Friday, January 29, 2010

Have you seen the beautiful moon tonight?

Moon 1/29/10, originally uploaded by jeaniefarley1973.

When leaving knit night we looked up to the sky. You couldn't miss it if you tried. It is just beautiful tonight. Then my friend Sara said, did you know tonight is the closest that the moon will be to the earth. Wow, she blew my mind away that she knew this, I have such smart friends! My camera does not do the moon justice but I took a few shots anyway! Oh, knit night was fabulous too!

Happy Friday!!!

I love Friday.  Friday is the day that ends a busy stressful work week.  Friday is the day that I get to meet up with my knitty friends.  Friday is the day before I get to sleep in.  Friday is a GREAT day!  Do you all love Friday as much as I do?  
My husband who I love so dearly said to me on the phone the other day (Wednesday I believe), "It is Andy's birthday this week, he wants a hat."  End of story.  End of comment.  Not will you make him a hat, would you be able to get that done this week...  So I stewed on it for the afternoon and decided that Andy and Clint have become good buddies at work and it would be nice of me to make him a hat for his birthday, he has nicknamed me the yarn diva so I will show him what a YARN DIVA can do...  I went home that day (Wednesday I think) and pulled out colors to begin a hat.  I told my honey, sure I will make Andy a hat, do you think he will like these colors, so on, so forth.  His response, you will have that done by Friday?  Long story short, the work I did on Wednesday night had to be ripped out.  I was trying a new technique of wrapping the stitches and it looked terrible so I frogged with the determination to start again on Thursday after work.  Below is my progress as of today and I hope to get this hat done this weekend so Andy's head will stay toasty for the rest of the winter!!!
Clint and Andy share a toast at the local beer festival!
On another note...
Meet Temperence!
My newest owl bead that came to me from Australia.  She is so stinking cute, I am not sure what I am going to do with her.  My original plan was to make her into an orifice hook for my spinning wheel but I made one with the snow owl bead that I received last weekend.  I am going to have to stew on what she might become!  Her eyes get you but the detail is so awesome.  I can't capture it with the camera, you will just have to trust me.
With that, have a great Friday everyone!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Updated sampling photo...

I let the yarn dry and it is amazing how much BFL blooms.  Here is a post wash test knit photo that also shows the color of the fiber a bit more...

Oh and after letting this dry I did a measurement on the yarn.  When I blogged earlier I didn't think it was thick enough but after drying it thickened up to be bigger than I want.  I am trying to achieve a sport weight yarn (12 WPI) and I spun up DK (11 WPI).  It is close, so, so close but a little bit thinner single might just be the trick.  I anticipate my final project will have a bit of variety though, as most hand spun projects do! 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Spinning for "the sweater"!

Tonight I came home feeling "fiber-y" but not ready to knit.  I decided to pull my spinning wheel out and test spin a few samples for the big project I have decided to take on this year, spinning the yarn for and knitting a sweater.  I have read a few articles on the subject, Knitty had an interesting one a few years ago called Spin me a sweater!  More recently though I found a nice article in Spin Off Magazine called "Swatching and Sampling for the Oatmeal Cardigan.  Now this is the sweater I contemplated knitting and it is still on the "possibilities list".  Tonight however, I wanted to just get a feel for spinning really thin singles and trying it out as 2-ply and 3-ply to see what weight I could achieve.  It has been interesting to realize how much effort goes into planning a garment.  Here are my samples so far.  They are a little damp so I cannot get proper measurements but I would guess that my three ply is a little bit thin for the sport weight that I am attempting to achieve.  More practice and testing and finally, I will have a control card to refer to before I start to really spin the 2 pounds of fiber waiting for me...

My photo is terrible but you get the idea!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sundays are for spinning, again...

Well almost.  I actually started the featured project on Saturday but it was finished on Sunday at around 1ish am so I will keep up with my Sunday spinning theme and post it today. 

Whew!  What a busy weekend.  If you read yesterday's post you know that I started my day attending an Open House at a local Fiber Artists Studio.  Today my sis sent me a text bright and early to come play at Upstairs Studio with her and Z.  How could I say no, all I had looming ahead of me was more laundry, three stinky boys that I love to death, but they really want nothing to do with me and my Man, who was busy relaxing in his PJ's.  Out the door again...  I spent the morning and into the early afternoon playing with leather, a new craft that has been bouncing around the group.  I had admired a wallet my sister had made and decided to tackle one while they played with silver and silver clay (I ended up taking home one of their pieces - I tell you, it is who you know - ;-).  So here are some photo's of the new stuff.  YEAH, fun, fun, fun.  Keep reading though because there is some exciting news at the end of the post...

