Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Last Knit

I was recently reminded of this fantastic video and thought I would post it. I haven't posted in quite awhile and have some unfinished business to deal with [Pay it Forward] and lots to tell. I hope to get around to it soon.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Look what came in the mail today!

My first swap has arrived! Eve from California sent me this great box.

So this is my first swap so I am not very knowledgeable about shipping so I was surprised how much it cost me. I found it very interesting to see "first class" at only $6.46. I'm embarrassed is say how much I spent for 7-10 days. The only cheaper option was for as least 14 days + and even that was not less than 10 bucks. This box took 7 business days. My box will get to Eve at the earliest on the 15th. We'll see what happens.

I open it up and there is a gorgeous ball of Trekking XXL in beautiful shades of orange, my favourite colour.

Underneath the yarn was this little black bag. What is that inside?

These pretty little stitch markers. Adorable!

And now we are getting down to business. Little brown paper packages.

CHOCOLATE! I have never seen any of these chocolate bars before. I'm just going to look at them for awhile before trying them. Thank-you Eve! Thank-you Chocolate Group from Ravelry for such a great experiance. I will do this again!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

How Blogs Are Born

A little gem I found on youtube. This is a clip from my favourite show, Corner Gas. I'd like to think I blog for better reasons but ... honestly, it's not much different. There aren't many people around here that want to hear me go on about my passion.


Saturday, September 01, 2007

Brenda Dayne's Knitting Badges!

Have you seen these? Knitting badges for Knitting Scouts!

Here is what I have earned so far: [Quotes from]

"The “Proselytize Knitting” Badge - A requirement for all Knitting Scouts, the recipient must do his or her bit to present knitting in a positive light, whilst at the same time avoiding all references to “hipness”, grandmothers, and yoga."

I accomplish this by knitting/crocheting/spinning in public and wearing, with pride, what I have made. I have some good pictures of me spinning on the
beach at family camp this summer that I should post.

"The “MacGyver” Badge (Level One) - The recipient must demonstrate clever use of a non-knitting tool in a knitting-related scenario. For instance, recipient has used paper clips as stitch markers, or successfully whittled and then utilized bamboo skewers as dpns."

I use bobby pins to hold seams together while sewing them up. I have a small blue
circle of plastic from a lego set that I am using as a stitch marker for my MS3. I used to have 2 but sadly lost one.

"The “MacGyver” Badge (Level Two) - The recipient must demonstrate clever use of a knitting tool in a non-knitting-related scenario. For instance, recipient has used a strand of Regia Bamboo to slice cheese, or repaired a small appliance with a metal knitting needle."

I regularly use a knitting needle to clean the vacuum filter. The girls have used various bits of yarn for pretend leases, clothes lines, kite string and who knows
what else. I have put out bits of yarn ends for the birds in the spring.

"The “Knitting Has Forced Me to Seek Medical Attention” Badge (Level One) – In which the recipient has been forced to seek the advice of a medical doctor, nurse, or alternative healthcare professional for injuries sustained as a result of knitting."

3 springs ago I knit like a fend all one day. I started to feel pain in my wrist but didn't stop. The next day I picked up my needles and after 3 stitches pain went shooting up my thumb, through my wrist and up my arm. I stopped and called the doctor. After examining me he, thankfully, told me I hadn't done any real damage, just hurt it a bit and to stop knitting for 5 or 6 months ... yes months. I decided to do that so I could knit another day. I didn't knit a stitch all that summer. I didn't wait exactly 5 months, more like 3 but I was careful.

And the moral of the story is: DON'T WORK THROUGH THE PAIN! Instead, to the tune of that jazzy song they sing to Ernie on Sesame Street, sing: "PUT DOWN THE NEEDLES!" and give yourself a break.

And if you have read this far, thank-you and please post on my "Pay It Forward" post. I asked for at least 3 posters and don't have that yet. Come on Knitsibs! Show me the love!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Pay It Forward!

I've been tagged by Twisted Knitster to PAY IT FORWARD!

