Friday, April 27, 2012

Flippin' Friday

Were are the weeks going? I feel as if the weeks are just flying by! This week I finished up the little shawl for my friends daughter... here it is all blocked and looking pretty.

Yesterday morning I was finally able to unpin Marin's wedding sweater and this morning she tried it on for me. She is still in her pajamas and has sleepy hair... but when she put the sweater on? I was so happy with it! Boy, it really is a spectacular feeling when you see something in your head and are actually able to translate it and make it a reality. I just love this little sweater!

Last night during Blogtalk radio, I was happily flicking away on my coopworth fleece. Wow, what a pleasure this fleece has been to process. Originally I was going to send it off to a processor, but I can't bring myself to do it. I want to process the whole thing myself! Here are pictures of the box of fluff that I worked on - I can't tell you how much I love feeling the softness of the fluff!

 I was going to show a quick tutorial of how I flick open the locks. I started to take still pictures of the process, but I needed two hands to actually flick the locks (it's really just like brushing hair with a special brush - you can actually use a dog brush) but my camera is too heavy for my little tripod. I thought well I'll do a quick video and post it here. I went to the drawer to get my flip and...... nothin'. I went through each child's room... nothin'. I wasted 45 min trying to find this thing... and I came up with nothin'.

box filled will delicious fiber!
washed locks (remember that photo with the packets of fleece?)

twist fiber, holding the twist brush out each end.
fluffed out fiber... so soft and pet-able!

Sorry folks no video, but I now know going into the weekend that there is no contraband in any of my children's rooms..... and believe me I searched!

Yesterday I wrote the pattern for the new RedHeart design and I will be starting that up today. Hopefully I will have a major chunk of the knitting done this weekend so I can start a baby blanket on the rigid heddle loom my friend ordered.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


This morning I finished up a quick shawl for my girlfriend's daughter. She is making her First Communion (May can be unpredictable in NJ). I went to an all girls Catholic school and my friends that I keep in touch with I offered to make shawls for their daughters when they make their First Communion. I have visions of adding length to the shawl for their Conformation and then again more length for their wedding. The pattern that I have chosen is so quick to memorize and it really flies off your hook.  The pattern is call Seraphina and is a free pattern on Ravelry. I started this yesterday morning and it is soaking right now as I type. The pictures are of the shawl pre-blocked.

Next up is swatching for a knit pattern for Red Heart. It will be a sweater. The yarn feels soft, it has some sparkle in it.....

I also have been spinning with my new Woolee winder. Can I just say I have mad love for my new Woolee winder. I asked Mr. Fantastic for it for Mother's Day, but he thinks I have enough 'fiber machinery' (silly man) so I took matters into my own hands and ordered it myself.

The beauty of the Woolee winder is that you don't ever have to change the yarn in hooks... it saves time and winds your singles onto the bobbin in pristine fashion. The bobbins are large and you can spin and spin and spin not worrying about how it is winding up. I have heard that some reviews say that they don't care for the take-up on single drive wheels. I didn't find this at all. I have a single drive wheel and thinking there would be a lot of adjusting while I spun for the first time... it didn't happen. It was pure spinning zen, baby. I also was a bit worried about the color of the winder if it would match the stain (I have a walnut Kromski Sonata) of my wheel.... another perfect score. I love it!

Monday, April 23, 2012


Today, I am waiting for a delivery to come. My window is between 12 and 4 o'clock which means I have been waiting around for most of the day. I don't really like waiting for things, but it's not that I didn't have plans to stay home today... it's just that now that I HAVE to stay home.. it's bugging me.

Last week was a busy one. I am trying a new fitness routine and let me tell you, it takes a long time. It is the biggest time suck of the century but I hope it's worth it.. I do feel better when I exercise, so the 'new normal' (meaning not a lazy piece of cake sitting on the couch working all day) is taking some getting used to.

We celebrated Graham's 11th birthday on his actual day April 18th, but on Sunday had dinner with family and I made this cake. Sunday was earth day so I tried to make a globe.. I was pleasantly surprised with my earth... even though Africa kind of looked like a piece of broccoli.

Guess what was finished up today and is on the blocking board??? The never ending sweater for Marin to wear at the wedding. Let me tell you... I came down to the wire on the yarn... I even had to unravel my gauge swatch to have enough yarn!

I also am taking advantage of my homebound-ness to pick some locks from the coopworth fleece (Tootie) and package them up for washing. I have to say, I washed just a bit of it last week and simply flicked the locks open and spun from the lock.... Holy Sheep!! I am in love with that spinning technique.

