Posts Tagged “yarn”

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 guess I’d better tell you about Christmas before 2008 comes to an end! I’m having a hard time trying to think of what to tell you. There was food, there was family, there was shopping. It’s all kind of a blur at this point. HWJF’s parents gave us a lovely holiday as always. Among the gifts was a bread board, which is sort of a rite of passage in his family. I guess we have to be grown ups now. ;) There was also this beautiful vase they brought back from Kaiser on their trip to Germany.

Kaiser vase

Shown on a placemat my Mom needlepointed for us. It’s got bunnies!!!

I told HWJF he’ll just have to buy me flowers more often now. ;)

There was one funny story I have to share. We stopped in Freeport on our way up to visit LLBean. After another awesome late lunch at Gritty’s we headed over to the Bean campus and what do I see on the side of the road but two people with live sheep!

Freeport sheep

I know the pic sucks, but it was the best I could do. They must have had a living nativity going on or something and they were wrapping it up. I got back to the street just in time to shoot a couple of pics and watch them load the two sheep in the back of…


This is much more funny when you know that HWJF’s car is a very similar one and there have been multiple jokes about me not being able to take his car to a Sheep and Wool Fest for fear that I will come home with a whole sheep in the back. :-D I don’t know where he would ever get that idea. ;) Needless to say, we had a good laugh at that one!

Of course, I know that you mostly come here for the fibery stuff, so why don’t we just get to that?! When we are in Maine for Christmas, we’ve begun to make it a tradition to visit Yardgoods in Waterville on the 26th for their annual sale. I love this shop! They are very friendly and have a great selection of yarns and 20% off doesn’t hurt either! After much debate with myself I decided on yarn for two sweaters, one of which I can’t believe I found the pattern for, as I’ve been looking around at it online for quite sometime now and haven’t really been able to locate a copy. Wouldn’t you figure I wasn’t looking for it at the time? This lopi book:

lopi book

Has this sweater which I adore:

roses from lopi

I kind of have a thing for roses. :) Of course, since I get to pick the colors, my roses will be BLUE! I’m sure you are shocked. ;) Since there was no lite lopi to be had and it got the same gauge, I choose some lamb’s pride instead.

lamb's pride for roses sweater

Then I found some DIC Classy hiding on a bottom shelf. I’ve heard good things about this yarn (although I hear now that it stretches when it hits water, which can be resolved by a quick trip in the dryer- wouldn’t you know our dryer died a couple of weeks ago?!?) and there were two lovely colors. Unfortunately the rich brown that I really loved was only one lonely skein, so I went with this instead:

DIC Classy Ruby River

It’s going to grow up to be a Red Rings pullover, because after I saw Kim’s, I decided I needed one.

One other item followed me home. This shop has everything you could possibly imagine for crafting, so I took advantage.

bunny stamps

Expect to see that on my shop materials very soon. :)

The next day HWJF was kind enough to humor my still burning desire from this summer to visit Halcyon. So we ventured out on the 2 hour drive and let me just tell you, Totally Worth It. It’s a lovely shop with knitting, spinning, felting, rug hooking, weaving and other supplies. They have a ton of books, all sorts of samples ready made and great shelving and lighting so you can wander about and find things. The help was also kind, friendly and knowledgeable. It was a great experience. They weren’t having a sale per se, but I did find some things I haven’t found elsewhere. First up, two more bobbins for the wheels:

high speed bobbins

These are the high speed bobbins that go with the high speed whorl I bought at Rhinebeck. I was getting good take up without them, but I have some plans for some serious lace spinning this year so I thought it was time to make the investment. I have yet to have a chance to try them out.

I also found Harrisville Shetland on cones! I plan to make two pairs of these mittens, one set for me and one for HWJF and I should have plenty of yarn to do it with now. We decided on a russet red and a dark blue:

harrisville shetland russet

harrisville shetland midnight blue

I have dreams of making the Ivy League vest someday, which also calls for this yarn, so I think this will be a good test run.

