June 29, 2011

Tool of the Trade

A trindle is a drop spindle and the only one I own will be used for the Tour de Fleece.

I've had to glue the beads on a few times when I sent the trindle flying across the room, purely by accident.  It still works, but it might be time to visit the Trindleman on Etsy to get some new beads.

Now I can honestly say that I'm a little closer to being ready, and I'm really excited too!

June 27, 2011

Is It Possible?

Getting home late is a direct impediment to my goal of having fiber prepared before the Tour de Fleece.  Today I had to go buy a pair of shoes for work.  I hate shoe shopping!  Things would go so much better for me if they just let me wear sneakers all day long.

When I was growing up I wore clogs.  Remember those?  Well, when I was growing up they cost $8.99, and today I went to the store and saw a pair of leather clogs that were $130!  I must be getting old to have seen the price go from inexpensive to ridiculous.

Now, about the tour ...

It was my intention to prepare some fiber, but all I got to do was separate some fiber:

This is number one on the list, Hand Painted Roving, 4 ounces of BFL in persimmon from Greenwood Fiberworks on Etsy.  I love to spin BFL because it's so squishy soft when it's all done up.  Half of this will be spun on my trindle (which I still haven't found it - yikes!) and the other half on my Lendrum.  I'm nerve wracked but excited.

Tomorrow I'll finish prepping, gather my tools and fiber together in one spot and then seriously consider how over my head I have gone.

June 26, 2011

Getting Closer

Today I watched the Tour de France preview show and did a little practice spinning with some fiber that's been on the Prelude for months.  It's merino and silk:

I think I must have forgotten a few of my spinning rules, like if the yarn breaks while pulling it through the orifice, then it's not spun tight enough.  Clearly I'm going to have to Navajo ply to hold this yarn together.

The Tour's preview show featured all of the top contenders: Andy Schleck (I hope Frank Schleck is there to help him out this year!), Alberto Contador, Marc Cavendish, and some other men who will be racing, but I can't spell their names.  Sadly no Lance Armstrong although he had a good run and deserves to rest on his laurels.  I hope he comes back to racing one day as a commentator.

When I'm not spinning or doing housework, I'm working on a pair of socks for a co-worker and friend, Yvette.  She didn't ask for the socks, I just realized that the yarn looks better in a smaller size than I wear and she's got cute little feet.

And to cut down on the eye-soreness of the colors, I decided to do away with continuing the pattern down the foot.  I'm using Liberty Fiber fingering weight merino (75% merino 25% nylon) called forest walk.  The reason I'm not in love with it is because it's superwash and it feels a little rough in my hands, but it makes for great socks.  Superwash is great for friends who don't like to hand wash their knitted goods.  The pattern is Dragonfly, and you can find it on Ravelry.   

I must make time to prep some fiber (I haven't had time!), and to find my trindle.  I can't be on Team Trindle and not have a trindle.  Yikes!

June 25, 2011


Making 10 pairs of socks in a year is a lot for sock knitting semi-newbies.  The ladies are still plugging away, the challenge is still on and socks are still being made.  Today Carol finished her Little Acorn socks:

I hope these socks look green on your computer because the lighting in our knitting room matched with my camera's inability to change with it's environment, these socks don't look like the lovely green that they are.

Carol modified the single row of acorns with a triple row.  She's got skills!

The third sock is going to be Hydrangea by Janel Laidman from the Eclectic Sole book.  I love that book!

Carmen is in using the Nutkin pattern to design a hat.  She's halfway done with the hat and working out the decreases at the top which we pressed her to write down so we don't have to figure it out for ourselves.  She's a designer in the making!  Go Carmen!

And not to pass up an opportunity to squeeze in something about the Tour de Fleece, here are the contenders which the ladies in knitting class chose for me:

Of course not all five braids will be spun - there's not enough time - but they are headed for the wheel:

1. Hand Painted Roving BFL in Persimmon
2. Sock Pixie wool & soy in Willow
3. Fat Cat Knits merino & soy in Seaside Cottage
4. Dripping Fiber Studios polwarth in Garden Gloves
5. Freckle Face Fibers BFL in Purple Poppies

Doing five braids (4 ounces each) in two weeks would mean I'd have to spin every day for 16 hours a day, so naturally it won't all get spun, but I'm going to try.

