December 26, 2009

After Glow of Christmas

Well, I thought that I'd be too tired to even have a desire to knit, but that is not the case.  It seems that since the push is over to get things done, the adreneline rush is still on.

Last night I finished the entrelac hat and scarf set:

The scarf was made earlier this year from the Easy Entrelac pattern at the Knitting Daily site, the hat pattern came from a book called Knit or Crochet.   The yarn is Kauni (EJ, I think) which was leftover from my Nana's shawl and there's still plenty left over!  I used US #2 needles and thought that would see the end of the yarn, but no.

Then, I cast on another pair of socks because my mother threatened to confiscate for her very own a pair of socks I made for my sister for Christmas.  The Nutkin socks were a big hit and my sister loves them, unfortunately so does my mother who thought they were for her!  So, to heal my mother's covetous heart I cast on a pair of Knotty or Knice Socks for her:

I'm using some yarn from one of Sock Pixie's collections, this is Jade, I think.  I'm using US #2 needles and the pattern is easy enough if you know how to knit cables.  The whole sock is a little fiddly, I'm not great at toe up socks and there's busy work on almost every row, but the overall effect is worth the effort.  I only have a week to make them before my sister's socks are in danger of disappearing from her sock drawer!

Tomorrow I'm going to work on the sock, go on the great pattern hunt for a shawlette, and hunt for a pattern for socks to make for me since I"m down to 2 pairs of hand made socks, one for Saturday and one for Sunday.  That situation needs to be rectified, really.

Happy day after Christmas to all!

December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Happy holiday to everyone!  I wish you all a warm place to be, family to be with, good health and peace.  I'll be at my mom's house where all good food comes from, and all I'll need is a place to nap between plates of food! 

Meanwhile, I managed to finish the Multnomah shawlette:

The colors are so pretty.  This isn't really a shawl, but a scarf which is easier to wrap around your neck under your coat.  Hopefully it will keep the recipient warm and that she gets a lot of use out of it.

This little beauty was made with Cherry Tree Hill supersock, US #3 needles (I wish I had used US #4 needles).  It took one skein of yarn, with a little left over, and if you put your markers in the right place and pay attention to your yarn overs then this is a quick knit.  I'm math challenged, so I had a few false starts where I had to rip it out, but I trust that all of you can count to 10 without getting confused.  I can't.

Now I'll move on to my next thing - whatever that is.  I was going to make a hat with the much maligned Dried Flowers that I spun, but I seem to have misplaced it.  Oh well, it's not the only yarn/fiber that's lost around here. I'll find it.

Here's hoping that all of you managed to keep your handmade pledge and finish your holiday knitting on time.

December 22, 2009

Snowed In With Knitting Needles

Last week I heard there was going to be a snowstorm this past Saturday, and the weatherman said 6-12 inches.  Of course my first thought was that the weatherman didn't know is numbers - and I thought I was bad at math.  I made sure to leave knitting circle early, just in case the forecast was right.

On the way home there were a few flurries, nothing I'd consider a show stopper.  By 4p, there was a little dusting of snow.  By 8p, here's what I saw:

Well, how in the world did that happen?  It wasn't snowing that hard an hour ago.  The next day I went out to shovel and the snow was up to my knees!  Granted, I'm only 5' tall, but up to my knees?  And the snow was up my front steps and against my front door!!  I heard we got 18" of snow.  Now, I'm too old to fall down, and shoveling that much snow could give me a heart attack, so when these two guys offered to shovel, I let them have at it - for a price.  My slacker son was off shoveling other people's sidewalks for Christmas money.

Meanwhile, I finished the Nutkin socks and I'm quite pleased with the results:

I used Smooshy Dream in Color, but I don't know what color this is because the ball band is long gone.  Ill probably find it in a month or two.  I do know that I used US #2 needles and after these socks there was plenty of yarn left over.  The pattern called for a short row heel and toe, but I only used the short rows for the heel and did my usual toe bind off.  Cute socks, nice yarn and another Christmas present under my belt.

