Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Strike is over and I'm a slacker!

So the strike sucked, I spent 30 bucks each day getting back and forth to work but now it's over and I have no excuses for being late to work...damn! With all the holiday stuff and the food comas that I have been subject to lately, I've been a super blog slacker...sorry guys I am weak and succumbed to the TV and the super end of the year sales and I've not updated in like a week, but I'm back and my new years resolution is going to be updating the blog 3 days a week - any more than that and we'll all be bored! And getting back to all you wonderful commentors quickly - again sorry.

I had a wonderful Christmas with my family although my father drove me insane....He happened to stay over our house from Sunday to Monday and I thought I was going to kill him. I love the man but he can be very frustrating sometimes! Check out this picture, my little neice and E how cute are they?!

This was on Christmas day...ahh my little Brats

I got some purfume, and a B&N gift certificate a few other things and then I got what I really wanted...a Bulky flyer and bobbin for my spinning wheel - now I can spin 300 yard skeins!

You really can't tell in this picture but the bobbin is twice as big as the regular louet bobbins I'm thinking I'll get 8 ounces of bulky easy on this's going to be my plying bobbin.

I haven't really been knitting or spinning much - see the above slacker confession - but I did finally finish my 1st jaywalker and have started on the second.

The yarn is some natural yarn I picked up at Habu textiles and I hand painted it - it's very much like knit picks palette. Maybe not the best yarn for long lasting socks but it is so soft!

Ohh I just got in a shipment of different sock yarn for dyeing and I also have to start dyeing and spinning for The Point since my yarns have sold out! I'm really excited so in the next few days you'll see lots of color splashes here!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Strike is on!!!

As all of you New Yorkers know by now we are in the midst of a Transit Strike and I'm located in the far reaches of Brooklyn and have no way to get into work today - this is fine for one day but I've been informed by someone who works for the MTA that this strike might do on for 10 days! I'll probably try and get car service but it's gonna cost me! And coming home is most likely going to be worse than getting there - I have no clue what I am going to do...maybe I'll have luck meeting up with my fellow Brooklyn spiders.

For those of you who don't live in New York and are not familiar with the commuting situation here - let me explain: Most people work in manhattan, a huge percentage of those people commute from an outer borough. The best way to get to work is either by an MTA train or bus, for many people that is the only way - myself included (most people don't have cars and if they do there is no place to park when you get into manhattan). I can walk to work but that would be - 13 miles in the freezing cold! Ahh let's see if I can make it into work tomorrow!

The good thing about this strike today is I can get a ton of knitting and spinning done...oh yeah! I should be done with my first Jaywalker sock. It's taken me over a week to finish one because I've had so little time to knit - I've been a crazed christmas shopper! I'm not going to post a pic until it is done, so hopefully I'll have an update tonight.

For all of you Brooklyn Handspun enthusiasts who have yarn but don't know what to do with it - here is a hat I knit from a leftover small skein of Blue Bop, it took about 75 yards on size 10.5 needles. No paticular pattern, I just cast on about 66 stitches and knit until I was happy with the size and then decreased every 10 stitches until I had to put it on dpns instead of my 16 inch circs and then I k2together till I was done!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Yarn shop is up!

Finally the Yarn Shop is up and running!

I've got lots of fun stuff there, some you might have seen on this blog before and some that are brand spanking new. I don't have the dyed sock yarn up yet but they should be up tomorrow. Here is a little peak:

Supercoiled holiday fun! Please leave a post or
send an email to me to be added to the Brooklyn Handspun mailing list for all new yarn updates.

