TdF 2018 Progress… Or, oh $hit what just happened?!

 

There I was, minding my own business when out of nowhere:

Awww $hit!

my Headcase went straight to hell in a yarnbasket! My niddy noddy decided to tell me to piss off and part of the skein slid off the flat end. Of course everything fell into a tangle of yarn and it was beyond saving. Luckily the yarn community is full of very kind, generous souls and a newer, better niddy is on its way to me soon. I don’t know when I’ll have the courage to try and untangle this monstrosity, but it won’t be anytime soon. Life’s(and TdF!) too short to play around with unruly yarn.

Which leads me to this:

Wensleydale and Mystery fiber

Remember the Wensleydale I was spinning up last time? Turns out, only ONE of these skeins is Wensleydale, apparently. I started out with what I thought was 8 oz, after I weighed what I’d found on one bobbin together with the REST of the unspun fiber that I knew for certain was Wensleydale. My old brain farts alot and so I don’t remember if the bag was already open or not. It DID appear to have some fiber missing, which is why I thought the already plied fiber was from that bag. So I spin the ‘remaining’ fiber, weigh it all up and the total is 10.5 oz!! I know I accounted for the bobbin’s weight (which is negligible), so that doesn’t add up.

Then I got to looking at the first yarn and realized, it’s a bit scratchier, and darker than ‘the remainder’. So I’m guessing that’s not Wensleydale after all. Add in the fact that I’m still missing a bobbin somewhere and who knows WHAT this fiber is? I added all the fiber that I KNOW is Wensleydale, minus that skein and it’s only 7.25oz. Sigh. Never a dull moment huh? Final yardage and WPI tally will occur when I’ve finished plying the rest of the singles. So far though, I’ve got 353 yards of Wensleydale and 179 yards of who-knows-what. Probably a DK weight but I’ll have to check.

Mystery Brown Fiber

Moving right along! This mystery fiber (that’s apparently a theme around here), is 4 oz and approx. 145 yards of DK weight. It’s very soft to the touch. It was a gift to me and the giver didn’t know what it was either. Oh well. It was quick and fun and I wish I had more.

Next up on the wheel is this gorgeous purple/white combo from Little Barn. I swear I need to stop buying from them because most of their best fiber isn’t even categorized. What is this fiber?? I wanna say Corriedale, but I could be wrong. It’s just labeled, 100% Fine Wool. Sigh. It’s coming out really fine, alright. I’m gonna try and 4-ply this bad boy and get some mittens out of it. 4oz, though there’s another 4 of the same color. I doubt I’ll spin that the same way.

Purple Little Barn Mystery Fiber

Beautiful, isn’t it? Monday 7/16 is a rest day in the Tour de France, so we spinners also take a break. This gives me a chance to rest the singles(and my spinning muscles!) until I’m ready to ply on Tuesday. Also I get to browse my stash and figure out what gets on the wheel next! Plus there’s knitting to be done for the FiberPunk/Grianaig Creations Destash. I’ve yet to post about my progress but that’s coming up later this week!!

 

What are you working on??

Please comment, like and share!

 

Happy Crafting!

Tamara ๐Ÿ™‚

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Tour de Fleece Is Underway

The annual Tour de Fleece spinning challenge which coincides with the Tour de France cycling tournament has begun. Spinners from all over the world are either spinning along during the actual broadcasts or watching recorded sessions, among other things. In either case, everybody is getting in some serious fiber time.

On my bobbins:

Wensleydale singles

First up is 8oz of 100% Wensleydale I picked up probably Rhinebeck 2013. With a very long staple length, this fiber is very easy to spin. Not having spun on the wheel in a while, I had a brain fart when it came to plying it up, but I quickly recovered and the plying is coming along nicely. I actually had some of this fiber already worked up but I can tell the ply is not as good as it should be, so it’ll be revisiting the wheel once this ply session is over.

The Wensleydale so far:
Wensleydale plied

While that’s getting plied up, there’s this gorgeous colorway, Headcase from Knitty And Color. Its 100% Merino fiber. Spinning this was definitely eye-opening. I forgot how much harder it is to spin Merino fiber with its very short staple length. I think the only thing shorter might be cotton. Either way, I’m just now remembering how hard of a time I used to have with this fiber and my heart sank a little when I realized just how much of my stash is Merino. But you know what? I’m just gonna go with the flow and see how it goes! But not right now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The singles:
Merino singles- Headcase

Pretty, right? One other setback was the amount of pre-drafting this fiber needed. Granted, it was compacted into a braid that had been sitting who knows how long before I bought it like 4 years ago. 3? I don’t know. Ya’ll thought I was lying when I said I had deep stash. I still got stuff from 2007 to spin. Yeah. Don’t judge.

