The Truth Comes Out

I confess that I have been harboring a fugitive.

In the garage is a sweet little Corriedale fleece that came home with me from the spin in I attended last weekend (at 2 lbs, truly, it hardly counts as a whole fleece, right?) . From the moment I saw it, I knew I needed to have it- and spin it just the way it was.

So, today we are talking about “Spinning in the Grease”.

What I forget to mention at the end of the video is that, when you’re done spinning and plying, that’s when the magic happens. You wash the oily yarn (that will likely be kind of rope-y and much heavier than your usual result right off the bobbin), it brightens and fluffs and plumps and is suddenly a whole different animal!

I love that part.

Well, I guess I pretty much like all the parts. Even swatching. So here are a couple of my first little results from the not-so-secret-now fleece:
whidbey corriedale sampler-cropped

I’ve been walking around with the swatches in my pocket, and they are slightly felted from all the fondling, but both are holding up nicely. They’ve got a nice “bloom”. One is knit up on size 6 needles, and the other on 3s. Seems like it would be suitable for either sweaters or socks.

Possibilities abound!

Visions of Sugarplums and such

So, I rode down to the Whidbey Weaver’s Guild Spin-In with Juliet, with the vague hope that someone might have a pair of used combs for sale. Took the checkbook just in case.

There were all kinds of great vendors there- fiber galore- tools too! But only saw a pair of single row combs for sale. Not exactly what I wanted. I exercised restraint.

I cruised the used goods table. There were some older, interesting wheels for sale and some other miscellany (swifts, yarn winders, etc), but no combs. Oh well, I thought. ‘Tis not meant to be.

We were having a great time, hanging out, talking, spinning, lusting after all the fabulous goods that were being offered. The talk by Judith McKenzie-McCuin started a little late, but I don’t think anyone minded (the wool fumes were very stong). She gave a great talk about Bison, and bison fiber. And at some point while she was talking, someone walked over to the used goods table and set out another item. Something in a wooden caddy. (I didn’t even see it happen at first. Juliet alerted me to this development with much pointing and excited whispering)

I casually strolled over to the table to scope them out. The little card said they were Alvin Ramer “Super Mini Combs”. This didn’t mean anything to me, but they looked well-made. 2 pitch, medium sized combs- larger than minis, but a little smaller than the vikings or full-sized english combs. With a nice wooden carrying case that has a built-in holder to lock one comb in place . All self-contained. Neat, eh?
Alvin Ramer combs

I wrote the check, and now they are mine.
Alvin Ramer Combs2-recentered

Denise is such a happy girl.

She finally has her combs.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Almost Fully Vested

We’ve been havin’ some crazy weather here.

3 inches of rain in the last week.

Snow for three days straight.

Today the snow stopped, meltoff began, then we lost power for about 6 hours.

This is the end of March in the lovely and hospitable Pacific Northwest (?)

But hey, you don’t need electricity to knit (or spin for that matter), so a little powered-down time can sometimes be a good thing!

The vest is coming along
sweater vest almost done 3-08 sharpened

The only thing I have left to do is to continue the cable from the front around the back of the neckline. I’ll graft the two sides together at the center back.
vest shoulder close 3-08

I’ve shaped the back neckline a little wider than the front, and connected front and back using the three needle bind-off, except for the last 7 stiches on each side that will carry the cable around the edge.
vest neckline before finishing 3-08 edited

And I am much relieved to know that it actually fits! I always get nervous knitting things from the bottom up, because it’s so hard to get a sense of the fit until you’re almost done. Gotta trust the measurements. But this seems to have turned out alright. Better than alright, even.

Pretty good.

Pretty,, pretty ,,, pretty good. (anyone who gets the reference wins a prize)

Best Laid Plans

This week has been tough. Syd has been sick as, well,, a dog (go figure) and it’s only now that I really feel like he’s out of the woods. Poor little bugger. But he’s back to eating and licking himself and itching like the little allergy-dog I know and love, so I think we’re good.

Anyway, I had entered some spinning/knitting items in our staff Arts and Crafts fair at work, but then never had a chance to photograph the stuff while it was on display, so here is one of the thingees at home after the fact-
yarn basket2

It’s a basket stuffed with a dozen of my favorite handspuns- showing off different natural wool colors. I think it’s kind of neat to be able to look at a skein and know what sheep it came from. I’m pretty sure that these are all single-sheep skeins. (kind of like single-malt scotch?)

Anyway, while the natural colored fibers were at the fair, I brought out the uptown fancy-schmancy merino/silk for a quick knit. Here is the seafoam scarf-
seafoam scarf on cello
seafoam scarf close

It is amazingly soft and squishy (garter stitch), with just enough openness to give it some visual interest. I highly recommend it. It would be especially nice knit lengthwise in a yarn with gradual color shifts that would really draw attention to the undulating stitch pattern.

And speaking of gradual color changes, I’ve also been using the Viking Combs to blend some dyed fleece I have in the stash- and here is the result-
combed blue-green single

I do so love those blues and greens- and the nice smooth transitions in the color.

(This is what it looked like before steaming)
blue green single before steaming-rev1

Eeks! Is that wool, or Syd barf?

Ok. Enough for now.

Denise out.