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.