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autumn (merino/viscose) Archives

September 26, 2006

Last post before I leave

I'm in a bit of a fog with all I have to do before I leave tomorrow, so this post will be a bit haphazard. That said, let's get to it.

I stopped by OFFF on Sunday for just a little while. Leo and Panda drove down with me but when we found out dogs weren't allowed even to the outdoor sections, Leo and Panda went off to check out the town and I wandered the booths.

My first and favorite stop was Janel's of Chameleon Colorworks and Spindlicity.

Hey Julia, see that big bag on the left, that's all BFL, baby!"

More about what I got there, below.

I walked around all the other booths and showed surprising strength of will, even when passing the Wooly Winder stand. Mmmmm, Wooly Winder.

But what would a flock and fiber festival be without some flock?

I'm not crazy about livestock but I can't help but appreciate these guys.
I didn't take a ton of pictures of the festival, knowing they'd be a dime a dozen online. But let me tell you, there was much to be seen. I'll have my calendar marked for this event again next year.

After the festival, Leo, Panda and I were thirsty and ready to find some lunch. Leo spotted this place on his way back to pick me up.

It seemed serendipitous, I had to go in.
There was a bar and a restaurant and I went into the bar portion.

I enjoy a beer as much as the next person but Bud?

Lunch was every bit as spectacular as the decor. The "Coke" I ordered for Leo was a grocery store brand and the bags she packed our lunch in came from the 99¢ store. Now that is one classy establishment.
When I asked about the history, the bartender said it'd be around for many many years, and had gone through several incarnations. She didn't seem to know much more than that. When I told her there was a spinning festival going on down the road, she seemed politely half interested.

On the way home, I fondled my new rovings. 4 ounces each of 4 different colorways from Janel's booth.

Here, from left to right, Optim in colorway "Pearl," Merino/Viscose in colorway "Autumn" and a one-off colorway that I simply think of as "Peach" in the same Merino/Viscose blend.

Also, on the wheel and nearly completely spun up, some alpaca in colorway "Iris."

It's spun at a pretty fine weight and has a range of shades from nearly yellow green to blue to purple and all sorts of in-betweens.

I don't know about you, but when I spin these beautifully dyed colorways, there's always one color that makes a minor cameo amongst all the more dominant shades. Usually, it's a color that on its own, may not impress me, but mixed in with all the colors, it just sings. With this colorway, the shade is a soft dusty blue, more subtle than the dominant blue shade you see in the pictures. When I see that special blue coming up to my fingers, I always get a little excited. I felt the same way about the pink shade in my Autumn Spice roving. I hope to finish spinning and maybe even plying this fiber before I leave, but if not, I know I’ll be coming home to a relaxing treat.

November 2, 2006

The roving is safe

You can all rest easily. I did not run out of candy. The supply of roving has not been depleted and even our jack-o-lantern is still whole (albeit a smidge withered)

Being the frigid evening that it was, we thought it best to light a big ol' fire instead of relying on our heating system. If we hadn’t we know that every time we opened the door, we'd be channeling our inner crotchety old man and worrying about "heating the whole neighborhood". So down went the thermostat and up when the kindling.

The trick-or-treaters were few and far between but so adorable and polite!

Faces blurred to protect the adorable

At the end of the night, we still had a full bowl and a half of candy, which Leo has been slowly funneling to his colleagues. If you aren't much for networking, this is a great way to earn brownie points.

Unbloggable knitting is still full steam ahead but when I can't be entirely focused on knitting, I have granted myself a little bit of time to spin. This is the beautiful Merino/Viscose roving I got from Janel, in colorway, "Autumn."

If your heart didn't just skip a beat, you may want to check your pulse.

November 13, 2006

I love autumn

This might be the longest I've spent spinning any amount of fiber. Since I spend most of my free time cranking out projects I cannot blog about, I'm only granting myself about 1 hour of spinning for every 8 hours of knitting work. That one hour includes all pre-drafting, bobbin changing and other spinning related activities involved in producing yarn.

The lack of time is no lack of devotion, though, and I'm so pleased with the outcome. The fiber is a merino/viscose blend in colorway, Autumn, dyed by Chameleon Colorworks. The end result is about 425 yards of sock weight, 2-ply yarn. It's definitely got some thick and thin areas but I think it may be my most lovely yarn to date.

My blocking board is in the one spot in the house getting sufficient enough natural light to allow pictures without a flash.

