Thursday, July 30, 2009

Spinning, Tatting and Knitting

Can't get enough of them! First, the spinning. I finished spinning up the Northern Lights Fiber Samples - did these seperately so now I have two hanks of this yarn. I think this is about 80 or 90 yards (can't remember) and it's a heavy worsted weight, navaho plyed smooshy and nice yarn.
Then, I had the white alpaca/merino/mohair blend and the gray alpaca/babydoll sheep blend from Northstar Alpacas that I had spun (about 4 ounces of each). I let them sit on the bobbins while I thought about what to do with them. I finally decided to ply them together (the original plan) because I wanted the bobbins free. It is quite nice yarn - not sure what it wants to be knit up as yet tho.

And while I was deciding what to do about the alpaca, I went ahead and got out that roving we bought in Oregon. It's a little overprocessed and has quite a few neps in it, but it's colors are gorgeous. The first bump is on the bobbin and it wanted to spin quite fine. I plan to spin the other bump starting with the red end and then ply the two together - should be a nice laceweight. Maybe another Ishbel?

And on the Tatting front: First, the beaded flower that disappeared from the camera the other day. And a second butterfly bookmark that I did with larger thread, just for practice. Both turned out nice, but each piece gets a little easier and looks a little nicer when done.

And the motif that D helped me figure out the pattern for - pic isn't great, but the piece looks good. Wish I could figure out a good way to deal with the ends . . .

And last, but not least, the knitting - well at least a little of it. This is the hat that I mailed to Virginia for the girl. I chose the purple before I knew about the red hair. Still think the hat looks cute!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Tatting Party!!!

We had a lovely little Tatting Party tonight! Girl Number One got done with her second Young Writers Conference late in the afternoon and came home and wanted to learn. So, Girl Number Two got everything anyone owns out and tossed it on the floor and taught her. The pink bag (a Ruddawk KIP Sample Bag from the May Phat Fiber Box) became Girl Number One's Tatting Bag. (Girl Number Two already stole MY Ruddawg KIP bag that I paid for as hers). We shared some of the shuttles that Dena gave us and some that I'd gotten on Ebay and we had lots and lots of thread.

She picked what she wanted to make her 'leash' out of and shuttles were loaded and tatting begun. The floor became a mess as it always does when one is having a party. I donated the extra scissors, the ones that got 'lost' to the pink bag. We had plenty of gum machine prize bubbles for thread and got lots of it out.

Then the tatting began. See the concentration? She was doing quite well but apparently picked up a cold in Virginia and it's starting to make her ill tonight. At least it waited till she got thru the writing conference yesterday and today before it knocked her down.
I had two finished items to show you, but for some reason the pics of the second one have become vapor. This is the butterfly bookmark I made out of that really colorful thread that Miss M bought when we were out visiting, at the craft store before we had dinner with Jon. I'm not quite ready for finer thread yet. I moved back up to the thicker thread for the next project which you will have to wait till tomorrow to see.
D, can you take some pics of your favorite shuttle? Miss M says it is exactly the same as the detach and so she has kidnapped the detach.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

On the Tatting Front

Lest you think that nothing has been happening on the tatting front, here is the scoop!

First, the shuttles I found on Ebay. Both of the Boye have the hook and one of their hooks is bent. I think I can straighten it out with a plyers and something soft to protect it from scratches. One of them came with an extra bobbin and since I couldn't find them I got it.

The Justrite does not have a removable bobbin, but it's kinda cool anyway. The shape is nice and feels good in my hands and the pick is long and narrow and seems just about perfect to me.

But the cool thing is that this one not only turns sideways for loading, it actually comes apart into two seperate pieces so that you can load it very quickly. And then, when you put it back together, it's pretty firm so you don't have to worry about it turning open in your hands. (Sorry about the blurry pics - having camera issues today).

If you look at this last pic, you can see the two Boye on the top, with their extra bobbin. Then the third one is the Justrite with it's nice, narrow shape and long pick. The bottom one is the detach that I told you about - same bobbins as the boye but check out the shape and the pick. And the bobbin seems to fit in tighter than the Boye (I'm having troubles with the bobbins spinning on me).

And, so you know that I'm doing more than just finding shuttles . . .

Well, here are the beaded earings all finished and on their findings (and actually they are in my ears now). I know they aren't much, but I'm ridiculously thrilled with them!

First a sample from the Rebecca Jones book that I made using just one shuttle. I started another one (from Easy Tatting) but forgot that you have to join the joining picots when you get to them. Guess I wasn't awake when I started that! And the orange/green is a bookmark that I made using a shuttle and a ball. It's using the thicker thread that we used when you were here.


So, as you know I finished the February Lady Sweater that I was making for myself. I really like it now that I've redone all the bits of it. Miss M helped me photograph it so I could mark the project done on Ravelry this morning. (And it's HOT here - was already 88 and humid when we took these pics.)

This is some new yarn I ordered - it's a really pretty color which absolutely doesn't show up in this pic. It's called City of Roses and it's by KnitWitch (her pics are much better so go look here if you want to see the real color). She has 5 other colors she dyed up just for Sock Summit that I also loved but this was an alpaca/merino blend and I thought it would make a nice shawl.