Then my friend Sojourn Knitter and I were talking about stash and I mentioned that I had some Misti Alpaca lace in what was sold to me as silver sage.  I had 10 skeins of it, I used 6 of them and to be honest, I was bored with the color:

Mercifully, she had some too, but in a much better color, merlot:

Too bad my camera doesn't do deep, rich purples, but it's absolutely beautiful and I know just what I'm going to do with it - right after the holidays.

And finally, I finished the Multnomah Shawl.  It had it's bath and is comfortably blocking which was no easy feat.  How does one block a scalloped edge?  I pinned the top, then I pinned the line going down the middle to make sure it stayed straight, then I pressed the scallops into shape and pinned.  Not perfect, but good enough:

I used one skein of gifted Cherry Tree Hill supersock yarn  (thanks Sojourn Knitter - again) and US #3 needles.  There was barely any yarn left when I was done.  Honestly, I should have gone up a needle size.  The pattern said that at the start of the 6th and 10th repeats you could add more lace, but I didn't.  I should have.   Anyway, now another holiday present is done in time for Christmas.  Yay!

Now I only have to make six more things, and I've only got time for 3.  Hah!  I laugh in the face of adversity.  I'll get all of my gifts made, even if I have to duck the recipients until a week after Christmas.

December 12, 2009

From Zero to (Almost) 3

I didn't think I'd be able to get any handmade gifts made in time for Christmas this year, but I was wrong.

Odessa's hat and mittens are done:

If I had more of this color yarn, I'd make her a scarf, but no such luck.  That's the problem with having just one skein of a certain yarn or color.  This set is kind of boring, and it needs something which I will think up after I get done with my knitting frenzy.

There was no pattern for the hat, I just cast on 80 stitches and after the basic 2x2 cuff and 5 inches of stockinette, I used the same bind off as for the mittens.  The only modification was when binding off, I knit only 1 row (instead of 3) between bind off rows.

I used Wool-Ease in cranberry, I skein, needles US size 4 and each item was made in one day of knitting.

That done, I cast on Nutkin for my sister:

This sock is incredibly detailed, but so easy they're a pleasure to make.  I thought I'd make them for myself, but it's too close to the holidays for me to be knitting for myself.  Besides, I was gifted some Madelintosh and if I still want a pair after I make these, then I can do it after Christmas.

For this pattern I'm using Smooshy Dream in Color in a color unknown to me because I lost the label.  Let's say it's like a coffee bean color.

As soon as I'm done here, I'm going back downstairs to finish sewing the lining in the Sipalu bag for Mom.  One more present done.

So little time, but so much to do!  But at least I'm able to hang on to my handmade pledge.  That's one less trip to the mall.  Yay!

Oh My Gosh!

These two boxes have been sitting by my front door for more than a week now.  I know what's in them because I ordered them from the Woolery. I was supposed to spend the wheel money on a new back door for the house, but who needs a door when you have enough money for a wheel and not quite enough for a door?

C'mon!  By my way of thinking, if the criminals think my back door is closed, locked and secure then there's no reason why I can't have a wheel.  Besides, I figure the booby trap by the back door (the litter box) is security enough.

So, what's in the boxes?  Well box number one contains this:

My brand new Lendrum DTC!  Right there in the box that was by the door - for a week.  How in the world did I resist this?!  And not 5 minutes later, I had this:

And it came with a whole bunch of other stuff: a lazy kate, a jumbo flyer and a fast flyer.  All that lovliness stuffed in the box by the door.

After everything was together, I went to the used-to-be curio cabinet which now houses so much spinning stuff that I'm embarrassed to invite people over for dinner!

And I found some combed merino top and spun just a little:

The second box contained my carrier and the half pound of cotton I ordered so I can practice on my charkha.

And since I opened the boxes while my son was at the movies, I knew I'd have to pack it up before he got home or else he'd start getting on my nerves about why there's no money for a Wii.  So quick as a wink, I packed up the wheel and put it up.

Since I'm sure my son has absolutely no interest in my blog, I'm going to tell you where the wheel is, just in case I forget. It's in the spare bedroom (one day to be my craft room), under the bed.

