A Little “Spooky Spin” Time

Is it time for Halloween yet ?  For me it is as I just ordered my #spookyspin15 pack from my friend Sherrill of the 1764 Shepherdess.  I love the colors of the Falkland I ordered and can’t wait to start spinning but while I wait patiently for the Spooky Spin to start, I decided to spin my fiber from last year.





For this spin, I am aiming for fingering weight and around 300 plus yards. I think plied together, these colors will be awesome and perfect for a Halloween shawl.

I am trying to decide what I might make and have narrowed it down to the following:
Fingers crossed I will achieve the yardage I am hoping for.

Until next time, be creative!

A New Addition To My Family of Wheels

swore up and down I wouldn’t buy another spinning wheel, especially since I recently gave three of wheels away to a good cause but when I saw a vintage Schacht single treadle Matchless online at Goodwill, I changed my mind.  I could not pass up the possibility of owning this wheel, and my hubby agree.  So, I bid on her and won.

I had no idea if she worked, or how old she was but I decided to take a gamble and I am so happy I did!!  She was delivered today and other than being dirty and extremely dry, she is in awesome shape.

Born: June 1988

Came with the original flyer and whorls



My hubby helped tighten her up and I got her all cleaned, polished and oiled. I am so happy with the condition of the wheel, no scratches or dings, and in perfect balance.


Cody made sure to supervise too and still isn’t quite sure about having another addition to our sitting room.


I decided to go with scotch tension and used a spare poly cord for the band.  After a few adjustments, she is spinning like a dream!!




I decided to use my stash of Shetland for a test run and I am really happy with how it is spinning up.  I have decided to continue with my Shetland as I keep fine tuning the tension and trying out my new to me wheel.

Until next time, be creative!

Friday Happenings, Spinning Finish !

I believe that the yarn we spin is capable of mending the broken warp and woof of our life! Mahatma Gandhi

I love this quote I believe this is so true, spinning does have a way of mending us.  For me personally, spinning, like knitting, is very meditative.  While I spin, I can clear my mind and sort things out.  It’s soothing to my soul, like yoga for my brain. 

……………………………

So I spent most of yesterday spinning and it was absolutely heavenly! I am so excited to finish spinning my Falkland and so far I am very happy with the results, two beautiful bobbins full of color.



I started plying my yarn shortly after finishing up my second bobbin.  Gasp, yes I really did but understand I am not a conventional spinner and I don’t always let my spinning “rest”.

I love how my plying is looking and I am so excited as it is looking like heavy lace weight to light fingering weight.  I think this might be the best spinning I’ve done in a very long time, and this makes me so very happy.

Until next time, be creative!

Keep It or Pitch It ... The Outcome of a Full Bobbin

I have spent the majority of the day cleaning, dusting and re-organizing our sitting room, which is where I spin and keep all my wheels.  I really love how everything looks now, especially where I am now displaying my collection of Turkish spindles.



I think this is the perfect spot for my spindles and I love being able to see them from where I sit and spin.

While going through my Schacht bobbins I came across a bobbin of cotton I had spun up a few years ago and was about to take it off the bobbin to throw out when I stopped myself.  

This was the first ever cotton I had spun and I had actually done a decent job of spinning it, so I decided “why not chain ply it and see what happens”, after all I had absolutely nothing to loose but to end up throwing it out.

Cotton Silver in the color Prickly Pear - 2 oz

Purchased from Buchanan Fiber on Etsy - February of 2018

Photo courtesy of BuchananFiber



The result was quite amazing and I absolutely love it!  Please keep in mind this is not perfect by no means but the softness of the cotton and the outcome of my finished spun yarn makes me totally delighted, so much so that I now think I might try spinning cotton again!!

I will be skeining this today and look forward to seeing the amount of yardage I have ended up with from 2 oz of cotton sliver.  I am so happy I took a gamble and took the time to chain ply this beautiful cotton.