So I will randomly choose three people who reply to this post to send a little gifty too, maybe yarn, maybe something else, maybe both! Who knows. Like Twisted Knitster I promise to do it some time in the next 356 days. So leave a comment. I will contact 3 people to let them know they are tagged with in a week or so. And then be prepared to be surprised .... some time .... in the next year!

Come on and join in the fun! Pay it forward and put a smile on someone's face!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Freaky Large Ball!! and what have I been knitting? Wouldn't you like to know. Ok, I'll tell you....

Is there a limit to how much you can write in the "title" field? Could you just write a whole entry in there? Maybe I will try that someday but today.....

Check out this BIG BALL OF WOOL! This is one skein I bought yesterday for the Mystery Shawl 3 Knit-a-long. Yes, I'm a member and I am just getting around to starting. What took me so long?

I've been busy.
I wanted to see more of it before starting [not as adventurous as I though I was].
I was living under the misconception that 1200 yards of lace weight would be freakin' expensive. Hey, it's lace weight ..... oooo .... it's special and it's 1200 yards, oh my.

But then I read Melanie's email [to the MS3 yahoo group] where she revealed the theme, Swan Lake. and that we would be knitting a wing. A Wing? How cool is that! I want to knit this now!! I got motivated.

So I was at LYS S&B yesterday afternoon and asked to be shown some lace weight so I could plan my purchase. I was show this fabulous merino by Grignasco and was told I only need one skein. Just One? I turned it over and was pleasently shocked to see it was only 25 bucks and is over 1300 yard. Why is it so cheap? Yarn is sold by weight! The thinner the yarn the more yardage you get. *lightbulb* I knew that but I guess I really didn't get it. $25 for yarn + $5 for beads = I am knitting this amazing shawl for $30! Why didn't you tell me sooner that knitting lace was so cheap!!!!

I get my yarn home and I am so excited to get started I couldn't wait for my daughter's camera batteries to recharge and take a proper picture of the skein before ripping into it and start winding. I don't have a swift [I looked at those at the store too - $99, hmm, maybe someday]. I layed the skein around my knees and started wrapping the itty-bitty, skinny yarn around my hand. After an hour it really dawned on me that I was winding over 1300 yards, 1250 meters, thats 1.25 kms, about 3/4 of a mile. Two hours and I was done! I didn't have the gumption to do any itty-bitty, skinny knitting.

I found soothing solace in my other fab project, Cardigan for Arwen from Interweave Knits, winter, 2006. I started this in the spring after seeing it on Sabine's blog "Mindful knitting". [scroll down to see Sabine's entry on Arwen, the pictures are no longer there but good insight]. If you know me on Ravelry you've probably seen this before.

I am loving it.

I knit the back first, lickity-split, and 'am now on the end of the first sleeve on the first front. I like the way the sleeve and half the hood are all knit in one piece with the front.

What I have learned so far on this project? Kate Gilbert knows what she is doing! Don't try and change the pattern! When she says "break yarn and cast on for sleeve using back-loop method" she really means it. I thought I could just cast on without breaking the yarn [i hate sewing in ends, don't you?], I thought I could do a lot of things besides follow the directions. I start that dang sleeve 4 or 5 times before I gave in and did it right ..... like Kate says to do it. I tried shortening the sleeve, because I am short. I messed up the math [SHOCKING] and it ended up too short. Start the blasted sleeve AGAIN! Good thing I am a process knitter. I don't like frogging but once I am into knitting again I am fine. The past week or so messing up is long forgotten and I am at peace again.

I have a secret project started recently. I'm not saying much about it because i don't want to hear how crazy I am at attempting it ..... and I don't want to embarass myself in front of everyone. I'm fine embarassing myself after the fact. I promise to tell you all about it wether or not it is a success. Very soon, next week or so.

It is finally cool around here. I, for one, do not miss the blasted heat!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Pitfalls of the Craft Culture

I have been inspired by Rebecca of 'My Heart Knits'. She blogged about the culture of obsession in the crafting community. Read her entry here.

Here is my response:

Girl, when your right your right!

Knit with your heart! It's a good knitting philosophy.

