the bright idea to make a bunch to sell in my Etsy shop. this is the first one i've finished so far.

{golden flora - circular needle holder}

its my own modified design of a circular needle holder pattern i found in the original Stitch n Bitch book (look familiar Sarah? ^.^)

i also got the fabric for this in a swap, anyone else noticing a theme here? the ravelry swaps are like my own personal supply shop, lol :P

i'll probably be listing all 3 of these tomorrow, as well as working on a few more of the circular needle holders in a different fabric. oh yeah and my Etsy widget on my blog will be back up once i fill the shop out a bit more with the new merchandise. but for right now it's time to hit the hay, i'm just barely squeezing in with my blog post for today with 2 minutes until midnight.

peace & love everyeone ^^/


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

day 3: translator troubles and fat spindle woes

Tour de Fleece day 11:

it's a smouldering day here in southern california...the first truly hot day of the summer. according to it is currently 84 degrees :O

but i suppose i shouldn't complain because i know a lot of you back east have been dealing with the heat for quite some time now.

and as i melt slightly in my non-airconditioned apartment i've been having great difficulties spinning up the last of my laceweight.

{broken yarnz = broken dreamz :<}

if you're a spinner then i'm sure you already know what this very sad looking little pile of random slightly twisted peices of fibre is. but for those of you who don't spin, all of these little peices of fibre represent a moment in my spinning where the spindle got away from me >.<

now, people have been telling me on ravelry how crazy i am not to break up my roving into smaller more manageable peices, especially when spinning laceweight. but that's just not how i roll... maybe i'm a glutton for punishment, or maybe it's just a strong stubborn urge to prove it "can" be done, even if it might not necessarily be the best idea?

i guess for the time being i'll continue to fall victem to FSS (fat spindle syndrom.) but i am down to the homestretch now, just this last little bit of fibre and then it's on to the plying! am i the only one who gets excited about plying?

and on a slightly sad note, i've lost my translator...

you might have noticed that i spruced up the ol' blog a bit for summer and in honor of my 30 day blog a thon. well for some reason my translator isn't compatible with these new templates or something because it just stopped working. i haz a sad :(

but hopefully i'll be able to find a different one that will be compatible with my blog. i don't even know if any of my visitors ever used it, but i personally liked being able to see my blog in a bunch of different languages xD

well folks hopefully by tomorrow i'll have some finished laceweight handspun to show you but for now i'm signing off.

stay cool everyone ^^/


Monday, July 12, 2010

day 2 of my month long blog-a-thon

Tour de Fleece Day 10:

today is a day of rest for the Tour de Fleece (and Tour de France) but that hasn't stopped me from spinning, knitting, and sewing up a storm! i recently decided to sew up some of my circular needle holders for sale in my Etsy shop since whenever i've offered them in swaps they've been snatched up pretty quickly. i'm also considering offering my handspun in my Etsy shop too, but it's so hard to part with!

and for those of you who remember that lovely colorchanging turquoise/black yarn i spun i have a pic of the little mini scarf i knit with it.

the pattern is Vertex by Galia Lael and it can be found on Ravelry here. i only had 130 yards to work with, so it is rather small, but i love the way the color change effect turned out. i'll probably spin a bunch more yarns like this, i've just been on a color changing kick lately.

and speaking of which i've just ordered this gorgeous fibre pack to that end.

i found it at The Rainbow Room on Etsy (probably my fav new Etsy shop.) this is the "Peacock" fibre pack, i think it's going to make one hell of an awesome color changing yarn...i may even have to make another Vertex with this once i'm done spinning it!

well that's all for today folks, i'll probably be finishing my latests spinning WIP tonight or tomorrow so be sure to look out for pics of the FO ^.^

peace & love


Sunday, July 11, 2010

life...and the Tour de Fleece

i know i've been absent from my blog for some time now. in truth, my marriage has been in trouble for the last few months, and i think it's finally come to the point where it's falling apart for good. obviously as a result i've been a bit preoccupied as of late. but i'm at the point now where i think i just need to stop worrying all the time and start trying to live my life and be productive as best i can. therefore, in an effort to stave off madness and occupy my mind with better things, i'm challenging myself to blog every day for 1 month, starting today.
todays installment is all about the "Tour de Fleece." for those of you who don't spin, or just don't know about the TdF, it's a little friendly competition where we spin every day of the Tour de France. we all try to set goals for ourselves and challenge ourselves to try out new techniques, or do some stashbusting etc. but the best part of all is that i've been able to "multitask" by spinning these yarns as homework assignments for the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup competition ^.^

Days 1-5:

{Tropical Breeze handspun - 75% BFL 25% Tussah Silk}

i started the tour off by spinning this gorgeous BFL/Silk blend roving from Woolie Bullie. this roving was utterly decadent to spin with. i'm of the opinion that BFL is one of the softest wool breeds, and the silk in it gives such a lovely drape.

{my History of Magic assignment for July}

it took me the first 5 days of tour to finish off that Tropical Breeze, and then i moved on to one of my fav rovings i've worked with so far; "A Beautiful Butterfly" handdyed Corriedale Cross roving from Color Bug Yarns.

Days 6-7

{A Beautiful Butterfly - all spun up into a sport weight single}

{Potions Homework for July}

this was my first time working with a Corriedale breed wool and i have to say that i enjoyed it thoroughly. while it's not quite as soft as Merino or BFL, i found it very easy to work with and draft. not to mention these colors are just so gorgeous. Color Bug Yarns has some of the deepest richest color saturation i've seen out there for the price (it's very affordable stuff.) i managed to spin this up in just 2 days, although i was trying for a lace single and i ended up with a sport weight single. i guess i've still got a long way to go to perfecting my spinning technique!

Days 7-9

{Azlan - 100% Merino roving}
for the past few days i've been plodding along at my most recent spinning WIP. since i wasn't able to pull off a laceweight yarn with the Beautiful Butterfly roving, i decided to give it another go with this Azlan roving. for those of you who don't spin, laceweight yarn takes FOREVER to spin, especially on a spindle as opposed to a wheel. but i did chose this fibre because it's only 3oz (the other two were 4oz) so i'm hoping to be able to get this done in the next few days. this will be my assignment for Charms.
well that's all for today folks. i'll be back tomorrow to post some updates of some of my knitting WIP's as well as this lovely-but-ever-so-time-consuming lace handspun. today is day 9 of the tour so i'm off to spin ^^/