Wednesday, February 22, 2006


EDIT - TODAY 2/23/06 - The SHOP has been updated!

After a dreary weekend of auto thievery, I need some are some splashes in preparation for Project Spectrum

Freshly dyed roving

Pre-drafted roving ready to be spun

8 oz of super chunky sparkle yarn!

4 oz of sparkle spun yarn

A Preview of tomorrow's Shop update!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Bye Bye Auto

Well this was supposed to be a nice long weekend full of relaxation, knitting and yarn buying - ummm some of that happened but not in the way I would have preferred.

This weekend our car was stolen! yup it must have been picked up by a crooked tow truck company because we had the club on it, and the alarm - which incorporates a cut off switch - and there was no broken glass where we parked it. And for all of you wishful thinkers out there - nope it was not towed by the city - we checked. Good thing we have a good full coverage insurance policy!

You know the worst part? That we had to dig the friggin car out from under 2 feet of snow last week and in addition, E got a $115 parking ticket and the car was towed (another $185) on Thursday - for being like 2 inches into the intersection in Brooklyn Heights. The police told her that the traffic cops were making up for lost ticket days on Monday and Tuesday because of the snow...isn't that nice? So if they were going to steal our car couldn't they have done it the week before? At least we would have had $300 more in the bank and I wouldn't have gotten a big bruise on my butt from falling while shoveling the car out!

On a good note - I had a great time hanging out on Friday with mah girls and I did pick up some misti alpaca for a thicker lace shawl! Oh well, I've got to look on the bright side at least we weren't in the car while it was stolen and now we get to go car shopping!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Necessity is the mother of Invention

That Plato he was a smart one!

So, last night I was reskeining yarn and I was so annoyed at how slow it was going that I decided to do something about it. First, a little backround info - I am a spinner and handpainter of yarns and yet, I do not own a Niddy noddy - I know it's adsurd (for those of you who are thinking very bad thoughts - take a look HERE where you can see a niddy noddy in action) Instead of the proper tool, aka the niddy noddy, I've been winding my yarn around the table in my hallway. The hallway table is great because it's a yard wide and makes measuring my handspun very easy - I drag my spinning wheel into the hallway throw the bobbin on the lazy kate and wind away. This is fine for under 150 yards of handspun but when I'm reskeining 480 yards of sock yarn it gets to be really tedious. I figured what I needed was a skein winder - something like this , but since it was about 9 pm and I wanted something right then and there this is what I did:

I broke out the power tools - the cordless drill with all of the bits, and my nifty jigsaw (E and I bought this when we were making our hallway table - it really does come in handy!) and I turned this:

our lovely dinner try which was muched loved but has admittedly, seen better days.

into this - now I don't have to wind around the table and it's much faster - it spins great due to some washers a large bolt and a plate which normally holds a table leg in place. This is the prototype - I'll be heading to home depot this weekend to pick up proper supplies, and make myself one which is a little more balanced and smoother. I'll also add another peg in the center so turning it is easier, and have been thinking about how I can mount it upright - I could probably mount it to the wall but I don't think E would appreciate that.

And this is my reskeining set up - the ball winder is in the middle because I needed to use the little metal hook - the swift was much too high to wind onto the skein winder evenly. The winder is screwed onto a scrap peice of wood and the clamped to the table for support. As usual E thought I was insane, but I was rather proud of myself!

I don't have any new knitting content but I want to say a big thank you to my secret pal who sent this over on tuesday:

yes that is Trekking XXL in Colorway 100...oh yeah I LOVE it! All the goodies were wrapped in colorful tissue paper and it was all very thoughtful - it even had some destressifying stuff in there for my hectic days! My SP rocks because many of the items in my gift box were from other handcrafters - I love when people support the little creative types! Thank you so much SP!!!

For all of you who are waiting for Brooklyn Handspun yarn - it's on the way. The snowstorm delayed the mail a bit, but you'll get it soon! There is no update this week, because I've decided to update the store every two weeks instead of every week. It'll be less stressful for me and I'll be able to have more yarn both dyed and handspun in each update. So look around the Shop next Thursday for a nice update!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Snowed in

By now you've probably all seen a million pictures of the great Blizzard of '06 but I'm going to bore you with a few more. I'd like to show you why I am terribly sore today - this is our car before:

Then bring on the ancient shovel E keeps in the trunk - which itself weighs about 30 lbs, and a lot of elbow greese, and this is what you get:
ahh a nice clean car! I've got to remember to buy a couple of those smaller plastic shovels not the wood and metal...hmm could it have been LEAD...shovels.

