UndyedYarnpire’s Fiber Opera

July 12, 2010

It feels like progress, but there is nothing to show.

Filed under: discussion — Tags: — UndyedYarnpire @ 9:18 pm

Let us see where things stand. I am currently working on a lacy bias-knit scarf. Still.

I am doing a Fair Isle hat project in KnitPicks WotA based off a design in the Starmore book on Fair Isle knitting.

I have chosen my next project (Askew from Knitty) to go with the birthday yarn.

Friday I made myself some new stitch markers. I was at Michael’s desperately searching for food coloring and got some new beading wire while I was there. It spoke to me and I knew I needed it.

The past week or so has had almost all the creative effort devoted to baking. I needed an impressive but casual desert for 25 people at a World Cup party. So this was my first time baking rolled cookies (I am an adept baker, but sugar cookies are boring and often chalky or pasty. It just never came up.) and first time doing piped decorating. On the whole it came out tolerable in appearance, but the flavor was phenomenal.

Yesterday I looked at my neglected wheel and wound the tenth of a bobbin of merino/tencel onto a “storage bobbin”. I have not spun in a long time because I have zero interest in working on that project. I pulled out some Lisa Souza dye sop (she calls them “Wild Things”) Wensleydale and have it pre-drafted to be three-ply.

I owe pictures from the Oakland Fiber and Textile Festival purchases. And I would love to share pictures of my new stitch markers, but they got kind of lost when baking took over my life. Not permanently, but the box of things removed from the table will need to have its contents  exhumed so I can find them.

Personally I have also picked up another interest which is a massive time sink. I had rather assumed it would come out of the chore time allocations but it seems to come out of knitting time. I joined a gym and have gone down two sizes in 3 months. (Which should dramatically speed up the knitting for that forthcoming sweater!) But losing 4 hours per week of leisure time has really hurt my productivity that I can share here.

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December 8, 2008

“Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?” ~Winnie the Pooh

Filed under: discussion — Tags: , — UndyedYarnpire @ 8:08 pm

The spinning is in progress, but I lost that rhythm from the first day that let me finish a whole bobbin in one sitting. I want that yarn.. waaaaant. It is for me. I knew in advance it was for me. I bought the fiber for me and I knew when I saw it that it was going to be special. I did not spin it when I first got it because I knew my skills were not up to snuff. I bought the fiber while visions of knitted sugarplums in my head, last February

I have a special knitting project in process. I want it to be a surprise, so I cannot talk about it here, but I am all excited. It is such an interesting idea! 

I finally decided not to buy any Blue Moon Fiber Arts yarn, mostly based on the comments and emails I received indicating poor experiences. The yarn is astronomical considering it is just superwash merino. 

Crown Mountain Farms is having a 2 day sale, 25% off their self-branded colorways in BFL and superwash merino and corriedale pencil. 

I still think online stores would do better with free shipping with minimum order deals. The shipping costs and need to create an account put me off ordering from BMFA. It would have kept me from ordering from CMF had SeedlessGrape not vouched for them. I probably am not the only one who really hates unknown shipping costs. The sale is nice, but I know shipping is a tax-deductible business expense, and discountable if you have an online account with USPS— so why are the full retail shipping charges being passed along? 

It is probably like how yarn stores are always zero-inventory boutique shops with fancy windows and no parking instead of a big warehouse where you can actually buy a men’s XXXL sweater’s worth of yarn off the shelf.  I would definitely be willing to drive an hour from here to shop for yarn if there was some hope that the store would bother to have any. I keep thinking there should be a way to get better than MSRP+ pricing in person in California. Maybe if there was a big store in one of the outlet malls? Personally I would like to see it in Hercules or Rodeo (far enough that parking is ample, at the intersection of I80 and Hwy 4) because then I could go for Thai food at my favorite Thai place which I feel guilty driving all that way just to have lunch and come back.

January 13, 2008

the sum of XXme

Filed under: summary — Tags: — UndyedYarnpire @ 3:57 pm

I am almost on my way to the yarn store. If I added the standard household joke here, I would say, “To buy butter and cheese.” That is strangely appropriate since I want a fingering weight yarn in a colorway approximating those.

I spent a bunch of time trying to work out the kinks of dealing with Flickr. You, my dear readers, may assume that much cursing and ranting has been excised from this paragraph.  It severely ate into my knitting and spinning time this week.

