Grey Saturday…Warm Colourways

Hypothetical Situation: You have $60.00 to spend on yarn. What do you buy?
The answers (if you’re me, and, like me, you have a “sweet tooth”):

1) A skein of Sundara Yarns’ luscious Cherry Blossom sock yarn. I live in Washington, DC, so this is a must-have, right? (Oh, Purly, puhleeeze tell me I can still get some Cherry Blossom if I have to wait until post-rent-week!)

2) Two skeins of Claudia Hand Painted Chocolate Cherry sock yarn (Do you see the color pattern developing here?)

3) One skein of this Claudia Hand Painted “Pink Dot” sock yarn, to go with the orphan skein I rescued from my LYS yesterday
Now, if only I had that $60.00… Hmmmm. What can I pawn? I have lots of stash yarn and a ton of books I could sell–anyone interested? ;-)


Not About the Socks

Remember these socks?

No? Well, if you’re interested, you can look here. If not, don’t worry…this isn’t about the (warm, cozy, comfy) socks. It’s about that lovely Corriedale roving.

Oh, those colors! They were like Italian water ice and gelato. Raspberry, blueberry, grape…Transluscent, saturated colors. I dyed the top/roving with Karida. It was our first hand-dyed roving experiment last fall. (She founded Neighborhood Fiber Company last year.)

Karida let me keep her Louet S10 at my place–a studio apartment…my husband’s so nice. (Well, with his trombone and trumpet taking up space, there wasn’t much he could say, right? But he’s still the nicest person ever.) So the S10 and I made friends while I practiced with some coarse Finn top they sent to me.

(Like my chaotic fiber workshop/breakfast nook? I’m happy to say that the boxes are finally gone and our mirror is on the wall.)

I’d never spun before, so it took a few tries to get it right, but my drop spindle experience really paid off.

(Check it out: We have a Murphy bed in that cabinet!)

Not that my first attempts at wheel spinning felt easy, mind you–the speed was challenging. It made sense, though: I looked at the wheel and thought, “OK, there’s the hook, there’s the place that acts like the drop spindle shaft (the bobbin), that’s the part that puts the twist in the yarn…” You get the point. It just made sense to my brain.

After spinning the Finn for a while I started getting a consistent, DK weight singles yarn. So I took a deep breath and switched to my beloved roving. I was afraid of “wasting it,” of spinning yarn the color of mud, the thickness of a pencil (I don’t care for bulky yarns), of breaking or overtwisting it into a useless ball of crap. But I didn’t.

Ta da!

Now, this all took place last fall. What a great learning experience! Books like the Twisted Sisters’ Sock Workbook and Deb Menz’s excellent Color in Spinning were invaluable. Because you can’t just grab a bunch of roving and spin! Oh, no, no, no. You have to prepare the roving: separate it into thinner strands, roll them into sweet little nests of fluff, and plan out how you want to use the colors. I tried the one-color-at-a-time method for a while, but wanted more colorplay. So I changed my plan and created a yarn with candy-stick color twists.

Oh, lovely yarn! Why did I abandon you for so long??? It took me weeks to get around to my decision to not ply–it homogenized the colors–and then to set the twist. Finally, washed and dried, my yarn was ready to wind on the niddy-noddy. The final product? Three bouncy, springy skeins (about 500 yards total) of gorgeous singles DK yarn.

Knitted up (I swatched it yesterday…nothing seems to happen quickly around here!), the yarn was drapey, with a subtle glossiness and long color changes.

Now…I just have to decide what to make with it. Entrelac? Maybe a smaller version of the Lady Eleanor Stole (from Wrap Style)? If you’re out there lurking, help me out! Suggestions are welcome…

I’m in Yarnival! (and so is my husband…)

I woke up to the nicest surprise today: Cara wrote to tell me that Knit*Six appears in the November issue of Yarnival! AND my husband, Chris, was named “Hunk of the Month.”

He’s had quite a good month in terms of fame: He played with Brooks Tegler at Blues Alley (a world-famous jazz club in Georgetown), played AND did all the vocals at Brooks’ Glenn Miller Tribute in Wye Mills, MD, and appeared in a photo in Jazz Times. And now this: Yarnival’s Hunk of the Month. I don’t know how much more of this I can handle…pretty soon he’ll be running from screaming mobs of fans ;-)

But he deserves it, for putting up with this:

(The huge stash I just realized I’ve accumulated…I never knew I was hording so much!)

And this:

(The pile of yarn on the stereo behind “my chair.”)

And this:

(The pile of yarn and mountain of needles and other knitting paraphernalia under the table between our chairs.)

Anyway, thanks, Cara, for featuring my blog! And welcome to anyone who comes browsing from (I’m addicted to her blog…from knitting to social commentary, she rocks!). There’s a link to it at right…

So, we spent a week in Cape May, NJ, which was absolutely wonderful and relaxing. Obviously, since this is only my second post this month…my first one in two weeks…I’m having trouble getting back in the swing of things. For example, I had a pile of editing to do (freelance writing and editing is my bread and butter), but spent the morning rooting around in my mountain of fiber and taking the pictures above. I also took this one…it’s the “eat in” area in our kitchen:

Notice how there’s no place to “eat in”? It’s been usurped, and now I call it my studio. Thank God for windows. I couldn’t have done that in our old apartment, an “English Basement” in Georgetown (think: damp, mold, ant infestations, and noisy upstairs neighbors who stomped around like elephants and used TONS of electricity and gas — we had to pay 25% of the utilities for the house, and it was SO expensive). Jeez…thank God for more than windows, huh?

If you look in the photo above, you’ll notice the umbrella swift and skeins of gorgeous yarn hanging over a drying rack. You might also glimpse and peek of the fabulous raspberry colored sock yarn on the table, next to the bag of batting. Those are all Neighborhood Fiber Company yarns: Victorian Bulky, Duplex (50% mohair/50% merino), Studio Sport and Studio Sock).

This particular batch was headed for a special customer who’s starting her own knitting business in D.C. But there’s plenty more where that came from. And we also sell drop spindle kits and offer spinning wheel rentals in the District. Check out our new and improved Web site!

Well, the Hunk is home from work, so I’ll wrap it up for the day. It’s been a long one, and I’m rambling. And, after all, tomorrow is another day…(What the Hell does that mean? Of COURSE it’s another day. It’s not TODAY is it? No, it’s tomorrow!)

Ah. Bon soir, mes amis.