Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween!

Well I don't really have any halloween goodies for you, but I did get some goodies on friday in the mail. Check it out my most recent fiber order has come in and I am so excited.

From left to rightwe have 3# of Fine BFL, 1# of Fine BFL and Alpaca, 1# of fawn alpaca, 2# of 80's Merino, and 1# of black baby alpaca - unprocessed. Tonight while giving candy to the neightborhood kids I will be dyeing up a storm and by the end of the week I'll have some lovely yarns to show for it.

I do have a few that were done over the weekend -
Natural Dark BFL with Turquoise Merino
NAtural Dark BFL with Peachy varigated Merino
Plain white romney - this I am going to dye and make socks for my dad...Shhh it's a christmas gift.

I have some good news - I just sold a bunch of my skeins to Kpixie! So keep an eye out in the one-of-a-kind section to see some Brooklyn Handspun!
These are the lucky Kpixie skeins.

In knitting news, I am almost done with the second sock, hopefully tomorrow I'll have a pic of the finished pair.

Gina Is proud - although a little grumpy, she didn't have time to prep her lovely self before I snapped this picture.

Friday, October 28, 2005

I've been tagged...

I've been tagged for this meme by goes

What is your all-time favourite yarn to knit with?
This is not a fair question to one who is enamored of all fibery things. My fav changes constantly but recently I've fallen in love with Debbie Bliss Baby Alpaca Silk (yes I know I have yet to knit with it, but I don't see how such softness can be anything but lovely!)

Your favourite needles?
I have yet to try the Addi's everyone raves about but they are on the shopping list. For now, I love my all purpose bamboo needles and really love my Grandmother's ancient bakellite ones.

The worst thing you’ve ever knit?
I really have too many to list, but the absolute worst was my first felted bag which came out about the size of a coin purse and turned out to be hexagonal instead of the hell did that happen?

Your most favourite knit pattern? (maybe you don’t like wearing it…but it was the most fun to knit)
Since I've always had an issue with authority I haven't used very many patterns, I kinda go at it with a glance at a pattern but nothing strict - it could also be that my knitting skills are seriously HURT (but I am learning and being more patient - I'll be knitting a sweater in no time) But I did love the multi-directional diagonal scarf, it was so fun!

Most valuable knitting technique?
ummm, I've still got a lot to learn but breaking out a crochet hook to pick up those dropped stitches is a lifesaver.

Best knit book or magazine?
I have so many books it's really hard to choose, my favorite to look at because the pictures rock is Pluckyfluff's Handspun Revolution ok it's a spinning book, but it's really cool.

Your favorite knit-a-long?
I've never done an official KAL but I've jumped on the Socktoberfest bandwagon and am almost done.

Your favorite knitblogs?
This is really difficult because I read so many of them but a few I enjoy are Too Much Wool, Dogs Steal Yarn, and Knit, Anne Marie, Knit! There are so many more that I love but you'd be terribly bored reading 150 links!

Your favorite knitwear designer?
Hmm I just bought Teva Durhams book - Loop-d-looop and think her style is so unique, although maybe a little too fashion forward for me.

The knit item you wear the most? (how about a picture of it!)
The Knit item I wear the most has got to be my Multi-directional diagonal scarf - I've been wearing it every day since it's gotten cold.
I know it's novelty yarn (Berocco Softy) but oh my it lovely against the neck Here it is on:

Now let's see Veronique, Lisa and Natasha - Tag your it!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A little spinning

ok, so knitting has really gotten in the way of my spinning lately - I fear I am already quite addicted to knitting socks. I know I'm not even finished with the second sock of the pair, but I am already thinking of my next pair and what type of yarn to use. I Think I will actually be spinning my sock yarn because damn...sock yarn can be expensive! I'm trying to figure out if I should spin a nice weight single yarn and knit from there or ply two fine singles? I'll have to try both and see what I like the best.

So here is my meager spinning as of late - this skein is green romney spun from the lock and plied with green silk.

it's 72 yards. I like that it's nice and fuzzy but has some sheen from the silk. I'm not sure what to do with it though, I think I'll make something for my sister with it...any ideas?

Here is a little of the silk spun and plied

I love the way the colors combined in this yarn! this is blue and green silk plied, I was going to make a blue-blue and a green-green, but I really like this one so I'll probably spin the rest like this as well.

