spinning

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!

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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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You’re almost a third of the way through and I haven’t talked to you at all!

I finally managed an FO! I spent a few hours fiddling with the super bulky pink yarn I had spun and plied earlier this year and finally made myself a beanie.

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Tips for next time: 2-ply bulky and don’t fret if it’s not entirely bulky!

I used up every last bit of the super bulky and almost didn’t have enough for the beanie. Thankfully I do have size US15 needles! You can barely make out the quarter underneath four strands of the yarn. Since I let it sit for nearly a month it has not only revealed to me it’s ultimate sproinginess, as merino is, it has also grown on me. The pictures here don’t really show the color well. It isn’t orange. It is PINK. PIIINK.

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MMmhmmm some tasty handspun this is!

The pattern is basic 2×2 variation on Norichanknits Hipstamatic. My changes include casting on 44 instead of 52, working 3 rows on size US11 needles, switching to size US15 needles for the rest of the beanie. The four ply nature of the yarn meant that some spots were not as fluffy as others which gives it a nice subtle thick and thin effect without being so dramatic. I’m pleased with the results and need someone to take me hiking in the mountains! (hint hint).

Speaking of adventures, here’s a sneak peak at my goodies from the Rose City Yarn Crawl!

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A part of learning the craft of drop spinning is upping the game with advanced tools as well as advanced techniques. This little beauty is barely 1oz in weight and doesn’t have a notch! It makes up for that by having a sharper curve at the top of the hook to keep the thread in place. This one is made by Twist and Turnings right here in Portland! It is a 26g/.95oz with an African Paduak whorl and a solid Maple shaft. It’s an itty bitty spindle that I was able to try out at the store. I pretty much tried all of the spindles at Pearl Fiber Arts and this one called my name moreso than the others. There was another dark walnut whorl too, I think it was a 31g weight…yes I am still thinking about it but I’m pretty sure someone’s bought it already. Must exercise self-craft-control…lol

Since this spindle is lighter than my Kundert spindle, I’m hoping to get some consistent lace weight out of it. This spindle is also shorter than my Kundert, so for portability it does get higher marks. I wonder if I can take it with me on an airplane.

Anyways, my master plan is to take knitting with me on my trip to California in April to test out theories about taking circular knitting needles in carry-on luggage on a much trans-continental flight later this year. I’ll bring a set of fixed chiaogoos with me and a pre-stamped envelope just in case the TSA officers are a bunch of hooligans.

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In the bag. This is the last work day of the month!

I guess it flew by, but this week has definitely dragged on. So lets talk about happy things, like ME and my projects! =)

First off I have to mention that my hair is finally long again. Long enough to pull back into a little pony tail. I forget how this makes my face look much narrower, how much I look like my mom, and how Korean it makes me appear as well. Heh. I am what I am, and I no longer have poof going on at the shoulders. Mid-April I believe will be the 1 year mark since I cut it really short before our Costa Rica adventure and I do feel like my hair growth has slowed somewhat. It may just be due to the perm though. By this coming May I’m sure it’ll be a nice mid shoulder length with plenty of styleability.

Ok now for projects:

  1. I’ve started plying my master project. I grossly miscalculated how much yardage each ply was going to be. I may end up in the 300 yard range by the time I’m done. I haven’t even gotten half way through and my spindle is almost at capacity!

  2. Christmas spinning results are in and it looks like my Mountain Sapphires will be a little neck warmer. Nice and thick! I’m doing a basic garter stitch scarf, but to spice things up a bit I’m going to drop sections and reloop them using a crochet hook to make big stitches. I’m pretty stoked for this even though the scarf isn’t going to be that long. Will be making a button border at the end.
  3. Rose City Yarn Crawl Mystery Knit Along: That’s a mouthful. It’s started! Clue 1 came out this week Wednesday, and the next three clues will be coming out once a week for the next three weeks. I’m pretty excited and thankful I had the foresight to ask Cindy for help picking colors! I did keep to the plan and I’m excited how the cowl is going to turn out!
  4. Master Plan Spinning Project 2 is manifesting itself. Noriko released a bulky weight hat last year that I want to spin yarn to make. Yeah bulky, yeah spinning for an actual project, yeah yeah!!

 

 

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The past few weeks have been a bit hectic at work, so I apologize for not updating you on my master plan spinning project. This is probably my most ambitious attempt so far at spinning a large quantity since Noriko and Cory’s visit in which I finally nailed down my drafting technique. Spinning like a boss now. But aside from that what has evolved is an appreciation for the three ply. If you know me, then you also know that I can jump the gun sometimes and just go-go-go on a project. This has definitely been a test of patience and a labor of love.

