Showing posts from June, 2010

My First Batt! Plus a New Handspun WIP & Spindle Pr0n

Here's how it started-
So many Phat Fiber* contributors create the most amazing drumcarded batts. Some of the first few that come to mind are Knitty and Color, Bohemia Fibers, and Lampyridae. I've been drooling over them since I joined the Ravelry group and started following the shop update thread. It got me really curious to see just how much effort goes into making them and what the process is like. I thought I'd try to make it to noblograchel's house sometime this summer and take a look at her carder. Well, Rachel came to the spin-in at my house this weekend and brought her Pat Green carder (not to be confused with the country singer Pat Green who went to my high school)! I get to play with it for a month!

One of May's Phat Fiber samples was from a co-op of artists and included 3 coordinating puffs of fiber. I carded them into this little batt and am beyond thrilled!

You can't really see the silky bits in that photo, but they are so gorgeous in person.


Getting Ready for Oakland Fiber Fest

Rocky and Ziva have been helping me plan my booth setup. It never ceases to amaze me how much cats love elevated horizontal surfaces, especially if covered in fabric.

Cash box is ready to go. Now I have to go into the actual bank and get actual cash. So weird. I haven't been inside a bank in years.

Now for the really exciting part. I got these awesome handmade stitch markers from Decor Noir, and will be giving away 1 marker of your choice with purchase of yarn or fiber. (While supplies last, duh.) There's coffins, assorted bloody eyeballs, brains, and really awesome yarn monster eyeballs. These are the full size markers that fit up to a US 10 needle.

Oakland Fiber Festival Details

What you need to know-
Oakland Fiber & Textile Festival Sunday, June 27, 2010, 10am to 4pm Splash Pad Park

Facebook event page here.

There's going to be a lot of alpaca farms represented there. Alpaca and llama are lovely to spin, if you haven't tried them yet. Rachael Herron is going to be signing her novel How to Knit a Love Song. Felt the Sun will have some great hand felted garments and accessories, and there will be a few local guilds there.

Latest official info and complete vendor list-

Come join us at the Oakland Fiber & Textile Festival Sunday, June 27, 2010, 10am to 4pm Splash Pad Park Together with Lou Grantham, from San Francisco Fiber, we are sponsoring this very first Oakland Fiber & Textile Festival, a free festival open to the public with lots of educational fun for the whole family. Vendors will be offering everything from raw fleece and luxury yarns to fabrics, fiber demonstrations, and make-and-take tables, for carding, crochet, felting, quilting, sew…

Yarns in Progress- Targhee and milk protein supercoils

I hosted spinning at my house for the first time on Saturday! Thanks for the company and goodies, everybody! Bryan ate some of the lemon cake Lori brought when I was at work on Sunday, and he said Rocky knocked the package off the coffee table to try to get some. My cat is a lemon cake fiend! Bryan also says he wants me to host more often so we'll keep the house clean.

In the first 2 hours(!), I spun up 4oz of this Targhee roving in the Twilight colorway from Abstract Fiber that I bought at Stitches this year. Here's the thick and thin bulky singles I ended up with. Apologies for the quick-and-dirty indoor photo.

Then I started work on this milk protein fiber from fellow Phat Fiber contributor Patricia of Beesybee.

I crammed all 4 oz of singles onto this bobbin-

I decided not to worry too much about what the finished yarn is going to be and just spin the singles consistently at the width that seemed most natural. I considered a 2 ply, but I think I'll probably try a sup…

Finished Yarns- Kiss My 80's Lips + Amy's First Supercoil

I bought a couple of Crafty Scientist Lab Batts at Stitches West 2009. That brings me to 4/7 of 2009's fiber purchases used up and 2/5 of 2010's. I was inspired to spin these batts last week by my newfound love for supercoils (more on that in a moment). I figured the chunky batts would force me to spin a thick-and-thin yarn. I hadn't done anything except sock or lace yarn for years! The resulting yarn was a great weight and consistency for coils, but the fiber content made it a bit too hairy for defined coils. I'm going to use it as a single and knit it into something decorative like a pillowcase (or more likely just a front panel). I'm thinking I'll knit it on the bias to make it as large as possible. The yarn is 6oz total and I forgot the yardage, but it was around 150 or 200.

The colorway is Kiss My 80's Lips and the fiber content is-
banana fiber, sari silk, horsehair silk, silk noil, silk hankie, Merino, Cotswold locks, Corriedale, border Leiceste…

Merlon Cowl Revisited

Today I'm going to go through a bit of my design process for the Merlon Cowl.

This design started when I opened up a bag of RowanLima at the shop. It's one of those yarns that you can't put down. It is soooo soft and buttery. I bought 2 balls with the vague plan to make some sort of cowl. Something that soft *needs* to be worn around the neck.

A huge shortcut in the stitch pattern choosing phase fell into my lap with the arrival of Rowan's Lima Collectionbook. True to Rowan style, it featured many heavily cabled sweaters. The loveliness of the cabled fabric came as a surprise to me. Lima has an icord-like construction instead of a traditional ply. The yarn is very round, which is very desirable for cables, but I thought the construction would detract from that kind of stitch pattern. As you can see from the designs in the book, that is not the case.

From that point, I had a few stitch patterns from a Japanese stitch dictionary that had caught my eye. I thought i…

These Aren't the Hell Your Whales!

First, a quick FO! This is Vertex, a scarf design by Galia Lael of Galia's Spindle Designs. I was lucky enough to get the pattern in my Phat Fiber contributor's box. I used Malabrigo sock in the Persia colorway. I can't even begin to express how much I love this yarn!
I started knitting this scarf the Saturday before our Wednesday trip to Monterey. I had a vision of myself wearing it on our whale watching trip. I finished the body of the scarf just in time, and did the edging when I got back home.

We saw a female humpback whale with her calf! It was pretty awesome.

At dinner that evening I had a bread bowl of clam chowder with a "garlic cheese lid." That was pretty awesome, too.