Friday, July 25, 2008

The Feltness Protection Program Now In Effect

I've decided that the wool that is leftover on the hackle after you have removed your roving is not that great for spinning. You're left with tons of tiny slubs that won't draft worth spit cause all the staple that's left is too short. You might be able to use it with something that will spin cotton, but on my wheel, it just won't do. Now, if you want something artsy that will stick out and look kinda cool, you're golden. I will save some of it for that, but the rest? What can you do with that?

I was catching up on blog reading (I'm woefully behind, it's downright embarrassing) and I went to Samurai Knitter's blog and found a great post on making felted catnip toys. AHA!

So I got out the wool, some large Glad containers, hot water, dawn dishwashing liquid, some white vinegar and added two boys to the mix. The boys are optional, of course. Following Samurai Knitter's instructions, I got this:

The balls are not great, but it was fun and gave us all something to do. I made a catnip tea and soaked the balls in it and they're drying in a safe, protected place to dry. Why protected? Because of this:
Widget the Catnip Fiend

This is the cat that goes Psycho for all SPICES. It doesn't matter if it's catnip, pizza seasonings or black tea that you drink. It's all crack to her. She can get downright violent upon occasion too.

She was nowhere to be seen when we started this project. But when we brewed the catnip tea and the smell began wafting up through the house vents? Lo and Behold, Widget appeared! The above pic was taken at that time.

I haven't been able to keep her off the counters since. Thus, the balls are now in the Feltness Protection Program until they dry. Then she can go Psycho all she wants with them.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I need danger pay

Well, the result I got (unblocked as yet) when I plied some of the singles was sooo not what I was expecting. The red in the yarn became much softer, and it almost has a tweedy effect, especially since I couldn't get out some of the little slubs that are in there.

I should get danger pay for writing the blog. It almost cost me my life to take that picture just to show you the yarn. The blood sucking mosquitoes just about sucked all the blood out of me.

We are prisoners in our house in the summer thanks to those little beasts. There's no way I can let the kids go in the backyard to play unless they are completely covered in chemicals. I hate it. I can't even kick them out of the house when I get aggravated with them. Not fair, not fair, not fair...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What colors make you happy? For me, it's bright vivid colors. A bright cheery red makes me break out in huge smiles.

I've been having so much fun lately blending different colors of roving and then spinning them up to see what I get. Want an example?

Check out this roving here:

A blend of Coral Red, Turquoise Blue and a Gold. The gold is really neat. One minute it's gold and the next a real subtle green. It completely depends on the light and which of the two colors are next to it.

I've blended it twice (by putting it through the hackle) to get a less pronounced striping effect. I really like it.

Here's what it looks like spun up as a single:
The color is a bit bright in that one. Here they are together and a little less bright:

I'll be pulling out those couple of slubs when I ply it. Even with the slubs it looks pretty neat. This colorway would be a fun one to do as an art yarn as well.

I can't wait to see what it looks like as a plied yarn!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

How dumb was this?

All this week is basketball camp from 6:30 to 8:00pm. I have to sit there for an hour and a half while the Eldest goes and has fun. Granted, I don't have to deal with the Youngest while this is going on since his father will be home (yeah!) but an hour and a half is a long time without something to do.

I should know, since I did it last night. We forgot all about the camp yesterday. At 6:17 I happened to look up at the clock and suddenly remembered. I must have said every bad word in the book in mass panic. The place where it's being held is about 20 minutes away. I literally grabbed the keys, my purse and the boy and we raced to the minivan and left.

Did I grab anything to do? No. I spent an hour and a half watching little boys do drills. Not real exciting. So I decided to remedy that tonight by taking the baby sweater with me. But.

I did something really dumb. A month or two ago I needed the needles that were being used for the terracotta baby sweater on another project.
Remember this?
Did I write down what size they were before removing them? Um, no. Now I have no idea what size to use for the sweater. I tried to figure out what they were used on so I could backtrack and couldn't figure that out either. I'm usually so good about writing down this kind of stuff.

I'm going to try out the size fours or fives or maybe sixes tonight and see if I can get it to look like the rest of the sweater. Not a smart gal at all, am I?

That was rhetorical, so please don't answer. Okay?

Monday, July 21, 2008

My First Knitting Group

I joined my first knitting group this past weekend. It was low-key and small, but surprisingly fun. There were only four of us, but a few more are in the group that couldn't make it.

The four of us that did make it were so different from each other. It amazes me the way a hobby can bring together people from all walks of life that would probably never associate with each other in their everyday lives. Without knitting, we would never have even crossed paths. That is so cool to me. I can't wait to go again. I won't make it this weekend, but I hope to go the next.

I took along my Anthropologie Capelet I've been working on. It's an easy, relatively mindless project that can be worked on around others (unlike the wedding shawl I'm slogging through at night.) I got so hooked on it that I finished it up that night:

Please excuse the blurriness of the pic if you click to enlarge it. The 7 year old photographer was very put out at my making him do a photoshoot and was barely able to stand still long enough to take the pic.

This one is much clearer:This capelet was done on size 11 needles and the yarn used was some of my own handspun, the first ever spun on my spinning wheel. I absolutely love the colors. I love pinks, peaches, oranges and corals together.

I had about 200 yards (give or take) and didn't have even an inch left over from this project. As a matter of fact, I had to modify the pattern to save yarn by giving up a row or two and I had to rob Peter to pay Paul by snipping off the leftover bits after weaving in the ends and splicing them to the yarnball to finish the sweater up. Nerve racking. I was sweating over possibly not having enough yarn to finish the project. It's not like I could run out and get another ball for it you know.

A quick note about the broach that you see here:It was in an old jewelry box that belonged to my grandmother. It could be hers or my Mom's, I'm not sure. But it sure is perfect for this capelet! It really adds to the vintage-y feel doesn't it?