Wednesday, November 19, 2008

November spinning

I’ve become a little tired of knitting lately and have taken up spinning. I’ve become somewhat frustrated with my projects. Several of them need some correction or ripping back because of mistakes discovered after the fact. Right now I just don’t have the heart to do this so they have stalled in hibernation. I am so overwhelmed brainwise with work projects that I just cannot invest another neuron’s effort to figure out how to correct them at this time.

Soo…for the mundane thoughtless work, I’ve taken up spinning. This is an activity that doesn’t take too much thinking. I’ve finished up some bumps of roving I’ve purchased. The ½ lb of Louet Ocean wave roving I purchased at Lambtown this summer is all spun. It gave me about 3 ½ skeins of sport wt 2 ply. I also spun up 3 skeins of grey merino roving I had processed about a year ago. This roving ended up with a few neps and irregularities but this is what gives a garment character. I will probably make some hats from this.

We were planning to go the Alpacafest West this weekend. This was a chance to buy some alpaca fiber or fleece and see over 100 lovely alpacas. I went last year and purchased a beautitul white alpaca fleece that I had not touched since. I decided to go through my stash to see what colors I did not have. I found a beautiful chocolate red, black, grey and of course, the white. All of this was still in the unwashed fiber stage. I was feeling rather guilty and decided I didn’t need another fleece until I did something with what I had.

We ended up not going to Alpacafest because suddenly there were wild fires in Diamond Bar and other areas that blanketed the whole San Gabriel Valley with dangerous smoke and particle matter that made it very difficult to breathe. I hope the alpacas didn’t suffer too much outside. I ended up staying inside, washing a bit of the white alpaca and spinning it up. It came out so nice and soft. I’m dreaming about dyeing it.

So now I need to wash some more alpaca. In the waiting time, for drying, I found some washed Coopworth and decided to card it into batts. I placed the carded batts into a under the bed plastic sweater container for a ready to spin source of fiber.

Next week I have the whole week of Thanksgiving off. Guess what I will be doing? Yes, besides cooking, I’ll be spinning.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Chicken and Dumplings

We were able to plan an escape Halloween weekend. It was nice to be able to knit and not think of our daily troubles and circumstances. We took our son with us, who experienced Laughlin, NV for the first time. Laughlin was decorated for the holiday. We had a great time. It was just the perfect thing to refresh our batteries.
We arrived feeling somewhat like this…….

And came home feeling like this……..

Since then I’ve been spinning a lot and knitting. I’ve been making the Dumpling Bag from the Fall 2008 issue of Interweave Knit designed by Sharon Dreifuss of She-Knits podcast. This is a very easy pattern that is very quick. I cranked out three bags in three days. The hard part for me is trying to create a design to decorate it. It’s been awhile since I embroidered anything and I have just about forgot my stitches.

On the first bag, I somewhat copied from the pattern. It was lovely unfelted but I went ahead and felted it. The French knot embroidery did not come out well and I may have to needle felt them down after it dries completely.

Here is a few pictures of the bag.