Dixie 8 Handknit Socks 0, WIP Wednesday

Dixie 8 Handknit Socks 0, WIP Wednesday


This little angel is waging war on my handknit socks!

I’m beginnning to think I  need to buy a safe…she manages to find and destroy at least one sock of a pair.  She’s learned to knock the clothes hamper over to pull out the socks.  I’m trying to cut her some slack, she’s still a puppy, but her taste for handknits and Mr. iknead’s azaleas is making me want to tear my hair out.

ON MY NEEDLES

This is about the fourth attempt at getting started on this.

Droplets Shawl

Knitpicks

Airy Yarn from Unique Chic Studios

80% Tussah Silk/20% Merino

I think I finally have a handle on it – I hope so anyway!

ONE MORE THING

I’d like to invite you to visit my new Etsy shop, ClayDreamsPottery..  I plan to update every other Monday morning, but now, I’m slowly adding things, but I’d love for you to come have a look around.  I hope you like it!!!!!!!

Those who aim at great deeds must also suffer greatly. Plutarch

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Spinning Sunday #2 3/30/14

Spinning Sunday #2 3/30/14


WOOLY STASH DIVE

I’m in the process of turning this raw, but washed, Rambouillet fleece into socks. This doesn’t happen overnight, unfortunately. It’s not hard to do, but it is time consuming and labor intensive to turn this –

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Washed Unspun

Into this:

Carded Fleece

Into this:

Dyed and Ready to Spin

Perhaps I was a little impatient overmotivated this week, washing and dyeing more fleece, which can’t be rushed.  I know this because I just completely felted a good amount of just dyed purple fleece.  Sigh.  I suppose wool can be recycled……

Dang.

I’ve heard that patience is a virtue.

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Phestival Phun, Phorget The Photos, If I Were a Knitpicks Cable

Phestival Phun, Phorget The Photos, If I Were a Knitpicks Cable


WHAT I DID AND WHAT I DIDN’T DO

Remember all the photos I promised of the Fiber Festival?  Didn’t.Take.One.  As a matter of fact, my camera didn’t even make it to the festival.  That’s right, after being obsessive about making sure I had the camera, it never even made it to the festivities.  I remembered it about the time we pulled into the parking lot.  I suppose I could have pressed Mr. Iknead into going back and getting it, but the festival and the camera were about 20 miles apart and I just didn’t have the heart to ask him to go back and get on that cold and rainy morning.  But……..

MY PHESTIVAL TAKE AWAY

Prepare to be awed:

This, my friends, is a bag of beautiful baby alpaca.  It feels like buttah.

It’s from Whirlwind Ranch in Lebanon, Missouri and cries out to be fondled.

Here we have “Raspberry Ice”, domestic wool top from

Diamond B Sheep Farm of Greenwood Arkansas

More from the Diamond B – 100% merino, just waiting to become someone’s favorite socks.

More Diamond B merino, which hasn’t decided yet what it should be, given the amazing possibilities.

A wool, Angelina, silk noil and faux cashmere batt from you know where.

Can you see the little sparklies?  I learned that those are called Angelina.

A wool, Tussah silk and bamboo batt, from my favorite Arkansas sheep farm.

All this fiber and I stayed within my budget (give or take about five bucks).  This should keep Violet and me spinning for a while!

IF I WERE A KNITPICKS INTERCHANGEABLE CABLE

Where would I be?  All I know is that all my lovely interchangeable cables are missing and I’ve pretty much exhausted all possible hiding places.  I’ve looked in every bag, basket and drawer in the knitting room, I’ve called my housekeeper, I’ve called Bigmommy and even enlisted St. Anthony.  No cables.  They may have been abducted by aliens, since I’ve ruled out someone breaking into my house, sneaking into the knitting room and taking off with a ziplock bag of cables.  Sigh.  They’re sure to turn up now, since I ordered a new set last night.  Sigh.

 Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.  James Baldwin

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Spin Cycle and Begonias

Spin Cycle and Begonias


ADVENTURES IN WOOL

With the acquisition of my spinning wheel (I’ve named her Violet) last week, I inherited a bag – make that a sealed bag – of wool, unwashed, unpicked and really, really greasy with what must be lanolin.  First time experience with raw wool.  It smelled very sheepy – not a bad smell, just……sheepy.  So, I did what anyone would do.  I went on YouTube to see what you do with raw wool to make it spinnable and eventually, knittable.  I washed it good with the recommended Dawn dish detergent; remember: Dawn takes grease out of your way, which it does and then rinsed it and ran it through the spin cycle a couple of times.  Lucky for you, I documented its transformation.