Note to self - when dyeing silk make sure to spread out the fiber more and apply the dye liberally! When I split the blue silk, in order to draft it before spinning, the inside was very white. Silk takes up dye so well that you have to make sure you saturate it and get every inch of fiber you want dyed. I had added a lot of dye to this, but it appears the outside layer sucked it all up! I still have about 8 oz left so I'll be sure to remember that on my next dye day.

Speaking of dye days, I really need to have one. I have pretty much run out of my hand dyed fiber to spin and I can't bare to spin up anything white, it's just so boring. I might have some pink/peach merino from the last time, but I am so not in a pink mood...but deperation might break that. Once I get my order from Copper Moose I'll set up and dye like 5 pounds of stuff to keep me busy - some alpaca, silk, 80's merino...ohhh I can't wait! If any of you Spiders would like to come and join in let me know and I'll see when I can set up a dye day.

In the meantime I went to knit-away this weekend and picked up the softest yarn - Debbie Bliss baby alpaca...OMG I love this stuff check out the colors.

Actually E picked the yarn and the colors. I am going to try and teach her how to knit...again. Maybe this time she'll get past the casting on process!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Just a quickie...

Get your minds out of the gutter...I mean a quick little post. I Finished the first sock

And I've cast on for the other last night.

In other news my little sister is working at my office as a temp (hopefully long term) and this is what happens when you put us together and throw in a sock -

She is so friggin funny, it makes the day bearable! She really is great to have around the office, even if she loves to complain about the boring ass project the bosses gave her! BTW, she is much prettier than the picture suggests...hehee

I'll have a lot more to show tomorrow, I've got spinning on the wheel and I'll be done with some silk tonight!

Monday, October 24, 2005

I'm getting there...

Before I get to "the sock saga" I want to give a shoutout to all you Spiders. I had a great time on friday with Lisa, Virginia, and Veronique these girls rock, and I'm so inspired by their knitting skills! I arrived a bit late this time but next time I'll be sure to get there early so I can meet the rest of you, I can't wait! I see some fun times in the future.

So back to the knitting folly. As friday's post revealed, I had cast on for my simple sock, and it was going well until I realized I'd have to be a 300 pound man with size 14 feet for this sock to fit me, so while at The Point with the Spiders I, and the other girls realized this was just not going in the right direction and I frogged the entire sock and cast on again, this time with fewer stitches. That night and the next morning while knitting away I decided hmm, this is looking a little small I wonder if it'll fit? So I stretched and pulled the sock onto my feet, and well the top of the sock fit wonderfully...on my ankle! Too bad this sock is supposed to go up to the calf. Regrettably, I had to rip out again and cast on a few more stitches. Third time is a charm - I feel like goldilocks - it's too big, then it's too small and now it's just right! check it out -

I think with some dedicated knitting tonight I'll have it done and then be able to cast on for the second sock lest I wait and never do it. I had a little difficulty with the heal turn and gusset but I finally got it and I think it turned out rather well.

I've been a bit caught up in knitting lately but once the first sock is done and I'm cast on for the second I'm going to take time out and spin up some of that silk. I think I am going to purchase some alpaca to dye also because while at The Point I was shown some serious fiber crack by Lisa, it was a silk alpaca blend spun very fine and it was so wonderfully soft. I am going to try and reproduce it to the best of my ability, it'll be a challenge to spin that fine but I think I can do it...we'll see.

Does't Gary look like a mouse?

Friday, October 21, 2005


I have finally done it! I cast on for my first pair of socks I love the colors and I'm actually not having much of a problem with the DPN's take a look

Now the only problem I see so far is the sock seems WAY too large, I think it's casue this sock yarn is a little larger than most it uses size 4 needles. This sucks! Either keep going and see how it goes or rip it out and start over with a modified pattern...argh I hate these decisions. Most likely I'll rip it out and knit it with fewer stitches...stop by on monday to see the progress.

Here is a little silk I dyed recently - this is what it looks like dry

and this is what it looks like with a little predrafting, nice and fluffy. From crunchy to fluffy I love it. I've also got this wonderful green color .
I'll probably make three skeins, when plied it'll be green-green, blue-blue, and blue-green.

