Tag Archives: spinning

So, What’s in the Box?


It has been a … less than stellar day, which means it is the perfect day to share something awesome.

A little while ago (during my B.A.D.D. period) I was at work when I received this picture from my Mom, Dad and husband….

What's in the Box?

What’s in the Box?

No one would tell me what was sitting in my living room – or what was in the box. I thought that it was a book Trevor and I had been trying to sell. Finding the right seller for rare books can be difficult and tedious, and we have a doozey we found at a garage sale.

Of course I got mandated at work that night, and after 16 hours all I could do was come home and crash. To be honest, I forgot all about the box. I even forgot doing the horrible impersonation of Brad Pitt from the movie Seven when he yells “what’s in the box?” (spoiler: it was a head). The terrible impression made from hours 4 through 11 in my shift were soon forgotten after that the sucky-ness of work caught up with us and well … we all forgot.

Trevor had been twitchy all week and all I thought his second job was catching up with him. With his Dad being sick and working all the time of course he couldn’t remain the Zen Master of the Universe. It’s still strange that I thought that though – because the only other time if our eleven year relationship where I have seen him twitch like that is before he proposed.

So when I came home one night, this is what I found sitting in my living room … no longer in the box …

My first spinning wheel!!!!!

My first spinning wheel!!!!!

My first spinning wheel! The present, from my family, was a (very) early 30th birthday present. As it turns out, everyone was waiting to see my response to the gift – so much so that I spent two hours on the phone before I could even sit down and look at my new toy. The wheel is an Ashford Spinning Wheel Kiwi 2 and unfinished – which is perfect. Everything about it is perfect – except my spinning 😉

Here goes nothing

Here goes nothing

So friends and neighbors, who are also spinners, I am begging for any tips/tricks/advice on how to make the perfect yarn for my perfect family!

No pressure 😉

 

 

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Happy New Year & Hello 2014!


Howdy friends and neighbors, it seems a new year has begun and that means big plans to fill the next 365 days! Oh the plans I have, not resolutions so much as grand plans for all the things that I want to get into in the next 52 weeks. Let’s see the list shall we?

  • Find a year long KAL – any suggestions would be helpful by the way.
  • Join KALs to meet even more amazing online knitters
  • Finish a sweater
  • Finish that lace beaded lace shawl.
  • Find that perfect sock formula
  • Stash bust 50% of my stash
  • Actually spin things I want to share on the internet 😉
  • Try my hand at designing more intricate things 
  • Try weaving – it looks like fun!
  • Keep all my social media up to date. aka Ravelry, Twitter, Facebook,  Flickr (my personal favorite), Tumblr and Instagram
  • Be so much better about updating my Etsy store
  • BLOG MORE!

But here is the one I am really, really excited for….

~ 52 Weeks of New Experiences! ~

I never make New Year’s Resolutions – they usually lead to disappointment. But this year I want to try something new, I want to try 1 new thing a week (or a total of 52 new things in a year). This can be knitting related or anything else my mind dreams up. Life is too short to not keep learn and trying new things. I already know what I want to do for week 1, which is really exciting!, but I am going to have to keep reading blogs, books, magazines and anything I can get my hands on to keep expanding as a person.

This is going to be a very full year indeed. So now I beg for your input friends and neighbors – what knitting are you doing this coming year? Heard of any good KALs? Seen something that tickles your fancy? Please share! I am here and sooo ready to listen!

 

A Knitter’s Dream Garage Sale!! GOODIES!!


Okay, it may be yet another day and the lace shawl is still on my needles but I have a good reason – well, three good reasons. The first being that I am over-thinking this so simple a beginner could do it pattern so much that I keep making mistakes. The second is that I was slaving over my Etsy Store, worrying about selling anything. Ever. The third is that I hit the mother-load of all garage sales today!

We were just driving back from my parent’s house when we saw the garage sale sign. Now normally I am not a garage sale kinda gal, more because I am always afraid to leave my car on the side of the road than anything but something caught my eye. “TREVOR! SPINNING WHEEL!” I screamed and he found a safe place to stow the care and on we went.

Arriving at this sale was like arriving at a divorce court. A married couple, clearly quite angry with one another, were bickering like small children. What I gathered from my eavesdropping (I have now shame) is that she decided to take up knitting about two years ago. When she did she must have spent a fortune on everything she bought – and she bought everything! Drop spindles, fiber, yarn, spinning wheels (yes, wheels), needles and memorabilia for her “craft room”. Then, well, she never touched one bit of it. The husband had simply had enough and just wanted the room back. Thus, friends and neighbors, my goodies!

