Yesterday I managed to finish and block my father’s christmas gift. Today I managed to finish and block my mother’s christmas gift. They are both fantastic, and quite frankly my dad’s gift may get a part two. They are actually going to be quite difficult to give away I love them so much. But, I can’t show you until after christmas.

Instead, I figured I’d ball up some yarn for a project of my own. I got a new winter coat this year, and I realized that I have yet to knit any accompanying accessories for it. I also realized I have yet to knit anything from loop bumps I’ve spun. So, I looked in my stash, found a lovely two ply, and wound it into cakes.

Let’s talk about winding yarn for a second here. Recently most of my winding is done by hand, with a nostepinne I picked up at the Taos Wool Festival. It is from KCL Woods. But even before the nostepinne purchase, I’d been winding by hand for quite some time. I think this has something to do with working predominately in handspun, and loving the handspun so much that even winding it is a pleasure.

However, I have close to 900 yards of this loop handspun. So, I figured it would be a little overwhelming to wind it by hand when I was eager to start immediately. I wound the first smaller ball with a regular royal ball winder, but for the second skein, which was HUGE, I pulled out my strauch ball winder. This one comes in handy when I need something for a particularly large skein. I can winder faster with the cheap royal, but it was worth it to pull out the Strauch. So I figured I’d grab a photograph to show the difference. Added bonus, I grabbed the nostepinne and threw that in the shot as well.


Two Things

I could not finish the knitting project with the Jacob Fleece yarn I plied earlier this week, so I was forced to spin some more. I totally forgot what a pain this particular fleece is to spin, and how it is quite dirty (my fault for giving up on a fleece that was less than amazing) and how it makes my entire house dirty when I spin it. I forgot how I only spin this in the warm months, out on the porch, to save myself from that. It took two days, but I do have another skein of light gray yarn. This time I have 108 yards.



I also decided to work on a new spinning project. I’ve had this superwash merino from Enchanted Knoll Farms in my stash for years. I think I purchased it online, and when I got it, because all that was showing were the more muted colors, I put it away. Well, once I opened it up, I realized why I purchased it in the first place. I love the blue and green against the brown, and I wouldn’t really call it all that muted at all.



Now with two spinning projects on the spindles, I should have plenty to keep me occupied when I am absolutely sick of Christmas gift knitting.

Vacation Organization

While I took this week off to get crafting done, or more specifically, get some fleece washing done, that hasn’t happened at all. Instead, I’ve been doing deep cleaning around the house. Seeing as that feels wonderful and productive, I am not too upset. And I have plenty of fleece to process before I truly need to wash fleece again. No big loss.

One of my big jobs was the “toss the stash” job. I needed to reorganize my yarn cubes and I needed to do some dusting as well. I’ve been selling off yarn regularly, due to just not using commercial yarn very often and due to financial circumstances. I also have a lot more handspun than I used to, and it was all over the place. So, I reorganized, handspun in two cubes and the rest separated by weight. It looks much better now, and it is completely inspiring to study the cubes and consider what I can do with the yarn.


I also organized my knitting/crafting book cabinet and entered all the books and magazines in my ravelry library. This is very convenient when pattern searching, and I am excited to have it done.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Have a wonderful day.

Christmas Knitting

Due to circumstances beyond my control, this Christmas will be a frugal one. So, much knitting is happening in this household. This is great for me, it has renewed my knitting interest a bit, and I am enjoying my progress. However, it is bad for the blog as my intention is to take pictures and then save them for after Christmas.

But, I did do some spinning. I have been working on that jacob fleece for a good long time now, I have spun through the darker colors and had 3 balls of gray in varying shades to ply. I finally got around to that yesterday. I am consistently amazed at the yarn this fleece makes. I basically start with some very very rustic looking singles, spin them long draw, ply, give it a very good thwack, and end up with this really bouncy yarn. Is it rustic? Heck yeah, but it also looks amazing.

This spin yielded 82 yards of worsted weight 3 ply. It really is wonderful tonal stuff and I can’t wait to use it, but since it is for a christmas gift, I won’t even be able to show you for a month!