Well, I was supposed to have the shop updated Monday, but on Monday night I get a phone call from E and the first thing she says is "Don't worry I'm ok", now of course the first thing I do is worry. She was at her office holiday party and was just finishing up her dinner when she got a fish bone stuck in her throat! She tried water and then some hard bread but it was being stubborn and would not come out. Her co-workers were freaking out and wanted to bring her to the nearest hospital but she played it cool and decided to drive back to Brooklyn and go to our local hospital where her brother-in-law works. I took a cab to the hospital to meet her and got there at the same time she did, we waited for a little bit and then her BIL came out and took us back into the emergency room. (Side note - if you know someone who is a PA, Doctor or Nurse in the ER make sure to stay very good friends with them if not, god forbid you have an emergency you'll be languishing in the waiting room for hours and hours and hours.....) He sat her up on a table took out a pair of super long tweezers and plucked a bone about an inch long out of her tonsil....GROSS. Of course she decided to keep the culprit and she promptly put it in a baggie so on Tuesday she could show it off. Ahh my E she's gross and that's one of the many reasons I love her!

So on to knitting progress here is my progress on the Jaywalkers:

I've turned the heel and picked up the side stitches, it's going well. I really like the way the yarn is striping out - I did not expect this! I am so glad that I decided to knit the larger size, if not I would have never gotten it over my heel! The picture is a terrible office shot but you get the idea. I'm going to try and finish this before the weekend and then cast on for sock #2.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Due to Technical difficulties..

I can't update my new Yarn Shop until I get home tonight. And I don't have any new pics because, you see, I am a dork and I've forgotten my card reader at home - I have the pictures and the camera but no reader so I'm left with nothing. What I can do is tell you about my fiber filled weekend.

On Friday I went to The Point and knit and hung out with the Spiders including a cool new Spider Elizabeth and an original spider which I had never met before - Joy! While I was there I started the ever popular Jaywalkers (with the help of Stephanie and Sandra - Thanks guys!) with this yarn:

which I handpainted a few weeks ago. It's a little more pastel than it looks in the pic but I really like the way it's looking so far - since I don't have a progress pic I'll just mention I'm about to start the heel flap.

On Saturday I met a fellow knit blogger - Stephanie who was in NYC for the weekend. We met up for lunch and a yarn shop hop. Wehad lunch and then headed down to seaport yarn - I had never been there before and was very interested in seeing what they had to offer. Well it was a bizzare place kind of like a small office where each room was filled with yarn and the hallway was too - It looked more like someones out of control yarn stash than a store. What I did like about it was they had a lot of great handpainted and handspun stuff and yarns which you don't see in other yarn stores. The selection was great but organization is an issue it's best to go if you have plenty of time to browse! While there I picked up a nice skein of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in a lovely purpley colorway. From there we jumped on the subway and up to Purl Soho another place which I have never been too, it's small but filled with lovely yarn and packed with people too! I was good and passed on the yarn there but then we went to my fav. hang out The Point and there I picked up some misti alpaca for one of my next projects the flower basket shawl which I will be asking Virginia lots of questions since this is my first lace project...check out her lovely shawl!

And on Sunday I spun spun spun and I have some stuff for Kpixie and some for The Shop. hopefully I'll have them all up tonight!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Fiber Friday!!

Woo hoo - it's fiber friday and I've actually got some fiber to show! But, before I get to the fibery goodness I've finished my pink striped ribbed socks:

Here is the lovely E modeling her new socks - she is actually wearing them today for cold feet snow protection. Good thing she has small feet because I only had a few yards left over when the socks were done. While I was winding this and counting the yardage, I got lazy at about halfway through and guesstimated it was about 400 or so yards...I must have guestimated wrong. Oh well they are made and I really like them.

And since I've been on a sock roll I've already cast on for the ever popular Jaywalkers. I've got fat Flinstone feet so I am knitting up the 84 st one but man the ribbing is looking huge!! I know this has been mentioned before on other blogs and that it works itself out but I'm still freaked hehee. We'll see how it looks when I begin the main pattern.

Onto the Fiber stuff - I just love

when this:

Turns into this - Well there are a few more bits thrown in with the wool but you get the idea.

I've also been experimenting with my new Lanaset dyes - oh boy they are fun and the results are really vibrant!

here are three skeins of sock yarn which I am very proud of. They are nice and dry and all I have to do is reskein them so you can see what they'll look like all knit up. There will be more dye experiments in the weeks to can count on it.

