New Project

I swear I have project ADD. Started a new scarf tonight - I love Catherine Wheels and this pattern caught my attention. I'm changing a few things (I've done CW's before and like 'my' method better) but it's very similar. Love these colors; they are so "me". The yarn is Berroco's 'Lustra', a 50/50 blend of wool and tencel, that I've wanted to try out for awhile now. Finally found the perfect project.


What's on the Hook

Now that Fair stuff is done, I'm all about getting samples ready for Fall classes - I have 12 on the calendar over the next 3 months at my favorite LYS - and making new stuff. So far I've started a sweater - a remake of the Caffe Cardigan I did last year, using a thinner yarn and changing a few things I didn't care for in the original -
and a silk shawl. This is #8 for '10 Shawls in 2010', using Lion Brand's popular South Bay Shawlette pattern, an easy 2-row repeat that is flying off the hook. Love this yarn - 'Chaiten' by Araucania, a DK-weight, 100% silk yarn that is just yummy.

After this? Scarves and shawls and samples, oh my!


By the Skin of My Teeth

Finished everything this morning and took my entries to the Fair - on the last day, of course. I ended up with 10 entries; would have had 11 but I cut a stray thread on a crocheted Christmas ornament just a little too close to the knot and the whole thing started to unravel.
The next to last thing I finished was the Doily Afghan (Ravelry link) -
made from a thread doily pattern using approx. 1500 yards of a worsted weight yarn. Love how it turned out.

And the very last thing I got done - just before noon this morning - was sewing the buttons on the Sweet Cabled Cardi (Ravelry link).
In the rush to get out the door, I forgot to take a 'finished' picture. Guess it'll have to wait until after the Fair. Cross your fingers for me; I'm hoping for some 'blue' in my future.


Mermaid Princess

Nothing like a deadline to get me motivated. Put the finishing touches on Addy's Mermaid Princess blanket last night so I could take photos today. Tomorrow it heads for entry in the local county Fair.
Still debating whether or not to add another color sequence (4 rows) to make this just a bit bigger. For now, it's plenty big enough.

Pattern: Wool Eater Blanket by Sarah London. I've made several of these, from a single block to this almost double bed size. Love this pattern.

Yarn: Lion Brand Pound of Love in Bubble Gum, Lavender and Turquoise. Colors were the request of Addy's Mommy, to match Addy's new room.


Mighty Mantle Photo Shoot

I have a new favorite shawl - #7 of 10 for me in the '10 Shawls in 2010' challenge on Ravelry. Pattern - Magnificent Mantle by Crochet Kitten
Yarn - 552 yards (almost to the inch) of handspun Louet Northern Lights Wool in 'Mulled Wine'
Hook - size H/5.0 mm
Modifications - several, since I used a thinner yarn and smaller hook than was specified in the pattern. My notes are here.
Leia was kind enough to model the finished shawl for me. (Right. I threw this over her shoulders and chased her around the yard, trying to get a few pictures. She thought that was a great game.)

Click picture to see it bigger

She's Here!

Heard the doorbell this afternoon and opened the door to find this - Hubby broke out his handy-dandy knife (since sharp objects and I don't get along so well . . . ) - and opened the well-packed and -padded box - to find my new treasure inside. She survived the trip very well and is happy to be in her new home. Now only two questions remain: what to name her* and what project to make first.

*Suggestions? I was thinking 'Ashley' since she's an Ashford loom, but that isn't resonating with me. My other big looms are 'Baby' (Baby Wolf) and 'Wally' (Walling loom). The wheels are Florence (after a favorite grandmother), Bekki (just because) and Eleanor (after Eleanor Roosevelt; the wheel is stubborn and opinionated but makes beautiful yarn.)


Own Self!

In the span of just two weeks, Leia has gone from baby to full-fledged toddler. It's amazing how much difference there is - she's much steadier on her feet, walking and running with no little balance wobbles; she tells you what she wants rather than pointing and whining - we don't always understand her but she's definitely trying to communicate; and she wants to do it her Own Self!

Case in point: After finishing off her PB&J sandwich openface-style (which is why it's everywhere, even up her nose), Leia insisted on eating her applesauce By.Her.Self.Thankyouverymuch. The majority of it ended up in her mouth, a much different outcome than even two weeks ago. Thank goodness she likes having her face washed. It took us awhile to get this mess cleaned up.

Blankie update: The doily blanket is about half done. Need to have it finished by Sunday, at the latest, so I can enter it in the Fair. Crossing fingers. . . .


7 of 10

Shawls, that is. I finished shawl #7 for my '10 Shawls in 2010' challenge, which puts me right on schedule for the year.

Lily heard the first shutter click and came running. She does love having her picture taken.

And this shawl is extra special to me since it's made with yarn I spun earlier in the year.

Finishing this wasn't without its bit of drama, though. Since it isn't store-bought, I had 552 yards to work with and that was it. I modified the pattern as I went, keeping track of how much I used on each row and how many tenths of ounces I had remaining. And I came thisssss close to getting it right. Less than a yard short.

So I ripped out the last border row and used that yarn to crochet a one-row border along the top edge, something I thought the shawl needed but that the pattern didn't call for.

After a quick soak in aqua-scented Soak, my Mighty Mantle is pinned out and drying. I'm hoping to get some good FO pictures tomorrow while Leia is here.


