Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Luscious Lace!

I love Lace.  Lately since Spring has sprung and Summer is just around the corner I have been working away on a shawl that has been languishing in my WIPs for far far to long.

Well I mentioned last night I had something new off the bobbin and it took me ages to ply and wind it into a skein.  I was actually surprised at just how long I spent skeining this yarn!  The only good thing about it taking so long, is that it must mean I had a ton of yardage right?

The answers is yes.  This has to be one of my largest skeins I've spun to date!  588 yards of two-ply yarn and it only weighs 3.5 ounces (100 grams).  It's some serious yarn love.  What will I make?  That is yet to be determined, but I have a lot of yards to play with that's for sure!

Yarn Out:  3954 g (7589 y)
Yarn Destashed:  376 g
Yarn In:  2648 g
Yards Spun:  2495 y

Monday, March 26, 2012

Just Keep Spinning...

The end of the alpaca is in sight!  After what feels like ages I am down to less than 3 ounces of fiber left.  At the start of March I set a goal hoping to have it done by the end of the month.  It definitely looks like I'll be able to finish it and have plenty of time to wash it before hauling it off with me to Ohio.

I'm spinning up the singles on my Ashford Joy and then plying on the Majacraft Suzie Pro.  It's so nice that two Ashford bobbins will fit onto one Majacraft bobbin.  Makes plying soooo easy.

Speaking of plying, I've finished up the merino and nylon blend that I was spinning up on the Majacraft.  It's so thin I lost count a few times while trying to add up my yardage.  I have a ton of work to do yet tonight for my job so I'll be counting that again tomorrow when I get a chance to take photos.

It definitely looks like it will be between a lace and fingering weight so I'm hoping for a ton of yardage.  Whether I'll knit it up, or sell the handspun I've yet to decide, but it would make a gorgeous triangle shawl.

Since it's a new quarter at school I am on another goal setting mission in hopes of making the fourth quarter even better than the third.  I've also been on a mission to organize life at home in a bit of a spring cleaning effort.  Well this has rolled over into my fiber hobbies as well.  Although before I've been setting monthly goals, since I'm blogging a few times a week I decided to set a few weekly goals as well.  Ready to see what I'm hoping to finish this week?

Goals for the Week:
  • Finish the Alpaca
  • Knit a Hat
  • Complete one repeat of the Shawl
  • Finish the Monster!

I love goals. :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I swear I haven't bought anything!

Last week I said I place an order with Knit Picks due to some "work stress" I have been dealing with lately, and it arrived on Friday!  It was a big increase to the stash as 18 balls of yarn came to live with me.  Each of those weighed in at 50 grams.  Want to see the sock yarn?

I have a think for self-striping yarn and I will not deny it!  These were fairly cheap, and sooo soo pretty!  Plus it allowed me to get free shipping on my order and you can bet I'm a sucker for free.

Of course, seeing as how I have a new best friend who loves to crochet, we decided to meet up on Friday and take a little adventure out to the yarn shop in Summerville, SC.  We went.  I bought.  I figured since I had been buying so much at the big box craft stores and online it was time to show some love to my local yarn shop as well.

It was the first time I had stepped foot in there and I was not disappointed.  My ideal store would have excessive amounts of trekking and regia, but that's just my silly little preferences.  This store did have some stunning sock yarns and I might have come home with two of them.

I loved the colors in this yarn.  It was bright, pretty and will make a fabulous scarf for next fall.  It says "sock" but I've never been a huge fan of socks made out of singles.  Now, I do love sock weight yarn, and singles make fabulous scarves and shawls, so the yarn definitely has a plan in mind!

Since my current obsession is actual socks, I decided that I needed some "real" sock yarn as well!  Aka, yarn that I will knit and wear as often as possible.

I loooved these colors.  In real life it's a bit more purply, but of course that doesn't show up the best with my camera, especially since it's been overcast today with a bit of rain.

So yes... 1100 grams of yarn came into my stash on Friday. For those of you keeping track that is almost 2.5 pounds.