I've also got a few skeins done -

I didn't write down any of the specs for these skeins but they are super soft and and sparkly.

This one is for Veronique very soft black alpaca. The only problem I had with this fiber is that I bought it unprocessed which = DIRTY. I had to pick out hay and comb the fibers out which is fine all goes with the job, but...but ...but I didn't count on having to wash it 10 times!!! Alpaca doesn't have lanolin in it so I figured it wouldn't be such a big deal. I spun it up before washing and it didn't really smell but I know it was dirty cause my finers were all grimy after a few minutes of spinning. After the skein was done I took it to the bathroom for it's wash and that's when I was hit with the alpaca stank. Not only was the water extremely dirty it smelled - oh boy did it smell. I washed and washed till the water was pretty clear and then shampooed it to death! I hope you like Pantine Veronique! But the good thing is now it's soft and smells great. I won't guarantee that it will smell so good when it's wet again but I can guarantee you it's much better when it is dry.

It's going to be a fun weekend I have all of this to spin - oh yeah!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Alrighty Blogger is back

Ok After being pissed last night at Blogger I am back! I don't think I have properly introduced my spinning friends so here are some introductions -

This is Gooch my spinning wheel. She is a Louet S15 single treadle, she's a simple wheel but doesn't give me many problems I LOVE that I never have to oil her. She will soon have a wide flyer and bulky bobbins for spinning larger skeins oh yeah! She is named Gooch because all of her bobbins have that written on it - she was an eBay buy and the woman who owned it before me had the last name of Gooch and I though it was a great wheel name.

Here we have the duo of Fred and Ginger. They spin and dance wonderfully together. Ginger twirls and Fred winds and I get to make a center pull ball much easier than before!

I've yet to buy a niddy noddy because well I don't think I need one. I wind skeins by sitting at the table and wrapping the yarn around the width of the table right from the bobbin. I then tie it up and slip it off and get it ready for setting the twist. For twist setting, the yarn takes a bath, is washed with something that smells good and then is hung up on hangers on my shower rod. My 2 ply yarns are generally nice and balanced so I don't need to dry them under tension, but for the single plies I usually put another hanger on the bottom and then before it's fully dry I remove it so the yarn still has bounce.

In knitting news I'm still knitting the pink socks - no picture it's too boring! But I have been bad at Barnes and Noble - here's the loot:

Isn't it lovely? I have a real weak spot for books I also bought two non-knitting books - Son of a Witch and The Cheese Monkeys, I swear I can't walk into a book store without buying two books - E got me into this - I used to be able to buy only one book but then she convinced me it's not worth standing on line to buy one we must buy at least 2! I foolishly agreed and now I'm stuck with it. It really is just and excuse to buy more books and hoard them! Tomorrow I'll show you a pic of our library.

Monday, December 05, 2005


Why can't I see my blog at home??? This is really annoying. Maybe if I publish this post it'll work? let's see...hmm maybe it's IE I mean it's my blog I shoudl eb friggin authorized to view it...hmm Maybe I should download fire fox...

What a weekend ...PAR-TAY

The short version of my weekend - Jewelry Party, The point for some knitting action, Dinner, Harry Potter, vocal master class, Spider party, pick up at the airport, another holiday/house warming party - home and sleep! Yup I was running around this weekend but in the process I had a ton of fun.

I FINALLY saw Harry Potter and I loved it, as I knew I would. A few plot elements were left out but it was still great (although I would have liked to see more house elves!)

On Saturday evening Amanda and Katie hosted a Spider Holiday party at Amanda's lovely apartment. There was plenty of food (what a spread) and drink (check out some of the other Spider Websites for some drink shots) and gift giving!

We had a white elephant party where we all bring a gift and then get a chance to steal previously opened gifts! And what fabulous gifts everyone brought!

I didn't steal but I did score some seriously luscious
handcream (I'm told it's the Rolls Royce of handcream!) and an adorable Le sportsac cosmetic case which I think will be perfect for carrying my circs and notions - actually I can fit an entire sock knitting project in there!

