pigeonroof studios merino times two.

PRS x 2 = awesome.

Yesterday, all I did was ply. And ply. And ply. This is 439 yards of 2-ply, mostly worsted weight, from 2 braids of pigeonroof studios merino (in unknown colorways from a rav destash) in three skeins of 183, 166, and 90 yards. I’m thinking this yarn might make an awesome eternity scarf. What do you think?

I have so many knitting projects I’m excited about, but this week it seems like all I want to do is sit at my wheel. (Not exactly a bad thing, but I really should sit down and sew some buttons on my otherwise totally completed GYC so that I can wear it!)

It is a little bit warmer out today, so Boh and I have plans for a nice walk, and then we get to go pick up our farm share this afternoon. Stay tuned for a recap of my 2009 knitting goals, as well as some thoughts on 2010.

beach day, skeined.

I have no words to describe how much I love this skein of yarn. I mean, I may have pulled back the covers on my bed in order to properly photograph it against a suitable backdrop. (Okay, and I cuddled with it a little. Don’t tell anyone.)

This is 160 yards of squishable 2-ply in what looks to be a worsted to heavy worsted range, from 4 oz. of FLUFF sw merino in Beach Day. This was my first FLUFF spin. Halfway through the second bobbin, I may have emailed to get on their fiber club waiting list…

And then I spun some more. See, I accidentally happened upon a Baktus-Along thread in the Snobby Spinners group. I wasn’t planning to find something else to spin for, but a headache that would just not go away changed my plans last night at the very last minute. (Do you ever have headaches that you think are just related to food/hydration that then refuse to go away after you feed them dinner and lots of water? That was me last night, and I would’ve just dealt with it if the plan hadn’t been to go hear some live music. Headache + loud = unhappy rooster. So I pouted a bit, and then sat down at my wheel.)

Right, Lacy Baktus. I dug through the handspun pile, and didn’t find anything that begged to become this pattern, so I overturned a bucket of fiber and fished out A King’s Ransom from the AVFKW Woolly Wonders Fiber Club: 1.5 oz of superfine merino and 1.5 oz of 80/20 merino/silk. Meanwhile, Boh did this:

This is the superfine merino, which is full of subtle color changes.  I wrestled with this fiber a lot in sections, and I wonder if I should’ve tried to open it up a bit before spinning.

This is the merino/silk blend, and it spun like a dream. So fast, so smooth. Part of the way through my first cup of coffee this morning, I sat down to start plying:

Despite what it looks like (you know, that I spent the WHOLE day spinning), I actually wrote a few more pages yesterday, and did some good thinking about my project whilst spinning. I did not, however, begin tackling the pile of grading. (Yesterday, my headache was the excuse.) Today, I need to get on that.

boh battles the red vacuum cleaner.

(In place of Yoshimi and the pink robots, of course.)

Boh faces his opponent.

(This is a new development. Boh used to hide in his box whenever I would get out the vacuum cleaner. Now, he plays his own version of chicken with the machine: he runs towards it or waits for it to approach him, and then squeezes by it at the last possible moment.)

Boh dashing past the vacuum cleaner.

This is absolutely hilarious, and I wish I’d gotten better photos of the whole sequence. It is rather difficult to operate a vacuum cleaner with one hand and snap photos with the other.

Now, would you like to see some spinning?

Yesterday’s time out made it possible for me to sit down at the wheel and finish the second bobbin of this gorgeous Hello Yarn finn in the winter storage colorway.

This morning, I started plying the two bobbins together, and snapped a few photos part of the way through. This looks to me like it is going to be fingering weight rather than laceweight yarn when it is all plyed and soaked, and I’m thinking it might make a lovely shawl. (That will not be for me to decide, however, as this skein is intended as a gift for a knitter!)

