Archives

Most Excellent! Textured Estonian Knitting Stitches….So Much Fun!!

Happy Wednesday 🙂

So, having checked out my ‘attendence’ for last year with this blog, I have decided to commit to twice monthly posts, at a minimum, I promise!

DSC_7589

It’s been a hectic time for me, lol – new job and then a promotion to another new job within just a few months, lots of training, and uptraining, lots of pressure and lots of getting sidetracked on projects — NOT getting much actually ‘done’ but having fun for a little while with things I haven’t yet finished. Maybe even a few I will never finish. I have begun to suspect I am what I have heard called a ‘process knitter’. I will often start a new project because I am interested (or possibly fascinated by lol) in a particular technique or stitch or whatnot. Once I’ve ‘experienced’ or learned the method/stitch/whatever quite often I’m good.

DSC_7588

This year for Christmas I got a Kobo tablet and have been collecting a few very nice knitting resources for it – I figure that I can take projects on the go a lot easier this way and that works for me! Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could work more time into our days?

DSC_7587

The stitches pictured above are from a great tutorial with pdf written patterns provided as well as a great video demo of the stitches done by the sweetest lady ever! I purchased it as a digital download from The Interweave Store; “Creative Estonian Knitting” by Merike Saarniit — Textured stitches to swatch and explore. Just one thing though – the video did not play on my kobo and I watched it on my laptop. Not at all an issue for me but something that one should know going in. The pdf works great in my Adobe reader app on the tablet.

I love how the stitches are so textured and how they flow. The tutorial does not instruct you on how to build the blanket but instructs on how to work the basic stitches and helps one see how to expand on the subject matter — Merike does a fantastic job of giving you that ‘I can DO this’ feeling. I consider myself an advanced knitter and still appreciated having the video tutorial and would definitely recommend it. A lot of fun and something to use up that left-over yarn from your other projects!

Another thing I am working on is a spinning project – some beautiful baby suri alpaca blended with bombyx silk from india which is going to become a wonderful pair of silky stockings when it grows up!

A couple pictures of the blend….

DSC_7585

DSC_7586

Ok, so time to knit…or spin…or something 🙂

This Yarn Is Delicious!

Closeup rambo/suri blend laceweight handspun yarn

I spun this 2 ply out of rambouillet blended with baby suri alpaca on hand cards. It turned out so soft it doesn’t even feel like wool!

Baby suri alpaca

Rambouillet Fleece

suri/rambo blended on hand cards

Also the colour is lovely – chocolate and tan with a bit of a shine! It has a really rich look and I love it.

DSC_7328

I’m working on a pair of gloves for winter…I’ll keep you updated 🙂

Have a great day!

If you might be interested in purchasing my handspun yarn, please visit handspunyarn.wordpress.com

So That’s Where All The Pillowcases Are…Taking Inventory

Good morning!

Another ‘weekend’ for me and I’ve decided to include fleece inventory in my cleaning – more of  a thorough spring-type-cleaning than I usually do 🙂  I *think* I’ve gotton most of my clean fleeces together now and WOW – I think I can spin for the next year without really needing to buy anymore, lol.  Here’s a pic…

summer11 011

Yep, lol.  A little bit carried away.  But (in my defense), quite a bit of this was free so how could I help it? 🙂  There is still some awaiting washing, in bins, both alpaca and wool — as well as the bin of clean soft-as-a-babys-skin alpaca, of a much higher quality than the alpaca here in the pillow cases.

The group includes;
fleece inventory 001

Free meat sheep fleece – three bags full! – black, very springy, good for socks/mittens/scarfs and outerwear.

fleece inventory 002

Free meat sheep fleece, I presume suffolk/suffolk cross – both lamb and young adult – great for socks, mittens, outerwear, felting – springy and very white.  I have managed to stuff this into one oversized pillowcase and one of those shopping bags.  I believe I have more of this if I get around to washing it.

fleece inventory 003

Silver/black and red mohair – great for blending for socks/mittens/outerwear.  ‘Nature’s Nylon’

fleece inventory 004

A full bag of mid grade alpaca (free!) which I’ve found is excellent for spinning for mittens and the lighter shades dye wonderfully for stranded colour work.  I blend this with wool to give it a little bit of memory.  I also have this in two lighter shades….

fleece inventory 005

And yes, there’s more…

fleece inventory 006

This is some Border Leicester that I purchased last year – lovely, long and silky – great for blending for socks or anything where you want to add some silky strength.

fleece inventory 007

This is absolutely lovely silver shetland fleece (about 1.5 to 2 fleeces left) which I absolutely think is a staple fibre.  I’ve belended this with so many things! Spins up lovely on it’s own too 🙂

fleece inventory 008

This is probably my current favorite fiber.  Purchased from Raspberry Hollow, it is a mixed breed lambswool which I cannot remember, with excellent crimp and beautiful softness.  Love it.

fleece inventory 009

And finally – some really wonderful icelandic lamb fiber purchased last year from a local ebay seller.  soft and silky!

More to come – I’ve got to see what I’ve got in bins and then there’s going to be the yarn to go through, lol.  Oh yes, and the cotton.  And the silk. Probably a little bit of superwash merino to rediscover as well…

Happy fiber addictions people!  We could do worse things 🙂

You’ve Got To Love A Friday!

Yes, I know it’s not really friday.  For me, though, it is – so yay!  Not that I don’t enjoy my job because I actually do, it’s just a matter of balance.  My crafts are exactly what balance me 🙂

And now I get to spin 🙂  For two whole glorious days 🙂

summer11 048

This is some of the very lovely cotton which I bought from an excellent seller I found on Ravelry, from Kentucky.  I bought two pounds to give it a try – it was raw…I love learning new things from the ground up!

summer11 043

It came like the bit on the left – on the right is some of the cotton pulled off of the seed.

summer11 044

I held the seed and pulled off the fluff…

summer11 045

In the end I had a cloud of very clean fluff with just a bit of vm left.

summer11 046\

Just because I’m me (lol, of course!), I had to try spinning it both ways.  I carded some and rolled it off the card from side to side…

summer11 047

I think both methods work well and don’t have a real preference yet 🙂  I ended up all distracted and started spinning and knitting for a lovely thin knit alpaca cardigan – 2 ply just-a-little-more-than-lace-weight.

hanspun 2ply alpaca cardigan

I have more yarn to ply…I’m finding the weaving bobbin rack and winder sooooo useful!  Best thing ever.

summer11 058

It’s an absolute star for storing the singles and plying from too!

Oh! And I must show you the baby boy!  He’s growing like a weed and getting cuter every day!

So cute!!

The spinning wheel is calling…Have a fantastic couple of days folks – I know I will 🙂