Tuesday, December 08, 2009


I made a pretty yarn the other day. It's so pretty that it's PURTY. I loves it so much and I have no idea why I'm talking in this manner but I likes it.

The fiber was from my monthly Spunky fix. I was drawn to spin this simply by the colors alone. You may not be able to get the full effect on your monitor and I'm horrible at classifying colors but trust me, the varying hues of blue, brown and green are a-ma-zing.

I started spinning this during the end of summer. When the weathers nice, my spinning buddy Sahara and I like to take out wheels out into the wilds of Harlem. We meet at a local park and just chill and spin. I like to tote my hitchhiker to the park on those days so thats where the fiber started its journey. i took long breaks in between singles but I eventually finished this yarn last week.

I broke the roving into three (somewhat) equal lengths and spun it that way. I don't do many three ply yarns so this was great practice. Especially after all that I learned at SOAR. Speaking of SOAR, I'm going to attempt to give the specs on this yarn as its done in Spin Off (have you seen their latest issue? All I can say is WOW.)

Fiber: 4 ounces of Corriedale - April '09 Spunky Club (Soul Windows)
Preparation: Combed Top
Wheel: Merlin Tree Hitchhiker (singles) / Louet Victoria (plying)
Drafting method: Forward Short Draw
Wheel System: Scotch Tension (both)
Singles ratio: 7:1
Singles direction spun: S
Singles wraps per inch: 30
Plied ratio: 6:1
Plied direction spun: Z
Plied twist per inch: 4
Plied wraps per inch: 12
Total Yardage: 120
Yards per pound: 494.85
Yarn classification: Sport Weight

That was fun wasn't it? I should try this blogging thing more often dontcha think? I'm actually going to gift this yarn to someone. She reaads my blog so it won't be that much of a surprise. Hopefully she'll be able to make something really cool out of it! Til next time kiddies.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Back in Business

This is a small drive by post to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. I recently acquired a netbook in a pre black Friday sale so you should be hearing a lot more from me. In the meantime, you can hop on over to one of my sista-in-crafts' blog for some fiber content. She's super creative and I'm so glad that she decided to finally take the plunge into blogdom! Gobble, Gobble folks!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

It took a trip to Oregon to get me out of hibernation

SOAR 2009 book & cloth
If you haven't guessed, I recently went to spinners heaven, also know as SOAR. For those non fiber heads out there, the acronym stands for Spin Off Autumn Retreat and I was one of the lucky few who received a scholarship (YAY)! It was absolutely surreal but I will try to put into words all that I experienced.

First of all, I screamed and cried when I found out I got the scholarship. Then I freaked out into a bunch of "ohmygodohmygodohmygod"s once I found out who I was rooming with. I had the pleasure of spending the week with cotton spinning diva Stephenie Gaustad. Sadly I didn't get any pictures of her but I felt so honored to be in her presence and yes she did the eyebrow thing a lot. She is a wealth of knowledge and shared her spinning treasures freely. She is just a genuine person that I grew very attached to. I miss our morning chats over a nice cuppa tea already. Between her and Phreadde, I think I've got this cotton spinning thing licked for sure.
Takli & assorted cotton

I began the week with a three day workshop with Judith MacKenzie Mccuin. Yeah, I know. I'll let that sink in for a minute. The topic was spinning for socks but we got that and so much more. I won't get into everything right now because I just don't have the time but I will share one tidbit. During the week I would run into random SOARers and they would ask "Whats one thing you learned?" My answer was usually this: I learned that functional yarn does not have to be pretty. That means that if I want to spin yarn for a light lofty sweater or a durable sock it does not have to look like mill spun it. For some reason this really changed my way of thinking. Like I feel a load has been lifted.

On Wednesday, I sat down to lunch and guess who was seated a couple of chairs down from me.....Evelyn (Swallowtail Shawl) Clarke! I didn't warn you guys that I would be dropping names like dimes but its so much fun. I couldn't think of anything cool or witty to say when I first recognized her so I just stayed quiet. She did seem quite lovely though.

