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purple (merino/silk) Archives

December 30, 2005

He's done good

My brother and his girlfriend are in town visiting. We haven't seen too much of each other because of scheduling conflicts, but we've seen enough to swap gifts. Matt got some Hooray For Me Gloves and Jess got the Dragon Hoodie for her little girl.

But they came bearing gifts for us. So sweet. Jess brought us a huge basket of gourmet yummies, many of which Leo and I have already consumed, partially or fully. She even brought Miss Panda some cookies. And Matt, a man who referred to my knitting as "sewing" at one point, got me this.

It's about 11 oz of beautiful purple merino/silk roving. It's soft as a bunny a stunning color. The image isn't a perfect representation, the color is really a pretty deep purple with shades of burgundy, lilac and everything in between. He got the roving from Shuttles Spindles and Skeins in Boulder Colorado. I love it. It's so sweet that he walked into a fiber shop, looked for the perfect roving and came back with something so great.

That spindle shows what I've spun this morning. It's working up very nicely. The color becomes richer and the various other shades sparkle through.

Quick Update on the Purple Stuff

I spun a bit more of my new purple roving and plied it. I thought you might like a pre-wash shot of it in all its glory. The shades came together in a striking tweed-like way. It's even better than I could have hoped.

A bit more after the bump

Continue reading "Quick Update on the Purple Stuff" »

January 4, 2006

90 yards

I have a lot of "well duh!" moments, which would be "Aha!" moments if they weren't so obvious. One of those moments was when I realized I had everything I needed to determine the yardage I'm getting with my spinning.

Here are two skeins of my soft and lovely yarn spun up from the roving my brother gave me. Before this weekend, I would have told you that I had no idea how many yards were in there, but the answer was obvious all along. To make my skeins, when done plying, I wrap the yarn from the spindle around my calf, from foot to knee. the long way. To find out my yardage, I wrapped the tape measure the same way, found out my length and multiplied it by the number of times I wrap the yarn around my leg. Well duh!

More gratuitous yarn shots after the bump.

Continue reading "90 yards" »

January 9, 2006

It's not just Panda and Politics around here

I've been doing my crafty thing as well. Here is some left over wool/soy silk roving I've had a little sample of. Since there was such a small amount, I spun it as finely as possible. I used my 0.6 oz Golding spindle which helped me achieve a true lace weight yarn. I knit a little swatch of it last night and got 9 stitches to the inch on a US #1 needle and I certainly could have gone down a needle size without a problem. This stuff spun beautifully. I assume it's the soy that gives it its smooth drafting ability since I still find myself struggling a bit with pure wool.

It's taken me a little while to adapt to my 0.6 oz spindle. I learned on a 1.3 oz, have been using my 0.9 oz for almost everything but I'm now really starting to appreciate this lighter one. I know there are people who can spin spider web thin yarn on a 3 oz spindle and I tip my hat to those folks. I just can't get enough spin into the fiber soon enough to ever be successful. My spindle will have proven its dropping ability long before I get a yard spun. But a light spindle holds its own challenges. I realize it's all simple physics, but it's hard to know exactly how it will feel if you aren't well versed on those sorts of sciences. In my case, I face two big hurdles with a lighter spindle.

  1. I have to spin the spindle harder to get a long enough spin to be productive. Or, I have to spin the spindle more than once to spin the same length of yarn.

  2. The spindle tends to be less stable in its spin. I suspect this is partially technique on my part, but, while drafting, I sometimes maneuver in such a way as to send my spindle into a planetary like rotation, where the poles no longer sit at a true north/south*. While this works splendidly for our fine earth, it's less effective for a spinner.

* Ok, ok, I know that North and South are relative to our own planet and not the least bit relevant once you step off the planet or out of our solar system. Let's think "grade school diorama," for this analogy, ok?

More spindly fun, after the bump.

Continue reading "It's not just Panda and Politics around here" »

January 13, 2006

Spin spin spin

As I reported before, almost all my knitting has been on my stealth project so I can only entertain you with spinning, for now. I hope that those of you who aren't spinners aren't too bored with it all.

After such success with my soy silk roving worked on my 0.6 oz spindle, I thought I should try it on some of my other roving.

The result is about 52 yards of two ply Lace to DK weight yarn.

More yarn porn after the bump

Continue reading "Spin spin spin" »

December 26, 2006

Purple and Green make...

I have finally finished all my unbloggable work except for the editing portion which will probably be ongoing for a month or more. That means I can now do stuff just for me! Yay. Don't get me wrong, I love the stuff I was doing, but it's a relief to have the work done.

The first thing on my plate was to do something with that yummy sage green silk/merino blend I've been spinning.

I only had a small amount left, just enough to half fill a bobbin, so I decided, instead of doing another navajo ply, that I would make a funky tweedy yarn with something else from my stash. But what? I have some beautiful green fiber from my parents, but I have enough of that to make a garment and don't want to disperse too much of it amongst other projects. Plus, green and green is not so exciting a combo. It occurred to me that I have a nice quantity of purple merino/silk that my brother gave me last year. Basic color theory would tell you that purple and green are not generally a combo that would blend well, but I wasn't going to be deterred by none of them thar theories. So I cranked out a half bobbin of beautiful purple roving into some very fine gauge singles to be plied with the green.