As if all that wasn’t enough, on the way back home we stopped in Portland and by a stroke of luck, Tess was open on a Sunday! I had a really nice time talking with the owner (and being greeted by her daughter’s dog!) about dyeing and festivals and such and tried to put the bug in her ear to come back to Rhinebeck soon! You may recall that I bought two skeins of her superwash merino this summer, which I only returned home to find out was not enough to knit Portland. I wasn’t able to get another skein, so I remedied the problem another way:

purple tess superwash merino

This picture doesn’t do the yarn justice. Trust me. But I have enough for Portland now. :)

As many of you noticed, there was also another stop on the way back. After spending the night with friends in CT we took a quick detour to Webs! :-D I haven’t been back there since I moved to NJ in 2006 so it was really awesome to get the chance to go back. I visited the new bead store, which was quite nice, but didn’t have what I was looking for at the moment (and honestly, I walk past 12 bead stores every day I go to work that are at least twice the size) so there were no purchases there. I saved it for the yarn!

We were on a bit of a tight schedule, but I managed to make it out only one min. after my deadline. And that was mostly because the place was Crazy Busy. Gotta love that end of the year sale. I was very glad we got there when they opened! By this point, my credit card was pretty much screaming at me to knock it off, so I managed to limit myself to yarn for just one more sweater. Colorwork is definitely on my goal list for 2009 (more on that next time) and I’ve been dreaming of a Dale of Norway sweater for quite some time. What should I happen to find as a browsed their patterns?


Say hello to Sirdal, who has been patiently sitting in my queue for quite some time. I’ll be knitting this baby in a dark navy blue and white, because lets face it, this one is going to last a while and it had better be in colors that I’ll wear!

dale falk navy blue

dale falk white

I also found the Canadian Olympic commemorative edition booklet and will no doubt have a couple of those sweaters in the queue none too soon. Especially Lake Louise (since I’ve actually been there)!

I’m so excited about these projects I don’t know what to start first! And you should have seen the car. HWJF started calling it the “jersey wooly” there was so much yarn! I guess it might have been cheaper if we’d flown after all. ;)

I hope you have a wonderful New Year’s Eve! I plan to kick off 2009 on the blog with a 2008 wrap up and then it will be on to a new year of knitting and spinning fun. See you then!

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Happy Monday everyone!

We’ve just arrived home a few hours ago. HWJF is already at work. :( I’m attempting to unpack and get organized to go back to work tomorrow. It was a wonderful trip, full of good food, great company and a whole lot of shopping. However, this:

christmas 2008 haul

Represents far more credit card damage than I care to acknowledge publicly right at this moment. I’m sorting out, and when I’m done you can be sure that I’ll recount the goodness for you. Until then, I hope you all had a Happy Holiday Season so far and I’ll try to dig out from under the yarn pile before the end of 2008! ;)

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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 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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This post will probably be less exuberant than it might have been as I appear to be coming down with something again. Combine that with needing to work on Saturday and you’ve got yourself one grumpy Jessica. Perhaps I can pull myself out of the funk by reliving my Rhinebeck finds. We shall see.

My shopping list was pretty specific this year. I really wanted to get a few certain things and get them early so I could spend the rest of the festival enjoying the sights and sounds with HWJF and the gang. I really wanted this Rhinebeck to be less about the “stuff”, but I certainly wasn’t coming home empty handed. :)

On the yarn front, I had a few specific needs for future holiday gifts. I was lucky enough to find these two skeins:

Rhinebeck 2008 (15)

Rhinebeck 2008 (14)

They are Oasis Yarns “Seduction”. One hundred percent silk and about 300 yards a piece. They are already on the needles but that’s all I can say since the recipient does read the blog now and then. ;)

There was some serious restraint in the sock yarn category this year. Only one skein!

Rhinebeck 2008 (55)

Aussi Sock, which I used for a pair of socks for my Grandfather for last Christmas. It’s a nice wool yarn with a good nylon content. It’s also intended for holiday gift giving this year.

The only other yarn I purchased was for myself. Seven skeins of this yummy stuff:

Rhinebeck 2008 (74)

That would be Green Mountain Spinnery Maine Organic. I do believe this will become “Portland” from “A Fine Fleece” sometime down the road. It’s a really lovely yarn and I’m glad I made my purchase early because it was all gone on Sunday!

There were two purchases for the benefit of my spinning wheels. The higher speed whorl mentioned in the previous post and this:

Rhinebeck 2008 (72)

The bug and the matchless should be nice and shiny when I get done with them with this stuff. And lord knows they could both use it.

Next there was the fiber. I must have carried one of my new drop spindles around in my hand nearly all day on Saturday looking for something I was dying to spin on it. After consulting with Christine, I finally decided to give silk caps another go.

