Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Women be shopping!

That's the saying anyway! Well, I went yarn shopping but ONLY because Rowan was 20% off. Gotta love KSH on sale! I've been holding out forever to make the camisole out of Weekend Knitting, plus the little wrap I got from Knitting on an Island (more practical than the cowl I think), and at 20% off, I'm on my way!!

Here's what I bought (not the full quantity of each though). Of course I already said what the KSH was for. The cotton glace is for a tank I'm making up, probably on the knitting machine, as well as the Calmer which I'll be combining somehow with another color of Calmer I have left from Marnie's tank.

The Rowan tweed is something I've been drooling over for some time, and this color was really pretty. I don't have a specific pattern for that yet, but I'm thinking of a simple knit tee. Any suggestions?

Here's my swatch of the KSH on size 10's. I did it on 11's first and it was way off. On 10's the row gauge is right but the stitch gauge is still off. I might try it on 9's and decide from there which is best.

I measured out the skein of llama that I spun and unfortunately it only comes out to about 205 yards. I really don't want to waste it on a scarf, but I'm really stumped if there's any other garment that I can turn it into with such low yardage. Maybe some wrist warmers, I had seen some cabled ones somewhere that I liked. The colors are so beautiful and I just don't think a scarf would do it justice. I'm open to any ideas on how best to use my first real handspun yarn!

I'm very excited about having everyone to my house tomorrow, I only hope the weather cooperates, as my tiny house may be bursting at the seams if we're all trapped inside. I just thought having all my friends over, knitting in the backyard was a great way to enjoy this beautiful weather we've been having. Oh yes, and there will be alcohol. What more could I ask for?

Friday, June 23, 2006


I couldn't wait any longer. I had to ply the llama and I stayed up till 1 a.m. last night to do it. I plied it, steamed it, and this is what it looks like today. The colors aren't quite accurate in the pics, but you will get the idea. I am still going to actually submerge it, and "wash" it, but I probably won't get to that till this weekend.

The first one is kinda blurry, but the colors are a little more distinctive. Overall it's much greener than I expected it to be. When I bought it, I did so because of the purple shades and bright peacock blue that was running throughout, but maybe when I knit it up it will pop out a little more.

After I wash it I will re-skein it and measure it. I'm not sure of the yardage yet, so that will ultimately determine what it becomes. I might have to peruse the One Skein book and see if something in there speaks to me. It's really soft, and will probably soften even more when washed. It's a little furry, but nothing I can't handle.

Oh, and just for the locals, I am hosting a knitting meetup/Tupperware catalog perusal at my house next Wednesday. Everyone local is welcome to partake in knitting, cocktails, Tupperware fun and great people!! E-mail me at mnangel13 at yahoo dot com, if you need directions! The more the merrier. I haven't pissed off my neighbors yet this summer, so come help me out!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Just stopping by...

Just stopping in to tell you about a great store I visited last night. It's in Sterling Heights, and it's somewhat tucked away in a strip mall, and I am kicking myself for not ever "finding" it sooner. I had heard the name of the store before and casually looked into where it was on the map, but then just never got there. This great store is "Indigo Rose", named for the owner Rose. I was on my way to our weekly meetup at Caribou last night and since I had to run some errands in the area first I thought I'd take a quick look at what IR carried. I was checking it out not only for myself but for my friends that I knit with. My quick look turned into over an hour of talking with Rose, her associate Anita (who knows Devon by the way, and told me to tell him hi) and checking out their yarn selection. Rose is a spinner, and as soon as she found out I was a new spinner, flooded me with info and flyers for a Spinners Guild that she said I would love and even gifted me with fabulous roving, one of which she wasn't sure of the content, the other was "top" and she said I would love it. She has extensive knowledge of dyeing fiber, and gave me a quick lesson on how easy it is to do. She also carries some beautiful Kid Mohair, which I will be going back for. Some of it is dyed, but she says she can barely keep it in stock, and the other is natural, but simple to dye, so she says.

Fabulous store, decent yarn selection (Rowan, Dale of Norway, Annie Blatt, Classic Elite, plus many others) but the atmosphere alone would bring me back in.

Indigo Rose is located on Van Dyke, just North of 16 mile, in a strip mall next to Shogun Steak house. They have awesome hours, several nights open till 9. Gotta love a yarn store that acknowledges those of us who have JOBS, so we can pay for our stash enhancement!

If you stop in, tell Rose I sent you.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

There's an addition to my family!

With all the celebrity babies popping out everywhere and new talk of Brangelina adopting yet another underprivileged child, I decided to hop on the pop bandwagon and expand my somewhat tiny family.
I am please to introduce the latest addition to my family....{eyeroll... errrr drumroll please}

Ms. Ashley!

Ms. Ashley is of the Ashford Traditional family and I refer to her as Ms. because she has ummm a few miles on her, as she is a couple of years old. Not to say she is by any means used up, but I'm not her FIRST family. She was well cared for in her previous home and she came to me with much love and appreciation for my interest in spinning. I believe she has found a good home, and look forward to many years together. (I took the liberty of cropping my head out of this picture as I had about the dorkiest look on my face that I've ever seen). Here are a few more action shots thanks to my personal photographer.

The first picture is the best, it's from BEHIND me. So no dorky expressions are visible. The second one gives the appearance that I actually have a clue what I'm doing. And the third, shows results. I've been spinning here and there when I've had time, so this bobbin is almost full, and I only have about a handful of roving left to spin. I'll be plying that with the first bobbin that I skeined (or skanked if you know JenLa) on the Schacht at Ewe-Nique Knits a few weeks back. I'm anxious to see how much yardage I end up with, so I can start figuring out for sure what it will become.