In total, I spun up about 1.6 ounces of each fiber.

I plied them together and noticed that the bobbin, when being filled (i.e., spinning really fast) was actually a navy shade. Who would of thought?

Close up, there's no navy at all, but the overall effect is sort of a deep muted shade of bluish something.

It's a little hard to put your finger on it.

I love all the various colors that shine through. The green had a lot of red, yellow and bits of blue in it, so that areas of the yarn show no green at all, but instead, soft shades of pink or a shocking flash of blue.

I'm not sure I'd suggest this color combo, but I think there's a place for it in my stash.


  1. Ounces: 3.6 ounces
  2. WPI: 20 (give or take)
  3. Weight: Lace/Sock
  4. Yards: 380

It's fairly consistent though, while getting used to the WooLee Winder, I did manage to get a few underspun bits in the green singles. even so, the yarn should knit up pretty evenly.

June 11, 2007

Chapeau Marnier

The new Knitty is up and I have a pattern there.

There was some confusion about whether the dark version of the hat would run in Knitty Spin or the green version would run in regular Knitty and the short version of the story is that both hats are pictured which is great, but that I flubbed and did the ribbon loops differently on each. So the instructions on Knitty are for the dark hat's loops and you can get the green hat's loops chart here. As always, feel free to press that little "contact" button up top if you need any help or clarification.

In other news, I went to the Maine Fiber Frolic, this weekend and had a great time. See some fun pics from my stay in Boston and visit to the Frolic, here. What, you need more motivation than that to look at my pictures? How's this for temptation?


I leave to go back home, early tomorrow morning and while it's been wonderful to see my family and friends (so so great, really) I will glad, indeed, to see my little girls and Leo again.

April 13, 2009

Out of towners

My brother and his girlfriend came up from So Cal to visit. It was great to see them.

Matt and Aileen Visit

We took them to our favorite fancy pantsy sushi restaurant, then out for cocktails and some dancing.

Matt and Aileen Visit

In case you were wondering, Leo's still shaving his head.

Ooh and Matt brought along an awesome belated birthday present; a whole POUND of undyed soy silk fiber. That's just half of it, there.


I plan to hand card it with some wool. I was playing around with it a little on my spindle and I really like the way the soft creamy color plays against the cool purple.

It's always nice to have a little spinning project when I'm also working on a knitting project, like, say, another super secret publication piece.

New project

What-o-what will it be?

By the way, my tech editor for La Cumparsita has been the awesome and we're already ahead of schedule so I'm hoping to have the final pattern available for sale in the next week or so.

July 16, 2009

Skein as fashion

I'm frantically prepping for the Twist fashion show tonight at the Tigard Knitting Guild. I'm pretty sure I'll make a complete ass of myself at some point. I hope I do so in a way that's funny. Funny asses are way better than offensive asses. There's a life lesson for you.

In the mean time, here are a few more shots from the Tour de Fleece.


Dyeabolical singles in progress
1. Dyabolical bobbin, 2. Dyabolical bobbin, 3. Dyabolical bobbin, 4. Yah, spinning is great. Where's breakfast
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Dyeabolocal 3ply and Black Cherry 2ply
1. More Black Cherry 2ply on plying spindle, 2. Red heads, 3. Red heads, 4. Dyeabolical 3ply
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

July 27, 2009

23 days of spinning

The Tour de Fleece is over and I managed to spin every single day. No one is more shocked than I am. I admit, I may have splurged on a few hits of fiber, along the way, but the result is thousands (!!!) of yards of finished yarn. If I were to add all the individual plies, I'd have quite a few miles, but even when I count only the yardage of the finished yarns, I have something like 2 miles worth of yarn of my very own making. I'm feeling pretty good about that.

My stint in the tour is marked by some truly wonderful memories. Not only did I take my spindle to the Tigard Knitting Guild

Spinning while I wait

But we also had a visit to Ladysmith Black Mambazo at the Oregon Zoo (thanks Erica!)

Oregon Zoo -- Ladysmith Black Mambazo

And we saw Neil deGrasse Tyson at the Bagdad Theater. If you are wondering, which you shouldn't be, he is awesome.

Spinning at the Bagdad Theater
Neil deGrasse Tyson at the Bagdad

At home, the girls donned some works in progress.

IMG_0063.JPG Prism as hat

After 22 days, I had all this.

End of the Tour de Fleece 09

On the 23rd day, I added some lace weight singles to the pile

Finished prism singles

And in an effort to pose a mile in my pup's shoes, I wrapped almost all my new skeins around my own neck (in 95 degree weather, no less) and snapped a few more shots.

End of the Tour de Fleece 09

Even after 23 days of spinning, I was still enjoying myself and I'm surprised to report that I don't feel burned out on spinning at all. Perhaps it's the fact that I worked with such beautiful fibers or that I produced yarns I'm excited to knit, or maybe it's just that I didn't feel pressured to produce a certain amount or a particular type of yarn. Regardless of the reasons, I feel it was a good exercise and the girls got mighty used to all the treats they'd get after the various photo shoots, so they don't seem to be complaining either.

And as a side note, you can see some beach pictures from the weekend, here.

Beach fun in the fog

About purple (merino/silk)

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

prism (merino/bamboo) is the previous category.

purple haze (merino/bombyx) is the next category.

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

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