Just out of the sealed bag, unwashed

After first wash, rinse and spin

After another rinse and spin, then out into the sun to dry

I’ll start carding it tonight, to hopefully begin its change from a fleece into sock yarn.  I’m completely convinced that you can learn anything by checking out YouTube.  Amazing.

Mr. Iknead is still firm on his NO SHEEP policy.  Won’t even talk about it.

GREEN GROWING THINGS

A couple of my begonias are blooming and a couple more that I’d pretty much given up on have decided to perk up and promise more blooms.  My mom loved begonias and I suppose that’s rubbed off a little.  I love these colors –

Habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it each day, and at last we cannot break it.  Horace Mann

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Sort of Bluesy

Sort of Bluesy


BLUE ROVING, BLUE ROVING

I know it’s red rover, but I have blue roving and am excited to share it.  It’s from Three Waters Farm, who I found on Etsy.  The colorway is Rainy Day and it’s 100%   Blueface Leicester, a joy just to touch and even more to spin.  I see now what all the excitement is about.  I’m afraid that after this, anything less than BFL is going to be totally unacceptable.   Look how beautiful it is –

I’ve been dropping broad hints for a couple of weeks that my life would be perfect (not that it’s not pretty darn close already) if I just had a spinning wheel.  I’m not sure if Mr. Iknead has picked up on them or not, knitting, spinning and their accessories are not exactly what floats his boat, but since most of what makes me happy makes him happy, getting one is not completely out of the question.  Anyone have one they’d like to donate???  Here’s a little bit on the niddy-noddy – I’m getting better with the spindle, the thickness is getting more consistent, but I have no idea about plying-can that even be done on a drop spindle?  I’m calling what I spin artisanal yarn, which makes all its flaws sound really expensive and something I worked on  for hours getting just right.  😉

MORE BLUE

Mr. Iknead found this little guy yesterday while he was working in the yard.  I’ve never seen a blue tailed skink this small, I think it looks like a piece of jewelry and I’d wear it for sure!

Growth itself contains the germ of happiness.  Pearl Buck

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More links to Three Waters Farm

www.etsy.com/shop/threewatersfarm

www.ravelry.com/people/threewatersfarm

www.facebook.com/threewatersfarm

Adventures in Dyeing, Part 2

Adventures in Dyeing, Part 2


Another experiment, this time using Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade and Cherry flavors.  The jury’s still out on this one.

After drying last night, the jury is in.  I like it.

And wound

The Yarn Formerly Known As Oatmeal

An hour of play discovers more than a year of conversation does.  Portuguese proverb

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The one where I’m learning to

The one where I’m learning to


set some of my expectations of myself a little lower than I’m used to.  I’m beginning to figure out that some of the things I push myself to do, like visit my mom and dad, coordinate their care with various people (for example, Mom has a dental checkup this month), making sure that the nursing home is aware of these things so transportation can be arranged, taking care of their financial things because even though they’re both in a nursing home, their electric and water bill still have to be paid and insurance continues to come due.  At the same time, Mr. Iknead and I are cleaning their house, going through things, cleaning out closets, trying to find a suitable facility for them here in Little Rock and driving three hours one way on the weekends to get these things accomplished, all the while, holding down a full time job here in Little Rock.  Oh my, seeing it laid out like this, I had no idea just how impossible my self imposed expectations really are!  No one can do all this stuff and remain physically and mentally intact and I need to scale back now for everyone’s sake.  Knitting continues to be a lifeline.

While cleaning out a closet of theirs yesterday, I found this gorgeous throw.  I think it belonged to one of my mom’s sisters (she had five), it’s vaguely familiar, but I hadn’t seen it in I don’t know how long.  I’m in love with it.  It has a tag reading The Three Weavers, Houston, Texas, Handwoven, 100% virgin wool.  I’m not sure if these pics do it justice but you get the idea.

Down to the toes of the Slippery Socks.  Finish tonight, for sure!

The man who insists upon seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides.  Accept life and you must accept regret.  Henri Frederic Amiel (1821-1881)

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