Posts Tagged “Spinning”

I’m back in NJ again and ready to share the crafty stuff I’ve been doing lately with y’all.

First off, on the way down to camp we stopped in Roanoke, VA for the night. To my surprise, DPUTiger was working an event nearby and asked if we could do dinner or something!

Me & DPUTiger!

We had a great dinner at a downtown BBQ joint that we had been to before and then took an adventure out to find ice cream. The place was rather charming, what with the Big Ass Umbrella and all.

Big freeking umbrella!!

See? I wasn’t kidding. It was huge. HWJF couldn’t resist a picture (even with the iPhone at night). The ice cream he had was of similar size. :) I do believe a fun time was had by all and I was glad we could spend some time with Amy considering it was her birthday and I truly believe that No One should have to work on their birthday!

At bassoon camp, I mostly spent my crafting time spinning. I’m starting to think about fall shows for Zarzuela’s Fibers (which I hope to open again sometime this week!) and making samples for display in the booth. With that in mind, I took some of my “Blue Jeans and Leather Shoes” colorway in superwash merino and spun it up into a two ply yarn.

"Blue Jeans and Leather Shoes" spun up at Bassoon Camp

I sent this yarn and one other home with our friend Gerry who is a wonderful knitter and will be knitting up a sample for me in this yarn. :)

The other spinning project I worked on was sort of a test run for a new colorway and a return to making a true three ply yarn.

"Garden Path" spun up at GPBC 2009

It seemed to take forever but I’m very happy with the results. It turned out to be a good solid sock weight yarn, which was exactly what I was going for. I’m not sure how many more skeins of this there are in my future, but I’m pleased with how the colors worked out in this merino-tencel fiber. What do y’all think?

There was also a bit of knitting on the trip. I’ve been in a “finish old projects” mood so I took this pair of socks with me that had been on the needles since last August!

Narraganset Bay Socks

Naraganset bay socks

Pattern: Narraganset Bay Socks from “A Fine Fleece” by Lisa Lloyd
Yarn: Brown Sheep Nature Spun sport (2 balls)
Needles: Size 1 knitpicks
Knit: 8.27.08-6.7.09

I really love the end product with these socks but knitting them felt like it took forever and a day. I thought the pattern would be interesting to knit, but either I just wasn’t in the right mood or knitting and purling just wasn’t enough to keep my attention.

Naraganset bay socks

The yarn was a bit splity and the needles quite sharp so that may have had something to do with it. Still, I’m glad I made them. I think they are quite pretty and will be a good addition to the winter wardrobe.

Naraganset bay socks

Lest you think that I’ve turned into a slow sock knitter, I spent the last week while I was home with my parents making up for my failure to get my Mom a pair of socks for Mother’s Day (nevermind that my surgery was the next day and I was a bit preoccupied ;) ).

The really late mother's day socks

They’re just a plain old pair of stockinette toe up socks using my usual construction. I knit them in two different colorways of Blue Moon’s Sock Candy, alternating the yarns every couple of rows to blend the colors. Mom has wide feet in a size 10, so I was worried that I would have enough yardage to get a complete pair out of them.

Really late mother's day socks

I really had no reason to worry because I ended up with plenty left over. I knit these in about 7 days. Much more reasonable time frame there. I finished them just before we left for me to come back to NJ yesterday. :) Perfect timing.

Getting back to the actual trip away, no vacation would be complete without at least a little stash acquisition. Believe it or not, it took until just about our last day on the road for me to buy yarn. I looked in some of the usual places, but I think I’ve honestly gotten to the point where if the colors don’t call out to me or there isn’t something really special about it, I’m just not too anxious to buy yarn. I have plenty of stash to work through at the moment and with job concerns and hospital bills still possibly on the horizon, it just doesn’t seem that important. But we stopped at two yarn stores on our way back through Roanoke and I came home with these three yarns:

Vacation yarns

From the top they are:

Blue Ridge Yarns Kaleidoscope
Wendy Happy
Cherry Tree Hill Supersock

Not sure if I’ll knit them up or something else during SOS’09 just yet, but they’ll wait for me no matter when I use them.