Your right, all the crafty influences around us do tend to breed lust for what we don't have. I have mostly been removed from gratifying that lust because of our financial position. So there is one thing about not having a lot of money to throw around, you tend not to waste it. Every one of my yarn purchases is carefully thought out. I can't tell you how difficult it was for me to spend $100 at Ram Wools, when I was in Winnipeg, in ONE hour. I didn't do it. Only spent $70 something. I wish I had picked up a book, they had a few of EZ's works, but I just didn't have the time to think it through. I couldn’t feel good about spending that last 25 bucks or so on something I hadn’t thoroughly justified in my head. And I think maybe the books were more than $25 so I would have had to justify going over budget.

Books… there is my downfall. And then there are the magazines. I taught a knitting class this past spring with about 8 students. The 2nd or 3rd class I brought out my mags and books for the students to look through. After the gasps and exclamations about how much there was to look at subsided it occurred to me that I might have a problem. [and it was maybe half of my collection]

After flipping through a few, one of the student’s mothers asked how I had the time to knit all these patterns. I felt like someone had just slapped me and said, “Snap out of it!” Now, that was not her intention, she was honestly asking. The imagined correction came from within me. I wonder if anyone else noticed I was stunned? All I could do was stammer a bit and explain how I liked looking at them and reading them and I get inspiration from them and bla bla bla…. Then admit that maybe I have a magazine addiction.

Up until that point I had found it difficult to not buy every knitting mag I found. There used to only be 2 [VK and Knitters] available so it was not so much an issue. But then in the last few years many more became available but I hadn’t changed my buying habit. Since then I censor my buying. If a magazine doesn’t have a FEW patterns that interest me and/or articles [technique is what I look for] I don’t buy. This has curbed my spending a lot.

Still, what the culture of knitting has become can create a kind of greed for more, a desire to be knitting what the “in” crowd is, to read all the popular blogs, to hear all the popular podcasts, to have everyone reading my blog, to know as much about this culture as possible so I get the in jokes and cool references. Eek! It almost sounds like high school again.

It CAN create that kind of atmosphere but doesn’t have too. If I keep my head on straight and use all the wonderful internet paraphernalia [blogs, podcasts, ravelry, etc.], books and magazines as tools they can ENHANCE my enjoyment of my craft.

After reading Rebecca’s post I did some rethinking.

As the readers of my blog know I just recently got involved in the local knitting and spinning scene. At the knitting group I showed everyone the socks I was knitting and, when asked, showed the pattern I had printed off I was surprised that most had never heard of the site. One of the ladies showed a “new” book that she was about to read that the storeowner had just read and enjoyed by a “new” author. It was Stephanie Pearl-Mcphee’s first book “Yarn Harlot”. I said I had read it, that it was funny and had some interesting info. But what really interested me was the group’s lack of knowledge about the Yarn Harlot [I remember when she was telling stories on the knitlist at yahoo and someone suggesting she should write a book. I, of course, said nothing about this.] Hmmmm. These ladies were all working on wonderful projects, incredibly talented and knowledgeable and they did that all without the internet.

Need to get internet obsession under control.

Why am I knitting socks? I always said I never would. My Dad had many pairs of hand-knit socks from his mother that he never wore because he would put his toe through them on the first wearing. So much work and never worn! I wore my first pair over another pair a lot this winter around the house and sometimes in my boots for extra warmth. They are big and bulky and suited for that. I am knitting a pair of Monkeys that are beautiful but I have caught myself many times wondering if I can walk around on such beauty. [I will give it a go.] Still I bought myself a skein of Fleece Artist Sea Wool to knit another pair largely because of what I read on blogs about it. I started knitting socks because everyone on the internet was talking about it, how wonderful they are to knit and to wear. But is it wonderful for ME. I don’t know yet. I won’t know until I finish these Monkeys and try them out. So I don’t know about starting another pair of socks until I know for sure. When I made my Sea Wool into a ball, yesterday, it so struck me with its beauty that, again, I was second-guessing my plan to make socks and walk around on them. I have even been searching the internet and my library for alternatives.

Anyone have a pattern or idea for a project for 355 yards of sock yarn? I’m thinking lace.

