Saturday, November 01, 2008

A wedding gift and a gift to me from me

A few days before my wedding, an Express Mail package showed unexpectedly. Inside was a beautiful shawl from G. (G. if you want me to use your Ravelry name or something else, just say the word!) She ordered a custom colorway from me, which happened to be my wedding colors, and then she went and did the sweetest thing: she made me a shawl from it.

Wedding gift

It's so stunning and beautiful, and I can't imagine how many days she spent knitting it. As any knitter knows, a knitted gift is priceless. Thank you, G. Getting this gift was such a treat, but it also made me remember how many great people I've met through my fiber love.

So, I broke down and ordered a Lendrum DT complete. (I ordered it from Paradise Fibers on a Monday and got it on a Friday. A few days later, they were all sold out. Stores can't keep this wheel in stock; I must have gotten lucky.)

handspun 2-ply

This is my getting-to-know-my-new-wheel skein. It's just some roving that I dyed before my move. I'm sorry that I didn't take any pictures of the roving before spinning it up. There was some getting used to, but once I got used to the wheel, I couldn't believe I had been spinning on my Louet S17 when I could have been spinning on something heavenly. I thought I didn't know how to control the fibers and that I was a bad spinner, but I just needed a new wheel. I'm spinning more consistently, and my ability to draft and control the fiber is amazing now. Seriously: there is a world of a difference.

This skein is about 3.2 ozs and 240 yards, fingering weight. It's a 2-ply. I want to spin a 3-ply sock yarn next. With my leftover singles, I practiced at Navajo plying, which is easy-peasy once you get the rhythm down.

Oh, and there was a little update today at my etsy shop. All the colorways were named by Manly, who also helped with the dyeing. Thanks, Manly! Oh, and Manly was also my biggest new wheel enabler. You see? I did marry the perfect guy.

Monday, October 13, 2008

ugh...I want a new wheel

I want a new wheel because I'm just fickle like that. I like my Louet S17; it's all right; I taught myself to spin on it; it makes yarn; it plys; there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. I just want a double treadle wheel now because I'm getting a bit sensitive to that dead spot on the wheel, which I never noticed before or cared about before. Something happened. I began to spin ever-so-finely. That's just how I spin now, and I want a wheel that can really accommodate that. Or maybe I just want a new wheel just for the wanting, but I can't justify that expense right now. I think that maybe I should have a wheel for at least two years before I get a new one; this means I have to wait until May. That's terrible.

I spun this up about two weeks ago. It's BFL dyed by Pigeonroof Studios. Krista makes beautiful roving.

BFL Pigeon Roof Studios

This was my third time spinning up BFL, and I have to say: I'm either really bad at spinning up BFL or I just don't like it: I think I just don't like it. It's not as slick and smooth as merino, which I adore spinning. I also can't get the BFL to spin up as finely as I can spin merino.

BFL all spun up

Hence the pure ugliness of this yarn, or maybe it's my wheel: I want to blame my wheel so that I can get a new one.

I want to start doing Navajo 3-plying. I saw some beautiful handspun sock yarn at a Thing for String. Micki's handspun is so awe-inspiring. I want to make handspun that's as lovely as hers. I know this is my destiny and that somehow a new Lendrum DT is a part of that destiny.

I have some silk/merino sock yarn drying. It's going to Pam at Yarny Goodness, and that will be all for the wholesaling for the foreseeable future. I promised Pam this yarn a long, long time ago. Oh, and she's having a sale today, so you should stop on by.

I may need some spinning wheel money, so I might list some skeins here and there on etsy; you'll know how badly I want a new wheel by whether or not I start dyeing.

I want to thank all of you who took time to leave comments on my last entry: I miss knitting-blogging. It was nice to know that you were thinking about me.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

there was a wedding



There was a wedding; there was a move; there was much writing--and this is all why I haven't been blogging. Terribly sorry. The wedding was lovely, a picture book, happy-ending story. The move: not so much. I only wanted to blog a little something today, to say hi and all's well.

Friday, June 06, 2008

A train and bustle?; an etsy wedding

My wedding hair pin

Apparently, I'm so short, (I prefer to say petite) that the seamstress was able to add a train and bustle to my wedding gown, where there was no train or bustle to begin with! She asked me if my dress had a train, and I said no, so she said, Well, we'll make a little train and bustle here. It was so amazing. I had no idea that could be accomplished.

I was a bit alarmed at how my dress felt on me. When I first bought it and tried it on, I was considering exchanging it for a smaller size. I'm glad now that I didn't.

I felt a little sad when I left the seamstress. I guess it's because my mother worked for years as a seamstress, and my mother would lovingly go over each and every stitch when I modeled something she was making for me and make sure that each and every pin was in just right. My mother would make sure I was standing up straight, would want to make sure that everything felt and fit just right, her hands moving over my frame lovingly. It didn't feel right that my wedding dress was fitted by someone who did not love me.

An etsy wedding

Etsy has been so good to me, and I wanted to give back by making etsy a part of my wedding. I want to share with you some of the wedding things I found on etsy.