So since I've seen so many people doing this meme I had to join in: Google and type in “your name needs” then show the first 10 things you’ve discovered you need...Here goes:

Marie needs to give her hectic life a shot in the arm - hell yeah
Marie needs the smallest number of servings from each food group - dude I know I need to lose a little weight...ok maybe a lot of weight but a girl needs to eat.
Marie needs to smile more - yeah I guess so
Marie needs to wait until she next sees me and borrow mine, or get her own copy - hmm does this give me license to buy more craft books?
Marie needs her perfect job - you can say that again
the first thing Marie needs is a complete psychiatric evaluation,
followed by ongoing psychotherapy and possibly, medication - No Comment ;)
Marie needs to ensure it has a strong marketing plan and adequate facilities and services to provide a positive experience for visitors - umm I dunno
Marie needs and wants stability in this area of her life yet she doesn't appear to be able to get it
Marie needs more spins - this one is my favorite!!
Marie needs to get a new hobby - another hobby come on I can't afford another hobby!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

A little free time

I have hardly any free time lately and I hate it. I've been working late almost everyday and by the time I get home I am too tired to do much of anything. If I am not working I'm at rehearsal - but that's fun, tiring but fun. Although time has been an issue I do have a few FO's. Since I knit on the train to and from work, and each ride is 45 min, I get in at least 1.5 hours of knitting in - oh yeah baby I can always find a way.

This was a simple 2x2 rib scarf which is so soft and warm. It knit up really fast on large needles. The yarn is an alpaca bland called blizzard, it is really soft but it sheds like a mofo.

These are my very first pair of gauntlets knit with some of my handspun. I am very proud of these little babies cause I actually used DPN's and didn't faint...not even once! As of this picture they aren't quite finished but this was before my morning train ride.
Now I'll have nice warm wrists and palms when it starts getting cold. Here is what one of them looks like on - modeled by moi. Since I did so well with the DPN's on these, I'll be starting my first pair of socks with this yarn:
It's a little thicker than some of the other sock yarn I was looking at, it knits up on 4's. I figure I'll wean myself into the smaller gauge stuff.

I've been a little lax with spinning cause I've got the knitting bug but I started to spin up some of those green romney locks into fuzzy warmness. ohh and more spinning will be coming soon becuase I got this in the mail:

It's 4.4 pounds of Merino and 2.2 pounds of "silky" merino - otherwise called Optim merino. Optim is merino which has been mechanically stretched to a fineness of 14 microns. It is amazingly soft and it really does feel like silk or even cashmere! In the stretching process it actually gets stronger rather than weaker cause its molecular structure changes. I can't wait to dye some and take it for a spin. Stay tuned for some serious dyeing soon.

Take a look at this bad boy isn't he cute???

Monday, October 17, 2005

And The Winner is...

Without Further Ado here are the contestants of last weeks spinning pageant (or my week of obsessive spinning):

(picture a spotlight on each yarn and an overzealous emcee) Let me introduce you to Ice Princess she is composed of a lovely soft and bouncy Falkland wool and two strands of shimmer - a multi-colored one and a silver one - she is bulky and beautiful. She has been dyed in shades of lavender, soft mauve and icy grey.

The next contestant is dusk of winter A 3-ply yarn of a commercially spun merino and silk blend, a bit of silver sparkle, and an extremely soft 18 micron merino. This blue baby is spun thick and thin and is a very bulky but sexy Sweetie.

Number three has to be Dazed and Confused She might be a little wacky but I sure love her. 100% South African Fine Wool so soft and huggable. She will wear well next to the skin - heh heh heh if you know what I mean!

This lovely is Wild Child and she is something else! She is smooth as butter with her 18 Micron Merino Wild thick and thin super bulky and her commercially spun black wool boucle. She will knit fast and you will love it.

Last but not least is Tangerine Dream she is tropical heat on a cold autumn night. This hot mama is one-ply Falkland wool, one-ply commercially spun cotton, and one-ply copper sparkle - that's 3-plies of fun fun fun.

I promise you all this is not a beauty contest, it's not all about looks and sex appeal, I swear they have all won a scholarship to a fine university - They are all extremely smart and talented but, nonetheless, wanted to bare all for the world to see and appreciate their "talent". ok - Stop - Cut - I'd better stop while I'm ahead cause I could go into how degrading and sexist it is to have pageants and Ms. Universe and stuff like that but that's for a different blog! This is what I get when I watch a documentary about children and pageants and in the same weekend Ms. Congeniality.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Rhinebeck...cry cry cry

I really really want to go to Rhinebeck and the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival, but unfortunately I just can't make it up there this weekend. Tomorrow I have a rehearsal all day and on Sunday E is working and needs the car (I'll let you in on a secret...I am 27 and I don't drive - I don't even have a driver's license! - I'm a hardcore New Yorker). I want to go so badly I have written a really bad haiku:

