Springtime is a time of love, right? The flowers, the bees, the birds all abuzz flittering this way and that, their hearts a-pitter-pattering along. It's a sweet image, no? Well my little bumblekinds, I have become unstuck and am back in love. With Rogue. I know, I thought our relationship was over too, but it turns out that it was just on hiatus. A little storm before the calm.

I picked it back up on Sunday night and am now most of the way done with the body. I also tried it on and it fits. Beautifully. Even though I am 20 pounds heavy right now. (Side note: I think I have gained weight because I had inadvertently been starving my body of nutrients by eating wheat and now that I am back to normal absorbtion I am holding onto every spare calorie I can. Just in case, you know, I start poinsoning myself again and all those nutrients disappear. I figure the weight will come off once my body stops trying to insulate itself against disaster.) The cables, they are so so pretty and challenging and *satisfying*. It is everything I ever wanted in a project.

I've also been washing fleece and spinning up a storm. I have an entire bobbin of the Stomy Sky Stormy Sea colorway spun up now as well as half a bobbin of Mimi. I was reading Woven Thoughts, though, and I might take the rest of Mimi's fleece and send it off to Morro Fleeceworks for pindrafting because those little beehives of fleece look so nifty and I'm not loving how hand-carded fleece turns out... It's sort of rough-looking which is a big contrast to how processed roving spins up (very smoothly because all the fibers are aligned in the same direction).

So without further ado, the pictures! Stormy Sky Stormy Sea all bobbined up and purdy:

And a closer look:

My Merino spinning has gotten a lot finer and more even as I've gotten used to it (quelle surprise!) so I may run into some guage problems when I ply it. We'll see.

I had a particularly hilarious time trying to photograph Rogue on me. Jon had just left for work, so I spent some quality time in front of the mirror (is that ever *not* quality time, though? I mean really. It's great to stare at yourself. Especially when you are me.)

Too much flash but the yarn color is accurate as is the color of my shower tile... (and I *know* I have to clean my mirror so to make for the better gazing at myself):

Thirteen years of ballet culminated in this one photo. I call it "Serious Sweater Dancer I":

Lily Tomlin knits... Who knew?

And finally, the "best" one:

I hope to finish Rogue this weekend. I'll keep you "posted" (oh ho ho ho HO!).


Tread(l)ing Water

Dudes and dudtettes, I am projectless. I have totally given up on Rogue for the time being. The hat I started to knit out of Suede was so horrific I doubt even Mary-Kate Olson would wear it! My "So-Called Fugly-Ass Not-Long-Enough-So-I-Should-Probably-Just-Rip-It-Out-Anyways Scarf" is riding around in the bottom of my backpack untouched. The tomato orange baby sweater from Easy Knits for Cherished Babies is bo-RING and I'm almost disinterested enough in it to allow Heidi to continue playing with it in her quest for total yarn domination. I should really do a post with pictures of each one of my boring and failed projects, so y'all can see how not-lying I am.

In lieu of knitting, I have been spinning. I have a Corriedale fleece that I bought at the Crossfire Hill Farm sale that I have split into four distict tones from light gray to almost-black. My goal is to Andean-ply it into a DK or light worsted weight yarn and then make something like Jemima or the Union Square Market Pullover. I want to start with the light gray at the top and have it gradate (word? probably not...) down to dark gray at the bottom. It is my dearest futile hope that this design choice will maximize my (tiny) bust and minimize my (enormous) waist.

Unfortunately, to spin a 3-ply DK weight yarn, I have to spin singles that look like this:

Not so bad you say? Check it out as photographed by my massive telephoto lens:

Those guide hooks are 1/2 and inch in diameter. I appropriately titled this photo "Infuriating" on Flickr. I have been spinning this one bobbin for a week now. HATE IT. Hopefully the end product will be worth all this tedium.

Luckily for me (ha ha) I got kicked in the back by my friend's horse on Monday night, so I had all day yesterday to wander around in a Vicodin-induced haze and wash armloads of fleece. I am okay (just some very minor internal bleeding and a very nasty bruise complete with horseshoe nail marks, I shit you not) but we were at the ER until 2am while I got My First CT Scan and chest x-rays.

So I washed a 4+ pound corriedal ram fleece for E. and half of Mimi's fleece. I fully expected for the Corriedale to be really dirty, but Mimi's fleece, despite looking clean and lustrous, had to be washed twice and rinsed four times. It was truy disgusting. To add insult to injury (in so many ways) Mimi's fleece was not nearly as pretty once I had washed it. We'll just have to see how it cards up.


Spring's Gone Done Wore Me Out

Lately the focus has been on spinning and carding and carding and spinning in my fiber world. Remember that big box o' fiber I posted a picture of a few weeks ago? The Coopworth from Oregon? Well, I have news for you: that box is fucking BOTTOMLESS. I card and I card and I card and I spin and I spin and I spin and I have barely made a dent (although it's been some of the most even spinning I've done yet). My cards are starting to feel like budduh (butter) and the carding is going quicker, though still eye-stabbingly slow.

