Tuesday, April 29, 2008

You must choose, but choose wisely.

I have two new yarns to show today. The first one is chock full of earthy goodness.

asu wl skein macro
Fiber: All Spun Up 100% Merino, "Woodland"
2 ply
410 yards
117 grams

asu wl strands
Every fiber of Kristin's that I've spun has turned to gold, and this one is no exception. Her fibers are among the best prepared I've found, each one an absolute joy to spin. And her colors? They rock. If you're a spinner, do yourself a favor and procure some of this lovely stuff. And if you're not a spinner, well, Kristin also sells her own amazing handspun yarns.

Next up is a wool that's new to me—Targhee.

sgw hc skein macro
Fiber: Sweet Grass Wool 100% Targhee, "Hidden Canyon"
2 ply
360 yards
108 grams

sgw hc strands macro
What a lovely, bouncy wool Targhee is! It's now among my favorites to spin. These super-saturated colors from Sweet Grass Wool push all my happy buttons too. And did I mention the bounce? This wool has so much spring that I can practically hear it go "boing."

Now, about that contest... For the past couple of months, I have had vague plans to give away a skein of handspun on a blog contest. Various spinning commissions forced me to put off those plans, but now I have two yarns that I think are worthy of giving away to a good home. But which skein? After two nanoseconds of thinking about it, the answer was clear: Let the winner choose.

handspun contest
All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post indicating your choice. The contest will remain open through midnight (Central Daylight Time) on Sunday, May 4th. On May 5th (or a bit later), I'll select a winner at random. Anyone with a mailing address on Planet Earth is welcome to enter. (Humble apologies to any Martians who might be reading. I can't afford NASA's cargo fees.)

Good luck!

Monday, April 28, 2008

News flash

I am actually knitting with my own handspun. Details at 11:00.

OK, so it isn't all that exciting, but at least now I can stop answering the "When are you going to knit with it?" question.

first handspun sock
Oh, and stay tuned for a contest.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Finishing what I've started

My knitting has slowed down so much of late that it feels like a momentous occasion when I actually have some finished knitting to show.

rs anastasia done
Pattern: Anastasia from Pepperknit
Yarn: RubySapphire Treadsoft sock yarn (100% superwash merino), "Kira" colorway
Needles: 2.00 mm (US size 0) DPNs
Modifications: worked top down rather than toe up, added eye of partridge heel

rs anastasia heel
This is actually the second time I've knit this pattern. It's really great for busy yarns, and yet it isn't as monotonous as plain stockinette or ribbing. And just look at that eye of partridge goodness! It makes me smile just looking at it.

Best of all, having these finished means my niece will get her birthday present on time. I'm also sending her a couple of books. Hmm, socks and books—surely those will secure my position as "favorite aunt" (ahem).

Of course, I am still spinning like a madwoman.

asu bbg skein macro
Fiber: 70% superwash merino, 30% alpaca from All Spun Up
2 ply
250 yards
116 grams

asu bbg braid
This fiber was really lovely to spin. It's a heathered gray base overdyed with shades of blue, teal, and brown. The finished yarn has amazing depth of color.

asu bbg strands macro
In the interest of honing my spinning skills, I've been attempting to spin a bit thicker lately. Before now, I had been in a bit of a fingering weight rut. Although fingering weight is still my favorite to spin, I am over-the-moon happy with this.

asu bbg swirl2
Mmm, blue and brown are such great partners.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Lost: blogging mojo

Seriously, has anyone seen my blogging mojo? It seems to have run away from home, and I do miss it. I'm going to file this particular lapse under "life gets in the way."

Lack of blogging does not imply lack of spinning, though. These have been finished for about two weeks.

cmf swm gv skeins
Fiber: Crown Mountain Farms superwash merino, "Good Vibrations"
2 ply
Skein 1 (left): 380 yards, 111 grams (fingering weight)
Skein 2 (right): 280 yards, 120 grams (sport-DK weight)

cmf swm gv strands macro
This fiber is from the previous lineup of colors in CMF superwash merino. This is one of the colors Teyani used to dye, which I tend to think of as "vintage Sock Hop." There isn't much more to say about this fiber that I haven't already said. We loves it.

cmf swm gv strands2
Why did I spin it at two different weights? Initially I didn't plan it that way. However, my current spinning project requires me to spin a bit thicker than I've been used to doing, so I decided to use one of these skeins as practice. It worked out pretty well, and it's interesting to see the difference between the two yarns. Although I'm still a fan of spinning fingering weight, I am starting to appreciate some of the advantages of spinning thicker.

I have knitting too! Such as it is...

rs anastasia half
I must finish these in time for my niece's birthday. Theoretically, there's still plenty of time—more than a week—but this darn spinning wheel keeps mysteriously appearing in front of me. Maybe I should ask the Professor to hide the wheel for a couple of days so I stand a chance of making progress on the knitting front. Hmm, on second thought, perhaps not. The withdrawal symptoms might be too unpleasant.

(P.S. To all you Ravelers: Have you contributed to Ravelraiser? There are fabulous prizes to be had, including my donation to the handspun stash.)