We interrupt your regularly scheduled Tour de Fleece programming…

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… to bring you the first finished object post in forever!

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Pattern: Shur’tugal by Alice Yu
Yarn: Fiber Optic Yarns Foot Notes, Equinox

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These are my best socks so far. The pattern has plenty of stretch, so I can get them over my heel but they still fit well through the calf. I have large calves, so I did extra shaped ribbing on larger needles.

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I love the little details, like how the pattern melts into the heel…

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… and the toe.

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While it is much to hot for wool socks now, I’m sure I’ll wear them often once it cools off!

Tour de Fleece – Days 3, 4 and 5

On days 3 and 4 of the Tour de Fleece, I spun.

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On day 5, I spun some more. I am getting over a nasty cold, so I had a very quiet Fourth and got a lot of spinning done. While experts advise that you should spin all your singles before you start plying, who has that many bobbins? (Don’t talk to me about winding singles off bobbins and into cakes – I know that for me the singles would get hopelessly kinked. I just don’t view it as a workable option.)

Anyway, once I had four bobbins worth of singles (two dark and two light) I got out my jumbo flyer for the first time and got to plying (on the left, with regular flyer on the right for comparison).

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This bad boy can hold a lot of yarn!

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That’s 150 yards of heavy worsted, to be exact. From the other set of bobbins I got 122 yards.

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I am pleased with how it’s turning out. It’s more even overall than I had predicted.

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So, the quest for a Rhinebeck Sweater pattern continues, now with more detail. I estimate about 1000 yards total, suitable for size 9 needles. Any good ideas?

Tour de Fleece – Days 1 and 2

I’ve never done the Tour de Fleece before, but as with many spinning-related things, Jacie has inspired me.

You may recall that I bought a preposterous amount (2+ lbs) of raspberry-colored fiber from Spinner’s Hill at Rhinebeck last year.


This fiber will become my Rhinebeck sweater. I might as well spin it up now!

Day One was spent planning and organizing. I had some work to do before the giant balls of fiber were ready for spinning.


First, I had to get a sense of what, exactly, I am working with.


With the help of my assistant, the lovely and talented Fiona, I laid out the roving in five-foot sections.


I count 21 of them. I have over 100 feet of roving.

It’s not just the lighting, the fiber to the left is a lighter color than the fiber to the right.  Much the way I did with the fiber that became Shalom, I split the roving into type A and type B, with the goal of plying types A and B together (for a more consistent but marled yarn).  I have had issues drafting Spinner’s Hill Crazy Balls before, so split the roving into fairly small strips before getting started.


The types are more similar than they were for Shalom though. With the berry fiber, both types have more or less the same predominant color, but one has lighter areas and the other has darker areas.


On Day 2, I started spinning.


I’m using Penelope’s lowest ratio, aiming for a final weight between worsted and bulky. The drafting is indeed somewhat difficult, so realistically I’ll get a final product that varies from DK or worsted to bulky or thicker. Drafting issues aside, it’s going well so far!

Nothing to do but Pray

My friend K just learned, very late in her pregnancy, that her baby has a congenital brain abnormality which will likely cause serious difficulties. There is nothing I can do.

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Nothing I can do but pray, and try to turn that nervous energy into something tangible to remind K how loved she is.

Lucky #13

Why hello out there.  Happy New Year.  Yes, I’m still alive.

We moved into a new house in October, so there was a long while there where every bit of creative energy I had was spent on setting it up.  We’ve made good progress though, and I can turn to some knitting and spinning again.

Last weekend was my birthday (my first 29th birthday) so I treated myself to some nice relaxing spinning.  I chose a Gale’s Art 50/50 merino/silk blend, which I got at Rhinebeck 2010.  I had started it some months ago, and the bright, tropical colors were a perfect antidote to a very cold winter weekend.


Before spinning it, I split it in half lengthwise, then split one half into many smaller strips.


Then I settled in for my first quality time with Penelope since we moved.  Fiona was so cold that she tolerated some bouncing knees to snuggle.Image

As a result of how I split up the roving, of course, one bobbin had much shorter color repeats than the other.  I really like what that does to the finished yarn (as you’ll see soon).


Despite not having spun since August, I’m delighted with how it turned out.  It’s the 13th yarn I’ve finished, so I guess it was lucky.


ImageAs soon as the twist was set and the yarn was dry, I cast on for Baktus.


I love the way the finished yarn shifts from green-dominated to blue-dominated because of the long repeats on one of the bobbins.  It’s snowing again today, but I don’t mind.

Rhinebeck 2011

Rhinebeck 2011 was awesome and may have re-ignited knitting fever.  It made me realize that not only do I enjoy actually knitting, I enjoy what knitting and Rhinebeck mean.


Rhinebeck means:  Pride in your work.

There are the competitions, of course. I did not enter anything this year, but Jacie tore it up, as always.


It goes far beyond the competitions. My favorite Rhinebeck tradition is the Rhinebeck Sweater (or shawl, or socks, or whatever).  What better place to debut an impressive finished object than with thousands of people who know what it means?  On Friday I packed two almost-finished objects, and I finished them both in our hotel room. Sunday I wore my Deep V Argyle Vest (which really deserves its own FO post later this week). More importantly, on Saturday I kept my vow and wore last year’s fiber.

Rhinebeck means: Tradition

Of course, Rhinebeck is about the traditions of fiber craft. I also love how groups and individuals form their own traditions. We began Saturday morning with breakfast at Pete’s Famous with Kris, as she and her crew have apparently been doing for years. Last year I declared my own tradition, that every time I go to Rhinebeck I will wear something made with fiber purchased the previous time.


That blue I bought in 2010, while I was wearing green that I bought in 2009. Keep a lookout for that berry color in 2012.

Rhinebeck means: Connecting

While I was wearing my 2011 Rhinebeck shrug, made from Spinners Hill fiber, I went to Spinners Hill to buy fiber for next year. I introduced myself to Lisa, the dyer, and told her that I would be back wearing her work next year.


In line for Sanguine Gryphon, Jenni talked to Stephen West. She ran into him again on Sunday, and showed him her Earth and Sky.


Rhinebeck means: Sharing

I spent most of the weekend with Jenni, Tracy, and Jacie. Jenni and Jacie were spinning, and Tracy was working with DPNs. Even at Rhinebeck, a shocking number of people stared, commented, and asked them about what they were doing. And they shared.


Rhinebeck means: Friends

I had an awesome time with Jenni, Tracy, Jacie and Lillian. I needed some gal time.


Rhinebeck means: Loot


I’m not done with the stuff I bought last year, so I tried not to go too nuts. I needed the fiber for next year, so I have two pounds of that berry stuff. I also bought two braids of Fiber Optic fiber, a 2 oz purpleheart Bosworth spindle for Navajo plying, and a penannular shawl pin. I’m very pleased.

I’m so glad I went.