Saturday, March 28, 2009

Re-Assembly in Progress!

I started putting things back together in the fiber room this week. In the process I discovered some yarn I forgot I had, like the two "cheeses" (1 pound total) of Fingerlakes Un-Spun Silk in a nice pale raspberry and some Lorna's Laces Bullfrog and Butterflies in a khaki color.

I have always thought the Un-Spun would make some nice gloves, though since the "yarn" has almost no twist, I don't think they would be very durable. Perhaps a scarf or scarves would be a better choice. I'm not sure it would be quite sturdy enough for a shawl either. I figure I have about 1000 yards if I use it as 2-ply. Not sure what I'll do with the Bullfrogs and Butterflies.

Anyway, this is what things look like now.

The yarn bins will be closest to the table and the sock yarn bin may remain under the table. (The lone skein of yarn on top will be the next socks I knit.)

The fleece bins are furthest from the table. There are approximately 9 bins of yarn and about 18 bins of fleece and prepared fiber. (YIKES!) There are some fabric bins too and I intend to store the fabric on the shelves in the closet, once I clean the crap out of the closet. I don't have that much fabric and a lot of the stuff on the shelves in the closet just needs to go away or at least go somewhere else. That would be a nice solution. Leaving the fabric bins in the room would take up too much space for me to be able to use the table.

My goal for today is to have the table cleaned off and the yarn bins neatly stacked up, ready to go. The fleece bins are all labeled with what is inside. I may or may not get to labeling the yarn bins. Right now the only yarn bins labeled are the acrylics, sock yarn and lace yarn. I think it's doable to get this room all squared away and presentable today. My reward for cleaning up really well today will be to mow my lawn tomorrow and to buy a new video card for my gaming computer. W00t!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

New KAL!

I've joined the Secrets of the Shawl KAL. Yes, I know I still haven't finished the Critters for this past winter. Yes, I know all the bins from my fiber room are still spread around the house. Yes, I know I still haven't finished the 2nd Queen of Cups sock or Errold's Grove or the Boy Socks or even darned the 2 pair of socks waiting by my knitting basket. What can I say. I think I needed something new and group-oriented to work on. It's been a rough week and the new KAL sounded like something that might cheer me up a bit.

Now I just need to decide between the cone of red wool or the cone of black wool. And knitting a swatch would be a good idea. Perhaps I'll do that tonight while I watch Wall-E on DVD. Right after I put three bins back in the fiber room and finish my laundry.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Fiber Room Re-Build!

I got the carpet steam cleaned and the new work table assembled. The carpet on that side of the room didn't dry as quickly as I hoped it would, so I put plastic wrap underneath the ends of the table to keep them from soaking up moisture from the carpet. I'm excited about having an actual work area set up. To the right of the table will be a small set of cubbyholes/shelves. Not sure what I'll put on them yet. Further to the right (out of the photo) is my floor loom. On the left side of the room will be the storage bins and probably a short bookshelf. I'll still have to weed out the number of bins or else there won't be room for me to get to the work table, much less to sit at it.

(No, the room isn't quite as pink as it appears in the picture. It's much less pale and the carpet is a nondescript tan, not rose colored.)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Good and Bad Discovery

I only wear handknit socks to work anymore. The bad discovery is that two pair of these socks have holes in the heels. They just plain wore through. They are at least five years old, so it shouldn't been too terribly surprising that they are wearing out. Now I need to decide if I want to fix the holes or just toss the socks. The frugal part of me says mend them, even if the mending isn't going to be terribly neat.

Now for the good part of the holey discovery. I realize that I need to hurry up and knit myself some more socks! I haven't knit myself socks since I finished the Fawkes Socks months and months ago. Time to whip out the second of the Queen of Cups socks and then turn out another pair right away. I think the second pair of socks will be a pair of Spring Forward socks from the Summer 2008 Knitty. I've got some nice spring-like wool from Unique Sheep that's already tagged to become Spring Forward. I'm also a bit fond of the Baroque Socks from Fall 2008 as well. I won't even mention the list of socks I have queued up on Ravelry. :o)

Cleaning Up

I had the crazy idea to empty out my fiber room this evening and steam clean half the carpet. I'll clean the other half tomorrow morning. Perhaps by tomorrow evening the carpet will be dry enough that I can assemble the work table that goes in there. Then I'll need to figure out how to arrange the table, loom, and storage bins and get things moved back. Not all of the bins will go back in the room, so I'll have to decide what goes elsewhere in the house and figure out where that elsewhere will be. I suspect that will be the garage. I can't wait until the first warm weekend so that I can re-arrange the garage and get a bunch of stuff thrown out of there too.

