Spinning update..

I am actually using this spindle as a supported spindle, I have my eye on some Spindle Bowls from the Knit Witch.


Doing fairly well with this spindle has excellent balance, got this from Hatchtown Farm

Yes, I couldn't resist, I bought the Spindolyn, I love it, it only took about 15 min to get the hang of it. Check out her link and video, even if you are not planning on buying one it is interesting.

My roving came from Etsy, I bought it from Cjkopeccreations.etsy.com. It is very soft, I can't wait to get started on it.

Almost done with this, just putting the ruffle on. Sursa Shawl, look here for more variations.


This is how far I have gotten on the Lola Bunny Love, I am having fun knitting this. I am planning on getting the face on this weekend. Was planning on using child safe locking eyes and nose, but after some consideration, remembered that the sister of the baby I am making it for, has the record at the local ER for removing objects from her tummy, (she is a Trisomy 18 and CP child) so I don't want to be the cause of more ER visits. So the plan is to embroider the features on the face. (We well see how that turns out)

Until later....



Spinning Wool

Check this You Tube Video out.....Kay Anderson shows us how wool is spun the traditional way in Scotland...

I love the video, the water, the rhythm, the flow, I think it captures the spinning feeling....

Here is her You Tube Page if you want to check out more videos...



Wouldn't you like to be knitting here...

Paris Paris Paris, Notre-Dame de Paris


More cool spinning links!

Oh dear, I am totally living in spinning and spindle world now.

Check out these links:

How to make a Cigar Box Charkha

Make your own Great little Wheel from materials from your home supply store

A tutorial on how to make a cotton spindle from a chop stick and a radish From African Crafts

How to make your own supported spindle from Spindle City.com

How to make and use a bead whorl spindle also from Spindle City

From Hankering for Yarn blog , what she decided to use to spin her silk for a wedding shawl

From Marnie speaks! Good Girl blog how to make a travel case for your spindle!

The Joy of Handspinning, all kinds of good info.

Evidently the origins of spinning fiber to make string or yarn are lost in time, traced back as far as the Upper Paleolithic era, which is over 20,000 years ago.

How fitting that when spinning, we also get lost in time. I am just learning, slow and clumsy. Yet, while sitting in the living room, as my DH watches TV, reads or draws, I find myself looking at the clock and two hours have passed.

I am a longtime knitter, and I also crochet and sew. But this process is unlike any I have tried. My friend at KnittedGems remarked to me how different it was mentally. I have heard the rule "don't sew after 8 p.m. unless you plan on ripping it out, (this must have been coined by a morning person)" But no matter how tired I am I can pick up my spinning and spin for quite sometime.

It has taken the place of my "TV or movie knitting". I always needed something relatively mindless to knit and relax. It is totally absorbing for me (right now anyway, maybe later I will be able to multitask and actually chew gum while spinning), no wonder Penelope could spin all day (I prefer to think she was spinning vs: weaving), day after day the same material to delay her suitors.


Spinning, and spinning some more

We have been caught up in lots of yard work. We had our tallest White Pine, which was a 4 split trunk, about 55 ft tall, spilt in a storm. But it didn't fall, simply split and stayed standing. It has been a "edge of the chair" wait for the ground to dry so we could get it cut down.

That was today. Hot, humid, lots of lemonade making, and ice and water for the boys. I am really sad to see it go. But all things come to an end. Now our back yard looks bigger and we have some sun in the yard.

Of course this involved tearing apart a large raised bed, surrounded by stones, so we could get in to get it. As of now, all of my plants are setting around wilting. I will work on that tomorrow, out of time today.

I did find some time to spin. Not much, I am increasing in speed, a little, you can laugh at my results. My first attempts were so heinous I pitched them.

This spindle is from Hatchtown Farm, it is a dream to spin with, excellent, and I love it.

This is the first spindle I got. Actually made by my DH, I finally figured out this time that I have better luck with it supported.

I know its not much, but somehow I am online shopping for more roving, there is quite a few sellers on Etsy with beautiful hand painted. And EEK, I bought this!! How did that happen?  Marie this is beautiful, where have you gotten your roving?

I also found this Wedsite, I can spin.com. Lots of information and videos that you can watch that covers quite a bit of spinning and spinning related info. Nice for me as I can find no one locally that does any spinning, and/or selling of spinning items.


Hat and Purse for Doll

I had a request from a girlfriends little girl to make a 70's hat and purse for her American Girl Doll.

This is what I came up with..

Of course any baby doll's I have at my house are not in the American Girl league, but hopefully this will work (and fit).

That's what's happening here.



OK, Marie from KnittedGems.com, this one is for you!

Thanks, for getting me interested in spinning again.

What is best with coffee in the morning? Well spinning of course!

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Spinning and Dyeing book reviews

Spin to knit by Shannon Okey is a wonderful book. I think this book has all of the info a beginning spinner needs in one book.

It is very detailed; I am interested in spinning yet know little about it.

It starts out with an introduction into equipment, swift, ball winder, wpi gauge, niddy-noddy, yarn meter, McMorran Balance, and Nostepinne.

Chapter one: It then gives a good fiber introduction. Breeds, Fiber formats, and Carding. Chapter two: Covers Spindles. Chapter three: Wheels. Chapter four: Getting started, there is detailed info on how to start with your fiber before you spin. How to spin with a spindle, she takes it step by step, with photos. Then the same with a wheel. Yarn Twists and Plying. Chapter five: Handspun yarn. Chapter six: Color and Embellishments. Chapter seven: What to do with all of your yarn.

A nice selection of patterns, my favorites are the socks (Pippi socks from Symeon North, check out this Knitty article and her blog), A felted Mammoth Tea Cozy by Laura Jefferson (lovely and fun).