There was an impromptu spinning contest and I was unwillingly entered into the contest by one of my pushy retreatmates that wouldn't take no for an answer. I came in last but thats OK because I keep telling myself that I had the prettiest yarn of them all.

I may seem all over the place in this post but its like information overload. You know what I mean? Anyway, I got to hang out with another scholarship recipient Erin. She's my new BFF. She's so giving and creative and I'm so glad that I met her. We had a swilling good time! I had to travel all the way to Oregon to meet Jimbobspins too who lives all the way in Brooklyn (go figure). Hopefully I'll be able to stalk meet up with him at a spinning meetup.

I took four retreat classes on Friday and Saturday. I got to drum card luxury fiber with Abby (I'd like to think that we're BFF"s in my head), mix colors with Deb (I also like to think that we're all on a first name basis like that), dye squishy fiber with Amy (I really wish that I could've had one of my braids dyed pink) and spin long draw with Maggie (What a delight, she even offered us a popcorn glove).

Like a dummy, I didn't whip out my camera as often as I should, but here's the loot that I scored at the market. I got two spindles. The square one is from Spindlewood and its a square red palm whorl with an ebony shaft. My other spindle is a Tom Forrester and it spins like a dream.

Eight ounces of polworth fiber from Rovings in the apple colorway (couldn't.resist.)
Rovings fiber

Two ounces of a polworth/silk blend from A Verb for Keeping Warm
A Verb for Keeping Warm

Two ounces of a baby alpaca/cashmere blend from The Fold

Four ounces of Optim from Chameleon Colorworks
Chameleon Colorworks

Four ounces of Targhee in the Golden olive colorway from Tactile (Hi Maia!)
Tactile Fiber

Skein of lightweight STR in the Vine Maple colorway
socks that rock

I also purchased some of the SOAR fiber who's proceeds benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and SOAR scholarship fund. It is eight ounces of a BBFL and Tussah Silk mix from Ashalnd Bay.
SOAR fiber

Once I get my projects from class organized I'll share them in pieces on this blog. My computer is on the fritz right now so I've been using my fiance's macbook which is not as easy for me to navigate. When I get my own laptop I'll be able to post a lot more. I'm sure I'm leaving tons of stuff out but I don't want this post to get too long. I'll catch you guys on the flip side.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

A Gallery of Yarns

Here's some of the yarn I've spun in the past month.

Fiber: Merino
Colorway: N/A
Purchased: online somewhere
Ply: 2
Weight: .92 ounces
Yardage: 50 yards
WPI: 12 - Light worsted
Spun on: My Spinning Bunny spindle

Fiber: Wool/Mohair
Colorway: Carnival - hand dyed by me using easter egg dyes
Purchased: Sheep Shed Studio
Ply: 2
Weight: 1.62 ounces
Yardage: 65.44 yards
WPI: 11 - Worsted weight
Spun on: Louet Victoria Wheel

Fiber:Naturally Dyed BFL
Colorway: Dogwood
Purchased: Tactile Fiber Arts via Rhinebeck '08
Ply: 2
Weight: 2.12 ounces
Yardage: 68.33 yards
WPI: 13 - worsted weight
Spun on: Merlin Tree Hitchhiker Wheel

Fiber: Corriedale
Colorway: Green
Purchased: A long time ago on Ebay
Ply: 1
Weight: 1.30 ounces
Yardage: 60 yards
WPI: 15 - Sport weight
Spun on: Louet Victoria Wheel

Fiber: Merino Wool
Colorway: Shades of green (base color dyed by me)
Purchased: Variety of colors in one ounce pieces purchased on Ebay
Ply: 3 - Navajo plied
Weight: 1.84 ounces
Yardage: 48.3 yards
WPI: 8 - Bulky
Spun on: Louet Victoria Wheel

Fiber: Shetland Wool
Colorway: Selfish
Purchased: Spunky Fiber Club
Ply: 2
Weight: 3.96
Yardage: 123.5 yards
WPI: 11 - Heavy worsted weight
Spun on: Merlin Tree Hitchiker Wheel

Fiber: Merino
Colorway: Say a Little Prayer
Purchased: Crown Mountain Farms - Sock Hop
Ply: 2
Weight: 4.30 ounces
Yardage: 131.04 yards
WPI: 11 - worsted weight
Spun on: Merlin Tree Hitchhiker Wheel

Sunday, July 05, 2009

I still knit...really I do!

