Saturday, April 28, 2012

Spun Out

This was supposed to be a post about chucking the whole spinning gig because I really lost interest in it.

I mean, I've tried wheels, and honestly, it feels more like work than fun to me. And yes, I've tried numerous wheels generously lent to me from local spinners. Wheels just aren't my thing.

So, I went to my spinning box (Rubbermaid storage container) to photograph those things I wasn't going to use any longer. Well...

This is my Golding 2" model with some Bruce spun up on it:



2" Cherry Whorl
0.45 oz, 0.75 oz

For those who may have not read this blog for as long as some others, "Bruce" is the name I gave the depigmented yak fiber I bought eons ago. I figured if I was playing with an animal's hair for as long as I was, I should name it. Thus, Bruce.


This is fiber broken down by hand as I was trying to salvage Bruce from the original yarn I spun when I didn't know what I was doing and used the wrong weighted whirl to spin:


This is the rest of the original yak yarn from ages ago. I've decided that I'll use it as an alternating stripe with something lovely to distract the eye from how lumpy and uneven it is...


Meanwhile, I also got out and fondled this Golding 2.75" spindle:


Art Nouveau Filigree
Finely Scrolled Walnut whorl
Inlaid Bronze Alloy Ring
1.6 oz

For which I would use to spin this gorgeous hand-dyed merino a friend named especially for my book persona:




And this brings us back to the point of the story where I thought I was going to give up spinning completely as I've not picked up either of my handmade, beautifully balanced spindles in over two years. I was on rest from them at the beginning because I had "tennis elbow" years ago. Then when given the release, I spun for a bit, but my heart wasn't in it. So I gave away 99% of my fiber to better spinners than myself, and stored away this wee bit.

Today I spun a bit of the Bruce. And damned if I didn't enjoy myself. I think I may have gotten my spin groove back after all.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What Goat?

I think we all knew I would end up here.

First there had been that post I did about the astounding $300 ball of vicuna.

Then Franklin Habit posted a brief mention about his score of vicuna at a fiber fest where he was teaching. I was a goner when I hit the link in his post.

Thankfully, I purchased Tank's treats and food for the next month before purchasing these two skeins from Hickory Ridge Farms for their paco-vicuna. Even though these beautiful yarns were *well* below the $300 yarn, it was still pricey. Good thing mama enjoys her toast and tea...




If you're in the market for gorgeous, exotic, exquisitely soft yarn then I cannot recommend highly enough Hickory Ridge Farms paco-vicuna. Gloria was a peach to work with via email, the yarns arrived tout de suite, and were everything more than I expected (thanks, Gloria!).

Oh, the project? There's going to be two of them.

Scarf #1

Scarf #2

I'm not abandoning the wee cashmere goats, especially at the price for the vicuna, but damn this yarn is so gorgeous and soft.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Caps Ahoy!

I decided to knit at least one more hat for my friend who's going through chemo. This time, it's out of Baby Alpaca Worsted Solids:



I couldn't decide on a hat pattern, but this one is fairly easy lace. Yes, I said the bloody "l" word. Lacy Cap pattern.

First, I have a pair of Sharky the Mittens to finish...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

FO #6: Swirly Cap

Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of the finished hat. I finished mere minutes before my friend arrived, and I gave it to her without even thinking to take a picture. But it looked just like the pattern.

* * * *
The down and dirty details:

Yarn(s): handspun merino (dark cream color) and Filatura Di Crosa Golden Line Alpaca (dark chocolate color)

Pattern: Swirl Cap

Purchased: FREE download in Ravelry.

Needles: size 3 US
* * * *

Now it's back to working on the Sharky Mittens for Rose!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Still Knitting

Things are about to become a bit more tight for knitting pleasure.

In fact, it will be tight from now until March 2013. I'm starting an internship in the evenings and weekends, while working a full-time gig during the week. And since a girl's gotta keep the kibble money rolling in while finishing off her master's degree, there's no quitting the daytime gig. No worries about the Tank, she's going to be spoiled rotten by the Child O'Mine and the CoM's other half while I'm cranking out the work.

So, while I'm still knitting, it's not as much as before...although it's not as if I knit like I'm on fire and what I'm knitting would extinguish the flames. Case in point: the swirl hat should be done in a matter of one-two days. Not so much for me...some notes and tracked progress here.

Meanwhile, a couple of things have amused and astonished me.

First, Pandora. I love music. It's more important to me than television and movies for media entertainment. (There are limitations to my appreciation of some genres: speed metal, acid metal, most C&W music, gangsta rap. Maybe if I was younger, I could appreciate the styles, but I left that kind of thing behind in my 20's many moons ago.) When my brilliant faux nephew hooked me up with this internet radio, I've been listening to it all the time I'm home. I no longer listen to commercial radio at home. For $36 a year, I get ad free music, and access to music I didn't even know existed. It's a great deal if you can afford it.

Second, vicuna yarn. As I've said before, I'm a yarn snob. It's not as though I don't find the merits of using acrylics and acrylic blends, as well as the beloved wool for many projects. Yet, I adore cashmere, qiviut, alpaca, bison, mink, yak, guanaco, and camel yarns.

However, I have yet to see, touch or knit with vicuna yarn. Why? Go look and then we'll discuss. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Yes, you read that correctly. Just 217 yds of yarn for $300. If I were to create the cardigan I have in my pattern list out of this yarn, it would cost me nearly $2,000. I would never wear it outside of my home. I would have to invent a new way for it to be safe from being the world's most expensive pest smorgasbord. I understand that the animal is rare due to excessive hunting and now a protected species, and expected it to be expensive. Just not DeBeers diamonds expensive.

And now, a little groovy music to finish out the post and remove the thought of too expensive yarn from our minds...