Of course, this means I can only spin on the wheel when he is out (likely) or after I buy him a Wii (unlikely).  It's not up for negotiation since I'm the one with a job - and money.  He's broke.

So Happy Thanksgiving/Easter/Birthday/New Years & Merry Christmas to me!

December 06, 2009

Back to Basics

I had my heart set on making Seascape, but the more I knit it, the more out of love I fell.  That happens sometimes.  While I have no regrets about having knit some of it in the first place, I am suffering with angst over what to replace it with.

Since it's going to be gifted, I have to come up with something appropriate for the recipient that I will enjoy making.  That's no easy feat because I have about a gazillion patterns to choose from and so far I got nothing.

So while I was mulling over my options, I whipped up a pair of socks for my son:

Every time I go to look for a skein of yarn I'd bump into this Online Linie Holiday (I think).  Truth be told, I'm sick of bumping into it.  And since my son is down to 3 hand knit socks (all different), I figured what better way to get rid of this yarn than making him a pair of socks.  I cast on Friday evening and they were done on Saturday evening.

Now I'll never run into this skein again.  That's one less thing I'll have to rifle through while I'm looking for the charger for my Kindle.  Does anyone know where I put it?  I've downloaded some books that I'd like to read now and the charger is hiding from me.

Let me get back on track.  Still having no idea about what to make with the Seascape yarn, I decided to cast on for a pair of basic mittens for Odessa.  She's only 4 years old and she can always use extra hats/gloves/mittens since, at her age, keeping track of her stuff is not important.  This morning, I cast on these mittens:

They only took a couple of hours to make with some Wool-Ease in Cranberry and US #4 double points.  If there's enough of this skein left to make a matching hat, I will.  How big is the head of a 4 year old anyway?  Can I make a hat with less than half a skein of yarn?  I'll figure it out.

Well, I'm off to find the charger for the Kindle.  But before I go, I'd like to leave you with this one piece of wisdom from someone who is notoriously misplacing things. 

Like Odessa, I can't keep track of my stuff either.  I call it putting things 'up', but that's just a euphemism.  I'd have better luck finding stuff that was tacked to the ceiling.  And just as 'up' is a misnomer, let me also say that putting things in 'one place' is also a joke in my world.  I put the cord for the Kindle in one place with all the rest of my 'important stuff'.  That means a whole lot of my stuff is missing andI can't blame the cat.  I mean, I can, but it would be a lie.

In future, I'm going to write myself notes and use post-it notes and write things down in a diary or something.  Maybe I'm going to put all of my stuff under my bed just to cut down on the search area.  I have to come up with something.

OK, I'm off.  I've got cooking, dishes and laundry to fold.  And then I'll find the cord for the Kindle which I will tape it to my headboard.

November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I've got so much to be thankful for this year.  Mainly that I still have a job so I can almost afford to do the things I want to do, even if I've had to cut back a bit.  I'm grateful for family, friends, gatherings whether there's a holiday or not, and for good health.

The festivities start at 3p so I have a little time to show you what I've done - just in case you stay awake after dinner and want to read a little.

The booties that I had to make 4 times are done.  I used little flowers instead of the lady bug buttons because I couldn't figure out which way the lady bugs should face.  It was silly drama, but the bows are cute anyway.

One Bacchus sock is done.  It was a little more intricate than what I'm used to so it required me to pay close  attention.  The sock is worked from the toe up, and the heel is wrap & turn.  I don't have a lot of experience with toe up because I find it fiddly, but I got through it.

The socks are right and left specific and I got the right sock done.  This is the view from the right side of the right sock:

Here's the left side of the right sock:

The only thing I have an issue with is the hole in the heel from the wrap and turn.  I'm sure I'll figure something out by the time I get to the second sock.

I love the 3D look of the sock.  I thought there was a bobble missing, but according to the pattern I'm right even if it looks wrong.  Bobbles get annoying after a while, but they're small and the effect is cute.

