Spinning

How….how is it December already?!

We’ve made some changing at the homestead. Got a PS4 Pro for my husband’s birthday so we’ve accumulated a new tv and a new tv cabinet shelf thing for it. But that also means we’ve thrown out quite a number of things, reorganized the basement storage locker, and made space for a Christmas tree!!

This part I am particularly excited for. We haven’t had a Christmas tree in almost 2 years! Lucy doesn’t mind the tree either. Despite her being a cat she couldn’t give two dingle berries about it. Tree Tree Tree!!! Hopefully we’ll be able to grab one this weekend. I’ll also be able to put up the new stockings I made on Halloween night. Mmm….tree, stockings, new 4k HDTV where we can watch 4k log on a fire…thanks Netflix.

So what have I been doing fiber related recently? Continue reading My One and Only December

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Hey there. I spent last weekend up in Seattle with my lovely friends Izi and Rocko…I mean Noriko and Ari. =D

Izi is a mega-derp-a-licious cat. And Rocko is a haphazardly Chi puppy who desperately wants to play with Izi…who refuses to have anything to do with him besides the occasional BAP.

But anyways. I was up to assist my friends with their booth at the Fiber Fusion at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe Washington. Yay! My people have a booth! The week leading up to it I couldn’t remember where exactly we were going. Monroe? Who’s ever heard of this place? Not me apparently. And despite my name, I couldn’t remember it in casual conversation.

So what did I come home with? FIBER!!! Fibah….FERberrrrhhhh  Continue reading My Name is What?

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Two weeks into our third year of marriage and I have to say I’ve gotten two things that I severely needed, more than jewelry, more than yarn (yep):

  1. Emotional support
  2. Family time

At the beginning of the month we had a surprise visit from my cousin Janet and her husband Kannan. We had just seen them in California the weekend before for their wedding. Later, her sister Laura flew in and we all went out to lunch! omnomnomnom, Thai street food!

Kannan, Janet, Laura, JD

And of course, my husband has to make a weird face. lol

Laura stayed a few days and we hung out talking about everything from makeup, to family, to life in general. Made me so happy to be able to reconnect with my cousins even though we haven’t had quality time since…I don’t even remember. It’s been too long! I sometimes play with the idea of going south for the winter to see my family, but something always manages to come up, distract, or drain my holiday funds before I can settle on an itinerary.

The next day we went around and showed Laura Mississippi Ave and walked around for a little bit. I found some HUGE textile bobbins at a shoes store!

textile bobbins textile bobbins

all the tokyo milk

We also happened upon a shop that sells the entire range of Tokyo Milk! This pretty much sets me up for life for gifts for a particular friend. Never have to worry about what to get her ever again and I get to support a local small business! Double win for me! =D Flutter also has an assortment of cute hair accessories, notebooks, magnets, and other useful house ware nick-knacks.

As we wandered we ran into a friend of ours, Lauren. She was there with a friend on the hunt for lunch. Laura later noted that she really liked the fact that one could wander down a street and run into someone you know. That’s something I feel is very positive Portland and common for smaller-mid size communities.

Though we’ve had a huge influx of people over the past 5 years that small-town feel is somehow surviving. I’m happy that there’s still some positive in the sea of overwhelming negative (homeless population in Portland seems like it’s about 20% because of how much it is reported, and how little the city is active in improving the situation).


Anyways, after my cousins visited that Tuesday the 6th was our 2nd wedding anniversary!

Lucy on the toilet

Lucy also enjoys the toilet on occasion. She sat and waited while we were getting ready to go out. She doesn’t like being left out of the know. Her mood since we’ve been back from Europe doesn’t seem to have changed as much as when we left for a week last year for Costa Rica. Maybe 2 and a half weeks is too long and she forgot about us?

In any case, I think from now on we’ll only do a week at a time if possible. She’s getting older, and calmer thankfully, but still a wiley little butt-munch that needs our full attention, when she wants it, at her convenience, because cat.