** My First Ball Winder **

My pretty new ball winder.

My pretty new ball winder.

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It’s an actual Standwood!

My first ball winder cost $2.00 (retail on Amazon is $59.87). I could have cried I was so excited to see this. The two spinning wheels (each costing a mere $15.00) had both sold, but the winder was mine! I learned the hard way that I am going to have to buy a swift, as you can see below, but who cares!

** My First Purchase of Fiber **

I have actually only spun one hank? skein? load? (what the heck to I call a pile of wool?) before so I was hesitant. They were selling drop spindles for $1.00 (I bought another one) and the two sections of wool cost $0.50 cents. FIFTY CENTS!

Fifty Cents! Now...what to do with it?

Fifty Cents! Now…what to do with it?

** Knitting Antiques Anyone? **

These two of these three pieces came out of an old factory in Ohio. The two spindles were from a plant the made wool in Southern Ohio during the first World War. The cradle is an antique she found in a store. You open it up and put your center pull ball in and close the sucker tight, then proceed to hang it for easy access. Total price, $1.00. AWESOME!

What an incredible day, so many good finds! Now I just need to figure out how to spin the fiber into pretty yarn (advice is appreciated) and untangle my newly purchased Cascade yarn. Oh – and price a good swift (also, advice is appreciated!). I am feeling so good, how about some flamingos?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Just in case the slideshow doesn’t work – I’ve never tried it before and the pictures are just so fun!

Oh SO Many Goodies


Sitting here with my Sweet Tea and contemplating how to go about all this information, I have come to conclusions that I will do it in quick bursts. Otherwise I am going to be here all night and bore you to tears with a post resembling an epic tome.

So let’s get to the goodies!

˜ The Sweet As Honey Hat ˜

Frannie in the Bar

Frannie in the Bar

This is where the Sweet As Honey Hat got placed today to my utter amusement, there is nothing quite like seeing a Styrofoam head in your liquor cabinet. Also, Gloria and I have named her Frannie – in case you are curious the male head is Stu and the dressmaker dummy is Beverly. That’s just how we roll in the Folk Household.

The slouchy beehive hat was so much fun to work up with super shiny aqua yarn, this hat is begging me to wear it, although I know I can not. It should be posted on the Etsy store within the week, as soon as I get the okay from the designer on Ravelry.

˜ I Am Making Socks…..No Really….I AM TOO!! ˜

This is a very condensed version of the conversations T and I had this morning as I pulled out size 2 needles and very, very fine yarn. I know it was out of concern that he questioned my choice of knitting but I will sooner eat my fingers off than deem them worthless.

Before the accident I was one of those super scary-fast knitters, and I could handle any size or any type of needle with ease. I took it for granted of course, now with a hand that is absolutely stubborn I have to go much slower and it still turns purple when overused. I remind myself to laugh at this, as if I had consumed forbidden candy from Willy Wonka’s Factory instead of intense swelling – otherwise I would pull my hair out.

The process is slow but I will keep all of you updated on the progress. I am really quite excited!

Cast On - CHECK!

Cast On – CHECK!

Finish Cuff Ribbing - CHECK!

Finish Cuff Ribbing – CHECK!

Sidebar: I may be sending out desperate requests at some point. So far I have frogged one row, and dropped….oh dear me….14 stitches. This is something I haven’t done in years, I actually had to go on Knitting Help’s website to figure out how to use a crochet hook to fix my goofs. I remain undeterred.

˜ Knitting Bucket List & Facing Reality ˜

A long time ago (this morning) I thought I was a pretty advanced knitter, until I sat down and thought about it. I have mastered the basics and even some of the higher skills, but there are so many things I have not done that keep me from claiming what is rightfully mine…damn it.

There are only so many times I can complain about my hand before it gets annoying, so I will just skip it. Anyway, a lack of confidence has kept me from trying the more advanced techniques and skills that I am now currently lusting after, thus starting a pair of socks that scare me more than a centipede in my shower. So here is my “by the end of 2013” to-learn/try bucket list:

  • Socks.
  • Double Knitting.
  • Lace Work.
  • A Garment – probably a cardigan – and assembling the pieces.
  • A Shawl.
  • Looming – My uncle wants to make me one he saw on a retreat, God love him!
  • Weaving.
  • Spinning.
  • Dying yarn.
  • DUH DUH DUH….Try to learn how to crochet…again.