So I'm thinking that I'm also grateful for being able to read a pattern, execute a pattern and make my knitting look like the picture in the book.  I'm still working on my math skills, but if I had everything I'd have nothing to look forward to.

Off to finish my dish now (baked macaroni and cheese).  It's my only claim to fame as far as meals go.

Enjoy your day everyone!

November 24, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Today is my 23 year anniversary at the job.  Let me just say at the outset that I'm grateful to have a job that lets me buy yarn so I can knit.

Twenty three years means that I'm only 2 years away from joining the Quarter Century Club which means free lunch once every year with the rest of the Quarter Century Club members.

It means that I can start looking forward to retirement and not behind at all the reasons and times I could have lost my job, like when the stock market crashed (twice), or when my whole department quit or was relocated to Canada (4 times).

And it means that I can keep my yarn habit for 8 more years before I have to start living off my stash and eating cat food, and potentially having a stash of only acrylic yarn.

My job allowed me to raise my son as a single parent and not have to skimp on the babysitter and thereby leaving him home alone in his crib with the warning not to open the door for strangers.  It allowed me to keep him in parochial school all these years (he's in 11th grade) and to keep him (an only child) in the lifestyle to which he has become accustomed while my shoes come out of Pay Less.

It allowed me to buy this shack house that needs a million dollars in repairs.  It paid for the new boiler, oil tank, roof and some new windows.  It's also going to help me pay the plumber who is on his way here tonight to have a look see why my walls are crying and then make me cry when he gives me the estimate.

My job keeps me aware of time passing, and never fails to let me know that I forgot something, lost something, need to keep track of something and have enough money to do something.

All I have to do now is live to 'the day'.  I get all tingly inside thinking about all the things I will do after retirement.  Not to mention all the knitting/spinning I will get done.

So Happy Anniversary to me and Happy Thanksgiving (and knitting) to all!

November 23, 2009

I Got Nothing ...

I did a whole lot of knitting this week and last week. Believe me, I was knitting at full tilt and I was waiting for a finished object, hoping and absolutely sure I'd have something to show. And I ended up with a whole lot of ... nothing.

Last week I was working on a baby sock, the one on the right. A few days later I knit the second sock, the one on the left.

They are obviously two different sizes and I obviously forgot which size needle I used. No problem, they're a quick knit and I have the pattern memorized. So I set off to make the second sock (the third, actually) and got this:

Three socks in three different sizes is a feat that can only be accomplished by someone who thinks they know it all - me. This is why they teach math in school, so you'll know when the measurements are a little off.

Out of frustration, I watched my 'learn to use the charkha' DVD. The whole time I'm watching the video, I had my charkha all set up and with almost every sentence the teacher made, I realized I'd done something wrong. OK, got that wrong ... rewind ... got that wrong too ... rewind... oop! got that wrong for sure!

So I practiced. I spun and watched the I did everything the teacher said to do. When she moved her hand, I moved mine. When she drafted, so did I. And I turned the crank 1/4 turns just like she did. I watched, paused, cranked, play, pause, draft, pause - you get the picture.

This is what I got:

Don't even ask. Even the cat doesn't want it and she'll eat any fiber.

So I'm going back to the Seascape and the Bacchus sock and the fourth baby sock. If I'm lucky I'll finish something his month.

Oh, and did I mention that I've got NO holiday presents made? I've got streeeeeeeeeeeeess!

And let me not leave out that the plumber is coming because there's a leak behind my kitchen wall. Gee, I wonder if they're going to have to tear the wall down or what. The only way I can pay the plumber is with wool, so I'm praying he'll take some roving as payment.

November 11, 2009

Freaking Cat!

I had the world by a string, I was sitting on a rainbow of finished objects. I was content in knitting heaven when I finished my second bootie.

But I went to get the camera and I heard this thumping noise. It was Little Miss Kitty playing with something - banging it up against the wall. And the she was laying down with it. I didn't pay much attention.

And then I noticed it was green - and white - and OH MY GAHHHHH!!!! NO!

Are you kidding?! Nooooooooooooooooooooooo way!

