I may be a little obsessed with my new yarn. I took it to work yesterday, balled it up, printed out the Hitchhiker pattern, and got started. By this morning:



The way this is knitting up does nothing at all to cure my obsession, and so I am muddling through my day doing small tasks, and then sitting down for a couple more rows with this gorgeous yarn. This just may be one of those knits I cannot put down until it is done. It has been awhile since I’ve created one of those.

Navajo 4 ply

In May, I tried out a new to me technique. Labeled Navajo 4 ply, it is basically a chain ply with an additional single carried along. It was fun to give it a try, and the resulting yarn turned out well. However, I couldn’t help but get carried away by the various potential fiber combinations. And so, in my head I made a decision to do a silk single with a loop batt as the chain ply.

I think this is the most interesting yarn I have ever created. I am really excited about it. I have about 420 yards. I absolutely love it, and I do believe I am going to need to make it into something really soon.


And all I need now is to figure out what to do about the ounce or so of silk singles I have left over from this project!

Magrathea Begins

As soon as Lintilla was cast off, I cast on for Magrathea. This one is out of BFL silk from one of Dyeabolical’s fiber “unclubs.” Colorway was called Manxome Foe. I made it into a two ply yarn, and I think that ultimately this scarf will be subtle, showing off the handspun while highlighting the lace patterning. It may be in its early stages, but I am loving it already.


Lintilla Completion

I expected to be finished with my Lintilla scarf this weekend. After all, the way I saw it, I had a road trip to work on it. But, the problem was, I didn’t work on it. At all. I never touched the thing. I was too busy chattering, and driving, and cooking, and riding my bike in South Dakota.

You see, my team and I went up there for Tour de Corn, which started at The Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD.



We all stayed in a lodge together, which made for some great times. We rode Saturday morning, what was supposed to be a 64 mile ride. However, with winds sustained at 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph, and high heat and humidity, we cut back on our miles a bit. We rode as a team, pulling each other through the worst of the wind. We ended the day with 48 miles, but those miles were awfully rough. That being said, we stopped a lot, we flew a kite, we took over a bar and had lunch, we added random riders we did not know to our pace line, we sang along to the music being pulled on a trailer and we had our photo taken many times. It was a great day. Even the drivers did not seem to mind the spectacle of 25 or so riders in a pace line and they’d smile and wave as they were passing us.

What I noticed the most though, over the weekend, was just how seamlessly the team works together. It isn’t just about biking. Never once did anyone lack for food. Everyone brought food, everyone cooked, every shared in the clean up, everyone helped out beautifully. It was a lovely experience. And there was SO MUCH food! Good food. Delicious home cooked meals and many crock pots and big pancake and bacon breakfasts. Such a treat!

I tend to be one of those people who stresses a lot over travel. I worry about so many things, I pack too much, I prepare too much food, I worry and worry. However, it became clear so quickly that I needn’t have worried at all. I did exactly right. I packed the right amount, I brought the right amount of food, it was all very seamless.

In any case, the trip was wonderful. And I never had an excuse to pull out my knitting. So, I didn’t get around to working on Lintilla again until Sunday evening. I used it to unwind, but went to bed quite early due to post trip exhaustion. Last night, however, I was determined to get it done. I had taken it to work and gotten a bunch done, so I knew this was a goal I could achieve. After I put Bug to bed, I just sat down with a movie and powered through. It was, again, quite relaxing. And the end result was fantastic! I just love this shawl. I love that it is asymmetrical. I love how the fractal spun yarn stripes, and the interesting construction makes the stripes diagonal. I love that it is lusciously soft between the woo/silk blend and the garter stitch. I love that I didn’t even feel a need to block it! Just wrap and go.


On My Spindle

I’ve been working on some hand dyed black BFL from a fiber club offered by Dyeabolical yarns quite some time ago. I took it with me on vacation, started in there, and have been working on it during my lunch breaks at work since my return. I only have just a bit of fiber left to spin, and I do believe this is destined to be a 2 ply. I like the muted shades quite a bit, and am eager to see how the resulting yarn turns out. That being said, it may be awhile, since I’ve got wheel projects I must finish up before I get too much further with plying projects.


Raising Butterflies

Bug went on her annual vacation to my parent’s house in July. While there, she found caterpillars on my mom’s parsley plants. First she was nervous about them, but then she got accustomed to the idea of them, and decided to raise a few. She raised them in a jelly jar, and had surprising success.

