Wednesday, July 29, 2009

updates...because I suck at updates

So I've been spinning for tour de fleece, which I've mentioned a few times but only photographed for once. A week ago, I made a yarn-cake (new winder and swift yay!) out of 540 yards of undyed laceweight llama. It's kind of amazing. And it's my first handspun laceweight. Unfortunately, it just looks like a brown yarn cake.
That's it on the spinning front- I've got another few ounces of that brown llama to keep spinning into laceweight and then will make another, identical yarncake. Exciting, isn't it? (That's why I haven't been posting it)
On the knitting front, I finished another shawl last night! I started it just over a week ago, and right now it is having a bath in the utility room sink, and after I've had a cup of tea and read a chapter or two in my book (Time Traveler's Wife- read it!) I might get around to blocking it. I'm thinking about changing my blocking place to the studio floor so I don't have to sleep on the couch everytime I block something on my bed. However, there is less air circulation in the studio and it might take the rest of the week to dry, especially since it is worsted weight and knitting so densely it could pass for carpet.

(Pattern: Kiri, Yarn: Cascade 220, 4 skeins)
That's about it. Maybe someday I'll get back to my knitting (the mojo has been on vacation apparently) and finish something. Or just knit a couple rows on something. Really- I've had a heel flap knitted, waiting for me to turn the heel in my bag for a week. Sad sad sad.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

My Sheepies

We've all got strange collections, right? Okay, I know I have a few more strange collections than most, but I'm cool with that. Some of my collections include decks of Tarot cards, polished stones in pretty colors that live in a Ball jar, yarn (we all knew about that one already) and my latest one, which I actually inherited from my Grandpa Darling, Sheep.
The Darling family animal collection obsession was believed to have started between two of my great-aunts, Neany and Lisa. For years they had a "flamingo fight"of epic proportions, giving each other anything flamingo-related until both of their houses were filled with flamingos. They called a truce and the flamingos eventually flew the coop (I ended up with a really awesomely tacky flamingo jewelry box).

Then a little while later (or perhaps towards the tail-end of the flamingo fight) my Grandma and Grandpa Darling came to England to visit us, and we had no idea what was coming. We took a trip to London while they were there and went to the London Dungeons, which is a sort of walk-through scary museum of the Middle Ages with lots of red corn syrup and plastic innards. They start you off in a medieval courtroom, where the "judge" randomly pointed at people and accused them of ridiculous crimes like crossdressing and attempting to molest religious leaders. Then the "judge" randomly pointed at my Grandpa Darling and accused him of "sheep squeezing", or having intimate relations with a sheep. She had no idea that he might have been the only person in the room more twisted and perverted than herself, and he went with it instead of acting all appalled and wrongly accused. Shortly afterwards, a sheep obsession was born.
Word spread throughout the Darling family like wildfire, and somehow Grandpa Darling ended up with a blow-up sheep wearing black lingerie for Christmas, and the jokes got raunchier. While he never accumulated all that many sheep because of this inside joke, the jokes live on. When we were touring the Ring of Kerry in Ireland (which is loaded with sheep) he came up to me and asked if I had a wet wipe or something- he had gotten red paint on his shirt (I'm not explaining why sheep may have wet paint on them, but it has something to do with keeping track of who "tags" who) but whatever. Somehow the sheep obsession passed down to me, but for a very different (and fiber-related) reason.

Now every time someone sees a sheep, it somehow ends up as mine. Here are pictures of my new one that came home from the Lowes clearance rack today (top) and a few of the other ones hanging out in my room. Missing in action (or hiding in mess) are sheepy stationary, sheep tape measures, sheep magnets, sheep coffee mugs, and sheep cross-stitching kit.

from the top: Lowes Clearance Sheep, baby finger puppet sheep, Elton the Ram from Lucy, sheepy bank from Hallmark's clearance rack, and Baaarbara McFleece from John Lewis in Edinburgh, Scotland.

***for the record, I have been knitting, but it's rather secret knitting until the recipient receives it in the mail. Then I'll post pictures. But it's going well (with exception of a minor flub that occurred at knitting-night and was immediately fixed by Mandie and Peg) and it should be done and blocked in the next couple days.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

Tour de Fleece

So I've sort of jumped on the proverbial Tour de Fleece bike and am doing my best (not really, my best when I'm not working on business plans or working out) to attack the fiberstash. I'm trying to get a little bit every day in, which is proving to be difficult, but so far it's been worth it. I've spun a few hundred yards of single-ply laceweight vintage llama (I got it from Peg at the Rock Day exchange, that's early January for all interested) and I spun about 3 ounces of BFL (I think) that I got from the Sheep Barn at the State Fair last year. The llama I was working on before this had spoiled me a bit, and I couldn't get an even yarn out of the wool, but that's okay. I gave it to Francie (I never use my own handspun) and she seemed it like it.

