S is for Sunday, Socks, Spinning, and Sewing

Knitting

I finished my Gourd Party socks! I love them.

Spinning

I made yarn! Okay, it’s thick and thin novelty yarn. It’s fine. I think I may dye it and knit a hat with it. It’s “wool top” that came with the wheel. I’m not ready to practice on my Coopworth fleece or pretty dyed roving. But I might try Shetland next.

Plying by Firelight

Our power went out today so I made use of the time by finishing up spinning a bobbin, and then plying my two full bobbins. By firelight. Because I have all the power that is necessary. Also I assembled my lazy kate.

Sewing

Before our power went out, I was sewing on my shacket. The inside of this fabric is almost as pretty as the outside. So much so, I debated which side to use for a minute. All I have left is the collar, the hemming, and to sew the snaps on!

This has been a Year of Projects update. You can find out more about the group here (Rav link) or here: Backstage Kath’s YOP bloggers list. You can read my updated list of projects here.

It’s Beginning to YOP a Lot Like Christmas

I haven’t posted for Year of Projects (YOP) in a few weeks. I haven’t really been focused on crafting. But I did update my list today.

Knitting

I added this cowl, which is the Marled Alaska Cowl (Ravelry link) in Moondrake’s Soft Shawl, colorways Driftwood and Zombie held together. I should be able to finish this up this week.

I had to frog my Stash Aurealis. After I got through the short rows and increases for the yoke, my stitch count was wrong. At first I was going to fudge it, then I realized that would be silly as it is a very small bit of knitting that I can certainly reknit quickly once my head is in the right place. So that project will be disappeared back into the yarn tubs for now.

I removed some projects from my list that I can’t see myself making anytime soon.

Sewing

I added my Plateau Joggers, which are now cut out and ready to sew.

Today I will make some Canada, Eh? flannel PJ pants for Bob. He has requested pockets, so I hope the pocket pattern from one of my dresses will do as a template.

Spinning

M’lady
M’lady Bug

I added spinning to my list. My goals this year are modest. 1. Relearn to spin 2. Improve my spinning.

Listening to Music Intentionally

I removed this from my list. I’ve been enjoying indie folk playlists on YouTube that are themed by season or mood. It’s like hygge Muzak and is really the opposite of listening to music intentionally. But it’s nice background music and helps calm my nervous system.

We had snow flurries yesterday and the holidays are right around the corner! I’ve finished my shopping. It was easy as everyone is getting a Fair Trade Subscription. It feels good going into the season without many have-to-dos. I’m going to bake Rosemary Shortbread Stars today.

This has been a Year of Projects update. You can find out more about the group here (Rav link) or here: Backstage Kath’s YOP bloggers list. You can read my updated list of projects here.

Thursday Three: New for Me

Reading

I have borrowed and purchased many books this year, but reading them has been a struggle. Recently, Liz recommended “Making a Life: Working by Hand and Discovering the Life You Are Meant to Live” by Melanie Falick.

My heart needed this book. It answers my questions about why humans need to make things by hand, and it feeds my soul. It’s a beautiful, large, hardback, coffee table book. But it’s not sitting on my coffee table. It’s on my nightstand, waiting for me to read a chapter every night before bed. I feel like I’m opening a family bible or an old dictionary, the way I used to when I was a child — in wonder and awe and reverence.

Polymer Clay

I decided to try something new! This is my first attempt at polymer clay. I had an “idea” (pumpkin pie with a yarn ball of whipped cream) so I bought a book, some clay, and some tools. I would say that, as a first attempt, it’s okay, and I’m happy with that. It’s a lot harder than it looks, and I probably won’t be doing much of it. It makes my hands messy and I don’t like the way it feels on my skin.

Coopworth Fleece Roving – I wish you could smell it. It smells delicious!

Spinning

I purchased a spinning wheel! I had a spinning wheel way back in the day. It was one of the many things that I had to sell off during the migration of 2010 (aka The Great Upheaval). I was never a very good spinner, but I enjoyed it. I think with practice I could become a mediocre spinner, and I would feel good about that. I have a Coopworth fleece that is ready to spin into a sweater quantity of yarn, although I will probably practice on some Shetland first.

Letting Go

I’ve also decided to let go of some things. I’ve decided to let the podcast go. I realized it would take more time, money, and energy than I have to really make it work. I’m letting go of art shows. If I want to make art I will, but I don’t want anymore deadlines. Art shows also require an investment of money, time, and energy that I don’t have at the moment. I’m letting go of some subscriptions that are no longer bringing me joy.

What about you? Have you tried anything new lately? Or are you letting anything go?

Wovember Day 27: Transform

Today’s prompt is transform.

I am slowly transforming this Coopworth fleece into yarn with my drop spindle. I do this when I need to be active in my office while at work. Moving around helps my brain work more better.

Right now I’m sitting in the car, waiting for it to warm up so I can head to our local store for work.

Welcome Old Man Winter! Glad I have my wool to keep me warm.

Valentine’s Day Field Trip!

This field trip had nothing to do with Valentine’s Day, other than I wanted to go, and Bob came with me. He’s a real trooper and a keeper. ❤ Are you ready for a treat? We went to Ohio Valley Natural Fibers!

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I have a Coopworth fleece I bought at Great Lakes Fiber Show many years ago. It is still dirty, stewing in its lanolin in a box.

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I think it’s pretty, though.

I did hand wash, card, spin, dye, and knit a small amount of it (just to say I did it). I kind of lost interest after that. It’s a big job! A job for professionals. So we took a little day trip about two hours south to Sardinia, Ohio.

The rooms were filled with gorgeous old equipment. It was like a step back in time.

The picker is from the 1880s, and the carding machines are from around 1916. The belts are made from buffalo hide! When they need parts, they ask the local Amish to make them, because everything on these machines is irreplaceable. I know they look like antiques, and they are, but Richard, the gentleman who gave us the tour, fired one up for us!

Here is the web, which is divided into what looks like yarn, but is actually tiny rovings, which are then plied.

This yarn is 3ply, as you can see if you look carefully. The machine is from post WWII, and was also used for plying parachute cord for the Vietnam War.

After plying, it can be wound onto cones. This machine is from the 1960s.

The yarn can also be put up into hanks. They don’t have a date on this machine, but Richard thinks it may be from the 18th century!

Here he is telling us how it works.

So we left my fleece and in 8-12 weeks I will have some nice clean batts ready to spin! I don’t have enough fiber for a yarn order. And, unfortunately, I sold my spinning wheel during the great studio purge. I am thinking about getting a new drop spindle. I was never very good at it, and it might be time to pick it up again. (Honestly, I was never very good at the spinning wheel, either, but I did make some beautiful thick and thin yarn.)

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Here is Diane, the owner and a local sheep farmer, with two hanks of yarn from her own Icelandic sheep. I bought these two, and they might be perfect to make the new West Highland Way design! Talk about synchronicity! I will swatch it and see how it knits up. Now I wish I had bought another hank, but I could order it and ask them to pop it in the mail to me.

We had such a wonderful time, and want to thank Richard, Diane, Sean, and Renicia for showing us around and starting up machines for us. I particularly enjoyed Sean showing us all the different kinds of fiber people asked them to process, like husky, cat, and elk!

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After the tour, Bob and I had a nice lunch at La Cascada and a little hike at Rocky Fork State Park, which was beautiful.

I hope you have a nice Valentine’s Day, if you celebrate! If not, Happy Wednesday!