Until next time, be creative and by all means, take a chance on things!

Off to the Frog Pond and Spinning Love

I have decided to frog my Gloam cardigan simply because I just didn’t care for my choice of yarn for this project and will contemplate what yarn I want to use for it at a later date.  Honestly I think this design is better suited for worsted weight and not dk weight, but that’s my humble opinion. Do you ever frog a project over the yarn that you chose ?

As for my Silky Wool, the skein I was using has been recaked and I have decided it would be better for a Vodka Lemonade, a design by Thea Coleman.  I made this cardigan several years ago out of Madelinetosh DK but only had enough yardage for a short sleeve version.  Depending on my day, I may go ahead and cast on today or at least in the next few days.

Off My Wheel...

Yesterday I finally plied the Wound Up Fiber Arts Merino in Nest Egg and I am madly in love with the results.  I can see this as a shawl and I have my fingers crossed I can be consistent with my spinning for the remaining 4 oz that I need to spin.


The colors in this fiber is so soft and the fiber is scrumptious to spin.  This by far has been the best spinning project for the beginning of the fall season.  I will be starting the second 4oz soon, but need to finish spinning my Falkland so that it can be two plied.

I am also excited about finding SheepSpot on Mighty Networks, where I also a member of Louise Tilbrooks group, Everyday Knitter.  I enjoy sharing but in a more relaxed environment.  Both groups have been very inviting and chatty.

Until next time, be creative!

Spinning Love

“I believe that where there is pure and active love for the poor there is God also. I see God in every thread that I draw on the spinning wheel.” Gandhi (Young India,20-5-1926)


So I have changed my mind about the Falkland that I am spinning.  It is turning out to be quite beautiful and so soft, and the colors have even grown on me.  I have managed to finish the first 2 oz and my bobbin is almost completely full.  I am in love !

Just look at those colors.... 




I am also enjoying spinning on my vintage Ashford Traveler.  She is spinning like a dream and is quiet as a churchmouse. I am really looking forward to starting my second round of spinning today.

Until next time, be creative!

Sunday Musings: New Art and A New Cast On!

"Sunday is a time when you sit back and reflect on all the blessings that you have received. Smile at all the good things that you are enjoying." ~ Sera Train

There is something special and magical about Sundays, well at least for me it is.  It’s a time to rest, a time to think about the upcoming week, the projects I want to work on and the meals I want to prepare.  It’s a time of reflection.

Today I am thinking about my husband.  Tomorrow we will be celebrating 25 years of marriage, which seems like we were just married only yesterday.  Time no longer stands still for us but seems to zoom by faster and faster each year that passes.  Today though it’s as if time has stood still, allowing me to take in the past 25 years of joy and happiness, and to ponder what will be over the next 25 years. 

We don’t do too much for our anniversary, we just enjoy our time together over a wonderful meal, often made by my husband,and reflect about the time we have spent together.

I am so grateful and blessed to have such a wonderful, caring, supportive and loving husband.  He does so many things for me, but it’s the little things he does on a whim that I always cherish.  One such thing he did, was coax me into buying the following original watercolor that I have loved for such a long time and I am so glad he did.

As a spinner, and as a art lover, this painting spoke to me.  Better yet, it pictures an Ashford Traveler, which I own.



This original watercolor is painted on 11”x15” acid free 140# watercolor paper. This figure painting features a woman in period dress with her spinning wheel. She is doing a spinning demonstration at a Fort Festival. With a mat and frame, it will make a medium wall hanging. The mat and frame are not included. I had taken photos of various country fort activities and particularly enjoyed this lady sitting in her tent door and quietly spinning despite all the activity going on around her! ~ from the Etsy listing by the artist. 

A new cast on ...

I have discovered a shawl KAL (knitalong) hosted by Louise Tilbrook that I couldn’t pass up.  I will be casting on the Fuss Free Festival Shawl using my very own handspun that I finished a couple of years ago, Anzula BFL in Forest.  I have a total of 266 yards ( both skeins were chain plied), which will be a little shy of what the pattern calls for ( 350 to 450 yards ) so I may either have to adjust the width or find something in my stash that would compliment the colors and do a striped shawl.


