Thursday, October 24, 2013

Green Sheep

Recently our library had a community night and invited people to come and share with those who came to visit.  They had hot dogs, free school supplies, and lots of activities.  I decided to go and spin because I have met many of my fiber friends at the library.

One lady was very inquisitive. "What are you doing?" she asked.

"Spinning yarn," I reply.

"Is that insulation?"

"No it is wool," I say."

"From sheep?"


"Where do they get green sheep?" she asks.

Trying not to laugh, I tell her,

"Uh, they dye the wool after they shear the sheep."

"OH," she exclaims.

She stood and watched a few more minutes and thanked me.

I am still looking for a green sheep.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Labor (Day) of Love, My Spinning Through One Year

Well it has been just over 4 years ago that I attended the Men's Fall Knitting Retreat in Seattle, WA.  My wife won the trip for me and it was a life changing event.  This past weekend was this years retreat for the West Coast and I one day wish to return.  While there I learned to drop spindle spin.  I practiced for several years, but it takes some time to get enough yarn to make something.  I will say that I now own 3 drop spindles (2 for use and 1 for decoration).  It is easy and portable and I love to take it places with me when I can.

About a year and a half ago I took my first spinning class, using a wheel at the Carolina Fiber Fest.  The yarn I made was awful, but usable and I still have it in a hank, in a basket to use to show as my first.  After taking the class a friend loaned me her grandmother's wheel and I practiced over last summer.  This is what I got:
Spun on 100 year old wheel.

I bought a spinning wheel from Craig's list just over a year ago and began to practice.  My wife and I went to Maryland Sheep and Wool.  I bought some multicolor fiber with my daughter in mind:

Still has quite a few extra twists in it.

I had some Tunis wool that I continued to practice with and here is the result.  I find the Tunis a little harder to spin, but is good for practice.

Tunis, less twist, but thick and thin.  I think it is better.

Over this summer I think I have practiced well.  This is the first result of this summer's spinning.  It is Mountain Colors BFL plied with Pagewood Farms Pencil Roving:

I was very proud and had some single left over:

Just this week I finished some Sweet Georgia Roving plied again with some Pagewood Farm pencil roving.  I am thrilled at the results:

Orange is my favorite color and these are great fall colors.  I love the results and it came out basically even so that I only had about 6 inches of the pencil roving left after plying.

So finally here is a comparison:

What a journey!  In just over a year I have handspun yarn I am very proud to display.  

I also completed my first project from my handspun.  It is the Fenced In hat  and I loved making it.  

Hope you enjoy my journey.

Friday, August 9, 2013

My Mountain Hat Contest

So about a month ago I noticed on Facebook that there was a contest for hats.  I love to knit hats.  So I asked for the yarn to be sent and this is what evolved.  The idea is to knit a hat which will convey an idea about "Your Mountain" (something you have to overcome in life).  Each hat has some meaning for me.  I will tell you about each one.

This is the Spiral Cap.  It reminds me of the times when I am running from Soccer to Volleyball to work to church to...
(you get the idea).  To recenter myself and stop the spiral I just look at that cute face under the cap (my son Avery is 
Next up is the Slalom Cap.  The cable pattern of this hat symbolizes when I am dodging all that life is trying to throw at me at one time.  Fortunately I have a loving an supportive family to help get to the bottom of the slope.  My very crafty daughter, Eleanor is modelling.

This is the Super Stripey Slouch.  It reminds me
of those days when you just need to be lazy.  I love a rainy, slouchy day when all I want to do is knit and get caught up on projects.

Finally we have the Life's Ups, Downs, and Rounds Hat.  Just like my unconventional life, I constructed this hat in an unconventional way.  The secret will be given away in the pattern (it is quite easy).  It is my favorite of the 4 hats and I will enjoy wearing it this winter.

All the patterns for the hats will be coming soon.   Wish me luck in the contest!