The good thing about this weekend is that I got to stay home and knit and spin and dye...OH MY! But first check this out. E finished her hat and scarf set:
These really came in handy this weekend and they look amazing. I love the yarn she choose, it is so alpaca and silk, and the colors are so fitting for her. Not to mention her knitting skills are really coming along - look at these decreases. I am so proud! She's also started a shawl...I think another week and she'll be done...of course pictures will be following completion.

E isn't the only one who has been knitting, I'm chugging away on my Clapotis -
This is a little over a weeks work - not too bad, and I'm not bored yet...good thing dropping stitches is fun! I've also had a chance to work on my Flower Basket Shawl - I've got the Upper Chart done and 2 repeats of the lower done - I'll have pictures soon. I wish I would have picked a) a lighter yarn so I could see the stitches better and b) a thicker yarn - again so the stitches would be a little more apparent. When knitting lace with two strands of yarn I find, for the novice lace knitter like myself, that I sometimes only pick up one of the strands and I'll have to go back and fix it. Oh well now I know for my next lace project....oh man did I just say that...yes yes I'm liking the lace, even if looking at the chart makes my eyes go cross from time to time!

Thursday, February 09, 2006


UPDATE - New Sock Yarns added to the Shop today 2/10/05 - including the superwash!

I've come to realize that I don't knit for the Process or the Product. I enjoy the process and learning new techniques and finding my way through a pattern, and I also enjoy the end product, feeling my feet toasty warm in a freshly knit pair of socks - BUT I don't think either of these sum up why I knit. I knit because I LOVE yarn. I say yarn and not fiber because whether I'm knitting, dyeing, or spinning it's the yarn I adore not just the fluff or color which the yarn is derived from. I can't seem to stop myself when I'm at the LYS - especially at lunch time between stressful mornings and afternoons which drag (it doesn't help that I have 2 great stores within a few blocks distance from the office). I want to touch it, hold it up to my cheek and feel how soft it is, squish it - love that squish factor, admire the colors and sparkle - if there is any, and most of all HORDE IT! I could totally fall asleep in a giant pile of yarn and be very content (it must be true that the longer you have a pet the more like it you become - but cat nip does nothing for me...yet).

With all that said - why is it I sell my yarn and not just keep it? I think because once I've created it I feel as if it is already a finished project and have no desire to knit with it. I do keep a skein here and there but for the most part once it's spun or dyed, I'm done. I also like to see my yarn go off to good homes and be made into amazing projects which I am SO not qualified to knit (although I am getting better).

So are you as addicted to yarn as I am? Do you buy yarn and then search for a pattern to use it? Do you have an ungodly amount of lone balls of precious-amazing-gorgeous yarn that you just HAD to have? Have you made a bazillion scarves because you needed to make room for more yarn? If you've answered yes to one or all of these you are a:

So, in order to help you with your addiction I will be updating the SHOP tomorrow with about 20 skeins of yarn! Oh did you think I was going to give you a 12 step program to kick the yarn habit? HA - not me, nope, NEVER!

In my update tomorrow you'll notice I will have a new base yarn available - it's 100% SUPERWASH wool - and it looks and feels very much like an extremely popular yarn...(koigu)take a look for yourself

oh yeah that's the flickering flame colorway in superwash. It is so vibrant it's actually hard to get a good picture of it. I officially LOVE superwash - it takes the dye so amazingly - I'm thinking that I might stop using my other base yarn in favor of this. It is pricier for me so the skeins will be $22.00 but I feel it's worth it - and you get 485 yards!!! you can get 2 pairs of shorter socks with this amount - a full 4 oz.

Here is a sock knit from my first test skein:

The wonderful Beth graciously agreed to be my test knitter since I knew I wouldn't have any kind of time to knit an entire sock. It's a simple sock - basic stockinette with a 2x2 rib cuff - I think it really shows off the crazy carnival colors.

Here is a close up of the fabric. It's nice and sturdy yet comfortable. Yes I do know that there are white spots in the dye job - as I said, this was a test skein and I wasn't really concerned with perfection I wanted to see how each color would react with the yarn and I wasn't all that careful about painting it. I have one skein left of this colorway which will be up tomorrow (Spots and all - I like them!) but with the other colorways I really strive to have no white spots - although I am only human! So Live long, prosper and keep amassing yarn - you'll never know when you'll need it!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Too fast

The weekend went by way too quickly. I had so many things planned, lots of stuff I wanted to get done and guess what...I didn't have enough time. Yes this is often the case with weekends, you try and cram way too much stuff into two measly days and then when Sunday night rolls around you look at your TO DO list and realize hardly anything has been done! My time is especially cut short now that rehearsals have begun for the next Opera - this one is Elisir D'Amour and I've got a lot of music to learn in a very short amount of time (the performances are mid march). Since the whole season of operas were cast before I joined the company, I'm still only singing in the chorus but the chorus alone has over 100 pages of music to learn!

