Friday, April 29, 2011

Handspun Friday - unknown fiber

This was a larger project than usual. Originally it was meant to be used for the Mitered Crosses Blanket for Japan, but after finishing the yarn I don't think I want to use it for that. It's too solid colored for it. I'd like to have a little more variation throughout, so this handspun yarn has to sit and wait for what it's going to be. I'm most likely going to use it in different projects.

Happy smelled the sheepy smell, which was there, but not overpowering so.

So I went to my fiber stash and grabbed a bag of undyed fiber. To my dismay there was no indication in or on the bag what fiber it was. I have only one photo of it which said Mixed breed on it. I can't remember where I bought it or what it is. But from the feel of it, it's a Medium wool, something like Columbia (which I remember buying at one point, but I still have several more bags of fiber, and I didn't go check if it's still there), or Corriedale, which I've never bought in this large amount.

The fiber fluff above fit on six bobbins nicely. It was a pleasure to spin right out of the bag. There was a little veggie matter, which I picked out as I went. Otherwise it was clean. There was the smallest amount of Lanolin in it, which kept my fingers smooth, but not uncomfortable so.

That's Maggie whizzing by, just glancing at me, what I'm doing there. No time to stand still though.

This was a wonderful feeling of accomplishemnt when I hang it all out to dry:

And the fruits of my labor:

It fluffed up a bit after it was dry. I've navajo plied it, and got seven skeins of yarn, with a total of 1,688yds. The whole bag was 704grams/24.8oz heavy (weight of finished yarn).

I kind of got a taste for spinning natural fiber now, and will see what else I've got in my stash to spin something like that in between those colorful Fiber club offerings. I hope there will be some kind of hint with the other fibers as to what they are though.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!
And for all Canadians: don't forget to vote on Monday!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011


I didn't feel too snappy yesterday, and only a little better today. As a result I've spent more time in my studio (closer to the next washroom) with the boys there too. Of course after a while it got pretty boring for them, especially after the blinds were closed after it got dark. Before that they watched live "television" out front. It had "smellevision" too, since I've cracked the windows to let some air in. It was so humid, the tiles out front were wet from their "sweat"! Anyway, back to bored puppies.
One can only sleep so much:

before other things look quite interesting, even though we've seen it many times before:

Well, this chair seems to be empty quite a lot, lets try and sit on it, see what happens:

well, that's not very exciting:

hmm, lets see what we've got there:


I wonder if I can get up higher still:

I can't take it anymore! Can you see that mom? See what he's doing? And he wont let me have the bone either! Whaeee!


Thank God for the pups! They always lighten the mood.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Pool - It's Open!


For the past several years, during the month of April it was rather warm. Not so this year. Nevertheless, the pool guys showed up yesterday. It was a surprise, but shouldn't have been, since I booked them in advance when we closed the pool last Fall, but I didn't remember the exact date. We will leave the makeshift fence around it for a little longer, because otherwise we'll have wet pups from now until October, and it's really too cold to go for a swim yet. It's maybe 16C today, and there's nothing but rain in the forecast. Bleh!

It was a rather busy day yesterday. I thought Easter Monday would still be a slower day than normal, but not so.

They guy who did our garden/deck last year came by, to see what needs to be replaced. There's one tree who didn't make it, and one bush. Everything else has grown. All the big trees had bugs last year, the tips went brown, but I found out online, that you can cut the tip of the trees, and they grow a new one. So I did that, and they look healthy again.

Anyway, every time I let the dogs outside, there was someone or other at the gate. I was pleasantly surprised that the boys went inside, when I told them too, even though the strangers at the gate were really interesting. They left the neighbor working his lawn in peace too. All winter long we are the only ones using the back yard, so it's exciting for the pups to see some other life forms, than just birds, bunnies, and other wild life, like skunks, and a mouse, and the occasional duck.

Maggie is doing well. It's been a week now since her surgery, and she'll be back at the Vet's on Thurday to get the one stitch out. So far we didn't have to use the E-collar at all. She's been really good at NOT licking, which surprised me. Whenever she gets together with the boys however, we have to keep THEM from licking her. They all give kisses to each other, before we have to separate them again.

Anyway, it's raining so no outdoors pictures, and to give you something to look at, I've received my second installment of Romi Hill's Pins & Lace Club 2011:

Romi Hill's Pins & Lace Club April 2011

The whole package is just gorgeous. The pin is sterling silver, the yarn is Tussah Silk in the colorway Larkspur. The shawl is crescent shaped, and called Lisianthus. This looks like a fun shawl to knit, nothing simple about it, definitely not mindless knitting. I'm looking forward to it.
Oh, yes, and have a cookie:

Big Ass oatmeal/walnut/chocolate chips cookies

These are big ass cookies, one cookie = a meal, but they really are wonderful. They are chocolate chips/walnut/oatmeal cookies. I scooped them with an ice cream scoop, and flattened them with a spatula. I'm ready for the next batch.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Handspun Friday a little different

