Thursday, December 31, 2015

Feeling Thankful

Here we are, last day of the year, 2016 just hours away. Brad and I are enjoying sitting in our recliners, just the two of us, watching Foyle's War on Netflix and sipping spiced cider after a productive day.

We ran errands this morning and Brad took our 15 year old grandson to the indoor shooting range to shoot his .22 rifle. Our daughter and grandchildren moved to Texas from Virginia back in July and we are so thankful to have them close to us and to be able to be a resource for them.

Brad is enjoying being off from work for Christmas and relaxing after a busy year at Texoma Regional Police Academy where he is the Director. He returns to work on Monday to finish preparing for the next day and night Academy classes. It's been almost eleven years since  he retired from law enforcement as head of CID for Sherman Police Dept in Sherman, TX. Since then he has been involved in the Academy as well as teaching Concealed Handgun License classes at Red River Firearms in Sherman. As of tomorrow, January 1st, those classes will be License To Carry, LTC, instead of CHL to reflect the new open carry law in Texas.

I've done a lot of spinning, a lot of knitting, and quite a bit of weaving this year with a lot of finished projects to show for it. I will focus on continuing to de-stash both fiber and yarn thru the coming year and make an effort to make my studio less cluttered and more efficient.

We both pray you all have a blessed and productive New Year in 2016 with good memories to look back on this time twelve months from now.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

More Rolags, More Fun!

Finally got around to spinning with some "Doctor Who Christmas Special" rolags from Classy Squid. This is two rolags worth and it is time to take a break before my left hand and arm start aching. Don't want to have to take days off again because I got everything all inflamed and irritated.

I spent too much time and energy trying to make my yarn 'just right' spinning the TARDIS rolags so this time I am making it a point to do a more accurate long draw and smooth as I go when needed with this fiber. Less stress on hands and wrists. More fun.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Hermitage

My husband, Brad, and I live out in the country and have done so for over 40 years. We think of it as our Hermitage because we are really like a couple of hermits living out here and mostly keeping to ourselves. We have absolutely wonderful neighbors and are so blessed in many ways. I thought I would take time to post some photos of our surroundings.

Spring



Summer



Fall



Winter




Sunrise


Moonrise



Monday, December 28, 2015

Cotton Singles Plied

Good to be back blogging. Gave my arm the rest it needed and no more tingling fingers! I had just finished plying my cotton singles off of the bobbins instead of spinning more full bobbins of the same fiber for plying....my bobbins were all full and I needed to get some empty.


The three bobbins on the left were wound off into center-pull balls for plying.


This is the result. Three more skeins of 2 ply fingering weight yarn.




I had a smidgen left from the green cotton that was too much for the bobbin so I am plying it on a spindle.


I now have a basket full of plied cotton yarn, some to be used on the loom, some to be used for knitting.


And I am re-knitting a cowl on larger needles. It's the Cupido Cowl. I've knitted this pattern many times. The Miss Babs yarn is very 'springy' and stretchy. It made a dense fabric on size a size 7 needle and I am now using a 10 1/2 needle and very happy with the result.

edited to add:


'Doctor Who Christmas Special' rolags from Classy Squid Fiber Co. Spinning up nicely.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Taking Time Off

I managed to pull a muscle in my left forearm today and I am typing this with an elbow brace on my arm. It. Hurts. Therefore, I will be taking time off thru the weekend from blogging, knitting, spinning, weaving.

Praying everyone has a Blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year. God bless!

(edited to add photo below)

Managed to finish plying this skein of cotton and get more than halfway thru a bobbin of brown cotton before having to stop when I hurt my arm. (3.9 oz, 464 yds.)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Running out of bobbins...

It seems that I have several full bobbins of cotton singles...that need another bobbin of the same singles for plying. And I really want to try out some new fiber, not cotton right now. Decided that the cotton singles already spun have been sitting on the bobbins long enough that I should be able to wind them into center-pull balls for a two ply yarn from a single bobbin.


I should be able to finish this up this evening and get two more bobbins wound off and plied tomorrow to free up some bobbins. Didn't realize until I snapped a photo just how sloppy this bobbin of plied yarn is! Geesh...

Monday, December 21, 2015

Smoke & Mirrors

Finished plying 5 oz of singles spun with 'Smoke & Mirrors' from Loop! fibers. I have 464 yds of fingering weight yarn that will make a lovely knitting project.


And this was waiting for me at the Post Office this morning: 'Doctor Who Christmas Special' rolags from Classy Squid Fiber Co., along with a little freebie packet of mohair curls to use on the blending board.


Hopefully, I have enough of the Organic TARDIS blue Polworth to spin singles for plying with this as well as the TARDIS rolag singles I have already spun.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Ready to Ply

Finished spinning the singles yarn from the Loop fiber and began a Navajo Ply. Then realized how tired I am from shopping all morning and decided to wait for another day to finish plying. On the plus side...I got nearly all of my Christmas shopping done this morning and gift bags ready to be delivered.
Full bobbin of singles...


