In anticipation of meeting my nephew, I’ve decided to knit him his Christmas stocking. I’ve got enough time to get it done if I stick to it, and it would be nice to give it to him in person rather than have to try to send it in the mail. So, I headed over to one of our new local yarn shops, picked up some lamb’s pride bulky, and got started. I’d had some plain white leftover knitpicks in my stash, so I didn’t get anything beyond the color.


I chose a teal for this one. In part because the choices were slim, and in part because I wanted something very different in color to what I’ve produced before. I’ll admit, I LOVE the color, and the result. What I don’t love is Lamb’ Pride Bulky and it’s splitty underspun nature. Ah well. It’s still gorgeous.

Sadly, I am not going to have enough of either color to finish. Thankfully, the shop has more of the teal, and I have a friend who has some leftover of the white, so I may manage even so.

Yes, I’ve still been spinning on the cabled yarn. And yes, I’ve been working on the two sweaters. And then there’s the biking, I’ve been doing that too! But, I am glad I could squeeze in some stocking knitting time, and hope to wrap this one up very shortly.


That which I haven’t discussed

So, at the end of April I cast on the Boxy and Buttony sweater. And never bothered to show it off. Why? Because it’s a bit of a complicated start, and I told myself repeatedly that I would not show it off until the back and front were connected.

Today, due to the end of TdF, they got connected.


I know, it really doesn’t look like much yet, does it? And yet, I’ve been knitting and knitting and KNITTING on this! It’s a yarn eater and a time suck. Yet, I still think it will be fabulous when it is complete.

I am sure I don’t know why I’d decide to work on 2 sweaters at once. That does seem ill advised, doesn’t it?


TdF conclusion

First, I’ll start with a story. I decided to put in my final TdF spinning time this morning, since the morning was so beautiful. Not humid, decent temp, really ideal for porch spinning. So, I am sitting on the porch, and a group of people walk by the house. The older gentleman says “Are ya knittin’ a sweater?” I have to say, I’ve had my wheel mistaken for a loom before, but this was the first time it was mistaken for 2 pointy sticks.

I put in just over an hour on my cabled yarn project. I am ignoring the fact I didn’t complete this spin. It makes me feel like I’ve failed at TdF, which is silly, because I did spin every day, including one of the rest days. But, if I look at it logically, even if I sat in my chair and spun all day long, I still wouldn’t be able to finish this yarn. So, instead, I am going to spend my day on my motorcycle, and then finishing up the cleaning of Bug’s room.

So, I will leave you with a TdF conclusion photo.


I have about an ounce of singles to finish, then the plying of the second 4 oz, then the plying of all 8 oz together. I am hoping now to have this one done next week, as I will be on vacation and that seems like a great time to be done!


TdF and FO

I have another finished object. This is another honey cowl, out of handspun Marja gave me. She was absolutely right, it looks amazing as a honey cowl. The earthy tones speak to me in a big way, and it is a nice long, soft, cowl that I suspect I can get a ton of use out of.

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As for TdF updates, I do have one. Last evening, I had gotten this far in the 2 oz. I am currently working on:


This morning I powered through the rest of the 2 oz. so that I could at least be working on the final 2 oz. the last day of TdF.


While I feel  like I’ve failed somehow, by not finishing the yarn during the tour, my hands and wrists are shot. I can’t keep my wrists from falling asleep, and that’s not a good sign. So, I am learning to be content with the new goal of starting the last two oz. during the final day of the tour.

TdF is always productive for me, but I always wonder if it also puts me off spinning for a time after, and if I’d manage just as much productivity in the same general time period without overdoing it.



TdF Yesterday’s spinning

Let’s look at some spindle spinning, ok? Beacause, I’ve been missing it lately. The cotton didn’t exactly do it for me, seeing as it was too different to feel comfortable.


