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Sam Knits

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Yep, Still Knitting...

Knitting, spinning, dyeing, and beading. My camera has gone on vacation to Never-Never Land. I am hopeful that it will be located after today's round of intense house cleaning. Unless I get sidetracked by these cutesy little crocheted wash cloths I'm making for a baby gift. Quick little projects-YAY!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Fresh Yarn

444 yards of soft, sparkley alpaca goodness. It took forever to get just this four ounces spun up, but I spun it very thin and navajo plied it. I still ended up with a light sock/fingering weight even with the three plying. I adored spinning this wool-it's glossy and the little bits of sparkle make it interesting. It's not overly sparkley, just enough. Now what am I going to do with it? I have no idea. I'll just admire it for a little while until I think of something.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


I finally finished something!

This is my version of the "Old Shale Lace Triangle Shawl" from the Summer '08 issue of Spin Off. The first thing I changed is that I used thicker yarn than called for in the pattern and mine is store-bought sock yarn instead of handspun lace. It is a fairly simple pattern and I plan to spin up enough of my alpaca into a lighter weight and have enough yardage to make another. The pattern is by Evelyn Clark and starts from the top down-a helpful thing if you're using handspun and aren't sure you'll have enough. It has the option to work a plain -jane bind off or a picot edge. And since the pattern is kind of plain, it makes a really good showcase typ shawl for a gorgeous handspun or handpaint-there's not alot of fussiness in the pattern that would take away from the yarn itself.

In non-knitting, I'm THIS CLOSE to talking the Husband into acquiring a milk goat or two. Why should any child growing up in the country be deprived of the experience of raising animals? It could prove to be a bit more work than I am prepared for, but I am doing my homework and he has prior experience with goats so maybe it won't be so bad. You realize of course that the goats are probably just a jumping off point for me to talk him into other small farm animals. There is an underlying motive and I am not about to blow my cover just yet. A hint?

Oh come on. Like he could say no to that? Don't you think it's a good plan?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Too many Projects?

In an effort to clean out some of the yarny stuff (to make room for more yarny stuff) I have commited to completing a few very old projects.

The sock is not so very old, but the two lace projects are. The pink and green is a shawl in Lorna's Laces 'Knit Happens' colorway and I think I started it last spring. The pattern came with the skein and is very simple and will make a half-circle shaped shawl when finished and blocked. Then there's another lace scarf knit with some of my own hand-dyed that is also a simple pattern and I don't know whay I still haven't finished it. Maybe soon. I aldo have a few spinning projects that really take up alot of my time while I'm at home, since that's not as portable as my knitting.
The green and blue bobbin are going to be plied together and make 2 oz of about a sock weight yarn. The lavender is some that came from North Valley Farm a couple of weeks ago and was so much fun to spin! It makes a real shiney yarn too. I three-plied it Navajo style and I ended up with 150 yards at about 20 wraps per inch for 2 oz of fiber. So that makes it about sock weight or a little lighter. I still have another 5-7 oz of the lavender but I couldn't wait to try the blue with sparkles. It is way more impressive in person. I couldn't get it to look right with or without flash. You can't see the glittery bits.
I am trying to get together a list of sock patterns-mostly toe up that would be ideal if you didn't have just a whole lot of sock yarn. I like working toe up since you can try on along the way and quit when you start to run out instead of guessing how much you'll need to finish and close a toe. Also, I don't like having all those little leftover 'skein-lets' that aren't big enough to make anything else. This one from Wendy Johnson at Wool Festival has some terrific suggestions. There are a number of ways to cast on for toe ups, I used one that was new to me last time and have not been able to repeat it for sock number two. Hopefully, I'll have a few more to post soon. My favorite sock book right now is More Sensational Knitted Socks by Carlene Schurch. It's got tons of variations you can mix and match to yor liking. Lots of beautiful pictures for inspiration too!

Saturday, May 17, 2008


I got my yummy roving from North Valley Farm and it was so worth waiting for.

I couldn't decide which color to get to I got three. The blue with sparkles, rose pink, and lavender. It spins up beautifully! And it easily spins into an almost thread-weight single that I will attempt to navajo-ply when I get a bobbin full. I wish I had a couple more of these level-wind bobbins since I haven't finished spinning up the blue and green that I started a couple of weeks ago. It would be nice to have a few extras.

On the knitting front-um, right. Knitting, that's what I used to do with yarn before I got side tracked by making yarn. I plan on getting back to that soon. Afterall, there is that other gray tweed sock I need to finish (start, rather). And then there's the other sock yarn that I rediscovered while tidying up my yarn storage.

How many potential sock projects does a girl need anyway? Apparently my majic number is thirteen. And one day, I just might get around to making all those socks I have planned....

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Not Purple

But still pretty I think-kind of patriotic huh?

I weighed out two one-ounce bundles and dyed one with strawberry koolaid and the other with berry blue. The color was very intense on the roving and muted considerably after it was spun up. It didn't blend into purple or any shade there of like I thought it might. I still like it though.

Then there's the ready made commercial yarn knitting:

Not that theres been much of that going on-my main weekday knitting time used to be my lunch breaks, but they are getting shorter and shorter. And I can't knit at home and let the unspun roving get jealous...
And speaking of roving, I just got this sample of Alpaca/Romney blend from North Valley Farm. I'll put in a link when time allows. I'm debating over which one should come live with me. I like the blue because it's got an little sparkley stuff in it-not something I wouls normally pick. The grey has some sparkley too. The lilac is nice, and so is the pink. I definitely have to get the stuff I already have sup up so I can get more than one of these. This farm also sells thier processed lambs for meat. I have a few other pictures to post, but not enough time right now. Oh and the Tot has new dresses-sewn by mommy of course! I will post those when I am able to get her to pose properly!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Busy busy, busy

I've been up to a little spinning. The chunky yarn is easy and pretty quick to spin up and ply 4 ounces. The sock weight is a little more time-consuming. It takes me almost a week just to get each ply individually spun. Granted, my paying job seriously cuts down on my spinning time. And then I have to stop and sleep sometimes too-although I think I could probably spin in my sleep, but then I wouldn't be awake to enjoy it.

My new favorite wool for spinning is definitely the superwash merino I recently got from Amy over at Spunky Eclectic. Check out her shop from the sidebar link. I also tried some Corriedale to practice spinning thin yarns with-I loved it too!
This is the merino after I weight out two 2 ounce bundles and dyed each of them. Once spun up, the white bits that didn't take dye really tone down the brightness and the colors of the individual strands are very pretty. But when you ply them together, it's like magic happens and you make a totaly different color.

Ooh, pretty isn't it? Up next? Red , white, and blue! Actually, I'm hoping once it's spun and plied together, it will tone down like the other batch andd give my kind of a purple. We shall see.