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september glow (cotswold/silk) Archives

June 18, 2007

Good as new, maybe better

The folks over at Golding just rock. At the Fiber Frolic, owner, Diane, offered to take my 0.6 ounce and 0.9 ounce, align the hooks and mail them back to me, complete with instructions for aligning, should I ever with to try myself.
A couple days after the frolic, she wrote me to say that they have updated the design of the smaller spindle, to have a thinner shaft, and would I like them to install that shaft on my 0.6 ounce. Well, that sounded just dandy to me.

A couple days later, my beautiful spindles were back in my hands, all buffed up and looking good or maybe better than new.


Pre-surgery, the old shaft, on my smaller spindle, was about the same size as the larger spindle. You can really see the difference now. It spins amazingly well.


The shaft switch also changed the weight. Now it's a petite 0.45 ounces. Just think of the cobwebs I shall spin.

While I was awaiting the return of my spindles, I was putting my new spindle to good use spinning up some beautiful fiber from Nistock Farms. The colorway is called "September Glow" and it's a cotwold and silk blend.


The color of the fiber goes from a soft cream-of-mahogany color to vivid oranges and pinks. It's like a more neutral version of the Autumn Spice colorway I spun last year. The silk shows up as lovely white flecks. They tend to form little nubs, but I like them. The batts are as light as air so it spins like a dream. I may even bring El Matchador out of hiding.

IMG_0080.jpg IMG_0075.jpg

Panda, as always, humored my insanity. This has grown all the more exasperating for her since Thea tends to grab whatever I'm photographing and run off with it.

Speaking of Thea, hasn't she gotten big? Her spots are becoming more and more pronounce too. She's really starting to show her cattle dog side.


The two girls have also gotten really close. They play like puppies, and snuggle up with Leo, any chance they get.


Admit it, you want in on that pile of cute.


July 2, 2007

September Glow

Well, El Matchador has been purring like a kitten and helped me produce another little skein of delicious yarn.



  • Fiber: 90% Cotswold / 10% Silk (the white bits)
  • From: Nistock Farms.
  • Color: September Glow: Shades of gingerbread cookies with orange and raspberry sorbet.
  • WPI: About 20. It's a little inconsistent, leaning mostly a bit lighter, though some areas are a little thicker. The silk also tends to form nubs.
  • Length: Over 225 yards.
  • Spun on: Schacht Matchless wheel (El Matchador to you)
  • Plies: 2, plied off of two bobbins until one ran out, then switched to Andean plying to avoid waste.
  • Impressions: I just love spinning this fiber. The batts are well prepared with only the smallest amounts of vegetable matter. The fiber is not too slippery, and has a lovely sheen. It's not really next to the skin soft, but it's not all that rough either. The colors are divine. I'm looking forward to spinning up more.


For the first time, I have washed but not weighted my yarn. This skein did get a rather good beating against the pole, but otherwise, she is unmanipulated. Apparently, there are two rather strong camps on this topic. Some people are weighers and some are not. I imagine there are good reasons for both. If I had to guess as to why you shouldn't weigh, it would be that weighing might give a false sense of balance that would then be undone the next wash the yarn (probably in knit or crochet form) went through. But that's just a guess. What do you all have to say? Anyway, after soaking in some warm water and Eucalan, and a couple thwacks before it dries, the yarn seems pretty darn balanced.


Recently June posted about Spinning Spider Jenny. If you haven't found her, and you are a spinner, go find her now. She's a wealth of information. Jenny happened to post about her method of 2-plying. Alas, I didn't read it until mere hours after I had completed my yarn, but next time I'm definitely going to try this method. It seems rather like common sense but it's sheer brilliance to me.

In entirely unrelated news, we found another great hiking site for the girls, and this is only 5 minutes from home!


There's a lovely place called MacLeay Park (I like to think it's a typo and should actually end in an "n" instead of "y.") in Portland that feels like its 100 miles from the closest city.


It was a gorgeous day, though perhaps a bit hotter than we are all used to. Thank goodness we've evolved so as not to be covered in hair. How do dogs do it? It's funny, though, both girls showed some unexpected personality changes that day.

Thea, our normally fearless (seriously) hero, decided that wooden bridges were the scariest thing EVER.
With a little coaxing and encouragement, she got a bit better, a good thing, because we crossed a good many of them, but she definitely wasn't loving them. Each time we'd reach one, she'd pull on the emergency break, I'd run across the bridge and call her and she'd muster up her courage and then bolt across. Silly monkey.

And Ms. Panda, our normally indifferent and withdrawn wallflower, suddenly decided she needed to keep an eye on Thea and defend her against dominant (not aggressive, dominant) dogs.
She was fine with this little ball of happiness, but Panda tried to get a little b*tchy with some other bigger dogs. That's definitely something we're going to have to work on. We definitely don't want a dog that's going to be picking fights. That's no fun.

But don't let those two issues lead you to believe we didn't have a great time. It was gorgeous. You can see all of the photos from the hike here.

September 3, 2007

Lovely long weekend

Leo and I have put this labor day weekend to good use, if I do say so myself. Since we are renting a house, it's always a struggle to decide how much time and money we should invest in beautification of our humble abode. It's a great little place, but after years of being rented, there's a lot that has gone neglected. This is not the loving little first home, it was originally built to be, but a way point in the lives of folks like Leo and me. Still, never one to shy away from a little hard work, Leo has decided we should get things tidied up, so on Saturday and Monday, we shoveled, we weeded, we hauled masses of toppled brick and we planted a little flower garden that we hope we'll stick around long enough to see bloom once, and only once, before buying our own home. But Sunday, we put aside our shovels and spades and seeds and bulbs and packed up our car for a trip to Manzanita Beach.