Okay, HUMONGOUS list of things to learn knitting wise but I am ready to branch out from my comfort zone. I am going to need to return to those things occasionally to retain my sanity anyway. I just feel like life is too short to say I haven’t tried all I can try.

RECOMMENDATIONS ARE LOVELY IF YOU CARE TO SHARE!

˜ My Mom and Dad’s 30th Wedding Anniversary ˜

Here is the a few pics of the progress thus far. There is way more going on but this is what I have stopped and taken pics of – more to come!

First Trail Vase...Needs Work.

First Trail Vase…Needs Work.

I currently have around 60 stems done and the pom-poms are very easy to make. Another 40 and I should be done.

** Thank You for Hanging In There…How About Some Pictures? **

Truthfully I should have spread this out a bit but I wanted to share it all so badly, plus my mind is busting with all sorts of new things I want to write about. Thanks for hanging in there friends and neighbors, until tomorrow!

Max and Knitting 9080917256_f74afe64ce_z 8743224879_130919f9e3_z 8721635015_3bc96a02b2_z 8749406529_ea206e6011_z 8814364371_ac0867f725_z

Welcome Distractions


As anyone who has been made redundant, or has lived with someone who has lost their job you’ll understand that it can make someone quite jittery. As good as a mood as I’ve been it, it has been a bit hard to keep my focus on just one thing – my mind is a tad jumpy these days. I am combating all this with a few simple (or lots of not so simple, depending on how you look at it) things to keep my mind busy.

˜From My iPod to My Ears˜

  • In audiobook world I am listening to Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth. I always wanted to read this book, but the epic tome is over 1,400 pages long and more than a little daunting. When I found the audiobook at the library I was delighted to see that the narrator was well-known and well-respected, so I snatched it up. Twenty-nine, yes 29 CDs later he was all queued up for my listening pleasure – which so far it has been.
  • The xx are my go to band for pumping me up. I know all the words to every song, both on xx and Coexist. Sometimes you need to sing out loud – in some cases very loud – to relieve unwanted stress. I just try to be careful that I am not causing anyone else any stress with my singing! *Blushing*
  • The Complete Goldberg Variations on Bach by Glenn Gould is another one of those things that I just couldn’t live without knowing it exists. Spanning several decades (1955-1981) the recordings are fantastic, you can hear Gould talking in the background (which doesn’t take me out of the moment) and the music is divine. I can do anything with this playing in the background – if anything it helps me concentrate. I am so glad I grew up with a next door neighbor that played in the symphony, I’m a total classical music whore! (Yup, try to reconcile that statement in your mind 😉

˜On My Bedside Table˜

If you thought I was monogamous with my knitting, you should see how many books I balance at any given time!

  • Platform: How to Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt was recommended to me when I first opened my Etsy shop ( I dearly wish I could remember the blogger). Non fiction that reads like a college text-book, it outlines the best ways to start a business – and more importantly how to be successful in this endeavor. Mine is highlighted, bookmarked, written in, post-it-ed and anything else you can imagine. I like going back and rereading certain sections when I feel it is necessary.
  • Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris is also non-fiction, but of the short (and mind-blowingly hysterical) essay style. This is great to read before bed when you know you won’t be able to log serious reading time. Just read an essay, wipe the tears from your eyes from laughing too hard and turn out the light.
  • A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin is something I never expected to get into. I was at a baby shower for a friend of mine (she’s on her fourth baby by the way) and she ranted and raved about how good these books are. So I figured if someone with four kids had time to read, and enjoy, these books then I should give it a go. So far it is actually quite enjoyable – I just hope it keeps it up, once I start a series it is a OCD thing that I have to finish it. This means if it sucks, I suck it up. So….fingers crossed!

˜On My Knitting Needles˜

So many projects, so many different gauges and techniques needed – I love variety. If I had to knit just one thing at a time my poor head would explode, I need the option to change routes when A) my hand is sore B) I simply cannot do another cable or color change or C) I want to watch a movie at the same time.