Once the work table is set up, I'll have a permanent place to leave my wool combs, drum carder and sewing machine. Right now I end up hauling them out to the living room if I want to use any of those items. This, of course, makes a mess in the living room and makes it highly unlikely that I'll work on any large project for very long since I dislike a messy, cluttered living room.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I *completely* forgot about sign-ups for Sock Madness this year. Needless to say, they were full up about six days ago. Poopers. Last year was fun, even if I did only barely make it into round 2. Oh well. Maybe next year.

On the other hand, I'm seriously considering having a go at the Goddess Knits mystery knitalong #12. It's only $6 and the previous KAL patterns have been spectacular. I'm thinking that it could be my reward for losing 15 pounds over the past six months and becoming a regular gym rat before work.

In other not-so-great news, I had a crack at Errold's Grove last night for a little bit. I am positive I introduced errors into the last half round I worked on. This wouldn't be so bad, except that when I thought I was "correcting errors" in the previous round, I was actually introducing them. Oopsies. So I need to undo the past 1 1/2 rounds. I should probably let it sit for the next week or two and finish up the Gator Scarf though.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Yarn to Go!

Here's the array of yarn that I'm shipping off to the Society of St. Margaret in Roxbury, MA.

In the lower left are 18 balls of Stahl Hochland Tweed that I once thought I turn into a sweater for me. In the middle are some yellow and blue DreamBaby DK and Peter Pan DK.. The multiple skeins of white/cream yarn in the upper right are skeins of yarn from afghan kits I was given by folks who no longer crochet. Yarn weights vary from bulky to DK and fibers are mostly acrylic, wool or wool/acrylic blends. Some of it is yarn that I got on sale and figured I'd find a project for later. Some of it is yarn that I purchased specifically for a project, but ended up with much more yarn than I needed or never got around to knitting the project. The bright DK stuff is yarn I purchased for knitting baby stuff for my niece and nephew (now 5 and 3 years old, respectively). Since all of this is yarn I haven't touched since I moved almost three years ago, I figure it is time to let it go somewhere that it *will* be used.

I'm excited to get this yarn on its way to its new home, not only so that it can soon become something beautiful and useful, but also to make way for more creativity in my own fiber world. I almost have enough room to set up my work table in my fiber room now.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

I'm Becoming an Addict!

I can't stop washing fleeces. I did find two fleeces that I need to save for washing outdoors though. I have two long-wool fleeces (I think one is a Lincoln or Romney cross) that shed an incredible amount of dirt when soaked in cold water overnight. An absolutely amazing amount of dirt. Almost enough dirt to pot a plant with. I can't wait until spring/summer arrive so I can soak these fleeces outdoors and then dump the water on my garden. The dirt and other sheep cooties might do wonders on the plants.

Right now I've got a chunk of white Shetland soaking. Of course, what I really need to do is just keep chipping away at washing the silly Coopworth that I wrote about a few days ago, but my ADHD tendencies are causing me to flit about without focus. I'm writing myself a note, which I will post in my fiber/fleece room, that reads "You may only wash the Coopworth fleece until it's all washed, *THEN* you c an wash other fleeces. Otherwise you may never finish with the first fleece before you burnout or lose interest." *sigh*

As for tonight, I might knit on the Gator Scarf this evening, after I finish the final chapter of my overdue library book. (It's only one day overdue, I can't renew it and I'm soooooooo close to finishing it and finding out whodunnit! I can only hope that the person waiting for it to be returned understands my logic and forgives me for making them wait.)

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Coopworth Fleece #1 ready to wash!

I finally got the first of the grey Coopworth fleeces teased open and ready to wash. When I first started teasing open the fleece, I'd tease open a bunch, then wash it when I got tired of teasing. At this point there is already about 1/3 of the fleece washed. Now I'll alternate washing and combing. Given my rather restricted washing and drying space, I can wash about three "batches" of fleece in two weeks in the winter. I have discovered that this particular fleece benefits greatly from an overnight cold water soak, followed by a hot, soapy wash. There is a remarkable amount of dirt that comes out with the cold water. The end result is quite excellent. I look forward to combing and eventually spinning this fleece. I have no idea what project it will become or what sort of yarn I'll spin from it, but it'll be fun to work with.

For a brief moment, after I finished the last of the Coopworth teasing, I immediately went to my fleece stash and tried to figure out what fleece I'd start teasing open next. I nearly started in on the first fleece I ever purchased (a nice light grey Romney), when it occurred to me that I really needed to finish with the washing and combing of the first fleece before getting into the next one. If nothing else, I might remember what I'm doing and where I'm storing stuff if I do things that way. It also occurred to me that I need to start a spinner's notebook so that I'm writing down what I'm doing with a given fleece, just in case I end up having a big time break in the middle.