Saturday, October 24, 2020

Stash busting plan

I have a LOT of Cascade 220 Superwash in colors that no one wants to wear anymore. My granddaughter used to love pink, but no more. I knit her a sweater in lavender which she found too hot. Then there are bits and bobs that are left over from other projects. What to do with all that yarn? Why, crochet baby blankets!

Crochet: Started (and started and started once again) a baby blanket that uses a shell stitch.

Knitting: Progress continues on the mittens.

Spinning: Started spinning some Blue Moon Sheep-2-Shoe superwash merino top, in 'Jailhouse Rock' (which I would have named 'Tie-dyed Rainbow'). I'm not making socks with it; I learned the hard way that sock yarn has nylon in it for a reason.

My SO and I have one more pottery class next week; we'll be glazing our pieces. I will probably take my granddaughter to her gem and mineral meeting later that same week, primarily because she earned a badge and I think it will be presented then. The city has okay'd Trick or Treating; I plan to put goodie bags on a table in the driveway for the little goblins. After that, I will curtail my already curtailed activities as Covid cases continue to surge, here and elsewhere. I'm not sure what we'll do about the holidays besides wait and see. Wear a mask, wash your hands, stay home if you can, be safe.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Corriedale Cross

This yarn is from some more of the roving that my fiber blogging friend sent me. The label said "Paradise Fibers Ashland Bay Corriedale Cross". I knew Paradise Fibers is the vendor (and they are still in business), but I thought maybe Ashland Bay was a sheep breed that had been crossed with Corriedale. Not so. Corriedale Cross is a cross between Merino ewes and Leicester or Lincoln rams. Or so the Paradise Fibers website says.

Fiber: Paradise Fibers Ashland Bay Corriedale Cross in ecru
Wheel: Ashford Joy 2
Technique: Nothing special
Spun: worsted, Z-twist at an 8:1 ratio
Plied: 2-ply, S-twist at an 8:1 ratio
WPI: 8-9
Yardage: 304 yards
Weight: 238 grams (8.5 oz)

I started spinning this fiber during a weaving guild zoom meeting and felt a bit flustered. Otherwise, I don't think I would have chosen the ratio I did. The twist is a bit tight, which creates a yarn with high grist. I'm not sure what I'll do with this yarn, but I can almost guarantee that it will get dyed.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Preparing to hibernate

Sometimes I feel bad about how little time I devote to fiber arts these days, but the gorgeous fall weather beckons. There is never a lack of tasks inside or out, but lately I have been out. Soon, though, the garden will be put to bed for the winter. Besides plenty of fiber and potential projects, I have a stack of jigsaw puzzles, a new Instant Pot, and a looming home improvement project to keep me occupied when it turns cold.

Knitting: I am back where I was a week ago, with completed thumb gussets on both mittens.
Spinning: I finished plying the Corriedale cross roving. Separate post to follow.

The spinning guild had another Zoom meeting, with ten in attendance. At the last meeting, I gently campaigned that we meet in-person, but Covid cases in Indiana are surging, so I don't see that happening anytime soon. We are looking for ways to continue in a meaningful way.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Noodles on doorknobs

My granddaughter teased me yesterday about the "noodles" hanging from doorknobs. She was referring to the ecru yarn that I am plying. After steaming the loose skeins to set the twist, I hang them on doorknobs to let them get completely dry before twisting them into a compact skein.

Knitting: Working on fingerless mitts (that may become regular mittens if there is enough yarn). I *was* almost done with the thumb gussets before deciding I was not doing them right (the pattern instructions are a bit vague). So I am back at the beginning of the gussets.
Spinning: About halfway through plying the Corriedale (which I now realize is a Corriedale cross). I was concerned that the twist was too tight, but the result looks balanced.

If memory serves (a BIG if), the yarn I am using for the fingerless mitts was hand dyed using mason jars and a microwave. Being curious, I googled to see how that is done and found a plethora of methods, some using Easter egg dyes, some KoolAid, some acid dyes, etc. There are so many ways to dye yarn, don't let anyone tell you their way the the only way.

