Category Archives: stash

2.5 pounds

That’s what I plan to shed over the next 2.5 months….in fiber of course!

I realized this weekend that my spinning wheel has been sitting sad and lonely in the corner for months now, and it was time to remedy that. Also, it’s only 2.5 months until Shepherd’s Harvest. If I want to be able to allow myself my one big shopping spree a year, I need to clear house a bit.
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This weeks effort is a merino silk blend. I’m spinning worsted style, inch-worming it with a forward draw. Absolutely no spin let into the drafting triangle, which is something I haven’t done in awhile. My spinning plan these next couple of months is to really try a bit of everything.

The best part of spinning this weekend? When Spinner and Knittykid both sat down to watch me spin, and Knittykid said in a confused voice, “Why do you have to DO that?”

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Phat Fiber

First, thanks for all the kind words. My leg is on the mend and I’m up and about and feeling pretty good. I was smart and stayed home Thursday as well despite the fact that the violins needed me, but oh well, they’ll survive as will the kids.   I’ve never quite had a muscle injury like that one before. The ice is my new enemy.

So…. Phat Fiber??

I scored a box:
DSC05498

If you haven’t run across this yet, it’s a sample box of fiber, yarn and other goodies from indie sellers. I sold some yarn and had a little fiber money to spend so I thought I’d try this out for a change, and I’m so glad I did.

The box cost $33, and I’ll admit that after I placed my order I started thinking of how much fiber I could actually buy for $33, but then I realized I’m overrun with fiber and yarn right now. This is a great way to play with a bunch of new stuff and see how I like it all without committing to just one item. What will I do with it all? You’ll have to wait and see!

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Filed under shopping, spinning, stash, stuff to love

Stash woes

Maybe it’s that I spend so much time nursing these days, that it gives me lots of browsing time…

Maybe it’s that I had a few gifts to buy, so I was actually was able to shop and spend a bit, therefore browsing obsessively over the bit of money I could spend…

Maybe it’s because it’s been nearly TWO YEARS since I pretty much quit buying yarn, with the exception of a couple of fiber festivals and some souvenir yarn….

Maybe it’s because my knitting and spinning time has been cut down since Spinner has been born (less time to knit and spin means more time to think about it)….

I don’t know, but I’ve been obsessing about two things: tweed and semi solids.

Specifically?

Silkroad Aran Tweed in Winter Grass, a sweaters worth. Especially this pattern. (Although, does it look like a shorter sweater?)

The Sanguine Gryphon, especially the silk, the worsted, the sock….I love it all. I have so much heavily variagated yarn, and very little handpaints that lean more towards the semi-solid type.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my stash lately, how unpractical it really is. It’s huge, massive, an entire closet worth and I’m quite sure the friends I’ve shown it to think I’m a little bit crackers. It’s beautiful and will keep me in scarves, shawls and socks for a lifetime.

But lately I find I want to knit something and have no yarn for the project. Case in point?  What the Skeptic wants for Christmas (legwarmers and a cowl to keep him warm for winter biking) I have nothing for. If I want to make plain old mittens for the boys, I pretty much come up empty, unless I raid the few bags of yarn I’ve been saving for sweaters, eliminating the possibility of a sweater.

So what is the point of my stash??  A collection? My own personal yarn shop? A bit of both?? Plus I sort of miss the days when I had very little yarn.  I’d see a project, go shopping, come home and cast on! But having so much yarn makes me a bit stifled, as if I must knit from the stash first and save those other projects for another day. Especially when I’ve got to crunch the budget like we do now. But at the same time it is great to grab something and cast on, and never leave the house.

I’m guessing it’s all a bit of a balance and I’m thinking way too hard about this, but…I sure would love a bag of tweed right now!! Or no, the silk… love that silk!

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(There is yarn content in here, I promise!!!)

I’m going to admit that my online attention has been elsewhere. I’ve barely read more than a handful of blogs in the last two weeks and rarely left a comment. And for what? My latest obsession, not yarn or fiber (although that’s always an obsession), but diapers.

A few of you will be in the know about this, but most of you will be thinking, “diapers?” How much time can a girl spend obsessing about diapers? Let me tell you, LOTS of time.

Because there is a lovely place called Hyenacart. Sort of like Etsy, but aimed more at families/natural living. There are gorgeous, gorgeous cloth diapers here. And while the Fuzzi Bunz and prefolds have served me well for the boys, they are old and worn and it’s time to step it up. This kid is getting handmade fitteds, such as my cute red monkey diaper I found this weekend.

The thing is, diaper shopping is as much work as yarn shopping when it comes to small, indie sellers. You basically need to stalk the sites and grab them when you have the chance. Plus, I’m trying to stick to some sort of budget. After all, cloth diapers are supposed to be saving me money, not break the bank. So I’ve been looking for a few nice splurges as well as the more budget friendly sellers as well. But wow, there is so much to choose from  (if I can only get to them first!)