So I think that just about covers it!

I’ve got grand plans for this (hopefully) last week that I’m off work. We’ll see how much I actually get done. I just want to thank you all again for all the well wishes I’ve received on my recovery. Things are going well and I see my surgeon on Thursday to find out if I can drive again and go back to work next Monday. I’ll keep you posted!

Finally, make sure you go check out the SOS’09 group later today. We’re gearing up for the start this weekend and I hope to have a good announcement or two to share. See you there! :)

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So let’s face it, I’m just not going to get back to normal blogging any time soon. There! I said it! Isn’t that a relief?!? ;) I’ve been meaning to get back here to post so much in the last few weeks, but there’s always something else that just seems more important at the moment. I love the blog, I do miss it, but I’m just focused on other stuff right now.

So as seems to be the pattern here as of late, the medical update. I’m less than a week away from surgery now. I had my pre-op testing (can I just say I was shocked at how easy, quick and pain free an EKG is?!?) and everything looks good. My pessimistic side was just waiting for them to find something else wrong with me. :-P My surgeon’s office has all the paperwork and we should be all set to go on May 11th. Provided that my stupid allergies which have gone absolutely ballistic in the last week (Dear Trees, Why do you hate me so??) don’t force a postponement (as an aside, I finally conquered my fear of the neti pot and it is my new best friend). All attempts at directed blood donation have been completely foiled. HWJF got disqualified because he lived in Europe for more than 6 months between 1980-1990. Apparently that makes him a potential carrier for Mad Cow. The cow jokes around here lately have drastically increased. And my poor Dad ended up with a fever the day of his appointment and won’t be symptom free long enough to donate and get the blood to my hospital so that’s all toast. I’m assuming that the universe is telling me not to worry about it and I won’t need blood, so I’m not worrying about it. So now I just wait.

(Incidentally, I’ve been toying with the idea of full disclosure of my situation lately, mostly because there is so little out there about it. My fear is that, given the nature of the internet these days, that it could come back to haunt me down the road. I’ve thought about doing a password protected post and anyone that’s interested can e-mail me with the password or something. I’m still thinking on that and will let y’all know if I come to a decision. I have no problem talking about my condition, I just want to be smart about it.)

While I’m waiting I’ve been concentrating on things to help me along this path, like yoga, much more than I did before. The doctor says that my condition going into surgery is directly related to my condition coming out. Since I’m still symptom free and feeling healthy (besides the stupid allergies) I figure the stronger I am going in, the better off I’ll be. I got my first reiki treatment from a dear friend which was a wonderful experience and I hope to go back for more after I get out of the hospital. I took an amazing energy work workshop (Jin Shin Jyutsu) this past Wednesday night, I tried a restorative yoga class last week to see what I might be able to incorporate into my recovery (quite a bit I think actually) and I’ve been being better about taking my vitamins. As far as I’m concerned, my healing starts now. There’s been a fair bit of trauma already and plenty of tears. I think I’m ready to move beyond that now and start looking farther ahead. Obviously the physical part is still to come but I think if I’m mentally and physically in a state of healing beforehand I’ll be better off.

I’ve been spinning and knitting a fair amount, but not as much as I used to before all this happened. And I’m really ok with that. I’m finding a new balance with my time and that may be one of the big lessons I take away from this experience. So my Dad’s birthday socks turned into Easter socks. ;) But as long as they were, I think that’s probably an ok exchange.

Dad's Birthday/Easter socks 2009

Spinning on the wedding shawl continued amongst friends a few weeks ago. We were lucky enough to have a great weather day, so we put up the canopy and spun outside.

Wedding shawl yarn in progress 2

It’s slow going since it’s so fine, but I’m enjoying it.

Wedding shawl yarn in progress

For some reason, I’ve also gone on a bobbin clearing binge lately. It started with wanting to finish spinning a batt of the Romney/Border Leicester fleece that I’ve been working on for his and her’s sweaters. Little did I know, there were actually Three batts in the box! I finished spinning them and then needed to ply them so I needed to spin more of the stuff I’m plying them with and it went on from there.