We were a bit worried that they would not become swallowtail butterflies before we left to get back to our routines. But, the day before we were to leave, I checked them, and both of them had become butterflies.



2 butterflies emerging from their very small habitat.

One seemed stronger than the other, and quickly moved away from the jar.

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The other hung out near the jar, and then it started to rain. The slower one crawled back into the jar to keep from getting wet, and the other crawled under some ivy.



In the end, the slower one clearly took the time to get strong, and flew away much earlier than the faster one. That one hung around all morning, even spending some time on my mom’s shoe and pant leg.



All in all, the butterflies turned out to be such a fun little treat during vacation, and completely unexpected! I suspect Bug will very much want to do it again next year.

Lintilla Update

While I AM crafting, I am having trouble finding the inspiration and time to take pictures and blog about it. It all started with a terrible terrible trip home from vacation. We ended up not being able to get out of the city the day we planned to return, and instead had to fly out a day later. Bug missed her first day of school, and I had to use another vacation day, and quite frankly we spent a significant amount of time in the airport two days in a row with the added stress of not knowing if we would get home, or if our luggage would, and that was far less than inspiring. Thus, our entry back into the world of routine was a bit more rough than one might expect.

Add to this the fact that our return has been quite busy in general with few spare moments for photographing and blogging, and I’ve just put it off completely, despite having some fun pictures from vacation and stories to tell.

So instead, my re entry into the blogging world will start with a simple picture of the Lintilla shawl I’ve been working on. It is out of a fractal spun 2 ply, and my addiction to it is quite intense It has been the perfect project to have on vacation and has managed to continue to capture my attention now that I am home. I am now working on the edging, and it the change in pattern has been nice.



We shall see if I can manage to follow this up with a post about spinning, a post about butterflies, and a post about steel. Yep, we  can totally be that random!

Vacation Yarn

It didn’t go easily for me initially, but I did manage to teach myself how to ply on a support spindle. It took about 24 hours total to learn. Rather than trying to spin my spindle the other way with my right hand, I just decided to switch to spinning it with my left hand, using the same motions that came naturally to my right hand. This worked fairly effectively for me.

I now have a full skein of yarn from vacation, though I cannot yet tell you the yardage or weight. I still need to wash and finish these. I will post yardage and an after wash picture when that happens. Until then:



Vacation Knitting

Just keeps getting better! I spent a ton of time on the lintilla scarf. I knit in the car, I knit at night, in the dark, just feeling my way through it. I knit in the morning with my coffee.


I just knit in my spare time when I wasn’t spinning, and lo and behold, a scarf formed under my fingertips!


I love vacation for the extra crafting time, I really do! I am curious to see just how far I am once vacation is done.

Vacation Spinning

Last year was the first vacation I’d taken spinning on. Why? Because prior to that, I was only a wheel spinner. Once I took up with the spindle, it expanded my ability to spin where ever I happened to be. So this year I decided to take 8 oz of wool and one tibetan spindle on vacation. I figured 8 oz. of wool was more than enough to occupy me, along with my knitting. Unfortunately, I was very wrong. I’d finished the singles of the first 4 oz. on the second day of my trip, by midday.

First, I panicked. Realizing I didn’t bring enough wool, I worried about running out, and I worried that I would not be able to find more wool. Once I quit panicking, I then decided to consider how I could make the wool I had last for the remainder of the trip. And I remembered that I have never plied anything on a support spindle.

Well, that should be enough of a learning curve to satisfy me! So, first I made a huge, 3 ply, plying ball. For this, my dad helped.



He made a rather effective and active lazy kate.

As an aside, there was much interest in the spindle laying on the table as well, and my dad and brother took turns spinning it. Dad’s amazing technique was to hold it upright with a spoon.




Once I finished my large 3 ply plying ball, I began to very clumsily ply on my tibetan spindle. It went just about how learning to spin on a tibetan went, which is not very well at all. As it is just a muscle memory practice, I put it aside not long after I began, and will pull it out and work on it some more today.



The wool is polwarth/silk from dyeabolical. The colorway called Golden Afternoon. I must be drawn to the bright greens with golds/browns/hints of other color. I’ve dyed very similar colors myself, and often choose these colors. I think it is beautiful and look forward to seeing it finished.



Hitchhiker Series

I do believe I’ve decided on a new long term knitting project. I’d like to knit the hitchhiker series in handspun. All 4 patterns are really lovely, and I love the idea of seeing how they will knit up in handspun.