Fiber statistics:
Purchased pre spun from Sunset Fibers on Etsy
2 Ply
9 Wraps Per Inch - Worsted Weight
126 Yards, 4 Ounces
Lots of squishy love...

Leather Wallet
Design inspired by Julie Rabung
Made by ME
Needs two snaps, but otherwise finito...
I have been asked to teach a class at an up coming fiber festival in Wasilla.  I am going to attach some details here, if you are not interested in my class, no problem, if you ARE interested in one of the other classes, sign up.  We want this event to become successful for our large state as we do not have anything like this going on!  I am not hosting the event, I have just been asked to teach so if you have some questions, feel free to ask but I will more than likely pass you on to the organizer.  Oh and hey all of my out of state fiber friends (you know who you are), as my friend Z would say, COME, COME...
What color will your hands be?
 Fiber N' Ice
APRIL 16, 17, 18TH
 Denise Morrison
For specific classes offered please send me a message and I will forward you the registration form.  I tried to post it here but it was messy and confusing and to hard to manipulate...  sorry about that but I am HAPPY to forward the info to you.

Good night everyone.  See you in the funny pages.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday's Treasures...

Today has been a full day already and it is only 2:23 pm.  Today, Pamela of Far North Fibers hosted an open house at her studio and I had made plans to arrive and meet my good friend Cathy.  It was a nice time of feeling wonderful fibers to spin, looking at her weaving projects and visiting with old and new friends.  Pamela is such a wonderful host and I am so glad I got out of bed in order to attend.  I also found some new treasures to use as I learn more about spinning.  I am so excited to work with my new drop spindle.  It is beautifully adorned with trees and birds and is hand made by Thomas C. Forrester in Canada.  I also picked up a new sett gauge and an orifice hook all made by the same gentleman.  The sett gauge is used after you have spun your yarn and it is a gauge used to determine what weight yarn you have spun.  The oriface hook is a tool used to pull the fiber through the "orifice" of the spinning wheel.  Mine did not come with one and I have decided that even though the orifice on my spinning wheel is fairly large and easy to thread the fiber though, the hook will make it even easier.  As I was driving home I stopped to pick up the mail and low and behold I had a package from Florida.  This package contained the most delicate and beautiful Snow Owl bead made by Mermaid Glass.  I was actually going to make an orifice hook with this bead and still may but I had to have him, isn't he cute?

The last photo shown is the progress I have made on my Clapotis!  It is moving right along and I think that the final project is going to be lovely.  A keeper for sure.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Is there anything better than a GREAT haircut?

I have a standing appointment, every six weeks to take care of my hair!  Today was my day!  I don't know if there is anything better than a fresh new hair cut.  Sometimes it is a new look, sometimes it is just maintenance, today was a maintenance, mainly because I need to get some length before my June trip to Italy and Greece.  If any of my friends in Anchorage are looking for a GREAT hairstylist, mine is wonderful.  Alex (Alexandria Hutchinson) asks the right questions.  She noticed a piece of hair that was falling strange while I was knitting and and asked me if I wanted her to fix it for me.  She sits at my hair level when she cuts it instead of standing above me.  She just has the touch.  If any of my Anchorage friends are looking for a new stylist, she is great and I would love to share her info with you - just send me a message!  I am not currently having her color my hair but she has in the past and she is AWESOME!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Does the world need another Clapotis?

Well, apparently I think it does!!!  When I was spinning my Fireside Chat fiber I envisioned it becoming a Clapotis.  I did not spin the fiber specifically for this but after trying it out as some mittens last night, it was ripped out and cast back on as Clapotis.  So far, so good.  We will see when the pattern starts to emerge, so far it is a little triangle, but the colors are flowing nicely.  What the heck!

What do you think?  Should it be something different?

Monday, January 18, 2010

What is your favorite yarn?

I have been sitting at home this evening admiring my lovely yarn collection.  Some of my yarn has been purchased with a purpose in mind - perfect for a sweater or that hat pattern that I saw in the latest knitting magazine.  Some of the yarn that I have aquired, however, does not have any purpose at all except for being beautiful.  Here are some of my beautiful skeins of yarn.  They will all eventually have a purpose but for now, I am happy to just look at them.


Sundays are for spinning!!!

Another Sunday has come and gone and my day was spent spinning on my Fireside Chat fiber from Northern Lights Fiber Co. I could hardly wait to post this - the yarn is still drying...