But, I’ve been enjoying my time with my spindles again, I’ve brought them to work and am spinning during my lunch break. It’s such a nice, easy, gentle thing to do while I am halfway through my day that I am surprised I don’t spin at work more often!

TdF Not gonna get done!

I had little spinning time yesterday since I was rearranging Miss Bug’s room with the help of Marja. Really only about a half hour. The room, just like TdF, has an end date. A date where everything MUST be complete. And I am getting fairly close to it too.

So, what needs to give? TdF. I’ll continue spinning each day, but it is becoming ever so clear to me that my cabled yarn will not be completed during the tour.


This is my grand progress from yesterday. It’s pathetic. As is the state of my house, due to the fact that I am working exclusively on Bug’s room. There are SOCKS in that picture! I have, however, learned a few things. 20 minutes of spinning here and there does count. I do get more done than I expect to when I sit down for 20 minutes to spin. In the past, I would always say “20 minutes? Why bother!” but, since the point of the tour is to spin every day, and I only have 20 minutes, I do it anyway. And it is more  productive than I imagined.

The other thing I’ve learned is that waking up early to spin is pointless for me. Spinning first thing in the morning makes my hands ache and fall asleep. Spinning in the evening does not. So, the times I’ve woken up an hour early to put in an hours worth of spinning only actually yield me about 20 minutes of spinning. So, no more of that!

As for Bug’s room progress, let me show you one of the things we did last night! I am so excited about it. You see, Miss Bug, who turned 10 yesterday, still had a toddler plastic toy bin/bookshelf and a changing table in her bedroom. Granted, the changing table was used for toy storage, but still, it wasn’t appropriate for a tween room. I also had used her closet as storage for me. So, the goal was to get rid of the inappropriate furnishings, clean out the closet, give that over to her, and add appropriate furnishings. Miss Marja had some bookshelves she was tired of, and wanted to give to Bug. Along with a bunch of other cleaning and organizing, we got the bookshelves in last evening!


Still a lot left to do, but we are well on our way to being done now. And I cannot WAIT to be done! I also can’t wait for her to see it all, it’ll be wonderful!


TdF, let’s not talk about it

I don’t want to talk spinning anymore! At least not today. To be honest, the intensity of keeping up the spinning has brought on a huge desire to knit instead. Marja gave me a skein of gorgeous handspun recently, and I liked the honey cowl I knit for her so much that I decided I’d better knit one for me too.

I started on Monday. Let me show you my obsession.


Marja had decided that the colors were me, and she’s so right. They are warm and earthy, and I love warm earthy tones. I do believe it is one of the reasons I just cannot stop knitting on this.

Will I spin today? Sure I will, but I don’t have to talk about it too much do I?

TdF, Up Early!

I knew I wouldn’t have a lot of time to spin today, so I got up an hour early this morning in order to get started on ounces 5 and 6 of the cabled yarn project. I am back to spinning singles, and it’s going quickly so far.


I also got a chance to block my beaded scarf last evening, so I had time to photograph it this morning. The pattern is Pipp’s openwork eyelet scarf. I added a 2 stitch garter border to each side, as well as a 4 row garter break in the pattern after every 4 pattern repeats. In interest of using all my handspun, I added fringe as well, mostly because not using handspun yarn with beads was unacceptable.

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I love the bright colors, and I think it’s crazy pretty. I love the contrast with the cool blue/white colors and the warm pink/green. I can’t wait to wear it. And surprisingly enough, the beads show up quite well!

TdF Rest Day

Today is the second rest day, so I am going to do some rest day stuff.

First off, the cotton slubby yarn. After plying, I had to figure out what to do next! I’d vaguely remembered something about boiling cotton handspun, so I looked it up and it seemed quite common to boil the yarn with some washing soda. Since I often make my own laundry detergent, that was something I already had around the house, so I thought I’d give it a try.

I’d also read that boiling cotton yarn darkens it considerably. So, of course, this all seemed a grand adventure, and I threw some washing soda and the yarn in a pot on the stove. And promptly got to plying the cabled yarn and forgot about it.