2nd wedding anniversary

We dolled up and headed out to Hokusei, which is now Fukami. Had geoduck and Uni nigiri for the first time and I think I’m hooked! Geoduck is much tastier than muscles, scallops, clams, surf clam, and ika combined! It’s like all of them in one gloriously sweet and savory semi-solid textured omnomnom. And Uni. omg Uni.

Fukami itself is a really great experience. There are two menu items and a nigiri menu. They had real wasabi root that they ground fresh for each piece of nigiri as well as a curated set of dishes and a dessert. The dining room is limited to the counter and one 4-top table. It’s very intimate and you get to chat with the chefs too.


This past weekend we also went out and walked around a bunch, just my Jonathan and me. The master plan was to hit the Rose City Comic Con, but we didn’t quite make it there. Instead we did about 30 miles of urban exploration over two days.

I’d post our route, but I don’t want to publicly post where I live…so…just trust that we walked a lot haha.

The community mural on 39th between Belmont and Hawthorne has some new additions:
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All the Toast Ghosts had different quips and one liners. This one is my favorite of the loaf.

Obnoxiously, it seems some pea-brained gangster-wannabe spray painted a gang sign over an actual art piece that was posted up there. =( Fortunately there are plenty of other contributions that don’t appear to be negatively affected.

…now that I look at it I should have gotten a better shot of the mountain and moon triangle piece in the bottom left corner. Oh well, it doesn’t look like it will rain soon so I may be able to get back there in time for a good photo of it.


At the waterfront I finally decided to take a picture of this weird sticker. I’ve seen it before on a few occasions, but yesterday it really was shouting out to me. How can I say no to neon and clip art?

I can say no to going to their website. Anyone out there brave enough to grab some screenshots for me?

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Also, Mr. Grumpus

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At Mt Tabor yesterday there were also a lot of photo opportunities. I got a few shots of the reservoir and the downtown cityscape behind it.

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So I don’t consider myself exactly photogenic, but I enjoy the occasional couples selfie. Husband…not as enthusiastic. haha
img_5126 img_5127On our way down to the lower reservoir the road twists around the northern part of the park towards a switchback to get to the upper reservoir gate. There a Caterpie pokemon spawned at the same time I saw a real caterpillar in the road! He was quite a fat and juicy looking specimine that probably fell off of a tree branch high above us.

Naturally I wanted to save it. I like small weird squishy bug type things (spiders not included).

It was decided that the little guy was not a Caterpie, but a Weedle. As Jonathan went to scoop it with a leaf it flailed quite wildly and almost pricked him with the horn on it’s head.

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A caterpillar with a horn, definitely a Weedle! He tried again with a stick, and the caterpillar struck again at the stick. Pokemon: the struggle is real, in the wild. Unfortunately, with direct sunlight the camera app in the Pokemon Go game is really terrible. The graphic for the Caterpie is pretty good while the fat, juicy, green caterpillar is all washed out. It was nearly as green as the Caterpie.

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Finally reaching the lower reservoir via some precariously steep and narrow concrete access stairs I grabbed another shot of the area. I’m not sure who’s idea it was that our reservoirs look like castles, but I thoroughly enjoy our gothic looking architecture. I think these may have been built in or around the same era as a lot of the work done along the Historic Columbia Highway, Highway 26 to the coast in the Cascade mountain range, and Route 101 along the coastline. There are very similar ramparts along the roads at various vista points and pullouts.


Work has begun on the technical spinning project I have planned. So far so good on the Zwarbles sample I have. It’s surprisingly incredibly easy to draft!

Here’s a few upclose shots of the fiber:

zwarbles sample zwarbles So far it seems the fiber has been expertly prepared. I’m excited about this because I like spinning natural fibers to ply against more colorful custom dyed commercial tops.

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Last month I went to a fiber festival called Black Sheep Gathering, (read about it here). It was my first time to this particular event, and my third fiber related event overall, aside from the Rose City Yarn Crawl. My particular interest in this event stems from this years additional hobby that I picked up last fall: spinning.