It seems my time out has stretched well into Sunday. That’s the trouble with taking breaks: it is so hard to end the time out and jump back into the fray. Maybe after my afternoon yoga class…

reward/recovery.

amondale batt1

Thank you for all of your happy thoughts about Tuesday’s lecture! I finally was able to do a bit of knitting and spinning last night in order to recover from all of the week’s stress and extra adrenaline, and I decided to reward myself by spinning a special treat: a gorgeous batt from Amondale Farms that Lisa Knithound sent my way as a Rhinebeck souvenir. (I was going to try to crack a Halloween joke or two about batts/bats…but I won’t.)

amondale batt2

I know, Boh does not look pleased. But these are his colors! Lisa said that this batt reminded her of the southwest, and I agree: these colors make me think of the gorgeous sunrises I witnessed almost every morning when I lived there.  I did a little bit of reading about spinning batts, divided the 1.5 oz. batt into two equal chunks by unrolling the rectangle and splitting it down the middle, and sat down at the wheel.

amondale battplied

I mostly used the long draw technique to spin this, but I did a lot of smoothing of the single before I let it wind on to the bobbin, so it certainly wasn’t a “true” long draw. I let the singles rest an hour, and then plied them together!

amondale batt niddynoddy

Here’s the plied batt on my niddy noddy…

amondale batt FO

And here is my finished skein: 51 yards of lofty 2-ply that runs a bit thick and thin, from dk to worsted.

amondale batt FO close

I’m already thinking about turning this into a calorimetry for me!

Spinning and plying this batt last night just made me want to get something else going on the wheel. It was so much fun to try something new — this is my first batt! — that I decided to take my fast flyer out of it’s plastic wrap and put it on my wheel.

winter storage bob1

This is Finn, from the Hello Yarn Fiber Club, in the Winter Storage colorway. I’m aiming for a 2-ply light-fingering/laceweight.

Happy Friday!

 

FO: calorimetry.

blackberry pancakes

In order to face the week, I needed blackberry pancakes. (Mondays can be tough!) I ate them for breakfast and lunch, and they helped, like they always do. Moving on…

five plum pie calorimetry

I knit this over the weekend for my friend H. (of wedding shawl fame) because tomorrow is her birthday! I just couldn’t wait any longer, so I gifted this yesterday, which means there is absolutely no danger of spoiling the surprise. I used more of my Hello Yarn Five Plum Pie handspun, and I still have about ten yards leftover — truly, a never-ending skein.

calorimetry button view

Calorimetry was one of the first patterns I attempted to knit — and while I finished it rather quickly, my skein of filatura di crosa 127 print (or whatever the pattern calls for, because I had not yet learned to substitute) won the day, and I finally understood why gauge matters. My first calorimetry was enormous! This time around, I read up on the pattern and followed some common modifications:

I cast on 88 stitches using size 6 needles, and worked only as many (decreasing stitch count) short rows as seemed like half of the width I was hoping for, and then completed the same number of (increasing stitch count) short rows to get to the other side, being careful not to run out of yarn.

calorimetry side

Yay! I tried this on to take some pictures, and now that my hair is longer, I really like this. I may need to make one for myself.

plied polwarth bw

I did manage to ply the polwarth. Here’s what it looks like before washing/thwacking:

prewash

This may be the softest, squishiest yarn I have ever spun. It is hanging to dry in the kitchen, and I can’t help but pet it each time I walk by.

superherohelmet1

In keeping with “hat-tober,” I cast on for yet another handspun hat — Cosy’s Super Hero Helmet Hat. I won the pattern on her blog a few weeks ago, and I am knitting it out of some of my earlier wheelspun: AVFKW Woolly Wonders corriedale in The Candle’s Nimble Flame. I’m using size 10.5 needles, and I love the squoosh of the garter stitch.

bohcouchsilly

Apparently Boh also had a very busy day. (While I read, wrote, cleaned, knit, plied, grocery-shopped, cooked, etc., Boh moved bones back and forth from his box, growled at the electrician through the window, took notes on squirrel movement, and perhaps dreamed of rabbits, chipmunks, and deer.)

yarn in the sink.

Last night I stayed up late to finish plying my never-ending bobbins of targhee together. I wound it onto the niddy noddy, counted the strands, took a few pictures, and then placed it in a hot water bath with some soak wash. About 30 seconds later, I realized I was incredibly tired, and went about getting ready for bed: I straightened up the kitchen, took Boh out, put on my pajamas, etc. And then I went to brush my teeth, only to look down and realize that there was yarn in the sink. (I may have used a colorful word or two.) I stayed awake for another ten or fifteen minutes in order to give the yarn the bath it deserved, and then rolled it in a towel, snapped/thwacked a few times, and finally hung it to dry.