I think this picture really sums up the night!

can you tell Veronique was having a blast! I can't wait for our next spider party!

Unfortunately nothing other than partying and eating went on for me this weekend - which is not a bad thing - I'll be back with the spinning and knitting soon!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

See I AM spinning..

Look here I actually have some spinning pics!

50/50 BFL and Alpaca with sparkle

Suede like commercially spun yarn with peachy optimum and sparkle

Thick and thin Super fine Merino (oh such luxury to feel) and you guessed it - sparkle

I don't know what it is about the sparklies but the stuff I spin with metallic yarn sells twice as fast as anything else so I'll follow the trend and keep adding the shiny stuff! All three of these skeins were bought up along with almost all my other yarns from Sherri in MA - she rocks!

On the bobbin now is lovely natural black baby alpaca being spun up for
Veronique - I've made her wait long enough - sorry chick! But it is looking pretty nice, not exactly even because I'm spinning it from the sheared off locks and not from a prepared roving but I think it has character. Spinning this stuff cements my resolve to buy a drum carder - I've saved up my yarn earnings and I think I am going to treat myself to one. Now, which one should I buy? I'm thinking either:

The louet roving carder


or the Petite with brush attachment.

Any reviews? Or other ideas? I'm looking in the $300 - $400 range nothing more.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Holidays are here again!

I've always loved the holiday season, and this one is no exception. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, exchanging gifts and having an overall good time. The only problem I have is TIME - time never seems to be on my side during the month of December. I'm constantly running around either to parties and gatherings or to performances and jewelry shows (got to capitalize on the Christmas cheer and shopping!) By the end of the year I am so pooped I swear the next year will be different and I'll get all my shopping done before the 23rd! Well do you think I've done any of my shopping yet? umm nope and I probably won't be able to till a week before Christmas...Oh well another year where procrastination and poor time management come out on top! I always get it done so I guess it's not too bad...BRING IT ON! Good thing I don't knit gifts or I'd really be stressed.

Speaking of shopping, I've updated the Store with some handpainted sock yarn and some of the yarn I posted about last week. I'm in the midst of spinning so I don't really have any new yarns to show but I do have plenty of jewelry

These are a little more unique with all the crystal pendants.

This one was one of my favorites - Baltic amber and a ancient fossil of a shell - but this past weekend it sold. Selling the necklaces can be bitter sweet - I'm very happy that someone loves it and is going to enjoy wearing it, but I'll miss looking at it especially if it took me forever to make!

Don't think I haven't been knitting (even though I was such a slacker this weekend, knitting and spinning wise!)

One sock down and close to halfway on the next.

This weekend I performed in the last two shows of Die Fledermaus - it was fantastic! I had so much fun - even though I whined and bitched about all the time it took up - it was absolutely worth it! I'm already sighed up for the next opera L'elisir d'amour! I'm only doing chorus for the first few productions since I came late in the season after all the shows were cast - but I'm hoping to get a chance at leads for next year. I got some of the best compliments after the last show - a few people came up to me and said I was their favorite non-lead part, and that I really took command of the stage and the part even though it was all really pantomime. That really made me feel good...and more confident in my acting abilities.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll have a shot of me in full costume as well as some cast pictures!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


I think I am all spun out from this weekends marathon spinning sessions, I haven't been in the mood to spin. Although, I have been dreaming up some different styles of yarn to spin - getting those supercoils just right and blending in mohair curls.

Ohh I just got 2 lanaset dye kits from Julie at Sheep Hollow I'm so excited to start playing with them. My mother also brought over a huge stainless steel pot for steaming. I'm going to try my hand at the traditional dyeing methods and then see how I can speed them up!

I've also been in a knitting mood. I have made some progress on my self stripe sock as you can see - socks really fly with enough train knitting time.

I really like the way it is striping out and the pink is pretty cute - not really my style but still cute. The only problem with the sock is I don't really like the way the heel came out I think it's a bit to narrow and I think next time I'll choose a different heel flap this one is too boring. Actually next time I'll be following a real pettern - jaywalkers here I come!