While I was spinning the fibers, I was thinking that I didn't c are for the green as much as the other colors. But spun up, the colors come together in a beautiful way. Even though the green plays very heavily, the effect of the yarn, as a whole, is more orange-brown.

Using a good drive band made a big difference in the final product.

I was getting a lot of yardage with pretty thick looking yarn and I realized a lot of that had to do with my yarn being a bit underspun...or maybe a LOT underspun. It would result in a very soft and light yarn but one that looked a little sad and limp. This was my first yarn spun using one of those synthetic drive bands and the results please me to no end.

The good drive band gave me much more control over the wheel. It seems obvious, but it's another "well duh!" moment for me. Before, I was using a mercerized cotton and I sometimes couldn't get the wheel to spin at all if I had the break on too high, and even when I kept the brake rather slack, it'd still spin the fibers too little and the yarn would break a lot.

Another lesson learned.

November 15, 2006

Just some things I enjoy looking at

A relatively random collection of recent photos that make me smile. As always, click to make them bigger.

My new yarn all balled up and begging to be swatched

Dew drops on the grass in the early morning.

Panda watching the rain.

Dog friendly park with a lake

Duck duck...


Little critter A nutria (thanks Amanda!)

He can swim.

The purple center of a Queen Anne's Lace flower

December 29, 2006

As I spin, so shall I knit

I generally do not knit variegated yarns. Firstly, when knit normally, they create a horizontal line that, in garments, may tend to add weight where not desired. Additionally, I tend to prefer solid or small scale patterns lest I be lost in all the noise. But I cannot deny the allure of colors combined beautifully and when spinning, it ads another level of interest to the whole process. So I've been thinking about ways to use my variegated handspun yarns. Chevrons and feather and fan stitches are a great way to add interest and I've used those in the past. Lace can produce a similar effect, but tends to clash with the variegation, leaving both looking a little haphazard. So how about a slip stitch pattern?

Good choices are ones that are meant to combine multiple colors and will work best with yarns that have a lot of very intense color changes. So a monochromatic or subtle variegation is probably not ideal. I thought this would be a great way to work my Autumn yarn.

This is a relatively simple slip stitch pattern meant to be worked in two colors. You work a series of double YOs over on one row, then slip those YOs for 4 rows, working the other stitches in stockinette. Then you fan out and work those YOs, over the course of 3 more rows, to produce a leaf like motif. The idea is that you'll probably be working a different color in the yarn than that used when you first created your YOs.

This breaks up the very horizontal effect of the variegation and introduces some interesting vertical lines from the slipped stitches.

Here's a close up for you as well. And for those of you who think I'm a consistent and skilled spinner, you'll note all the thick and thin/over and underspun sections as well

I think this is the first time I've ever wished my yarn had even more variegation. The whole piece will need some good blocking, but I think you get a good idea of the effect.

The goal is to work this up into a little hat, and maybe a pair of gloves or mittens. It'll be a nice reminder of the colors of autumn through the long winter months.

January 1, 2007

Panda happy new year

Those of you who have been visiting my site for a while may recall that Leo only celebrates holidays that involve lots of fun having and which are, basically, secular. This means that Halloween, Thanksgiving and New Year's top the list, with a nod to Valentine's day and, of course, a month for my Birthday. However, that last one is more mandated by the relationship than anything.

Since the plan was to have a rocking good time, I made sure that Panda got a nice long walk during the day.

Does anyone notice that besides the lovely view and adorable dog, there is also a new FO in this picture? A few of you have asked for the stitch pattern, but I plan to do you one better and post the whole hat pattern soon. The stitch is from one of the Barbara Walker books, but I'll have to dig back through to get the exact name. More on all that to come, in the future.

So back to the evening's events. Having moved to Portland, late in the year, we were a bit behind the eight ball in coming up with plans. We really didn't know where we'd wanted to go, because we hadn't really been anywhere and once we decided where we might like to go, all the options appeared to be filled up. Thus ensued a mad romp about the internet in search of options.

Leo found this posting online.

Tango lessons, a 5 course meal and Cirque Du Soleil style acrobatics; it all sounded like a perfect evening.

Well, it wasn't quite what we expected. The reservation secured us a spot at one of the wedding/prom style communal tables for 8 and a chance to visit the buffet and purchase wine by the glass from the bar. While the performers were excellent, much of it happened closer to terra ferma than we expected, so we missed a great deal of it. It wasn't a bad evening, but we still felt it was pretty oversold in the flier.