Rhinebeck you tease me
with your fibery delights
carless I am lost

I told you it was bad! Since I won't be a Rhinebeck along with all you lucky knitters and spinners I'll have to make due with spinning up some of this:

this: and this:

These are Romney Locks that have already been dyed - I scored these on ebay a while ago. I don't have a drum carder - yet, so I'll be opening the locks and spinning them from there. I really like spinning like this, the yarn gets a great halo, it's softer than processed romney and it's always fun to let the curls stick out. The only problem with this fiber is the amount of VM that I have to pluck out and the occasional dead bug. I normally wouldn't call myself high maintenence but dead bugs in fiber kind of gross me out. It's not like I run screaming, but I am so used to nice clean processed fiber I kinda get the creeps every time a dried up beetle carcass plops into my hand or onto my lap. You have to see the mess around the spinning wheel when I am done, it's all hay and bug parts...don't worry I get them all out in the process of spinning - no bugs for my customers! Look at all I go through for selfless...ok ok enough of the melodrama, sometimes I get carried away.

So while everyone is at Rhinebeck, I'll be here spinning. Hopefully, I'll have a bunch of stuff to show you on Monday. Maybe I'll do a little shopping of my own, I really shouldn't but 3lbs of fine BFL are calling to me...No I think I'll hold off. I already broke my fiber diet by going to school products..bad Marie bad bad.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Long Long Day

Today has been exceptionally long and stressful, It doesn't help that I didn't get home from rehearsal last night till 11. My job is driving me crazy, I actually have off tomorrow but I'll be in anyway - I had dreams of spinning and knitting all day but alas that will have to wait. I'm short on pictures today but I'll leave you with two that sum up how I feel:

These are some sleepy kitties!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Yarn P*rn Baby...

First off let me show you my goodies I picked up at School Products - I love that store, they have cones and cones of stuff with great prices and you wanna know the best part, it's only 4 blocks from my job! I got 3 metallic yarn cones, a multi-color, silver, and copper, I also scored a cone of black boucle wool, and about 2 pounds of a light pick cotton, sport weight, which I will dye lots of fun colors...check 'em out:

Once I got these babies home I promptly started working on plying the spinning from yesterday into this:

Lilac Crush 140 yards of Merino loveliness. I also added a little glam and came up with this:

Click on it to see a larger version where the sparkle is more evident. In person it comes across much better! I swear they are not the same hank! This one is Lilac Crush Sparkle and it's 110 yards squishy merino.

Ok not excited yet? well This puppy I am super happy with it is called Glam Rock I have one skein of 88 yards and a mini one of 25, I'll put them up together. Ohh I really like this yarn:

It is a soft squishy 18 micron merino spun bulky thick and thin and plied with the above black wool boucle and multi-color metallic yarn. It really sparkles up close, I wish I could get a decent picture of the shine..bah.

Well how'd you like that huh? what not enough color for you? ok, ok, here are a few picks of other stuff I've done, although it's not yarn first up is my latest quilt top:

and this is a painting I did for our living room:

hmm do you see a pattern emerging? does it look like a rainbow? ok yes I have a problem...I love all the colors and I have a hard time choosing just one or a couple, I end up going for the full spectrum (and no it's not some LGBT statement, I swear...really) I'm going to have to work on this...

Monday, October 10, 2005

Stuck here at work!

While many people are off today, having fun, relaxing at home...or SPINNING, I unfortunately have to be here at work bored out of my mind. Then again, I'm not a fan of Columbus or his flock...murdering inncocent natives is just not my bag baby. Although in true selfish fashion, I would have enjoyed the day off. It's not too bad though, my bosses are both out of town and I get to do a little clandestine knitting. Fun fun fun.

I'd like to introduce the newest member of our family - GARY. Why is it so hard to get a picture with their eyes open??

He is my sister's cat, well I'm not sure if she is going to get him back because he is so friggin cute and sweet. My mother moved to a new apartment which is not cat friendly (those bastards!) so he has come to live with me. We are up to 3 cats and last night we almost took another in, but she looked like she belonged to someone, she had a collar, and was only out for a stroll. Personally, I would never let my cats out, I'd be too afraid they wouldn't make it back, and the streets of New York are no place for a kitty.