Although this weekend was a bit crazy with my all day Sat. Rehearsal I did manage to get some stuff done. I am moving along on my Clapotis
Right after this picture I had some train knitting time and I was able to drop on of the Sts and I really think this is going to look cool. I have a feeling it's going to take forever though. The yarn is Nashua - I had never heard of it before but it's soft since it's wool and alpaca and a good price $8.00 for 220 yards. I Love the colors (they remind me of land and sea) but E keeps making fun of me saying it looks like an old man's 1970's sweater..not very nice (but funny!)

I also got a little jewelry making time in -

this is a silver cuff bracelet that I started working on a long time ago. I had already created the cuff and soldered the bezel and now I finally set the stone, a natural Lapis crystal, and shined it up a bit. The only thing I have to do now is stabilize the crystal with some epoxy resin since it's so delicate. I really like the blue, it is so vibrant and it sparkles! - you all know I love me some sparkles!

I'll have some Yarn P*rn soon but until then you get hot mama kitty pics.

This is Gina she's the shy one, but let me tell you she is one lovable girl - she loves to sit on my lap and get pets or she'll walk up behind my head and nudge's so cute. She followed E and I home 2 years ago on Valentines day. We saw her, and being the cat ladies that we are, went to the store and picked up some cat food for her. Let me tell you she was so friggin sweet - much nicer than our kitties whom we raised since kittens. Well after she ate and we started to walk down the block to the house - she followed, we got to the door and she walked right in! We put her in the bathroom and we decided to try and find a home for her. It was then we realized she was pregnant! Well in a week she gave birth to two kitties in our kitchen - the grey kitty, Gary, you see traipsing around the blog is one of her babies, the other one we were able to find a loving home for. Now she is part of the family!

Doesn't it look like she is wearing make up? Eyeliner and noseliner!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Yarn Shop Update

A quick little post to let you know the Shop has been updated with 13 skeins of sock yarn.

If you'd like to be notified of an update sooner please email me or use the form on the sidebar and I'll add you to the mailing list!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

More dyeing??

Yup that's right I've been doing more yarn dyeing! I took Sunday off but on Monday I was back at it dyeing up sock yarn. I'll have a store update tomorrow but until then here is a little flash of color -
I've got 13 skeins here and tonight I'll be on a reskeining binge for the update tomorrow. I've also got about 12 more yarns soaking to dye up. I'm thinking of making a few that are mainly one color but with a little burst of another, and maybe some that have more of a mottled effect - what do you think?

I've also been spinning for The Point my LYS.
10 skeins of funky supercoiled yarn with sparklies. I tried to get a little crazy with color - hopefully people like it. I'm feeling the need to go back to simple spinning for a while - Single ply, thick and thin, two ply with maybe a little sparkle. I want to spin stuff that is fitting for a large project like a sweater. I've been doing lots of novelty stuff lately and although I enjoy it and I think it looks great there are only so many things you can make with novelty yarn. I recently received a bunch of wonderfully soft merino roving and some superfine 80's roving which I think I will dye in large lots so I can have at least a few hundred yards of each lot. It'll be much easier to knit a larger project with this much yarn.

With all this dyeing and spinning going on my knitting has really been pushed to the back burner. I'm only at the heel on my second Dublin Bay inspired sock and have only done the first chart of the flower basket shawl - by the way, the chart reading is getting much easier and I don't have to pay quite as much attention as when I first started. I've also went and bought more yarn today (I'm insane - I know this) and I'm finally going to knit up the Clapotis! Wow I'll have 3 projects on the needles - I know this isn't many projects for most of you, but I'm usually a one project kind of gal so this is kinda weird...but exciting.

Check out the great gifts that fellow bloggers have sent me for my Birthday

Isn't this sheepy cute? Stephanie sent me this adorable sheep she made. She has the pattern available for anyone who has crochet skills - argh how I wish I knew how to crochet! She also had a kitty who is super cute too.

And Erin (aka Mama-E) has sent me some kick ass stitch markers! I love that they are apples! You know I never knew that Baltimore was called Charm learn something new everyday. You should check out her Flash your Stash Mondays - it's a great way to see what other people are buying and drool!!! In the future it might be a great place for swaps!