I've always loved coloring Easter eggs, no matter how, it was fun. This year, my mom sent me some Easter egg colors again. I bought white eggs to get real nice colors, but it was not to be. They didn't exactly turn out the way I wanted them.

my mom sent me easter egg colors

I put in four brown eggs with the whites, and one of the browns turned into this pretty little red egg. The purple didn't take well, and neither did the blue color. Oh well. The funny thing though was, that most of them if not all, are colored underneath the shell as well. I don't like eating food coloring, avoid it if I can. Anyway, it would not be Easter without colored eggs, even if we don't really celebrate Easter anymore.

at least one red egg looks nice

I've used the purple and red color to over dye some experiment gone wrong from last year. It's not perfect, but much better. The yarn is Zitron Flame I bought a few skeins undyed.
Zitron Flame
Zitron Flame over dyed

Today instead of showing hand spun yarn, I'm showing you my latest FO. It's the No-sew blanket by Janice Kang, found in the latest Knitty Spring/Summer 2011. There is a KAL for it going on in the FatCatKnits ravelry group. I said I wouldn't join any more KAL's this year, but that was meant more or less for Mystery KAL's. I needed a break from lace knitting, and this little Blankie fit the bill. Besides, there's also some fiber to win, which was a great motivation for me. I've got so much hand spun yarn, from the very first moment I started spinning until now. I wanted to stash bust a little. Here I've used fiber dyed by different dyers like FatCatKnits, Spinning Awesome Good, Electric Sheep, Spunky Eclectic as far as I can remember.

No-sew blanket

No-sew blanket

Only two yarns used are soft and even spun, the rest was rather over twisted, but I could still work with it. This should normally be a Baby blanket, but there are no Babies in sight right now. So I've decided to use it to cover my desk chair (not pictured). That's also the reason why I didn't bother with the I-cord surrounding the blanket. If I were to knit this again, I would use soft yarn in one colorway (can still be colorful though), wound into a big ball, because I had to weave in a million ends as it was. The construction is a no-sew one, very clever, the pattern is very well written, and easy to follow.

No-sew blanket

No-sew blanket

pattern: Evelyn's No-sew Blankie by Janice Kang
yarn: my own hand spun yarn, various fibers, and colorways
needles: 5.5mm circs
size: 24" x 20"
I steamed it flat, and the yarn relaxed somewhat.
Maggie continues to do well. She's bursting with energy, wanting to play, but she'll have to wait another few days. All your well wishes must have worked. :o)
We wish you all a wonderful long Spring weekend. Ours will be a bit wet, I'm afraid, and cool.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Well, so much for Maggie staying at the Vet's over night! We've got a call yesterday, to pick her up, because she was too stressed out. She sure was glad to see us, and hightailed it out of there in a trot. She's doing fine though. We'll go back today, to see if she's O.K. (no fever, and no inflammation) and after that we'll be back in ten days to remove the stitches.

I finally finished Taygete. It took me only forever to do so. I've finished several other projects between casting on this shawl, and finishing it. I wondered what it was, that made me do all kinds of things before I worked on this it some more. It is my favorite shawl of the 7smallshawls, and still, I'd rather did something else.
Even though I like garter stitch, this time with the color changing every two rows, it was not as enjoyable, and it took forever. The lace part, and picot edging went quite quickly compared to the main body. I had no problems with the pattern itself. I just followed the instructions, and all went well.
I LOVE the yarn! It's Wandering Cat Yarn's Twinkle Cat Silver. The colorways are gorgeous! The darker one has many shades of grey, so gorgeous. The lighter one is a joy to look at too. Yummy!

One other thing I did not enjoy about this shawl was blocking it ( I found somebody else to do this for me)! All those picots! The wingspan is enormous. This is a giant amongst small shawls.

Here are the specifics:
pattern: Taygete by Romi Hill (ebook 7 smal shawls), but you can purchase the patterns as single patterns as well
yarn: Wandering Cat Yarns Twinkle Cat in charcoal and light grey; I used a total of 674.25 yds
needles: 3.5mm
size after blocking: 18" x 82"( or 2.10meters wingspan)
start-finish: February 15 - April 11






This shawl will be gifted, if the intended recipient likes the colors.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

If it were up to this bird ...

... his kind would become extinct. Why?
For days now, I've been watching him trying to built a nest under our deck. First day I saw him, he was trying out positions on the beam, under the deck boards, if it's nest building worthy, I thought.

April 12-North American Robin

It's a North American Robin by the way.

April 12-North American Robin

He's hilarious! I've been watching him bringing the best nest building material, he's no slacker, really trying hard, but he can't seem to remember which space between the upright boards he's started the nest building. So there are now 9 places he brings twigs, grass, birch barks to, more than half of it is coming down, whenever he's trying to distribute it over the available space.

April 12-North American Robin

I also feel sorry for him, so much effort for naught! Besides, if it rains, the water comes down on him through the cracks. The wind over the last few days, has blown away all the veggie matter he brought there. So far, for a weeks worth of work, he's got nothing to show for, but he's not giving up yet.

