Gold Medalist!

I totally finished the Lace Leaf for the KnitLympics (TM). We went from ignoring the project on Saturday:

To crappy grafting (Knitty's instructions led me surprisingly awry...):

To finished product! (Albeit I finished during the closing ceremonies...):

Now, there are several things wrong with this sweater. The first was my choice of yarn. This pattern is way too structured for the drapey-ness of the alpaca yarn I chose. The lace leaf details pull in weird directions and the twisted rib just kind of pooches up. It's unfortunate, really, but I did learn a couple of things: how to graft stitches and how to make a raglan sleeve. Above all else, I finished my first properly-made sweater! Woo!

Now for another accomplishment this week:

My first plied yarn! This is the Blue-faced Leicester that I spun earlier this month. I'm really pleased with the color variation and it's soft as a cloud. There's not enough of it to make anything useful (maybe some baby boots or a baby hat), but I could not care less. I am completely ecstatic! WOOOHOOOO! :)

I've got about 10 pounds of raw fleece from the farm sale at Crossfire Hill from the weekend and another 3 pounds of washed Coopworth coming from Oregon. The hand cards are ordered and the tensioned Lazy Kate is on its way. The next project is a sweater from fleece to finished.


My Best Friend

As we all know, I have been spinning up a storm as well as staying ahead of schedule for my Olympic knitting. Tonight, Jon and I were supposed to go out for a special dinner at a fancy-pants French restaurant (Campagne for those of you in Seattle). But at 5pm or so, we AIMed each other and both of us had tummy aches; hardly what you want to have when preparing to eat an expensive meal of foie gras. We mutually decided to stay home tonight instead and go out on Saturday night when we are both feeling a little less like we drank a smoothie of battery acid, hummus and entrails.

Secretly, I wanted to stay home, try my hand at Navajo plying with the Blue-faced Leicester that I dyed the other night, knit on the Lace Leaf and watch figure skating. So I came home, kissed my husband and sat down at the wheel. I don't have a tensioned lazy kate and within minutes, I was ready to shoot myself learning to navajo ply. I called desperately to Jon and the dear sweet man that he is, he sat on the floor and held a finger to the bobbin on the lazy kate to create the tension I needed.. I'm not sure that he can get any more perfect than he already is, folks. Who's husband sits on the floor for a half an hour helping his wife to create her very first plied yarn? My husband, that's who. Simply an amazing man.

Except that it gets better. Today at lunch, this arrived at my office:

It's like the cake that was in the anniversary party scene in "So I Married an Axe Murderer" (one of my favorite and most-quoted movies) where Mike Myers proposes to Nancy Travis.

Thank you muffin pants, you are the best husband in the entire world and I am the luckiest girl in the world to have you. Happy 3rd (8th) Anniversary; I can't wait to be with you for the rest of my life.



I'm a bad bad blogger. Still daunted by the process of posting, I have been neglecting Midnattgry. I apologize, really, I do.

There are a million pictures to post, but I'm currently on the wrong computer. (I'll post them to this post later tonight). I spent the entire weekend dyeing pounds of roving, spinning, and knitting the Lace Leaf Sweater as my Olympics project. While it's a really quick knit, the lace leaf chart in the book is sorts of screwed up. I ended up revising it a different way each of the three times I knit it. It was pretty ridiculous. I now have only half a sleeve to go and then I start grafting (a big challenge for me) and assembling (I also suck at that). I've knit it in Misti Bulky Alpaca in this beautiful merlot color. Everyone else seems to choose green or blue for this sweater and while I really wanted to do it in teal (the LYS was 2 skeins short), the merlot is really quite stunning.

This weekend, I am heading out to Crossfire Hill Farms (look! I made a link! I didn't tell you to Google it like a lazy, lazy slothful ho!) for their annual fleece sale. I'm gonna get me a fleece! I'm looking for a nice gray of a decent size (which for me means big enough to felt at least a third of it in the first washing mishap and then still have enough left over to make a sweater). Their Corriedales look big, well-coated and the farm is near enough to my house that I am reallyreallyreally excited about dragging my husband out to an island on a cold and rainy sunday to look at sheep and the fleece thereof. I promise to take lots of pictures and actually post them, how's *that*?!

Life in general lately has been rather uneventful, I suppose. I've been kinda bummed with work, but excited and challenged at school, so at least there's a balance. Mario and I are doing well with our riding lessons (he's such a giant dork, when I turn him out with his best friend Doc, you would never guess that they were 22 and 18, respectively). The doglet is having an acid reflux problem, we think. He keeps gagging like he's choking on something, but I can't find anything in his throat (either from the inside or the outside) and he licks his lips like a fiend while he's coughing.

I'm also thinking of forming a Northwest Spinning Guild. Even though I am new to spinning, it seems like an activity I could handle. There isn't currently a guild in the NW, and I think that's a low-down dirty crying shame, since there are obviously so many spinners up here (how else can you explain 3 of the 4 main LYS's carrying a wide range of rovings?). Not that anyone is reading this (I would never *presume*), but if you are and you are in the NW and would like t form a guild, drop me a comment and let's get this sucker rolling!


(The next day....) Here are the pics I promised!

The beauteous "Quince and Daffs" celebration of spring colorway:

Here it is in my cat-proof storage box:

My Lace Leaf sweater from Loop-d-Loop, the bestest Olympic knitting project I ever did pick:

Sign that you May Need A Swift and Ball-Winder; STAT!



Knitting Schizophrenia

Life has been a little ridiculous lately. E. had her darling son last Tuesday and he and mom are happy and healthy and just beautiful. It always makes me tear up when a new baby comes to my circle of friends; they are so wonderful and new and soft. It's great to be able to watch my friends just glow with their happiness. Marriages are reinforced, new bonds with their friends and family are forged, it's a beautiful time.

Okay, that's enough of the schmaltz, I'm such a damn sap. On to the fiber!

I've been spinning lately... Yes, it's bad bad bad. I got an Ashford Traditional Scotch Tension Single Treadle (sheesh! so many specifications!) wheel for Christmas, and I had my first spinning class at The Weaving Works last Saturday morning. I thought I would love it and I *totally* did. A guest post series on dying roving by Laurie on Yarn Harlot was what drove me to spinning. That entire dye series was so beautifully done and compelling that I just had to try it for myself. Here is a pic of the first dye lot (Corriedale top, for those who care):

The green and brown is the Corriedale, the red/blue is Icelandic and the big Ball O' White is Clun.

So, drumroll please, here is the first bobbin of homespun from the Corriedale (the bottom bobbin):

The middle is the (badly spun) Clun and the top bobbin is the Wensleydale from my spinning class.

The Icelandinc is now on the wheel and although it is far more challenging to spin (the fibers are longer and they don't stick together as well):

I am totally in love with the colors in this yarn. It's like a desert sunset and I just sing every time I spin some of it up. Just in case anyone wants to know, I use Cushings acid dyes.

K, time to run off to watch Lost!