Wednesday, November 13, 2013

New friends and new stuff!

Hi everyone!

Well October was a pretty good month! Busy...but good.

We went to the birthday party (which I refer to as a Halloween party!) and they boys drank A LOT lol I haven't seen my guy that sloshed since Contiki!!! Oi! I also found a pumpkin and carved it!! I did it in a hurry so it became a smiley pumpkin, it also went all weird and mushy and the inside was covered in black mouldy stuff within a couple of days!!!??? Maybe that's the norm in warm climes, I've only had jack o'lanterns in cold weather!
The party had an "M" theme

Jerry's donkey was the star of the show


Happy Jack

 
Other than those things & work the only other thing of note that happened was my birthday. I got a couple of lovely cards for my birthday from Canada, one came with some handmade bracelets! I got a giftcard for one of my favourite dyers, and I got a big surprise for my birthday, Spyros bought me a spinning wheel!! He had one picked out, but then brought me to pick it up so that I could choose another if I wanted. Based on price point I went with the one he'd picked out. Wheels are EXPENSIVE!! I got an Asford Kiwi 2, it's a beginner wheel, only 2 ratios, we got the un-finished one and bought some wax so I had some  work to do before I could assemble it and use it. I named her Nelly New Wheel and I love it!

Bracelets from Crystal!


Nelly New Wheel!!

In November we've been busy working and making plans. The first weekend we went to Cobbitty. I just got a wheel - I wanted to hit up my pal Susanne of Susanne's House of Wool for some fibre, I also wanted to check out the farm fresh veggies & get some handmade soap! While I was there Susanne let me play on her wheel...I ruined a section of her fibre LOL.

Merino fibre, soap, an apron & some leafy greens!
Otherwise life has been working...a little bit of knitting, and spinning as much as I can on weekend! Spyros is still playing soccer a couple times a week. Keeping at it during the off season.

 
Needles:
I finished my On Your Toes Socks by Ann Budd in time for Halloween! I really like ribbed socks, so comfy, and the heel is freakin' fantastic! The yarn was Knitter's Nightmare Batty Sock in the Demon Barber colourway (which is Sweeney Todd inspired!)
 

Awesome - RIGHT?!

My other finished items are spinning related! When I first got my wheel set up and I was a bit afraid to ply. Worried I would wreck everything I tried to spin and since I knew there would be a learning curve going from spindle to wheel! I took a little bit of Alpaca fibre I had from when I made some thrummed slippers. It was a bit crazy...the worst was when I tried to N-ply though! HAHAHA Alpaca and N-ply, two of the things new spinners aren't meant to do! ;) My bobbins were a bit rough on the edges so when plying it kept getting stuck. I had to sand them down afterwards.

A smidgen of N-ply Alpaca

 Then I went through my fibre stash, knowing I had to bite the bullet and just pick something! I didn't want to use something too smooth or too slippery. I wanted corriedale or BFL but didn't have any. I know how Heather feels about getting something onto a new wheel and thought her Highland Handmades 100% Masham in the Jester colourway was a longer staple wool. So I decided to start with it!
It went pretty good. It definitely takes awhile to get used to the feet and hands and faster draw of fibre etc.I had 4oz and ended up with about 98 yards of a 2ply. I like it, it's a lot less yardage than I'm used to getting, but I am trying to enjoy the squoosh of new spinner fibre ;) I love the colours and Heather's prep was amazeballs!

Fun & SQUOOSH - Masham

Then I pulled out a batt I had won during TdF - Little Monkey's Stitch 'N Spin
So far in my spinning experience I have spun 2 batts...I haven't had the best luck. I thought I would try again, for two reasons! I thought it might be easier on the wheel, and I didn't actually PAY $$ for this fibre and thought that if I ruined it in my newbie state it wouldn't hurt as much as if I ruined something I had paid a lot of money for. :) As it turns out, we got along quite well! 3.6oz of DELICIOUS! Merino, angelina, faux cashmere, firestar & silk! I got about 70 yards of an amazing 2ply!!! 



So Soft!

The most recent thing I have finished is my fibre I bought from Susanne at the Cobbitty Market! It's 100grams of 100% Merino. I haven't soaked it yet, so I don't know how much it will floof and shrink. As it stands I have about 236 yards, and I spun it using the fractal method to try and get a lot of variety! I am pretty proud!

Pre-spun fibre

The finished product!
I worked a bit more on the gauntlets, the Sky Blue by Star Athena for my sister! The pattern actually ended up not being SO complicated at all, however, the linen stitch was coming out SOOO tight it look all wonky. So I am going to do reverse stockinette instead and haven't begun that as the spinning kinda sucked me in ;)

Before I ripped it out!

I haven't gotten any further on the Black Mamba by Rachel Frank I still think that it's looking funny, but I do have to try again! It's been in a timeout.


Black Mamba sleeping in it's bag.
When we went to get the wheel I happened upon some OPAL! I've heard so many people rave about this yarn, and it happened to be in a very autumnal colourway. I really wanted to cast on the Little Pumpkin Socks and this was perfect, so I added it to the birthday present, and when I got home I cast on! I'm using my 2.5 chiagoos, and doing 64sts and they are looking fab! I think I only have one more repeat and then the cuff! 
On these I tried out the OMG Heel by Megan Williams on these socks and I really like it too!!! So I think I may be alternating between the OMG & the Fish Lips...YAY!
Where they are at so far!

 In October I also cast on a Noodle by Susan Claudino , a mini Noodle in fact, out of the lovely Fuji's Apples yarn from Knitter's Nightmare! It's going *slowly* I started off very well, but the needles are very small so my fingers get a bit sore LOL. I still need to put a nose on it, sew the ears on and make the limbs!!! Hopefully I'll have it done by the end of November!


Mini Noodle in progress

I have progress on my Sock Yarn Blanket by Shelly Kang. The needles are 2.75mm (2US) and I am doing 44sts. I received an amazing "gift bomb" from an amazing friend and there were a bazillion mini skeins in it, so I have been knitting on it like crazy to add those. In this photo (with the baggie of gift mini-skeins at the top) I have 3 new squares AND have started attaching them together!!
 
A blanket is happening!


Fitness:
I am on Week 5 of Zombies. That means I have barely run. A combination of weather, working long hours, my knee being sore, and me being a lazy butthead.
 


I've been sucking, that's all I have to say about this.


Travel:

Things are happening here! Spyros brother is having a birthday in December and we are going to Melbourne to celebrate it. I happen to have a pal there that is also a fibre addict and a maker of delicious fibre creations (and I have a gift cert for her shop - Yarn VS Zombies and I am very excited to spend some time with her while we are there! 
We're planning to spend a long weekend, so there will be markets, a club or two, some good food, and some friends!

We're also planning on going to New Zealand in January!!! I am very excited as I've wanted to go to NZ since I came to Australia the first time when I was 20! I ALSO have a fibery friend there that is in the process of opening up a new tea shop where she will be selling her wares (TriaFataFibreArts) ! Really hoping the get there!

Stay tuned!!!!!!!