Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pretty, pretty!

The hydrangeas are blooming - big fat, gorgeous clumps of flowers. Oddly, this year I have one that's blooming pink (never, ever happens in our southern acid soil) and another that's blooming purple (happens, but not to me). They are gorgeous.

And this is the finished blue bamboo sample that I spun on my trindle. I was able to ply the sample on itself using the trindle - a first for me. It's a lovely, very fine yarn and I think I'm going to make Miss S a lace S bookmark with it after I've washed it and set the spin.

May Phat Fiber

This is the box that Lanolyn won. It's lovely - maybe the best one yet. First the bits - several stitch markers, a wonderful old spinning wheel necklace, a needle case, a made by tag, a bookmark, a pattern and a mini WIP bag by ruddawg - which I love! And there is a handmade ceramic button by Summer Studios .etsy that I think is fabulous - think I'll buy a set for my February Lady.

And the yarn - I got some Beautiful silk from Fiber Friendzy and some gorgeous handspun by Sheepish, some nice bare corriedale from Black Tie, green sock from Polyart Designs, some pretty blue/yellow from Serindipitous Ewe which has been claimed by a girl, and the lovely, soft and gorgeous purple from Snicklefritz.
And the fiber - oh the fiber! I finally got a Giffordables bat! And the Maude & Me sample is huge. And I wish words could convey how wonderfully soft and shiney the Portfibers braid (in the middle) is - I think I'm sleeping with it tonight. And Wild Hare sent a cute little needle felted flower button with her sample. I'll always love Feeling Sheepish - she didn't have to send me a sample cuz I'll be buying from her again and I suspect you will too! BusyBee.etsy is new to me but the sample (in the baggie) is glitzy and gorgeous and soft.

Spun Yarn

A pile of handspun yarn that is waiting to be knit. The chocolate brown in front is what's left of the alpaca/merino that I made the shawlette from. The lighter brown in front is the gray/white/brown is the stuff I entered in the contest - destined to be wrist warmers for the girls. The light green is the ecospun (recycled pop bottles)/merino that has no purpose yet. The pastel next to it is merino samples that are destined to become an I-Touch holder for a young lady. The green and blue that are behind those are destined to become short sweaters for young ladies and the pastel in the back might become a bag - someone called it for something but I can't remember what. Not shown is the deep turquoise/purple that I love and it's destined to become another shoulder shawl, probably one that I will design for myself.

The birthday before . . .

Sorry, I don't have the after. The blue box with the puffy bow on top is from you. She loved it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Spinning to Be

This is Casey, yesterday afternoon, before she went for her annual haircut. Her hair is gorgeous and soft and she's fat and fluffy.

This is Casey this afternoon, after coming home from the groomers. She's gorgeous and soft and cute as can be, but a lot slimmer and less fluffy. The hair is in a bag, ready to be shipped to a friend who will be combining it with some lovely alpaca for my spinning pleasure.

She's so pretty either way!


This is some Natural Obsessions bamboo that came in a Phat Fiber box (I think it was April). It was so lovely but I wasn't at all sure I could spin it. Then someone posted a video in the Phat Fiber Group on Ravelry and I watched it. I decided that I should try and try I did. It's not that difficult on a spindle and if I can do it on a spindle, I can spin that lovely Cherry Roving on my wheel. Just you wait!

This is the Trindle that I bought at Stitches. I so love this thing!


This is the two bumps I got at Stitches South from Miss Babs. One was shades of turquoise and the other purple and a coppery green. I spun them each (4 oz each) as very fine singles - and then plyed them together. They were a delight to spin and the yarn is lovely - very fine at 15/16 wpi and lots of it - 488 yards. I think I might make another shawlette.

Also in the mail today

Well, actually this one came a while ago . . . it's bamboo from Natural Obsessions who was having a secret favorites sale. She made a list of her 20 favorite items in her sale and if you bought one of them that weekend, you got half the price back as a refund. This just happened to be one of her favorites and since it was already marked down, it cost very little and it's lovely! It's pure bamboo and I was a little afraid to try it until someone posted a video on youtube and I watched it. I've tried it on a spindle now and it was fine.