What’s on my needles:

 I am also working on my Porch Light socks, as well as my Gloam sweater.  I hope to have enough knitting finished my sweater to show progress photos by the end of next week.

What’s on my wheels:

I am almost finished spinning my Falkland by Created By Elsie B in the color Patchwork Quilt.  I wasn’t quite sure about the colors, but it seems to be growing on me and I am starting to envision mitts, a hat or scarf.

I still need to ply my first 4 oz of Wound Up Fiber in Nest Egg.  I love this color so much and I am hoping that between this finished round and the next round I will have enough yardage for a shawl.

What are you doing today ?

Until next time, be creative!

Happy Friday !

 I am so excited that today is Friday.  It’s been a long work week, and a bit tiring.  Stress levels have definitely gone up and the associates I’ve been helping have been very tense, upset and grouchy.  I always smile when I’m on the phone, hoping this comes through to the other side, and I have found the tone of the call changes dramatically when I do this. Fingers crossed that today will go by quickly and that I will start the weekend off with a big smile 😃.

On a lighter note, I have casted on my Porch Light socks (from 52 Weeks of Socks) and I am in love !!  This pattern is super easy, very well written and seems to knit up very quickly.

For this project I am using my stash of Patons Kroy Sock in Genry Grey and a mini skein from the monochrome sparkle collection by Spin Up Yarns in a blend of merino, nylon and sparkle.


I really think the color I chose for the leaf pattern is a perfect compliment to the gray black solid.  I have finished the entire pattern repeat and will be working of the leg and heel today.  Fingers crossed I will be able to knit a little in between my calls today too!

Until next time, be creative!

Another finished pair !

 I have officially made my very first pair of knitted handspun socks!!!  I am so excited and it is truly satisfying to be able to spin, ply and knit socks from my very own handspun.

As mentioned in an earlier post, I spun the yarn I used two years ago and I have no idea why I waited so long to use it for socks, but I did.  I really like how this pair fits, especially the heel,  as well as the length.  I was quite skeptical about knitting with my Targhee, but soon after I started knitting with it, I found it to be quite soft. The stitches seemed to show more definition too after my socks were given a little bath in Euclulan wash.


Sock details:

I casted on 56 stitches and divided the stitches over two size US 2 16” circular needles (28 stitches on each needle).  The cuff was worked in a K2, P2 rib for 1” and the I knitted one round before starting the short row heel.  

The stitch pattern used was a simple broken rib:

Round 1 -2 = * k1, p2, k2; repeat from * ending with a k1 

Round 3 -4 = knit

I worked the pattern over 14 stitch repeats ending with one knit round only.  From the heel to this last row, my foot measured 7 1/2”.  

The toe was decreased to 24 stitches (12 stitches on each needle) and then grafted using the Kitchener stitch.

This is the second finished pair of socks for August, which makes me quite happy.  Now I will be able to cast on my Porch Light Socks , and maybe even cast on Brambleberries by This Handmade Life.

Until next time, be creative!


Sunday Musing: Spinning is my thing!

 Sundays have always been the day that my hubby and I spend at home.  We don’t do anything special, just rest and enjoy our time together.  It’s also the day that I enjoy the most as I have time to spin and knit a bit.

I have been spinning my Falkland in the color Patchwork Quilt. I am determined to finish it up over the next couple of days and chain ply it, with high hopes to have enough yardage for mittens or even a pair of handspun socks.  




The colors are a mix of deep burgundy, turquoise, gold, pink and cream, which reminds me in a weird way of a Mexican blanket.  I am rather excited about spinning again, which always seems to happen the end of August and I will spin full speed ahead until May.  Once it gets hot, I seem to fizzle.  I guess spinning for me is a bit seasonal, but that’s ok as it gives me a break and time to pursue other loves.

