Showing posts from August, 2015

Reading Challenge 2015

While I have been doing a bit of reading, I've been up to my eyeballs in the dye studio, so I haven't done very much this past week.  I've been taking a break from my Reading Challenge list and have been reading a collection of short stories that are sort of Gothic/Steampunk themed and enjoying that mind candy very much.

I did pick up Two Rings and I'll be starting that this week!

WEEKS & TOPICS 1. a book with more than 500 pages: Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth. FINISHED. 2. a romance: Katherine by Anya Seton. FINISHED 3. a book that became a movie: The Hours by Michael Cunningham. FINISHED. 4. a book published this year: The House of Hawthorne by Erika Robuck.  FINISHED. 5. a book with a number in the title:  The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. FINISHED. 6. a book written by someone under 30: Eragon by Christopher Paolini. FINISHED. 7. a book with nonhuman characters:  The Greyfriar by Susan Griffith.  FINISHED. 8. a funny book: Bossypants by Tina Fey.  FINIS…

Spinning Friday: August 28, 2015

I've been up to my eyeballs in the dye studio getting ready for my Salida show and filling wholesale orders, but I've been trying to carve out a bit of time at least a couple days a week to maintain some sanity here with my spinning.

I treated myself to a couple of club installments for the fall - to spin something new and keep myself motivated to keep going back to delve into stash.  I signed up for Hilltop Cloud's Time Traveller's Club and the August installment arrived mid-month.  The theme for this month was William Morris's "Strawberry Thief" textile - one of his most popular patterns.

This club is a blended roving with 25% Corriedale, 12.5% Mulberry Silk, and 62.5% Merino wool.  Super soft and it spins like a dream.

It's a little darker in real life.  More navy blue and dark green than the pops of gold the camera picked up.  I got a double dose, so I've got just under 8 oz to work with and I'm spinning it fine for a 2-ply fingering weigh…

WIP Wednesday: August 26, 2015

Sekret Knitting:

Super happy!  I finished up my Mina Jacket for Spirit Trail Fiberworks.  Photo shoot this Saturday, and the draft is with my TE and my tester can tackle her version shortly.  Feels good to get this deadline project off my plate and it came out beautifully.Next on the deadline list is the cardigan for Bare Naked Wools.  I'm knitting this up in the fingering weight Stone Soup, a yoke-neck patterned cardigan using several of the yummy natural colors this yarn comes in.  I've got the body done up to the armpits, and I've finished sleeve #1 and joined that to the body.  I'm working on sleeve 2 this week and I'd like to have that finished to point I can start the yoke next week. I'm also working on a shawl project for an Interweave collaboration book - this one is on the needles and I'm working on it as I fit in bits and bobs of free time.Personal Knitting: I actually have something finished!  Go me!  This is my 3S Shawl (a free pattern on Ravelry…

Reading Challenge 2015

I finished up Little Women this week - still as good a read as ever.  Yes, a bit outdated and moralistic, but the characters are so wonderful, it still reads like new to me every time.

I also read My Name is Mary Sutter - highly recommended if you like historical fiction!  Set at the beginning of the Civil War, Mary Sutter is a highly skilled midwife, who wants to be a surgeon. Turned down by both medical colleges and private physicians to learn this craft, Mary takes herself off to Washington, DC, where she volunteers as a nurse.  Her skills with patients and her quest for medical knowledge land her in a position where she is given the chance to do amputations, and assist the supervising physician at one of the DC hospitals.  The story is intertwined with all the history of the Civil War campaigns in DC, Maryland, and Virginia, and the author really brought the period to life for me as well as providing some great history lessons.  Exactly my kind of book.

Since I'm fairly far a…

Spinning Friday: The Late Edition

It completely slipped my mind to pull the trigger on this post on Friday, my usual spinning blogging day, so here it is:

Up this week is the mixed BFL braid dyed in the "Dryad" colorway from Wooly Wonka Fibers Mythical Creatures club.

I spun this up into a fractal spin - which apparently is becoming my go-to method for a lot of handpaints, but I love how it makes long stretches of a single color and then shorter breaks of blended colors.

Technical specs:
Roving:  100% mixed (ecru and brown) Blue-Faced Leicester wool.
Ply:  2-ply.
Weight: Sportweight.
Yardage/Oz: 238 yards/3.6 oz.