Thankfully, I noticed an odd smell before it could become an issue. I checked it out and it looked a ton darker! Not bad, but darker. Well, I hung it outside to cool a bit, and then rinsed out the washing soda. And some of the darkness washed right out with the washing soda. I am not sure what that was all about, but it was good to know.

I ended up with 230 yards of 2 ply yarn.


It’s interesting to me, as it became less slubby after being boiled as well.

And, since we are on the subject of spinning, I’d set the goal that I would get the first 4 oz. of cabled yarn plied so I could move on to the next 4 oz. I did it! Took until 7 p.m. Sunday evening, but it got done.


I think this is going to make an absolutely stunning yarn.

And finally, it seems fitting to update you all on my knitting since it’s a rest day and that’s what I’ll be doing. I’ve been working, in all my little spare moments, just a row or two here and there, on my beaded scarf. I am close to being done now.


In all honesty, I am obsessed with this scarf. But, I am also obsessed with starting on my next project. Combine the two, and the knitting is going quickly!

What do you have planned for your rest day? I think I’ll try to finish a scarf!


TdF, keeping on

As I mentioned yesterday, my goal for this weekend is to finish plying the first 4 oz of the cable ply yarn. I finished the singles, and they looked fantastic.


The goal in plying for the cabled yarn is that you overply it in this particular step. Thus, it is slow going, as it takes about double the time it would for a regular two ply yarn.


I am also noticing that giving it that much twist is really squishing it down, so while the yarn is feeling mighty thin at the moment, I suspect it is going to open up quite a bit during the cable ply portion of the process.

I did finish my cotton yarn, and had to read up on how to finish it. It is hanging to dry, so ideally I’ll be able to blog about that very soon!

TdF, yesterday

I failed to blog yesterday. I just didn’t have the time, I was tired all day, managed a bit of wheel plying on the cotton before a mountain bike ride, took a nice spill on my bike, went out to dinner with Mr. Ink, and once home had absolutely no energy for anything. So, this post is about yesterday’s spinning. I am officially a day behind.


Despite a full day, I feel confident I can finish this today. Then I’ll need to start plying the first 4 oz. of the yarn I intend to make a cabled yarn from. My goal this weekend is to at least finish those two things. That should put me in good shape for Monday’s rest day.

TdF Day 11?

And it seems I’ve finished spinning the cotton singles. Very pleased about that!


I feel fairly certain that these will be plied this weekend and I’ll have an actual yarn out of the deal. It may be uneven, since the slubbiness and thickness changed over the time I spent learning how to spin this.

The other thing I’ve been doing lately is gardening. My little garden is starting to produce very nicely, and I am enjoying the fruits of my labor.


I always think it’s terribly fun when I need a basket to bring in the produce.

I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to the start of the weekend and the opportunity for more hobby time!

Tour de Fleece Day 10

Yesterday’s rest day couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. An unfortunate incident in the middle of the night with a band of neighborhood roving teens, a rock, and my car threw me into a bit of a tizzy, and I really wasn’t in much shape at all to focus on crafting. In the end, I chose a nice fast bicycle ride to alleviate my high stress and anxiety.

However, today, with the car window fixed (never mind the sizable dent) and me in a calmer state of mind, spinning happened in spades.

First up, the cotton. As you can see, I am almost done! And, just at the time I am really getting the hang of it, of course. It is tempting to do more cotton, but I think I am done for now.


This means I’ll need another project for work, so I plan to take in the dervish spindle project.

I also got a good portion through the second two ounces of An Homage to Mr. Fuchsia.


I think I’ll get the chance to ply this bobbin and the first one this weekend, only to set it aside for the second 4 oz. bump. But first things first, I gotta get that cotton plied!