I've got more yarn soaking destined to be stripes and some slated for a varigated look. I really enjoy experimenting with the dyes and the combinations of color. The great thing is, if you mess up you can always overdye!

Well I must finish cleaning off this desk and then I'm off to a nice long weekend with my family, and my last two shows (I'm going to miss being on stage although the next opera is in Jan. or feb. oh yeah!) I wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving and for those who are in other countries and/or don't celebrate i, have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Finally I have time to post

Just because I've been busy (and have been whining about it) doesn't mean I've been slacking on my fiber addiction.

I've been busy in the dyeing department - I got some natural sock yarn in and here are my results:

I really like the way these came out! Especially the red/sunset one. Each of these skeins have 440 yards of merino which is plenty to make a pair of socks

This one is about 400 yards of a fine two ply merino which is so soft! When I wound it into a center pull ball it looks a bit more pastel but I still love it.

This is my very first self striping sock yarn and the sock I'm knitting with it. I was so anxious to see how it turned out I took it out of the dye bath WAY too early, and so it's really pastel - at first I wasn't very happy but it's really growing on me.

It's not all about dying commercially spun yarns around here I've also got a bunch of spinning done.

This is a batch of 8 skeins of 130 yards of very bulky BFL plied with a commercially spun novelty yarn and a metallic thread. These are going straight to The Point one of my LYS's. The owner ordered 8 skeins of this fun stuff. It's enough to knit a scarf with on big needles and it's totally unique. You had to see me spinning like a mad woman this weekend to get 8 of these done - she ordered them on friday and wanted them today! It would have been easy if I wasn't in the opera from 6-midnight on sat. and 3-8:30 on sunday! But I got them all spun up - marathon spinning let me tell you.

Here are two skeins of Austrailian Merino - not quite as soft as some of my other merinos but still very nice. It's a two ply which has some tropical firestar thrown in for sparkle. These two skeins together have 350 yards of DK weight.

Ohh I love this one it is silky and soft BFL 2 ply dk weight 200 yards in this skein.

Ohh here we are with the rainbows again - a single ply thick and thin from sport weight to chunky 205 yards of austrailian merino.

This one is 95 yards of thick and thin austrailian merino plied with the leftovers of the first two skeins with the firestar.

This soft lovely is 2 ply BFL and a metallic thread added for holiday sparkle - 155 yards.

If anyone is interested in any of the yarns on my site just email me for price and availability. I'll have a site soonbut until then email works great!

And just cause I love to embarass myself here is a picture of me (on the very left) with some of the other cast members at this weekends performance of Die Fledermaus - btw, I am playing a 19th century lesbian - how hysterical is that!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I am so special...

Well I have a bunch of pictures of my recent spinning, my first few dyed variegated sock yarns and some cute kitty pics, but..well I forgot my friggin card reader! I have my Camera and my CF card but without the reader I'm pictureless.

And as of today I'm almost Yarnless! A Wonderful customer in Mass. just purchased a large chunk of my inventory, and she is very nice to boot! I have an appointment to show some of my yarns to my LYS so I have to get spinning tonight. Last night I was busy making earrings and necklaces for a jewelry showing my sister is doing for me at my mother's job. I whipped up 10 pairs of earrings and 4 lariat necklaces last night and I added them to my display. I hope they sell cause this is going to be the money for our next vacation!

I'm starting to feel that maybe I'm taking on too much, I've got the Opera rehearsals, weekly voice lessons, holiday jewelry parties and sales, spinning and sales of yarn to companies and individual customers, my new idea of dyeing and selling sock yarns - btw, self stripe socks are really a pain to do - although the results are wonderful, and working my day job. Not to mention Thanksgiving is coming up, and Christmas shopping - I pray I don't implode! I guess sometimes I set too many goals for myself and take on a lot more than I should. I have a hard time feeling like I am good enough - I'm not spinning fast enough, or making enough money, not in the opera career I wanted to be in, or doing enough to get out of this day job and onto something I love full time. Maybe it's, I'm 27 and feel I should be so much further along than I am career wise. Intellectually I know that I'm young and such things take time and you can't rush life but ARGH if only I could not have to work this day job, I'd have more time to do the things I love. Hmmm I need more lotto tickets!

