Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sneak Peek

OK, I said I wasn't going to blog about my swap project for Bea until she received it, but I am going to give a little teaser. My part of the trade was to spin up some merino roving she purchased from AllSpunUp. And the thing about spinning handpainted roving is, you never know what you're gonna get. It looks different as singles than as roving, and it looks different plied than it does as singles. So I think I can show you a little without giving it all away.

First off, I split the roving differently from what I've been doing. Instead of tearing it into strips of various sizes and spinning from the end, I laid out the roving and tore it into thirds. Because of the way it was dyed, this gave me two lengths of roving that were mostly purple and one that was mostly blue/green. I then split each of these three sections into fourths and spun them up successively on three separate bobbins, one bobbin for each third.

Sneak Peek
Almost looks like different colorways, no?

What does the resulting yarn look like? I can't tell you! It went to the post office today. What I can tell you is that this merino is like buttah. How long has it been since I spun merino that wasn't superwash?

Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

It's going around.

Bea tagged me with a meme, and since I just painted three rooms' ceilings by myself today and am quite tired of working over my head, I welcome the opportunity to play on the computer for a bit.

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
Moving back to Texas for the summer after my first year of college.

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):
a. paint the living room ceiling (check)
b. paint the dining room ceiling (check)
c. paint the front bedroom ceiling (check) (notice a trend?)
d. check the Memorial Day sale price at Sherwin-Williams (check)
e. laundry (yeah, right)

3. Snacks I enjoy:
I'm not a huge snacker, but I will occasionally have crackers and cheese, ice cream, or yogurt. I'm a huge fan of dairy.

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Buy a big ranch in the Pacific Northwest where my husband could have cows (he was raised on a cattle ranch) and I could have sheep and we could be total and complete hermits together.

5. Places I have lived:
What counts as living somewhere? Let's say three months or more.

Rural West Texas
Durham, NC
Broomfield, CO (suburb between Denver and Boulder)
Kerrville, TX
San Antonio, TX
Bristol, UK
Austin, TX
Dallas, TX
Small town East Texas

6. Jobs I have had:
web designer, university genetics department, university hospital neurosurgery department, university computer science department, law clerk, attorney

7. People to know more about:
I'm, uh, much too lazy to tag people today. If you want to participate, consider yourself tagged.

Just for fun, a photo I took one year ago, when I was on vacation with my husband for our anniversary in Smoky Mountain National Park, Tennessee.

This time last year

I wish I was there now.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

All knitting has stopped.

But spinning continues for the time being. More on that later.

The house is coming along all right. The kitchen and bathrooms are painted, even the kitchen cabinets, and I've got the paint fume hangover to prove it today. We spent all last week prepping the rest of the house for paint and were going to spray it with my parents' paint sprayer on Friday but, even after messing with it all day, we never got it to work. So we rented a paint sprayer and my husband and I sprayed the rest of the walls on Saturday.

If anyone ever tells you that a paint sprayer is faster and easier than rolling paint, don't believe them. It takes way more prep, makes a huge mess, and, in our inexperienced hands, didn't give great coverage. What's worse, the beige I picked that looked beige in the store and beige in the sunlight looks positively pink on the walls. It's horrible. So, after all that, we have to buy 10 more gallons of paint and start over.

We debated whether to go ahead and hire someone to finish painting or whether I should do it. The cost of hiring it done would be offset by the fact that we could move in earlier and stop paying rent. However, reports are that the local painters kind of do a sloppy job, so my agony will not be ending any time soon. I'm taking a break today, but tomorrow I'll be painting ceilings.

When I get at home at the end of the day, I'm way too exhausted to knit lace without making a royal mess of it. I guess I could work on the easy scarf project, but it's still in the car from the San Antonio trip, and I'm just not that into it right now.

But spinning is still soothing.

Insect Wings singles

Insect Wings

Insect Wings

440 yds/ 5 1/8 oz, I'm guessing DK weight.
Hello Yarn Fiber Club, January 2008 "Insect Wings"

I spun it for short color repeats, so whatever I knit with it should be really stripy. I don't have the imagination right now to try to figure out what that will be, though.

I also got this great swap package from Bea this week that just made my day. She really went above and beyond.

Bea's Bags

I got a knitting bag, a sock bag, a notions bag, and some pretty blue stitch markers that are the perfect size for lace. If you like it, also check out her Etsy shop. Warning: she also dyes some gorgeous sock yarns.

