Knitting emergency!


So Bug called me at work in tears. She had lost the handspun citron shawl which I knit her last year for her birthday while she was at school. This, to her, was a disaster because we were leaving the next day for vacation and she couldn’t figure out how to go without one. This was a true knitting emergency.  I promised her a new shawl in her choice of yarn and yes it could contain both pink and purple.

She chose Noro. That’s my girl! And this picture is how far along I was in the St. Louis airport during our flight east.

But that isn’t the end of the knitting emergency, for once I got to my destination, I broke my needles! The emergency had an emergency which will require a trip to the lys tomorrow morning.

Stay tuned for more emergency shawl travels!

New blogger in town

And she doesn’t even write about knitting. She is capable of knitting, but to my knowledge isn’t doing so. But you really must check her out, because she is one of the people I miss the most now that she has moved from our area. Talking to her in person was often like watching a stand up comedy routine, I would expect her blog to be similar.

Check out our dear friend Kristen at Jesus and Potatoes.

Noro Messenger Bag

I finished the icord forever during a card game on Saturday night. Which meant that I could enjoy felting my bag (finally!) yesterday. I just want to say, for the record, that I could have knit an entire sweater with the amount of yarn that went into this bag. There, I said it.

The first time through the washer, I had a bag that I liked, but the handle didn’t quite felt up the way I would have liked. I believe this is because the handle wrapped around all my jeans, and prevented it from felting. I pulled it out, blocked it, realized the bag itself was bigger than expected, let it rest, then decided it wasn’t good enough. Into the washer it went again, this time in a laundry bag so that the handle would have to felt. And felt it did! The bag got a lot smaller, basically it became the size I had anticipated. And the handle really felted down! More than I would have liked, as the handle is no longer messenger bag sized, but purse sized. Ah well, live and learn! This being my first official felting experience, I am going to call it good.

I blocked it with a 9×13 pan and once it seemed dry enough added the buttons I had purchased for it. Funky buttons with color tones that match the bag. Technically I am not finished with this, as I would like to add a liner, and it does need a zipper. But it is at this point useable.

I loved this knit! Everything about it was fun, even the icord edging. I can actually see myself doing another. And, I’ve gotten over my felting fear, I could happily try felting again at some point.


I worked very hard to finish up this 2 ply laceweight. This is a gently spun merino, and I have 688 yards of it. To be frank, it isn’t my favorite even though as I was spinning it I thought it was stunning. I needed this off the wheel so I could put away the wheel until after vacation. And of course, now that the wheel is put away, all I want to do is get it out again to spin!

What’s a gal to do?

I came home last evening intending to knit on my messenger bag. The intention being the last of the icord edging, thus having it ready to felt today. But we decided on an impromptu munchkin night, and I need something easy and mindless to knit on while playing. Icord is easily the most mindless thing ever, so I set the messenger bag aside. I’ll work on that tonight.

I’ve been itching to cast on a handspun shawl, and I’d seen a lovely new pattern called From Dawn ’til Dusk. It looked perfect for handspun, and lacking another project to keep me interested, I decided to cast on.

The handspun is a 3 ply light fingeringweight yarn from Enchanted Knoll Farms merino colorway Sedona. I am already loving the way the colors are merging and playing. The tones on this one are completely my style!

I spent today spinning, so there will be handspun to show tomorrow. Now my wheel is completely put away until after vacation, where I will embark on my fleece spinning journey during Tour de Fleece.

ICord forever!

So I am finally working on the icord edging on the messenger bag. It goes on and on and on, and yet I know I am going to love the look of it once it is complete. Like piping all around the edge. And it also seems to firm up the bag a bit which I think will be valuable, especially on the handle.

I am getting awfully close to my upcoming vacation. And yet I still haven’t properly planned what I should bring to knit! I am feeling a bit out of sorts about that, but I just cannot seem to choose. I’ll probably bring a pair of socks to finish up, so that I can then leave them with mom, but those will take no time at all. I’ve got multiple projects on the needles and yet I am not sure I feel that any of them are what I’d like to knit while gone. I also don’t want to overpack either. So….I suppose I’ll have to give it more thought over the weekend.