Rhinebeck 2008 (56)

These two will get spun and plied together, mostly because there was a third one that was spun and became a victim of my first attempt at Andean plying. I got the plying going fine, it was the silk sticking to itself that made it a disaster.

I also picked up a two pound bump of a dyed wool at the same booth. Don’t ask me to tell you what it was at the moment or show you a picture because I just couldn’t seem to do it justice. HWJF and I both liked it so much that there may have to be a his and hers sweater from it. Maybe I’ll be able to get a better pic for next post.

I needed a couple of things for the shop as well. I bought a few bags of silk for dyeing and blending into future batts.

Rhinebeck 2008 (16)

I also found a good deal on some Corriedale roving.

Rhinebeck 2008 (35)

These will probably be going into my first fiber club. More details on that soon!

As you saw from the photos in the last post, I didn’t make it out of the fleece sale empty handed. I had gone in thinking I’d try to find a nice chocolate brown polworth for myself. Unfortunately, there was no polworth to be seen, but when I came back to this beauty three times I figured it was trying to say “Take me home!”

Rhinebeck 2008 (73)

Sorry for the amazingly craptastic pictures, but this was the best I could do with the time I had. It’s a Romney/Border Leicester cross (if I remember correctly) from a farm in PA. Very clean and very healthy looking. The color goes from a lovely black to a bit of a chocolate brown toward some of the tips. At 6 lbs. 10 oz. (despite the fact that some of that weight will be lost in the processing) I think it’s going to make a lovely sweater or two. Check out that staple length!

Rhinebeck 2008 (36)

That’s at least 4 inches if not more. And yes, despite the grand plans I had of dropping this and the two Shetland fleeces that I bought earlier in the year at a processor, I’ll be doing the whole deal on my own.

Going back to shop needs, at the end of the day on Sunday my mission to find some washed, undyed mohair locks seemed to have been thwarted. Until I decided on this:

Rhinebeck 2008 (54)

That would be a 5 lb. mohair fleece from the mohair fleece sale. I figured since I couldn’t find what I wanted, I’ll just do it myself. And since it had a second place ribbon on it, I figured I couldn’t go wrong! Even my Mom thought it was lovely. I think the color variations will be very interesting when complemented with some dye.

My final purchase of the day, as we walked toward the gates and I discovered there was a little cash still burning a hole in my pocket was this:

Rhinebeck 2008 (53)

Sairy had gotten one earlier in the day and I just couldn’t resist. It’s got a black sheep and a white sheep on it and a skein of blue yarn. What could be more perfect?

But of course, I have saved my first purchase and the very best purchase for last. The two Golding Spindles that HWJF bought for me as part of my Christmas present for this year! First up:

1st spindle

This is the Celtic Ring #2. It has a 2 3/4″ handcarved Cherry Whorl with a walnut shaft and weighs 1.3 oz. This is one of their more standard designs.

1st spindle and silk

It’s seen here on 2 oz. of dyed silk from Chasing Rainbows that I picked up at the Carolina Homespun booth along with my faster wheel whorl. It’s a fantastic spindle as far as I’m concerned and I’m really enjoying spinning up the silk on it.

But if you think that one is fabulous, take a look at this:

2nd spindle front

This is the Celtic Ring style with a vintage sterling silver ring. The entire spindle is handcarved from walnut and weighs 1.31 oz. What you see on it is my first attempt at spinning a silk cap since my previous disaster and before I ruined it. ;)

2nd spindle side

We talked to Mr. Golding as we were checking out and he said he’s only made one like this because of what a pain it was to make. The ring is set into the whorl and that space had to be carefully carved out for it to fit.

2nd spindle back

As you can see here, even the underside is beautifully carved. This baby likes to spin For-ever! It’s awesome! I adore them both and they will be the perfect memory of a perfect weekend for a long time to come. Yes friends, I’m finally a spindle convert! :-D

And now I must return to the real world rather than my fiber induced dreams. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

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… how’s about I tell y’all about Maine!

It was awesome!

