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Spin, Knit May 7, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in Crafty, Etsy, knitting, spinning.
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I managed to wrench my shoulder a couple of nights ago. I’m not really sure what I did or how I did it – I was sitting on the floor in the guest room-cum-Michael’s office-cum-studio and turned to my left, reached beside and behind me with my left arm to pick up something fairly light, and it must have been just the wrong angle as a pain shot up my arm when I did it. Ever since then it’s been punky. I can put weight on it, I can do most things with it, but I can’t reach out and, say, pick up a gallon of milk with it, or comfortably reach behind me to hook my bra. Trying to wrestle Mim to get her diaper on this morning was just short of torture. It’s just certain angles – one of which I discovered is the force exerted in pulling a hank of yarn taut and twisting it into a skein. That sucked, I actually had to stop and take some deep breaths, the pain was so sudden and unexpected. So yeah. Fantastic.

I am every so thankful, however, that it was my left shoulder and not my right because anything involving pressing with my fingers such as opening a childproof cap would hurt a lot. Being a righty that would make just about anything painful. Fortunately as well my typing is not affected so I can still work.

Speaking of which I do have some yarn photos – here are those two skeins I finished a couple of weeks ago but took crappy pictures the first time around. These were both spun from roving I got from Frog Hair Fibers, I love her colors, especially the second one.

This is superwash Merino wool, I spun it quick and squishy so it would make a really poofy warm yarn as I’m trying to break out of my tendency to spin teensy weensy perfectionist style.

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Roving: Superwash Merino color “Candy” from Frog Hair Fibers

This is superwash Blue Faced Leicester, which frankly I was worried about as the BFL I’ve spun has almost been too soft, drifting apart easily while spinning and being kind of a pain in the ass. I was glad that this stuff was still soft, but not without substance. Maybe the superwash process toughened it up a little bit? Anyway the resulting yarn has a fantastic drape, I’m tempted to keep this one for myself.

Handspun BFL

Handspun BFL

Roving: Superwash BFL colorway “Antiquity” from Frog Hair Fibers

In the “making things” department I’ve been dinking around on this Chevron Scarf for a couple of weeks, now. The stitch pattern is so easy that sometimes I start to nod off while working on it. It’s also in fingering weight yarn so it feels like it is taking forever. I think that’s further exacerbated by the fact that I only get a few minutes here and there to rattle off a couple of rows. Or I fall asleep :) Anyway I had these two random skeins of Koigu KPPPM and this was the perfect project for stashbusting them. I’m just about halfway done.

Chevron scarf WIP

Chevron scarf WIP

Chevron scarf WIP

Pattern: Chevron Scarf by Joelle Hoverson, from Last minute Knitted Gifts
Yarn: Koigu KPPPM, color P204 (red) and P426 (purple)

It obviously needs a lot of blocking so it’ll lay flat once it’s finished. My plan is to wear it as a headscarf, if I can figure out how to get it to stay on my slippery hair without sliding off. Maybe I need to invest in some bobby pins as I really want to wear scarves on my head and can’t seem to figure it out.

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More stuffs. April 3, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in Crafty, Etsy, spinning.
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Okay, I did more spinning. I’m so excited! I haven’t done this much spinning in ages. I feel like I’m going through phases – dyeing to knitting to spinning and back again. Well, that’s fine, I can’t concentrate on more than one thing at a time anyway. What I REALLY need to do is finish listing the stuff on Etsy that’s just sitting in a bin doing nothing. It’s all tagged and ready to go, I just need to take the time to list it. Sigh.

Anyway, anyway. Here are two more skeins I finished up – the BFL that was on the bobbin for about a million years, and the easter-egg dyed that I got from that Ravelry friend. Please excuse my poor worn out fugly tablecloth.

worsted to chunky weight 2-ply
100% merino wool | hand wash
228 yards
(No name yet)

Merino two-ply yarn

Merino two-ply yarn

Merino two-ply yarn

This was the roving I got from that friend on Ravelry, one of her first dyeing experiments. I really love the colors and this is super lofty and warm. This is another skein of “spin fast and less exact” in an attempt to pry the anal retentive spinner’s stick out of my own ass. I do like it a lot, just counting the strands I could feel how cozy it was due to not being plied to death. I think I might keep this one to make something for Mim. The skein is huge!

fingering to sport weight Navajo-plied
100% superwash Blue Faced Leicester | machine/hand wash
210 yards
(No name yet)

Superwash BFL Yarn

Superwash BFL Yarn

Superwash BFL Yarn

The BFL skein is really more green than blue, but Joy expressed lust for it so she gets first dibs on it if she wants it. It looks a little kinky in that first photo and it is – it Navajo plied a bit stiffer than I was anticipating as the roving was very soft – too soft, almost. I’m coming to find that I prefer to spin rougher fibers, I’m not as much a fan of the soft-soft-soft stuff. I may have plied this a bit too aggressively as the single ply was nearly falling apart in my hands in a couple of places. Very delicate. In any case it’s been washed and thwacked and at second glance I think the soak helped relax it a lot, so we’ll see what it does once it’s dry.

Adventures in time management March 4, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in Crafty, dyeing, Etsy.
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I don’t have a whole lot to report this week. Kids have been good, work has been all right – after doing that massive push all day Monday through 3am Tuesday and getting through everydamnthing I had due, things have been a breeze. I’ve felt a lot more relaxed and am actually enjoying troubleshooting and quoting new work. I’m still feeling pretty tired but it was worth it.

On the heels of that I started thinking about crafty stuff more, namely that I want to be making more in my “spare” time (and I use the word loosely since I don’t feel like I have much to spare, if any at all). I don’t have time to sit down and spin right now, hopefully that will change, but I have been moving along on that sweater for Mim which is a nice feeling. There are going to be SO MANY ends to run in, yuck. I also thought about dyeing as I have a ton of yarn and roving sitting around waiting to be dyed.

Late Sunday night (isn’t it always late Sunday night when I feel most inspired) I took out my dye stuff and just started doing it. Then Monday I kept the ball rolling, I found a few methods that I can work on in 5-10 minute bursts, which made me able to integrate them into my regular workday. Every time I’d go to the kitchen to warm up my cup of coffee or get something to eat I’d do a little dye work. I did this “occasional” dye work Monday and Tuesday, and today I did a little first thing in the morning, then washed and hung what I’d already dyed and tonight I just now threw some stuff in that I’ll take out in an hour and leave to cool overnight.

I think I’ve hit a bit of a stride with this, and I’m hoping that 5 out of 7 days I can be doing some sort of processing whether it be winding skeins, rinsing dyed fiber, dyeing stuff, etc. It’s true what they say about “slow and steady wins the race” – I’ve managed to get a lot more done in bits and pieces than if I’ve tried to set time aside to do a whole lot at once. I can’t think too much about larger-brainpower projects like spinning and plying at the moment, I just don’t have it in me.

Anyway this is what my dining room looked like this afternoon and it makes me happy. Tuesday was definitely a fuchsia red purple kind of day and today was a forest kind of day.

Dyeing, ongoing

Dyeing, ongoing

Not too shabby – it’s not earth-shattering, but I think it’s pretty good considering I’m working a full-time job and taking care of kids when I’m not working. I got a lot of laundry done today, too, which made me happy.

Okay, one artsy fartsy shot for you. I really liked the colors in this one:

Dyeing, ongoing

My next goal: in bed by 11pm. It’s 9:25 now, I’ll turn off the roving at 10:30, brush my teeth and go to bed. In the meantime I think I’ll knit and watch a little teevee.