I am afraid I’ve put myself in a bit of a bind with this gift though, I keep running out of yarn and needing to spin more. Not quite how I intended it to be, but  I suspect the end result will be worth it indeed.


Day #1 of vacation was yesterday. And I spent the entire day cleaning. I got started in the morning and was just too inspired to quit. I did the kind of cleaning we all need to do sometimes, but is completely uninspiring. The kind where we take the pillows off the couch and vacuum the couch, the kind where you dust and wash all the baseboards. That kind of cleaning. It felt really really good to get done, and I think it will make me feel much more relaxed during the week.

That being said, I didn’t have any time for crafting at all. So, I decided I’d take a picture of a project that has been on the needles for a bit now. I love it. It is a bias knit cowl I am knitting in the handspun singles I recently blended and spun.



The pattern calls for using two different size needles, and this makes for a waffle like soft squishy fabric that I am completely in love with. And it lends itself very well to the thick/thin nature of handspun. I am having trouble working on other stuff simply because this one is so addicting.

Flowershop Inferno

Here’s another one I’ve taken quite a bit of time to finish. I started this well before I left on my New Mexico trip. I decided that I could spin this on my spindles, and once I got started, I realized it was spinning quite thin very naturally. So, I went with it, even though that means a long project and I was already in the middle of another thin and long project.


This is dyeabolical’s colorway flowershop inferno. I did this one in a 3 ply fingeringweight. This is superwash merino, but I have this colorway in another fiber as well, so I am considering spinning that and chain plying just to compare the two. But, that will have to wait for a few other fantastic projects I have hanging around.

I have a total of 500 yards on this one. The colors are all crazy and so I have no idea what kind of project this should be. Maybe something in linen stitch!


Cleaning Up

I am fortunate enough to be on vacation this week. Just staying home and doing all the things that need to get done around the house. I am quite excited about it. I decided that the first thing I should do is clean, since that will allow me to enjoy my vacation more.

And, to do that, I needed to clean up my drum carder and put it away for awhile. So I finished the batt I’ve been working on bit by bit,



And then put away the drum carder. I love this batt, and should have 4 oz. or so by the time I am done. Again, this is dyed locks paired with undyed locks from a CVM Romeldale fleece I have in my stash. I think it is quite fabulous!


I finished the plying of the blue merino silk, and then promptly finished the spinning of some wool from dyeabolical in the colorway flower shop inferno. I started plying it even before I finished spinning it, one of the huge advantages to using spindles and wheels interchangeably.

On Tuesday, Marja dropped by and gave me a beautiful Inglenook Batt. This is the latest hobbit themed batt, Thorin Oakenshield. Marja and I went to see the first hobbit film together last year for my birthday, and we will probably do so again this year. So her generosity in picking up this batt for me is all the more meaningful.


I had told myself I would not start spinning this until the weekend, intending to get some knitting done instead. That just did not happen! It was irresistible to me and I had to start it as soon as I had free spindles last evening.

Julie Spins Merino/silk

I’ve been working on this one forever. Seriously. There’s been some of this yarn on spindles basically all year long. But it was spinning so fine that I just had a hard time concentrating on getting it finished. However, I took it with me to New Mexico and found myself spinning it as I was wandering around Canyon Road in Santa Fe. And then I just kept spinning at it because I wanted to finish.

I now have 685 yards of laceweight 3 ply. The fiber is merino/silk from Julie Spins, and it is old old old! But so gorgeous and so so soft and it just shines!



It really did turn out even better than expected. The plying itself took forever and I became quite frustrated, but it is SO gorgeous that it is now worth it completely!

Still Plying

I’ve been plying for what seems forever. However, it has only really been a few days. And if I look at it logically, I haven’t even devoted all that much time to it. Just bits of time when I get a chance, with the bulk of my crafting time being elsewhere. I also lack newer and prettier pictures of what I’ve been up to, so I snapped a photo of the bobbin with the wool/silk project on it.



It is very pretty, I’ll give you that! But I’ve got so much more left to do, and then I’ll be jumping right into another 3 ply project. In the meantime, I’ve been making batts again. I started a new color last evening, so I am hoping to be able to show that off soon as well.

