Posts Tagged ‘spin’

I spin!

Well, let’s just ignore the fact that I’ve neglected to post anything for about a month and move right on to the big news, eh?  I bought a spinning wheel!

It’s a Majacraft Suzie Pro.  I’d been saving up to get one for about two years, and the right opportunity finally came along, so I went for it!  I’m so happy I did, too.  It’s everything I wanted.  :)

So I’ve really been enjoying wheel spinning.  Once you get the feet and hands coordinated, it’s really repetitive and relaxing.  Here’s my first skein, 4 oz/280 yd of DK weight BFL that my friend Cary gave me (for anyone wondering, BFL is short for Blue Faced Leicester, a breed of sheep):

I’m currently working on some other fiber, a fine wool that my friend BJ sent over.

Between spinning and work/school, I also managed to finish my first real sweater!  I’m so proud.

Unlike the unfortunate yellow beast of a sweater I knit a couple years ago, this is something I will really wear.  Actually, it takes me considerable effort to not do so every single day.

The pattern is Central Park Hoodie, and it took me 5 skeins of Cascade 220.

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I made some stuff!

I don’t have a whole lot going on right now, but I was really productive with the crafting this weekend, so I suppose I may as well show it off!  It’ll probably die down soon, since I’m extra busy with school/work stuff from here until Christmas.  I guess I have to brag while I can.  ;)

I finally remembered to take pictures of the cardigan I’m working on..

This piece is both the back and front sides of the cardigan, and in about 5 rows, I’ll be dividing it up for the armholes.  I suppose you could call this my first real sweater project, and I’m really excited about the way it’s turning out!

I also managed to finish a skein of handspun this weekend, 138 yd/4 oz of BFL singles spun from Knitty and Color.  Though I’m not particularly thrilled with the quality of my spinning, the fiber is really soft and fluffy, and the color is rich and pretty.

It’s been a while, but I finally picked up the crochet hook and worked on my afghan squares.  I still have no clue how many I’m aiming for, but I’ve made it to 30!

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makin yarn

Fresh off of the drying rack!  ..festive handspun.  :o)

Unfortunately, it looks like the Etsy seller from whom I bought the roving is no longer in business, but it’s 4 1/4 oz of Corriedale in “Fanfare.”  I used ply on the fly for this one, and I really like the end result.

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springy love

After my first winter in the Midwest, it’s so amazing to see everything outside suddenly coming back to life.  Little green plants are popping up everywhere, and it really feels like the change happened overnight.  I can’t believe that tomorrow is the first day of Spring already!  I’m loving opening all of the windows in the house and letting the fresh air flow through.

This past week has been Purdue’s spring break, so I’ve gotten a bit of a chance to relax and enjoy it, too!  I took the first 3 days of the week off while my parents visited (fun!), and I’ve primarily spent today and yesterday reading articles at home.

It’s so nice to have a break from class.  Somehow, between spending time with mom & dad, doing yardwork, and shopping, I even found a few minutes to crochet some more afghan squares.  It still seems like it will never be done, but at least I can see the progress!  I’m twelve in.

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hanging around

It’s been a pretty nice, laid-back week around here..which is really great because the next two are full of exams and busy times.  I’m ready for it.  Maybe.

I spent a lot of my evening free time working on the afghan (5 squares, whoo!), but I also (wait for it) finished reading a book!  I’ve been doing a lot more reading recently.  It’s always been something I love, but it’s been a while since I’ve spent good chunks of time reading for leisure.  This past week, I finished The Kite Runner.  I didn’t know what to expect, but I think I liked it.  I’m a huge fan of Margaret Atwood, so Dave got me Year of the Flood for Christmas.  I wanted to start reading it right away, but I decided I would reread Oryx and Crake first because they are supposed to be at least somewhat related.  (I really have a terrible memory for things like books and movies.)  Whoo reading!

I took some time yesterday to satisfy a serious shortbread craving.  Ina Garten’s recipe (like so many of hers) was easy and delicious.  Instead of rolling the cookies and cutting them out, I just made a log and cut it after chilling.  Oh..and then I dipped them in chocolate.  :oD  Trust me, this one’s a winner.

It seems like my desire to spin has also come back with a vengeance this weekend!  At this rate, it won’t be long until I run out of fiber again..

I hope the weekend has been good to everyone!  :o)

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spindle spawn

Wahoo!! I finished a serious skein of yarn this week.

The blue is merino top and the red is..something. I don’t remember. Nor do I remember how much it weighs. I guess I should’ve kept that receipt! It’s about 113 yd of bulky, and it was destined to become a hat from the very beginning.

Though I wish I had the time/spinning mojo to do so, I’m not participating in the 2009 Tour de Fleece. It’s just a coincidence. :o) Actually, I’m completely out of spinning fiber now, which is kind of a bummer. Not that I don’t have a billion other projects to keep me occupied!

Here’s a scale shot I took before washing/twist setting:

Yesterday I finally made it to the LYS here, River Knits. It’s a great little shop..friendly people, good selection, and great location. I grabbed a couple skeins of Cascade 220 for this month’s afghan squares. (I’m doing an afghan square swap, by the way. Did I ever mention that?)

