Thursday, January 24, 2013

spinning yarns

I bought this beauty at Rhinebeck 2012. The colours just grabbed me.

Rhinebeck spoils
It's Misty Mountain Farm BFL in rainforest. Gorgeous, no? I really didn't want to screw up spinning this into yarn, so I waited until I finished taking the Spinning with Dyed Fibers course on Craftsy before I decided how exactly I would maintain the pretty colours. The course was fabulous. I learned so much about the different ways one can play with colour when spinning dyed fibres. Really, I had no idea there were so many possibilities. Craftsy sometimes has amazing sales, so if you can wait until classes are half-price (or even less!), do so!

So, I decided to try my hand at fractal spinning and this is the result!
218 yards of perfection. Well, it may be a little lumpy, but it's perfect to me.

I couldn't wait to start knitting to see how the colours would manifest! In under 24 hours, I had this beauty in my crafty little hands.
Handspun kerchief
Pattern: The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief by Orange Flower
Needles: US8/5mm
Started: January 21, 2013
Finished: January 22, 2013
Handspun kerchief
The only modification I made was to add an extra two rows of the garter edge before casting off. I had some extra yarn and wanted to use up as much of it as possible.
Handspun kerchief
This kerchief has not left my neck since I finished it. It's been really chilly out, so it keeps me warm, and I just love the way it looks. The colours slowly shift from aqua to a more marled mauve and then to gold. As I said: perfection!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

New Abbotts Harbour slouch in the shop!

I'm working on some more Abbotts Harbour slouches in new colours, the first of which is in "mist."

Abbotts Harbour slouch in mist

It's exactly the colour of the sky and ocean today here in Abbotts Harbour. Coincidentally, it's also the colour of my nails.

My nails almost match the yarn I'm working with
matchy matchy!

The hats are in the shop now!

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Just checking in to say that the Abbotts Harbour slouch is SOLD OUT! I sold both the rust and red hats last night and sent them off this morning. I'm so excited about my first sales!

My fingers are busy, busy, busy knitting some more Abbotts Harbour slouches in new colours! I'm working on one that's a greenish grey, the colour of the ocean on a cloudy day.

Unfortunately my new business cards and stickies from moo arrived a few hours late -- the slouches were already on their way to their new homes. But the good news is that they look fantastic!

Fun stuff from moo!!

My super talented husband designed the cards and stickies (under my direction. heh.) and I couldn't be happier with the result.

So stay tuned for more Abbotts Harbour slouches! In the meantime, there are still lots of luxurious organic cotton wash cloths in the shop!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My Kiwi 2

Did I forget to mention that I bought a spinning wheel? While I was at Rhinebeck 2012? Did I forget to mention that I made it to knitters' mecca last year?

I didn't realize llamas warranted a warning.
this passes for "normal" at NY Sheep and Wool

Well, in case I happened to forget, I went to Rhinebeck and had a friggin' blast. I stayed in a mansion with 12 lovely ladies, met some Internet friends, bought stuff, took a train, and spent a few hours in the city that never sleeps. And I bought a spinning wheel, the stereotypical thing to do in Rhinebeck.

Kiwi 2
applause! applause!

I only really received the wheel at Christmas because it was a gift from my parents. It's an Ashford Kiwi 2 (unfinished) so I put three coats of Danish wood oil on it before assembling it with my handy brother. As soon as it was in one piece, I sat down, put my feet on the treadles and starting spinning. It's amazing how much easier it is to spin on a proper spinning wheel when one has been spinning on a drop spindle all summer.

Speaking of the summer, I'm an interpreter at Le Village historique acadien de la Nouvelle-Écosse. I spend my days in a house that was built in 1832, cook and bake on a wood stove, knit, spin, quilt, garden and talk to tourists. It's obviously the best job ever. Someone gave the Village some wool for spinning, but we don't have a working spinning wheel on site (and I'm the only staff member who spins), so I brought it home to tinker with. Instead of breaking out my good fibre right away, I decided to start spinning with some of the freebie wool from le Village. And here is the result.



It's unknown natural/undyed wool, spun to a two ply fingering or sport weight. 480 yards and 178 grams. I'm hoping to dye it at the Village this summer with some onion skins.

I wasn't 100 per cent sure how to use the built in lazy kate on my Kiwi 2. The first time I tried, my singles got royally fouled up in the treadle yoke (it was a nightmare to unfoul. trust me.). That's when I decided to wrap the singles around my thighs and up into my hands to ply the yarn. It worked well.


I have a small (it's actually minute) stash of fibre that I cannot wait to get spinning, but apparently I can't shut myself in my office/craft room while my kid fends for himself all day. Who knew?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Warm legs

It's not been a terribly cold winter, but I still find myself layering socks and slippers, shirts and sweaters, and, in extreme cases, tights and pants to stay cozy.

Enter: the utterly practical legwarmers!

some cloudy day

Pattern: some cloudy day by tiny owl knits
Materials: 1 skein Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Mediumweight in Every day grey (bought at Rinebeck 2012!!)
Needles: US4 (3.5mm) dpns
Started: January 1, 2013
Finished: January 7, 2013


Notes: I weighed the skein and divided it into two equal skeins. I managed to get 25 pattern repeats out of one half skein. I casted on with 4.5mm needles to ensure stretchiness at the top. I didn't follow the pattern for the bottom cuff -- instead I ended with four rows of stockinette stitch and four rows of 2x2 rib. What can I say? I like symmetry.

Verdict: My calves are delightfully toasty and I love how ugly/cute legwarmers look.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Stop the presses.

It's true. I'm back.

Abbotts Harbour slouch
Hello world! Here I am!

I stopped blogging after I procreated. There was just no time to write with a new little human being in my life. The newt is now a three-year-old kid and he's so much fun, although potty training is threatening to take the fun out of motherhood, but I digress.

I'm back because I just opened an etsy shop for my handknits. People have been asking me to sell my handknits for a while now, but I never thought it would be possible since I'm not a designer. I really don't know the first thing about writing a pattern, but I buckled down over Christmas break and decided to make a valiant attempt at creating my own design. The result is the Abbotts Harbour slouch.

Abbotts Harbour slouch
Voilà! The Abbotts Harbour slouch!

It's nothing fancy. Just a slouhcy stockinette hat with a ribbed brim. But it's mine. And I like it.

I also have some 100% organic cotton wash cloths in the shop and I'm working on my second design as I'm writing this.

organic cotton wash cloths
Mmmm. Scrubby.

In fact, I'm taking on a new project since this is a new year and all. I'm jumping on my friend Steph's bandwagon and setting a goal to write eight original patterns in 2013. (Read more about the 8 in 2013 project here.)

I haven't decided if I'll publish a pattern for the Abbotts Harbour slouch. I mean, does the world really need another pattern for a slouchy knit hat? No, not really. But if I come up with anything earth shattering, I'll certainly consider it.

So, carry on, as you were. I'm hoping to be back here blogging regularly. It feels nice to write again. Thanks for reading.