I took two classes

As a self taught spinner, I have wondered many times over the years if I was doing it “right.” My conclusion ended up being that if I was creating yarn I was happy with, I was doing it “right.” But, that didn’t stop me from desiring to take a class.

This fall, I had the opportunity to take both “Drafting Techniques” and “Beautiful Boucle” while at the Taos Wool Festival. The classes were with Jacey Boggs, of Spin Off fame. (Seriously, go subscribe.)

With the drafting class, I just kind of wanted to know if I was on track with my spinning. Since I’d not had an opportunity in the past to learn from anyone, this seemed wise. The first rule of the class seemed to be that we weren’t to talk about “longdraw.”  And in the end, that’s what we learned to do, by carefully deconstructing our spinning and then constructing it quite purposefully. Basically, I spent the entire class spinning, only to find out that I already spin point of contact long draw. The class was fun, and since this information was news to me, it was also worthwhile. I also learned a ton of tips to go back to worsted spinning, something I’ve been struggling with since intuitively picking up long draw some time ago.

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Then the next day was learning to make boucle yarns. This was a bit of a stretch for me, as I tend to lean toward smoother yarns. But, I was quite eager to learn. We started with a very simple boucle. I’ll be showing pictures of these yarns in progress, as well as a picture of the yarn once it was washed and finished.

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(The white skein being the corresponding skein for that yarn. This was all done with wool.

Then we branched out to mohair. Which, by the end of the class I found out I am quite allergic to. Good to know!

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Mohair makes those lovely little loops that you see with boucle, so it is a lot of fun to work with.

We then created a coreless corespun yarn to make into a boucle. Since my coreless corespinning tends toward thick, I didn’t like this much. My wheel can’t quite handle that thick a yarn.

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(The gray skein in the second picture.

And then p next was a wool combo boucle spin. Basically at this point we are practicing.



Our last yarn was something we could just choose to make, and I used thread as the final ply on this.

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This was not mohair, just a wool.

I created quite a few textured yarns, and I also created a TON of scraps.



The class was fast paced and knowing how to spin in the first place was quite necessary. And we worked hard! Once it was over, we had the opportunity to sign the wheel.


And then I was done, 2 days of classes and a ton more knowledge in my head, and I was ready to put my wheel away for a good long time!  It is only recently I’ve started wheel spinning again. Burn out is certainly a thing!


Felted Slippers

These are the first two of probably 5 pairs I plan to knit this winter. I’ve been knitting them at work as to ease the pain of knitting something repeatedly. These have been felted once and will need additional felting, but since the owner’s feet aren’t near by, they are being sent off as is, with additional felting to be done once they are received.



These may have something to do with my knitting hand pain, so reserving the knitting to 4-5 days a week, only 45 minutes at a time helps considerably.

This weekend I’ve been working on plying my blue merino/silk laceweight singles. It is going well, but somewhat slowly as the resulting yarn is a very light fingering weight yarn. However, the yarn is gorgeous! And I am enjoying the process and watching the colors come together. Hopefully I’ll be done fairly soon in order to show off that skein.

Nephew Knits

I completed the sweater for my nephew and boy is it adorable!



I finished it last evening, soaked it, and blocked it. When it was slightly less wet this morning, I decided to throw it in the dryer on a low setting since Dream in Color classy is super wash. It enjoyed a trip through the dryer quite a bit, and I get a finished object I don’t have to wait for. The buttons are from my own stash, so I didn’t even have to run out and purchase them. I may just have enough yarn for a little hat to match.

Wheel Spinning

I have so much plying to be done, and I really don’t love plying on a spindle. So the wheel is to be used. However, I had a 4 oz. braid so close to being finished, that I refused to take that bobbin off the wheel and begin the spindle plying job. I set the goal to finish that first 4 oz of singles prior to plying my spindle spun singles.

On Tuesday evening, I finally managed to finish. I have another 4 oz. to spin before I ply this project, but I figured now is as good a time as any to show it off.