I wanted to be able to use items in my wedding that had been crafted with care; I also wanted to support craftsters who are trying to make a life for themselves making things they love.

I'm having a bird nest and eggs theme for my wedding, as if these pictures didn't give that away.

In the picture at the top of this post, you're seeing the hair pin that I'll be using. It was made by Designs by Portobello.

The next two items were made by Rain's End. If you're getting married within the next year, you might want to get her to make you a custom cake topper--you have to place your order six months in advance. Because my engagement was so short, I didn't have enough time. Her cake toppers are very, very popular and beautiful.

I was able, however, to get this ring pillow and flower girl purse.

My wedding ring pillow

My wedding flower girl purse

For escort cards, I purchased about 120 gift tags from Blue Bird Lane. The seller was really great to work with. I'm going to try to hang these from a tree branch or something. I'm not quite sure just yet how that will be accomplished.

My wedding escort cards

My bridal party gifts were made by Starry Designs. The seller lives in Singapore, but she shipped my items very promptly and they arrived in no time. Because I placed such a huge order, she offered me a 10% discount, which I really appreciated. I can't post pictures of the gifts just yet in case anyone in my bridal party reads this blog, but the gifts are just lovely.

I even got my veil on etsy from Ann Leslie Designs. The seller took care to send me fabric samples so that I could match the fabric to my dress.

So if you're getting married or having any sort of affair, consider using at least one etsy craftster in your party planning. There are printers who make invitations using letter presses, and even people who will hand write in calligraphy for you. If you're a craftster yourself but don't have the time to handmake everything yourself, consider letting other craftsters do the work for you.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

an apology; some new colorways

new sock yarns

an apology

So I've been a little missing-in-action lately. Oh, no, it's been a lot of MIA. I hardly feel that it's worth boring you with the ends and outs of my excuses for neglecting this blog, this poor little blog that's brought me so much joy. So maybe I'll just quickly sum it all up for you: I'm getting married in less than a month.

Wedding planning certainly is challenging, but it's also fun. I'm trying to keep thinking of the fun, but sometimes it's difficult to, especially when everything is more expensive than you ever imagined and when your vendors have to cancel on you.

Fun: Manly and I picking out our wedding bands yesterday. Not fun: learning how much they cost. We keep telling ourselves that we'll pay for everything after the wedding. I'm sure that the fact that we're both nauseated all of the time has something to do with our getting married! Of course, we're happy and excited, and we know that it will all be worth it in the end; for now, however, we're a little spastic.

So, I guess I just want to say that I'm sorry for neglecting this blog and for not reading and commenting on all of your blogs. It's something that I'm really looking forward to doing again.

some new colorways

In the photo above, you can see the colorways that have been shipped off to the Loopy Ewe. Lots of these are new colorways for me. These skeins are my yeah oh yeah sock, a 100% superwash merino that's similar to my Meanie sock yarn base. Starting at 12 o'clock and moving clockwise, the colors are: prissie, sherbet, chocolate creme egg (think Cadbury Creme eggs), bluebird, cherry blossom, la mer, nymphwood, cherry bud, tea rose, pink lemonade, fishing with my father, and veggie.

If you want a skein of the bluebird or pink lemonade in my Meanie base, head on over to my etsy shop.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A pair of my own; a sock knitter's despair

Heelless Sleeping Socks

A pair of my own

I've made these Heelless Sleeping Socks several times now as gifts, but I've never knit a pair of my own. Last Christmas, Mom J gave me something very high on my sock-knitting wish list: Claudia's Handpainted in the Red Wagon colorway. I hoarded this yarn, but then I thought how I wanted a pair of sleeping socks and how this yarn would be perfect for the pattern. So I finally made a pair of my own. I only had to use one skein of the yarn. So I could use the other skein for another pair or for something else.

A sock knitter's despair

The reason why I love sleeping with my Jaywalkers: too snug, they don't come off at night.

It's true: once you start wearing hand-knit socks, it's hard to go back to all that elastic and seaming that's found in manufactured socks. So I travel with my hand-knit socks. So far, I've never lost a pair.

When I went to New Mexico earlier this month, I brought these beauties along. For some reason, the hotel staff thought I was only staying for one night. So when the housekeeper came to freshen my room, she changed my sheets. My socks had come off during the night and were embedded somewhere in those sheets.

I left my address and phone number with the hotel, but I don't think I'll ever be seeing those socks again. I'm very sad. Those socks were knit toe-up and were in my top three favorite socks for how they fit. The good news is that Coley, who dyed up that yarn for me, sent me a huge skein of it, and there's enough for another pair.

I don't know if I'll travel with my hand-knit socks again. I don't think I could stomach another loss.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Oh, geez!


I can't believe I've been MIA from this blog for almost a month. When things were normal, I enjoyed posting about twice a week. Then things got a bit hectic, and I tried to squeeze in a post a week. But once a month? That's not good. That's not good at all.

And to think: I have all these FOs to show!