It seems like when I post, most of the time it's about spinning and I always promise knitting content in the next one. Even though Tour de Fleece is in full swing, I'm going to try to stick to my word. The only problem is that I'm horrible at taking pictures of my stuff. I want to take pictures of my stuff in natural daylight but its kinda hard to do in my hood (and I do mean hood) and I get terrible lighting in my apartment and a bunch of other excuses that contribute to my procrastination. I'm going to force myself right now to take some pics of my stuff becasue I really want to share. I still knit and crochet, honestly I do. OK, wait right here while I take some crappy indoor pics of my stuff in this dwindling daylight...............

Thanks for waiting. I'm all done taking crappy photos, now on to the knits.

I finally finished my Primavera Shrug (just in time for Verano). The only reason this took me so long to knit was due to my aprehension about picking up stitches around the border. I was dreading it but I had nothing to be afraid of. Sure it took me a while to pick up all those stitches but once I did, it only took my like a week to knit the ruffle collar. I can be a big baby at times. The yarn is wool and its super warm. This will come in handy this fall. Details can be found here on ravelry.

I also recently finished up a pair of socks that functioned as "busy knitting". I only knit these during commutes and standing in lines. Basically anywhere I had time to kill. This is a Cookie A pattern from her book Sock Innovation ( I forget which pattern so check out the ravelry page for details) that I did toe up. I actually ended up doing the gusset heel from Wendy Johnsons Book Socks from the Toe Up. I love both books so I took my favorite from both and kinda remixed it.

The last project I just finished was a cute vest for a baby shower I went to this past Friday. I found out about the shower on Wednesday. I had plans to be in the Lionbrand Studio with my meetup group on Thursday so I figured I'd get yarn then. I casted on that night and finished about 4 Friday morning. I would've been finished earlier but me and my boo went out for dinner and then to see the new Transformers movie. I love the pattern and I plan on using it for last minute shower gifts.

My current project is a shrug that I saw someone knitting at one of my meetups last week and I fell in love with it. I just grabbed some yarn out the stash and casted on on my way to the baby shower. I love the way it's coming along and I can't wait to finish. The pattern is called the shawl collard vest and hopefully it won't take me a year to finish.

So thats about it for now. See I really do still knit! I did lose my mojo for a while there but its back now, all is well. Oh I almost forgot, we just added a new member to our herd. Meet Danny.He is a very active little kitten and adorabel to boot. Took me like fifteen tries to get a fairly decent pic of him too becasue he wouldn't stay still. I'm sure you'll be seeing more pics of him on this blog. Till next time kiddies.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Yarny Post

The thing I dislike most about not posting regularly are these marathon posts. Usually, I'm trying to fit a couple of months worth of progress into something that doesn't take days to read. I'm going to try something new and see how it fairs. This post will be focused on yarn. Maybe the next one will be about FO's since I have a few WIP's that are nearing completion and maybe another one about dyeing or whatever shiny thing that happens to hold my attention at the moment.

So, yarn....lets see, where do I start. I'll start with my pretties. These are my most recent spinning projects.
I joined the Spunky club again this year because frankly, I just love the way she dyes fiber. This is the March offering of a Dark BFL called Myrtle. I spun it a bit thicker than usual because I was in such a rush to finish it. I wish there was a such thing as squish-o-vision because this skein is so freakin' soft. I only have enough for maybe a hat or a baby sweater but its still satisfying none the less.