My granddaughter is making her Halloween costume - a snowy owl. She is becoming proficient with a glue gun. (Photo courtesy of her mom.)

Don't forget to vote!

Saturday, October 03, 2020

Wool hat weather

On today's dog walk, I wore a handknit wool hat for this first time this season. Temps below 40, no wind, perfect for rosy cheeks. I'm looking forward to wearing more wool as fall moves into winter.

Knitting: I picked out some yarn for the fingerless mitts that dates back to the Vermont Yarn Crawl of 2009. It's a bit coarse (Corriedale) and feels like there is still lanolin in it. I knit up a swatch to test gauge.

Spinning: Still working on the Corriedale roving.
Weaving: The sari yarn table runner came off the loom this week. It's quite colorful. I'm still working on finishing the ends (black warp yarn - looks great against the bright colors, but a pain to finish).

This morning I was saddened to read of the passing of Cat Bordhi. She rated an obituary in the NYTimes, which is saying something of the impact she had on the knitting world. I never mastered knitting socks on circular needles, but maybe I should give it another try, in her honor.

Sunday, September 27, 2020


Sorry for the silence. The passing of RBG left me figuratively curled up in a fetal position. Regarding the rapid naming of her successor, I dissent.

My son and his girl friend came for a visit - a real spirit lifter, as I had not seen them since xmas when she cooked dinner for us as I was still recovering from hip surgery. We masked and social distanced, important since they both work with the public, and visited the mural art downtown for an excursion. Of course, in anticipation of their visit, I did more housecleaning than I usually do, but then we barely spent any time inside, as the weather was gorgeous. More housework means less fiber arts, so not a lot to report.

Knitting: My SO, who has much better color sense than I do, helped me pick out naturally dyed yarn from my collection, to knit a cuff-to-cuff sweater. I have a couple of patterns to guide me, plus some Interweave articles. My primary concern is to limit the vertical stretching.

Spinning: I took my wheel out to the deck for a little spinning al fresco. Still working on the Corriedale roving, almost halfway through the 8 oz. I confess I miss spinning with others, so I hope our next guild meeting is in person.
Weaving: Worked a bit on the sari table runner, but not much.

After spinning on the deck, I tried tinking the perfumey socks I knit for a friend. (She perfumed them, not me.) My plan was to unravel the feet, then make fingerless mitts with them. While struggling with the yarn, which is a bit felted, I decided it would be easier to just knit her some mitts from scratch, using worsted weight yarn instead of fingering. At some point, one has to cut one's losses.

Sunday, September 13, 2020


My son-in-law built/gave me a cable to connect my laptop to the router and it worked perfectly for this week's Zoom meeting. This one was with the spinning guild. Only a half dozen or so of us showed up - more than last time, I hear - so I encouraged the officers to investigate when we can return to our usual space. I think it would be safe with masks and social distancing, but we also discussed whether we could hold hybrid meetings, in-person AND Zoom. We'll see how that works out.

The weaving guild met this past week as well, in person but in a park pavillion. By the end of the meeting, almost everyone had removed their masks, which I found disappointing. Yes, we were outdoors but groups of people were sitting together at picnic tables. The next meeting is indoors, in a space larger than usual to allow for social distancing. I paid my dues and picked up a program booklet for the year - another disappointment, as there is only one program I am interested in. Maybe this is not the fiber group for me?

Spinning: I spun some Corriedale cross during the Zoom meeting, the first spinning I have done in a while. One of the members talked about a dye project she completed, so now I have the itch to do some dyeing myself.
Weaving: The sari bag project has morphed into a coffee table runner project. I'm not much of a sewist and bags usually need linings. Runners require very little finishing compared to bags. I also started another Agnes Martin inspired piece on the pocket loom.

My eyes look better, almost clear of purple. No weird green or yellow. Once I got the okay from my doctor, I headed back into the yard to move more plants. Today I am resting my weary gardener muscles, though.