And of course, this is not just a post about buying diapers. This is a blog about making things, and that includes diapers. So I’m also obsessing about sewing diapers and of course, knitting soakers. (See, there is knitting in here!!) But I’ve never sewn a diaper, and it’s been two years since I’ve made a soaker, so I’m out of the loop. There are patterns to look at and yarn to obsess about. Amazingly, my stash is not very full of good soaker yarn, and this is the best part I have to share with all of YOU knitters out there.

You see, I thought I was pretty up on my internet yarn sources. I’ve haunted Etsy and most of the smaller yarn sellers online, so I was sure I’d seen it all.  Nope. Because in all my soaker research/Hyenacart shopping, I’ve made a discovery. There is more yarn out there. Yarn I’ve never even heard of, dyers I’ve never run across, all that seem to lurk within the cloth diaper circuit. And this is nice stuff, beautiful colors, interesting yarns. A lot of very specific wools out there that would be nice for more than soakers. Lots of BFL, targhee, organic, rambouillet, handspun….a lot of beautiful yarn.

Want a peak? Go here. And here. Also here. And to see all of it, here. And don’t forget Spot’s Corner, where you can see who is selling off their stash (and you could sell yours!).

So hopefully, in exchange for some new yarn shopping for all of you, you’ll forgive my little blog-reading hiatus here. I promise I’ll be lurking around again soon, as soon as I’ve spent all my money:-)

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Super Fast Shepherd’s Harvest

I need to be quick about this post tonight, so I’ll get right to the info!

As usual, Shepherd Harvest was a blast. The guys always take me there for Mother’s Day; you can’t beat that! The day was sunny but the wind was so cold, and for some reason it made me in a hurry to get through everything. A cold day I can handle, but a cold wind? Brrrrrr…..

I hit the Spinner’s Web booth:
Spinner's web yellows
Spinner's Web browns
Spinner's Web greens

Handspun by Stephania:
Handspun by Stephania
Handspun by Stephania

River’s Edge Weaving Studio:
River's Edge Weaving studio

Hidden Valley Farm
Hidden Valley Farm

And of , a vendor I forgot. Do you recognize this fiber? (She had a bunch of huge bins, lots of stuff with handspun samples of each one.)
Mystery Vendor

And, Little Man making friends with a lamb. (Knittykid was hanging out in the backpack). This shepherd seemed to be the only friendly one in the barn. How is it that the vendors are so nice, but you head out to the animals and their people are so darn grumpy? Is it just me?
Little Man and the lamb

I didn’t buy any yarn this year…a first, I think. I was fiber focused!!!

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Because there is so much I could say…

I’m probably not going to say much of anything at all tonight. There is just too much on my mind, and as I was doing the dishes I wrote about ten different blog posts in my head: destroyer boys and Destroyer boys, the first little kicks of Baby Three, reminding Baby Three every day to please be The Gentle Child, trying to decide where on earth to even give birth to Baby Three and be happy with my decision, indecisive two year olds who won’t stay asleep, birthday money to spend (and what on?), crummy weather, and oh yes, what I’m spinning and what I’m knitting. (I’m more on the mama and less on the knitty lately, I guess)

Yeah, I said it’s a lot. And I do want to knit tonight, so I’m going to keep it simple, light, and stick with yarn. Yarn you may have noticed on my Flickr badge:

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It’s Knitpick’s merino fingering weight, and it’s my first random experiment at dyeing my yarn.


Little Man helped with the photography…

I decided that I’ve been too worried about dyeing my own yarn, and dove in when the chance came up.

We dyed Easter eggs with natural dyes in playgroup last month, and had a bunch of dye left over, mostly turmeric and onion skins. I brought the dye home, did about 5 minutes on online research about mordants and soaked my yarn. I threw it on the pot, poured turmeric on half and onion skins on the other half and brought it to just about a simmer. I left it on low for about 30 minutes, let cool, and rinsed away. This is what I got:
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Pretty, huh?

It got the tiniest bit felted, but it wound off okay and I think it looks pretty darn good for 11:30 at night and not trying too hard.

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I cast on last night for a Baby Surprise, my first one ever. As soon as I have enough knit up I’ll show you how it looks OTN. But I must say, I’m pretty pleased with this yarn.

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Banging my head on the keyboard…

When I first got my copy of The Book of Yarn, I devoured it completely, many times over. Then, I began thinking about what I should make first. Suddenly I had a realization:

The Honeycomb Bag was cute.

I have three balls of Cashmerino Astrakhan in my stash, in two colors.

I have the perfect fabric from Amy Butler’s Nigella to line it with.

I can make a cute, quick project and use up stash!!! It was the prefect project for the new year.

So, I made the first half and once I got used to the boucle, it practically knit itself. I could just see the cute fabric liner inside, with perhaps a matching fabric flower on the outside. It would be stunning.

I cast on for the second half and knit, knit a bit more, then thought to myself, I don’t have much blue yarn left. I kept knitting, hopeful. Then I checked the pattern, and swore furiously many times over.

I had thought it took one skein each, so I didn’t think carefully about which yarn to use for A or B. Looking more carefully, I noticed it calls for TWO skeins of A and one of B. I own two green skeins and one blue so had I actually read it this would not be a problem. But what did I do? I used blue for A and green for B.