I have also been going through my fiber stash to see what I want to spin next.  I am thinking about spinning more of my Abundant Earth Fibers so I can finally start my Half Hap Cowl, a project I’ve been working on this project now for 2 years.  Guess it’s better late than never, right. 

I am also excited to share that I finished one handspun sock and I have casted on the mate.  I absolutely love my sock, it fits perfectly and oh my gosh I have finally found a heel I like!!!

I definitely will have enough yardage left over from both of my handspun skeins to use for a color work sock project of some kind, such as the Porch Light socks by Lindsey Fowler from 52 Weeks of Socks by Laine Magazine.  I have several skeins of sock yarn in solid colors, which mixed with my leftover hand  will make a perfect pair of Porch Light socks.

How do you spend your Sundays?

Until next time, be creative!

It’s Friday!!!

What is it about Fridays ?  The last few months I’ve noticed a little change in the calls I’ve been taking (I work from home) and everyone is dreaming about Friday.  It starts on Wednesday, then Thursday I receive many “Happy Friday Eves” and then Friday, is “I can’t wait to start the weekend”.

For me Friday is the beginning of rest and fun.  I am quite blessed to have the ability to do many things before the start of my work day, but when Friday hits, it is a big sigh of relief and a evening of planning with my Husband of what we will do over the weekend.

So what am I doing this Friday ...

I am looking at all my current works in progress.  Keep in mind my projects include, drawing, embroidery, knitting and spinning.  Even with all the time in the mornings I have, I still can’t seem to get certain things finished.

This morning I brought out an embroidery project I started at the beginning of the year, an adorable design by LiliPopo called “The Stitcher”.  

I have decided it’s time to work on this piece and I plan to incorporate a smattering of hexies using my Japanese cotton fabric.  I have also looked through the embroidery floss and found a good sampling of colors that I think will be perfect.

On my Flatiron wheel I still have my lovely Merino wool from Wound Up Fiber Arts in the color Nest Egg.  I am almost finished with my first 4 oz and hope to get it spun up this weekend or at least by next week.


I also started spinning on my Ashford vintage Traveler using my stash of Falkland wool in the color Patchwork Quilt by Created by Elsie B.  The colors are turning out to be quite vibrant and I am thinking this wool might be good for socks.


I am also working on my very first pair of handspun socks and I have to say that this is by far the most satisfying knitting project I’ve had in a very long time.  It’s so wonderful to knit socks using my very own handspun!!


I finally found a tutorial on short row heels for socks that I actually like and I really love how my heel looks.  I tried on my sock and it fits perfectly on my heel.  I am so looking forward to wearing this finished pair of socks!!

What do you look forward too on Fridays ?

Until next time, be creative!

Another Finished Pair!

 I didn’t quite finish my second sock over the weekend but so excited that I was able to finish it up yesterday.  My stripes match for the leg and foot, but somehow I didn’t manage to get a perfect match on the toe.  Sigh ... I am going to tell myself “it’s ok” and be happy with my new finished pair.




I am trying to decide what to socks to cast on next and have been leaning towards Porch Light by Lindsey Fowler from 52 Weeks of Socks by Laine Magazine.  I love the look of this design with just a hit of lace to break up the solid colored yarn.  Since I tend to knit while I’m on the phone for work, I think this might be a great pattern to make.

I am also considering making a pair of handspun socks from my stash of finished handspun.  Two years ago Debbie,( a.k.a. Doodler01 on Instagram) wrote a post for Spin-Offs blog regarding  spinning for socks.  I had never spun for socks but I decided to try it and oh my, I loved this challenge.  I learned how to properly chain ply (Navajo Ply) and spin with Targhee.  The end result was two skeins of handspun in the colorway Shadows Parted by Hello Yarn for a total of 353 yards.