Weight: 3.7 ounces
Yardage: 121 yards, 523 ypp (yards per pound)
WPI: 10wpi or worsted weight

Next up is a skinny skein that I spun after a dye experiment I applied to some fiber from my stash. You can read about how I dyed the fiber here on Ravelry. I'll admit that I made a big boo-boo when I dyed it but thankfully the fiber still turned out wonderful. Here's the skein.And the stats...
Weight: 1.9 ounces
Yardage: 81 yards, 682 ypp
WPI: 12wpi or light worsted/sport weight

I am in love with this skein and I have absolutely no idea what I can make from it. I wish they had a feature on ravelry where you could put in the weight and yardage of the yarn you have and it'll automatically pull up all the patterns that qualify. Maybe they do and I'm just too lazy to have found it as of yet. Point is, this yarn is so soft that I keep it under my pillow so I can have sweet dreams at night.
Speaking of yarn, recently I took the fam on a little road trip to yarn heaven, better known as WEBS.
I went to their tent sale last weekend and spent waaaay too much money. I got great fiber but here are the irresistable yarns that just jumped right into my shopping bag.
I picked up that huge cone of unmercerized cotton for a song. The price was so unbelievable that as Kathy was ringing me up I asked her if she was for real. She said "Yeah, why do you want me to charge you more? I can if you really want me to." I quickly declined, paid my money and snatched up my winnings. I'm thinking of balling it up as needed to knit last minute baby shower gifts. The other four skeins are a bulky wool/cotton mix. A nearby friendly shopper helped me figure out how much I'd need for a sweater based on her handy dandy yarn requirements chart. Can I just say that knitters are some of the nicest people I know. During the sale, people were all bumping into each other and no one got an attitude. As if yarn fumes have a calming effect. After I purchased it, someone asked me how I plan to dye it and I didn't even think of that. I guess I'll use RIT because I think I read somewhere that it contains both ingredients to dye animal and plant fibers.

The next purchases were made inside the store and all I can say is WOW. I didn't really have a chance to explore the way I wanted to because it was just jammed packed with people but it was definitely an unforgettable experience. I'm a sucker for sock yarn so here's what I got:Sorry for the blurry pic but what you see here are two skeins of Regia Design Line - Kaffe Fassett, One big ball of Beroroco Sox in which this picture doesn't do the colors justice and the most incredible skein of Dream in Color Smooshy. I'm so glad sock yarn doesn't count as stash.

I definitely want to make another trip to WEBS. Maybe after my bank account recovers. As an aside, if you need a ride from hubby and he hates hanging out in yarn shops, you can point out that the basketball hall of fame is only a 20 minute ride away from WEBS. He can drop you off, go there and pick you up hours later. Ask me how I know? Thats about it for yarn....until next post.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sneaking away for a little R&R

I recently went away for my first vacation ever. Unbelievable right? 30 years old and never been on vacation, what a shame. After a couple of hectic weeks, I was determined to go away and recharge my battery. I felt like I was running on empty! Since the child had the whole week off of school I gladly shipped him off to grandmas house (thanks Faith!) and set out to plan my getaway.

Since I've barely traveled outside of the northeast, I decided to be a little adventurous. Even though some may think that my decision to take a vacation all by my lonesome is pretty brave, its just that sometimes I prefer my own company the best. That way I can do what I want to do when I'm ready to do it and not have to wait for anybody. Don't get me wrong, I would've liked to have had someone to chill with during my trip but it didn't work out that way so I was determined to have a good time regardless.

I ended up in booking a trip to New Orleans, the crescent city. I spent 4 wonderful days in this beautiful city. My hotel was in the French Quarter so I was within walking distance of everything. What I enjoyed most was the food. I think I gained like 10 pounds on beignets alone. I went to Cafe Du Monde about twice every day I was there.
Of course I did all the other touristy things like the trolly ride Uptown and walking around the Garden District. Had some po'boys and jambalaya, hit up the French Market and got tipsy on Bourbon street. My other hangout spot was the yarn store on Chartres street called The Quarter Stitch (sorry no web site). I absolutley loved this store. It was so vivid and lively in there, it makes you want to smile as soon as you walk in.Thats the back of Carol's head in that picture. She was lovely to chat with, I could've spent hours in that shop talking to her. And the shop dog, Leif Ericsson was such a cutie pie. You would think he had never been pet before the way he begs for attention. He even posed for a picture. I didn't get a chance to take a picture of my purchases but they wrap your yarn up for you like a present with tissue paper, confetti and lost of brightly colored curling ribbon. I don't even want to open it, thats how cute it is. All in all, I would go back to Nawlins just to visit this shop again.I'll have more pictures on my flickr and facebook but I just had to blog about this cute little shop. I know some may have questions about NO after Katrina but to tell you the truth, I opted out of taking the tour of the devestated areas. It's not that I don't care but I'm a very sensative person and I would've been boohooing the whole time so I just chose not to go there. I do highly suggest that if you're looking for a nice little getaway, New Orleans is the place to go. The weather was nice, the food was great and the people are so hospitable. So far, this is my favorite (and only) vacation.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Outta My System