I’m following Rebecca’s example and reassessing my queue again. This also means…… sorting out my stash and library again! I love doing that. I am hoping I find some lace weight. I have done a few small lace projects and feel ready for the big one… a full size shawl. I’m thinking the chances are slim but what about a lace shawl made out of something heavier. Might be more suitable to the North-western Ontario climate I live in….but now I’m rambling. Must move on……

Sunday, July 29, 2007

I walked into a new world today.

Last year I met a spinner, Marg, at a demonstration she was participating in at the local fair. She works at one of the two yarn shops in town, and invited me to join their Tuesday afternoon fiber arts meeting [hang out in the back of the store around a big table, craft and yak]. I never made it until last week. It was great! Knitters/Crocheters are the nicest people. I talked about learning how to spin and I was invited to the local spinning guild's casual spinning afternoon they have in a member's home once a month during the summer.

That was this afternoon. I arrived and found myself warmly welcomed into a beautiful house on one of the more ritzy streets around here, surrounded by 8 energetic women, none of them looked less then 10 -15 years older than me, all setting up wonderful looking spinning wheels and pulling out all sorts off amazing fiber: camel, musk ox, silk, dog, cotton, flax and wool. And I said to myself, "Kellie, you are way out of your league now. Don't say or do anything stupid." I was there to soak it all in. I watched, chatted, asked a few questions [didn't want to be a total wide-eyed newbie asking about a million things].

After about 20 minutes Marg asked if I had brought anything to work on.

"Ah, ya" I gulped. "I brought my homemade spindle." There was no putting it off any longer. I pulled out my homely CD & knitting needle spindle with my homely fleece [you know, the wool my friend cut off my BIL's sheep and that I am having such a hard time getting the VM out. Just follow the links if you don't.]

No gasps of horror.

No looks of disgust.

All I got was, well not much of a reaction at all. No one was shocked or dismayed. They obviously had seen it all before, beginner spindles, beginner technique, beginner yarn. All I got was encouragement. I was told I had a nice touch, well actually I over heard the expert spinner, Pat, say to Marg, as she looked at my yarn, "She has a nice touch. She just needs to get on a wheel." And I discovered I am being way too picky about my fleece. I saw others spinning with fiber that had VM in it. I was told that a lot comes out with spinning, more with knitting. I was shown the sweater the group worked on together in the spring on Sheep-to-Sweater Day. The fleece was spun and knit dirty, right from the sheep and then washed. It is beautiful. I was truly amazed.

Two hours gone and I was told we would be having tea and cake soon. Yahoo! By this time I had resorted to knitting on my Cardigan for Arwen by Kate Gilbert because my CD finally broke. I was told to make an other one with 3 CD's glued together to make it heavier and more durable. Will do! I walked into the dinning room and found a beautifully set table and elegant spread: coffee bread and
gruyère, mini strawberry tarts, blueberry and apricot bunt, chocolate cookies, mini cream buffs. wow. And wonderfully open conversation to boot. I had been thrown into a pool of wisdom and experience I couldn't even touch yet they made me feel like I was one of them and invited me to hang with them at this years demonstration at the fall fair. It comes full circle.

My eyes have been opened to new possibilities, new ideas, new adventures to come. I will be taking a spinning class in October and then I can rent the guild's spinning wheels for $5 a month. Ya! That's the truth! Now to get on with making that new spindle.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ram Wools

WARNING: Lots of pictures! I can't seem to tell a story without pictures.
June 16th, the day after my birthday, the day before Father's day and the marathon [story here] I made it to Ram Wools.....finally. I have only been here twice since my sister moved to Winnipeg 4 or 5 years ago. And both of those times I had about 15 minutes before closing to browse. Pl-ease! I can't work effectively with those kind of time constraints. This time I let it be known to all my traveling companions I wanted an hour of uninterrupted, unhurried gazing and fondling time. I had planned a budget and it was my turn.

Here's what you see when you walk in. The front is a large open space with a long table you can sit at and make plans. The shelves here hold the more popular, high end yarns. There's lots of Noro here. Behind those shelves are many more like it, much closer together, crammed with yarn almost to the ceiling and baskets on the floor.

