Sunday, October 23, 2011

Catching My Breath

Hi Knitters,
Sorry for the long delay in between posts. I am back from Denver where I was filming two online courses for It was a hectic and intense week. I'll post more on that later. It was one of the coolest and most fun weeks I have ever had career-wise! I am really excited about the whole thing. I loved every single thing about the Craftsy experience.

When I got home from Craftsy I decompressed with some spinning. I took a day to catch my breath which is something I rarely do.

I shared the photo above awhile back. It is some Phoenix Song (colorway) roving from Dani at Sunshine Yarns, one of my favorite indie dyers. The singles are now the gorgeous hank of yarn in the first photo.

By the way, Sunshine Yarns is having a huge update on this coming Tuesday, Oct. 25th if you are interested. I love her yarns and roving, it is all very inspiring.

The colors in Phoenix Song are so sweet and yummy. There is yellow, an array of pinks, orange, gray, white, gold.... I think the addition of gray is what made it so interesting to me.

I ended up with a squishy, plump 4 ounce hank of superwash wool. I finished the singles off with a 2-ply and came up with 252 yards. I think it is a sport weight. My plan right now is to make a pair of skating mittens for the upcoming winter. TC and I have some big ice skating plans for the outdoor ice rink season this year. I think a pretty pair of Phoenix Song handspun mittens will keep me happy while I skate. I am pretty sure they will end up on TC's mitts after they are done. That's okay, too.

I'll keep you posted as I go.

You know when you finish off one new hank of handspun you want to run back to your wheel and your roving stash to start something new. Usually I hunt for something kind of different than what I just finished. My hunt led me straight back to Kentucky and my fantastic Dyeabolical purchases. I got a 4 oz. braid of the roving above. I pre-drafted it into these enormous balls of soft roving all ready to spin onto my wheel.

When I was in the Dyeabolical booth, the mastermind behind this eye-catching fiber recommended that she wanted to spin the braid on the left with the pinks and purples and blues together with the first roving a I showed, on the right. Being the newish spinner that I am I took her idea and ran with it. I grabbed the two braids and fell in love with her idea.

Dyeabolical has an inspiring blog, too, that will make you want to snatch up all of her yarn. Click here to see her blog! And now I just see that there is a video blog/podcast! I will be checking all of that out. I actually have some Dyebolical yarn, too. I may have gone a little crazy with my purchases at the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival last May. Everything has brought me so much joy that I don't regret a single dollar spent.

I have a bobbin full of the first roving and have started a second bobbin. I can't wait to get the second 4 ounce braid spun up so I can see how these will ply together. It's motivating to have something so yummy ahead of me. Spinning is ├╝ber fun!!

Speaking of Kentucky.... I wound my gigantic hank of Sheep Dreams handspun. It is an alpaca/wool blend that was gifted to me by my Kentucky friend, Dianne of Sheep Dreams. I think the hank has around 580 yards which is plenty for a Hitchhiker Shawl by Martina Behm. It is a fun little knit that is incredibly easy and portable since you don't need to have the pattern with you. You can just count your garter stitch ridges and you'll know exactly what comes next.

I also plan on making Martina's Lintilla Shawl with my lone hank of deep purple Wollmeise. That's probably coming up next for me on the shawl front.

On my recent travels I have gotten some sock knitting done. Socks are the perfect plane knitting project. Just last week I finished up one Candy Corn sock from my favorite striping sock yarn, Vesper. You can find her site right here. I am knitting these socks on my only purchase from Vogue Knitting Live, a set of US size 1 Blackthorn Needles. Let me say, these needles are like nothing else. I love them. They are made from a carbon fiber and they are black and smooth and unusual. Be sure to check them out if you are interested.

I don't know if I'll finish the second Candy Corn sock before Halloween but either way I absolutely love the yarn. I highly recommend the Vesper Self-Striping Sock Yarn!

I'm almost done with my second Door County Cherry sock. Really I only have a few quick inches to go. I love them more than ever now that I can see wearing them soon and just in time as it is getting colder outside.

The yarn is madelinetosh merino light. Click here to see some color choices if you are interested. This yarn is a single ply and it may not wear so well for socks but I don't care. I will love them while I can! It is worth it to me to have such a gorgeous and soft pair of socks that remind me of our vacation in Door County. The. Best.

I bought my one hank of tosh merino light at Spin in Door County. To get some like mine you could call them up at 920-746-SPIN (7746) !

To finish off this long overdue post, TC has been working her magic with the Halloween crafts. The other day she asked me for a couple of paper grocery sacks. A short while later she had sculpted some exquisite Halloween trees to go with her fabric pumpkin collection. The trees are so sculptural and moody. I love them. TC hung two knit acorns of mine on the branches. You can see one acorn at the top of the tree above if you look hard enough.

Not too long after the tress she created some salt dough ghosts that were finished off in the microwave and then simply decorated with a black Sharpie. I am telling you that one of the best things about having a crafty-to-the-core child is that you get seasonal decorations without even asking. The other thing I am enjoying is her total independence in finding and selecting her crafts. I didn't help one bit with any of this. It is all self-driven! Yay to that!

TC's favorite crafting and inspirational sites is Family Fun (we get the magazine, too)! She found all of these Halloween projects on here.

On another note, the winners for the Knit Circus pattern collection have all been notified by email. Jaala Spiro will be emailing the patterns to the winners. Thanks for entering and I'll have another giveaway very, very soon.

Have a great week, Knitters. I've missed you.
best, susie