It's going to be challenging, but I'll score at least that many skeins of yarn which would be a beautiful thing.  I'm going to prepare one or two braids in advance so I can concentrate on spinning when the race begins.

Anyone else joining the challenge?  If so, good luck to you!   I'd love to hear your goals and see what you're spinning.

Now all I have to do is pray for skeins with no knots!

June 22, 2011

Go! Go! Go!

See the wheel on the right side of my page?  You know what that means?  The Tour de France is back in town and starts on July 2nd.  So will the Tour de Fleece!  Yay!

If you're a member of Ravelry then you know what I'm talking about.  I signed up for two teams this year, Team Lendrum (wheel) and Team Trindle (drop spindle).  I usually only join one team, but I can't spin on my wheel at work, so I'll be trindling by day and spinning by night.  With that intention, maybe I'll be able to spin five braids.  I have my fingers crossed!

I've been warming up with some fiber that's on the wheel already.  That fiber won't be part of the race, but it just might be some that I give away.

I like to watch the race while I spin (the cyclists have perfect form!) and even though Lance Armstrong isn't racing this year, I do have someone to follow so the race will make sense to me - Andy Schleck.  Woo hoo!  I hope he wins!

Tonight I was staring into the fiber cabinet and thinking about which fibers to spin, but my camera is missing in action.  Tomorrow I'll find it and post pictures of my options.

I'm so excited!

June 13, 2011

The Best Laid Plans

WWKIP was supposed to happen on Saturday.  It rained hard the night before, but I was sure the sun would come out, and we were prepared to dry everything off for a day of knitting in the sunshine.  Well, the signs were posted:

And the drizzle started, but we trooped on.  Yvonne and Winnie set up their table preparing for the crowd:

And in further anticipation of the sun, we took a group picture of the first arrivals:

Yvonne, Winnie, Carmen and Joanne

Two hours later, every bench in the park looked like this:

And it was raining like crazy!  Drats!  What a let down!  But ...

We took our picnic fare to our usual spot, the library, and we had an indoor picnic.  So all was not lost. Yay!   There's always next year.

Also, started on June 6 and finished June 12 was the Leafprints Shawlette by Anne Hanson:

The instructions were perfect, easy to understand, I didn't have to flub or guess or rip back which was a miracle.  It would have been more perfect if the leaves around the center seam were exact, call it the perfectionist in me, but they seem to go every which way.

Still, it's a darn good shawlette, perfect for a neck warmer in fall or for summer wear in the freezing cold office I work in.

The points at the top were easy to block (thank goodness for blocking wires).  Made with Madelinetosh in grove and US size 3 circular needles.  Miraculously, I got gauge!  Yay!

Now I'm looking through patterns to figure out what to make next.

Tour de Fleece is coming up in a few weeks and I still have to put my wheel together.  Oy!  I'll get to it.  I seem to work better under pressure anyway.

June 06, 2011


I love how soft Madelinetosh Sock feels in my hands.  I am in love with green lately (I bounce between green, red and wisteria). and on a recent trip to Knitty City I picked up this skein of Madelinetosh in grove.  Lovely color:

It was  my first time at the store and it was men's knit night.  There were about 5 men sitting at a table at the front of the store.  At the back of the store was about the same number of women sitting at the table knitting and chatting.  I guess men's knit night means the men and women don't sit together.

When I bought the yarn, I had no idea what I was going to make, and then while surfing the net and NOT buying yarn, I came across Noble Knits having a pattern sale.  Score!  And wouldn't you know it, they had the perfect pattern for this perfect color, the Leafprints Shawlette.  It should be green, don't you think?

Yesterday I made my yarn pancake, today I cast on and got this far:

There will be no subway knitting on this shawl.  I already ripped it back once and it's not going to happen again.

This Saturday coming up is WWKIP (World Wide Knit in Public) day.  The shawl won't be there, but I will.  While there I think I'll start working on Joyce's socks - the ones with the jolly roger on them.  Black socks with pink skulls, made by request.  How goth, huh?

Oh, and the Tour de Fleece is coming up.  Don't say I didn't give you fair warning that this is going to become a spinning and Andy Schleck blog.  Unless, of course, Andy doesn't do well.  Then I'll have to find myself another spinning hero.  You've been warned.

OK, off I go.