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Spinning Archive



July 2013



Spinnin’ (Right ‘Round)

Written by , Posted in Blog, Spinning, Startitis

The aqua-to-chocolate fiber is resting in an improvised skein on the back of one of my chairs, because my niddy noddy is currently broken:

Improvising a Niddy Noddy

This poor skein has three different plying types through it because I had absolute fail at “evenly dividing” the braid into three sections. I started with these three bobbins, whereupon it became clear that I wasn’t going to get the same length from each:

Plies in a row

Still, I kept calm and spun on, knowing I was likely going to have to fiddle with things to make the fiber go as far as possible. So the skein starts on the aqua end as classic three-ply, then shifts into a two-ply through the chocolate/looks-forest-green-y-but-actually-it’s-teal bits, and ending in a chain ply in the darkest coffee color section when I ran out of all but the largest bobbin, and here is where it ended up:

Skein in Training

Even given the fiddliness, I’m pretty pleased. No idea what I’ll do with it, though.

Suggestions welcome. 🙂

Spun gradient Fiber Optic

Meanwhile, I’ve begun a part of my massive backlog of spinning by tackling an ancient packet from Grafton Fibers’ fiber club. Maybe six? seven year stash vintage? The company changed its name to Dyak Craft at some point, and I don’t even know if they’re still around, though I hope so, since they dyed gorgeous fiber like this:

Wooly Wyrm

I have two of these bumps in this colorway, and at least two more in another colorway that’s more purples and plums than the indigo shifts in this set. At the moment, the first bump of this set is on the wheel, looking like a wooly wyrm:

Spinning the Wooly Wyrm

The plummy section of which looks like this on the bobbin as a single:

Grafton/Dyak fiber on bobbin


Are you spinnin’ right round (like a record, baby) on anything at the moment?



July 2013



Coffee, teal, and chocolate

Written by , Posted in Blog, Spinning

Way back 2 Sheeps and Wools ago, I managed to get my grubby little hands on a braid of FiberOptic’s gorgeous Chocolate-to-Aqua gradient roving. I’d never heard of Kimber’s company or seen her work, but there was no way I could walk past her booth and not see the incredible gradient wools and shawls knit of yarn from same, without trying to get at least one for myself.

That was ages ago, but this week I finally began pre-drafting and spinning, on a rainy Sunday afternoon, coffee at my side.


Realized belatedly that the fiber was pretty much a perfect match for my Liberty of London peacock coffee mug.

Insta Coffee And Fiber

At least I am consistent in my tastes? 🙂

What are y’all working on this Fourth of July/Canada Day week?



June 2010



Dear O My Blog,

Written by , Posted in Blog, Spinning

How neglected thou art!

This spring seemed to just zoom by like a comet.

As seems to have been par for the course of late, my knitting and spinning activities have taken a serious backseat to other life events. We bought our first home last August, my youngest stepson is deploying with his Army unit to Afghanistan, and life has generally just swept us up and along with it.

The only fiber-related thing I have to show for the spring so far would be some handspun, from some gorgeous Verb for Keeping Warm luxury fiber club bits I’d been hoarding.

sorry for the lousy iPhone camera resolution!

sorry for the lousy iPhone camera resolution!

There’s a second skein spun from a combination of Dyak Craft (formerly Grafton Fibers) batt and Verb fibers, but a story goes along with the photo that requires ANOTHER photo, so how about we go on with that in another post? Gives me an excuse to get back into the swing of things. 🙂

The only other new thing around our place was pretty epic, though:

iPad: the Unboxing

iPad: the Unboxing

Clearly I must return to the blog, since I will have lost The Sainted Husband to his new electronic Mistress. 🙂

How’re YOU?



February 2009



Knitting Valentines

Written by , Posted in General, Knitting, New Projects, Spinning, SSB Wedding Shawl

True to form, I did not finish my husband’s sweater in time for Valentine’s Day, but I DID manage to get a photo of the very love-appropriate cables on this thing.