I got very little done this weekend due to an all day rehearsal on Sat. and only a couple of hours of down time on Sunday. Here is my pitiful little bit of spinning:

Once I am done with the second backround bobbin I'll be plying them together for a purply/blue skein, actually it'll probably be 2 skeins of bulky merino. I'm hoping to get about 250-300 yards out of this. I'm sure I'll have the result for tomorrow's post. In addition I quickly knit up some rainbow striping handspun - This yarn is a little too course to be a scarf so I am going to make it a strap for a purse I've yet to sew up. I'll be felting this in each wash till it has shrunk to an acceptable strap length. I'll design the purse around it.

I've also finished the multidirectional scarf Ok I finished this a while ago but I finally took a picture of it today...lazy lazy me.
I think today at lunch I'll head over to school products and see if there are any good deals. If I have time maybe I'll post my hell with the yarn and fiber diet!!!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Fiber Friday!

I don't have too much to show for fiber friday, I was only able to spin up one skein last night but I am in love with it, it's called Jungle Tour and it's 18 micron merino...oh my this is so nice and soft.

I am really pleased with the way the colors came out, for once it's exactly what I wanted. I spun the entire top and then plied it back on itself for the random color feel. And did I mention it's so soft? I'd probably knit this up on large needles since it is pretty bulky. I also spun up this lovely little skein:

It's 50/50 Lambswool and Angors, I spun it then I dyed it I think I'll call it Swamp Thing (the bright blue ties are not part of the yarn.) I'm not sure if I like it or not, it's pretty soft but it sheds like a MoFo! It's single ply and I felted it cause I thought that it might shed less, but it's still shedding! I'm not sure what to do with it, I don't know if I want it in the shop maybe I'll put a low price on it and a buyers beware! I'll think about it.

Natasha got a drum carder and I am super jealous! I think I'll Start a little savings for it, not that I can even afford that being that my voice lessons are so expensive! but these are all things I love and even if it means living paycheck to paycheck, it makes me happy.

I'll never understand people who work like dogs and save all their money and never do anything with it, or if they do anything it's when they are 60! No offence to any 60 year olds, but I'd like to enjoy my life for the duration not the last 1/3 (yes I am being presumptuous in thinking I'll live till 90...but you never know!). As it is, I am stuck here in my 9-5, when all I want to do is make stuff all day long, with fiber, with beads, with wood with paint, or sing opera around the world! If I can do that and still eat and afford an apartment, I would be oh so happy.

I could quit my job and try and scrape by on small parts in productions, and selling my wares, but being someone who grew up very poor, and sometimes ate peas for a whole week cause that was all we had and couldn't afford anything else, being unemployed is not something I am ready to deal with. I need the stability of a paycheck, I need to know that if I run out of money this week, I'll have more next week. Maybe one day I'll have the ovaries to pursue my dream in full force, but for the time being I'll be bored here at work and look forward to all my activities outside of the 9-5 realm.

Thank goodness for this blog, and all you wonderful bloggers out there, it really keeps me focused on my arts and keeps me from banging my head against the desk here at work. And of course thank goodness for E...she rocks!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Busy busy girl...

Although I had two days off from work, I kept busy. On monday I went a little crazy dyeing up about 3-4 pounds of fiber, mostly wool and a bit of silk. This time ALL the wool is buttery soft, last time I dyed, it was mostly romney (which is nice, but it's not merino!) I tried to vary the colors but nothing ever comes out like I expect. I was dissapointed with a couple, the colors weren't as vibrant as I had hoped, and pleasently suprized with some others. Take a looksie:

isn't it just beautiful??? I swear sometimes I just want to cover my bed in this stuff and fall wonder I get along with kitties so well!

Here's a shot of the dyeing process, my not those buns...these

I get the best results when I do it this way, the colors are very vibrant. I basically lay out the plastic wrap, arrange the already soaked fiber on the plastic wrap and then squeeze out pre-mixed colors onto it, roll it up one way then the other (width then length) and zap it in microwave for 3 min, let rest and repeat with the bun flipped over. I can only do so many of the buns before I go crazy so after a while I do it the lazy way and I throw dye and fiber into a baggie and then nuke it a few times. As for the silk, it's still hanging in the bathroom drying - I love the way silk takes up the dye.

So on Tuesday I couldn't do much spinning since everything was still drying, but I did manage some.

This is the roving I had laid out the other day in a rainbow, of course. I decided to make it a slightly thick and thin striping yarn. I purposefully felted it a bit, and I'm not sure I am happy with the results, so I won't be putting this up in the store I'll probably make a loose knit scarf or something, we'll see.

Since everyone seems to be talking about the loop-d-loop book I decided to order it and see what the big deal is. Hopefully I'll have it in a few days and I'll let you know what I think.