Wednesday, October 31, 2007


One more day to the "November Mystery Sock Tour"!

Get some sock yarn out (420m/100g), solid or semi-solid for best results.
You'll need a set of size 0 (2mm) and size 1.5 (2.5mm) dpns.

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


The "November Mystery Sock Tour" will begin Nov 1st. I designed a secret sock for the "Socknitters Anonymous" group on Ravelry, but since not everyone is signed up yet, I'll post the clues here, too, and hope you feel compelled to try it out.

Two more days to go.


There's a lot to be learned about spinning. I had never heard of "unbalanced" yarn before. After reading up in "Spinning in the old way" about it, it makes total sense. My yarn is not only unbalanced (which almost all freshly spun yarn is), no, I think mine is slightly overspun. Though I am not 100% sure. More experiments will have to follow.

I plied the brown/white wool, and soaked it, and now it's dry I must say it really resembles something I would like to knit. I'd say it's an aran weight, manageable with 5 mm needles. (That's my guess, I could be wrong, I haven't tried knitting it yet.) My perfectionism won't let up, I need to learn to spin more evenly than the 27 grams I have produced so far.

I also plied the green stuff - Man, I got 26 grams of yarn after all this work. I have to say though, it looks nice. Needs a rinse, so it settles down a bit.

See the difference to the brown yarn? It's still way twisty, or, unbalanced.
I have that one little skein because at one point the single broke during plying because it was spun very thinly. It's a bit thinner than the brown, maybe worsted weight.

But wait, there's more! I also plied the merino/silk stuff (though I should have waited till I have more.) The single broke twice during plying, but otherwise I am quite happy with it. It's not yet rinsed.

That's 16 grams of yarn. Has anyone a good pattern I could try???

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Patience, my dear

I once read a book starting with that sentence. While reading, I thought it must mean "being patient" but few words later it turned out that the heroine's name was Patience. Patience, along with Prudence, Harmony, Faith, April, May, June and Wednesday are not on my shortlist of names if I ever have a baby girl. Just sayin'.

What I really want to say is that one or other similar sentiment has been offered to me by Ted and Lorraine while learning to spin with the spindle. It might not be a big secret to some of you, but I am not a patient person when it comes to my skills. I get easily frustrated and I have been known to throw things across the room when they wouldn't work out in the allotted time. I have gotten better with age, but ever once in a while it might still happen today.

Early efforts. Blah.

After coming home from FFN I spun some more of the brown/white roving but it still hadn't really clicked. Getting bored with the colour I started spinning some of the green stuff. Hey, so much better! And when the spindle got heavy with the green, I taunted myself into trying the alpaca/silk mix. Surprise! Boy, does that stuff spin up well. Almost effortlessly, I am saying, trying not to think about the couple of not so thin parts in my single. I spun half of the roving, thinking I'll split it before spinning so I have the right amount to ply together in the end. I yet have to get to the other half.

Brown/white roving spun at home.

Ready to ply.

Green yarn. Much better.

Alpaca/silk. Was much to my delight easier to spin than expected.

When visiting the Roxham Wool Festival this year, I got some Merino/silk roving because I lurved the colours (try not to laugh, please) - and it is one of my favourite fibre mixes ever. I tried to spin some while still at FFN. Didn't work out that well. Turns out last night was a good night. I found that my hands finally knew what to do with the slick, slippery fibres and I got nice results.

Merino Silk roving. Like the colours?

First efforts at Fibre Fest. Not so good.

Yesterday: Oh, look! You can actually spin this stuff. Spinner's ecstasy!

Well, Ted and Lorraine, my mentors, what say you?

It's about a month since I took up the spindle first to make an earnest effort to produce usable results, but I only had picked up the spindle three times or so until three days ago. If my left hand (ring finger and small finger....ouch!) didn't hurt somewhat fierce (Nadine, I didn't listen.) I'd get lots more done. Now, what was that about a wheel?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Nice weather, eh?

So much for an interesting title. It's true, however, since it is warm, sunny and just a bit windy outside. The sky is very blue on this lovely fall day here in Montreal.