On the way, we listened to Harry Potter and I got in a little knitting.


This skirt remains my one mindless piece of knitting, that I can plug away on when I don't want to have to worry about row counters and lace patterns and other distractions.

We were expecting some serious crowds at the beach, and places like Cannon Beach and Hug Point, were, indeed, crowded, but Manzanita proved to be an ideal spot. While there were many people, we never felt crowded or cramped.


The girls had a wonderful time and Thea is really starting to come into her own. Slowly, Thea is building her recall and we are able to keep her off leash for longer without incident. She's still so filled with social excitement that I wouldn't trust her implicitly, the way I do Panda, but she's proving to be a wonderful little girl.


After a quick stop over at Blue Heron to pick up some provisions, we went back to Manzanita and set up camp. We are currently conducting reconnaissance in preparation for a bigger excursion with our friends; Erica and Larry and Jackie and her pup Tulip.


Leo is in charge of setting up the fire.


I am in charge of proving that pups will do almost anything for salami.


Thea was a little scared of the fire at first. Can you see her hiding behind the log?


But she came around after a little while.


We attempted to take a family portrait, by way of self timer.


Twas not so successful.


And as the sun set and the air got a little cooler, my ample tush proved excellent insulation for the not-so-little one.

See more pictures over at Flickr.

September 11, 2007

Hola, El Matchador

You know how I said that spinning puts Thea to sleep? Well, that seemed as good an excuse as any to spend some quality time with El Matchador.

At first, I thought I'd just spin up enough of my Cotswold to have a skein ready when I run out on my skirt.

right off the bobbin.jpg

But once I plied the yarn and skeined it, I had, what appeared to be, a relatively small amount of fiber remaining, so I figured, what the heck, I'll spin up the rest.

hanging yarn.jpg

The result is a skein that is 297 yards long and a second skein that is 217 yards long. Added to the 225 yards I already have, I have a total of [insert calculator here] 739 yards. That should be plenty to finish the piece.


Thea helped me with the photoshoot. It's nice that we can have both an out of focus AND poorly lit image. She's really an artiste.

two new skeins.jpg

I'm not going to do another whole round up of the yarn, since I've already done one here and it's the same, only different, or whatever. I will say that I continue to really enjoy spinning this yarn. It is well prepared, with only a little bit of vegetable matter and the colors are gorgeous.

In my next post, I start doing the spinning equivalent to making a gauge swatch. Good girl, Marnie, here's a cookie.

Quick question, would anyone out there be interested in some very basic tips for using Photoshop to adjust color and exposure in an image? I'm no expert and I sort of wonder if anyone who can afford Photoshop, already knows it well enough, not to need any help, but if folks are interested, I'd be happy to do a tutorial. Just leave a comment with your thoughts.

September 22, 2007

Assessing the skirt progress

It seemed about time to move the skirt to some waste yarn and see how it's coming along. I have mixed feelings


Things I like:
  • The crochet: I think the motifs are cute and hang nicely.
  • The colors: While I don't usually buy these colors for myself, I think they are lovely and the colors compliment each other nicely.
  • The chevrons: Who doesn't like chevron? It breaks up the horizontal nature of the subtly variegated yarn.


Things I don't like:

  • Yarn choice: I feel like the main yarn should be a little drapier. I don't feel there's enough weight to the piece to pull off the effect I'm envisioning

  • Skirts: I don't wear skirts. What the hell am I thinking?

  • Shape: Would a-line instead of straight have been better?

I'll probably finish the piece, just to see how it comes out, but I'm starting to think there may have been a better project for these yarns.

On the plus side, I should have 300 or more yards of the main yarn leftover when I'm done. What will I do with it? I dunno. I'll have it nonetheless.

I've been spinning bits of the Corriedale, here and there. It's been quite relaxing and mindless.


I'm annoyed, though, with my Woolee Winder. It's great, don't get me wrong, but it really upsets my sense of balance that it doesn't load the yarn evenly. Some of it appears to be that the whorls from Schacht aren't perfectly machined. There's an ever so slight gap, but I'm realizing that it's not enough to account for the severity of the imbalance.

Has anyone else who has a Woolee Winder seen this and if so, is there a way to fix it?

spinning_first bobbin.jpg

Oh and Thea had her stitches taken out and has been taking full advantage of the ensuing belly rubs.

belly rubs II.jpg

She's such a little floozy.

October 4, 2007

Getting there

Boy do I love life lines. I've used this one a couple times, but by Jove, I think I've got it. Some of the mishaps may have been caused by watching an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Man, that show is funny, and distracting.

Here's a closeup of the lifeline, subsequent filler stitches and Thea's paw.


The vertical row of locking stitch markers indicated decrease rows. I really don't want a huge amount of cinching required to hold this skirt up. When you have a 10 inch difference between hips and waist, that can be a substantial amount of extra fabric.

Here's a view of the whole skirt so far. There's only one spot in the house that gets much natural light and it's where Thea and Panda's bed resides. They seem to find it curious that the spot also becomes my photo studio, some days.


It's really easy to tell how far I've knit since I blocked the piece.

Tomorrow, I fly down to the greater San Fransisco area for a quick meet up with the owner of Stitch Diva Studios. We're finishing up another project together. That's all I can tell you for now, but I hope there'll be a sneak preview up in the near future.

October 10, 2007

Shoes that hurt with a brand new skirt

It was rainy most of this morning so I thought I'd only have crappy indoor shots to show you.


Or pictures of the piece being blocked


A closeup of the waistband facing might be interesting


But we got a bit of sun and I was able to take some better shots.


With a little help from my friends


About september glow (cotswold/silk)

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

sandstone (merino/tencel) is the previous category.

summer berries (cashmere/tussah) is the next category.

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

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