C is for Coffee

Ramblings about knitting, spinning, and sewing

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Another spindle?

Yup, I have finally given in and ordered another drop spindle. This time it was the 0.9 oz Golding Tsunami spindle. It will be the lightest spindle that I have to date. (I have a Grafton Fibers Swan that weighs in at 1.2 oz and a Bosworth that weighs in at 1.7 oz).

Honestly I love all my spindles. My Bosworth was the first spindle that I purchased and I really learned how to spin on it. The heavier weight was perfect for a beginner. I love producing heavier yarns with it and it is also the spindle that I use for plying. Plus, the tulipwood is just beautiful. Eventually, I want to get a a midi or even featherweight as well.

The Swan by Grafton fibers is special to me as well. It is made out of Koa wood. I grew up in Hawaii (and truthfully my heart is still there) and Koa wood is indigenous to the islands. The warmth and beauty of Koa always reminds me of home. Due to the shape of the whorl, this spindle has a different spin to it. Most of the weight is in the center of the whorl, not on the edges like other spindles. The spin doesn't last very long due to the shape, but I am able to spin aproximately fingerweight yarn from it.

My hope with the Tsunami Spindle is that since the whorl is only 2" in diameter and the shaft is only 7" in length that this spindle will allow me to travel with it more. I am also hoping with the weight I will be able to produce sock and lace weight yarn with it. I recently got the twisted sisters sock workbook and I have become so inspired to produce my own sock yarns (along with dying my own yarn fiber as well). I should receive the spindle by Thursday. I anxiously await...

Saturday, February 25, 2006

The homemade birthday goodie-bag is finished

Well, actually it was finished a couple of days ago to in order to get it out to the mail in time.
Everything (including the bag, obviously not the soap and lotion) was handmade by me. And who is the recieptient of this neat stash...my wonderful Grandma!!!

Included is a ski cap (which was the one thing that my Grandma asked for...she thinks that they are cute), two cotton chenille wash cloths from Weekend Knitting, some Bath & Body works lotions, and a sewn tote. I must say, that I think the tote came out rather well. I love the way the red fan fabric really picks up the sushi print fabric for the inside of the tote. The best part? This tote is reversible. So if my Grandma wants to show the world the sushi side she can. :) (The tote is an Amy Butler pattern by the way). As of today I haven't heard if the box arrived.

My other picture for the day is of my first project made with my own handspun.

No, this handspun was not made with my spinning wheel. It was with my drop spindle before I recieved the spinning wheel (although I do have a skein of my first wheel yarn. Note to self: take picture of yarn). This is coopsworth roving that I dyed myself using kool-aid (pink lemonaide and lemon-line, I believe). I spun and plied it randomly. I have to say I really like the stripes that the knitted fabric formed. I didn't have much of it (I think maybe only about 50 yards or so). So, I decided to use Lynne Vogel's idea and make a treasure bag out of it. (I like her decription of it: a cuff with a toe). The yarn was pretty close to DK weight. I used size 6 DP in order to make a rather firm fabric. The big debate is what to do with it. Part of me wants to keep it, on the other hand I have a God-daughter who also would really like it, and the colors really match a 7 year old girl. Decisions, decisions.

Hubby and I went to Sequim, WA for our Anniversary. It was blissful to have a couple of days of relaxation. Of course, in true style of a yarn addict I had to stop at the local yarn store: A Mingled Yarn. Wonderful selection of yarns (better than some Seattle shops) and the ladies were so nice. My finds were modest (hey I am on a yarn diet), however, I got some sock yarn and a beautiful alpaca & silk lace weight in a very yummy color.
I am itching to cast on, but I want to finish some of my current projects first.

Current projects on the needles:
1. Embossed Leaves Socks from IK Winter 2006
2. Market Tote from Weekend Knitting
3. Not Just Another Sweatshirt from Yarn Girls

Next planned projects:
1. Potholders from Domino knitting in order to learn the Modular Knitting technique.
2. Jaywalker Socks
3. Ella shawl

Current Spinning Projects
1. Drop Spindle: Sock yarn for me from a Merino Tencel blend (very, very silky)
2. Spinning wheel: Blue-Faced Leichester in about a DK blend for I don't know what yet (hey, I just really like that fiber...Is that so bad? ;)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Is that what I think it is?

Yup, it's a SPINNING WHEEL!!!
My husband bought me a spinning wheel for my first anniversary!!!! I was just was flabbergasted!!! I had an inkling that he was thinking about it when he started to ask me about spinning wheel and features etc. "Hmm," I thought, "why is he so interested in what I want in a spinning wheel?" It was a busy day at work, so I pushed it to the back of my mind and continued on with my day. He gave it to me yesterday. (however, I had to go with all the teasing before I recieved it. "Guess what is comming in today? It your anniversary present. It's a............ opps I almost gave it away.") Personally, I think he gets too much satisfaction from teasing me.

It's a Majacraft Rose.

Last night we put it together. (Let me tell you that was amusing...two people trying to put together a spinning wheel and they have no idea what parts are named what, nor are there any pictures. Plus two crazy kitties trying to help or eat styrofoam.)

Today, I finally was able to spin with it. Thank goodness, I have had some time with a drop spindle. Even so, there is a pretty steep learning curve. Here is a picture of my first spinning wheel yarn:

Plans for tonight: More fiber experimentation. Hurray!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

So Tired...

I have been working the past couple of days (12 hour shifts). When I end up working long hours I really don't have much time to do stuff. Usually I end up coming home, looking like a zombie and end up eating dinner, spending about 1/2 hour with my hubby and then hitting the sack. Repeat x 3 days. Today is my only day off, back to work tomorrow. However, I had school today, so really in a sense it was not a day off. Oh well.

As for knitting news:

I am continuing to work on my Embossed Leaves socks from IK winter 2005. My first sock is coming along nicely. I have made 2 wash cloths using the pattern from Weekend Knitting for my Grandma. I purchased some nice soap to go with them as a b-day present.

Speaking of my Grandma:

She has to be one of the coolest people on the face of this earth. She is very open, and always willing to listen to anything that I want to talk about etc. So I found out that she wants a knitted Ski cap with a pom-pom. She thinks that they are cute and she wants one. The only thing is....she lives in Hawaii...where she has lived for her entire life. Oh well, I am still going to make her one. I figure at 80 years old she deserves whatever she wants, and if that is what she wants then cool. So that will be my next project to embark on.

And for the record- Yes I did have my coffee today.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

New blogger on the loose...

...and I haven't had my coffee yet..

...probably a bad idea at almost 10pm.

Just trying to figure everything out here. More posting--later.