Honeymoon sweater yarn

At least I feel a definite sense of accomplishment from having all this yarn now. And we’ve started to think that these may end up being honeymoon sweaters. :) There is something deliciously dorky about that and I love it. :)

My knitting after the socks ended up being my first test knit! They are the Mama Janes pattern by Michelle Miller. She added a larger size to the pattern offering and I knit it up.

Big Janes

I thought they would be good to wear while I’m recovering since I tend to get very cold feet when I have to be still for long periods of time. It was a fun pattern to knit. I just have to find appropriate buttons and I’m going to felt them ever so slightly. Knitting with the Malabrigo was heaven. And since I liked it so much I started another project with it!

Recovery cowl in progress

This is the Celtic Cable Neckwarmer by Lindsay Henricks. I wanted a cowl for my recovery too, since they helped me keep warm in a cool house this winter. I need something that I don’t have to pull over my head though. Yay buttons! :) I should have enough time to get this done before I head to the hospital. And a big thanks to Sharon as the gift certificate she gave me for my birthday paid for the yarn. :)

So that’s about it from here. I hope to get one more blog post up before I go in for surgery with details of SOS’09! Stay tuned!!

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I suddenly realized that it’s been weeks since I’ve updated the blog! Yikes! I suppose that my limited brain power has sort of been consumed by other stuff recently, so I do have an excuse, but I really didn’t mean to let it go on this long.

So let’s get the health update out of the way. The 2nd opinion was very reassuring but the diagnosis was basically the same. At least this doctor said I did have the option of waiting for a bit if it wasn’t a good time for me to do this. I’m very much of the opinion that I would rather get it over with, so we’ve scheduled surgery for May 11th. For those of you keeping score, that’s after Maryland and 2 weeks before bassoon camp. The idea is that with a 2-6 week recovery ahead of me, we’re hoping that I’ll be ready to travel two weeks after surgery and I can complete my recovery at camp, because I honestly can’t think of a better place to heal. Hopefully I’ll be ready to go back to work when we get home. I’ll be having the surgery in NYC with one of the best doctors around for this condition. I think I’m in very good hands. I’m still nervous about it all, but I think I couldn’t have ended up with a better situation. And the fact that the doctor *just* started taking my insurance in February seems to be a good indication for me that the universe has led me to the right place.

So I’m feeling better about that situation. Of course, the drama couldn’t be over just yet. I had to find out last week that there is a very good chance that I will be laid off from my job by the end of the summer. Lovely, eh? I’m just counting my lucky stars that the surgery and recovery should all be over by then. I can go on HWJF’s insurance at any time, so that’s a good thing, but needless to say we’re going to be doing our best to save as much as we can until the time comes. As I explained to my Dad the other day, I think I only have so many “slots” for things to worry about right now and since they’re all kind of full, I’m just trying to take one day at a time and really just don’t feel that I can give this much mental energy at the moment. Of course that by no means indicates that I’m not doing a full blown freek out now and then (like when I started reading about nerve damage this week), but I’m trying to remain calm and realize that there are some things in life that I just do not have control over.

One other sad bit of news: If you are local and haven’t heard, Modern Yarn will be closing their doors June 1st. I’ve been attending the SnB there fairly regularly since we moved to Northern NJ last year and I just have to say that this will definitely be leaving a hole in my life and those of my fellow SnB compatriots. Kristin and Paige couldn’t be nicer people and the community that they’ve created will certainly be missed. I just want to wish them well in whatever the future holds for them.

In the meantime there actually is some good news floating about around here. Wedding plans are marching forward and I went dress shopping with my Mom and Annie a couple of weekends ago. I’m happy to say that it will also be the last time I go dress shopping because I found one! This experience was much less painful than I thought it would be I’m happy to say and that can definitely be credited to the wonderful staff at the shop. If you are local and looking for a bridal shop, definitely let me know and I’ll be happy to recommend the place I went (which I incidentally only went to because it was suggested by a fellow Raveler. Yay Ravelry!). I won’t be posting a link here for fear that a nosy boy might start poking around, but if you’re dying to know I’ll be happy to send you the link (if you aren’t HWJF! Sorry honey! Not happening!). :)

The other good news is that my surgeon gave me the ok to go back to my regular activities, so I’ve been doing some spinning and knitting again. The spinning has pretty much solely consisted of working on a blend of cormo (from the fleece I bought at the last MDS&W) and angora (yes, from Stitches) into a lace weight singles. Bet you can’t guess what might become of that. ;)

It was 110 wpi at last count. I plan to ply it and I’m not sure what pattern I’ll end up using until I know how much yarn I’m going to have, but part of it will have the lily of the valley pattern.