I’m still contemplating which fibers to choose next.ย  So far the only challenge I can see myself attempting is to spin carded fiber long-draw. I have some Finn that I picked up Rhinebeck 2017 on a whim– $20 for a lb of dyed Finn?? Hell Yes!– that would be perfect for that type of drafting method. Might as well try now. Or maybe I’ll try some mystery fiber I’ve had in the stash a while to practice before I screw up the good stuff. We shall see.

Do you spin? What’s in your fiber queue?

Tamaraย  ๐Ÿ˜€

Craft-a-Longs Galore!

It’s finally Summer! That doesn’t stop me from yarn crafting, though. I just have to change up WHERE I’m working to get stuff done without heatstroke.ย  It’s going to be a scorcher this first week of July and I would easily mosey myself down to a local pool to cool off, but the call of yarncraft is a bit stronger.

Two big crafting events either going on now, or about to start are: 1) FibrePunk/ Grianaig Creations Destash-a-long (FPGCDestash) and 2) Tour de Fleece (TdF) 2018.

The FPGCDestash started yesterday 7/1/18( Oops, I’m late!) and continues for 6 months, until 12/31/18. That’s PLENTY of time to use up yarns and finish up WIPs that have been languishing in your stash or WIPs pile since the beginning of creation. I’ve got one main knitting WIP right now (Starting Point, by Joji Locatelli), but I have a few #MakeNine2018 items still to be done. So long as I don’t keep adding things to my ‘wannamakenowmustmakenow’ list– I’m looking at YOU Sock Arms– I should be set with projects for the rest of the year. ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  So head on over to the Grianaig Creations Podcast page on Ravelry forย  more details and to join in the destash fun!

Also going on for 3 weeks in July, from 7/7 to 7/29, is the annual Tour de Fleece challenge, which coincides with the Tour de France cycling tournament. This will be my second attempt at participating and I’ve got my work cut out for me:

neglected bobbins

Between bouts of spinning startitis and having issues with my spinning wheel I’ve managed to leave a bunch of bobbins in various stages of progress. The tour starts in 6 days and I have to somehow empty these bobbins without losing any singles. For at least two of them, I can’t even tell you what fiber I was spinning. I know what’s going on with the yellow/greenish color in the middle, and I may use that to test-spin/ply until the actual event starts. The fullest bobbin is what I started of some Wensleydale top I got from Little Barn eons ago. The speckled fiber on the left, I have NO idea about. I have seen some unplied singles in a bin I’ve been storing handspun in, but I don’t think I have anymore of the unused fiber left so I’ll probably just wind that off and ply everything sometime after the tour.

And there you have it! Join one or both of these yarn craft events and show your progress! Find me here, and search #fpgcdestash or #TdF/ #TourdeFleece on Instagram for more participants photos.

I Popped My MDSW Cherry…

I know, I know. EVERYBODY and their mother on the East coast has been to MDSW(Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival) at least once. This past Saturday was my very first time. And it was sweet.

In the past I’d resigned myself to NYS Sheep and Wool (Rhinebeck!), because I was not willing to travel allllllll the way to Maryland. Most of my local knitter friends, and a bunch of distant ones made a regular pilgrimage down that way every first weekend in May. I figured now was my chance. Talk about overwhelming. I barely took photos of the goodies to be had, instead opting for the usual, ‘ I’m here, look!’-type shots. Hell, I’d even left the DSLR home(now you KNOW it was serious).
Pretty Sky
Sheepy decorations outside the festival entrance

Of course I took time out to show off a sock WIP( the Socks on a Plane have since been finished.):

Socks on a plane... at a festival! (Mine’s on the right).

The highlight of the festival was getting this: a skein of the Cobblestone Sock, by Neighborhood Fiber Co.

Neighborhood Fiber co. Cobblestone sock, Canton colorway

I can’t wait to knit this gem!

Also, I managed to finish the Socks on a Plane in record time: 5 Days ya’ll!

Socks on a Plane, in Socks That Rock, Little Bo Peep colorway

This sock was insanely easy and the thick sock yarn made it go really fast. Socks that Rock is a popular sock yarn that sells like hotcakes at festivals. I got a bum skein with knots and tangles. I’m thinking they sell the oopses at these festivals. I like the yarn a lot for what it is, but I’m not sure if I’d ever buy it again if the usual quality is what I found at Rhinebeck (2013). We shall see.

What am I working on now?
Ashton shawl progress; Malabrigo sock, in Lettuce.

Meet the Ashton Shawl. I’m knitting this in Malabrigo Sock, in Lettuce. I know I bought two skeins of Malabrigo sock and couldn’t remember what shawls I wanted to knit with them. I just did the close-your-eyes-and-point and came up with this in my queue since 2012. What better time to knit it than now?, I say. So far, it’s a really relaxing, easy knit. Can’t wait to block this puppy!