Here we have a wall of cashmere, silk and the like. I believe that is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino in the foreground. Along the back wall are books, magazines, racks of single patterns and pamphlets. I don't remember seeing any fiber. I couldn't take it all in. I had to find yarn.

To the right of the door are the Fleece Artist shelves. Everything you see here, all the way back there, is Fleece Artist. I had already decided what I wanted.


After all I said about my Monkey socks, made out of Colinette Jitterbug would be the most expensive pair of socks I would ever own because I would never be so extravagant again as to spend $25 on one skein and yet... here is proof I could do it again
. But isn't she beautiful!

I also knew I wanted to find sock yarn for Barry. He deserves more than a pair of heavy socks made from scratchy wool. This is SandnesGarn of Norway. 80% wool, 20% nylon, 160 meters each ball. I hope that is enough for man socks!

In the last isle were the bargains. I found these lovely balls of Merino/Polyamid/Angora for $4 each So soft! Gedifra English Tweed, orange, yellow and purple.

Look how nice they play together!

All in the basket now!

Mission accomplished.

S of S and YARN CANDY!

Finally! I'm back! Well I didn't go anywhere but I've been very busy and had to leave the knitting community for a while. Lots to catch up on so here goes:

Summer of Socks: I am STILL working on the 2nd Monkey that I started on Canada Day, ya, July 1st. I know! But I told ya, I had to put "me" aside for a few weeks. So here I am knittng and drinking tea [Red Rose] at
Seattle's last night.

See, I'm knitting again! It feels good to have time for me again. And I mean real time. DD1 is away at camp till Saturday [she left Sunday] and DD2 is
attending a Day Camp this week with my nephew [whom she loves!]. On Tuesday my sister called and asked if DD2 could sleep over for the week. "What! The WEEK! I'll bring her over right now!" Hey, I LOVE my girls but I really stretched myself lately and needed refueling time. Thank you sister Shawne! I owe you! Hubby and I have been enjoying the time alone. Something I discovered this week: When the kids aren't around clothes are optional!

Here's what I was doing last night. Hubby, Barry, was taking engagement pictures of this cute young couple. I'm the assistant that carries stuff and holds the reflector. For those that don't know, Barry took photography at College before we met and instead of taking the great job he was offered at one of the top studios here, he went out to BC with a friend and became a trail cook on a dude ranch [the guy's got character]. His love of photography was put aside when we started a family and his equipment went out of date. This past Christmas, Santa [seriously, we have no idea where it came from] brought him a killer digital and he just start doing portraits and weddings again this summer but it is still a hobby....for now. [that's one kicking butt i've got there!]

Here's some yarn candy. I brought the yarn along to the park so Barry could take some good pictures in natural light. The bag is one I got for $5 a few weeks ago. Hard to resist a 5 buck bag. See what's peeking out? More on that tomorrow.

When ever
my dad goes to Winnipeg [about 3-4 times a year, more often than me] he goes to Ram's Wool and brings me home something. Always something amazing, something I wouldn't be able to afford for myself very often or even treat myself too [Like most moms I have a hard time spending money on myself.] My dad has some kind of sixth sense about what to get. He knows very little about yarn and knitting. He says he just goes with his gut and never spends more than a few minutes in the store.

This yarn I received last Christmas from my sister but we all know who went to Winnipeg and picked it out. I absolutely love it. It is something from Fleece Artist. I'll have to see if I can find the tag. Fire colours are my favourite and the best colour to pair orange with is purple and this yarn has it all, including texture. I love texture. Must be why I love cables.

I haven't found a use for it yet but I just love looking at it and feeling it. I like having it. My dad doesn't quite get that part of knitting, just having great yarn. He asked me a few times if I used it yet but then stopped. I told him I have to just wait for the right project to use it on. It will come.

In the spring he brought me this: Cashmere. So soft and pretty.

pssst. creamy beauty. what do you want to be.

tomorrow I promise to post more yarn candy.
What I treated myself to when I went to Winnipeg.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Summer of Socks

Here I am in Winnipeg on my birthday, June 15th, surrounded by all my 4 sisters, mother and father celebrating with the Monkey sock! The weather was beautiful. Most of us had just arrived that afternoon after an 8 hour drive from Thunder Bay and relaxing in the backyard was perfect. One of my sisters looked at this picture and said, "Kellie, in her natural habitat."