I've felt incredibly bored and uninspired on the knitting front, on top of feeling tired in general. School is picking up, so to destress I stole my wheel back from E. Behold, My First Tweed (TM):

To be 3-plied with two strands of this:

As a side note, I am incredibly INCREDIBLY allergic to this wool. Every time I get to spinning it my eyes tear up and swell in protest and I sneeze and cough. Maybe *that's* why I feel like hell? Those little felted bits are the worst. Next time I make a tweed I am going to have to figure out another way to achieve the same effect.

The merino roving of last post is spinning up like this:

The variation is a little more pronounced than I'd like (although you can't see that in this picture). I'm planning on two-plying it only because I am an idiot and didn't believe experienced spinners when they said to hold off on the merino because it would be frustrating. Well, guess what? It totally is. Switching from the Coopworth to the Merino is a big change and I always end up re-learning how to deal with those short little merino fibers. They just fly out of my hands and they're so soft that I can barely hold on to them in the first place.

The last thing I slated for this lazy entry was a look at the 10lb present that came in the mail on Wednesday:

All the way from Kathy Davidson of Potosi Farm in Shrewsbury, PA... Kathy sent me 3 samples right after shearing and I just *had* to buy all three fleeces. They are:

This is from Halle, a little 7/8 Blue-faced Leicester lamb. Halle was kind enough to let me have her first fleece! I promise to love it well Halle; with a first fleece this beautiful I can't wait to see what next year's will look like.

This is 4 pounds of vegetation-rich 100% Blue-faced Leicester fleece from a little ewe named Delilah. I need to get combs to process this stuff (unless anyone has a better method for getting vegetation out) and then I plan to dye it. It's very soft, but what with the ultra-bleached tips and the VM (sounds like VD, don't it?) I think it would be better off dyed.

And here is the Belle of the Ball: Mimi. Kathy was kind enough to let me buy this Merino x Blue-faced Leicester x Lincoln fleece out of her private stash. It is incredibly lustrous and clean as a whistle. This fleece deserves to be left its natural colors. It spans from fawn to silver to black and feels like it barely even needs to be washed. Lucious, just lucious.



This promises to be a very geeky post, so buckle your geekbelts. Oh my, I'm off to a wonderful start.

A little while ago, Jon was plugging along at his job as a web developer working through some particularly terrible legacy code. Being that he is a genius, he thought that all this wasted time on legacy code was silly, so he set about rallying the troops to design a new framework for all their pages. He dubbed his pet framework DNA and fought to get it implemented on all the company's sites. He eventually succeeded (why do people fight innovation so?) and last Friday they had a DNA party for Hug A Dev Day.

To celebrate the occasion, I made him this:

A blurrier look (I think you can see the cables better):

Jon showed off the pictures at work on Friday (the scarf was still at home blocking) and it was a hit. I was advised to "pick a number" that I would be willing to create. I am now on the hook for 6 more.


The Long Kiss Goodbye

I must admit, I've been drifting listlessly in between several small and uninteresting projects lately. None of them really warrant any photos. One is a chenille hat that I've ripped twice in an effort to make it fit. One is a pair of socks in some wool I dyed myself. One is a baby sweater in bright orange (this one is a perennial project that has been in process for over a year). Rogue is pissing me off because I think I did something wrong, but I can't figure out how to fix it. Grrr.

Despite the improvement in my general well-being since I went on a gluten free diet 2 weeks ago (I do feel *tons* better), I've been feeling out of sorts lately. Like I've been on the edge of getting a cold, and totally tired. I even took a nap on Saturday afternoon. Jon was shocked.

Speaking of my dear husband, Jon is gone on a trans-continental field trip to schmooz with some hotshit web devs right now, so I've had a little more time to work on my knitting. And because I love and admire him, I am knitting him a special present, which hopefully he will wear (we don't have a good track record on this front). I promise I'll post a pic as soon as it's done (shouldn't be long now).

Last night while I was trying to keep myself busy so as not to think about the eleventy zillion ways a burgler could break into my house and kill me I dyed some wool. The first batch was some of the washed Coopworth I got from SuDan Farms in Oregon. I dyed it a nice jewel-toned blue and will felt it and then cut it up into bits to make tweed yarn.

The second was this:

It's a pound of Merino roving dyed in an attempt to look like a stoming sky and sea. I really love this. It's a big old mix of colors, but the four bases are Cushing's Copenhagen Blue, Ocean Green, and Jacquard Sapphire Blue and Gunmetal. I tempered each of the base colors with each other to varying degrees to get the muted tonal colors.

I've also been baking gluten-free bread machine bread: