30 July 2014

Before I know it....

two young ladies will be here for a visit and I'll probably have no time for myself.  So I'm finishing up some WIP's this week.
I'm on the final rows of my baby blanket.  I'll be glad when it's done, it should have been done by now but spinning took over my life.
I finished 2 pairs of socks that were shipped off to California on Friday. It feels good to be using up stash instead of adding to it.
Wollmeise in Miss May

Three Ewes Twisted in Fiber in Clarice
and my last spin for the Tour de Fleece.
Southern Cross Fibre on Bond the colour is Cornucopia

I have another skein drying that I plied up this morning and now I have to decide what to spin next.  I'm getting anxious to actually knit some of these hand-spun up.   That may be all I can accomplish with 2 crazy girls to keep me on my toes.

23 July 2014


at the crack of dawn this morning.  It's supposed to be less humid today, so I think I'll take my wheel out on the deck for a bit and spin with the birds.
The boys are already out in their usual spots.

 And here are my two lastest spins.

This is what I've chosen for my next spin, and I may also have some fiber soaking to play with some dye.

13 July 2014


and dyeing have taken a back seat  in the last couple of weeks and I really need to step up on the baby knitting.  Those 2 little beauties will be here before I know it, and as a surrogate grandmother I can't let them down.  All babies need something hand knit as far as I'm concerned. 
Here is the start of the second baby blanket.  I'm knitting it in Stray Cat sport weight, one of my favorite bases. 
More on the pattern will be revealed when it's finished and hopefully that won't be too long.

My knit-obsession has turned into a spin-obsession.  I can't stop.  After the first couple of skeins I felt the urge to make more.  I think I need to try all the different breeds, just to be able to figure out which ones I like best.  So far Polwarth and BFL are leading.  I'm spinning up a Falkland now and it's doing quite well too.  It's almost like a box of chocolates, you just can't stop at one.

My favorite girl spent the morning on the deck with me. The breeze was lovely, but there was a storm brewing so she didn't stay too long.

6 July 2014


practice and more practice.
As a child I remember my parents selling our piano because I wouldn't practice and now I regret not keeping up with it.
And as the old saying goes, the older we get the wiser we get.  I've learned through knitting and sewing that patience really is a virtue.  If you take your time and be patient you will get to the end with the results you love.

A while back I bought my mom's spinning wheel.  It's an Ashford Kiwi, and such a nice little wheel, perfect for beginners.
She wasn't using it and I kept seeing so many beautiful hand spun yarns on ravelry, that I wanted to make beautiful yarn too.   I picked up new parts at the local fiber shop and got her all tuned up and ready to spin.
I tried and tried, but I think I had high expectations that the fiber would spin itself and I would have gorgeous yarn instantly.  Boy was I wrong.  Then the discouragement set in, and the wheel was put in the back corner taunting me everyday.

With some videos by Judith MacKenzie and YouTube, I got my mojo back and dusted that wheel off again.
I think the bobbins are just as beautiful as the finished yarn.

I took it slow and learned that my first yarns wouldn't be what I was ultimately shooting for and just kept spinning.

The practice and perseverance has paid off, I finally got a yarn that I love and can't wait to knit.

This is my favourite so far. It's 100% Polwarth and I couldn't wait to get it plied and ready to knit.  Now I just have to find the right pattern.

27 June 2014

In the Pink.........

Tess is off the needles, blocked and pretty as a picture.  Knit in Top Cat Lace, dyed in a very feminine shade of pink.  There are more photos and details on my project page on Ravelry.

The beads are very subtle and they were fun to add.   I will certainly be adding more beading to  future projects.
Now I'm busy with some more baby knits and more dyeing and of course I'm still fascinated with spinning.
I'll post some of those photos in a few days.

18 June 2014

Pretty in pink.....

is the knitting porn for today.   I have been knitting a new shawl with a few fellow ravelers in an impromptu KAL.  No rules, no time restrictions, we're all just knitting the same pattern and hanging out with each other.   My kind of KAL, no stress.

The is Tess.  I'm knitting it in Top Cat Lace.  BossCat and I don't knit with lace that often so we only had a few skeins in our personal stock, it never made it to the shop. 
I actually had the beads before the yarn was dyed and I think I matched it perfectly.

 It has an unusual beginning. You start from the bottom and do a crochet cast on with a chain 5 in between each stitch.  Then once you get past the lace section it is worked in short rows.  The start was a little fiddly, but once you get going it's smooth sailing.  This is the first time I've actually used stitch markers between each pattern repeat and it paid off. It made it so much easier to keep track of the pattern in case of mistakes.
I especially like the star stitch pattern in the short rows.
I'm totally into pink these days, so I'm sure this won't be going into the "gift box". 