I was knitting this while I was visiting. It's almost done - needs eyes before I can close the body and needs arms, legs, and ears. Can't say what it is cuz it's sposta be a sprise for someone.

And then there is Tina's February Lady which I was being so unproductive on while out there - it's still not getting done in any hurry. Well, it won't be cold here for several more months, so I guess she'll live.

These were part of what I worked on during the last car ride. Miss S called at midnight the night before we left and asked for these to use as a gift for her suite's counselor. I'm nothing if not obedient, so I made them. I think I'm about done making hearts.

Fiber Frenzy!

I've missed so many days posting because it's been so busy around here. I could post it all in one big post, but blogger messes with the pictures so much that I think it will be easier just to post in seperate posts!

First, yes, I am still spinning even if I don't seem to be home enough to finish anything. The first spool is filled with a bunch of small samples that I got from Northern Lights Fiber company a while ago. The second spool is some alpaca/merino from Maple at North Star Alpacas. It's so soft and nice to touch but for some reason I'm having trouble spinning it even. The last is some alpaca/babydoll sheep which isn't as soft but is a dream to spin. I was thinking about plying those two together but now I'm not sure.

And this is my substitute for a July Phat Fiber box - some of the leftover silk hankie samples from Infinity Yarn and Fiber. I have only the vaguest clue how to spin them, so it'll be a new experience for me! I saw someone knitting directly from the hankies at SAFF and I'm guessing that the spinning process is similar. I'll look on you-tube before I go crazy.

This is some lovely - seriously lovely - bamboo roving from Carly Original on Etsy. My picture doesn't do it justice - it's bright, bright orange, bright yellow, bright purple. She included a little bump of hand carded wool roving in light blues that is so soft and so pretty. I can't wait to spin them both - must get caught up and must quit buying more pretty fiber!

But Carly messaged me to let me know that ever since I asked about seconds, she has been saving all the ends and bits of leftovers from her processing for Miss S. This is the bag of goodies she sent for the needle felting box - and they are lovely and soft too! That was so nice of her to do - without ever being asked - that I just had to check out her shop and when I did, I just had to get that bamboo!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Beauty and the Beast

First, Beauty. This is a pic of the first day bloom on my Baby Doll Lotus. This is the same one that Craig sent you that did not live. I will send you more next spring because mine should have been divided this year but wasn't. It smells good too. It had several flowers open while I was out there so I missed them. This late one is a present for me.

And these are pics of the Beast. This spider is living in my Rosemary pot - which is about 3' across. It had a silk tube that ran down the side of the pot between the pot and the stem of the rosemary and on into the dirt. I pulled that web/tube off a couple of times, but the last time I also dug up what was in the dirt. A day or two later, I found this beast on the dirt surface and took pics. It seems that it's a trap door spider - it was big, over an inch long and about 3/4 inch wide. I dunno if it moved out and away or not, but it's not on the surface anymore if it's still in the pot. I'm sure not going to dig down and see if I can find it!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bits & Batts

Ok, so they aren't really batts they are rovings. Close enough for me. The big one is BFL (blue faced liecester) and the little ones are corn, ramie, soy silk and bamboo. I bought them from Alaskan Sass on Etsy and she magically got them here in two days. They are gorgeous!

And, on the tatting front, may I present my first beaded tatting - rings to make a pair of earings. I didn't follow the pattern because, well, when do I ever follow patterns? And Miss M and I found lots of tatting thread. The stuff in the packages lookes like #5 tho it doesn't say it - each package is 36 hanks of 10 yards each. We got two packages because we wanted both the variegated and the plain. Then we went to the fabric store and found the exact same stuff we got from D, so we bought 8 hanks of that too.

Now we must tat.

And last, but certainly not least this is my two color twined knitting sample from a million years ago. Twined knitting can be done flat since you can purl (unlike the way I do stranded colorwork). As you can see, there were no O's in this work but there were some other test stitches. I didn't do the wind two colors inside and outside of a center pull ball - I just used two balls of yarn and pinned them together. It's a nice fabric.

Alpaca and Elk

So, the last full day we were in Idaho, we visited HummingHerd Alpacas, an alpaca farm owned by Nancy Gedney in Emmett, near Dena's house. Nancy was very nice and friendly and just so sweet. That must be a precondition to owning alpaca cuz all the alpaca farmers I know are like that - and generous too! This is Gramma and Fred waiting out front while Dena went & let Nancy know we were there.

This little darling was outside the barn, in front when we drove up to the Alpaca Farm we visited. She's so cute - and a little inquisitive, but ended up walking away.

And Maddie got to give one of the babies they are rasing a bottle. Apparently Mom was at the vet when the cria was born and the bonding just didn't happen. Maddie was ok with that!
And when they brought the cria out to feed them a few decided they should go say hi to Gramma while the rest bounced around.

These are the yearlings (hope that's the right name). A lot of them are for sale. From what I understand they are great at mowing pastures that need to be mowed. Nancy even uses them to mow her yard . . .

And the Elk pics for Craig! These are the females and I swear I had two pics loaded but one has gone into the ethernet.
That doesn't really matter though because these bad boys are the ones he really wanted to see.

Click on the pic to make it bigger and you can really see those antlers!

This was the morning we left. The dog just wouldn't go into the backpack no matter how hard she tried! The cherries made it tho and they are delicious!