My prize items from that festival are my Jenkins Manzanita Aegean Turkish Spindle and a sampler pack of roving from 30 different breeds of sheep from Wool Gatherings. 30 Breeds!! Each sample is a full 1oz of fiber. Since I am new to spinning and fibers beyond merino and polwarth, I’m hoping this will be the introduction I need to expanding into more exotic fibers!

aaahhh....

aaahhh….

I have split it with Norichan and we will be spinning and swatching each 0.5oz sample.  We will each be doing a series of posts reviewing each breed in reverse alphabetical order, on the 15th of the month, starting in September. With personal projects and christmas knitting coming up fast, July is almost over, this will be a definite challenge in the pursuit of knowledge!

Stay tuned for all the awesome!

 

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Current WIPs —

Gehry Wrap: 50% done

Frosty Acorn: 85% done

RCYC MCAL – 65% done

Polwarth/Silk Spinning: 30% done

Crosspatch Spinning 50% done

Burton Vestigan: 50% done, need to get more yarn

Mayu – 85% done, need to finish sleeves

Jonathan sweater attempt #4: Just started

Playground shawl: A grudgingly 10% done, might frog this. The material is too good for a basic shawl! XD


Stuff That I Want to Make over the next 6 months —

Basic Brioche Beanie – Learn brioche!

Best Friend Shawl – Have the materials, need to do it

Lady Olivia – Need new hand warmers for this fall

Lingon – Use my handspun

Regina – ‘cuz more hats

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In tandem with feeling massive amounts of anxiety lately here are some of the things I’ve been working on to channel that potentially self-destructive behavior into something constructive. And yes I have to admit that the sweater I was working on for my husband will not be ready by the time we leave for Ireland. =(

Rimski Kosakoffee Cake Shawl

Rimski Kosakoffee Cake Shawl

Beanie

Beanie

Out of all five of these only the beanie is completed. The Rimski shawl is crochet instead of knit. It was originally supposed to be my airplane travel project, but I decided to add beads…so I may just leave this one at home or hurry up on it and wear it in Ireland. I’m already almost half way done with it.

Crosspatch Creations Skalkaho Pass

Crosspatch Creations Skalkaho Pass

Frosty Acorn

Frosty Acorn

The Skalkaho Pass batt is spinning up a lot smoother than my first batch of Crosspatch Creations fiber. I’m really excited to ply it with a solid color. I’m thinking of getting some Corriedale or maybe even some undyed Vixen base from Thoroughly Thwacked. MOAR SILK!!! ALL THE RAINBOW COLORS!!! Hehe.

Frosty Acorn is my first project utilizing my own handspun. You wouldn’t think it, but the blue/pink actually works really well with the purple color of the Black Butte. This also won’t be done by the time we go to Ireland, but one can hope! (Also, this will likely be gifted to my sister…I made it slightly too small…oops…)

Teasdale Shawl

Teasdale Shawl

And last but not least, my Teasdale shawl. The border is a 21 repeat of a 12 row chart. Chugging along on it! I got about 10 repeats done while listening in on my husband’s DnD session last Sunday. Maybe this will be my airplane project…?

Sigh, my Ongoing Projects widget is getting too long! At least I don’t have a mountain of UFO’s to contend with. 5-10 is reasonable, right? >.<

Some other things I’ve been thinking about making include a crochet top. A basic cover I can wear over a tank top or light undershirt for the summer. I’ve discovered that the stranded yarns from Yarnia work best in crochet for me and not knitted. I still really like the peachy color I bought a few months ago so it should work out fine. Maybe THAT will be my airplane project?

I have a full skein of Dream in Color Smooshy as well that I want to make into a hat. And I also have some burgundy and blue skeins of lace-weight-ish yarn that I want to knit together stranded as a hat as well.Maybe I’ll make that into a cowl instead…hmm…nice light and airy lace thing that I can use to layer on…hmm…. Ah too many choices! Too many accessories!!!

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Success! I didn’t get the flu this year so I was able to check out a few of the shops!

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This year the rcyc started a day early! WHO DOES THAT? I was a little irked that the stores were making their exclusives and having trunk shows starting on Thursday. A lot of people have jobs, a lot of people are coming from out of state, a lot of people are  attending! That last bit though is probably why they extended the crawl by a whole day. This year they didn’t have a yarn ball either (pre-party).