11 June 2014


a little inspirations is all it takes. 
I don't always know what will happen in the studio, but sometimes it just all comes together.  We don't always do repeatable colours, I find I have more fun and enjoy dyeing when I don't have a plan.  There's no pressure and you don't have to worry about anyone being disappointed because it didn't look like the last one you dyed.

Don't get me wrong, it doesn't always work out.  We've had some of yarn end up in the purple dye pot to be over-dyed because we weren't happy with it.  And really, who doesn't like purple socks?
So while BossCat was in Chicago on a work related trip, I got to play in the studio.  You can find some new colours in the shop today that were inspired by nature.

3 June 2014

One thing........

leads to another, as the old saying goes.
A couple of years ago, while hanging out on Ravelry, I stumbled across of group of ladies that were talking about circular sock knitting machines, aka:  CSM's.  My ears perked up, my interest was sparked and that became the beginning of the downward spiral into "cranking".

I was under the impression that this would be a great way to burn through my never ending  sock yarn stash.  I found myself a beautiful antique Gearhart through a friend on Ravelry who re-furbishes them and so it began.  I had several false starts, a few tears and maybe some curse words, and I wondered what in the heck did I get myself into.  But I persevered and be damned if I'd give up so easy.  Finally it all came together and I was making socks.

I have since purchased another antique, my Bickford knitting machine that the Mr. and I refurbished and I bought a newly manufactured machine from the Erlbacher Gearhart Co.  I have the versatility of making lots of socks with several different cylinders sizes and ribbing with the "Erl" which I don't have with the antiques. 

And that dent I thought I'd put in the sock stash, it never happened.  It seems the more you crank the more yarn you need, and that sock box of mine is full to the brim.  There are a lot of happy friends and family out there with warm and snugly feet.

29 May 2014

All things fiber............

Sometimes I feel very overwhelmed when it comes to my hobbies.  It feels like there will never be enough hours in the day to do all the things I love.
When my children were small, I was sewing them clothes, knitting them sweaters, and we were always crafting something.
We didn't have a lot of money, I was a stay at home mom, so with one income we stretched that dollar as far as we could.  I sometimes felt bad because they didn't always have everything, but we did have fun learning different crafts.  We always made new ornaments for the Christmas tree every year, and they entered their wares in the local fair every fall.

I now see how those talents get passed down from generation to generation.  I remember sweaters my grandmother made me and baby sets knit by both my mother and her mother.  I learned to knit when my children came along and I knit for my grandchildren now.   My love of all things fiber,  whether it be knitting or spinning or dyeing yarn were taught to my children and are now being taught to their children.

It's nice to know that my passion for all things fiber will live on through them and they'll be making memories of their own one day.

21 May 2014

Pink and yellow...

  When I dyed up our Spring yarns, I had all kinds of ideas flowing through my head.   I knew I wanted socks, but I also wanted to knit something to showcase our new House Cat yarn.
Gerbera kept taunting me.  I'm so enamored with pink and yellow together, but I needed a project that wasn't too busy as not to distract from either the yarn or the pattern.

Rondelay was perfect.  I find garter stitch is perfect for variegated yarns and this design had me intrigued by it's construction.  And besides mindless knitting is what I need right now.

There are more pictures and details on my Rav page.
This will be perfect for those cooler days when I want something light around my neck.  I still want socks but I'll want some nylon in them, so I'll be dyeing up some more real soon.
I have a small batch of Barn Cat and Stray Cat almost ready for the shop so stay tuned.

14 May 2014


can be a funny thing, you never know where it will come from.   When BossCat and I hit the dye pots we either have a specific idea in mind or we just throw caution to the wind and start playing with colour.

All I seem to be interested in lately is knitting and cranking out socks.  I have a few ideas rolling around in the back of mind but  I seem to have stalled out for a little while.

So Valerie took over the studio last week and we have a few new yarns in the shop today.

We haven't done very much Solo Cat, so it was time.  It's a lovely 100% single ply merino and it takes the dye beautifully.
These colours would be perfect in light weight shawls or even mitts or socks.

Introducing Lady Violet, Pebble Beach, Steel Town, and Fern.

Valerie's Autumn Orchard Shawl is gorgeous.

I started some fingerless mitts a while ago with Solo Cat, but they too went in the time out corner I really need to get them done.
The yarn works up well with beads too.