I’ve also been working on a birthday gift for my Dad, which didn’t quite make it. I guess he got a kick out of opening a package with just one sock. At least it fits and I will hopefully be able to give him the complete pair when we go up for Easter.

Dad's socks
The socks that never seem to end!

That’s about it for now. I’ll try not to let it go so long between posts again. I’d really like to try to get back to some of the “normal” things while I wait to have my surgery. I think my sanity may depend on it!

P.S. For those of you that may be wondering, plans for SOS’09 are up in the air at the moment. I’d like to do it again, but it will need to be *very* low stress for me and everyone else involved this time around. I’m working on ideas and will certainly make an announcement when the time is right. Thanks for your patience!

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Sorry for the radio silence but it’s been one hell of a week in my world. I had two very long days of training at work and other assorted nonsense and I just haven’t been able to get my act together enough to blog. I didn’t even upload any 365 pics last night even though I did take them. Ugh. I’ll just be happy when it’s all over!

I’m sorry to say, there isn’t a whole lot to report on the Hanspun February front this week due to all that other crap. I managed to get some of my Romney/Border Leicester fleece that I had washed a while ago carded up. But y’all know what a dark colored wool batt looks like, right? I did manage to get a little more done on my spindle project and took this fun picture on Wednesday when it was nearly 60 degrees out on my lunch break!

Spinning outside - SP 365.42

That one day made me itch for spring something fierce. Kind of killed the mojo a bit too.

My only other remotely fiber related thing to report is that this fluffy little girl:

oh hai!
Ummm… I’m talking about the rabbit. But you knew that, right?!?

Is getting a haircut this weekend. Nekkid bunny pictures forthcoming of course. And hopefully there will finally be some attempts to blend angora with wool before the end of the month.

Almost forgot, I’m also spinning up my January Fiber Club colorway with the members of my club. This is corriedale wool that a dyed in a new colorway I decided to call “Snowy Wood in January”.

Snowy Wood in January

The first half is done. Just need to find time to spin up the rest before we leave for Chicago on Tuesday (anyone want to recommend a good Chicago yarn shop by the way)? I should have a small shop update done this weekend. You can check out the Ravelry group or follow me on plurk (Zarzuela) or now twitter (Zarzuelasfibers) to find out when it’s happening!

Finally, here are a few pics from the week (not that there was much time for pictures it seems):

Week 6

Have a wonderful weekend!


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I think I’ll use Fridays this month to show you my progress for Handspun February. As HWJF keeps telling me, “It’s a square month!” so I think that will work out just fine.

I have a lot of goals for this month and I’m finding a lot of motivation in the group. Either that or it’s the vitamins I just started taking. ;) Anyway, I’ve made some good progress this week. First, I finished up the next bobbin for a long term project:

Embryonic sweater progress - Crafting 365.34

What you see on the bobbin is some sort of randomly blended fiber that we picked up a bump of at Rhinebeck last fall. HWJF and I both like it so much that I’m going to attempt to spin and knit some sort of his and hers matching sweaters out of it (I know. We are giant dorks. Deal!). In order to make that fiber go a little farther I’m using one ply of it along with one ply of the Romney/Border Leicester fleece that I bought at Rhinebeck as well. I’ve been processing that fleece myself and only got enough washed so far for one bobbin’s worth, which you see in the above picture in the finished skeins of yarn. There is more washed up that needs to be carded, so hopefully there will be more finished yarn soon. I expect this is going to take a while, so don’t be surprised if this shows up a few more times on the blog before there’s actually any knitting involved.

Since part of Handspun February is also about knitting with handspun yarn, I’ve been working along on my Endpaper mitts with some older handspun that I showed you last week.