Enough of the self-deluded griping and on to the goodies!!

rcyc haul

From leftish to rightish:

A. Thoroughly Thwacked 60/40 Merino Bamboo fiber braid gradient Bleeding Heart

B. Alexandra’s Crafts 50/50 Merino Yak down fiber braid. No official color way name, but it is a dark red/black

C. Twist and Turnings 2.25″ African Padauk Whorl with a 9.5″ Maple shaft. 26g/0.95oz

D. Ashland Bay Cheviot natural roaving. 0.5oz for testing purposes

E. Alexandra’s Crafts Custom Colorway for Pearl Fiber Arts. Cedar Creek 85/15 SW Merino Neps in Mushroom

F. Alexandra’s Crafts 2 skeins Black Butte 60/20/20 Merino, Silk, and Yak down. In the color way Deep Purple.

G. Solstice Alpenrose DK SW Merino in Lake Washington

H. Solstice Luna Sport 80/10/10 SW Merino, Cashmere, Nylon in Cherry Blossom

I. Brooklyn Tweed Shelter Targhee-Columbian Wool in Postcard

J. Madeline Tosh Tosh Merino Light SW Merino in Filtered Light

K. Chiaogoo Red Lace  size US15 24″ fixed circular needles

L. Unicorn Wash!

rcyc

Most of the items are brands that are new to me or material that is new to me. For spinning the Merino/Bamboo blend was my first spinning project. I like it a lot and have since learned how to navajo ply so I picked up a gradient specifically for that purpose. Additionally the yak down was just too poofy and soft to pass up. And at $30 for a whole 4oz of a luxury fiber? Yes please!

I had been avoiding using Brooklyn Tweed because of reports of the weakness of the ply. So I decided to go with Shelter, the worsted weight yarn they offer. It sure is spongy and hopefully lives up to it’s name. This is the only skein I purchased at the crawl that is not some sort of merino blend. I’m not settled on what I want to make with it, but signs are pointing towards hat.

Additionally I had my eye on splattered yarns. I’ve seen some people around town sporting this type of hand painted yarn in hat form and I want one for myself! I’m familiar with Madeline Tosh yarns so I know it will turn out really well. Also I’ve used Thoroughly Thwacked’s Vixen single ply yarns I find myself liking the stitch definition a lot more than other yarns, especially with lace projects. Tosh Merino Light is a single ply so this skein probably won’t end up as a hat, and if it does I may hold it double.

Next comes the Solstice yarns dyed in Portland by the Dublin Bay Knitting Co. gals at the same named shop. I have already started a project with the Alpenrose Dk. First impressions? This is a really sturdy yarn. It is super wash merino at a reasonable 280 yards for $26.   Perhaps it is because I’m making a hat, but at this point the semi-solid nature of the dye job is making some areas pool with the darker dye. The yarn itself also has some variation in thickness and softness. Overall I’d give this a 8/10 for those issues pointed out. Once the project is off the needles I may revisit my analysis. I do feel I need to make a sweater out of this yarn before I pass final judgement. =)

Little Red

In addition to upping the variety of yarns I use, I chose also to up my skills in drop spindling by purchasing a new spindle without a notch. I’ve decided to name it Little Red since it is the smallest, and cutest, of the two spindles I now currently own. At just under an ounce, I’ve used the Cheviot to try it out and boy is it light! I think I can make some really nice three ply lace weights with this spindle…with enough practice of course. The Kundert is still my workhorse that I seem to always have a project going on.

Lastly comes the Unicorn Wash. I see this stuff everywhere! I’ve been using some wool wash that came with the Knit Picks blocking mats. Small little bottles of soapy smelling stuff that I’m not entirely sure why there were two different kinds because they smelled the same. I’ll have to do more investigation into the difference between an wool soak and an actual wool wash. But that’s for another time.


TL;DR Bought stuff that I haven’t used before in new brands, color ways, and material. Pretty excited for this year’s knitting projects!

 

 

 

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