Mission Accomplished

I set out to process a fleece. And I did so. I feel very accomplished and I had more fun than I ever dreamed I would.

My Romeldale/CVM, a 3 pound fleece, is completely processed into batts. My final weight for this is 1 pound 12 oz. I don’t know if that is good or not. I knew I’d lose a lot of weight from removing lanolin, but it does seem like I had an excessive amount of waste during flick carding as well. Though that could be entirely user error. We shall see how the next one goes. It is still a lot of fiber all in one shot, certainly enough for a sweater. I have decided to start spinning it just as soon as my current project is off the wheel. I will then use this fleece as my Tour de Fleece project this year.

Lizard Ridge Block #2

Not sure what else to say…..

Well, yes I do. How about that color!

(and yes, I am connecting them as I go, why do you ask?)

Yesterday I had to go to the local yarn shop to pick up more yarn for the messenger bag. I did indeed choose a turquoise solid, so I hope it looks good. If not, I can always go back and get a skein of beige. While I was there I decided to find fun and funky buttons for it, and did end up with some colorful ones which match perfectly. Now I just need inspiration to start the icord edging!  Oh, and the final zipper flap, which has yet to be done.

Madli Stole

My friend Sarah and I often choose to do a shawl together in the summer. We do a lace knit along in general, but she and I often choose the same project. It keeps us motivated. I find it easiest to let her take the lead and I try to keep up. Not because I can’t keep up, but because I am a decidedly non monogamous knitter, and trailing along behind her keeps me motivated to finish, while still being able to work on other projects. She never sets a pace I cannot achieve, so it works out well for us. This time, Sarah finished on Saturday night and I finished on Sunday night. Right on track!

Well, this year there is a big wedding in our family, so for our lace knitting I chose a special yarn that should compliment my dress. It is skaska designs yak/silk blend laceweight. I purchased it at stitches midwest 2009. I have a ton left over, certainly enough for a scarf, perhaps even another shawl.  Thankfully the knitting was done in time for the event.  I added 4 repeats to this shawl. I probably should have added more. But, well, with all those nupps, I was a bit sick of it by the time I finished.

It looks great, filmy and delicate. But I wouldn’t knit it again. I suppose there are a lot more shawls with nupps to explore, but I think I need a nupp break!

Running out

I’ve run out of yarn! Well, that is, for my messenger bag. I had enough of the main color for the entire bag, but not for the icord edging that still needs to be applied all over it before it gets felted.

So the question is, do I go for the same main color beige for the i cord edging or do I go bold and pick up a solid turquoise to edge with? Such choices!

More fleece adventuring

It seems that my primary focus this summer has been fleece and fleece prep. I love it so much more than I ever imagined. I walked into this experience saying “I am not going to like this, but I want to do it once so I can say I understand the process.”  I was so mistaken. I think flick carding is just about the most relaxing and satisfying job ever. I don’t look at a clean fleece and feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the job. In fact, the opposite is true. I actually feel a bit selfish and jealous at the thought of anyone helping me with it.

So, the other night I sat out all evening long. It was one of those stunningly gorgeous days, somewhere between  70 and 75F, sunny, and breezy. I looked at the bag of fleece left to be flick carded and said to myself “I shall sit outside flick carding until the bag is complete or until it storms, whichever happens first.”  And that is what I did, I sat on the porch until late in the evening, when it got dark. But I did get the entire bag done, and now I have a bag of chocolately brown flick carded fleece!

This is the first fleece I owned, the CVM Romeldale lamb fleece from a lamb called Sepia.

It is good I made so much progress, because in addition to the jacob fleece I picked up at the Iowa Sheep & Wool festival, I had asked my dear friend Carin to keep her eye out for a corriedale fleece at the Estes Park Wool Market. She did find one for me and one for her, and they are gorgeous! Another small fleece, which I think is good at this point.