I finished this sock on the way home but didn't start the 2nd one until Canada Day, July 1st.

Every year we [DH, DD1, DD2] go down to the Marina with thousands of others to celebrate. We find a place to set up our chairs in front of the Main Stage [there's 2 or 3 others] and that becomes 'home base'. From there we take turns going off to stand in line.

Stand in line for: free coffee, free cake [which was awesome], tickets for jumping on the bouncing stuff, jumping on the bouncing stuff, paddles boats and the food: ice cream, hot dogs, corn-on-the-cob, kettle corn, spring rolls, cotton candy. There are street performers everywhere, there's the big drum circle anyone can join and this year giant games were added [giant chess, checkers, jenga, etc]

It is prime territory for DH, Barry who is a photographer so he did most of the standing in line with the girls while I sat, knit and chatted with my DMIL. So the second Monkey sock will be counted as my 1st summer of socks sock. I am hoping to get at least 2 other pairs done. Tomorrow I will post the yarn I picked up in Winnipeg which includes the sock yarn I will be using.

So here's to 140 years, Canada and to the 1st sock of summer.
A sock that will hold many good memories for me. Memories of sisters and joy in Winnipeg [more on that amazing weekend and what we were doing there on my other blog]. Memories of cool weather fun on the shores of Lake Superior. Reveling in the laughter of my girls, enjoying good food, good music, good company all in sight of the Sleeping Giant. Just made for a great Canada Day!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Looky what I did!

Playing catch-up here. This post has been unfinished since June 14th. The day after I was off to Winnipeg for the weekend and I haven't done much since. I have so much to tell and will try and blog everyday until I am caught up. Yet to come: yarn candy from Winnipeg and summer of socks progress.

I dyed the little yarn cake. I used Wilton icing colour, Delphinium Blue. I have done a lot of reading on dying and thought using something I already had in my cupboard was a good place to start. What is so cool about this is the dye colour split into different shades [as was discussed on the email group dyehappy] .

So I looked for how to do it. I don't
know why I didn't think to just ask the email group but the result probably would have been just as confusing as what I found elsewhere on the web. Seems everyone has their own idea of how it should be done. Most recipes for Koolaid dying would contain references to Wiltons saying it is used the same or similar. So which is it? There is so much info out there on Koolaid dying, with conflicting procedures and methods I actually became overwhelmed and put off doing it because I couldn't decide what I should do. After a week of letting all that knowledge rattle around in my brain I just did it. I didn't bother following anyones recipe i just went with what had collected in my memory.

My process: Soak the yarn in a mixture of 1 cup water and 1/4 cup vinegar for
an hour. I had discovered on some chat board that the difference between koolaid and wiltons is you need more vinegar with wiltons because koolaid has citric acid in it. Some dyers don't even bother adding any vinegar to koolaid. Some dyers cautioned using to much vinegar because it could damage the yarn and use as little as a tablespoon to a cup of water, others said that was rubbish and used as much as a 1:1 ratio of vinegar and water.

Use a toothpick to poke the Wiltons colouring into the wool in a few spots. I almost used to much colour. To encourage colour splitting using less is better.

I covered the cup with plastic wrap and microwaved the wool at 50% for 5 minutes. Raising the temperature of the wool slowly also helps with
the splitting.

Let it set for 2 minutes. Microwave for another 5 minutes. Let set for 2 minutes. letting it rest helps prevent hotspots and scorching.

Continue to microwave and rest in 2 minute intervals until the water was clear.
I was soooo impressed when the water did clear. That's when I knew it was working!

And here she is, the one, the only, Little Cake: First Wool in
Delphinium Blue!

Monday, June 11, 2007

First wool: I SPUN IT!

In this post we meet the 1st wool. learn how I did it and what I think about the information out there on processing wool-simply put: us newbies need help!

LOOK MOMMIE! I DID IT! My first little cake of homespun!