I have a First Communion Shawl to crochet this week and a knit design that's due on the 15th of May - so that's what I will be working on this week.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Can someone please tell me why I would rather wash and process this:

Instead of this?
This is a coopworth fleece from my friend Vickie at Big Valley Ranch. Unbelievably spectacular fleece!!

I am STILL not finished with Marin's wedding sweater, but the sash came on Friday and the yarn color I picked??? It's perfect!

So I have that going for me.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Project Offer

Dear Mr. Fantastic-

This morning I came down to this:
I did this:

I accept Prada and diamonds....

PS: if by 'handsome reward' you mean Yourself? I'm good with that too!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Long Arms

I am plugging away on the sweater I am making for Marin to wear in a wedding. She is the flower girl (Squee!!) and the wedding is at a vineyard on Long Island. I was worried Marin would get chilly, so I decided to design a little sweater for her to wear.

I completed the back and two fronts in a weekend thinking this would be the quickest lace sweater in the history of sweaters... and then I started working on the sleeves. They are NEVER ENDING!! I swear the sleeves could fit me!! I buckled down last night and got a lot done on the first sleeve and finished it this morning. I even started the second sleeve....

Here is a picture of the fronts and back of the sweater next to one sleeve... see what I mean? Looooonnnnng arms, man!

The lace will open up and everything will look real pretty once I wash it.... The lace pattern is from Barbara G. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns (pg. 218) called.... wait for it....
Vine Lace... get it? the wedding is at a vineyard??

Yep, I dig that stuff!

Monday, April 9, 2012


We had a wonderful Easter! It was a great day filled with food and family. Marin looked so pretty in her Easter outfit all ready for church.

Here is our living room/dining room all dressed up for the Easter Meal:

Otis opening his eggs from the Egg Hunt:

Even my newest nephew/niece came for Easter!
Here is my favorite part of the whole meal... I made my famous apple crisp, but this time the crust was cinnamon buns... I got the idea here.

I thought today I would simply be, but there is still too much to do. I am still putting away dishes and getting the house back to normal. The crew is off of school this week, so I just finished cleaning up the massive breakfast we had!

Maybe tomorrow I will be able to sit and spin for a bit!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Just Like Papa

This morning I am getting ready for Easter and family visitors. Mr. Fantastic and I decided to wash the slip covers in my knitting room and I am hanging them to dry on an old wooden dry rack... while I was dusting off the dry rack I got a splinter in my finger. It didn't hurt or anything, but I wanted it gone!

Marin woke up this morning and I told her that I had a splinter in my finger. She asked if I wanted her to take it out. "Papa showed us how to do it last summer".

Papa is the splinter remover at the beach... he has special tools and can basically remove anything from feet, fingers and everything in between.

Marin set up shop, got her supplies:

And... it's gone.

It's good to have a daughter.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Diamond in the Rough

A few months ago my friend Monica asked on Ravelry if anyone was interested in Rambouillet fleece. It turns out that she got herself a couple hundred pounds of the stuff! So, what does any fiber obsessed friend do?

I ordered 10lbs of it.... yes 10 pounds.

When I opened the box I have to say that I was pretty nervous about this commercial flock. I'd bought it sight unseen - well she did show a picture of the sheep grazing and she did wash up a tuft and show everyone. When I opened the box? It was full of sandy fine DIRT... and I mean dirt. Did I mention it was dirty?

I separated a few locks and decided to do a wash test... What was I thinking buying 10lbs!!!

Shown here is a sample of of the separated locks that weighs 3oz

I carefully place the locks into a very hot water bath with a few squirts of Power Scour and waited 30 min... I did not touch them... I was afraid that the fiber would felt. After the bath, I gently placed the fiber in my colander and rinsed with very hot water using my sprayer thing-y.

When it was dry... Oh dear friends... when it was dry?
Washed, the sample weighed 1 3/4 oz.... that's a lot of heavy dirt!

Look at the beautiful WHITE fiber!!! It is so light and squishy and it is going to make next to the skin soft beautiful yarn.....a true diamond in the rough.

I can't believe I only ordered 10lbs!

Monday, April 2, 2012

April is getting busy!!

Let's just forget that I totally blew off January, February and March... K?

In November I ordered one of these:
It is a rigid heddle loom and I love it! I have been playing with it for a while and I am really enjoying yet another way of making fabric. My favorite thing I have made so far is a shawl that I gave to our Niece for her bridal shower..

It is a taupe silk from England and after a few mis-starts (is that a word?) we became great friends and I completed the shawl in 3 days.... yes, 3 days... Can I get a Whoot for a quick beautiful project?!

I found this wonderful contraption on Etsy (love that place) made by a fellow rigid-header.... it is genius! It allows for easier weft passage of your yarn for wider width projects AND you fill the bobbin like a boat shuttle. I love it!