I am seriously considering caking up this finished handspun today and cast on for my very first pair of handspun socks.  Do you spin for socks or knit socks with handspun ?  I’m curious to know what you think about knitting handspun socks.

All this talk about spinning makes me at to spin!  I use to be so passionate about wool and spinning but I’ve let my current surroundings (living in a desert) discourage me.  I need to get over that and get back to spinning!!! 

Until next time, be creative!

Sunday Musings: Operation Sock Drawer

 

Yesterday I got to make a stop into Hobby Lobby.  I was looking for scrapbooking storage ideas but just didn’t see exactly what I was hoping for.  It wasn’t a total loss,  I did manage to leave with an awesome new mug by Dayspring and two skeins of Patons Kroy sock yarn in Turquoise Jacquard.  I have been trying so hard not to buy more sock yarn but I simply couldn’t resist the turquoise color in this yarn!

I also picked up the latest Quilt & More by All People Quilt.  Love this issue, it’s filled with several projects that I hope to make for the fall.  I have had fall and Halloween fabric for quite a while in my fabric stash and think a couple of the projects in this issue will be a perfect fit.

I have not picked up the needles for I my Gloam cardigan since I’ve casted on but plan to try soon.  I have been focused on finishing my pair of Eclipse Stripe socks, which I might get done today (fingers crossed).



Several years ago I was inspired by Susan B. Andersons blog post sharing her sock drawers. Talk about inspiring! Since then I have knitted many pairs of socks, not only for me but for family and friends.  

I decided to go through my sock drawer and decided it was time to start a second drawer (I simply love to knit socks).  While reorganizing, I came across a pair of socks I had made my mom.  She never wore them, and I am not sure why but when she passed away, I found them included with all the other hand-knits I made her in a bag with my name on it.  The sock pattern is St. Brigid’s Carnamoyle Stockings by Lahoma Jayne Nally (a free download) and were knitted in Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool.  I love the design and may have to make them again, meantime though I can wear this pair.


Along with this pair are finished pairs of DK and Sport Weight socks, made from Patons DK wool and Patons Kroy.


The drawer above holds socks I’ve knitted in Opal, Regia, Patons, Lion Brand, as well as various yarns from Indy dyers.  I have a major stash of sock yarn (yep, I am rather addicted to it) , which means I plan to continue “operationsockdrawer”.   

I have been going through the many patterns I’ve purchased over the years, as well as a few books I own.  Now to match patterns to yarn, that is the fun part.  I want to have a good mix of cuff down and toe up.  I use two 16” size US 1 1/2 Knitters Pride Nova circular needles but think I might break out my DPNs too.

Do you live knitting socks too?  

What’s your favorite sock knitting method?


Thursday Happenings: Sock Knitting and Spinning

 When it’s a lovely 76 degrees at 7:15 am in the morning in the Phoenix area, you know you must take a good cup of tea and your knitting out to the patio to enjoy the beginning of the day!!

This cool morning air prompted me to come inside and working on my spinning too.  I really love the merino wool I’m spinning and can’t wait to finish the first 4 oz, which I hope will be very soon.  The colors are so soothing and I know when I’m finished with all 8 oz, it will be chain plied with the hopes of enough yardage for a shawl.


Yesterday I finished my little bird and I really love how it turned out.  I am thinking I might have to start another one.

Hubby and I are making plans for a week off vacation together.  I am trying to decide on a travel knitting project that is good for car knitting.  So this might be a great time to consider the Weekender Sweater as it looks to be fairly simple and mindless as far as knitting goes, which would make it a great project for traveling.

Have an awesome day and until next time, be create!  

Wednesday WIPs and Thoughts

Do you ever make awesome knitting plans only to find that you simply do not have the time to dedicate yourself to your plans ?  Well that’s me at the moment.  

I can say that so far I have managed to finish the cuff of my second sock and about 2” of stockinette.  I love it when my stripes match, and it looks like I’m off to a great start.