Guess which one she got?

How'd she get the button all he way over there? Um ... I don't know ... maybe she pulled a stitch out while she held one half of the bootie in her fangs while she scratched at it with her back claws.

The only reason she's still alive is because I can knit pretty quick when I'm trying to avoid tying her to a brick in the middle of traffic.

Fortunately, the third bootie was done in record time and Little Miss Kitty managed to keep all 9 of her lives.

For now.

November 09, 2009

All In A Day's Work

On Friday night after work, I reached into my stash of inherited acrylic yarn, yeah. Thanks Mom. Anyway, I needed a baby blanket and none of the other yarns in my stash was enough to make a blanket with. I didn't have enough of one color and I had an idea about what I wanted to do. Something fast and simple that I could make in a day or two that wouldn't involve a crochet hook.

This is what I came up with:

Made with Bernat Super Value, size US #8 needles and more of a cradle blanket (24"x30"). I can't say I'm not glad to see the yarn go. It's alternate blocks of knit and purl. No pattern. I'm going to add a few embellishments just to spruce it up a bit, but I'm not sure what they'll be yet.

Then I found out that I actually have 2 weeks to produce some baby gifts, so I cast on Saartje's Booties:

Cute little pink hearts were an impulse buy, but so appropriate. I modified the pattern so that the buttons and straps are sewn on instead of making button loops. The baby is 6 weeks old, so I figured there would be some kicking involved and why bother with fussy straps. I used Bebe Lang in green and white. The buttons came from Michael's.

And while I was blocking, I found this scarf that had been hanging around waiting forever to be blocked:

The color is not so good, but it goes from a creamy white, to pink, to beige, to brown. This is the Kauni Multi Color yarn which was left over from a shawl I made my Nana. It's not so soft, but I hear it softens up with wear. Nice. Someone isn't going to have skin on their neck by winter's end!

I made this scarf so long ago that I don't remember what size needle I used, but I do remember that the pattern was free at the Knitting Daily site. You have to be a member to get the pattern, but it's the beginners entrelac scarf. I also have a pattern for an entrelac hat, so I'm going to make a matching hat if there's enough yarn.

After everything is dry and pretty I'll post more pictures. Since I'm on a roll who knows what all I'll make these next few days. Of course, I'll get back to my Seascape scarf this week. I usually work on it at lunchtime at work, and I'm going back to work tomorrow.

Oh the things I get done when I stay at home! I wish I could be home every day, but it's going to be about 3,650 and some odd days before that happens.

Too bad for me!

November 05, 2009

New Acquisition

I am going to freely admit that I have a problem with 'having', and once I get my mind set on something having to do with fiber, I just can't let it go. I'm also obsessed with spinning lace weight in the most expedient way possible.

So I went and bought myself an Indian Book charkha:

It's about the same size as a textbook and light as a feather. Once inside, there's lots to see:

Unfortunately, I don't know how the heck it works, how to make it work or how not to hurt myself trying. So far, I've spun crap and I'd show it to you except the trash went out yesterday.

All I managed to do successfully is cut my finger (not on a spindle) and stab myself quite a few times on the spindle. I'm at the beginning of the learning curve and if there was a test on setting the charkha up, I'd get a zero.

Anyone with advice or knows a teacher in the Bronx, please drop me a line before I kill myself.

Meanwhile, I've got a Saturday deadline to make some baby stuff, tomorrow is Thursday and I haven't even begun! Oy!

November 01, 2009

All Done

The Baltic Sea Stole is done and ready to go. I don't know what impresses me more, the fact that it's even prettier than when I made it last time, or the fact that it looks good even in ivory.

Usually, my stoles in solid colors look drab, but not this stole.

The pictures were taken in the last rays of light (there was no sunshine today), but the picture sure does show off the pattern.

I'm glad it's done. I hope my friend Audra will love it and send me some pictures of it when it makes it's debut at her wedding in Costa Rica.