Maggie's in recovery. Surgery went well. She surprised us this morning. She's painfully shy with strangers, but she played it cool at the Vet's office, which was a relieve for us. She weighs 21.7kg at six month, most of it pure muscle. She gets 4 cups of food each day, but she needs all that energy, because playing rough with two boys is hard work.
So tomorrow around noon, we'll get to pick her up. An e-collar also known as cone was on the invoice, and I think she' ll need it.

Today the boys and I will enjoy being outside. Everything seems calmer when she's not around. She's such a busy body, and always in motion, always yapping, like a squirrel. We DO miss her already!


Monday, April 18, 2011

Vet visit!

April 13-Maggie

Our Maggala is going in for surgery early tomorrow morning. She's six month now. Keep your fingers crossed for her!

April 13-Maggie

Friday, April 15, 2011

Handspun Friday - FCK Mixed Blessing March 2011 - Blues

God, time is running away. It feels like the days are going by faster, and faster. For today we have some Polwarth fiber/yarn. It's a cross between 3/4 Merino sheep, and 1/4 Lincoln. I like it much better than pure Merino, because it's quite soft, but has better durability. It's lovely to spin as well.
This is half of FatCatKnits Mixed Blessing Fiber Club March 2011 - the Blues. I'm working on the other half right now.

FCK MB Fiber Club # 3-March 2011-5oz Polwarth-blueish

fiber: Polwarth
yarn: ~ 280yds, 3-ply, 5oz

FCK MB club March 2011-5oz Polwarth-blue-3ply-280yds

The more real color is that of the darker side in the picture. You've seen it before in the handspun yarn during March photo.
Now I'm working on the purple half of this club fiber. We'll see how that turns out. I'm hoping to get it the same weight.

We wish you all a lovely Spring weekend:

Happy - too big

Whaz up?


April 3 -Maggie

What? I'm quite comfortable, really!


March 9

Hold on, Margaret! I'll safe you, I'll get you out of there! (Maggie: eek, leave me alone, I don't WANT to be saved!)
I wish my pups could actually talk! Or- if not that, I wish I could read their minds. What fun!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Kanagawa mitten

I was lucky enough to test knit Kirstens newest design, Kawagawa mittens, even though it all didn't turn out the way I was expecting it.

pattern: Kawagawa mittens by Kirsten Kapur
yarn: Elann Peruvian Highland Sport (discontinued)
needles: 2.75mm
size: large

Something went horrible wrong:

My gauge was WAY off. I'm a very loose knitter, when it comes to colorwork.

The mitten was ginormous! I also didn't like the colors I've chosen. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the original mittens, so I'm going to knit a perfect pair sometime in the future. I'm not going to knit a mate to this one. Chalked up to experience, learning from ones mistake etc. .

Feb. 19

I'm really happy whenever the pups are pooped out, and sleeping. Little Miss Margaret, also known as Busy Body, or Princess, sleeps on the couch, while Big Brother found a place between the couches. Both seemed comfortable enough.

And Denny, the other night, I found his bone hidden in one of my fiber boxes.

Feb. 15-Denny hiding his bone

Sorry about the crappy photo, it was late in the evening, but I thought it was funny, because as soon as I discovered the bone, Denny came running, took it, and with I sigh (I swear) went to look for a different place to hide it.

Feb. 15-Denny hiding his bone


Monday, April 11, 2011

Thank you!

It's good to know that you are all out there! Thank you for all your nice comments on my last post. And thank you for your tips on how to make my apple cake better, with caramel sauce, ice cream, whip cream (was that just me?). And now for the real reason you've come by today:

Here are the winners (I've added an additional prize):

Virginia won my handspun yarn.

Spincerely Yours, merino/tencel

I've knit so many projects with Wandering Cat Yarns this year, and enjoyed it so much, so I thought I'd like to share the yarny love with you, and added this Wandering Cat Yarns Barn Cat skein as a prize.

Kelly you won this skein, colorway is "Parrot Fish":

Wandering Cat Yarns-Barn Cat-Parrot Fish-merino-nylon-400yds

Congratulations to the winners! Please send me your mail addresses, ladies! Thanks!


Thursday, April 07, 2011

5th Blog Anniversary!

Let's hear it boys, as loud as you can!


and a little louder


and now a little softer

March 25

O.K. that's it!

Happy Blogiversary to me!

I can't believe it's been five years already! Let's celebrate with some cake:

Apple cake
Apple cake - not as good as it looks. I don't like those dried out apples on top.

Anyway, I have to thank all of my readers for coming by, and leaving comments or not, but what is a blog without you? I would feel weird to just write for myself, I'm so glad you are all there!


There were times, when I needed a break from blogging, and there will be those times again, but for now, I'm still feeling the blogging love.

And what is a celebration without a gift? I'll chose one lucky winner who left a comment, to get this:

Spincerely Yours, merino/tencel

My handspun Spring Birch yarn, merino/tencel, 2-ply, ~341yds.

Good Luck!