As mentioned Sunday I casted of my Gloam cardigan and I am now getting ready to start the pattern design.  Now I can honestly say I truly love the Silky Wool and while this is simple knitting, I am finding it tedious knitting with DK yarn.  I tend to enjoy quick projects, that’s why I love bulky yarn!  I will get past this and continue, knowing that deep down this project will take much longer than a month.


I have been looking through my yarn stash trying to plan out projects for the remainder of the year.  Socks are a given, and maybe even a scarf or shawl, and for me these types of projects do not require much planning, so I am looking at cardigan and pullover possibilities.  I have enough yarn in my stash to make three cardigans and about three pullovers.

For cardigans, I am thinking these might be fun patterns to make :

Celtic Grace by Cheryl Beckerich - I have had this pattern in my stash since Cheryl released it and have enough Cascade Eco Wool fo it too!

Oxbow Cardigan by Drea Renee Knits - From my stash I will be using FiberNatura Inca Tweed Bulky and have just enough yardage for this project.

Bloch Ness by Knitspot -  From my stash I will be using Malabrigo Arroyo.

For the pullovers, I am thinking these might be fun patterns to make:

Nordiska by Caitlin Hunter - I purchased the yarn last year for this pattern and will be using Malabrigo a Susurro.

Miski Sweater by Mirasol - I haven’t decided on the yarn for this quite yet.

Weekender by Drea Renee Knits - From my stash I will be using Cascade 220 Superwash wool.

Whew.... lots of projects planned and now to find the time to knit them all!!

Until next time, be creative!

Sunday Musings: A New Cast On

It’s a very warm start to the day here in Phoenix, keeping me indoors today to enjoy my knitting and spinning, with a little drawing thrown in too.

Last night I casted on my Gloam Cardigan by Caitlin Hunter. After looking at 3” of knitting, it was frogged and I decided to start over as I was worried it would be too small.  I checked out Instagram to see who else has made this cardigan and found a post by Cristina, a.k.a. howscottyknits.  Cristina was kind enough to share what size she made which helped me tremendously.  So I have casted on once again but using the instructions for a Size 4 and I am much more happier with my decision.



I am loving the texture and feel of the Silky Wool.  I have never used this yarn and I have no idea why.  It’s lovely  to knit with and the blend of 45% wool , 35% silk and  20% nylon will be perfect for the warm climate of Phoenix.

This pattern uses short rows in the shoulder area and I have never been too good about short rows.  Well, let me restate that, I know how to knit short rows but I have always struggled with hiding the wraps on the purl side. During my first attempt at this sweater, I found an awesome tutorial that shows you how to hide the wraps on the purl side to give your knitted fabric a better finished look and I love it!  Check out the blog post by Liat of KnitFreedom, Pick Up and Hide Wraps on the Purl Side.

On a side note ....

I picked up too beautiful handwoven baskets yesterday at a local resale shop and paid only $30 for the set.  They were made by a local resident (signed by the artist C. Bayer and dated July of 2000) I love them and plan to use them to hold yarn and fiber.



I am looking forward to the next few months as I am excited about so many new possibilities and adventures.  My husband and I still are working on plans to relocate back to either Kentucky or Tennessee, which makes me so happy!


Have a wonderful day and until next time, be creative!

Hello August!

Hello and happy August 1st!  

It’s hard for me to realize that it is August as this year seems to be flying.  I am glad it’s August though, that means cooler weather is just around the corner and I will be able to start wearing my hand knits again.

This months goal is to finish two pairs of socks and a cardigan.  I think this goal is quite doable as I have the luxury at times to knit during the day as I work.  The best part of being able to work at home is to have my knitting handy for slow times of the day.

I finished my striped sock last night and have casted on the mate.  I absolutely love the colors in this yarn !



I tried a new heel, a band heel (a.k.a German strap heel) and a cinched toe.  I really like how the heel and toe turned out, making the finish so much quicker.


What are your plans for this month ?

Until next time, be creative!