I haven't gotten any pictures of the llama because it's brown single ply laceweight. How exciting. I'll get pictures when I get it all into yarncakes (btw, swifts are $35 right now on!)
I have been doing a teeny bit of knitting. As in, all this week I've done 8 rows on the new lacey project, 1 square on the Mitred quilty blanket, and 4 rows on the Ring of Kerry Hoodie. I'm seriously not even finished with the yoke yet, and I've been working on it since the Ireland trip. I've hit the "black hole" point in the plain stockinette stitch black hoodie. Who-da thunk? Here are a couple pictures of my teeny bit of knitting:
The pattern is "Seascape Stole" from, and the yarn is Rowan Kidsilk Haze that I picked up in Jenners in Edinburgh (hi Sandra!) I've heard that the yarn is beyond tricky to work with, but I'm really liking it. But I also really hope I don't have to frog for any reason. Because that would suck. That's about it. I've got to get back to my business plan so I can go to my step class at 4:40 to get my butt kicked by a 52-year old Jazzercise instructor. It hurts so good!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Shama-llama ding dong!

Today was a little ravelry meet-up/yarn sale at the Trading Post in Pendleton, which I had actually never been to despite the fact that it might just be my closest LYS. I told myself I could buy a teeny bit of roving for the Tour de Fleece, which starts tomorrow, but I left with 6 ounces of Fleece Artist merino/silk in reds and a skein of Claudia handpainted silk in green (yarn diet fail!) that will be a Woodland shawl in the kinda-near future. After I finish a million other things first.

Trading Post is in Pendleton, and for the readers who aren't overly familiar with Indiana farmland, it's...out there. I live on the corner of Indianapolis and Out There so it wasn't a big trek for me, which was great. The appeal of Trading Post is that it's a yarn store that happens to be on a llama farm with random chickens walking around clucking at you. It's pretty fun. I got a few pictures, but I was afraid to get too close since llamas spit. And llama spit is nasty.
Knitting content: I worked on my blue sweater at SnB last night, and managed to finish a sleeve and start the next sleeve. I know that sounds totally awesome, but it's a short sleeve thing. It's still pretty awesome though, because that sweater has been chilling on my dress form waiting for sleeves since December. Yay me. I'll try to finish that other sleeve in the next few days and get some pictures up on Ravelry and das blogg.

I also made a little baby ogre hat for Tammany, who is like 172 months pregnant or something. Since her Skittle is a girl, I put a bow on it. That's about it for today. I'm going to get a little sun and help get the house ready for the big 4th of July party tomorrow. Namaste!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

All ewe need is love

Once again, I suck at blogging. Since I last wrote, I've spent a week in Ireland, moved back home for the summer, and had sinus surgery and a nosejob. So then I get back to the problem of *I don't want to blog because it's going to take me forever to write everything down and the internet is really slow and takes forever to upload pictures* so I'm just going to show you pictures of my recent knitting, some finished before my last post, and some not. But I had a photo-session with all my knitting stuff and darn it, I'm posting those pictures. Ireland pictures will have to wait.
First things first: I got a little package in the mail from England yesterday! Look who decided to fly to the US to come visit me! (I think he actually came for Baaarbara McFleece). Lucy from Colchester made him for me (Bearium on Ravelry) and sent me a couple little yarnballs for my sock yarn blanket. Thanks Lucy! You are the best! I love Elton!

Secondly: My parents decided to "clean up" the stash room a couple months ago when I was in England, resulting in much confusion (on my part) and the unearthing of like a million partial skeins of acrylic yarn from an era in which I was mass-producing baby hats (I still make baby hats, just not like I was, and I tend to use better materials now). Since I was having a particularly selfless day and was about to need a whole bunch of post-op (and uncomplicated so that I can craft on painkillers and not ruin the wedding shawl) projects, I decided that I would use ALL of that acrylic on Project Linus baby blankets. While my intentions were good, my attention span was not so good, and after four I threw the acrylic in a bag and I'm giving it to Francie tonight, because she's a truly selfless knitter, and I'm not. I crocheted all of them because it uses more yarn and I think holds up a little better in a blanket that's going to be dragged around by small children.
Wedding Shawl: is done! Well- I still need to weave in some ends, but the knitting, beading and blocking is over with, and that's good. Sheree saw it yesterday and seemed to like it, so that's also good. hopefully she'll let me take some decent pictures of it with her wedding dress, and I can post those so it will look a little better.
Bollywood Shawl: is still ugly. I've blocked it, and it's growing on me, but it's still hiding in the deep dark corner of the closet where I may one day unearth it and realize that it's not so bad. But that day is not today.Spoons: is dead. I killed it. I decided to try to "kill" the acrylic, and I think I took it a little too far. The stole was all wild and temperamental before but now it's so lifeless and...flat. Perhaps a turn in the washing machine and the dryer will spruce it up a bit.
Socks: I finally finished the red self-striping Disney socks that made my hands itch like crazy. They're hiding out with the Bollywood Shawl. I also finally got decent pictures of the Earth, Wind and Water socks, so here they are!

I really don't have a lot else to say about my knits. I've got a couple new projects on the needles and I've dug one out of hibernation, but there's no project love like there was with the Aeolian Shawl. I am definitely going to knit more lace, but I've promised myself there are no new cast ons until I've finished 2 (or 3) sweaters, the Pemberley socks, and designed, knit, and published the Sookie Stackhouse socks. We're already on episode 4 of True Blood and I'm still playing around with charts. This isn't good.
Back later- I've got to jump on the treadmill and lose some of the pudge that happened during my 2 weeks of laying around after my surgery.