Since so much has been coming in, I do have some plans for things to be leaving, but that will be coming more in the future.  As some stash leaves, more will come in, and hopefully leave again shortly after.  But for this you will have to wait and see. :)

Yarn Out:  3954 g (7589 y)
Yarn Destashed:  376 g
Yarn In:  2648 g
Yards Spun:  1907 y
I do think it's funny.  Even with all of the yarn purchases this year I still have used up a good bit more than I've bought.  Guess when you look at it that way it isn't too bad. :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Loving Retail Therapy

Yes... It was a fairly rough weekend, but instead of resorting to drinking and wasting my money away on alcohol I decided that Yarn was a better purchase.

Friday I placed an online order with Knit Picks.  There was a kit that I had wanted ages ago and I decided my bad day was reason enough to make the purchase.  While waiting for this to arrive, something else showed up at my door.

It's the 2012 Into the Whirled Fiber club for the month of March.  After seeing the photos of all of the Into the Whirled club shipments I was dying to get my hands on the club fiber.  I am so glad that I decided to join because this is absolutely delicious!  It's 85% Polwarth, 15% Silk and is sooo soo soft, not to mention stunning.  I love the colors she used to dye this!

Then today, I got a text message after work.  "Hey, do you want to meet me at AC Moore?"  Yes, my yarn friend invited me to meet her at a big box craft store and help her 'pick out yarn.'  It all started out so well!  And then my friend went to the restroom.  While she was gone I managed to find about 9 skeins of yarn that I "needed."  Oh well!  I do love some retail therapy and I bought yarn to make some gifts for my family back home.  With Mothers and Fathers day just around the corner I need to get started now.  Right after that will come the holidays and my goal is to knit all my gifts this holiday season.  Aside from that, I will be getting married some time in all of this holiday mess so best to start out early!

Ready to see the photos of today's haul?

Something for Dad
Something for Erin

A present for Mom

Another unknown gift set.
I haven't planned out these gifts exactly yet, but I'm kicking around a few ideas with my spare time.  Since I only have a few projects on the needles at the moment I'm hoping to get them started soon!

Oh, and remember last Monday when I said I would be trying to spin 2 oz a week in order to have the raw alpaca finished before I went home for Easter?

This past weekend I plied up another 3.5 oz skein of alpaca!  That's 1.5 ounces MORE than I had planned on spinning last week!  If I can spin another 2 ounces this week I will be ahead of the game.  Whether or not that will happen I do not know, the allergies are working overtime right now and I have no desire to play with the raw fiber right now!

Hope everyone is having a great week so far.  Since I've been getting so much done lately you may see a few more blog posts out of me in the future. ;)

A lot more in this week!

Yarn Out:  3954 g (7589 y)
Yarn Destashed:  376 g
Yarn In:  1548 g
Yards Spun:  1907 y

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Ups and Downs of Life

Well, it happened again.  Just when I thought everything was looking up and that life was turning around I found myself crashing back down and falling to pieces in the process.  There are parts of my job that I love, and there are other parts that are so toxic I block them from my mind whenever I am there.  My boss informed me on Friday that I had "not made the gains they had needed" and thus "I would not be recommended for a contract next year."  For the third year in a row I will be unemployed again at the start of summer.  The first time this happened I felt finding a new job teaching would be hopeless, but family and friends encouraged me to continue with my passion.  My coworkers were shocked that I was let go, so I must have been good enough for them to be surprised that I was "let go."  The second year I was dismissed due to budget cuts within the state and county which was based on my contract level for that year.  I was ready to go back to school and find a new career, surely two years in a row was saying something!  Again, coworkers from the new school encouraged me not to give up.  They felt I had a talent and I needed to be there, especially since they felt I was so good at what I did.  I was rehired at the same school that "let me go" last year and was having what I felt was a great year.  I could see my improvements.  I could see how I was growing within my profession and really having an impact on my students.  Unfortunately the administration did not agree and I have just under three months until I will begin searching again.  Although I knew this could happen, and with the toxic environment at my place of employment I considered quitting on my own, it still crushed me to be told I wasn't good enough for their standards.  I'm looking at the bright side, I'm focusing on things that make me happy and I promise not to babble on and on about my job hunt in the upcoming months.  If anyone has any suggestions for switching careers please do let me know!

