Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Shawl....

she is done! No photo, as I don't know if that is allowed yet. Not for us, you see. The ruffled edge was actually pretty easy and rather fun, although the fun part didn't really come till the binding off, at which time the ruffle actually showed. Till then, it was just increasingly unwieldy, with more and more stitches being formed and stuffed onto the circular needle! If there had been one more increase row, it wouldn't have stayed on the needle. It was a good thing the needle was bamboo, or it wouldn't have stayed on anyway!

Anyway, a good pattern, looks nice, was easy to knit, and the ruffle is actually quite fun and looks nice. A success, all the way around!

Now, I just need to get into the garage and get those bobbins finished, and de-smelled, and I can think about spinning again!

And I do still have little socks to finish. I have heard them softly calling to me, so I think they might be next on the list, although the quilted wall hangings and little quilt for Michelle are softly calling too, maybe a little louder? At least I am not so unfortunate as to have nothing to do. What a curse it must be, not to enjoy reading, or doing crafts (knitting, crocheting, quilting, etc, etc, etc). How horrible it must be to get no pleasure from life unless you are out roaming, looking for ways to get into trouble.

Okay, enough of the rant! I'll let you know which project called loudest and snagged my attention, so ...... tune in next time, same bat time, same bat channel!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Knitting Edging, Long Term Project

Yep, the other day I got with it, and got the stitches picked up along the edges of the shawl. I have one and one-half rows left to do, then the bind off. It is quite a long job getting through one row, as the stitches are increased (doubled) most of the knit rows. I haven't had the courage to try to count the number of stitches now. I am glad this is the last increasing knit row that I am on right now, as the circular is about as packed with stitches as it can get, and I am just past the halfway point. I usually don't like to stop knitting mid-row, but I have no choice with this. I still don't like it, but sometimes you have to bow to practicality, which I have. I think I am getting close to that "2 hours to knit a row" thing that Jo mentioned not all that long ago! But, it has been fun, and it is almost done, and I am thinking about what I want to do next. Although actually, it will probably be those lone little socks that need to be finished up. They won't take long, though, and then I will have to seriously think about Christmas stockings.

Meanwhile, the quilting for Michelle still sits and waits, and I have to get at that. She is getting old enough, she will probably actually recognize Pooh and his friends, so she will be quite ready to have them on her walls. And now that she actually has a house and a room of her own again (well, her mommy and daddy have a house---hahah!).........

So, anyway, things are progressing and I have taken a break from reading again--except for my bit before bed each night, which I absolutely can not dispense with.

Oh, the bobbins haven't been finished yet, they are sitting and waiting patiently, and the tung oil is sitting in the garage, and the rain and humidity have kept me out of the garage, waiting for drier weather before attempting to get them done. It takes longer for these things to dry when it is really humid, so makes sense to wait a little bit, eh?!!!!

Saturday, June 10, 2006


Voila! Bobbins and the Ashford Maintenance Kit! I pulled out one bobbin so you can see what they look like, the other 3 are exactly the same. The maintenance kit has everything one might need for the spinning wheel--new drive belt, springs, hooks, etc, and spinning wheel oil, with a nice long tiny spout! Hurrah!

The bobbins are unfinished, so Anne and I got tung oil at Walmart on Friday. Jim, from the Yarn Barn, recommended tung oil and various other similar products, for finishing the bobbins. The tung oil is pretty smelly, even through the can, so it is out in the garage and the bobbins will be dealt with out there, and left out there till dry (??), then I think I will move them to the screened porch in the back till the smell dissipates. It will be great to have them all finished and ready for use!

Not much going on. I enjoy looking at the bags of alpaca fleece. It will be so much fun to play with it! I have a feeling it will spin up really nicely. Hurrah!

Well, not much going on, so I will bring this to a close and write more another time. Oh, before I go, I finally got back to the lace, at least to the extent of "spit felting" (or in my case, "water from the sink" felting) the one end of the knitting to the yarn for the edging. I am letting it have a good drying period and hope to get the stitches picked up this evening or tomorrow. Hurrah!

Thursday, June 08, 2006


This arrived in the mail on Friday! Three pounds of alpaca fleece, from Sacha, a male huacaya alpaca who lives in Washington State. Blanket cut--the good stuff. It is unbelievably soft. I took this picture the other day.

Today, I got smart, and opened the bag for a better photo! What we suspected looking at it through the bag is confirmed--the fleece is very clean with no visible veggie matter. A little dusty, but that is to be expected, as alpaca like to take dirt baths. Isn’t it gorgeous??!!

Another box arrived yesterday!

This is 2.5-3 pounds of alpaca fleece, from Fancy Dan, a male suri alpaca, who also lives in Washington State. It is also the blanket cut. I skipped the “through the bag photo” this time—haha! You might notice that it doesn’t look like there is nearly as much fleece there. The volume of fleece in the bag is much less than in the other bag, that is true. But, this one feels just as heavy. This fleece is much denser—the fiber is very long and silky. You will notice the different colors in this bag, Fancy Dan is a two-toned alpaca! Isn’t it beautiful???

Anne and I will be splitting the alpaca fleece. I will admit it is a little harder to do that, after having seen and touched this fleece, but a deal is a deal! And it is Anne, after all---who better to share with? It is raw fleece, so there will be cleaning to be done, although many sources say you really don’t have to scour this fleece. There is no lanolin in alpaca fleece, and all that needs to be washed out is any dirt, etc. I have read that some people actually like to spin first and then wash, for the added traction from the dirt. Whatever. I think the dirt/dust would be likely to bother my allergies, so I will wash it first!

I think I can safely say that Anne and I are both looking forward to working with these fleeces!

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Yes folks, we are blocking! We are home today. I know Anne would have loved to get out of the house, but we do have to go out tomorrow (her Dr. appt, final one with Greenspoon --actually Glatter the PA, but...). I was sort of on a roll with getting stuff done here at the house, and really needed a day of rest (haha, is it rest when you spend most of the day catching up on things?). We really didn't have a need to go out, and with gas prices the way they are now, sometimes not needing to go out is a good reason not to, right?

Anyway, after putting a load of wash in very first thing this morning (BEFORE COFFEE!), spending hours on the computer, doing more laundry, etc., I suggested to Anne that maybe we should go ahead and block the three projects waiting to be blocked. She agreed, thank goodness, and we got to it. I decided it would be just as easy to put a comforter on my bed and block on that. There is a fan overhead, to help with quick drying, and all would be well. I think it took us a good 45 minutes to get the items pinned, even with the great job Anne did on putting lines in. Oh well. Blocking wires are seeming more and more attractive. I guess they will move right on up the list of good things to buy.

Anyway, I then gave them all a good misting of water to thoroughly dampen them, and they are doing their thing. It wasn't nearly as tedious as it could have been, so I am happy! I will be glad to get my knitting project finished--it still has to have a ruffled edging added. Should be really cute when it is done.

On the spinning front, am checking info prior to buying more bobbins for the spinning wheel. Then we can both spin and not get in each other's way--as long as we don't want to spin at the same time--haha! Also, have ordered a stretchy drive belt, and a niddy noddy. Anne especially has sorely missed not having one. We also have a box of about 3 pounds of alpaca fleece on its way to us! Hurrah! One of my favorite quilt shops, in Washington State, is owned by a family that also runs a farm with alpaca, and Saturday was shearing day. I know Anne and I will have fun with the fleece!

Will post photos of the shawl, when it is done, and the alpaca fleece, when it arrives!