Baltic Sea Stole, by Faina Letoutchaia
Exquisite Yarn by Fiddlesticks Knitting, 50% merino, 50% mulberry silk (soft!)
Size: 26x72 (approximately), Needles: US #7

The next thing on my needles is Seascape which can be found at Knitty's website. It's completely charted and I'm a bad chart reader. You'd know that if you ever heard me talk about my math skills.

It was ripped back once, some of the rows have been done at least 2 times (sometimes 3 times!). The only thing that keeps me from ripping my hair out is that I love working with my new Signature Needles.

I'm making this with one of the 2 skeins of Exquisite in Wisteria by Fiddlesticks Knitting. I doubt it'll take more than that, but I'm not sure. The only advice I can offer is prepare to count a lot of boxes, and make sure you use a stitch marker in the middle of the chart.

Well, on and off rain today kept me from raking the leaves today. I can only pray that a strong wind comes along and takes all the leaves out of my yard. But the bad weather made it a good knitting day.
Enjoy your week!

October 30, 2009

All Over the Place

There's always a lot to do at my house, but it's all housework so instead of coming home from work and going for the laundry basket, I went for Audra's Baltic Sea Stole and took it for a bath. Here it is looking like a bowl of oatmeal:

After the bath I laid it out on the blocks I bought from Toys R Us. I would guess it's a little over 6' long which should be long enough. Here's a sideways shot of that:

I think it's going to be more than enough shawl to wear with her wedding dress, and it's sheer enough not to take anything away from the dress (I hope). I'll include the details when I get the final pictures.

And then Christmas came early at my house! Look what my mother got me (thanks Mom!):

Yep, my very own Kindle! Nothing says you don't know squat about technology than when you get yourself something like a Kindle that you don't know how to operate. I'm only a techno-genius in my mind, and I'm known for saying things like, "All you have to do is ...", and "You just need to ..." - like I would know. NOT! I'm still fighting with my digital camera!

I called Amazon to find out why the Kindle I have isn't the smaller version I saw online. The guy who took my call (God bless his heart) said he didn't understand the question.

For a minute there I thought I was the smart one in the conversation because I knew exactly what I was talking about. "Why is my Kindle so big?" I asked. "I thought it was supposed to be the same size as a paperback book".

"Ma'am", (I hate it when they call me that), "according to the paperwork you have the latest version which is the same size as a book - not a paperback - and it's smaller than the bigger original version which you probably saw online. The latest version is smaller than the original, and it has different capabilities".

"Oh." (Was that a flash of light? ... That was my brain turning on for the first time today.) "Well OK then ... call me when you start making the Kindle in blue, and have a nice day." That guy probably thought I was an idiot!

So I called my friend Sojourn Knitter and asked: "Is sleep mode different than turning the Kindle off?" The answer is yes - and she told me how to turn it off and how to let it go into sleep mode.

I don't deserve a Kindle. I should pack it up and send it back to Amazon with an apology note. But I'm going to keep it, never read the instructions and I'm going to keep Amazon on speed dial.

Meanwhile, I wanted to know which credit card the books I was ordering were being billed to, so instead of editing my information on Amazon, I found a book online that cost $0.00. After I clicked download, I worried that I might have got the book free with access to something I didn't want, but no, the book arrived safely (minus fine print with links to porno) and it went to the right credit card.

Finally, I decided to make another pair of booties from one of my baby knitting books and when I opened the book, I found the circular needles (in the package!) that I'd been looking for since forever (months!). Apparently I was using it as a bookmark.

OK, the phone is ringing and I'm sure it's MENSA wanting me to become a member.

Happy knitting to you.

October 29, 2009

It Was a Good Day

My niece is about to have a baby any day now, so my mom said she's sending a box and wanted to know what I had to add to it.

Well, I had a mountain of Bernat Baby in lilac which had been hanging around here forEVER, so I made a sweater from the label on the yarn. I've made this sweater so many times I almost know it by heart. I told Mom I made a sweater.

"That's it?" she asked in her inimitable way. "Go to the store and get something else. What about a hat, at least?"

"Knitted hats are bad for babies." I told her. I made that up. Why? Because that's my story, that's why. So I made booties.