No wait! There’s more! ;)

Despite leaving after work on Wednesday we didn’t actually get into Maine until Thursday morning. It seems that we must have officially reached “old” or something because the prospect of getting in at 1am or later did not appeal to us this year. We stayed with friends near Boston Wednesday night and were on our way Thursday morning.

portland lighthouse

First stop was Portland. There’s something so very charming to me about this city. Perhaps it’s the smallness compared to my daily fight with NYC, perhaps it’s the smell of salt on the air that instantly makes me crave steamed clams and lobster, or maybe it’s the people who totally dress like I would want to dress on a daily basis and don’t seem to notice that they’re special. Either way, I just love Portland. And this time around I finally got to go to Tess’ Designer Yarns! Every time we’ve tried before it hasn’t been open but this time we were lucky. I was so excited I didn’t even get a picture, but you better believe I got yarn!

tess' superwash merino

It wasn’t an easy decision, but I ended up with these two skeins of their Superwash Merino. It’s so silky and the colors just imidiately grabbed me when I walked in the door. There is a touch of buyer’s remorse with these only because I probably should have gotten a third skein. Now that I’m back to Ravelry access, I find that the sweaters I had in mind need a touch more yardage. I may just call them to see if I can get more though. I also bought sock yarn for HWJF which has become the yarn of choice for his Ravelympic socks.

Sock progress

I didn’t start them until Saturday because I wanted to work on the Morning Surf Scarf first (more on that another day) and I wasn’t too sure how they were going to work out, but they’re starting to grow on me. I decided to go with this instead of the handspun that I had originally planned when I discovered the gauge was going to be way off otherwise. HWJF seems to like them so far and that’s all that matters to me.

We almost literally tripped over another yarn store while we wandered the city, Central Yarn Shop. This was a really cute store with a wide variety of yarns and some really interesting samples, not the least of which were some with a serious lobster theme that we saw in the window.

lobster knits!

We picked up another skein of sock yarn there. This time Berroco Sox.


HWJF says that I “hog all the blues” so this one is for him too. :)

We made several other stops including a couple of record stores, an asian grocery (hello Pocky!), L.L.Bean outlet and a Stonewall Kitchen to stock up on our favorite Sunday breakfast, but I think HWJF was most happy when we found out we could take a tour here:


While the video was interesting the “tour” was less than stellar. They basically took us into the packaging room to show us all of this:


Which was kind of cool to see all the bottles going around but less than what we were expecting. But hey, it was free and there was a tasting afterward. I’m not a beer girl so I gave the boy my samples. Obviously, we went home with a couple of beverages. ;)

Then it was on to Freeport for lunch at Gritty’s which was Oh.My.God. amazing. Try the lobster bisque if you’re ever there and the pulled pork over sweet potato fries with cheese and maple sour cream. Sounds gross but was amazingly delish! The food was so amazing but we ended up scarfing it down because it was 3pm and we found a brochure for an Alpaca farm nearby that closed at 5pm! Meet the alpacas of Winters Gone Farm!

Winters Gone Farm Alpacas

We only had 30 min. before they closed by the time we made it there (who knew there was traffic in Maine?!?) so I didn’t want to keep the owners, but I did manage to score 8 oz. of the softest spinning fiber ever! Expect to see that spun up sometime soon!

Our day ended by going back for the mandatory stop at L.L.Bean (it’s a state law according to my Dad ;) ) and then heading home.

On another day we also made it to another yarn shop that I hadn’t been able to get into before, Pins and Needles. It was a really lovely little shop with a great selection of different types of yarn, most of it from Cascade. We picked out this skein of Cascade’s new sock yarn, Heritage.


Since this was sort of HWJF’s birthday trip, most of the sock yarns ended up being for him. :) But one ended up coming home for me:


This time it’s J. Knits which is another yarn I’ve not yet knitted with. We picked this one up at our favorite stop in Waterville, Yardgoods. We also had to visit our favorite lunch place in Waterville, Big G’s. The sandwhiches? Insanely huge!

big g's sandwhich

And totally yummy. :) Of course no trip to Maine would be complete without a stop at Gifford’s either, especially when our favorite flavor (Pumpkin!) was available.


Yeah. Totally raining and cold. Did we care? No way.

We also managed to take in a concert at the New England Music Camp in between the raindrops.

NEMC concert

Note the handknit socks and the new shoes. :)

There was also a visit with HWJF’s father’s turkeys.

HWJF and the turkeys

And the hilarity of HWJF trying to find eggs for us for breakfast one morning.