Started Navajo plying...


This may be closer to sport weight after wet finishing. I was hoping for fingering weight but either way it will be a nice knitting yarn.

Friday, December 18, 2015

No White Christmas

According to the weatherman, there will be no white Christmas for us in north Texas this year, not that we would mind a bit of snow about now....it's the ice storms we can do without. It will actually be about 70° on Christmas Day this year.

I was looking back thru some photos from January and February of 2011 when we had snow on the ground. It was lovely and we needed the moisture.




Then I found one from February of this year...totally forgot about having snow this year.


Perhaps we will end up with snow after the first of the year this season. I love sitting in the house all snug and warm and watching snow fall while I knit or spin or work at the loom.

I still have a little bit left to spin on the current bobbin and I will be ready to ply it. This is all the fiber I have left to spin from my Loop bump. Probably about 15 minutes worth of spinning then I can start a Navajo ply.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Almost there...

I spent most of my day, off and on, spinning 'Smoke & Mirrors' from Loop! that I ordered not long ago. I almost got the rest of it finished but decided I'd done enough for one day. I have really enjoyed the progression from black, charcoal, grey, silver, and on to white. I have reached the white and can finish tomorrow.



I also sat down and did a bit of spinning on my newest Turkish spindle, taking the time to wind a proper cop instead of my usual sloppy wind on. I have a bit of free fiber that came with two different orders from Amanda at Classy Squid. I laid one piece on top of the other and drafted them together to blend them a bit before spinning.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Turkish Spindles

I have really enjoyed using my small Turkish spindles from Jeri Brock Woodworks. I met Jeri back in March at DFW Fiber Fest and fell in love with her lovely spindles. I bought three at the time, small, medium and large. The large and medium have sheep and the smallest one has hearts. The fourth one is also a medium and has hedgehogs on it.


I used the medium spindle to sample a plied yarn to see if if I will like it.

 
And the largest is best for plying from two smaller spindles.


This is the one that came in the mail today.


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Spinning a Gradient


It's been some time since I spun a gradient and I am really enjoying it. The fiber I am working with is the bump from Loop!, Smoke & Mirrors. The darkest shade is a deep, rich black with lovely shades of charcoal thru silver and snowy white. The photos show the progression so far. This is what I have done today and I have taken my time and spun slowly and enjoyed it a lot. I am spinning a soft singles for a Navajo plied knitting yarn...hoping for fingering weight, will settle for sport weight.






Monday, December 14, 2015

It's Here! TARDIS Blue Fiber!

When I stopped at the Post Office to pick up our mail today I had a yellow slip in the box letting me know I had a package. Sure enough, the Organic Polworth combed top in TARDIS Blue colorway from Classy Squid Fiber Co had arrived!

I already had something else on the wheel at the moment so I grabbed my medium Turkish spindle from Jeri Brock to spin a few yards of the Polworth so I could ply it with some of the yarn I spun from the Exploding TARDIS rolags.



I am toying with the idea of adding a bit more twist to these singles before I get to the point of plying it with what I spin from the Polworth. I think a tiny bit more twist would help give me a  more balanced 2-ply knitting yarn.

 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Finished Plying

Internet is cooperating now....

I finished spinning the last little bit of cotton sliver I was working on yesterday and got both bobbins plied today. It joins the 100% recycled denim yarn that I will use as weft for striped kitchen towels. I still have some natural white cotton sliver to spin for weft.


Also finished the second bobbin of TARDIS rolags from Classy Squid. The TARDIS  blue Organic Polworth I ordered from Amanda is on the way and I will be plied together with these singles.

Oops

While publishing the draft of my latest post this evening something went awry and everything froze up on me. I will try again tomorrow. Something tells me my slow internet connection may be to blame.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Spin-In!

There is a monthly, 2nd Saturday, Spin-In at Apple Leef Farm east of Van Alstyne, Texas that I have enjoyed for years. However, due to a variety of things over the past several months, I have missed the regular meetings. Until today.

It was so nice to see the regulars again. We had goodies to munch, wine to sip, gifts to exchange and lots of fiber related things to catch up on. I almost finished spinning the last little bit of cotton sliver onto a bobbin before I left to head back home. I hope to finish that up this evening and begin plying it with a second bobbin before I go to bed tonight. This is all there is to spin...


I got a wonderful knitted hat in the gift exchange and my number was drawn for a free book! I made out like a bandit today.

 

 I also picked up a book on double weave and a big bottle of Eucalan for washing my handspun yarn and knitted items and borrowed an audio book from the library: Elephants Can Remember. Love Agatha Christie. Now I will have something to listen to as I spin or knit when I can't find anything on TV or Netflix to interest me.

I even managed to grab some dinner from the deli on the way home and missed any heavy rainfall. It's been a blessed day and I look forward to spending the evening with Brad, kicked back in the recliner, watching Doc Martin on Acorn.