  • Men’s Cabled Beanie – This one is great because every row is different, no repeats on this baby. I tend to gravitate to this pattern when I need a solid distraction from the world. Just me, my needles and my counting.
  • Roman Pillar Baby Blanket – This is a 6 row repeat that I just can’t seem to finish – it’s like I develop ADD the moment I pick up the needles. Luckily, there is only 7 more inches to go. I just need to push through.
  • Length Wise Linen Stitch Scarf – Nice and neat, easy to repeat. I like working on this sucker when I am watching TV or find my mind is a little distracted. It is also great to work on in the car when going to see my mother and father-in-law.
  • The Fault in Our Stars Scarf – I have no idea what I was thinking when I casted on seventy (70) stitches in the round for this scarf. All I know is that Gloria and I loved the idea, wanted it made and so shall it be. I just have no clue how long it is going to take, knitting endlessly in the round can be really tedious.
  • Another OSU Buckeye Hat – You guessed it, a family member asked me to make them (for free…grr…) the hat I have on my Etsy shop site. Since I have no backbone – and I was in a spectacular mood this week, I relented. I am just hoping for good word of mouth at this point.

˜In Which I List Everything Else I Do to Keep From Pulling My Hair Out˜

  • Learning to spin.
  • Working – Have I ever mentioned my job? Eh, it’s not really worth mentioning.
  • Playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf – OCD porn I tell you! Collect things, cross them off lists….amazing. Plus, Gloria loves it so when I play too much or too long I just send it to her house.
  • Cleaning the house.
  • Organizing my workroom.
  • Cooking all sorts of new things, within our budget of course.
  • Long walks.
  • Taking/Editing loads of photographs.
  • Gardening and drying fresh herbs.
  • And of course…Making Lists.

I think that may be all I have to start this Monday morning with a bang. I sincerely hope I haven’t bored you into a coma. It feels good to write, to share – cathartic is the wrong word but the best I can come up with at the moment.

So, friends and neighbors, what do you do to keep yourselves busy? I love new ideas!

Stitch Pattern Week 12 & Heartfelt Shout-outs to Amazing Bloggers!! Seriously, My Faith in Humanity Has Been Restored!


I sincerely hope that my good mood is infectious, I want to spread the love! Something rather amazing happened during this week stitch pattern, I am still left dumbfounded by it. The pattern…hold on, let me catch my breath, was totally readable! That’s right friends and neighbors, even my great-grandmother seemed to want my week to go as smoothly as possible. So, with bated breath I present Stitch Pattern Week 12 for your viewing pleasure!

˜ The Knotted Rib Stitch˜

Oh GG, you have made this heavenly stitch so simple. Wish you were here to share the glory that is this pattern!

  • cor p2ktwice p4 end by two – Row 1: (RS) p2, *K front and back, p4*; end K front and back, p2. ( I don’t know if it is the fact that I have spent 12 weeks reading your work GG, but this was by far the most informative you’ve ever been!)
  • k2 pjoin k4 end by two – Row 2: (WS) K2, *p2tog, k4: rep rom* ending P2tog, K2 (Okay, the pjoin was new, but it made since that if I increased in the first row, I had to decrease in the second. Thank you GG, The perfect topper to this week!)

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

→ Shout It From the Rooftops!! ←

First shout out goes to Yarnycakes for supplying me with incredible sock yarn to start working on my Beekeeper’s Quilt. I could stare at this yarn all day long, I am actually afraid to work with it, it’s so perfect just the way it is! This was my last purchase coming from Etsy and boy-howdy did it end on a good note! Seriously, check out her store – I don’t think I could be more satisfied with the purchases I’ve made from Etsy if they had come with chocolate and a masseuse!

My second shout out is more of a sincere thank you to someone. My grandfather used to say that there was still magic in this world – but the magic came from either 1) Nature or 2) The inherent kindness that still lives within people. This magic came from the latter.

Lollyknits has done something incredibly kind, incredibly gracious and incredibly unexpected. When I posted that my husband was losing his job and I was losing my mind, she immediately contacted me with her surefire ways to keep your head on your shoulders. The message, all on it’s own, was incredibly reassuring and quite comforting. Lolly decided to take it a step further though. She sent me, for free, my first spindle and fiber to spin. She said that it helped her relax, and that might be just what I need right now.

Can you believe this? Someone I have been talking to through our blogs for only 12 weeks sent me a package of fiber/spindle goodness out of the kindness of her own heart. I am taken aback, still not sure how to fully understand that there is still magic in this world. I don’t know how to say thank you enough for her kindness – but also in helping to remind me that there are people in the world that can reignite your belief in magic, thus restoring your faith in humanity.

I want to end on that note, the best note to start a weekend on I believe. Just remember friends and neighbors – life is full of magic.

Me in Fiber Love Heaven

Me in Fiber Love Heaven