Endpaper mitts progress - Crafting 365.33

They’ve moved along pretty quickly.

Endpaper mitt progress, top view

I’ve pretty much followed the pattern to the letter except for not using the recommended cast on and bind offs. I may be sorry about that decision since I do believe they would have given the project a nicer finished edge, but since they’re only for me I’m not really going to worry about it to much.

Endpaper mitt progress, side view - Crafting 365.36

I really like the sheen of the merino tencel yarn along with the contrast in colors in combination with the diamond motif. These have made excellent commuting knitting and I’m sure they will make excellent fingerless mitts when the weather starts to get a bit warmer.

One of my other goals is to try to finish one of the spindle projects I’ve had going since HWJF bought me the spindles at Rhinebeck! This one seems to have the greatest chance of making the finish line this month.

Spindle spinning progress

It’s the camel/silk blend that Juno gave me a while back. So freekin’ pretty and so soft. I’m spending about 10 min. of my lunch break at work spinning this up. I’m sure my coworkers think I’m even weirder now that I’m standing in my corporate veal pen (thank you so much for that phrase Kim!) spinning on my lunch in addition to knitting. Not that I really give a sh*t.

Finally, I have been busy at the drum carder putting up some corriedale batts in the shop.

Corriedale batts - Crafting 365.31

There are a few left if you’re interested. :)

I’ll leave you with my weekly mosaic.

Week 5

Have a fantastic weekend! I know I will! :)

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I’ve got very little to share with you today. Those winter doldrums, they are beating loudly lately. I would have a sweater yoke to show you, but that would require a picture that wasn’t taken. I would even have a finished sweater to show you, but that would also require a picture and would also require me to not feel so “eh” about the finished product. Although wearing it for a day did improve said feelings so I do expect to show it to you sometime next week.

About the only thing that I’m finding somewhat motivating is joining Handspun February. That’s got me thinking about what spinning related things I could accomplish in the next month and that is getting the mojo going. I’ve been in a bobbin clearing mode, so I finally finished spinning up this wool and angora blend that Chris gave me for my birthday last year.

Finished bobbin - Crafting 365.28

(Oh yeah, I cleaned up the blog layout a bit to show the pictures better. If I’m going to do all this photography, might as well see it well, right?!)

Just needs to settle a bit before I ply it, and I still have to decide how to ply it.

There would be more to show you, but that would also require uploading the pictures which you know by now I’m obviously way too lazy to do. What I have done is dug out some older handspun and finally decided what to do with it, I think.

Future mitts? - Plurkcraft 365.28

Merino/tencel Endpaper Mitts anyone?

I think I’m boring myself with this post. How ’bout I just show you some pictures and call it a day?

Week 4

Have a great weekend. And go Steelers!


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I have a bit of writer’s block today. There are things that I want to write about, but I’m not sure I want them out on the internets for the whole world to see. Let’s just say I’m having a very internal looking, emotional, and reflective sort of day. Or maybe it’s just a case of the Mondays.

But just out of curiosity, I’d be very interested by your answer to a couple of questions:

If you didn’t knit (or spin or felt or sew or whatever it is you spend a great deal of your free time doing), what do you think you’d be doing instead?


Do you ever think that your knitting (or spinning or whatever) is more valuable than what Joe Q Public would do with that same spare time?

Perhaps when I see the answers of others I’ll be able to sort out what’s been boppin’ ’round my brain the last couple of days.

In the meantime, the combination of cruddy weather and a general need to be a hermit contributed to a good deal of spinning and plying this weekend.

How I'm spending my Saturday - 365.10

I managed to finish up spinning the fiber for HWJF’s Turn a Square hat on Saturday and I plied it up on Sunday. Unfortunately, I’m less than thrilled with the final product. I wasn’t able to work out the overspun places during the plying as I thought I’d be able to, so there are some serious irregularities in the final yarn.

Finished navajo plying - Crafting 365.12

Finished navajo plying - closeup

I also ended up with a measly 125 yards. I know there is more fiber where this came from, but I’m really hoping I can eek the hat out of what I’ve already spun. We’re headed north again this coming weekend so there won’t be much time at the wheel for a while.