TdF Day 8, No Title

Last night was our annual night time gravel ride. 25 or 50 miles of hills and gravel by bike. Not an easy ride, as we don’t start until sunset. Riding gravel in the dark is certainly tricky, and gravel itself isn’t for the faint of heart. This year, Mr. Ink and I modified the 25 mile route to include about 10 extra miles, which was a much more doable ride than the painful 50 we did last year. Last year we got done at 3:30 in the morning, this year we got done at 2:15, and still had time to socialize during the ride. Nevertheless, getting to bed at 3:30 in the morning made for a very late start today, and we decided that rather than trying to be immediately productive, we’d go see a matinee movie.

This left so little time for spinning! I mean, after a busy weekend, it’s Sunday, and chores must be done despite exhaustion! But, I did put in a little time on my dervish spindle. About half an hour.


It’s moving along quite nicely for the very little time I put into it.

I did get a chance to start something new though. That beaded yarn I made the other day? I couldn’t help but knit with it just to see what would happen.


Pretty colors and random beads happened. I am rather fond of it.

Not My Handspun

Again, I am knitting with Marja’s handspun and it is a ton of fun! I finished up a Honey Cowl with one of her Julie Spins yarns. Again, I forgot to take a picture of the yarn skein.


This is the large size cowl, so there’s plenty for a double wrap. It is going to be warm and cushy and wonderful come fall. Maybe not so much in July?

And as an update for TdF, I finished my first two ounces of An Homage to Mr. Fuchsia.


The weather is supposed to be quite lovely this upcoming week, and I am really looking forward to all the outdoor spinning time. But, tonight, so much to get done, and none of it involves spinning unless you consider spinning on a bike.

TdF Day 6, Cotton Progress

I’ve gotten a good amount of cotton spinning done at work this week. I managed another spindle full, wound that off, and then finished up what I brought to work, for another partially full spindle. I think the second spindle full went far better than the first, and I am starting to get the hang of how cotton wants to ACT when spun. Totally different than wool, but I am pretty sure with practice it would be a pretty comfortable fiber to spin. In fact, I was going to plow through this fiber and then be done with cotton spinning for awhile, even though I have another 8 oz of cotton “top” in a caramel color to spin. Now I am not sure, perhaps I’ll give that a try as well.



TdF Day 5, An Homage to Mr. Fuchsia


I am actually a bit farther through than this, basically another row on top. This is the first 2 oz in a total of 8 oz. It will eventually be a cabled yarn. The colorway is An Homage to Mr. Fuchsia, which was an offering in the dyeabolical pinks club awhile back. I think it is just lovely, but haven’t known what to do with my full 8 oz until now. The success with the hawser ply made me eager to do another 8 oz project.

I’ll try to post updated pictures tomorrow, as it is coming along SO nicely!

TdF Day 5, Beaded Chain Ply

Well hello there! I am so happy to have the opportunity to show you what I finished yesterday! I took 4 oz. of Spun Right Round Rambouillet and spun it into singles. Then I added some beads, and chain plied it, adding beads into the knuckle of the chain ply. I love it, it’s really fun and fascinating yarn. It is also fun and fascinating to do different things with my handspun.

I ended up with 295 yards of beaded yarn. Beads are very randomly placed.

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There are a couple tricks. First off, the single needs to be spun with enough structure to withstand a lot of pulling and the beads running over it. But, not so much twist that it kinks up a ton, or the beads won’t slide over it. Second, a few beads go a long way. I had two containers of beads, I strung one container on the first 2 oz, had leftovers, so strung those on the second 2 oz, and didn’t finish those up either. Of course, this is great, because I’ve now got beads for other projects!

Great experiment, and I suspect I am going to need to knit the yarn pretty quick.

TdF Day 4, Distraction

I finished up my beaded yarn, but it isn’t dry yet. I worked on some of my cotton, but it isn’t significant. Thus, I am distracting you with another project.

I started this one the other day, just on a whim. Turns out, my new Malcom Fielding Dervish paired with Dyeabolical’s Themyscira is not only a fabulous spin, but delicious eye candy as well.