Now for what you really came for... the yarn!

I finished something.  Can you guess what it is?

Pattern:  Wingspan
Yarn:  Handspun - Superwash Merino from Crown Mountain Farms
Comments:  I had 700 yards of this handspun and only used up approximately 401 yards to make this scarf/shawlette.  138 grams of yarn.

I LOVE this project!  I have some plans to make more scarves/shawlettes in handspun yarn because I do enjoy it so much!

Since I had so much yarn left, and Knitabulls is doing a Monster Madness March KAL I decided to cast on for a Dot the Dress Up Box Monster by Rebecca Danger.

May I present to you:  A Monster Butt.
Since taking this photo I have finished the main body of my monster and have come to a horrible stopping point.  I have no idea what to do for the contrast color that is needed for the eye patch and the ears.  I want to use handspun and would prefer to keep with Superwash Merino since that is what I have for the main body.  I do have a variety of CMF Superwash up in my stash so I may do some stash diving over the next few days and get your opinions.

Things like this make me wonder if people actually do read my blog.  I started this blog with the intention to help store and track my personal information for my own use.  I assumed that very few people actually read it; however, while watching The Knitting Game Podcast yesterday I thought to myself: "I love this podcast!  I really should remember to join their group!"  Not one minute after this thought occurred the lovely podcastor began going down her list of new members and mentioned my name.  Oh!  I did join!  Awesome!  Shortly after she began talking about how much she enjoyed my blog.  I died of shock.  Here I was convinced no one read my blog. ;)

Oh I have a yarn update too:

Yarn Out:  3954 g (7589 y)
Yarn Destashed:  376 g
Yarn In:  1013 g
Yards Spun:  1907 y
The finished scarf is added to my list as well as some "new" fiber that came to live with me yesterday.  I'll post some photos of the new fiber some point this week.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Just Plugging Away.

Work has been very busy as always and unfortunately I haven't been feeling well here myself.  Back in December they stopped making the medication I had been on for over 8 years, and it took three months before I realized the "new" medication just wasn't working at all.  After a miserable night last night I finally realized what the problem was and headed to the doctors this afternoon.  Hopefully she'll be able to find me something to substitute because I don't know how long I'll be able to deal with this!

Oh well, on to yarn talk!

My friend Dori came over on Saturday and we played with yarn.

281 yards, 100 grams of a two ply yarn, dyed by Dori and spun by me!  This took just a few hours to spin up and is sooo soft and squishy.  This was the second braid out of the fiber we dyed up the other weekend.

I'm really enjoying spinning up the stuff we dyed and I'm in LOVE with the new wheel.

I've been plugging away on a few larger projects lately, just trying to make a little dent in them.  One of them was the 12 ounces of alpaca fleece a friend sent me to spin up.  There is one skein all wound up that weighs about 3.5 ounces and my math tells me that if I can spin approximately 2 ounces each week I should be able to have this done before I go home to visit!

Finishing it before I head home means that I can deliver it back to it's owner in person.  Saves me about 6 bucks in shipping, but hey, I'll be spending a few hundred on gas just to get to and from home.  Plus I haven't seen this friend in over 2 years so it's a great excuse to meet up with her again.

Also in the past week I've been working my way through the wingspan shawl/scarf thingy.

I LOVE this handspun.  I've just started the second ball of handspun right around the start of the 6th triangle.  The second skein is a bit thicker than the first, so I think for future projects I'll be making a better effort to check my gauge more often to get a more consistent yarn.

I do love working with handspun!

