Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Spinning and Snow

We had snow blowing around all day Saturday so except for an excursion to walk the dogs we stayed home. I decided to take a break from spinning Spudnick's fleece and got out my Butterfly Electric Spinner build by Jerry Womak, and some fiber that I've had for much longer than the spinner that ironically was from his wife Jean, a lovely hand dyed blend called Purple Passion. Beautiful stuff. More information about both the spinner and fiber is on the Wild Meadow Angora web site.

Wonderful way to watch a snowy day, spinning luscious fibers!

Monday, September 22, 2008


Sunday, September 21 was a lovely day to visit Woolgathering at Young's Dairy on Ohio State Route 68, north of Yellow Springs, Ohio. I took some of my young friends up to select yarn to learn to knit. One knit already, and plans to make some hats, the other 2 haven't knit before, but wanted to learn. We selected a lovely, soft, worsted-weight merino wool yarn, and 2 circular needles each to use the 2 circular method. Since one of them already knew some knitting, we jumped right in and started a from-the-top hat. I expect them to have to rip back and start over a time or so, since that seems to be the way of things, so instead of getting several inches of the full diameter of the hat and having to start over, we decided having to redo less made more sense.

They sure are doing well, each having a couple inches of fabric by the time it got too dark to see and I took them all home. They all go to school together with my son, so will be able to help each other if need be. With luck I'll get some photos of their knitting to post.

Crabapple Butter

Yum! My neighbor has a lovely crabapple bush which survived the tropical storm force winds that Hurricane Ike sent through our area on September 14th. So many trees came down in our part of the state that we were out of electric for nearly a week. Fortunately this crabapple bush wasn't damaged. However, it is so loaded with fruit that the limbs might break. The crabapples are ripe now, lovely shiny red and yellow. My neighbor asked if we wanted the fruit. Oh yes! Our crabapple is too young to bear much yet. Lovely flowers, but not so much fruit yet.

So it's time for crabapple butter!

Friday, April 25, 2008

It's Spring! The crabapple is lovely

This is the view out one of my windows this morning. The shade from the house shows, but I wanted to get a picture before the scattered thunderstorms predicted for today shred the flowers. It is a lovely bright day, with Spring obviously in full bloom.

Here is a close up to give you an idea just how beautiful these flowers are. There is a pear tree out in the yard that is also in full bloom. Hopefully I'll get a chance to get out there for pictures, if the wind dies down a little.

Spudnick Update Pictures

I've been getting some spinning in, and this fleece sure is wonderful. I've had hundreds of hours of fun with it and I've got a lot yet to go. Here is a picture showing some of what I've gotten spun up. The big gray skein is from what I spun last summer, as is the small silver-white ball. The rest are what I've spun this winter.

The 2 shades on the lazy kate are singles, not yet plied. I'll wind them into a center pull ball to ply them. I'll be starting on the next shade, a much lighter gray, like a mix of the silver-white and lightest gray shown here.

I posted 2 pictures as they came out slightly different due to the flash, to give an idea of the shades in different light.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Spinning again

Over the weekend I finished spinning and plying the last of a dark gray/taupe CVM fleece on my Mazurka. This is the fleece I wanted to finish spinning before I started back on Spudnick's fleece, as both have been spun on the same wheel. The carded weight was 3.2 lbs. I've got 6 huge skeins of fluffy yarn. It was spun fairly softly, with lots of loft and will probably be knit on a size 8-10 US needle, maybe larger, when I get around to swatching. I've got in mind a mid-thigh length jacket/coat, probably garter stitch similar to some that Elizabeth Zimmermann or Meg Swanson have written up in their books. At least those were the books I ended up pulling off my shelf and finding what I was looking for!

Haven't decided if I should do some big cables on it, which would preclude the garter stitch, or if I should spin up some of the other, lighter gray CVM I've got around to make a contrast color to make it more interesting. Decisions, decisions!

Once I finished that on Sunday I got out all of Spudnick's carded fleece, putting part of it into the now-empty box that the dark gray/taupe was in. If I stack all 4 boxes/tubs that these carded batts are in they'll be about as tall as I am! Woohoo!! I got out some of the darkest set of batts, 3 or 4 of them in that bag, and started spinning to match my sample. The texture is a little different, not quite as smooth and soft, but otherwise similar. I need to get some pictures of the 2 shades crossing each other to show the color variation. I've really got my work cut out for me with this fleece, but it is so wonderful to work with. I definitely won't have my sweater done for this winter, but maybe I'll finish the spinning and knitting in time for next winter. Or the one after!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I'd been hearing about Ravelry, and after poking around a bit decided to put my name on the list to join. Yes, that's right, on a list. This interesting site is limiting entry to a few hundred people a day, to keep technical difficulties under control.

Yesterday I got my invitation, created my account and off I went. This is a nice site with intuitive, easy-to-use areas. So far I like it. I was able to very quickly put in many of my favorite books as being in my library. They were in the system already, I typed in a bit to describe one, and then selected from a list. It shows up as a nice picture of the current front cover. Most of them are the same covers as my own bookshelf, but some have been republished since I got them so my actual shelf has different ones! Regardless, it was quite fun to quickly get info into 'my' library online.

I started to put in my projects and needles, and of course even starting to put in my stash will take a long time! But it's started, and I am looking forward to seeing how well having such things easily visible, easily updated, will affect my WIP's (works in progress) and stash. One of my long term goals is to reduce my stash, get it knit up and spun then knit up. Anything that will help with that goal is all to the good!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Spudnick's Fleece is finally carded

I finally finished carding Spudnick's fleece today. It is going to be a long time before I get it all spun! Here are some pictures. This is about 4 times as much as I had the first time around. Good thing I found the rest of the fleece before I gave up on my sweater and made it into something else!

As you can see, there are several shades. I'll be spinning each shade by itself, to keep the colors from blending any further.

To give an idea of the size of the batts here's one with my hand.

I love all the shades of gray!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Processing matters

I've been spending quite a bit of my holiday processing Spudnick's wonderful fleece. I'm using a process similar to what Margaret Stove uses for superfine Merino, using a wide-tooth dog comb to open up each lock of the fleece, sorting (somewhat) by shade of color. I put the opened locks in an box, then when I finish opening all the locks of a particular shade, I card it, cut-ends first. I've still got quite a bit yet to open, but it's going well.