Lately I'm quite pleased with my 'zero mistakes' knitted goods. The sweater is really cute too. To add to my happiness, I only had this much yarn left over:

I could throw it away, but knowing how much Little Miss Kitty loves to steal (and eat) my yarn, I thought I'd offer it to her.

Wake up, Miss Kitty, I have a treat for you. Here's some yarn you can have and eat if you want to. Wake up!

She had absolutely NO interest. I bet she'd have taken it if it was attached to some needles. I have chased her, my yarn and my WIP down the stairs plenty of times.

Yarn: Baby Bernat in lilac, 2 skeins
Size: 0-3 months
Needles: US #3

I made a second pair of booties in another color, but I "put them up" so I'll probably find them later. (In about a year, I bet.) I've also got Knitty's Seascape on the needles which I cast on yesterday, so now I am officially behind in my holiday knitting.

I'm not surprised.

October 20, 2009

Rhinebeck Loot

As you know, Rhinebeck did not disappoint this year. The ladies and I had a wonderful time, and I made out like a bandit! Here's a what I got:

Some lovely baby alpaca/tussah in brown from Misty Mountain Farm which is so rich in color and so soft to the touch it's almost impossible to believe:

And then I got the obligatory batt, which I only bought because of the color (since I don't like working with batts so much) which is gray with a kind of grape color. It's BFL from Moose Manor Hand Paints. BFL doesn't feel so good to the touch, but after it's spun - look out! It's so soft and sproingy (is that a word?) that you can make anything and it feels good.

And then there's this lovely braid from Cloverleaf Farms. The label says wool/silk which I take to mean merino and silk (80/20) in my new favorite color - red.

I also bought a small packet of silk caps because I've always wanted to work with them and never had the nerve. I got them at Misty Mountain Farm and when I figure out how they work then I'll have the nerve to work with the silk hankies gifted to me by my friend Sojourn Knitter.

It's going to surprise me when they're all spun up, I'm sure. Take a good look at them now because if I screw up the drafting or spinning, then you'll never see them again!

Also from Cloverleaf Farms is this braid of merino/tussah (70/30) in silver shot with black which I saw last year and didn't buy (I bought some Signature needles instead). I'm glad I found it again this year!

Cloverleaf Farms also provided me with this merino top in Primrose. I would have bought all of their braids, but I controlled myself. This colorway is so pretty that I think I'll keep it around just to look at for a while:

Now, you might be wondering why I bought this chocolate bundle of softness, but all I can tell you was that it's 8 ounces and I thought I'd have a better chance of spinning most of it without ruining it. It comes from The Sheep Shed:

Last, but certainly not least, is this beautiful braid of Polwarth from Gnomespun Yarn. I'm going to try not to gush and slobber all over myself, but I got it because I've heard so many wonderful things about Polwarth, and the colors in this fiber are so delicious it makes me drool!

So that's it. That's all I could afford and I did really well trying to buy wisely.

I did put myself on the list for one other purchase. While I was at Rhinebeck, I went to a couple of booths where they were letting us commoners try out wheels, and in my travels, I found Gilbert Gonsalves, the manufacturer of Robin wheels and quite possibly the nicest man in the world.

He let me sit and try the wheel and I was IN LOVE! The wheel spins like butter. Not only that, it was as pretty as all get out.
I pedaled once or twice and put my name on the list for a wheel.

Maybe it was because he was so nice, maybe it was because the other wheels weren't in the style I liked. Or maybe it was because I wanted a wheel that was compact enough to fit in my small house, pretty as a picture and reminds me of floating on water. You can see a picture of it here.

The downside is that Mr. Gonsalves makes the wheels himself and it takes up to 2 years to get a wheel, signed and numbered by him. He said he recently got an apprentice and hopes to cut the time it takes to make a wheel to 1 year. I hope so too! With that hope in mind, I tried not to burst into tears when he told me that there are 75 people in front of me waiting for a wheel.

How could I express my instant love for the wheel and that I can't wait a whole year? I can't!

But I will.