I am still working out all of the details, mainly because I have more of this fiber to spin up but so far I have 375 yards of sport weight yarn.  When all is said and done I believe I will have around 600 yards of this beautiful colorway!  It is soft and lovely and I can't wait to find the perfect project for it!  
Goodnight for now!
  Time to rest the back and close my eyes in preparation for the busy week ahead at work.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Validation - WONDERFUL Mood Lifter

Friday Night Knitting!!!

It is Friday!  It is knitting night, one of my favorite nights of the week.  Come join us tonight at Starbucks on the corner of Old Seward Hwy and Dimond.  I have reserved the meeting room from 7-10 but I will be showing up at 6ish.  Bring your project, bring your finished objects so that we may all oooooo and awwwwww...  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Handspun Morning Mitts (or mitt for now)...

Last night I sat down at the spinning wheel and worked on my fiber from Northern Lights Fiber Co.  It is just beautiful with its shades of orange, purple, red and rust.  I can't wait for the final product to be done.  I was so inspired by spinning my own yarn that I decided to wait no more and cast on a project with the yarn that I showcased in my last post.  I opened a brand new book up called The Knitter's Book of Yarn and immediately found a fingerless mitt pattern that would work.  It is a simple K2, P1 rib with a thumb.  It called out to me to be done on smaller needles.  I adjusted.  It worked and walla, a fingerless mitt was born.  Now I say a mitt was born because it's twin still has yet to make it's appearance.  I hope to knit it up tonight.
Handspun Morning Mitt's

Project Notes:
Pattern: Maine Morning Mitts (The Knitter's Book of Yarn)
Needle Size:  US 3
Yarn:  Handspun; 4 oz Corriedale Crossbred wool roving in 
Mum’s Fall Favorites, a combination of parchment, russet, spruce and chestnut.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

How did you spend your Sunday afternoon?

We all have different ideas of what a Sunday afternoon should be like.  Some get up early, attend church and go to Grandma's for roast, some celebrate Sunday with brunch and family time.  Some sleep all day long preparing for the busy week ahead.  Our family lays low on Sunday's.  Clint is not one to sleep in but when I am given the chance, he leaves me and our sweet dog Lola to snuggle behind the shut bedroom door.  The smell of coffee creeps under the door but I do not move.  I relish sleeping in on Sunday morning and when it is dark out (today until 10am) it is even easier for me to laze the morning away!  The smell of breakfast cooking brought me out of my slumber and I had to go investigate what was on the stove.  I was welcomed with cornflake crusted french toast made with fresh french bread (bought not baked).  My husband is a master in the kitchen.  As I ate my wonderful breakfast I pondered what I was going to do with my day;  tackle the baby sweater from HELL (long story), knit on a project that has been on needles for months, or spin up some fiber that has been on the wheel for a few weeks.  I chose the latter.  I decided to dedicate my Sunday to finishing one spinning project.  Here is my project from start to finish...

Mum's Fall Favorites
4 oz Corriedale Crossbred wool roving 
A combination of parchment, russet, spruce and chestnut

 Spun into two singles...
 Then plied...
Into beautiful yarn...
The question now is "what will this become"?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Fiber Porn, Fiber Porn, Fiber Porn

Do you ever have days when you check the mail and it is like Christmas, but Christmas has passed.  Well yesterday was one of those days!  All of the fiber I ordered from Sunset Fibers arrived on the same day!  When I opened my packages I was pleasantly surprised by what I have received.  Two different wools, two different processes but very beautiful all the same.

 My experience with Linda at Sunset Fibers was wonderful.  Prompt careful service and frankly just a pleasure to talk to.  She has earned a loyal customer...  Please tell her Jeanie from Alaska sent you if you decide to order from her!

The brown wool - technically black - is undyed Blue Faced Leicester.  This is a whopping 2 pounds of wool that I plan to spin into yarn for a sweater this year.  I keep changing my mind on the sweater I want to make but the top runner at this point is featured in this months Interweave Spin Off Winter 2009 Issue.  It is a beautiful cardigan made using this exact fiber.  I think it is meant to be.  It is called Oatmeal Cardigan and was written by Amy King.  Here is what it looks like...

photo by Boogie on flickr 

The blue varigated yarn is 4 ounces of wool from the Corriedale Sheep that will be lovely mittens (I think).  With a flap (I think).  I am still working on this one!  Maybe these...

photo by Heidi Hennessy

Good morning, and in case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Red Owls!