This is some more alpaca that I ordered from North Star Alpacas. The white is Alpaca/Merino/Mohair. The gray is Alpaca blended with Baby Doll sheep. And the Gray/Brown/White is the same 100% alpaca that I've been spinning. I liked it so much that I went and got more for the girls to spin on their spindles. I'll bring some with me when I come.

Lendrum Bulky/Plying Heads

The one on the top came with my Lendrum - it is big, very big. I would be willing to bet that you could put 3 pounds of yarn on that sucker and not fill it. It has the hooks on the side that are permanent and not the new slinding yarn guides. It has a gigantic orifice hole - you could put quarters thru that if you wanted. The one on the bottom is newer and lighter wood. It has 3 bobbins but they aren't nearly as big. They do, however, have 3 different ratios on the flyer and the big one only has two. This one has the sliding yarn guides and not the permanent hooks. The bobbins from the bottom one will not fit the top one so they are not interchangeable. The bottom one is $120 and comes with the two extra bobbins and the larger drive band if you want it. The top one is negotiable (think $33 plus shipping) and it too can come with the drive band if you want it. Let me know.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Contest is over . . .

So now I can show you my entries. I was proud of them and they didn't do too badly (they at least all got some votes), so I didn't embarass myself.

First, in the handspun category, I entered this alpaca handspun. The fiber came from North Star Alpacas and is a blend of three colors of alpaca - white, gray & brown. It was lovely to spin and because some of it was shorter staple, was less expensive. It still spun like a dream. I navaho plied this for the first time ever.
Then there is the brown shawlette that I entered. It's 75% Alpaca and 25% Merino that I spun, made into a two ply and then knit into the Eyelet & Garter Shawlette Pattern that I bought at Knitter's Camp a gazillion years ago - made a blue one and still love it, so why not make it again? Made this one slightly differently, didn't quite follow the pattern, but it's close enough and still quite a nice little shoulder shawl. In fact, it's so nice that the model stole it and I haven't seen it since the photo shoot.
And last, but certainly not least, is Lanolyn the Mermaid. Crafted by the very talented Miss S. She's gotten very good at needle felting and has made some wonderful things. She's got the cutest little monster in production now . . . will show it when it's done. Unfortunately, Lanolyn had a bit of a run in with some wild dogs and is now in need of major surgery.
Lanolyn won the felting section of the Phat Fiber contest . . . we are very proud and will be repairing her soon.

Friday, May 15, 2009

More Mother's Day

Mom got the nicest things for Mother's Day.

She got fiber from her darlingest daughter. She got almost an ounce of white milk fiber. Gloriously soft and silky milk fiber. AND She got a HUGE hank of domestic top in a wonderful colorway called Cupid's Arrow. The package came by way of and was wrapped up in pretty ribbons and bows and packaging. One of the best gifts ever. Mom is going to spin it after Teresa teaches the spinning classes.

I had never heard of milk fiber until I got a sample in my Phat Fiber box (yes I know I haven't posted pictures yet). But I did learn that: a natural protein makes skin delicate and smoot, the amino acids make the fiber antibacterial and antifungal, and it is glossy, and luxurious, feels wonderfully silky.

And then there were roses.

Mom's oldest and most loved son and his wife sent not a rose, or even a dozen roses but TWO rose plants. They were the Cherokee Rose mom has been wanting. She had a Cherokee rose in Georgia (the state flower) but it isn't here. And it got killed off there also.

Now she has two and we will plant them on either side of the bridge. The bridge that goes between here house and mine goes over one of my gardens and there will be room to plant her roses after I get some of the weeds out of the garden bed. I have a few days because the plant needs to sit in the shade for a day or two but I will get the garden weeded and the roses planted and more pictures taken. The other pot of bulbs in the picture is something JoAnn and ROb sent mom when she first got to Idaho.