Hopefully I’ll have new, fresh, beautiful, beaded yarn to show off tomorrow.

TdF Day 3, Still Carving

Thus far, I am feeling like all I do is attempt in a very busy schedule to carve out a bit of time for spinning. I do hope that isn’t the theme for this year.

Due to some news among friends that would stop anyone in their tracks and reassess what they most value, I spent a bit more time than usual over the course of the weekend with friends. We ended up with the inaugural tank wars bracket yesterday, on a day that was ridiculously hot and muggy. It kind of looks like everyone had dumped water over their heads before we lit tanks.

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A good time was had by all certainly.

I also spent some time with Miss Bug, after I picked her up from camp. I’d decided to mow the lawn and do yard work. As it was crazy muggy, by the time I was done, I was a hot sweaty mess. I came inside to find my own personal water station all set up.


That was good fun too!

I got the opportunity to finish 2 ounces of the beaded yarn, but I haven’t snapped a picture. Then, this morning I had to take Miss Bug to the airport for her annual trip to visit my parents. She’s looking SO grown up these days!

Tonight Mr. Ink and I are having both his kids over for dinner. Which means I TRULY could not carve out any time for spinning today. So, I brought cotton on a spindle to work, and spun at work instead. I can carve out time at work most days, even if I cannot carve it out at home.


I really hope my time becomes more my own soon. But, it just looks to be a busy summer over all.

Tour de Fleece day 2, Beads

I’ve finally had an opportunity to start the chain ply for my current project. I strung a tube of beads onto my single, and had at it.


It takes a bit of getting used to. The whole managing your chain ply can be tough enough, but when you also have to make sure your single is going through a string of beads, the complication doubles.


My beads are placed rather randomly, I am not trying to place them in any careful order. Just when I feel like I haven’t placed one in awhile, I’ll do another.

The singles need to be spun pretty well for this project, which I did. I tend to make fairly low twist singles, because I like the softness of the yarn. However, for this, they have to be strong enough to stand up to the weight of the beads, the beads dropping over the singles, and the yanking that I am doing to get the yarn to move through the beads. It seems to be going fine thus far, though I still fear the unmistakable sound of beads dropping all over the porch.

It’s awfully humid here right now, and I did get a bit of spinning done, but I am putting it down now in order to do some much needed mowing. If I get back to it, it’ll be late in the day. I am fairly happy with my current progress though.


Tour de Fleece Day 1

The theme, carving out some time for spinning. It has been a long and very busy day. I haven’t had time for any type of crafting, so I had to carve out a half hour this afternoon. I just….decided to sit down, set a timer, and see where it got me.

I had one bobbin with 2 oz of spun singles:


And, I had just a tiny bit left of my second 2 oz.


Thankfully, my half hour of spinning brought me through the end of those singles, and I next get to ply.


With beads!

New Knitting

Of course, since the Hawser ply cowl is off the needles, I needed something new for the needles. I agreed to knit some of Marja’s handspun into a cowl for her, and we settled on the Honey Cowl.


The slip stitches are lovely, and lend themselves well to the handspun. Overall, this one is going to be muted. And yet, I think it will carry the color in a very nice way even so.



Hawser Ply Knit Cowl

Just as soon as I finished the hawser ply yarn, I wanted to cast on for a project. I was just so thrilled with the yarn that it was impossible to leave it in skein form. I chose a cowl and got started on it right away.


The colors of the duo are very subtle, and very beautiful.


The way the knit looks with the hawser ply is a ton of fun. Very bouncy, very open, very….big. It’s like hawser ply yarn is a little larger than life.


I had enough to have a long cowl, plenty to double up. It’s big and bouncy and squishy and muted. It’s also quite drapy. I really love it.

Overall, the hawser ply experiment was a smashing success! I am so glad to have given it a try. I hope my upcoming spinning experiments go as well!