Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Time Flies

Here we are, halfway through April and I've been neglecting my blog.  I got back to Seattle at the end of March and was busy with family for about a week.  The kids and DH came home for Passover and we had a lovely gathering.  Everyone left on Easter Sunday and it seems as if I've been trying to catch up ever since.

On the crafting front, I spun a fun project on my new spinning wheel.  I guess I never reported on the Madrona Fiber Arts festival here, but I went to it in the middle of February and had a great time as usual.  I bought a little fiber and some yarn as a gift, but my big purchase was this:

I had been pretty sure that I wanted one of these little gems and when I went and saw them in person, I was sure.  It's a HansenCrafts miniSpinner and they're made right here in Washington.  I met Kevin Hansen, the developer and craftsman, and he told me just why I needed one of these babies.  I agreed with him and here we are.  It's an electric spinner and you can plug it into the wall and also get a rechargeable battery for it, which I did.  It's so small that you can put it right up onto the sofa next to you or on a coffee table or anyplace handy.  You're not restricted to a chair in front of your spinning wheel, and you can use the on/off control with your hand so you can sit however you like.  It comes with a WooLee Winder, which I'd never used before, and which I totally love.  Not having to change the hooks every few minutes is great and the yarn looks so much neater when it's on the bobbin.  I might have already purchased one of these for my Lendrum.

The yarn I just spun on the miniSpinner came from this cool batt of fiber:

It comes from an etsy shop called Loop and is called a Bullseye Bump.  The artist dyes a long, thin strand of fiber in a gradient and then rolls it up into a center pull ball.  You just grab the end and spin it up.  The only drawback is that you either have to use a single or navajo ply if you want to preserve the color sections.  You can ply it on itself or with another fiber if you want to have barberpole yarn or ply it with a solid color.  I navajo plyed it and it was my first attempt at this with other than "practice" yarn.  It came out pretty well; it's a little overtwisted in the aqua section, which is the first section I did, but it calmed down a lot by the end.  I got 382 yards out of 5.5 ounces.  It was a fun experience and by the end of all that I felt I knew what I was doing!

I've been trying to finish the blue sweater that I talked about last time.  I'm making progress and am through the body and currently working on the sleeves.  I might make them 3/4 length instead of long, so I've been concentrating on how to work the increases so they'll end up the right size.  I'm determined to get it done, so am putting off other knitting, which is painful.  Hopefully it will be done in another week and I can get to something else.

Enjoy the spring!  I'm looking out at the rhododendrons and they're beautiful.  It just started to rain, so I guess I'll have to knit instead of walk the dog.  Too bad....