It's kinda shy, a little embarrassed. She's over spun in most places and not even spun in some. [I don't get it]. But maybe if we promise not to laugh or make fun of her she will come out of the shadows and into the light.

Come on little wool. We promise not to laugh. You look so cute, all wrapped up in your little cake. Come on.....that's right.......

There you are! aren't you sweet!

I think that is all we are going to get from her at the moment. If you click on her you will get a good close up. You will notice there is still some VM caught in there. I just couldn't get it all out with the carding and couldn't wait until I managed to get combs from who-knows-where.

I spun it on a spindle I made from a knitting needle and a CD. I got the plan for that from 'Teach Yourself Visually Handspinning' by Judith MacKenzie McCuin.
I like the book. I like pictures. What I don't like is that Judith shows you how to make a spindle but then doesn't actually show using it. There are pictures about using a spindle just not the one homemade. For some reason that really bugged me. Like the instructions weren't complete.

The other thing that bugs me is that there are no step-by-step instructions that show how to take fleece from sheep to knitting needles. The instructions are there but they are not connected. This is a complaint I have across the board. I could not find step-by-step instructions anywhere. You can find instructions on washing, combing, carding, spinning and whatever else but nothing that said what comes next. Like: step 1) wash the fleece like this...... 2) card.... 3) comb..... 4) spin..... or whatever. I had to do a lot of reading and research to find out what the different steps were and then figure out what order they go in. I am still not sure I have it right. It seems no one out there has thought that there are those of us who know literally nothing about it and need to be held by the hand and taken through the step-by-step procedure.

I had washed and carded until I was sick of it and still had VM. There must be something else. The closest I came to a step-by-step procedure was in the files of the Spin List at yahoo groups. The file is called "Fleece to Yarn". 'Hurray!' I thought, "Finally I can find out what to do after I card". I read step one about skirting - check - , step two is washing, - check - , step 3 is dying, will do that later, this fleece still has VM!, step 4: comb, card or what about them? That's it. This is the step I have all the questions about. No where can I find why you would do one over the other, what the benefits of each one are. What my next step should be.

I got an answer on youtube. Yah, no kidding. Rexenne shows how to use combs
here . She talks about how it can help remove VM and separate out the short fibers and leave you with only the long fibers. Eureka! The info I have been looking for. Because the sheep was sheered by ametures short fibers [second cuts] are an issue. OK, I need combs....and a ditz, finally saw what your supposed to do with that too. Yes, I know all this info is in the book and elsewhere but this was the 1st time i saw anything about combing helping to remove VM and that it is this process that makes those nice, big, fluffy balls of ready-to-spin fiber you see in the store AND online and IN THE BOOK! CONNECTION COMPLETE!

Maybe its because I am a visual learner I had a hard time connecting the dots or maybe this really is a short coming in the spinning community. It seems everyone who puts fiber and spinning info out there assumes their reader has at least some kind of basic knowledge to start with. Well I had none! I did A LOT of research and reading to obtain the knowledge that I have now. I just wish I could have received it in all one go from somewhere.

Now I want to test dye my little test cake. Then I'll test knit it into a swatch and keep it as a reminder of my beginnings because this is NOT the end. There will be more. I have to get better at this and put to good use all the knowledge I have.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Monkey Love Casts On!

Coming at ya.....

I asked Barry to take a picture of the Monkey sock I cast on so I had something to post to ravelry. The next thing I know he's all:
'hold the
light here'
'now this way'

After several minutes of that I changed the arrangement.

come close

get back

Several minutes later... I started getting
board so it started getting weird.

dancing monkey.

I grabbed the yarn and danced the needles like it was a marionette. Who says monkeys don't have strings?
[little inside joke for Canadians, and if you are Canadian and you don't get it.....what!....your Canadian and don't
watch Corner Gas until you can quote it? for shame]

Still it went on......

and on.....
Picture this if you dare: Two adults, on their bed, the woman is bouncing a square of sticks and string around the pillow while the man is clicking away, coming close, backing up, lying down, sitting up, adjusting the light.....please stop.

And then, about 20 minutes [in all] later.....
finally it did.....
but isn't all that jitterbug yarn candy delightful!?! yum!

free counter