Oh and there may have been the slight issue in determining where the event was held. The picture above tells you all about the event, but not where it is. Combing their site, I managed to determine where they were performing on December 31st, which just happened to be 37 blocks from the event we had tickets for and lucky us, having taken public transportation in to the city, we found ourselves in a mini-predicament. All that got sorted out with an inexpensive cab ride, though it did put us pretty far from any means of getting home again. Oh, and we'd been warned that starting at about 9PM it would be about a 2-3 hour wait for a cab if we needed it, so if we wanted to take a cab back to the train, we were probably out of luck. Ooops.

Once seated, Leo took to procuring wine and I met our new friends.

That adorable couple would be Erica and Larry. It's a good thing they are gregarious because I am one of those shy folks who probably wouldn't have said a word if they hadn't been so outgoing. That would have been my loss because they are delightful dinner companions.

Most of the evening's performances were set to tango-like music.

Though, I swear, one piece was done to an instrumental version of Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters."

After dinner, there was a tango lesson. I did manage to guilt Leo into a few minutes of dancing with me. But when he lost interest, I began my rounds as the dance floor floozy; dancing with both dance instructors, some old Russian man named Alex, whose wife was getting pointers from one of the instructors, and finally a last dance with Larry, who had taken pity on me and my dance addiction. But I can stop any time. I can.

While watching some more floor shows, we heard a rushed "Four...Three...Two...ONE!" and realized it was now officially 2007 in our time zone.

A big wet smooch and hug and then we bid 2006 a fond farewell.

At this point, we began scheming about our plans to get home. Do we see if we can catch a bus back downtown? Do we even know which direction downtown is? Can we walk to a train station? None of that was necessary, instead, Larry and Erica invited us to join them for wine at their place and we jumped at the chance. They'd been so much fun to talk to AND they'd get us close to public transportation and cabs. What good fortune for us.

They have the most lovely and immaculate place in the Pearl. Did I mention is was also impeccably clean? Dear lord! I can understand having your place in order when you plan to invite folks over, but who the hell has their house that perfect just for normal every day living? Damn them!

We kept them up for another few hours, Erica and I talking fondly of road trips and pets, the guys discussing, who-knows-what.

At nearly 3AM, we decided we'd imposed ourselves long enough and began our voyage back to little Panda and the warmth of our home sweet home. But I don't think that's the last we'll see of them.

It may not be what we expected but it was a great way to start the year.

January 5, 2007

Comeing soon to a browser near you

I have finished the hat and gloves I've been knitting from my handspun, and they have already helped me keep out the chill as I did my errands today.

I'm hoping to finish up writing the pattern by the end of the weekend. It'll be available for free, and will contain suggestions for using different weight yarn.

As a side note, I wanted to show you how great store bought variegated yarns can look in slip stitch patterns. If you like the pattern but don't spin your own yarn, or prefer not to spin such fine gauge yarns, you can definitely substitute any variegated sock yarn.

Obviously, the stitch pattern is a little different but the effect is the same. The yarn is Socks That Rock in colorway, Carbon. If you'll notice, there is some definite flashing going on but the slip stitch sort of breaks that up.

Oh and here's hoping a few of you out there got to see Miss Panda on TV today. She was a natural, I tell you.

January 8, 2007

I've got your hat right here

The hat pattern has been posted.

The gloves are coming soon.

January 9, 2007

Perhaps the longest glove pattern ever

The Lake Park Glove pattern is now available for free in the pattern section of my site. This thing was a beast to put together so if you find any issues, feel free to drop me a note.

The pattern is very simple, but I've offered lots of information for modifying the pattern and I made charts and verbose instructions for those of you who have a preference. I give because I love.

I hope a few of you will show me your hand spun and variegated yarns worked up in this stitch pattern. I think it'll be great to see how different yarns look.

October 1, 2008

Spindlicity is back

Hey, guess who's back and looking better than ever?

I even have a pattern in this edition.

I actually designed this way back when, right after I designed my Lake Park Hat and Gloves. In fact, I designed it so long ago, it was before we adopted Ms. Theano-Purl. (Excuse me while I get a little nostalgic for puppy cuteness and then remember what a huge pain in the keister she was and how much more delightful she is now.)

Anyway, I haven't had a chance to actually look through the whole site but what I've seen looks great. Yay for the return of Spindlicity.

About autumn (merino/viscose)

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Marnie, speak! Good girl. in the autumn (merino/viscose) category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

almost solid series sampler is the previous category.

autumn spice (cotswold) is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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