Mom got water plants and tubs to plant them in from her younger son, but I didn't get pictures of them. Andrew helped her open the box and plant the plants and put them in the ponds and he didn't get pictures.

I am sure she got other stuff but I didn't see it to take pictures, so I apologize if I left your gift out.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Love Mother's Day

It seems that Mom and I celebrate Mother's day the same way . . . forcing children (or grandchildren) into slave labor for the day. Gardening is very good for kids . . .

So, I moved all the potted plants out of the greenhouse, trimmed them all, repotted them all and then rearranged them all. It was a HUGE undertaking.

Here are the trees in the corner (Mom's Bay, my fig, a norfolk island pine and a tropical hibiscus).

And here are the passiflora - with a few friends. I lost several this winter - they were crowded enough in the SubT that I didn't notice.

And Miss S's famous pondlet - with a brand new lily - n minuta. And my lilies in the freshly weeded garden in front of the big hydrangea.

The new variegated iris on the beach of the pond - man does the pond want to be cleaned!
And last, but not least,

some flowers under the bird feeders - gloriosa lilies, a hummer bush that a friend sent me and a blooming olive (that's never bloomed).

This is Miss M's herb garden. This year it's only going to be basil and one galapagos tomato plant and I think I might add a green pepper plant.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

First, here's a picture of a fat cat belly. He's a little melty in this shot.

And this is the first Merino that I've successfully spun. It was some of the samples that came from Northern Lights Fiber. The girls couldn't use it to needle felt because it wouldn't felt, so I decided to try again to spin it. It worked. Not sure how much fiber I started with, but it ended up being 72 yards of a fingering weight 3 ply - navaho plied. It's soft and quite nice for a first try. I'm still not great at merino, but at least now I know it's possible.

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is coming up fast.

I have the best mother in the world but I have to share her with my siblings.

One sent her flowers that were delivered today. Aren't they gorgeous? If you can't see the wonderful little bird, please enlarge the picture.

Friday, May 8, 2009


First, this week is Giveaway Week in the Phat Fiber World. If you haven't gone and looked at the Phattie's stores, you really should. There is some beautiful fiber out there. My problem is that my eyes are bigger than my wallet - still, some of the vendors are having terrific sales and others have coupons on the secret site.

So far we have:

All of them have gorgeous stuff and it's hard when you look in those shops not to order several things. But you have to hurry to enter as the drawings are today!

Second, please go check out the Phat Fiber Spring Competition. The entries are all really great. I won't say here which entries are mine, but if you haven't voted for your favorites, you really should. I hope you'll pick some of mine as your favorites! Voting for this contest doesn't end until the 15th.

And lastly, a very bad picture of the Palindrome hat that Miss S knit for the assistant college counselor at the school. This lady was a huge help when both girls were taking the SAT tests in January. This first pic doesn't show the color of the hat at all, but it does show it on a head. It's made using Baby Alpaca Grande by Plymouth Yarns which the girl loves to knit with. It's so soft and squooshy that I think the recipient will love it too.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


As promised, here are pictures with some scale so you can see how big I made the socks. First, I made the smaller size in stitch count, but was getting a slightly larger gauge than the pattern calls for - and this is a stretchy pattern, so the smaller size fits my feet nicely.

Second, those two balls are not quite exactly the same size - the one on the right is a bit larger. I did make sure that the weight of the two balls was the same when I split the skein into two balls (yes, I rewound it into to evenly sized balls).

Third, I love the way this yarn knits up - the swirls and elipses are fabulous. Since I currently have the socks in my possesion . . . well, isn't that 9 tenths of the law? Doesn't that mean I get to keep them?

And this . . . this gorgeous hunk-a-wool is the Dicentra Designs roving called Eowyn. I'm even more in love with the colors in person than I was on the screen. There is a whole bunch of new fiber up in that shop today that was not there the other day . . . I could find a lot to buy there.