This came out lovely and soft - I spun it semiwoolen to try to keep some air and fluffiness in it.  No specific plans for it at this point, but it'll head into the handspun stash to marinate for a bit.

This week, I'm working on a larger (almost 8 oz) spin that I'm spinning fairly fine - a blended roving from Hilltop Cloud in a William Morris-inspired colorway I'm loving!

WIP Wednesday: August 19, 2015

Sekret Knitting:

I finished up the sweater jacket for Spirit Trail Fibers this week, and it's on to my TE and tester, with photography to come at the end of the month. I've been focusing on the Bare Naked Wools sweater.  I've knit up half of one sleeve, and I'm through the waist shaping decreases.  My goal it so get this knit up to the armpits and try to finish that first sleeve this week.  I've set myself a final deadline of September 15th to have this done so I can get all the behind-the-scenes tidbits completed in time to ship out in early October for Rhinebeck.I also want to get the project for the Interweave book under good way, so that's also on the to-do list.Personal Knitting:  I've just been working on the single-skein 3S Shawl sample I'm knitting for my booth out of 1 skein of Arianrhod Sock that I dyed in the Hollyhock colorway.  This is a 5-color gradiant, and I've knit colors 1 and 2, and working on color 3, so about halfway through the …

2015 Reading Challenge

While I didn't finish up Little Women this week - I'm not quite ready to let this one go, I did start and finish Twilight of Avalon and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

Twilight of Avalon is the first in a set of 3 that is a retelling of the Tristan and Isolde story.  An interesting blending of Arthurian legend and the Tristan and Isolde legend.  If you are looking for the love story, it's not really here (possibly it develops in books 2 and 3, but I haven't read those yet). Instead, it's more about the politics of the day with the multiple petty chieftans jostling each other for power, and Isolde's place in that world where she is a healer/herbalist, and is suspected of being a witch as well.  The story begins with the death of her husband, and the meeting of the tribal leaders to choose the next king.  Filled with a lot of grit and violence (which is a lot closer to the reality than folks drifting around in lovely clean-smelling tunics and declaring …

Spinning Friday: August 14, 2015

This week, I decided to dig into deep deep stash and pulled out a set of batts from a club from 2009.  These are from Northwoods Dye Works, and are themed on the bald eagle.  Each 1-oz batt (total of 3 oz) was carded with superfine merino wool in a dark brown with light blue-gray silk noil and then a layer of natural (cream-colored) alpaca.

I really had a hard time deciding what to do with these.  I didn't want to get a barberpole-y yarn and I worried with the really high contrast between the 2 fibers, that's what I'd get.  I had thought about recarding, but then I worried the silk noil was going to cause neps with all the other superfine fibers - and honestly... handcarding these didn't sound like a whole lot of fun.  So I opted to split the batts and pulled off the alpaca section and separated the two colors.

I spun both of the fibers (I had 1.9 oz of the brown and 1 oz of the white) as a 2-ply fingering weight, semi-woolen technique.   Here's the brown with the …

WIP Wednesday: August 12, 2015

Here's what I'm working on this week:

Sekret Knitting:

I'm in the home stretch of the Mina Jacket I'm working up for Spirit Trail Fibers.  I'm finishing up the shaping on the second sleeve cap, and then I just have the front bands to do (still waiting on buttons).  The rest of the garment is put together and just needs a block to be done then.I started the cardigan I'm designing for Bare Naked Wools using their Stone Soup fingering weight.  I started the first sleeve and that's about two-thirds finished.  This will be my main focus project now for the next couple of weeks. I had a project accepted for an Interweave Press compilation book, so I've got the yarn for that dyed and I'll work on charting and a pattern draft this week as well. Personal Knitting:  Since I'm heading off to vend at the Salida Fiber Festival the second weekend in September, I wanted to get a show sample knit up in one of my new gradiant colorways.   This is "Hollyhocks&…

2015 Reading Challenge

This week, I finished up The Small Rain by Madeline L'Engle.  This was her first book, written at the beginning of her career, when she had spent a lot of time in the theater, and it really shows in this book.  It reads more like a play script than a novel to me.  The language is a bit stilted - think Auntie Mame without the pizazz and lots of "darling" thrown in.  I like some of her other works better.

I decided to re-read Little Women for my "book that makes you cry."  Does anyone NOT cry when Beth dies?  I forgot how much fun the book is to read.  I'm about halfway through - and will finish it up this week, I suspect, and next up will be Twilight of Avalon.