There is a page about Catherine Goodwin and her Spindolyn at knittinganyway.com (this looks very interesting, check out her video on it, if you haven't heard of this). This looks so interesting I believe I may order one of these. Is there anyone out there with one?

A Shawl pattern: Copper Moose Shawl by Crystal Canning (very nice!) see more at coppermoose.com.

Along with many other great people and patterns.

I would recommend this book, to a beginner, it really explains and shows what spinning is about (great photos on all of the how-to’s), and maybe the more advanced would be interested in the large pattern variety.

Dyeing to Knit by Alaine Eskesen

A comprehensive book on color, color relationships, dyeing procedures, design and patterns.

Lovely photos. I don't dye, but enjoyed reading about it.

I loved the Pattern section, my favorite patterns, Basic Beret, and the Winter Shawl.

Beautiful book, I would recommend it just for the info and photos alone

Interesting links I ran across:

This is an interesting link on how to make a drop spindle from a bamboo skewer and poster board or a cereal box. A Lisa Ultralight. This link also has beautiful Judi spindle making instructions.

Of course we have all seen CD spindles, here is a link, however this is the best link I located.


Summer Knitty is out!

Check out this link for a look at the new Summer Knitty 2008


This time, beyond the patterns and articles, there's one extra thing
you'll want to read about: the Knitty Calendar Contest! You'll find
all the information here

Have you knit something from a Knitty pattern? Yahoo! You're eligible to enter!


Have FUN!!

Enter, or just enjoy!


'Damn Right, I've Got the Blues

We are all pretty excited here. My husband got one of his sculptures installed in the University where he works.

Check out this article.


Lovin the Craft

I recently bought the book Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off: The Yarn Harlot's Guide to the Land of Knitting. It is a great book.

The part that really got my attention was when she was talking about a product knitter vs a process knitter. I had never thought about this before.

Over the years, I have done all kinds of needle work, sewing, crochet, rug hooking, weaving, etc... I have enjoyed all of it, but wondered how I could spend hours and hours, weeks, months even and then when I was done. Taaa Daaa, toss the item aside after admiring it.

This always worried me a little bit, until I read her book. Then I realized, "I am a process knitter (or fill in craft of your choice)".

This is why I give it away, sell at craft fairs, and Etsy. After I'm done most of it doesn't interest me much.

Of course there are a few pieces that I do keep and wear, but they are the basic, timeless pieces. Traditional quilt patterns, Cardigans, scarves, etc...

I think the one thing I keep for myself and knit for myself are socks, (I have given one pair away to my mother-in-law) and of course baby socks/booties don't count.

I love hand knitted socks, I have a whole basket of them. They make me feel happy and my feet cozy.

They make me smile....

My latest socks, from the book 2-at-a-Time Socks: Revealed Inside. . . The Secret of Knitting Two at Once on One Circular Needle Works for any Sock Pattern!


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A wet journey to try to get to the Fiber arts Festival

Twelve inches of rain, and the county was underwater, check out this link.

You just have to see their

pictures and stories. more here.

Here is one reporters blog.





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Interesting Etsy seller

Here is a great Etsy seller:

She has three shops AliciaMae's Shop: Eclectic Design Gifts, she has a variety of trinket boxes, bracelets, wall art, polymer clay items and more.

Her second shop is Random Supplies at Etsy she sells her handmade beads here, for any beaders out there that want handmade beads, without the trouble of making them.

Her third shop is Alicia Mae Print's beautiful prints from landscapes to cats with some paintings included.

I don't know how she has the time to keep it all up.

Check her out.il_430xN_10651776 This is one of her prints, for details look here.

Enjoy shopping!


Knitting updates and Fiber festival trip

Just  some updates

Here is how far I have gotten on the Lola Bunny pattern  by Beth Skwarecki.

It is fun to knit and fairly quick, I have used the Magic Loop technique as shown on You Tube by KnitWitch

Here is my progress on my Sursa shawl from Noro Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton Book Two.

I picked a gray for the boarder. I had trouble making a decision, at first I had matched the pink, eeee gods, bad choice, so I decided to go neutral.

As you can see Syd was not interested in my dilemma.


I have to make a trip and I found a Fiber Festival that is on my way!!!


Thanks to Knitters Review's calendar!

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Handcrafted gifts for a baby explosion

Seems like everyone I know is pregnant. I have made several baby blankets, now I am tired of making those and have switched to stuffed animals.

Of course along with the gifts comes attending baby showers.

That means, playing the games, drinking that punch (sherbet, pineapple juice and sprite), nuts, mints and cake. After we are all sugar overloaded then it's on to the gifts.

It is amazing the response from giving a handcrafted gift.

1) Opens it up and looks, looks again, is this handmade????

2) Did YOU make this for ME? (OK now I'm the one that knits at work breaks, lunches and tries to slip it in on every occasion that I am idle)

3) Everyone else in the room turns looks, who made that? Points.

4) Then I have a variety of people approach me afterwards.

    a) the beginning knitters, (6th grade was the youngest), this group wants to know pattern, yarn, asks me knitting questions.

    B) the "I wouldn't have the time or patience to do that" but would like to.

    c) there is often one of these, "Well I guess it was cheaper to make it"

    d) and of course the knitter group, grandmothers with gnarled hands, who can't knit anymore or haven't, women that use to knit but are busy with children, jobs etc.., or current knitters that realize that it is the love of doing the knitting that keeps us at it.

Life often gets in the way, we put projects aside, I have put knitting on hold for years before, but always come back to it.

Not matter if we are handcrafting scrapbooks, beading, fiber, yarn or whatever else your heart desires, keep at it. In this time that we live in, where anything we can imagine is available at a superstore, handcrafted items are appreciated, maybe even more than we can imagine.