So that’s it for this one. Stay tuned for a special event coming up in the next few weeks. I’ll give you a hint: socks. ๐Ÿ˜‰

TTFN!

Busy….

Knitting, looking for more things to knit, realizing how out of shape I am by trying to run a 5K untrained… stuff like that..

My shirt and bib. It was fun. I learned something: I'm out of shape!

Recently, littlest Beanlet ran her first 5K walk/run through Girls on the Run. It was cold and windy but we had a great time. I had planned on starting my own Couch-to-5K to be ready. You know that didn’t happen, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Tired as I ended up(and sore!), I think I need to do that again, and soon. I felt surprisingly good after that, might be a psychological thing. Yeah, that’s it, ’cause I don’t like running! That will have to change!

As for the knitting, yeah. I’ve completed 3 cowls for Fiberary so far. One of them needs a rip and shortening, and I still have yet to actually seam the last, so maybe I can’t say they’re completed, but yeah. I learned a valuable lesson about second-guessing differences in dye lots, though. The Stockholm Scarf I started a few weeks ago is due to be modeled in the next post, so stay tuned. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ve also been having fun with food, getting slowly back into the green monster thing and baking.
Untitled
Pumpkin Doughnuts

They turned out not all that doughnut-y looking, but they taste great! A bit too much salt I think, but that can be fixed. Also, I must have smaller-than-normal doughnut pans because this recipe makes way more than is implied in the recipe. I think I’ll need a 3rd doughnut pan. ๐Ÿ˜‰

As if that isn’t enough, then I went ahead and finally tried out this CrockPot Bread recipe I found through TimeSuck Pinterest.

Voila! Crusty bread in the crock pot, to go with my NE clam chowder lunch. #mmm #foodgasm #foodpr0n  #baking #homemade #lunchtime

Oh. My. Stars. I love this! It makes great bread, without the second rise business. Mind you, I was advised to try it with rapid rise(quick rise?) yeast, but it worked fine with regular. I will of course try it that way just to see if I get a taller loaf. As per the recipe the loaf isn’t as tall as I’d get it with a 2nd rise, but it’s still bread and it tastes like real bread. Mmm Mmm, good!

Here’s the m0ney shot (with Clam Chowder):

Lunch time! ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, that’s what I’ve been up to? What about you?

TTFN!

Something to see, here…

Hi! Remember me? No? Let me refresh your memory.

I knit, spin, sew, make yummy foods and take photographs of all of it!. NOW you remember, huh? Good.

I’m back in the saddle again, starting off slowly with this first post about NaKniSweMo 2013. Not posting every day but definitely knitting every day. And to add to the general crazy I will be participating in the Sistah Knits MKAL, featuring Bijou Basin Ranch’s ‘Bijou Bliss’ and “Lhasa Wilderness” yarn. The cast-on is set for Nov 6th! Woot. Check it out on the Rav group for Bijou Basin Ranch yarns.

cowl

Aaaand it begins! NaKniSweMo is in the house!   This will be Double Rainbow,by Rena Vasarkis, from Knitty Deep Fall, 2013

This is the beginning of Double Rainbow, by Rena Varsarkis. I’m knitting the body in Wool-Ease in Chili, but I’m not sure if I’m going to put other colors in or not. So for now, it’s a ‘Plain’bow.. ๐Ÿ˜€

Back to the needles I go! Have a great weekend!

Give Thanks… (NaBloPoMo Day 22)

 

Obligatory Pie close up shot-- Project52 week 47

 

PIE! Pumpkin pie, to be exact. Nothing fancy, just something to take to the family or dessert this evening. Assuming we don’t eat it all first. ๐Ÿ˜‰

No controversy, no animosity, no standing on lines half the day and all night waiting for crap you don’t need. Just relax with the family and enjoy each other’s love and company. Eat some good cookin, blast some music/football game, laugh at your drunk uncle knocked out in the recliner without his dentures(been there, done that), play with the kids, put your brother’s apron out when he never fails to set it on fire… whatever

 

Just. Be. Thankful. Today, tomorrow, always.

 

TTFN

 

I won! (NaBloPoMo Day 8)

Wow! I spent the first half of the day contemplating my topic for today’s post when I went email-checking and found a Congratulations! ย I won the local photowalk contest!

Back on October 13th, was the Scott Kelby Annual World Wide Photowalk and I participated with a group of local photogs under the leadership of Mark Garbowski. All participants were allowed to post a photo to their local photowalk page to enter the photowalk contest. Well, I entered mine in, thinking, “eh, what are the odds?”