So now, rather than use up stash completely, I have to BUY MORE of the blue, and still have one skein of green left over. Even if I use green rather than blue for the gusset, I still need at least a half skein of the blue. And the LYS I bought it at doesn’t carry it anymore, so now I have to pay shipping too.

This one hurts. It should have been so easy…..


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I hit ten!!!!

So what should I buy? I finally got through round one of my Ten Project Challenge (see header) and I get to buy ONE skein of yarn. So, if you had that option, what would you get? Some of my considerations:

Handmaiden or Fleece Artist something-or-other (good yardage!)

Socks That Rock – (I still don’t have any)
Some small, hard to get indie dyer (I have to stay up late and watch carefuly to even score one skein – tips?)

Any other suggestions?  What one skein are you coveting right now?

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I’m in Trouble

Just as I was feeling bummed that Creative Fibers was closing, thus eliminating all near by spinning products, I found out that The Fiber Studio had just opened up this week. Just minutes from my house.

This should not be a bad thing. Except that the shop is beautiful: hardwood floors, natural lighting, beautifully decorated, and lovely, lovely fiber. And of course, when you have a shop that gorgeous you get an owner who is equally delightful. Pam was friendly, welcoming and made me wish I could stay there all day rather than rush back into the car when my three guys were waiting for me. She’s going to be offering classes and spinning groups. And this is why this is all a bad thing, because I am going to spend all my money there and my family will never see me anymore. The store is that nice.

Pam also sells a bit of yarn, dyes, beads, and all sorts of other lovely things we all can find a use for. Two items came home with me:

Some beautiful hand dyed suri alpaca.
Suri

I have no idea what to do with this right now but I have a sneaking suspicion that I can count on Pam to teach me. I’m waiting for that class list!

This was an exciting find:

Kimonos!!!

You are looking at a pack on vintage kimono fabric. I’m really wanting to make this into a quilted circular needle holder. If you are loving this and are sad you can’t run over to Pam and buy some, you can also order at Ah! Kimono

Pam is having her grand opening the 21st and 22nd of September. Be sure to stop by!

I have a boring WIP to add.

Anklets

Plain old anklets. Practical but not that exciting, and not even a clever photo to spice them up a bit. But they are done, I’m happy, and I’m one project closer to buying some yarn.

Stats:
yarn:Regia bamboo/wool
needle: size 1
pattern: plain old, typical sock

The boys

I hope you are all enjoying this wonderful weather as much as we are. This was actually last weekend, as I’ve not been well this weekend, but at least I can enjoy it in my own backyard.

Lastly, don’t forget to get in your Sow the Seeds contest entries in to me. Did anyone watch the video? I’m curious to hear what you thought.

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Filed under kids, spinning, stash

Let’s see how far I get

Trying to blog, answer e-mail or basically do anything lately has been a nightmare lately, thanks to two constantly overtired boys who both refuse bedtime and are taking about two hours to go to sleep every evening (I still curse daylight savings for this). This means my evening blogging/knitting/spinning/sewing time is cut drastically. So rather than do one big Estes post, we’ll just see how much I get done before the Skeptic gets off the phone for our movie night or one of the boys wakes up again.

Before I get to the fiber and yarn, I need to send out a very belated and wonderful thank you to my swap partner for the Spring into Summer Dishcloth swap, Erica. She has even better pictures on her blog, so be sure to pay her a visit. Everything was wonderful; I was especially excited about the beautiful stitch markers and the flower cloth. I’ve knit a few before but never for myself and I’ve always wanted one.

Dishcloth swap

Pretty, huh?
So on to Wool Market at Estes…

I’m going to start with the yarn since it’s all on one picture. The yarn selection was great and it was fun to get a chance to see some new stuff. It was a little overwhelming and I pretty much wandered around for three hours trying to figure out what to buy. I controlled myself pretty well with the yarn:

Yarn goodies

From left to right starting on top:

1. Textiles A Mano Shanghai 50/50 silk wool blend. My favorite.

2. I am so bummed I can’t find the receipt for this. It is angora and nylon and it is dyed by a woman who based all her colorways on her husbands Wyoming photograpy. Her stuff was beautiful and I was hoping to order more someday. Anyone know who she is? The tag just has a picture of the photograph it is based on with the yarn info.

3. Brooks Farm Solana, 100% wool. Their booth was overwhelming and I spent so much time there, couldn’t handle it and grabbed this. I love it but wish I had more as they had a Clapotis in it that was so snuggle and squishy. I might have to e-mail them to see if they have any left. Their yarns are amazing and I wish I has gotten a few more skeins of their stuff.

4. Plain and Fancy Sheep and Wool Company, two skeins sportweight. Noticing a weird new color trend for me here? No web site for these guys.

5. The springiest, sproingiest (is that a word? It has to be for this yarn) fingering weight ever. 100% Cormo by Elsa Sheep and Wool Company. I need more of this.

6. Lastly, this was not at the Market but at The Stitchin’ Den in Estes Park.  It’s Lonesome Stone Yarn, 100% merino superwash in Fruit Salad.

And with that, I’ll call it a night.

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Filed under kids, stash, travels