I still haven't told you all about Fibre Fest North. Here's the rest of what I brought home with me:

In the upper left corner you'll find two balls of Jojoland Harmony lace weight. I have been drooling for two years over this yarn and finally got some. In the upper right corner you see something that drew me in colourwise, I had never seen it before and when I touched it I wouldn't let it go again. Morehouse Merino lace weight. (Notice a theme here? Lots of lacy things to come...)
Then there are two skeins of Oceanwind Knits Merino sock yarn. My brandnew friend Lori is just a wizard with colours, I like everything she does. Since I couldn't decide between the green and yellow, I bought one of each.

I told you. They drew me in, these spinners. When visiting the Lindenhof Wool Mill and learning how they make yarn, I had the opportunity to buy roving. Nice roving. The one in the back is a 100% wool in green, in the front there's an alpaca/silk mix in blue-green.

In the meantime I am still using some other wool roving of which I got to bring some home, too. That would be the one on the left. In the other bag there's some brown wool, and the white is some mix of wool and cotton. If I remember correctly. My other brand new friend Lorraine (who is a kick-ass spinner and spinning teacher and has together with her team, the Toronto Spiders, broken the Canadian record in the International Back to Back Wool Challenge, going from unwashed fleece to finished sweater in six hours and 18 seconds!!) told me to write it down and make a note of the ingredients. I think I have that sliver of paper somewhere. I just couldn't find it today. So much for my organizational skills.

And, last but not least, here is my new spindle made by Tracy Eichheim. After Ted (who I like to call "friend" now, too) called my Louet spindle a "boat anker" I kinda got the idea why my efforts alone at home didn't work out that well. Apart from the fact that it's so much easier when you have loads of super-spinners at hand to show you how it works. And that's why I should mention sweet Emma, too. She showed me how to catch the spindle between my knees and...oh, get your minds out of the gutter! She showed me to use the stored rotational energy to spin some more and not have the spindle twist backwards.

Oh, yeah. This is what happens when you try to get a picture of another brandnew friend, Katherine. She tries to avoid being on camera by all means as Rolf found out.

Which, in return, made it all the more interesting to try and catch her unawares. In the end she even let me take a picture of her and me together and allowed me to post it here on my blog. Now, that's what I call courage under fire! And no, I won't post the other picture. Our still delicate new friendship needs to be nourished and cultivated yet. (The whistling gnome agrees.)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

It's called a cold

I got myself a nasty cold and everything that goes with it. Today is the first day since Wednesday that I kinda feel like myself again.

Let's see. There's still FFN to be wound up, and today is a bright day so it's picture taking time!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

It was a long trip

But it was sweetened (at least for me, Rolf was a very good sport!) by yarn buying and very good tart apples.

When I looked up the venue for FFN on the map and discovered that Pick up Sticks is practically on the way I planned a stop in Bradford. Since we left early enough on Friday morning, that was no problem at all. The ladies - Connie and her sister - are very friendly and of course I forgot to bring my camera and take a picture. But here's what I bought:

Then, later on, on route 26 along the coast of Nottawassaga Bay we stopped to buy apples. And some strawberry jam and elderberry jelly. The apples taste great. I bet they would be perfect in a pie.

Upon arriving at the Waterview Resort Ted had a goodie bag for each participant. I almost laughed out loud when I saw the colour of the lace yarn he put in there...(by the end of Saturday, everyone knew of my colour preferences. My, I hate to be predictable...) Well, to own the truth, when I asked Ted about it, he said he had planned to put a burgundy skein in there, but some or other happened to it and so it! Yay. Couldn't have been a better choice. It's from Shelridge Farms and feels very soft and lovely.

Also, there was, or rather is, a jar of chutney, made by Ted himself (can't wait to try it), very good chocolates from Mill Creek (two boxes, but Rolf and I had one already) and something I always wanted but never ordered so far: coilless safety pins! There was also lots of info about the area and and and...

More fun to come. I bet when I am done you'll wish you were there.

Monday, October 01, 2007

I'm baaaack!

From Fibre Fest North in Wiarton, ON. It was great! I met a lot of lovely people, learned how to spin, stocked up on yarn and roving (yeah, I got sucked in) and bought yummy apples from a fruit stand.

I have to take pictures of my loot, but here are some shots from the weekend:

The resort:

Willie's den where everything happened.

Fibrery invasion.

Me "spinning". (I do better now! and apparently somebody dressed me up with some fibre dreadlocks...)

Ted spinning ever so effortlessly.

Yeah, sometimes it didn't go too well.

DeeDee's fabulous spindles.

Thanks so much to everyone who was involved in planning and organizing this!