Yarn Out:  3553 g (7452 y)
Yarn Destashed:  376 g
Yarn In:  913 g
Yards Spun:  1907 y
Had some more yarn destashed too!  Dori used up the rest of the Lincoln I purchased years ago at the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival.  Not bad fiber, just not fiber for me.  Also since the blue handspun is being gifted to her (since she dyed it) I have another 100 grams that disappeared from my stash!  It feels so good to declutter!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Another FO!

It's DONE.  DONE DONE DONE!  Last night I wove in every last end to the afghan I started back in December of 2006.  Five and a half years, but I've finally gotten it finished.

Pattern:  Popcorn Ripple
Yarn:  Caron One Pound in Nutmeg, Rose and Lace.
Comments:  I LOVE this blanket.  I made it twice as wide and used the majority of 6 pounds of acrylic.  I wanted a nice big afghan that I could snuggle up in during Ohio Winters.  Of course, I've moved to South Carolina and it's proved very useful here as well.

Since I've finished this, I've been spinning away on the Alpaca hoping to finish that as soon as physically possible.  I've also been knitting on my scarf and socks as well.  Now that this long term project is off the needles I hope to get some work done on my shawl I started back in 2006 as well!  I will get this long time UFOs off the needles!

Yarn Out:  3553 g (7452 y)
Yarn Destashed:  50 g
Yarn In:  913 g
Yards Spun:  1626 y

Monday, March 5, 2012

It's March!

Wow, this year is flying by FAST and I'm still plowing away with my knitting and spinning so far this year!

I meant to update on the 1st of March to wrap up February and discuss my knitting goals for March; however, real life got in the way and I put my post off until the weekend.  Well, today is Monday so obviously I'm a little behind again!

Oh well!

February Goals:
  • Knit my February Hat for 12 Hats in 2012  Done!
  • Finish the Afghan started back in 2006 So Close!
  • Finish the Stripe Study Shawl  Done!
  • Make some progress on my Candle Flame Shawl  Haven't touched this!
  • Buy NO yarn/fiber! Oops!
I was hoping to finish the afghan but alas, it did not happen last month.  I will say though that last Saturday I completed the last row and tied the stitch off!  Now I just have to weave in all 10000000 ends! *Insert Groan Here*

Since I last updated... I bought a wheel.  Yup, bought a wheel.  Well, technically I purchased it prior to my last post, but it finally arrived last Wednesday!  I put on some of the fiber I dyed with my friend D from work and ended up with approximately 341 yards.

This was Peruvian Wool Roving from KnitPicks.  Dyed with McCormick Food Dyes in the Crockpot and spun up on my new Majacraft Suzie Pro.  I ended up with 3.5oz of yarn which is approximately 341 yards.  It's a fingering weight and will make a lovely scarf or even some hard wearing socks!  This is NOT superwash! (I need to put this here or I will never remember!)

Also for March I signed up to participate in the Knitting Blooms March KAL.  For their KAL, the podcastor picked a yarn from our stash for us to knit up this month.  The majority of my SC yarn stash is handspun, sock yarn, and of course the occasional handspun sock yarn.  We'll she picked out approximately 700 yards of Crown Mountain Farms sock weight that has been in my stash for ages now.

After some careful deliberation and a run through my queue and other ravelry pattern searches I settled on Wingspan.  So far, I'm in love.  I never really appreciated knitting with handspun until recently and I don't know that I'll ever stop knitting with handspun.

I'm so in love with these colors!  I apologize for the bad photos.  Unfortunately I haven't made it home to get some good photos during daylight hours, so I'm stuck trying to get good photos at night.  These photos are very accurate as far as colors are concerned!

March Goals:
  • Weave in all those ends!
  • Finish Wingspan
  • Finish the March Hat
  • Make progress on Candle Flame Shawl
  • Finish Spinning the Raw Alpaca!
I have lofty goals, but if I don't set goals I won't complete anything!

Yarn Out:  1073 g (2925 y)
Yarn Destashed:  50 g
Yarn In:  913 g
Yards Spun:  1626 y