First Ply: Buckle My Shoe. A semi-solid blue-turquoise colored 100% merino dyed by Knitted Wit. I should have listened to Cindy and Noriko about starting off with a basic fiber. (I still love my first wonky mini-skein~!!!). I started off drafting this fiber the opposite way as my previous spinning projects and boy did it make a difference. Being a left-handed person, I was originally trying to draft with my left hand, which mean that my right hand was doing it’s own thing, aka holding the fiber too tightly causing the cat knappiness at the end of the fiber. But anyways, I switched drafting hands and I totally got this now.

Second Ply: 100% Natural Merino. It’s white, so I feel like it was probably bleached or something regardless of what the tag says. Aside from that this was a practice in precision. I tried to get this to be a smidge thicker and more even a ply than the Buckle My Shoe. What I got was a much shorter ply, at least to the naked eye. I’m fairly certain that I still got a good 200+ yards out of it though! =D

Third Ply: 60/40 Merino/Bamboo in the She Shed colorway by Thoroughly Thwacked. Ok so this is not a measured 2oz, but I think it’ll be enough to match the first two in length fairly decently. I was waffling on whether or not to use the BFL and decided on continuing with the merino trend. My first attempt with the BFL was not so great, though friends rave about it’s soft and silkiness. I repeatedly dropped my Kundert when attempting a ply and barely got a few yards before I gave up. I’ll try again at a later time because it must be plied with another color. I can’t ignore that coffee and cream coloring!

Two vs Three ply: Visually

In theme with being impatient and wanting to experiment I tested the ends of the Buckle My Shoe and the Natural Merino to see what it would potentially look like and got this (Sorry for the blurry pic, but you can see how kinda puffy it is as just a 2 ply):

2-ply

I’m not a fan of how the test is looking. I went ahead and started plying the She Shed and wow does it make a difference!

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Granted this doesn’t show at all what the color changes will look like. She Shed has blue and pink/red sections which I have found blend together much better now that I am finally drafting properly and the ply itself is much skinnier than my first attempt. The color transitions are not so abrupt and the over-spinning that I was doing before is much less of a problem since working with the merino. I’m pretty stoked to get the ply finished, take pictures, and share with everyone the final yarn results!

If all goes as planned, I think I may stick with the plying a solid with a multi-dyed fiber path. 2 ounces seems to be a good sweet spot for me before I get bored of a particular colorway and I really like the way my three ply hand spun looks. The closer I get to completing the third ply the more anxious I am to get my hands on a niddy noddy. Granted that for measuring purposes, my swift works just as well, and also to make a decent sized skein. Just wanting to have all the right, and pretty, tools I guess. =)

And just how am I going to go about plying 6 ounces of yarn? Uh…we’ll get to that when we get to that…hehe

 

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One down, two to go!

Christmas is just around the corner and I couldn’t be happier. It’s been a long time since I was truely excited to give gifts. Mostly because this year I feel like I can afford to give some well thought and meaningful items.

But anyways, onto some selfish stuff:

I did manage to get wrangled into going to Jonathan’s company holiday party. Partly due to the purchase of this little beauty:

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Aww yeah, gigantic teddy sweater! It was remarkably soft and cozy despite obviously being used. May have found the best vintage store in Portland too.  A little secret spot in Hollywood called Babylon Vintage. Products are good and the prices are even better! I’m not super sure about the contents as the tag was gone, but I’m guessing there’s a bit of wool in addition to acrylic. I’m hoping to figure out a way to tailor it though. It’s a XL with odd wing shaping on the sleeves. But otherwise, super awesome teddy sweater!!

Around the block we happen upon a bazaar at the local church. At one of the booths was hand made, hard wood, Christmas ornaments!

 

IMG_1934 The maker, Vincent and his partner, don’t have a facebook page or etsy shop set up yet, so I’ve linked his facebook profile in-which he accepts messages for orders. He’s been busy shipping out and making new items. Check him out!

 

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I’ve also come to the point of obsession over this app: Neko Atsume

Cats

Play things

Fish currency

It’s basically a super easy, non-sadface version of a Tamogatchi =)

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Christmas for myself came a smidge early. A long the lines of learning new things I’ve picked up a drop spindle from KundertSpindles. These are also hand made and super light! I’ve already broken into my merino/bamboo from Thoroughly Thwacked. And picked up some undyed BFL at my LYS and Masham dyed by DragynKnits. Excited! Need to get the almost 1.5oz I’ve already spun up safely off my spindle though so I can try these other fibers.

Not bad for a newbie

Not bad for a newbie

Seems to be working so far. Only dropped it twice...hehe

Seems to be working so far. Only dropped it twice…hehe

For a little while there I was really confused about the importance of the weight of the spindle. Heavier spindle = thicker yarns? Yup. The weight of the spindle gives the whorl more mass in which to stay in motion. More force is needed to keep the spindle twisting the fibers. If there are more fibers, you need more force and so more weight. So anyways. I apparently bought a super duper light spindle, despite it’s size. Hopefully as I get better this means I can do both thick and thin threads!

But do you see those colors?!!!?!?!?!?!!

le sigh…

 

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