I actually started this post yesterday, and got very ambitious last night and spun the rest of the handpainted llama. These pics are just with my camera phone, so the colors aren't completely accurate. The top bobbin is more purple
and brighter than shown. The bottom bobbin is more of a green than the blue that shows. The bobbins aren't even, so I'm going to have to figure out the best way to even them out and then ply it so I run out of each single at approximately the same time.

I'll leave you kids with that for now! Have a great night!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Poor Jasmine. I give her crap publicly (on my blog) and then I fail to post immediately that I RECEIVED MY PACKAGE!! It was smugly waiting for me on my front porch Friday when I rolled into the neighborhood and I saw it immediately. My breath stopped for a sec and I could barely get thru checking my mail and then I ran to the front porch to scoop up my precious cargo. What a fabulous feeling, to know that someone did something especially for ME. Is this how my sock pal felt when her package arrived? Gosh, I really hope so! This was what I saw when I opened the box:

Holy-packed-with-goodies box! Not only did I get a pair of hand-made-especially-for-me socks, but I also got sock yarn for 2 more pair (one pair will be out of Koigu, I've been so coveting me some Koigu), some fabulous Virginia peanut brittle (of course I opened it immediately, I had to make sure that greedy mailman didn't find it) Jellie Bellies (still unopened, for the moment) and a pin from the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. And a note signed The Worst Sock Pal Ever. Not true. TWSPE would never have compensated for a little tardiness by including all the fab extras! Thank you Thank you Thank you. You made my day!

Oh yeah, and here are the socks.

And the verdict is: the foot is the perfect length, and I really like the detailed cuff. They are a smidge loose on my ankles, so they may be good house socks for quick on and off-ness. But I love the colors and as I said the foot is the perfect length, as if she had me trying them on thru the whole-foot-making-process. I'm a pretty light sleeper, so I think I would know if she were sneaking in during the night to have me try it on. So, I'm guessing she just stuck to my measurements and it worked out perfectly.

In other news, I'm {this close} to getting a spinning wheel. I've spun on several different wheels over the last month, and found a gently used Ashford Traditional that appears to have my name all over it. I'm going Thursday to take it for a spin, err I mean, test drive, I mean I'm gonna try it out. I have spun on a Traditional before, and liked it, so I don't think this one will feel much different. I'm very excited and if all goes well I'll be strapping that sucker into my car Thursday night and driving her home. It's about time too, cuz I've got some serious fiber stash building up, and I need to get spinning. I'm going to take my handpainted llama, to test it with, as I've spun that on my spindle, and on the Schacht I was trying out, and it's got a great feel to it, so the Traditional should show thru as I'm already familiar with the fiber. It's such a great deal, and she's throwing in a bunch of extras, and I already have 4 Ashford bobbins, so with the 6 or so she's giving me, I should be pretty well set for a while. It's too good to pass up, and if I do let it go, I'll never forgive myself. I can't wait till Thursday!! Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Talk to you next time!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

It's a new month!

It seems that the last couple of posts may appear to be a little on the negative side. I'll try to be more positive in this picture-less post.

I have been knitting some, but more so I've been spinning on my drop spindle. When I took the class a month or so ago to learn to spin I purchased some fiber, and the mere act of looking at it day after day, has motivated me to work thru some of it. I'm currently spinning up some gorgeous purple roving, which will become socks someday, as soon as I figure out what I want to ply it together with. Also, I've spun up some handpainted llama on the spindle to swatch it and it's gorgeous, but will not become socks as originally intended. It's a little too furry and the thought of all that fuzz gathering between my toes whilst inside shoes is not very appealing. I'm thinking maybe the "boobholder" sweater from Glampyre instead.

I went Saturday with my daughter and Amby to Heritage in Lake Orion to check out some spinning wheels and of course their fabulous fiber supply. I met several great ladies there, and Crystal especially took me under her wing and helped me spin on a few different wheels. Since I've been actively looking for a wheel, I thought it would be wise to spin on different ones to see which ones I like, and more importantly which ones I don't. The Schacht was nice, but way too pricey for my meager budget. I spun on the Ashford Joy, but didn't really like it's small frame. I kept thinking I was going to knock it over or something, and the wheel kept backspinning on me. I think I need a little more wheel to feel comfortable sitting at it. I have met a really nice person who is selling an Ashford Traditional so keep your fingers crossed that I can get all my ducks in a row and take it off her hands for her. I've used both the Ashford Traditional and Traveller and feel comfortable with either one. My daughter and I went to Ewe-nique Knits after Heritage and rented a Schacht for 2 1/2 hours. I got about 1/2 of my llama spun, while my daughter kicked some serious fiber butt, by getting thru most of her bright yellow roving. She does me proud, that girl!

While at Heritage, I bought some fun pink, black and white COTTON to try my hand at spinning that. I know what you're thinking. Cotton is very hard to spin and not for the weak fingered or newbie spinner. What can I say? I like to get the hard stuff out of the way early on. Maybe that's why my first two major knitting projects after the scarf break-in period was a sweater and a pair of socks. I enjoy the challenge and don't buy into the "it's too hard for beginners" that is floating around out there. I'm hoping to free up my spindle soon so I can get that cotton flying!

This is the last week of school for my darling 5th grader! Whoo hoo! I'm happy for her, even if I still have to go to work every day. I have 2 more aerobics classes and then I'm off till the end of July. I'm looking forward to the break and to having our evenings almost completely commitment free. More time for knitting, spinning and just out and out playing. That's always a good thing.

No socks yet, but I did get an e-mail from my sock pal that she was almost finished with the socks and they should be mailing out soon. I'll keep you posted!

Have a great day!

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