Saturday, September 20, 2008

Is this thing on...?

...tap, tap, tap....

Apparently, I've lost my audience, which is what I deserve for not blogging for weeks. But I'll write a new post and send it out into the universe, and see what, if anything comes back.

First of all, I have some finished yarn to show ya:

Those were all spun and plied on my electric spinner. All are wool of one form or another and purchased from various sources.

Casey approves, and has adopted them as a pillow:

Here's one more skein I've recently finished:

It is 100% Corriedale pencil roving from Crown Mountain Farms in their "As Above, So Below" colorway. The singles were spun on two drop spindles; they were then plied on my electric spinner, skeined, washed, whacked, dried, and reskeined.

Here's the obligatory dime photo:

The skein is 1 oz., 112 yards, and about 20-24 wraps per inch -- roughly laceweight.

Last week I was spinning up a 50/50 blend of cashmere/silk, with plans to submit it to the Fall Fiber Festival Skein & Garment competition. Well, disaster struck when I went to ply the luxury yarn, (don't ask - it's still too painful to discuss), so this wool is a last minute substitution.

Here's my entry all ready to go, along with my entry form and $2 entry fee:

high hopes

This is turning into quite the yarn-centric weekend for me, so it seems.

Iris Schreier, a published knitwear designer and the talent behind ArtYarns, is in Richmond this weekend teaching workshops for the River City Knitters knitting guild. At the last minute, Robin H. talked me into attending a mini-workshop Iris gave last night (Friday) at Lettuce Knit, which was quite fun. Iris handed out tiny skeins of ArtYarns supermerino samples, taught us a few of her very unique knitting techniques, and passed around knitted samples from her three previous books as well as from her new book coming out in April. We actually got to see a few pages from her new book, which was cool. Oh, and she has a new yarn coming out that is a machine-washable cashmere/merino/nylon blend. She passed around a crocheted baby blanket made from it that had already been machine-washed, and it was just lovely, and so soft. Can you imagine - a machine-washable cashmere yarn? Think of the gift-giving possibilities!

Another cool thing she showed us was her way to do a mobius cast-on by using a modified long-tail cast-on, which did seem less complicated than Cat Bordhi's mobius cast-on. I hope I can try it sometime. If you have Iris' book 'Exquisite Little Knits', it's the cast on she does for the belt ring, but converted to a long circular needle (at least 36").

Today (Saturday) I attended the Clothos Children spinning guild meeting, my first time attending an actual meeting other than their silent auction back in April. It was a much smaller group this time, and quite nice. They have a show-and-tell session, which is fun, and then a little instructional program, and this time the program was about plying. Some very helpful tips and suggestions were offered, and a demonstration of navajo plying was given. I'm very motivated to learn that technique, and am eager to start practicing next weekend. Once I learn how to navajo ply, I will probably ply everything I can that way, if I have enough yardage, and especially if the colors in the fibers dictate. I'm not a big fan of the barber-poling effect of plied yarns, and when I buy a gorgeously-dyed fiber, I want to preserve the color sequences that attracted me to it in the first place. Plus, it will be lovely to ply from just one bobbin without having to wrestle with a tangly center-pull ball. (See above-mentioned cashmere/silk painful fiasco.)

Tomorrow (Sunday) I'm attending Iris' morning workshop for her zig-zag scarf, which should be fun. I have to admit that I have not been a huge fan of the look of many modular knitted items, but the techniques are really cool, so I'm ready to give them a try. And after seeing some of the knitted samples from ArtYarns designers like Iris and Sharon Sorkin up close and personal, I believe I'm a convert. Keep an eye out for Sharon's Sequined Mohair Lace Vest pattern (I120) (Ravelry link) -- the photo on the pattern sheet does not do it justice. In person, it is gorgeous enough to wear in a wedding or to the opera. And another pattern I loved, (not sure if it's released yet), is for a gorgeous cabled cashmere scarf, where the cables are different on each side. Beautiful and inspirational. The yarns themselves are exquisite, with a price tag to match. But there seems to be some very decent pattern support, so that one can create a beautiful heirloom knitted item with just a skein or two, and therefore worth making a splurge, now and then.

It's getting late, so I will end this. If you're attending tomorrow's workshop, I'll see you there!


issy said...

You have been a busy little girlie today!! I am dumbstruck by the Corriedale in the green/blue colourway. Absolutely gorgeous!! I see a blue ribbon n your future!

Margaret said...

Wow! That's a lot of yarn you've spun! Sorry to have missed you at Clothos today as I decided to stay home, play with the new-to-me wheel, and weave instead of spending those hours in the car.

Bess said...

What yarn! Oooo. I'm so proud of you. Glad you are entering it in the FFF. They have such grand prizes. Not like MD. which has only a ribbon.

Glad to hear your voice again.

Nikki said...

That's one gorgeous skein you're entering!!!

and the rest of the yarn: oh so pretty!

have fun in your class and it sounds like you've been learning a lot! that's always fun to learn new stuff...

Dianne said...

Your entry yarn is are all the others!!!
I'm a bit anxious to see the moebius cast on..being I found the original quite difficult..even though I was successful a few times..I now have no memory of how I did it..lots of senseless moves involved..I felt I could stand on my head and drink easier..

rho said...

Oh pretty yarn - and best luck on the entry - it is beautiful.

I tried doing some beef short ribs in my crockpot yesterday - I used a bbq sauce that I sort of liked - next time I will just make my own - it was ehh but only because of the sauce - the ribs were super duper tender --- should have listened to you on the cp thread. ;)

Channon said...

Beautiful, beautiful. Can't wait to hear what you win!