HWJF tries to find an egg

Before we knew it, it was time to head home. Only we decided to make a little detour. HWJF’s parents were nice enough to give us two bikes to bring back to NJ, so we decided to stop and try them out.

Kennebunkport bridge

I’d never been to Kennebunkport and I must say it is a very cute town with a lovely beach.

HWJF at the beach

Of course, I can only look at the water from a distance, so I made HWJF go find me some sea shells. :)

Unfortunately it was 5pm before we knew it and we were still in Maine! We didn’t get home until 11pm and well… you know the rest.

Someday I hope we can live in Maine. It just seems like it would be a good fit for us in so many ways. In the meantime, I’ve definitely added to my list of places I want more time to explore!

Did I mention we’re driving up there for Christmas?! ;)


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Thank you so much to all of you who have left such nice and congratulatory comments on the last post! HWJF has read them all too and we both really appreciate it! We’ve both been musing on the fact that this blogging thing sort of makes it so that no matter where we go, it seems like we know *someone* and that is pretty darn cool. :) At this point, most of our life is off the walls and getting in boxes, navigating the floor nearly needs a road map, and the cat is starting to catch on that something is “not right” (which, of course, means the kitty version of acting out. She completely stole my pillow last night!). Internet access (and time) will be sketchy at best in the next few days (oh yeah, and did I mention that on top of this I’m training a brand new music cataloger at work?!?), so I thought I’d leave you all with this post with some pretty stuff to look at until I can get back to the blog. See you on the flip side!

There’s been a bit of finished spinning happening around these parts lately that I just haven’t gotten to share as yet. Since I joined NaSpiMoMo this month (check the left sidebar for the link) I’ve been extra motivated in the spinning department. Let’s catch up shall we?

I’ve finally spun up some of the first rovings I dyed. Remember this?

Study in blues and purple

Well it turned into this:

Study in blues

Study in blues closeup

Between the three skeins there’s about 450 yards total. The way the dyeing worked out there is much more blue in the first skein and much more purple in the last, but I think that’s kind of cool. This may grow up to be socks for HWJF if I don’t steal it for myself first. ;)

Next up is some cheviot. I hadn’t spun with this fiber until now and I liked it a lot. It’s pretty lofty and fairly soft. It’s almost like the tougher street version of merino. ;) It looked like this dyed up:


And here it is now:

Pastel cheviot

I went for a slightly thicker yarn this time then I’ve been spinning lately.

Pastel cheviot closeup

The way I drafted this made the colors a little less intense then they were out of the dye pot. It’s pretty cool how colors can change with drafting. I think this is about 200 yards. Not sure what I’ll do with it just yet.

Finally, we have the first finished spinning of 2008! This was the first thing on and off the wheel for NaSpiMoMo. Both wheels were empty for a couple of days and signing up for the along finally got me focused on something. I dyed this fiber too and it looked like this before:

Autumn Leaves 2

And here is the after:

Autumn Leaves

This one is definitely in HWJF colors. About 365 yards. It will probably grow up to be socks too. Here’s a closeup just because I like how it came out so much:

Autumn Leaves closeup

I could get used to this whole dye and spin your own fiber stuff. ;)

As you can see from these finished skeins, most of the yarns I’ve been spinning as of late have been on the thin side with a tight spinning and plying twist. As I looked through my stash lately I’ve found a couple of things that would lend themselves better to a thicker loftier yarn, so I’ve started to focus on that kind of spinning a bit. The first result of that is this:

Blue cormo

About 60 yards of cormo. I feel much about this as I did the green version as they were bought at the same time. I navajo plied this skein just to get it off the bobbin. It’s very much a thick and thin yarn and I doubt I’ll ever knit with it. Kind of sad really. It’s such a nice color. :)

There will be more but I think that’s enough for one blog post!

(For some reason some of the pictures in this post aren’t behaving. You’ll have to click over to Flickr to see them.)

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The following was written in the heat of the moment. A moment of overwhelm and perhaps a brush with insanity. It’s about stash and feeling like I have too much, especially in the context of the world at large. After I wrote this I told HWJF of my dilemma and he told me I was being ridiculous, that I love yarn and who cares how much I have. That made me feel a little bit better, but I still wonder if I’ve passed over some sort of karmic line of indulgence. Read on if you’re interested in the rantings of a slightly overwhelmed yarnaholic or wish to make some commentary.

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