Still Pedaling -Tour de Fleece

Even though I missed five days of spinning while we were on vacation, I've gotten a lot spun during this year's Tour de Fleece. In addition to the Rocket Yarn Romney and the purple Susie's Special Merino, alpaca and silk, I've finished 4.4 oz of BeeMiceElf Falkland top in 'Bitten' - 360 yards of 2-ply in about a DK-weight. And started on my last bump of BME roving - 4.2 ounces of BFL in 'Secluded'. Hoping to have this finished by Monday or Tuesday.

This Tour was supposed to be about busting the stash and cutting down on the amount of spin-able fiber I have hidden away. So what did I do yesterday? Oh yeah - bought more fiber. Hey, somebody has to keep the indie dyers in business! (SpaceCadet Creations on Etsy.)



I love it when a plan - or project - comes together. When I started this scarf, my idea was to make rows of hexagons and half-hexs using two different colors of sock yarn. I used the Super Simple Hexagon pattern (here), combined with my favorite join-as-you-go method (here), and added a simple, slightly bumpy border to finish it off. The yarn - Regia sock yarn in two Kaffe Fassett colorways (here) - turned out to be DK-weight rather than the fingering weight I expected of a sock yarn. Which worried me the entire time I was making this because it was wider than I thought it should be. Turns out that's a good thing. I love how you can fold one edge to make a collar that frames your face; or fold it in half to wrap warmly around your neck; or sew the sleeve ends together to make a cute shrug; or add two more hexs to each row and call it a shawl.
I love the colors and the drape of this - bet it gets lots of use this winter.


Handspun Shawl

Got the bug to start a new shawl tonight - since I don't have enough projects going already (yeah, right). The pattern is Magnificent Mantle by Crochet Kitten (Ravelry link; non-Ravelry link) and I'm using the 550 yards of Louet Northern Lights wool top in 'Mulled Wine' that I finished spinning in June.
I want to enter this in the county fair so it has to be done by Sunday, July 26 at the very latest. Along with two afghans and a sweater that are also still in the works. Piece.Of.Cake.


Still Spinning

Finished plying the Rocket Yarn Romney - 248 yards of 2-ply that's about a DK-weight; it's more of a cherry red and black than the purple-ish my monitor is showing - and started spinning some Bee Mice Elf Falkland that's just heavenly. Pictures of that tomorrow.

Also bought a new-to-me 8-harness, 24" wide Ashford loom. It's being shipped from Wisconsin so I'm hoping to have it in hand in another week or so.
And for those who are counting, this is loom #3. (unless you count the 2 knitters/rigid heddle looms and the 2 inkle looms. Then it's loom #7.)


Weave & Spin; Spin & Weave

Today's doubleweave class was more successful for me - I feel like I finally 'got it'. You can see both layers of the towel in the first photo - and the blue arrow below shows where the fold/join is between the layers. I'm going to play around with the treadling sequence and put some different patterns in here when I get a little closer to the end. It's going to take a little while to work my way through this 3.5 yard warp but I definitely see more doubleweave in my future.

Finished spinning the 4 ounces of Rocket Yarn's New Zealand Romney 48's combed top that I purchased last year. Letting it rest overnight before plying it tomorrow. I love Tour de France/Fleece time - I get more spinning done during these 26 days than the rest of the year combined.


Fiber Day

We got home last night about 9 pm, after 11 hours on the road. This morning I was up and in a weaving class at 9:30 am. I've been looking forward to this doubleweave class for a long time; couldn't let a little thing like exhaustion keep me from going.

I had a hard time wrapping my head around the doubleweave concept. How you can weave two layers of fabric at the same time and unfold them into a single layer twice the original width. This 8" wide warp will become a 16" towel when I take it off the loom. It's the coolest thing to see take shape. Not sure I'll do a lot of this - it's pretty fiddly - but I love knowing how it works.
Our trip to Pt. Arena put us a few days behind on following the Tour de France, so we watched two stages tonight while I plied the two bobbins I'd spun before we left. 240 yards of probably DK-weight lusciousness; alpaca, silk and wool. Beautiful color and so soft. Love it!


Skunk Train

On our second day in Pt. Arena, we drove the 45 miles to Ft. Bragg for a 5-hour ride on the Skunk Train* ("You can smell them before you can see them." - at least that was true for the original gas engines; the current diesel engines are more olfactory-friendly.)Just a few miles outside town, we were deep into a 60-year-old redwood forest, home to a few hardy souls whose only way back to town is flagging down the train and jumping on board. There are no roads in this area, so everything and everybody is brought in - and out - by rail. We stopped once to pick up passengers on our way to a tri-tip & chicken dinner under the trees in Willits that was at least partially cooked on a whole row of these antique US Army-issue cast-iron stoves that had to have been brought up by train and then man-handled into position. I was pretty impressed with the quality of food they produced, until I saw the very modern bbq grills the cooks were actually using to cook the meat.

An open observation car provided lots of opportunity for picture-taking, while a local guide provided commentary on the history of the area, the train and redwood logging. All in all, a very peaceful way to spend an afternoon.
*We also found the local knit shop, where Carolyn and I happily spent an hour or so; and a local bakery that had the best pies and cobbler - including Gualala (pronounced a-LA-la) berry that was outstanding.