plied hibiscus

Here it is, pre-bath, nestled on one of my favorite (store bought) sweaters. This stuff is soooo soft, and it is almost dry. (I keep petting it whenever I am in the kitchen.)

leftovers hibiscus

Here’s what was leftover on one of the bobbins. This is one of my most consistent spins to date, so this massive imbalance on the bobbins indicates to me that it might be time to acquire a kitchen scale so that I can split my fiber more evenly, particularly as I start thinking about bigger spinning projects.

fluff fibers

Lastly, this came in the mail yesterday: 2 bumps of superwash merino from FLUFF fibers in the Beach Day and Jungle Flowers colorways. Yay!

still waking up.

goodmorningboh

It was hard to get up this morning, and I’m nowhere near full alertness. I’m mostly through my first cup of coffee (and will need a second). Boh has already given up, and is currently mid-snore.

hibiscus

I started plying the AVFKW targhee in hibiscus yesterday, and I’m hoping to finish this today so that I can get ready to do some sampling for my first sweater-spinning project!

sye shawl washed up

I snapped this picture while waiting for my french press to finish working its magic — seems I stopped knitting mid-row last night because I just had to get into bed. The colors are way off in this picture, as the shawl is resting on the arm of the couch underneath a very bright lamp, but I liked how it looked as I stumbled kitchenward to put water on for coffee this morning.

Things were a bit rushed yesterday, so I didn’t take any pictures of my farm share, but since I’ve been documenting my weekly haul here, I picked 4 quarts of raspberries and a quart of blackberries in the fields, and then picked up lettuce, a few pounds of heirloom yellow and purple carrots, cauliflower, hot peppers, red peppers, italian eggplant, bok choi, basil, and the last red tomato of the season.

Off to pour cup #2…

outnumbered.

bohandcoltrane1

Yesterday, two dogs lounged and played in my house while I read and spun. Boh’s friend Coltrane came over after they met up at the dog park so that Coltrane wouldn’t be lonely, as his owner had to attend a day-long event.

bohandcoltrane2

plyed norwegian

While they snored, I spun the second bobbin of norwegian top singles, and then plied them together.

plyed norweg prewash

Here’s what it looked like right before I set the twist.

bohcoltrane5

We took a couple of short walks through my neighborhood yesterday, and I learned that it is tough to walk two dogs who don’t normally walk together at the same time! T., one of Coltrane’s owners, came over for dinner, and the dogs continued to lounge. After beet and carrot latkes and more homemade chocolate pudding, we dumped out a jar or two of buttons onto the kitchen table. T. needed buttons for some baby bibs, and I needed to pick out buttons for my handspun baby belle.

babybellebuttons1

babybellebuttons2

These buttons are a pinkish red, and I love how they stand out against the pastel shades of the handspun. What do you use to sew your buttons on? I’ve only ever used thinner yarn and a darning needle (seems I always pick buttons with pretty fat holes), but T. reminded me that when you buy a sweater, the buttons are sewn on with thread! (Which makes sense. It also means I need to acquire more than a travel button repair kit from a random hotel stay if I intend to keep sewing small buttons onto my knitting.)

bohgoodsport

This guy is such a good sport. We’re going to ease into Sunday with a little bit of knitting and a morning walk. Then, back to work!

feeling antsy.

I’m not exactly sure why — maybe because it is early enough in the semester that I don’t quite have a routine yet, maybe because getting back into this particular mode of being is a bit of a struggle — but last night I felt just plain antsy, like I should be getting things done, even though I was tired. I think one of the reasons there is such crossover between the land of knitters and academia is that knitting is a way to see what you are producing, to hold it in your hands. Sometimes, even though there is a pile of reading staring at me, I just need to really see my own progress on something slightly more tangible.

belleprogsleeve

Hence, my baby belle. I just have the sleeves and the button band left to do, and I love how this is turning out. Also:

hhocksplied

I plied the bobbins of the green falklands fiber in the hollyhock colorway together, and set the twist.

hhockskein

hhockcloseup

110 yards of 2-ply, from 2 oz. of fiber. You may recall that the other half of this bump is pale pinks and purples. I may have spun up the remaining 2 oz. before bed last night…

purpleshock

I’m taking a class that is exciting to me, although it is out of my field — and out of my comfort zone. I may ply the rest of the hollyhocks falklands fiber this morning in preparation  — the fibery equivalent of a few deep breaths?