I also finally got up the courage on Sunday to start picking up for the button band on the Zig Zag Steeks sweater.

Soldiering on - 365.11

There were a few ends that escaped the sewing machine, but I think a good brutalizing visit with a felting needle or two might be enough to secure them at this point. I’m waiting for the buttons that I ordered to come in before I do much more knitting on this one so I know how big the button holes need to be and where to put them, etc. etc.

While I’m waiting, I started a new sweater, more on that next time!

Don’t forget those questions above!

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I hope not! I’ve got plenty more to show you. And since the stealth knitting will be gifted this weekend, I can finally start showing you what I’ve been knitting on Monday!! Woohoo!

But first, I’ve received some very kind gifts lately that I wanted to share. First, Lisa (dude, she’s knitting her daughter a wedding dress! Go look!), who was one of the winners during SOS had joked at the end of it all about sending me a tiara. Since I’m not much of a tiara girl, I’m glad she sent this instead!

Goodies from Spingirl

Check out the “knitted” mug from Starbucks! And do you see the stitch markers?!?!

Bunny stitch markers!

Bunnies!!! How cute are they?!? This all came when I was having a bit of a tough day and couldn’t have been timed any better. Thank you again Lisa! They are all wonderful!

Last weekend I also had another little spin in at my place in which we decided to do a little Secret Santa dealio. HWJF was kind enough to make the matches so that I got to play along, which I thought was very good of him to do (yep, keeper! I know!). My Secret Santa was Anne and look what she made for me!

Bags from Anne

A new box bag and storage pouch in blue silk (hello! Yum!) and a shopping bag all wrapped in a fabric bag (yay for eco friendly wrapping!)! The current stealth knitting quickly went into the box bag. And look what she made for the tree!

Ornament from Anne

Isn’t it cute! Stuffed with Romney fiber *chuckle*! And yes, that is my Christmas tree and it is so small no one could find it when they came over. ;) Thanks again Anne for all the great goodies! And thanks again to everyone who made for a great afternoon!

And now, on to the yarn. Back when I was developing my Seascape colorway, I dyed and spun up some superwash merino with the intention of doing my first large navajo plying project. The fiber got spun but sat on the bobbin for a bit while I took care of other spinning orders. At one point recently, in a fit of “I need that bobbin!” I finally did my plying. Here’s how it turned out.

Seascape superwash merino navajo plyed

I’ve been practicing navajo plying on the small bits of leftover fiber at the end of a bobbin for a while now and I think I’ve pretty much got it down pat. I’d like a little more twist control then I’m getting, but it isn’t terrible.

Seascape superwash merino navajo plyed closeup

I think HWJF wants this yarn, but I’m not sure what I’ll do with it since it’s only about 250 yards.

I also recently finished my last DC sunrise order.

DC sunrise fingering yarn

DC sunrise fingering closeup 2

That’s about 500 yards of fingering weight in merino. This colorway still brightens my mood on a dark day. I may just have to spin some for myself at some point.

And since that was my last spinning order I’m available for custom spinning. Leave a comment for info. :)

On Monday, KNITTING! :-D

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Sorry for the radio silence again. We were a little distracted this week making a big purchase.

New 'puter!!!

I have finally left the dark side. ;) Say hi to the new MacBook Pro. While neither of our computers were dead yet, they were both showing signs of serious decline. I figured it was better to make the switch while we could move old files easily rather than in a panic. 0% financing for 18 months at BestBuy didn’t hurt either. And it’s slick as hell. HWJF and I are quite happy with our purchase. Let’s just hope we don’t start fighting over it since we’re sharing this one. ;)

But on to other things!

Stitches had her third haircut recently. She was pretty darn fluffy beforehand.

Stitches with parsley stem

Stitches with parsley

Ear foof!

Stitches ready for her third haircut

Before shots courtesy of Deb.

We managed to do it in record time. One evening! Not bad for us beginning bunny parents. She was none too happy, but we all survived.