The wool is from one of dyeabolical’s fiber clubs. It is Finn wool, and it is a little “tacky.” This is probably not the correct description as there is nothing wrong with the wool. It is not felted, or under processed. Just, the nature of the wool is just kind of tacky.

I am fairly certain this yarn will end up being something for Bug. She loves colors like this, and I can’t imagine wearing them. Perhaps an entire set of warm stuff. But, I probably have 2 plying projects to finish before I get back to this one. And, a ton of knitting prior to Christmas!

Dyeing Locks

I so enjoyed making the green batts out of dyed locks and undyed locks on the drum carder. Enjoyed it so much that over the weekend I dyed two more colors in hopes to do the same.



I am really eager to see how these turn out on the drum carder, but just haven’t had the time to get them flick carded and sent through yet. Plus, I have one final batt of green left just for me. I may make more green, the colors were so pleasing to me. Perhaps this weekend.

Art Batts

Once I got started on spinning up the art batts, I couldn’t stop. They spun quite quickly, and I left them as singles. They are a fingering to sport weight single, and of course they are a bit thick and thin, and a bit slubby. They are entirely wonderful however, and I have already begun to knit with them. I estimate I have 535 yards of these.



I was pretty rough on these in finishing. Hot and cold sloshy bath, and then a decent beating. I did this not to get the yarn to bloom, but to make sure the singles were strong enough to knit with. They are not particularly energized, and while a single can’t be balanced, they aren’t spun tough enough to hold up to a lot of abuse, as I wanted them to be as balanced as possible. Thus, felting them a bit is a good way to make sure they will stand up to the abuse they’ll take while knitting them.

So far so good! I wound off one of the 5 skeins and began a cowl with them last evening. It is going quite well and the yarn really is beautiful!

Nephew Knits

It is no secret that I am going to be an Aunt next year. I am quite excited about this upcoming addition to the family, and he has renewed my interest in knitting. I’ve been working on a coffee bean cardigan for him out of stash yarn, but I became overwhelmed by knitting intensity this weekend, finishing up all but the sleeves. The ends are even woven in!

The yarn is Dream In Color Classy, and as per usual, knitting with it is an absolute pleasure. I am working entirely from stash these days, and am feeling fortunate to have this in stash.



This one will fit a one year old. So, the next thing I make will have to fit a smaller baby. And I look forward to that project just as much as I have looked forward to this one!


Art Batts



I’ve spun two out of the five. They are quite wonderful. Not smooth but not crazy lumpy. The colors are beautiful. I believe they will remain as singles, and my estimate is that I’ll have around 375 yards. I think I will be knitting a cowl out of them.

The singles are a bit thicker than usual, perhaps a sport weight right now. Since I am saving them to wash all at once, I don’t know if they’ll bloom into something even thicker. But, I think there are many lovely cowls for sport or DK weight yarns.

In additional crafty news, I’ve got the last batt for Marja on its second pass through the drum carder. Just one more and we will be done. I plan to do some more dyeing this weekend since I would like some of these gorgeous batts for myself as well!

Have a great weekend!

Dyeing and Blending

My friend Marja has been doing a lot of babysitting for Bug lately, as well as other all around general awesome helpful friend stuff, and I wanted to do something special for her. I had it in my head that I’d dye some locks from my CVM Romeldale fleece that I’d already washed. I thought that the gray would work well with greens and blues, as evidenced by some I’d given Corrie and her son had dyed. I decided to crampot dye them, and did so. Unfortunately, not much of the gray showed through, and the colors were quite saturated. The effect was not at all what I wanted. Not at all. I wasn’t pleased.

Then I pulled out the drum carder, flicked some of the locks, blended them with the undyed gray locks, and ended up with some beautiful batts.



The above photo shows the batts, as well as flick carded and not yet flick carded locks, both dyed and undyed.



Let’s take a closer look at those batts, shall we? This is 3 passes through the drum carder and they are just lovely. I have 3 complete, and one more on the carder. Then they will be ready to pass off to Marja next time I see her. They are extremely soft, lofty, bouncy, and beautiful and I intend to make some of my own. And then dye more locks and make more batts in different colors, because why stop at one?