I'm still undecided on a book with bad reviews and a play.  The play selection will be easy in that I have lots of those to pick from - I just need to settle on one.  The bad reviews book.... I dunno.  I'm still mulling over what would be a good choice for this one.

WEEKS & TOPICS 1. a boo…


Gorgeous late summer weekend weather around here and we took full advantage of our new covered deck through most of it!

My DH took Lizzie up into the mountains for her first camping trip this weekend, and they managed to dodge a couple of strong storms up there, although they did have a lot of wind.  I hung out at home with the other two 4-legged girls, Rowan and Emma, and enjoyed some reading time and some spinning and knitting time.  We smoked some ribs on Saturday night and had a really nice, relaxing dinner before my DH gears up to be on work travel for something like the next 10 out of 15 days before the end of the month to various places.

It was a lovely relaxed weekend and I am definitely not ready to go back to work yet!

Spinning Friday: August 7, 2015

This past week, I've been spinning up a well-marinated stash braid from Two If By Hand.  The original roving was Shetland wool in the "Whip My Hair" colorway.  I originally thought the braid was just normally handpainted, but when I unbraided it, I realized there were no repeats of the color blocks, so I decided it might work as a gradiant.

I split the 4 oz of roving lengthwise into two equal portions (and had to do a little bit of fudging and pull off some narrow bits to get the two halves to match in terms of weight on my postal scale.)  I then spun each half, end to end, to get long color sections.

I then plied the 2 sets of singles, keeping an eye out to be sure the colors were matching up.  I did have one small section in the very center where one of the greens didn't want to play nicely, so I just broke off the 4 or 5 yards it wasn't matching up and then reattached that single and kept plying.

Technical Specs:
Roving:  4 oz of shetland wool roving from Two If…

WIP Wednesday

Sekret Knitting:

I finished up the entire body of the Spirit Trail Fiberworks project.  I'm about 3/4s of the way done working on sleeve #1.  I need to shape the sleeve cap to finish it up.  I'm going to get that accomplished this week and then start on sleeve #2.  I'd like to have both sleeves done, the garment blocked and the sleeves set in by the end of next week, and I believe I'll try to get the left buttonband and collar done while I'm waiting on the buttons to arrive.  That'll leave minimal finishing work but I should have this one done in plenty of time for photos at the end of August. I also started the project I'm doing for Bare Naked Wools, which is Anne Hanson's custom-spun line of yarns.  I'm using her Stone Soup fingering weight blend for this project and I'm really enjoying working with this yarn.  I'm also working on a fall cardigan for the shop/myself but that's just in bits and bobs and not a priority right now. I did ha…

2015 Reading Challenge

I haven't done much reading off my list this week.  I started Madeline L'Engle's The Small Rain and I'm about half-way through it this week.  I've been reading mind-candy Regency mysteries this week instead, which are great fun, although "lite" reading.  :)

I plan to finish up The Small Rain this week and then decide what I want to tackle next off the list. Two Rings might be the next one up.

WEEKS & TOPICS 1. a book with more than 500 pages: Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth. FINISHED. 2. a romance: Katherine by Anya Seton. FINISHED 3. a book that became a movie: The Hours by Michael Cunningham. FINISHED. 4. a book published this year: The House of Hawthorne by Erika Robuck.  FINISHED. 5. a book with a number in the title:  The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. FINISHED. 6. a book written by someone under 30: Eragon by Christopher Paolini. FINISHED. 7. a book with nonhuman characters:  The Greyfriar by Susan Griffith.  FINISHED. 8. a funny book: Bos…


D was away on a guys' weekend, so I spent time with all the 4-legged girls here at the house.

Friday, I had a photo shoot down in Santa Fe in the morning.  I'm thrilled with the photos we took AND we actually got everything I needed to photograph done before the rain started.  (Although there was plenty of thunder and dark clouds threatening while we were working away like mad to get things finished!).

Saturday, I had another quick photo shoot here in town for some kids' things and then did some knitting and some spinning, and enjoyed our new deck.

We decided that our side deck was pretty much wasted space on the house.  It's the side of the house that gets the brutal afternoon sun and we never sit out there, despite it also being the side of the house that tends to get lovely breezes coming down the hill from the caldara, so we have been having a porch roof over that side of the deck added, plus had the deck sanded and restained (and had an ancient hot tub we never …