Little did I know that I’d win the local contest. I’d sort of forgotten there was one, really. And, to be fair I was apparently the only person to enter a photo(why??). But,

I. WON! ย a free copy of the e-book version of Scott’sย The Lightroom 4 Book for Digital Photographers”. I had been wanting to get this one but chickened out. Good thing I waited huh? ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s the shot that won:

Image

I can’t wait to dig into that book!

TTFN ๐Ÿ˜€

NY Sheep and Wool–part 2!(The Haul Edition)

Despite the crazy that was Hurricane Sandy, October had been fairly good to me. Most years it is, because it’s my birth-month. ย This year in particular I got spoiled like nobody’s business..

My Virtual KnitChat girls gifted me at every turn for my special day, ย and some of us got the royal treatment at Rhinebeck as well. Knitters are some of the most generous people in. the. world.

While browsing the offerings, I did purchase a few goodies such as:

Finn fiber from Point of View Farm

1 lb. of Finn! I love me some Finn! I haven’t had any since Rhinebeck ’08, from Misty Mountain Farms. I went by their booth this year but they only had top, not roving. Bah. During a second pass-through on day 2 of the festival I found a vendor selling nothing but Finn products. Score! I will be sure to find them next time.

Little Barn haul

Another old stand-by that I did manage to get lucky with was Little Barn. I always make sure to stop by their tent and I was not disappointed. I’ve never spun Coopworth before so this will be my intro to it; 8 oz. total, plus 4 oz. of random dyed wool (maybe Corriedale?)

More goodies!

Then I scooped up 4 oz. of Falkland fiber from Into the Whirled and an oz. of Suri Alpaca with sparkle from Still River Mill. I’ve never spun either of these breeds so I’m really looking forward to them. Into the Whirled actually had a similar colorway all dyed into one braid but I chose the separated version so I could stripe the yarn myself. It finally occured to me why I sometimes get disappointed with the results of pretty colorways spun up: short color blocks get ‘muddied’ when they’re spun and plied; with separate color sections you can spin them end to end and navajo ply them for striped yarn. I’m hoping to spin the Alpaca on a hand spindle to get a really thin single. I spindle park-and-draft style so that shouldn’t be too hard.

Now, for the surprises(I told you knitters were awesome, didn’t I?):

Batts!

A mystery bump from Still River Mill and the infamous Loop Bulls-eye Batt! I’m guessing the ‘mystery’ part is the colorway, as the bumps were labeled as Alpaca and Merino. *shrug*. I’d heard a few things about the Loop batts, but never really considered buying one. I actually finished spinning up the singles last night to Navajo ply another day, and I swear pulling the fiber out of the middle was like a fiber-y clown car! There appeared to be 4 different colors but there were actually 5! I like big batts and I can not lie! ;). I will do a proper review of the spinning once it’s all done.

Merino fiber

Last but not least, almost 8.5 oz. of lovely pastel ‘clown-barf’ Merino fiber. I don’t know. All I did was look at it, put it back and 10 min later it got laid in my arms. Weeee ๐Ÿ˜€

So there it is!! Truthfully though, I could have left Rhinebeck empty handed and it still would have been a great time. I got to hang out with some of the coolest people I know: Yarnies!! ๐Ÿ˜€ Thank you ladies for an awesome time! I am truly blessed!

TTFN!

NY Sheep and Wool Festival… or, Rhinebeck 2012!

After a 4-year absence I got the chance to hit the NY Sheep and Wool Festival, aka Rhinebeck, again. The first time I went, I only spent the Saturday there, but after spending the weekend in 2008, I knew I’d have to continue making a serious vacation of this experience. ย And, so it was a weekend this time too.

The highlights are as follows:

People:

LetteKnits, HeiressKnits, CiciCarry

(L-R)LetteKnits, HeiressKnits, and CiciCarry!!

G+ KnitChat finally meets.

My G+ KnitChat crew, clockwise(VivianneKnits, me, Monetb56, PDXLaceknitter and TamiKnits– we all rode up together except for Viv who freaking LIVES up there! I am Gel- Us!
Food:

Maple Cotton Candy!

Maple Cotton Candy, ohhh so good. I was holding out for these delectable soaps I found in ’08 from a vendor with no online presence, but alas, he was nowhere to be found.

and Fiber goods:

Untitled

Lots of decorated wheels. I keep saying I’ll do up mine, but I get lazy and scared of messing up so..

And don’t forget the sheep!

Untitled

Cheviot girlie!

And just think, I did this times two! We stayed all day on Saturday til we just about got kicked out, but left early on Sunday to avoid the crazy that is trying to get out of the parking lot all. at. once. Live and learn.

So much to see and do and tried to take photos of it all. Wallet in one hand, camera in the other and a ton of fun was had.

I will have to make a separate post of the actual haul, as I’m still trying to recover(and make room!)

 

If you’re heading out to SAFF this coming weekend, I hope your experience is just as, if not more fun!

 

TTFN!