This one is white with silver. And ever so dirty! We were actually a bit nervous about these fleece because upon opening the bag they were really very stinky. Overwhelmingly so. We assumed they hadn’t been skirted. Once I pulled it out to check it though, I realized that it had been well skirted, the issue was just dirt. Lots of dirt.

I’d read somewhere that for a really dirty fleece a cold water overnight soak could go a long way to softening up the dirt and getting it started. So that is what I did. I then had to give it 5 hot water washes and 2 hot water rinses. The tips are still full of dirt, but I think at this point it will flick card out. I’ve taken a picture of locks, washed and unwashed, to show just how amazing this fleece looks once it is clean!

What is even more exciting to me is how fantastic this fleece feels. The locks feel downright silky soft. Just amazing!

And now I’ve got the other half of this fleece to clean, but that needs to wait until after Bug does Saturday laundry!  While the hot water is super hot, I should probably sort and clean the jacob fleece too.

My addiction is increasing

I love Noro, I really do. I keep trying to let it go, but it all comes back to the noro.

I wanted to knit with noro, many many colors of noro. So I decided to make the lizard ridge afghan. After all, what could be better than working with so many different colors? Thankfully, I was able to get a sweet deal on a good portion of the yarn for this through a destash. I’ll need to pick up more at some point, but since the pattern calls for various colors, it won’t matter if I don’t get them all at once.

This may be a long term project, or it may be one of those that gets started and then I cannot put it down. No matter what happens, I know I’ll be enjoying it!

This week in spinning

I’ve neglected my spinning for my fleece prep and my intricate lace shawl. When I realized that I was going to get an evening on my friend Sarah’s deck, I decided that instead of fleece prep, I would choose to spin. I am currently working toward a 2 ply laceweight. This is the bonkers superwash merino I picked up at the Yarn Barn of Kansas. It has been a very very pleasant spin, and I love the darker colors.

This is 2 of the 4 oz. spun up. After I finish spinning this, I am hoping to spin a little on the brown CVM Romeldale fleece, because I just have to know what it looks like!

Tools help get the job done

So I have this lovely brown CVM fleece that is washed and flick carding was begun. I was flick carding with my hand cards and knew it wasn’t ideal, but I just wanted to know if I’d enjoy the process. I did enjoy the process, but the tools were cumbersome. At the festival, I picked up a flick carder, since I had just purchased another fleece. The proper tools for the job make a big difference.

I’d been contemplating getting a drum carder. I enjoy spinning from batts, and figured it would be faster than handcarding an entire fleece, but the prices I found online felt a bit out of my price range.  Then, at the festival, I came upon a guy hand making them and selling them for very cheap. I originally picked up his card in order to purchase later, but then got in a panic about the fleece, and decided to procure one right away. Unfortunately, he didn’t take debit cards and I didn’t bring my checkbook. He then told me I could just take one and he’d trust me to send the check. Who does that? Only in the midwest, I swear! I was very uncomfortable with this, as I didn’t want him to lose sleep over the concern of me sending a check. Fortunately my friend Tina was there and she did bring her checkbook, and since she was looking for a drum carder too, she just wrote him a check to cover both of them.

I now officially have the tools to do the job. And once I got started, I couldn’t stop! I spent an entire day on fleece processing yesterday, and this is what I have to show for it!


Over 12 oz of ready to spin wool thus far!


Iowa Sheep & Wool Festival 2011

So, I went last year and thought at that time that I wouldn’t go again. But this year a group of us decided to go after all, and I am so glad we did. It really was one of the most fun events all year.

We got there around the time the sheep shearing demo was about to start, so we found a chair and hung out.

This ewe was hanging out too, waiting for her shearing. She was very dirty!


The shearing process, you can see just how dirty she was on the outside. She seemed relieved to be rid of that heavy coat. You’d be surprised just how little they move during shearing.

Bug was given a lock of her fleece, so she will get to process it herself


We also attended the hall of breeds where I took an excellent photo of jacob sheep, my absolute favorite.


This mamma was very protective of her little ones. Aren’t they cute? I’ve been hoping to purchase a jacob sheep fleece for quite some time, and I had the opportunity to do so!

