Thursday, March 20, 2008

Adventures in SPINNING!

Yes, that's right. Spinning! And I love it. I officially have another hobby.

I started spinning Monday night, and didn't really stop until Wednesday evening (of course, I work during the day and didn't spin except for in the evenings). I couldn't get enough. I think I was so proud of myself that I could actually produce something decent that I couldn't stop.

Anyway, here are some shots of my first batch (Corriedale pencil roving from Crown Mountain Farms - a very generous gift from Leah):

(spun singles - notice the one on the right is much better...I spun that second!)

(after plying)

(the finished product!)

(a lil' swatch)

It was so much fun that I stayed up late into the night starting another batch. Here's what came out of that:

I wish I could tell you how many yards of this and how many ounces it is, and how many wraps per inch, etc., but I'm just not that good yet. I love this stuff, though - it's Sakina Needles BFL in the Alpaca Dales colorway, and was very easy to spin. I may have ordered some more.

Lastly, I spun some Tussah Silk, which I really don't think I was ready for, but here's what I ended up with:

It's pretty horrid, but I couldn't resist - it was St. Patrick's Day.
In other news, I've taken a slight vacation from sock knitting, because I was working on a model for the shop:

This is Laura from Mission Falls' pattern book for 1824 Cotton called The Illustrator. It was a super easy knit, and I think it only took me two weeks of evening knitting. I think I was able to knit it so fast because I'm so used to knitting about a zillion tiny stitches for just one sock. Anyways, since I knit this and it was a success, you might be seeing more than socks on here for a little while at least. I am still knitting socks, though - albeit very slowly:

...just some plain ol' toe-ups using Araucania Ranco Multy - this yarn rocks!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

KCPSA (Knitting Community Public Service Announcement)

The new Knitty is up! There are a couple of really cool sock patterns...

Happy Tuesday,

They're back...

FYI, Journey's now has clear Chucks again. I know they were sold out for a while, but it looks like they're now back in stock!

I'll say that I wore the pair I bought for a solid month, and they now have tears on the inner sides. Most of the canvas Chucks I have owned have split from the rubber at the same spot, but the plastic is just not as flexible as the fabric.

So, should I be a dope and buy another pair while they're still available?

Monday, March 03, 2008

San Fran.!

I'm a very lucky lady. For Christmas, Jake got me a trip to San Francisco. So, two weeks ago, I finally cashed in. I hadn't really ever been to California, unless you count being dropped into L.A. for a day to visit USC when I thought I might go there for college (I don't count that). We were gone for five days, and had a fantastic time. You can see all of the pictures from our trip on flickr. I would have blogged about it sooner, but I was down with the flu pretty much all of last week. Talk about hell. Anyways.

I got plenty of yarn time in during out trip. We did a TON of walking, and thankfully for me, the two yarn shops I visited were in parts of the city we planned on exploring! We went to ImagiKnit first. Here is a shot of their magificent wall of sock yarn:

The ceilings are super high, and the yarn goes, well, up to the ceiling! Here's another shot of me having a moment with some Alchemy:

The shop staff was very friendly and mostly all male that day! What a rarity. The guy in the picture at the checkout counter had just been to Stitches West the night before and showed me and another shopper his badass haul. I was pretty jealous of the skeins of silk he had scored that were dyed gray somehow with charcoal. I walked away from the shop with a few skeins of very brightly colored sock yarn and some Claudia Handpainted Yarns Fingering Silk 55 in the John B colorway:

I'm not sure what I'll do with it, but it sure is pretty. Oh heck - you and I both know I'll be making socks.

Next up, we went to Artfibers:

As you can see, Artfibers is very much downtown in San Fran.. Here's a peek inside the store:

And another:

Now, I'd never seen anything like this. I believe that Artfibers spins and dyes all of these yarns themselves, which is pretty spectacular. I got one cone of Quipu (baby alpaca):

And one cone of Valparaiso (baby alpaca and merino):

I'm not sure you'll be able to see the marvelous colors from these pictures, but I'll just say that I cannot wait to cast on with this stuff. I'm thinking lace is in order.

That's all the yarny I have as far as San Francisco goes, but in other news, my first few days at the Haus have been great! I think I am really going to love this gig. Over the weekend, we were lucky enough to have Jackie E from Heartstrings with us to teach a toe-up sock class and a lace class. Her patterns are killer. Check 'em out!