FO: garland.

This is 268 yards of dk-weight navajo-plied Hello Yarn targhee in garland. This isn’t the whole four ounces — more like 3.25, I think. I filled a bobbin, let it rest, and started plying, and I’m not sure if I’ll make another mini-skein just like this, or save the fraction of an ounce for an all-mixed-up leftovers skein. I love this, and I’m starting to feel like I’m getting the hang of navajo-plying! Hooray! (Also, I’m still getting to know my camera, and these definitely don’t do the skein justice.)

Look! A reorganized spinning corner! I walked by this desk on Monday — it was about two blocks from my house. And then I backed up, picked it up, and carried it home. It fits perfectly into this little nook between the door and the heater, and now there is more storage space and work space in my apartment.

This is Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club corriedale in the New Day colorway. When I finished the garland, I just had to get something else started on the wheel…and suddenly I had two bobbins of this stuff. Planning to sit down and ply right after I finishing posting!

Yesterday was farm share pick-up day, and I gathered a whole bag of flowers in the fields. I love being able to fill my apartment with flowers I’ve picked myself.

And I’m knitting something new! More on this project next time.

FO: tigerlily (and some shalom progress).

In an attempt to hide from reality (spring break is over, I’m heading to campus in an hour), I spun up the second half of my AVFKW falklands fiber in the tigerlily colorway yesterday. This is 48 yards of worsted weight, navajo plied yarn, from 1.5 oz of fiber — exactly the same yardage that I got from the first half. This clearly wants to be something paired — fingerless mitts, perhaps?

And here’s where I’m at with Shalom. I knit all of that stockinette on Saturday night, at a knit-friendly dinner party, and I’m hoping that I can maintain my momentum on this sweater now that spring break is over. (Can you tell I’m still pouting about that?) Despite my lack of a gauge swatch, plan, or pattern obedience, it appears that this sweater is the perfect size. Thank you, top down sweater construction.

Boh and I are off to take a quick walk this morning before I head to campus, as Mondays are pretty busy days. Hope your week is off to a good start!

FO: bluestone.

It’s official. I’m obsessed with navajo plying. And with Southern Cross Fibre. This merino might well be the squishiest thing to ever come off my wheel. 148 yards of plump worsted deliciousness, navajo plied, in the Bluestone colorway from the March 2010 SCF Fiber Club. I love this so much that I want to wear the hank doubled around my neck…and I’m thinking it should probably turn into a cowl, ASAP.

I went looking for something else to play with, and decided on this falklands wool from AVFKW in the tigerlily colorway. I split the roving lengthwise in half with the idea that the colors would repeat twice. And when I finished the first half, I decided to go for two mini-skeins so that I could navajo ply some more (instead of waiting until today).

I wrestled with this in places — in some spots, my singles were slightly overspun for navajo plying, and my lack of patience meant that in those sections, I had to deal with energized singles that hadn’t been given any time to rest. That said, I love these colors, and am psyched to spin and ply the other half of this fiber. What you’re seeing here is 48 yards of worsted weight yarn,  from 1.5 oz of fiber.

And here’s another shot of Shalom — I slipped this on yesterday to see if I wanted to add a fourth button hole (I do), and had to laugh at the exact matchiness of my t-shirt and yarn.

Alas, spring break has come to a close — and the grey skies are echoing a bit of how I feel today. I wish break lasted a bit longer, as I am just starting to feel caught up on a lot of of work, sleep, and play. I’m going to let myself do a bit more knitting and spinning today, amidst prep for the week, but I’m not going to lie: I am feeling a little bit pouty, and it will be hard to head to campus tomorrow morning…

pizza/plying.

More playing in the kitchen this weekend: homemade pizza and these double chocolate muffins, with walnuts and almond extract subbed for the butterscotch chips and vanilla.

Also, some spinning. This is Southern Cross Fibre merino in Bluestone — my first club shipment! It arrived on Thursday, and by Friday afternoon it was on my wheel. I spun all 4 oz. as singles, and this morning, sat down to navajo ply the whole lot.

My Bluestone is taking a bath right now, and soon it will be hanging to dry in the kitchen. On the list for today? Reading and knitting on Shalom:

Shalom matches the book I intend to finish today! Happy Saturday, folks.

FO: magic chip.

121 yards (from 3 oz) of navajo-plyed worsted weight superwash bfl in the magic chip colorway from the AVFKW Woolly Wonders Fiber Club. So, navajo plying a whole skein’s worth of yarn isn’t as scary as I thought it would be! Despite the occasional wrestling I did with this bfl and my not-always-consistent singles, I’m really happy with how this yarn turned out. Now, what should I do with it? (Do we think 120 yards is enough for toddler legwarmers? I know a 4-yr old who would love some.)

Also, last night I did this:

And I decided that I liked it so much that I shouldn’t risk it, so I ordered 2 more skeins of Cascade 220 in Caribbean. Fingers crossed that they match what I’ve got, or are at least close enough. I’m doing this sort of by the seat of my pants, after reading through lots of notes on ravelry. I’m using worsted, instead of heavy worsted weight yarn, but I’m not really changing the stitch count. I figure I’ll try this on once I’m through the yoke, and if it isn’t long enough or big enough, I’ll add another repeat of the pattern before binding off (or separating — I haven’t decided) the sleeve stitches and continuing on with the body. I want this to be snug, and I’m adding a few more buttons (3? 4?) than the original.

I realize that I have a gazillion things on the needles right now — but all of my sweater projects are in muted colors, and spring break demands something bright (and instantly gratifying).

I did manage to get through a fair amount of grading today, and Boh and I romped through muddy fields and meadows with our friends D. and Coltrane (the greyhound) this afternoon. There’s an apple crisp in the oven, and a pile of knitting awaiting me on the couch (next to a loudly snoring dog). These are the makings of a good, quiet evening.