I started sorting the angora and suddenly realized, there’s an awful lot there! Maybe it’s time to finally spin some of this stuff up! I know it’s silly, but until now I just haven’t had the courage to spin it. What if I messed it up?!? And I really wanted to spin her first clip as a “memory skein”. Never to use, just to sit on the shelf forever as a reminder of our little girl. Well I finally got up my courage and look, bunny yarn!!

Stitches first yarn

A lot of that first clip was on the short side, mostly because of the butchering I did to it inexperience of the person cutting it (that would be me for the record). But there was plenty that was quite spinnable. This is probably the slowest I’ve treadled in a long time. I used a slower whorl than I’d used in a while too.

Stitches first yarn skein closeup

It was interesting to spin. Each “lock” was thicker toward the bottom or cut end and thinner toward the top. I was able to draft the locks, almost like I would have done with sheep wool. Angora does have scales, so joining in new pieces of fiber was fairly easy. The yarn did require a good deal of twist to hold it together, but not the extreme amount I’ve been led to think by some of the things I’ve read. I think the thing it requires most is just a little patience. It really wasn’t that hard to spin.

Stitches first yarn end of skein closeup

The one area I had to be careful in was, when I did get a break, that I held the twist at the bobbin before pulling off a length to thread back through the orifice. Letting it untwist even slightly just made for more pieces of broken yarn. As long as I held that twist in there, no problem.

Stitches first yarn 2

While this is by far, not my most consistent or even spinning, it’s definitely my most special! It was a great learning experience and has given me the courage to go on to other projects that incorporate Stitches’ wool. And thanks to HWJF’s work this weekend, I have a working drum carder to get started with some blending. Now if I can just find the time….

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Sorry for the unannounced hiatus from the blog everyone. I’ve been off from work since last Wednesday, don’t have to go back until tomorrow, and apparently decided somewhere along the line that my time off included time off from the blog. Whoops.

I hope those of you that celebrated had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We had a very nice day. My parents came here and spent the night so there was much cooking and fussing that first day I had off from work. Thankfully everything turned out ok including the turkey (thank you Boston Market on that one!), even if my pies looked terrible, and everyone was more than adequately fed. I do believe my parents enjoyed themselves, even if my Mom found it weird to be sitting down and relaxing on a holiday (I refuse to let her do it all any more when we are here for a holiday. It makes no sense.)! Mom’s dog Sandy even took the opportunity to show off her NJ appropriate attire.

Devil dog

How can you not love that?! ;) I was also very happy to find out that she has now decided to start wearing her sweater that I made for her earlier this year. :-D She may need another one methinks.

Besides, Thanksgiving, I’ve been getting some much needed rest and still managing to check things off the lengthy “to do” list I made for myself before the holiday. I’m starting to feel the holiday knitting crunch though. We’ll be going up to NY to celebrate my Mom’s birthday and Christmas with my folks on Dec. 13th, so my deadline approaches! The good news is that one item is finished. The bad news is that one is not and another just got started. Oye. But I guess the other good news is that I will have more blog fodder shortly when I can actually show you some FOs!

In the meantime, I can finally share another secret project that’s been going on here at Chez Zarzuela. A while back, Yvonne asked me if I’d be willing to dye a special colorway for the current round of Secret Pal! I was very excited to do so and after a bit of trial and error came up with this:

stary night skeins

The colorway is called “Stary Night”, inspired by the Van Gogh painting of the same name. And yes people, that’s yarn! Merino/tencel to be exact. But don’t worry, there’s fiber too.

stary night roving

Each bump of fiber will also be packed with 1 oz. of angelina (or firestar) to spin in with it as the spinner pleases. I’m very happy with how this all turned out. Big thanks to Yvonne for thinking of me when they were looking for a dyer!

So expect to see hand dyed yarn appearing in my etsy shop sometime in the future (probably after the first of the year). If there’s anything in particular you’d like to see me offer, let me know!

Also, for all those of you making your lists for Santa, check out the announcement for the very first Zarzuela’s Fibers Fiber Club! You’ll find a listing on etsy and a description in the Ravelry group as well. :)

So enough with the shameless self promotion! ;) More fiber content next time! And it won’t take a week. Promise! ;)

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