Now I can finally stop obsessing over this thing. I swatched on Wednesday during Lost and casted on yesterday. I felt compelled to finish or else this thing haunt me forever. You wanna know something? After everything was said and done, I thought to myself ...."Meh".

It was a very anticlimactic moment. It didn't turn out exactly how I remembered the orginal holy grail of a hat as being but its close enough. I'm not bummed out about it though. I know that my indifference stems from my yarn choice. The original hat was done in an aran tweed and here I used lustrous Vanna's choice acrylic. By the way, Vanna's choice is my favorite acrylic yarn to use. They come in some really nice colors. Except for the baby colors, they're not my cup of tea.

All in all, my obsession has been quenched and I'm glad that I can get back to knitting my socks. I took some notes so I'll definitely be on the lookout for some tweed yarn...or maybe just try to spin some up. Did somebody say Webs anniversary sale? Who said that? Bad enablers, no cookies for you!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Trainspotting & Copycating

Thanks guys for all your comments on my last post. I really appreciate your feedback and its also nice to know that I'm not in this boat alone, knowhatimsayin?

Anyway, I sat next to this guy on the 6 train during my ride home and I couldn't help but stare at his hat. We played that little game where whenever he turned his head I would examine the stitches in his hat, then he would feel my eyes on him so he'd turn back around and I'd divert my attention really quick so he wouldn't think I was a weirdo. I'm not a shy person so I finally just blurted out " I luv your hat" with a dumb look on my face. Then Kim said (did I mention that I ride home with my co-worker & knitting confidant Kim?) "We're knitters and we were just admiring your hat". He blushed a little and said thanks and that everyone seems to comment on his hat. He picked it up at an American Eagle Urban Outfitters (something like that) store 6 years ago. We continued to oogle over his hat the rest of the ride until he got off at 103rd. Thats when the wheels started turning in my mind.

I haven't been able to keep that hat off my mind, I think I'm obsessed! The hat was a pale green with specks of other colors in it, read: tweed. It must've been wool because he tugged on it and it was pretty givey. I wanted to ask him if I could turn it inside out so I could examine theI thought was very nice of him. I know I keep beating around the bush when it comes to the details of the pattern but hey, I'm trying to create some drama here. The pattern wasn't anything complicated but it was just how everything married together so perfectly, the tweedy yarn, the close fit but not too tight, the sparse single slipped stitches on a reverse stockinette background and the icing on the cake....(wait for it).... the sideways brim knit in reverse stockinette! Simple right? But believe you me, it was fly. 

Hopefully I'll get to bed at a decent hour because I know this hat is going to keep me up for a while. Maybe I'll be able to get it out of my system by the time Lost is over.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A bit of randomness

Is blogging like riding a bike? I was just sitting here going through my blog reader wondering why I haven't posted anything in a while. To tell the truth, there really is no reason. I just kept on making excuses in my head but that doesn't explain where my blog writing avoidance stems from. I'm kinda thinking aloud here so this may seem very random although it may make perfect sense to me. I think aloud, you could say I talk to myself but this is the way that helps me have a better understanding of a situation. It just bugs me that I enjoy reading craft blogs (even if they don't have pictures) but I can't seem to find the same pleasure in writing one. My nature is to seek logic and this situation makes no sense to me. Maybe it has something to do with me being my worst critic. I avoid things that I don't excel at and expressing myself in written word form is certainly one of them. but on the other hand, when I suck at something, I like to work on it until I have mastered it, then start chasing the next windmill. In all honesty, I partly started this blog so that I would have no choice but to work on my writing so at this point, I'm refusing to give up. Maybe I can use this blog in a theraputic way to help me get over myself. All I know is that I'm not ready to give up this blog until I have this thing figured out.