Now it's my turn to do a little something for her. Thankfully I get the last word, as it were, so I can make sure my part measures up. I've already gotten started, but I'm going to wait to blog it until she receives it so she'll be surprised.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Knitting content, at last!

But no knitting pictures. My husband had to go to San Antonio for work last week, and I got to tag along, so pictures of that, instead.


Because my knitting doesn't look like much. And I haven't had a chance to take pictures of it. Spare time has been spent moving it toward completion.

Alamo grounds

I have a lace project for Mother's Day. Which is already late. Luckily, Mom is in town through this weekend, so if I can get the other 3/4 of the edging done by Saturday, maybe it will be blocked and ready for her to take home.

Menger Hotel, San Antonio, TX

It's knit with the handspun I showed you last time. Knitting with this handspun is not encouraging me to move away from spinning laceweight. I hope I don't run out.

Menger old lobby ceiling

I'm also knitting a simple scarf from handspun. It's my easy knitting, and it got a lot of play on the drive down.

Menger courtyard

I didn't do any shopping in San Antonio.


OK, I bought two novels.

Riverwalk, San Antonio, TX

But I didn't shop on the Riverwalk, because I would rather check out the LYSes than pay tourist prices for stuff I don't need.


But I didn't go to the LYSes, either, because I'd rather buy wool than yarn. Spinning, it's a sickness.

See there, you got to take a walk around San Antonio in May without even getting hot.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

More laceweight; somebody stop me!

So I finally got around to finishing that laceweight tussah silk I showed you a while ago. I ended up scrapping what I had done so far, because after fondling the silk laceweight I bought at DFW Fiber Fest, there was just no denying it was overspun. So I sat down at the Matchless with the rest of the fiber and tried to walk the line for soft singles that have enough twist not to fall apart. I spun from the end of the strips I had pulled from the top and didn't have as much waste as I did when spinning from the fold. Once my left hand gets a layer of silk filaments on it, no more seem to stick, so it was the cleaning off that was my main problem before.

You know you're addicted when you come home from sanding ceilings, take a shower, and continue plying lace. I did wait until this morning to skein it up, though.

Tussah Silk Laceweight

Tussah Silk Laceweight

Tussah Silk Laceweight

810 yards / 3 3/8 oz
~34 wpi

I think I'll lay off the laceweight spinning for a little while now. If I can.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Panda food makes pretty yarn.

"Sunflowers" bamboo laceweight singles

"Sunflowers" laceweight bamboo singles

"Sunflowers" laceweight bamboo singles

"Sunflowers" laceweight bamboo singles

Don'tcha think? I petted this bamboo roving almost daily since I received it as my March shipment of the Zen String fiber club. I knew what I wanted to do with it as soon as I first saw it, both how I wanted to spin it and what I wanted to knit with it. This is about 800 yards of laceweight singles, with long color shifts. What nice drape it has. Now I'm petting the skein every day. I need to finish another project or two before I get started.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Coffee Scarf

Back in January, I was shipped some batts called "An Open Window to a New Opportunity" for my Flawful Fibers club membership. We've made some pretty big changes starting in January, starting with me getting out of a very bad (for me) job, my husband finding a great job in a new town, and us getting the heck outta Dodge, er, Dallas.

First Skein of Open Window

So I had some special feelings toward this fiber. And it had a few things to teach me. I spun it up as kind of a thick and thin singles yarn. I wanted it to be more even, but due to the nature of the batts, it just wasn't possible. Sometimes you have to give up a little control. Then I began to stress about what to knit with it. I cast on for a project, but it just wasn't working. I finally ripped it and tried a crochet pattern, and it worked. If at first you don't succeed, don't be afraid to try something completely different.

crocheted handspun scarf

The pattern is Tea Scarf by pixeldiva, but I was drinking coffee when I finished mine, so it's a coffee scarf.

crocheted handspun scarf

I made it a little longer because I had a little more yarn to use up, and use it up I did. This is all that's left:

all gone!

See that other thing in the picture? The mouse? It's attached to (well, wirelessly attached to) a shiny new Mac that uploads my large photo files in the blink of an eye and lets me edit them on its big shiny screen. Since I don't have to sit around waiting 15 minutes for iPhoto to load anymore, y'all can probably expect more frequent posting. After this month, anyway. I'm going to be busy doing some home improvements and preparing for another move over the next few weeks.