Oh well I've bored you enough, here is a picture of one of my favorite places:

This is the Medieval Clock in Prague, isn't it wonderful! E and I went there this past April and I really want to go back. The 3 years before that we went to Italy, first Florence, then Rome, and lastly Venice - can you tell we LOVE Italy - it also helps that E speaks Italian and Spanish. The questions is, where should we go next year? I really want to go to Morocco but in this political climate it might not be the best idea.

Monday, November 14, 2005

And the Winner is...

YAHAIRA! congrats girl, I'll be emailing you shortly, but if you read this before I get a chance to, send me over your address and I'll send you out some yarn. I don't have a picture of it right now but I will tomorrow! (just to let you all know I used a random number generator to choose the winner)

Thank you for all the responses to my contest/poll! What I've gleaned from this is you all want sock yarn!! Especially the likes of "socks that rock" and vesper sock yarn. In addition, most people love to look at the bulkies and novelties but would rather knit with dk or worsted.

I'm working on the sock yarn thing and getting my spinning down to some dk and less thicknesses. I've also been planning my next dying adventure for the self stripe socks and the richly saturated variegated color yarn. I'm going to do some testing tonight and hopefully tomorrow we'll have some good results!

On Saturday Stephanie had us Spiders over for food, drinks, knitting and yarn swapping!

This pic really sums up the night

That's socks that rock in Jewel of the Nile colorway and a fabulous blueberry pomegranate martini! Stephanie can really whip up a cocktail let me tell you!

Here is the loot!

We also got a ton of knitting in -

Here is Lisa, Katie and Veronique, not in the picture but there was Sarah, Abby (who wound and ran but left behind some really yummy cookies!), and of course Stephanie the hostess with the most-est!

I had a great time and can't wait for our next little adventure - dyeing at my place!

Spinning and knitting pics tomorrow when my camera is nice and charged!

Friday, November 11, 2005

I'm a convert!

Yup, you heard right I've converted - I will now, and forever use two circulars instead of DPN's for sock knitting!!! Of course I've seen many people use this technique and they have always said it's much easier and faster than DPN's, but since I didn't want to go out and buy two circ's in every size, I decided to stick with the multitude of DPN's I already had. Well, a few weeks ago I picked up two size 3 16 inch circs on sale and this morning for train knitting I decided to experiment. I cast on and it was so easy, I thought it would take more practice but after 15 min this is what I got:

A tiny tube 20 st. around. I love it, I'll probably go to ebay and pick up a few pairs of those Addi's everyone is addicted to and then hopefully the next pair of socks will fly off the needles.

Speaking of socks, so far, many people have commented and said they'd like to see some handspun and/or handdyed sock yarn. So....yesterday I went to a couple of my LYS's and picked up this:

8 oz of singles and 8 oz of 2-ply 100% merino sock yarn. Since I haven't had much time for spinning lately I figured I'll so some self striping sock yarn from this wonderful stuff. I also bought over a pound of 60% Merino 40% Acrylic to dye as well, this yarn is slightly thicker but I think size 3 needles would work well for a thick sock - think Regia. I'm going to swatch each up on different size needles and see what works. I think it'll be a fun project and hopefully it'll come out well and I can have them up for sale soon.

Although it isn't much, I have some spinning to show

Two small skeins of tan merino, one plied with a mystery mohair batt with a little sparkle in it, and one plied with a commercially spun mohair yarn. Also a nice large skein of turquoise merino with tropical firestar thrown in, it's 190 yards in a dk weight and I have more of this stuff to ply, maybe another 120 yards or so.

ohh here is some other stuff I scored at the LYS on sale!

I'll be adding these into my handspun for some funky novelty fun.

You can still get in on the contest/poll, it'll end at midnight tonight. For all of you who have already commented, thank you so much it's really a big help!