There is a new (to me) knitting group meeting this week. Hopefully that turns out to be wonderful, but I admit some reservations.

I appear to be going to Stitches West. I had been dithering about it because: I have never gone before, I do not know anyone else who is going, I do not knit fast enough to need a stash refresher, myriad reasons of the sort people use to talk themselves out of things. But the local spinning guild was looking for volunteers for a demonstration booth. I have time but very little experience and they said that was fine.

I need to print out my icon so people can recognize me places.  :-)

I subscribed to Spin-Off. And I have been private messaging people all over Ravelry in hopes of making new friends.  And now. I am off. To buy butter and cheese.

December 30, 2007

last week it was the merino, hold the olive. this week needs the martini

Filed under: knit, spin, summary — Tags: , , , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 5:32 pm

social first. I continued my project of interacting with people. A lot of those first contacts I made panned out, with people who responded enthusiastically. Apparently it is not easier for other people to make friends. Today was a knitting group in a neighboring town. So I get credit for interacting with people in person.

knit second. ♦I have started the decreases on the hat-for-me from the handspun. That might be finished as soon as tonight. ♦I finished the knitting for the oven mitt (though the felting still does not look done).

spin third. I did not do a lot of spinning this week in terms of volume. I did the December Fiber Club yarn, and did my first chain ply (Navajo). Then I spun the rest of the fiber club into a single. I plan to ply that today or tomorrow.

December 22, 2007

Pint of Merino, twisted, no olive

Filed under: summary — Tags: , , , , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 11:59 pm

This week:

  • I dyed yarn. It was Knitpicks “Bare” superwash+nylon fingering/sock yarn. I dyed a third of the hank with Jacquard acid dyes “Gunmetal” and a third with food coloring (in a warm red+pink range). Despite having tried for solid colors, I ended up with a variegated monochrome for each. I think the idea of mixing the dye in a zip-top bag, then adding the yarn made for some really uneven dye transfer. Since the dye is heat-set, possibly the painting method could be used— then the painted skein could be placed in the bag and sealed for its boil-in-bag setting. I was not disappointed in the results despite them being unanticipated. Serendipity. Plus it was a great learning experience for something I had never tried. I will say that the citric acid powder was significantly nicer to use than vinegar and the resultant yarn was a lot less reeky.
  • I have been hard at work on a felted oven mitt that I cross-bred with the Norwegian mitten in Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitter’s Almanac. The oven mitt pattern came from Knitpicks, sort of. Their 36 stitches of bulky-weight yarn required 2 circular needles or double-points. By adding another dozen stitches, I could freely use a single 16″ circ. I will felt it a bit more and that will be all to the good for an oven mitt which is trying to save someone’s fingers from pain.
  • I spun the Pinedale merino heather fiber I bought from Carolina Homespun at a show, it came out well, but could have been nicer if I had waited until I had more experience. Of course one cannot get experience without trying new things. That fiber drafted very differently than anything else I had tried.
  • My new fiber from Spunky Eclectic arrived! My black alpaca is here! I also got my first installment of the Spunky Fiber Club. It was an eyebrow-raising color.
  • I spun thick singles and super-bulky weight yarn! This is 4 ounces of Spunky Eclectic superwash merino in “Hotrod”. You cannot feel it from there, but it is some of the softest yarn I have ever touched. I should probably have a whole post about this.
  • I also made a small amount of triple-ply white yarn. It is lightweight, a sport-weight maybe, so you know how thin the singles must have been. I am impressed by how much rounder the cross section appears compared to the two-ply yarn. I also made more two-ply white. I am starting to need something to do with this stuff.
  • I started the Eunny Jang “Endpaper Mitt” and frogged it immediately. I will need different needles.

Social accomplishments.

  • This week I contacted my local spinning guild. They replied and seem accepting of those newly come to the spinning world.
  • I contacted a knitting group which has the hope of being populated by creative people instead of the “overly sweetened coffee and cashmere” crowd which take over the “Stitch and B*tch” kinds of knitting groups. (I do not personally mind cursing, but other people have more sensibilities.)
  • One of the people I sent wheel advice to wrote back and we are supposed to be doing a knit-along for one of those insanely complex Eunny Jang mitten patterns.
  • Someone I wrote out of the blue was very friendly and invited me to spin with her.

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