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spin cycle

I finished my first more-than-a-cowl project with my own handspun!  Yay!  The pattern (though I doubt you haven’t seen it if you’d be interested anyways) can be found here: Lace Ribbon Scarf.  Snake was kind/patient/bribed with treats enough to model it for me, even!

Sometimes I feel like knitting neckwear is almost worth it solely for pictures of Snake in a scarf!  ;o)  Seriously, though, I’m excited about this project.  I wasn’t really feeling it as I knit along, but after blocking?  WOW.

I’m currently hard at work on my next spinning project, getting near to plying.  And I am FINALLY skeining up the recycled sweater yarn (to dye!) I made up my mind to repurpose ages ago.  Expect more on those soon.

Apart from being crafty, I’ve been spending some quality time with Netflix.  In the past couple weeks, I’ve potentially seen more movies than I’ve seen in the past year!  (Doubt, Cars, W, Slumdog Millionaire, The Great Muppet Caper..)  Initially, I didn’t think I would find enough to last a month, but I’m really enjoying myself.  I had quite a few entertaining dinner dates with these guys..until I ran out of episodes, that is.

Hopefully, now that I’m more settled in, I will get back into the swing of blogging!  I’d really love to do some sewing and get back to sharing my cooking adventures!

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spin spin spin

Recently, I have felt really compelled to spin. I’m not really sure why..maybe I just like a bit of a change from knitting. Or maybe I like that I can see my progress in improved yarn quality as I go. I finished my brown skein yesterday.

I think I am in love. I really wasn’t expecting it to turn out as nicely as it did! I’m really proud of this one. It’s so..even. Seriously, I am going to have to find an amazing pattern for this yarn!

I was planning on holding off a bit before starting my next spinning project, but I guess spinning is a bit like sock knitting. I just can’t not have an ongoing project. It’s a good thing I went ahead and bought this roving a while back!

This will be the first roving I’ve bought with a finished project in mind, and it’s turning out to be a really interesting process. I feel really self-conscious of the yarn I’m spinning, worried that my finished product is going to be either too thin or too fat.  I want a good bulky weight yarn to make a Thorpe hat from Through the Loops. I suppose I can always make something else and buy the yarn for the hat. Now that I have a job (not that I’ve started yet), I feel like I don’t have to worry so much about the future of my knitting projects!

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Sitting here, drinking my delicious Ovaltine, I came to a realization about my blog: I never really talk about myself or my non-fiber life. Initially, I didn’t really want to, but recently I’ve been feeling more and more like I want to share things that are going on with ME. I mean, geez. I don’t even think I posted about my graduation!

So, yeah..I graduated. I’m a real engineer now! (Sort of.) I’ve spent at least the past month looking for a job in Tucson. It’s been really frustrating. So far, I’ve applied for over 30 jobs and had one interview. I have another one Friday, though, and I feel really good about it! Fingers crossed and all that. I’ve also applied for graduate school in the fall! ..more on that later.

Don’t get me wrong, being unemployed BLOWS. However, it does allow me some extra free time for knitting/spinning/whatever. (There’s only so many hours per day you can spend looking for jobs. There’s only so many jobs I qualify for in one city, right?)  Since I have larger projects on the needles right now, I have sort of a system worked out.  I alternate days between the two projects, and I primarily knit in the evenings when we’re watching TV.

I won’t bother showing you the vest; it looks the same but longer. The Noro socks, on the other hand, are coming along quite nicely:

During the day, I find that I’m more attracted to my spinning. I’m less than one roving ball away from being able to ply this one up!! I’m really excited, too, because I have a more hardcore spindle to ply with now. I have NO idea what I’m going to make of this when I’m finished, but I’m definitely thrilled for the next spinning challenge!

Aside from knitting/spinning/job hunting, I really want to get back into baking more, especially bread. My friend Kate from Ravelry was giving away some of her cookbooks last week, and she sent me this one for just the price of shipping! Of course, everyone knows how much I freaking LOVE Martha Stewart. I am definitely very psyched! I think I may make some bread tomorrow. Just reading through the book was exciting. The recipes sound so fancy and refined, but still so EASY!! Yesss.

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off the wagon

I went to the LYS today to buy a skein of yarn for a specific project. ONE skein of yarn.  Oops.

About 8.5 oz of pretty pretty fiber followed me home.  I cannot WAIT to spin this up.  I like the natural stuff I’m working on now, but anyone who knows me knows that I am a vivid color freak.  I might have to find another spindle to avoid waiting for my other roving to run out.

Completely unrelated tangent here..I LOVE MY CAMERA!!  Until tonight, I’d never thought about changing the white balance to get better pictures at night.  I do it during the day because sometimes I get funny colors with the direct sunlight.  Check this out, though.  The picture above was taken with a manually set white balance, and the picture below is auto.  It’s not even the worst auto picture I took..I figured that would make the comparison wildly unfair.  Doesn’t the one above look a thousand times better?  It’s certainly more color accurate.  Yay camera options!!

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