There are creams and browns and blacks all in one fleece. Stunning!

We headed over to the sheepdog trials, which was an event we had not attended last year. The field was a muddy mess, but the dogs seemed to be having a great time anyhow.


Bug got to spend some time at the kids tent. I’ll have to post more about her activities later, but she had a great time learning to felt!

In this picture she is making a keychain.

Having purchased yet another fleece, I decided to come right home and work on my CVM fleece. I am really rocking now, the sheep and wool festival was just the inspiration I needed! I also managed to pick up a couple more tools that make my job much much easier. Which helps with the inspiration. I’ll post more about that tomorrow, since you are lucky to even get this post. I’ve not emailed a soul since I got home and have barely touched the internet, all due to my current fleece obsession. When the muse strikes, you must just go with it!


Not entirely sure

What to show you! The messenger bag now has a side, the other is in the works. My madli shawl sits with 23 repeats complete. I’ve got a work project coming along well and a second long neglected sock brought to the heel flap as of last night.

I suppose the Madli shawl it is. It is growing! I’d say I am halfway there.

I love how it matches the car so perfectly. 🙂

Noro Messenger Bag

Upon the completion of the baby sweater, I decided to work on my messenger bag. Yes, I know I should be working on my madli shawl, but it is just too hot and sticky for me to work lace.

It took 2 days to finish the front flap, those rows got very long toward the end. I am assuming the icord edging will help with the curling issue I am currently seeing. Next up is the sides.

I took my own advice and wove in all my ends thus far. Much tidier!

Cotton Fine Baby Mine

During the knitting of this particular sweater, I felt that the cotton wasn’t going to make a nice finished product. Especially once I hit the yoke. The yoke was drapey and not looking pretty. I thought perhaps blocking it would help, so I did so. In this case, blocking did not help at all. So I finally felt I had nothing to lose by throwing it in the dryer. Well, that was a grand sucess! Whatever sizing was in the yarn is now gone, the cotton pulled up into a proper looking garter stitch yoke, and in the end I am highly pleased with the result!

I rarely purchase patterns, and I really didn’t want to purchase a baby pattern. But I am glad I did, I can honestly say that I’d knit this sweater over and over through the years! It is a wonderful pattern to have on hand.

I also love that with a cotton yarn, I can know that it will be very easy care.

So what is next? I’ve been working on my messenger bag today, I’ve gotton a good bit of the front flap done. But, the rows are getting a lot longer now. I’ve also been putting in a tiny bit of time on my Madli shawl when I can. There was even spinning this morning, and I hope there will be more tomorrow morning. Working on a 2 ply laceweight means that there will be a lot of spinning before I have a complete yarn. But it will be high yardage. 🙂

This week in spinning

First of all, it occurs to me that if I wove in my ends right away, not only would I have ends woven in at the end of the project, but my pictures would also look tidier.

As for the spinning, I purchased some merino wool at the IA Sheep and Wool festival last year. I traded half of an 8 oz. bump with my friend Carin, and spun the remainder into a 3 ply yarn. The wool came from Dubinsky Originals, which I didn’t see an online site for, so I can’t link it. There was some….oddness about it. A section was rather odd feeling. Not felted, but it didn’t feel right, like it had something in it. When I spun it, it didn’t draft out properly, and when I did force it to draft, little tufts of some sort of powder flew into the air. I was concerned that this was dye that hadn’t washed out, but I had no dye on my hands. When I washed it, I ended up with a cloudy yellowish water, it took 2 washes and a rinse. My theory is that it was either dirty, or they were using some sort of thickener in the dye that didn’t rinse out quite right. It did make a pretty yarn though! I’ve got 340 yards of a sport to DK weight yarn. This one is already spoken for, goes to my friend Melissa who kindly watched Bug last week for me while I worked!

A bit of progress

The sweater is making some progress, a little at a time. The sleeves are connected and I am now working the longest rows of the yoke.

I intend to take a small break from it now, in order to work on some spinning I’d like to finish up. I need a finished object on the spinning front!