I’m knitting Beck, from Jane Ellison’s Queensland Collection Book 9, using some Skye Tweed. (Ravelry links; OH how I mourn the discontinuation of this yarn!) Originally I’d intended to knit The Sainted Husband a sweater that was designed entirely by me (or at least with a little help from Elizabeth Zimmerman), but when I found this book on a trip to North Carolina, I knew this sweater was right up his alley. He even picked the yarn.

Thus far I’m done one sleeve (which stood in for a swatch), and half the back.

(photo above taken only about a quarter of the way into the back — that was taken February 7th.)

I’ve never been much a fan of reverse stockinette, but I must admit that it looks somewhat Zen when viewed just for itself:

And that is pretty much all there is to show you of lots of grey tweedy bits. (well, okay, I took more photos of it, but really, how many times can you look at the same two pieces of in-progress knitting before it ceases to be entertaining? However, if you’re Hardcore, feel free to check out Flickr for a couple other shots of this sweater-in-progress.)

Meanwhile, the day I took those photos of the sweater bits, TSH and I took my daughter down to run along the trail beside the Potomac river, where we had a grand time. We even got to stop and gawk along with everybody else who was out in the beautiful weather that day, as Martha and George, our resident Bald Eagles, have nested just alongside that trail. Martha was the only one we saw, as she was busy hanging out looking regal in the nest, but it was still supremely cool.

I thought there were a few other beautiful things out that day, though.

~happy sigh~ I really am very, very lucky. Oh, by the way, check the sweater on Miss Plum, there! That was knit for her by her godmother, SSB, who, in addition to being a medical student at Tulane (Third year? FOURTH? GAH how time flies!), is also getting married on Halloween this year, so we’ll be headed down to New Orleans to attend and for me to be all bridesmaid-y on her behalf. YAY! I’ve finally figured out the right shawl pattern to knit for her, and the designer was AMAZING about getting the pattern to me, so as soon as I can warn the bride away from reading a particular post, I’ll show you some cool details. 🙂



June 2008



Moonlight in Shadows

Written by , Posted in kitties, MDSW, Spinning

I spent the majority of last weekend doing a whole lot of…not much. Which was exactly what I needed after at least a month of being overbooked. I’ve had a run of really cool stuff to do, but it was all back-to-back activity, and my Myers-Briggs Introverted self was only too pleased to spend the weekend without agenda.

I did manage, however, in the midst of planned inactivity, to spin up some yarn by request. My dance teacher and friend, Asharah, likes to have shadowy colors, and she has asked for a pair of handspun, handknit arm warmers/fingerless mitts to wear when she dances. I found the fiber while at Maryland Sheep and Wool, at the booth for The Drafting Zone. (I don’t know if they have a website, but their phone number is 301-464-5738.)

The producers of this fiber call it “Pewter”, but to me, it looked like moonlight dappling in shadow, so that’s what it’s become in my head — and it was clear to me that Asharah would like the colors. For myself, I loved that it has 30% silk and 70% merino.

Yarn-in-progress — roving in the foreground, bobbin of singles in the mid-ground. (el-cheapo basket that looks like an arse in the background.)

I am completely in love with the sheen of silk. While this fiber shed EVERYWHERE as I was pre-drafting and spinning, while spinning it slid through my hands like…well, silk. 🙂 And when I was done plying, I had approximately 180 yards of wool/silk blend yarn, roughly sportweight.

If this turns out, post-swatching, to not be enough, I have another 4 ounces of the same fiber to spin up. My hope, though, is that this will be enough for the short fingerless mitts she wants, so that I can use the remaining 4 ounces to make her some thick-and-thin yarn that she can use on a belt or some other belly-dance type accoutrement. 😉

More images of this same yarn are over on Flickr; but for now, I leave you with my favourite model, Brutus, who is debating whether he will allow me to dump out some more of my stash and submit his image to StuffOnMyCat.com. (I’m betting…not.)