Project Information
Pattern: Owls by Kate Davies
Size: XL hem/L Bust
Needles: Size 10 (6.0 mm) Knitpicks Options, Size 10.5 (6.5mm) Knit Picks Options
Yarn: Cascade Yarns 128 Chunky Solid/Tweed Color 7604 (4.51 skeins = 577.3 yards (527.9m)

photos taken by patti bendz on apple iphone

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Snuggies - GREAT for knitters...

Last night Farrah and Adam had to fly home to Portland! (Frowning). Before they left for the airport though, we got them back for a few hours. A few more hours to knit up a storm. We wound some yarn for the "Owlette" sweater I am going to make for my cousin's new baby. We worked on our sweater projects. We tried out knitting in snuggies (which involved a photo shoot and lots of laughs).

On to some other cool stuff I want to share....

"Owls" - WIP...


Scarf Knots by 3 Dog Designs (aka my sister, Julie Rabung) She does amazing things with fused glass, silver and leather...

Dad's Christmas Chullo - icord bind off in process...

Dad's Christmas Chullo - finished and ready for shipping...

Monday, January 4, 2010

New fiber. Yummy!

I received my fiber from Northern Lights Fiber Company today and I could hardly wait to spin some of it up. Wow is BFL wonderful to work with! It spins up like butter! So far I am spinning it up sort of thin. I am going to toy with a double ply and try to get enough out of this for a wrap of some sort. I may be aiming high but I guess I will see how much this fiber yeilds. It is 12 ounces so I should get a nice amount! Isn't it yummy!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year, New Project!!!

Yes, you read it, NEW PROJECT. My friend Farrah and I like to knit projects together, especially when she comes to visit. We had picked out a project to begin when she came for Christmas and after starting the project, we decided to bag it for awhile because this particular project was a bit fussy. Yesterday we were sitting around the house (actually lounging in my bed - yes, my bed. The boys get the living room, the girls get the bedroom - it is a bit of a tradition) discussing what project we might like to do other than the dreaded first project... I told Farrah I would be interested in knitting a shawl. Now if you know me, you know I am not a shawl wearer. I love the look of them, I enjoy knitting lace but they are not useful for me since I am not a shawl wearer. The shawl I was interested in, however, is a "shawlette". It can be worn more like a scarf - which I love. We agreed upon the Hayworth Shawlette written by Victoria Lynn. It is very symmetrical, not frilly but interesting. I chose to use Shubui Sock Yarn in the color Wasabi. I do love my green!!! Farrah chose to use a yarn from a company called SnickleFritz - yarn she purchased at Sock Summit because it is delicious and it also contains the name of her brother Fritz, who passed away 4 years ago in a plane crash. We started the shawls coincidentally on the anniversary of his passing. Please stay tuned for the updates on these shawls...

I have also been making progress on my "Owls" sweater. I have about 25 rows to knit before I am ready to make the short sleeves, attach them to the body and knit my owls. This sweater should be done far before the end of the month, unless I am distracted by some other fantastic wonderful distraction.

I hope to pick up my fiber from the local artist this week.

I am really excited that winter break is over for the boys. It is time for everyone to get back to a routine and for Mom and Dad to feel like we have some semblance of control again. Maybe Christmas will come down this week, maybe not. We will see.

Friday, January 1, 2010


I hope everyone had a wonderful New Years Eve, ringing in 2010 at our house was eventful in my eyes but I am sure uneventful in many others. Farrah and Adam are here at our house for a three night stay and we spent the evening watching funny movies (Anchorman and The Hangover) while eating carry out Mooses Tooth. All of this was being done as well as spinning on the Louet and knitting on our New Years sweater projects. Eventful but uneventful if you know what I mean. Clint was in bed before the new year hit and Lola (our Shih Tzu) was horribly frightened by all of the fireworks ringing in the New Year over the course of 3 hours. It was fun, it was done and now it is 2010. To celebrate the holiday I did some fiber shopping. My wallet is not so happy this morning but I am VERY excited to see these new finds and work with them to make beautiful yarn. What do you think of my choices...

NEW FOR 2010 Hand Painted Corriedale Wool Top - 4 ounces - Color C16-10
From SunsetFibers on Etsy

Fireside Chat - Oatmeal Blue Faced Leicester Roving - 11.8oz
From Northernlightsfiber on Etsy (Also, from Anchorage)

This is a special listing just for me... BFL, 2 pounds, for my sweater project, pin drafted, YEAH
From Sunsetfibers on Etsy