First, I want to share with you a custom order I did for Crafty Pancakes and Gaby. They wanted the blue of my something blue yarn, white, and a chocolate brown. I was happy to dye it up for them; I named the colorway bluebird. I like it so much that I plan to dye it up as a regular colorway. It's what you're seeing in the photo above.

Manly socks

Manly socks

These were made maybe back in January. They were made with Opal Hundertwassen using a 3x1 rib over 72 stitches with size 1 dpns. I used a Sherman heel and then decreased to 68 stitches.

Anklets for mom

Anklets for mom

These anklets were made for mother also some time in January. They were made with Trekking 126 with a 2x2 rib over 64 stitches on size 0 dpns. I mother loved my Trekking 126 socks, and I wanted to give these to her so she too could enjoy the prettiness that is Trekking 126. My mom, oh joy, prefers anklets.

I have so many new colorways planned. I'm not going to wholesale my yarns anymore. I am fulfilling two orders with stores that placed orders a long time ago. I'll let you all know when my yarn is available in these stores. For now, please continue to visit my etsy shop, where I post new yarns every so often. I find it's easier for me to keep up when I stock a little at a time. I hope you will continue to support my indie-dyeing efforts. I know that those of us who don't wholesale aren't as sexy as the dyers who do, but I like knowing who my customers are. I'm also getting very bad about delivering wholesale orders in a timely fashion. So, to stay on top of things and sane, it's going to be etsy only.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

as sporadic as they've always been

Kettle-dyed, big sister socks

I think I'm learning how to take everything in stride. These are things that I'm focusing on right now: dyeing more yarn, dissertation revisions, a new dissertation chapter, wedding planning, money, health, happiness, a commissioned essay on a topic that isn't a particularly happy topic.

My impulses are, as ever, as sporadic as they've always been, but if you know me, then you know that I do keep these impulses in check. As a sock knitter, I never have too many pairs going. I try to finish a pair before starting the next, or I try to only have two going at once--one pair for this mood and the other pair for another.

What I want to knit now: another pair of Jaywalkers. I didn't enjoy knitting the first pair very much, but I've come to find that they are among my favorite socks, especially for sleeping. They don't come off in the middle of the night, they are always snug, and they keep in much warmth. So I want more and more Jaywalkers.

I have many finished objects to show. (I know, I've been gone so long.) But I feel that I should maybe show them over time.

The socks in the photograph were finished in January. They were given to my older sister. Both my sisters loved how soft they were. These were made over 60 stitches on size one dpns using my Kettle Dyed Softie Sock. (Two are left on my etsy site.)

I'll be moving soon as well. That's on the list of things. My long silence from this blog and my long break from dyeing gave rise to a job. A real job. I don't know if I'll continue to dye yarn when I start working. I seriously doubt I'll be able to do big orders, but I might continue to do a few skeins here and there. We'll see.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

And the winner is

something blue

the A.D.D. Knitter. Thank you all so much for putting in all of your wonderful guesses. My ring sized at a four, and the A.D.D. Knitter guessed the closest, at 4.75. She'll get a skein of something blue as soon as I can dye more up.

Friday, January 18, 2008

A little something extra on my yarn-holding hand; the last socks of 2007; a little guessing game

A little something extra on my yarn-holding hand

Dear friends, I'm so terribly sorry that I've been so missing-in-action as of late. (I feel as if I've begun many a post with that apology!) As some of you may know, I had a very busy holiday. In addition to going to a major conference to do some interviews, I got a little something extra on my yarn-holding hand.


Uh huh. The Lone Knitter is engaged. Manly surprised me with a little something in my stocking. Growing up in Texas, we didn't have a fireplace, and we didn't have stockings. I told Manly my sob story of how I always wanted a stocking and would even leave my dirty socks with holes in them under the tree, thinking there would be gifts in them on Christmas morning. So, my first stocking gift was definitely worth the years of never having a stocking.

I know why the engagement ring goes on the ring finger--it's the one finger, if you knit Continental, that doesn't come into contact with, and thus can't snag, the yarn. You see, the ring goes there specifically to make things nice for knitters. Of course, I can't verify this, but it must be true because, as we all know, the world is always thinking about knitters.

The last socks of 2007

These heelless sleeping socks (pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks) are so wonderful to make. I would make them over and over again.

Heelless Sleeping Socks

I like making them with my size 2 circulars using the magic loop method. I prefer bamboo dpns, but for this pattern, I prefer the magic loop. These were made with my Nymphwood colorway. I thought they turned out nicely, and I very much wanted to keep them for myself. They were a Kris Kringle gift for one of Manly's sisters.

A little guessing game

To help celebrate my engagement, I'm dyeing up a special colorway: something blue. It will be specially priced, and proceeds from the sell of the yarn will go towards my wedding gown. (Let's see. I think I need to sell about 50 of these!)

Do you want one for free? If so, all you have to do is guess the band size of my engagement ring and leave that guess in a comment to this post. All the correct guesses will be entered in a raffle for a skein of something blue.

You have until midnight EST on Friday, January 25 to get your guess in. I can't wait to see what your guess will be!

UPDATE: something blue is now listed in my etsy shop.