One might think I’d start with Hitchhiker itself, but actually I was taken with Lintilla, and decided to pair it with my wool/silk 2 ply from the cloudlover printemps braid.

I started it last week, just doing a few rows. Then yesterday I was on a plane, and plane time is great knitting time, excepting for the fact that I kept falling asleep. So I did manage to get a good portion done and am eager to see how it continues.


One Full Bobbin

Progress has been made on the navajo 4 ply and I am still absolutely loving it. I am now into a section of the loop bump where the colors really coordinate nicely with the silk and the barberpole effect is less noticeable. It is still there though, and so it does blend nicely with the other sections. Sadly, I’ve run out of silk, I need to spin more before I can finish up. So, I am going to work on spinning the next 2 oz of silk, finish my wool singles, and I should have it done next week.


The Creative Process

It isn’t that this always happens to me, but when I want to try something new in spinning, knitting, or fiber prep, I get a little obsessive. I think about it, obsess over it, worry about it, consider all the options, fret that it might go terribly wrong, and then eventually try it anyhow.

That is precisely what happened with my latest spinning project. I am spinning up a loop bump that is slightly felted.


It has all these interesting colors, and I realized I had some mulberry silk that sort of coordinated with those colors.



My initial thought was that I’d spin up each separately and ply them into a 2 ply yarn. However, I feared that this would actually mean I couldn’t use up all my loop bump, fearing I would not have enough of the mulberry silk to complete the plying process. So then I thought perhaps it might be wise to try another navajo 4 ply. This time, the chained single would be the spun loop bump and the carried along single would be the mulberry silk.

I haven’t even finished spinning the loop bump, but the thought of trying to create this yarn really had me worked up, considering it on so many levels. So I decided to start by spinning 2 oz. of the mulberry silk on my wheel, while continuing to work on the loop bump on my spindles.



This is about 1 oz of the singles. And then, because I have a bunch of small balls of loop singles, I thought I’d get started on the plying rather than worrying that I’d mess up the silk and it wouldn’t look good. Better to just jump right in, right?



I think the yarn this is becoming is gorgeous and I can’t wait to see the finished product! I am absolutely thrilled and excited over this yarn. The loop bump has a high concentration of sparkle, which coordinates very well with the shine of the silk single. I never tire of watching these two separate fibers meld into one very interesting barberpoled yarn.


Not a quick process

Knitting is not a quick process for me these days. I started a muji painting cowl at the beginning of April. To add interest to a very long project full of stockinette, I added a few rows of detail as I saw fit. The yarn is handspun I spun from wool I dyed, then blended with silk on my drum carder. The cowl is extremely soft and squishy. It is also super long, and if I pull it down over my shoulders, it feels like a cape with a cowl. It should be a very nice piece in the winter.


I do believe that the kitchener stitch is really what held me up at the end of this project. The idea of that much kitchener just made my soul tired. The closer I drew to being done, the longer it would languish between times of picking it up. And once it was done, I made even more excuses to not complete the project. Thankfully, once I needed the needles for other projects, I was actually able to find inspiration to get it done.


A long awaited post

At least it is for me. Spinning and plying 2 loop bumps is no small task. But I finally finished. And the result is 870 yards of gorgeous sport weight yarn. This is a project I am extremely proud of. The spinning is well done, as is the plying. The sparkle is subtle, and then yarn is smooth despite being a textured bump. I am extremely pleased.


Mulberry Silk

After spending a bunch of time plying the more than 10 oz. of Loop bumps this weekend, I finally have it all off the wheel and drying. This meant I could move on to my next project.

I decided to spin some mulberry silk. I’ve got a total of 4 oz, but I am starting with 2.



I spun from the fold, and it seems to have gone fairly well.



I just finished up the 2 oz. My idea is to ply this along with one of the loop bumps I’ve been spinning on the spindles. They have fairly similar color schemes, and I think I’d like to do a navajo 4 ply, with the chain being the loop bump and the silk being the extra carry along single. Since I am not sure I’ll need 4 oz. of silk, and suspect I won’t, I figured I’d start with 2 oz. and see where it takes me.

But, that is unlikely to happen any time soon, as tomorrow starts at 4:45 am and is jam packed with bike riding and socializing. All good things, but I am already overwhelmed!

Hopefully though, my huge skeins of loop bumps all plied up will be dry enough to photograph and count yardage!