A ton of crafting has been done in my house lately. But last night? Well, it rained all day and getting a decent picture was completely out of the question. So you’ll have to settle for an interlude.

You may recall that at one time I was making a small bowl to be felted. Unfortunately, while it got done awhile ago, I didn’t say much about it because I felt that it was a bit of a fail. I mean, the bowl wasn’t very small, and it is a little on the floppy side. But, it is done.

I put the acorns from Walden Pond in it. Then I decided to felt down some of my leftover balls of handspun. I put those in the felted bowl. And then I was handed an acorn with pine nuts in it on my New Mexico trip. It was picked up at the spa we went to. I put that in the felted bowl as well. The bowl has turned into a bit of a treasure chest of memories.



At the top, you can see a ball of undyed felted handspun, this is yarn I spun during on of my Jacey Boggs classes. Another memory. And you’ll also see in there a ball of felted scrap wool, the leftovers from flick carding a CVM Romeldale fleece. I figured I’d just give it a try and see what happened, and the resulting felted ball is quite interesting to me.

I still have ideas of making itty bitty knit acorns to add to this. But, I think this will just be an overall work in progress. It has been fun to put together, the projects have been small, and it suits my need for a bit of crafting during times when crafting is awfully light in my life.

By Request

IntrovertedKnitter asked for a picture of the laceweight singles I’ve been spinning ForEver.



At the time I took this picture, I had 4 spindles quite full, 2 balls of singles hanging around the house, and a chunk of fiber left to spin. Being that I just didn’t feel like winding off yet another spindle, I was desperately trying to divide that last chunk of fiber between these 4 already full spindles. I am happy to say it is now complete. I believe I am turning this into a 3 ply yarn. That can happen after the wool I currently have on the wheel is done. I have yet to decide if I will be finishing up another already started project I have on spindles before I start on some of the batts I am currently creating or if I’ll just go to town on the batts.


In my hopes to continue with blog posting, I took a bunch of photographs yesterday. While there hasn’t been a lot of crafting, there’s been some.

This weekend I dyed some locks from a CVM Romeldale fleece I’d washed last year. I used the crampot method, and they didn’t exactly turn out as I’d hoped. Not enough variegation, not enough differences in color. So I decided that I could use the drum carder and blend the dyed locks with the undyed locks, perhaps getting the effect I was looking for. Before the dyed locks were even dry enough to flick card, I’d pulled out my drum carder. Which led to being excited over the drum carder. Which led to pulling out all the wool and add ins that I have FOR the drum carder. Which led to me carding up some art batts.

See how that worked? I’d meant to do one thing and another thing happened. That pretty much sums up my crafting experience entirely. My creativity runs rather organically and I can’t really be pinned down to one thing at a time.

I snapped a quick picture last evening of the two batts I had complete. After that, I completed another batt, and there’s a fourth on the carder right now. Each batt is a bit different but staying within a certain color theme. Each may have different add ins and each of them were blended a bit differently. I don’t think that will be a problem in the end at all. And it gives me the added advantage of experimenting with the blending to see what I most prefer.



Of course, now I can’t WAIT to get started. And since I am limiting myself to a long term project, laceweight singles yarn that I have on my spindles, I am not allowed to start yet! I guess this will help me get motivated to finish up some other projects.

Time to…

Start blogging again.

It has been awhile, and quite frankly it was so busy that even the thought of trying to blog seemed overwhelming. Not to mention, it was busy enough that there wasn’t much crafting to show off.  There were spinning classes, which I will try to write about later. There was a wool festival as well, and a trip to New Mexico and so so much biking. Now that I am trying to get some blogging done again, perhaps some of those things will show up on the blog too.

In the meantime, I can show off a baby vest I just finished. Bug gave me some yarn for Christmas last year, and I decided that since I know of two baby boys entering the world early next year, I’d start knitting for them. To be honest I am a bit concerned that this vest is too wide and not long enough. And I reknit the collar twice because the first time I didn’t think a baby’s head would fit through the opening. It really isn’t my best work, I don’t think. But I did get it done and am on to another baby outfit I am quite excited about.