Sorry for going off on a tangent but inspiration hit and I just figured I'd go with the flow. I don't really have anything crafty to show but its been so long I forget what's been showcased already and what hasn't.

Right now I'm working on knitting a pair of Leyburn socks (ravelry link) in some Yarn Pirate sock yarn from the stash. Its really, really thin but nice. I just finished the heel and I'm working my way up the cuff.

I'm also working a labor of love which is a saddle shoulder sweater for my son. I'm trying to work through my stash so I figured I'd knit something for the little one. I'm fashioning it the same dimensions as a sweater that he already owns. I had to do it this way because I'm using the "instructions" from Barbara Walkers Knitting from the Top. I didn't use the word pattern because the book basically gives you the recipe and you have to customize it yourself. I love the way this is working out because I can make certain style descisions as I go along. So far I've done the body and I'm still deciding what I want to do with the hem. I can't decide between ribbing or a folded hem. I'll probably decide by this weekend.

Thats about it for knitting although I have taken a vow to finish my Primavera (ravelry link) by the end of Primavera. I only have the last step to do which is to pick up a gazillion stitches around and knit a cute, lacy border. I just need to knock it out so that I can wear it before summer hits.

This post is already long enough, so I'll end it here. Hopefully it won't take me so long to post again.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Can I change my name....

....to Spinderella? It's only fitting since I love to spin and I'm marrying a DJ.

This is going to be a really quick post because I'm exhausted. We're in the thick of our busy season at my day job and nights of not getting to bed on time are starting to catch up with me. I've been making yarn more than I've been making FO's but I do have one to show off. I really needed a pair of mittens. I was successful at hatching a plan to have someone else can knit them for me because I'm way too indecisive when it comes to making things for myself. Only problem is that I wanted mittens NOW. So I had to cast on for something quick and simple.
Even though I only took a picture of one of them, I assure you that there is a mate. I used some angora yarn that was gifted to me by my cousin. Deets are on ravelry.

In my last post (last year), I stated that I wanted to spin up the rest of my spunky club stash from 2007 before I joined the club this year. Well I'll have you guys know that I finished before Christmas. Here are the two I had left:
Colorway: Aspen
Weight: 1.75 ounces
Yardage: Approx 134 yards
WPI: 20 - laceweight
Spun: short forward draw, navajo plied

The last one I spun using the fractal stripe method. I split the roving straight down the middle then predrafted one hole strip. I then broke the other strip up by color to keep the lights and darks seperate. I spun one bobbin of all the blues then all the pinks. I spun the second bobbin as the colors lay in the long strip then plied the two together.

I really like how it came out. I'm thinking of knitting a nice chunky hat out of it (or mittens).Colorway: Celebration
Weight: 3.375 ounces
Yardage: Approx 108 yards
WPI: 10 - Heavy Worsted
Spun: short forward draw

Lastly, I can finally say that I've tried a crosspatch creation batt....and I liked it! I picked one up at Rhinebeck just so I could see what all the hubbub was. I was having a not so good day and needed to relieve some stress. I wanted to spin something without thinking about it, without having to worry if it was even or smooth. So I pick this batt up and just started spinning all willy nilly and this is what I ended up with.
It's lumpy and bumpy and I love it.

Weight:2.875 ounces
Yardage: Approx 61 yards
WPI: 8 - Bulky
Spun: Long backward draw- point of twist

Thats about it. I'm still working on my sweater project, I've got about 5 skeins spun and I need about 6 more. I've also been working on stuff to put up in my shop. Speaking of shop, I will be posting to my Etsy Team's Blog this weekend so take a gander when you get a chance. There are also some great tutorials on there too. By the way, Happy New Year!