May 2008



Lizard Ridge and Silk Caps

Written by , Posted in Lizard Ridge, MDSW, New Projects, Spinning, stash enhancement

And also the beginning of block trois.

I have got to get better about documenting what I’m doing — I think I may have knit the first block on size 9 needles instead of 8s, which is what these are — I had to dip into a new ball to complete the last three rows of the six repeats of the second block, there, and am hoping that won’t be a trend for the rest of the blanket. I had a bunch left over from the first ball, but it may just be differences in yardage from skein to skein.


Also, I’m way behind on my projected/intended two-blocks-per-month to be done in a year (theoretically), so I need to catch up. 2 down, 3rd begun, 7 to go before the end of May. My trip to CA should give me the knitting time I need for the catching up, though. The question remains whether my fortitude to knit only on Lizard Ridge will last the trip. 🙂

I am so loving the color changes, though. I’m wondering how some of the subtler colorways will knit up, and whether I’ll want to do some mega-contrasty alternating skeins or not.

I spent last evening’s stolen spinning time playing with a bright yellow dyed silk cap, given to me Saturday at MDSW by Robin Russo at The Spinning Studio. (Where the drool-inducing inlaid Vermont spinning wheels lived, and don’t think I didn’t have a moment where I wanted to drop everything I was carrying and beg them to let me take home the mother of pearl one…)


Robin was perfectly lovely to me, when I asked how one prepares a silk cap for spinning — I’ve never spun with 100% silk before, and when I asked, she said, hand me that yellow cap out of the bin and I’ll show you. She promptly DID show me, and then gave me the yellow cap as a gift, saying that it doesn’t sell well as a color. (Admittedly I’d just purchased that stack of caps from her in blues and greens, but still. I was very touched.)

So in practice I spun up the yellow cap last night, all except the last layer, which I pre-drafted and is sitting at home waiting for me as I type. I initially was thinking disparate small skeins of silk laceweight, but now I am wondering if I will spin it all up as one skein with long color blocks. 🙂 There is only the one yellow cap, and then I have two each of the green and the two blue colorways, so I must ponder. Anybody want to weigh in with suggestions?



December 2007



Movin’ Right Along

Written by , Posted in Blog, Holidaze, Miscellaneous, Photography, Spinning

~dugga dun, dugga dun~ Footloose and fancy free!

All I need now is Fozzie and a Studebaker.

I managed to get the rotating header images up to 14 for now; every one of the header bars include photos (or in most cases, mega-crops of photos) that I’ve taken myself, of places I’ve been, projects I’ve done, etcetera. I hope as time goes on that I can keep adding to the inventory up there. I am inordinately pleased with the sit-and-click satisfaction, seeing the banner changing all the time. I like this much better than one static header.

Holiday preparations continue apace here at GeekCentral. The upcoming weekend is Shopping Weekend, but it’s also the weekend my dad, newly retired to North Carolina, will be here visiting a sick friend and filling in to play the organ at said friend’s church. He’s staying at our house for the first time, and I am in full-on panic-cleaning mode — or rather I would be, I guess, if I hadn’t become utterly obsessed with the WordPress blog upgrade I’m busily using as Procrastination Tool Numero Uno.

Once the kinks start really getting worked out around here and I can post images without breaking the fragile new threads of this here blog, I hope to show you the tragedy of last week, when my beloved Clotho (that’s my Kromski Minstrel spinning wheel, for anybody who didn’t know) took damage in the form of a chip out of the wheel rim. She seems to be okay, if a bit cosmetically lowered, but I’m hoping maybe I can find a way to fix it.

What are you folks up to, in terms of holiday prep? (if any?) I continue to read with awe, admiration, and not a little envy as Amanda Soule talks about their family’s winter preparations. I’m also spending a fair portion of time surfing over at Etsy, and the other item of considerable research and discussion for me right now is Steampunk, specifically as it relates to costuming. (I won’t be offended if you have to go look it up — I’d never heard of it until a few weeks ago, and Googling the term is what sparked the costuming style obsession.)