Thursday, March 15, 2012

It is Spring!

Finally, I can can happily say it is spring and my irises are popping up to prove it.

Also received a package from the UK today..Jordan over at In it to Knit it. How fun is all of this. I got some yarn, some buttons and a handmade pin cushion as well as some chocolate...thank you Jordan!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Channel Island cast on

I was exploring  Stumble Upon last night. This is a great website that you plug in what you are interested in and it will bring up web pages that might not come up in a search. These are web pages that others have or you can add to stumble upon that pertain to whatever the subject. Well I was stumbling through knitting pages and an interesting page came up..I need to try this. It is called a Channel Island Cast On. It leaves a very interesting Picot edge to your project. So of course I had to you tube this and  here is a tutorial.

 You end up with a starting edge that will look like this

Very Cool!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Spinning Saturday,Southern Adirondack Spinning Guild

Today is the monthly meeting for the Southern Adirondack Spinning Guild. We meet the 2nd Saturday of each month at The Yarn Shop at Fosters Sheep Farm in Schuylerville, NY.  The Guild is a chance for spinners to get together and share their love of spinning fibers with others. There is always a show and tell where members can display their spun fiber, knitting, weaving, crochet , felting, rug hooking, whatever project  that is being worked on or completed. 
New members are always welcome as are new spinners.
 I always look forward to these meetings. There is a enormous amount of talent in this area of NY. The projects brought in completed and the spinning being done is exceptional. I started spinning almost a year ago. My skills have been greatly enhanced by the guidance I have received from the members of this guild. I started with the usual thick one ply and now can produce an acceptable thin single ply that when plyed together knits up nice.

My newest fiber to tackle is 100% silk in a hankie.This is what the hankies look like, they come in layers.

You need to separate them. If you can see through one than you know that you have only one. They are very delicate and light.

Be sure that your hands are not dry, as they tend to catch on anything rough. I have been moisturizing my hands at night. You don't want to use lotion right before handling as you will have the opposite effect , the silk with not move freely through your fingers.
I gently tugged on each end of the hankie before spinning to predraft. These were dyed so I want to keep the colors  in a sequence. If undyed then you would poke hole in center then pull apart from the inside.
It is spinning up nicely.
I will be taking this today as it is already on my spinning wheel. Once plied it should be a beautiful blue. 

Off to do my sheep chores and get ready for guild.

And even though most of techie devices do this, I still always forget the house clocks, which can cause some confusion (mostly on my part)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Free Pattern Friday

Yes, we all love free patterns. The nice thing is it frees  us up to splurge on supplies.  Ravelry is my go to place for  patterns and keeping up with whats going on in the fiber world.

 I also want to suggest Knitty. The Spring/Summer issue is out. Knitty  is the longest-running free knitting magazine on the web. Launched in 2002, there are more than 9 years worth of fabulous knitting patterns and articles to be found on the website.In each issue you will also find Knittyspin. Here you can find a wealth of information about spinning techniques, spinning wheel upkeep, patterns using your hand spun and much more.

Here is a sample of this issues offerings.

The Petal

Free Pattern for here

Peephole Tank

Carousel Sock

Sock pattern found here ..Carousel Sock

Knitty always includes patterns for hand spun yarns, this issue has a wonderful shawl done in a lace weight called Boscobel

THE KNITTY LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY INDEX [Kind of like a menu. But not really.]

 Suitable for beginners.
 Relaxing, not mentally taxing.
 Knitting as therapy.

 Tired of scarves? Ready for something more challenging? Try these.
 Fun things with zing. A twist, even.

 A little something for the seasoned knitter.
 Daring but not exhausting.

 Suitable for those with a lot of experience. Or patience. Or both.
 These babies have teeth.
 Hoo boy.

So go on over and browse the treasures. All back issues are available. Get a cup of coffee or tea, you might be there for a while. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Works in Progress Wednesday, The Knitting Like Crazy Mystery Shawl,and lamb pictures

I have started this mystery shawl KAL with some friends from my LYS and I have to say that it may be a bit too complex for me. I had already started the Holden Shawlette . I have not done a shawl yet and thought the Holden would be a good start. When the mystery shawl opportunity came up, I thought well this might be better, I can knit along with my friends. The Knitting Like Crazy Mystery Shawl 2012 involves pattern work on both the knit and purl side. I have seen the outcome of this and it is very beautiful. But being a novice knitter, I think I should first complete my Holden Shawl and then go on to conquer the Mystery Shawl.

I am also working on the Fingerless gloves "Musica"  This is a free pattern. .These are  wrist warmers for musicians, short enough for not hindering in playing instruments. My niece is currently in school studying music. I thought these would be great for practice rooms, or just to wear for fun.
This is the patterns picture.

Below is what I have finished so far. I am quite please with how it is coming out. I love doing color work. I used Patons Silk Bamboo in black and ivory. I had this in my stash, which was a pleasant surprise to find. 

Took some pictures this morning while doing chores of the sheep. These were the ones I got of those that would pose. It is hard to get them in the stalls.  Soon they will be back outside. 

The new lamb Heinz having breakfast with his mother Hope.
We have named him Heinz cause he is a mixture of 5 breeds, so he is a Heinz 57 (a saying from my home town of Pittsburgh, where Heinz is located)

My daughter Colleen feeding her bottle fed lamb Bella. This little lamb can eat.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Good Morning Surprise!

Went in to the sheep barn this morning only to find a surprise. Instead of one little lamb baa baaing, I heard two. A quick check of the stalls revealed a new little lamb. The lambs mother, Hope came to us quite heavy,
 so there was some question after we bred her if she had gotten pregnant. She had not shown anything, so I was not really keeping a close eye on her. Well she surprised us all. 

Ewe and lamb are doing great. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The 12 in 2012 Spinning Challenge , Sheep, and more

The goal of this challenge is to spin 12 lbs of yarn or 48 braids in 2012. Yes, I am getting a late start on this, but I spin so much anyway that I might be able to get close.
 The challenge was sent to me by Melissa over at String Lingo . Melissa is also part of my knitting group
One of my goals was already to get the lambs wool roving that I received back from Battenkill Fiber Mill from two of my ewes, Crimson and Clover. I have stated spinning the white roving, so technically I have  already started in this challenge.

This is Clover

Clover is a Wenslydale X Romney

The roving is very soft and has that Wenslydale sheen when spun.

Below is what is on my spinning wheel now.

I am spinning on a Kromski Sonata

And Finally one of the finished skeins.

Some of this yarn will be dyed, but it is so beautiful that I would like to do at least one project in its natural color.