FO: loch (and more spinning).

Swoon. 506 yards of laceweight/light fingering in a stunning mohair/nylon/merino blend from the Hello Yarn Fiber Club, colorway Loch. I took A LOT of photos of this stuff, which are all on flickr, if you want more. See, I was feeling so pumped about how these singles turned out that I just had to get something else on my wheel.

I decided that I wanted to try navajo plying a whole skein of something. I mean, I practice navajo plying with my leftovers every so often, but I haven’t put the time in to really get comfortable with the technique. So I dug through my fiber stash, and pulled out Magic Chip, a lovely pastel colorway from the AVFKW Woolly Wonders Fiber Club in superwash bfl.

Here’s the bobbin in the afternoon sunshine.

And here’s Boh, resting in one of his cutest positions: legs out straight in an X.

And here they are together — Boh snored right through all of my navajo plying.

I wound this onto my niddy noddy, and marveled at how different navajo plyed yarns are before finishing — way more balanced, because the twist can’t travel the length of the yarn, only the length of the loops.

I showed it to Boh, and after giving it a good sniff, he decided to snuggle it, eyes closed. That’s my dog. Now it’s hanging to dry.

Next up? Well, tell me if I’m crazy, but I found these two skeins of super happy turquoise Cascade 220 while I was digging through my fiber stash, and I would love to have something like Shalom to wear as spring approaches. Some knitters have managed to eke out a short-sleeved cardigan in 450 yards or so, and I’m tempted to try it. Other thoughts on patterns? I’ve moved these skeins to the kitchen table to keep me company while I grade.

FO: winter storage.

Boh really likes handspun. How about a few more?

You’re looking at what happens when a certain rooster decides to clear off ALL of her bobbins: lots of navajo ply practice wth leftovers of fibers past, and a squishy, 350 yard skein of mostly fingering weight 2-ply from some absolutely stunning Hello Yarn finn in the winter storage colorway.

This was my first adventure with the fast flyer for my Lendrum — first of many, I should say.

And this — this is how I can tell that he really is my dog. He just wants to sniff, paw at, and, let’s face it, roll in all of my yarn.

Happy Monday, folks!

why hello, skein.

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fpp2

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LOVE.

238 yds. of squishy 2-ply worsted weight yarn, from 4 oz. of falklands wool in five plum pie from Hello Yarn.

fpp nply full

fpp nply

I navajo plyed what didn’t fit on the first bobbin — so here’s 28 more yards of practice yarn. This is still overplied, but I’m getting into a rhythm with this technique. It is really hard to slow down my feet!

zucchini pickles

Also, zucchini pickles! I made these on Thursday, but the recipe said they’d turn a lovely shade of chartreuse after a day in the fridge. I know the green of my kitchen is tough to beat, but the zucchini really is absorbing the color of the brine. I’m taking these to a backyard bbq later today!

five plum pie.

First off, if you clicked through from Joy the Baker’s site because you, too, wondered if roosters wear shoes, welcome! I don’t have any pictures to prove it, but I did use my oven continuously yesterday (zucchini bread, granola, roasted potatoes). And I was barefoot.

(I won an awesome set of Baggu bags, and I can’t wait. In fact, I’ve been doing some serious winning lately, as I was the lucky commenter selected in Jodi’s blogiversary contest over at A Caffeinated Yarn. Yay!)

bob2plumpie

Amidst all the oven use yesterday, I did manage to get a lot of spinning done. I finished both bobbins of the Hello Yarn Fiber Club falklands wool in Five Plum Pie, and late last night, I decided to do a little bit of plying.

full bobbin

Which turned into A LOT of plying. That bobbin is so full that it no longer turns independently of the flyer. I’ll have more pictures of this 2-ply when it is done drying, but I’m really happy with how nicely the colors lined up. Instead of breaking the roving into 2 pieces, I stripped this in half lengthwise, and was carefully to spin them the same way to keep the color progression. In a lot of places, the colors match exactly, and the transitions between colors seem gentle and subtle. Also, not that it needs to be said, but this stuff was incredible to work with — smooth, even, and solid without being compressed. I fully understand the HY hype.

Public Service Announcement: Have you seen this navajo-plying video over at Spin-Off? I found this link through the Spunky Club on ravelry, and I feel moved to share. For folks new to navajo-plying, this video makes it really easy to see how it works and what it looks like. For old pros, the video demonstrates a particular way of holding the yarn and pulling out the loops that is easy on the shoulders and very rhythmic.

For those following my bat saga, Boh and I were winged-visitor-free last night. Here’s hoping it stays that way!

first attempt.

navajoply attempt1

One of my goals for the summer was to learn how to Navajo-ply. There are a few parts, on the right side, that look alright, but the rest is an overtwisted mess. (I wound this right off the bobbin, so the twist isn’t set at all.) I watched a few more youtube videos, which illuminated some important things to keep in mind:

1. You really do need to pick up the loops with one hand. If you try to use a second hand (like I did, because the first hand was not doing a very good job), you no longer have a hand to control the twist, and you end up with the aforementioned mess. (Unless, of course, you have three hands.)

2. Treadle SLOWLY. Very slowly. If you don’t have a rhythm down for picking up new loops, there are several moments in the process where the twist has nowhere to go because you are grabbing the next loop.

I have A LOT of practicing to do, but I think I understand the concept now. I’m going to practice Navajo-plying with all of my leftovers, so I should have a bunch of mini-skeins that (in theory) chart my progress.

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Here’s Boh amidst all of my knitting projects. He looks concerned. Also, I caught him investigating the other side of the room:

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Taking inventory is getting to be a serious task around here!