kung fu update

kung fu update
1. 1, 2. gao the lesser, 3. sagacious zu, 4. 5, 5. dawn star, 6. sun li , 7. 6, 8. wildflower, 9. hui the brave

going up in the shop today!

p.s. if anyone can tell me what these names are from, 10% off and free shipping on anything in the shop!  the prize goes to the first person.

montana update

memories of home. missing the pristine beauty of spring/summer in the rockies.

montana update
1. selway bitterroot, 2. bass creek/glacier park, 3. flathead lake, 4. summer sunset/winter wheat

there’s also a new product in this update – the blue spinning fiber is something i’m calling mixed matches.  i took three different dyed fiber braids that i thought went well together and split them in two.  then combined them to make these two bundles of top in the same ‘colorway.’  that means that you can now get larger quantities of the same colorway from me! and also that these bundles are larger than the norm, so don’t be thrown by the prices.

anyhow, going up in the shop today.  have a great one.  more spinning survey to come later this week!

more organizing

most of the yarn is on shelves
the yarn

cleaning always leads to playing – felt good. wools accidentally next to each other are always the most inspiring.  must get back to making hats soon.

buttons! destined never to be all sorted, but somewhat organized. and all in the same place.

and the knitting needles
knitting needles

still some stacks to bust through, but that’s on hold for other things i need to get done. hurrah for spring cleaning!!

sweet yarn

while cleaning the yarn room this week, i found these two little gems.

chadwick's red heart sock and sweater

chadwick’s red heart
‘ready-to-knit pull-out skein
save time – no winding
100% virgin wool 3 ply 1 oz

and the sweetest part:
chadwicks's red heart sock and sweater
why didn’t red heart keep this up?!? come to think of it, why did they ever quit making wool…

lovely little ball of vintage angora
vintage angora
vintage angora
it might need to be made into something for the babe.

have a fabulous saturday!

weather update

pittsburgh is hilarious in the spring. one day rainy, one day sunny, one day half rainy/half sunny.  you really never know what you’re going to get.

weather update
1. chance of percipitation, 2. torrential/partly cloudy/mostly sunny/rain likely, 3. gusting winds, 4. clearing skies/north winds/morning fog, 5. overcast, 6. sprinkle/scattered showers/sunny, 7. rain showers, 8. all of the family, 9. scattered showers

these will be up in the shop later today!

p.s. later later today – that is, whenever etsy decides to work. grrr.


i was very silly to think that there might not be much blogging this week.  my mother-in-law (katie) arrived yesterday and already there has been yarn gifting.

love the labels on this one!! there’s certainly a sweater lot of this, although i don’t think i’ll be making myself a sweater out of it ;)

although my current place in the world lacks the vintage yarn i used to find, katie found a batch for me in alaska.  woo hoo!

8 skeins of the baby wool, 7 of the wool/moahair, and 5 of the wine red

buttons sorting.

got these a while ago at a craft swap, along with the yarn below, but never got around to sorting them yet!

finished object showing

katie’s most recent shawl, i spent last night wrapped up in it while too tired to move
katie's shawl
katie's shawl

later today there will be yarn store journeying! i love vacation at home.

pipe organ

update  is going up in the shop as i write.  in acknowledgement of my husband’s masters recital on sunday, which has kept him ever so busy for weeks now.  he’s debuting his first major work for organ, several other instruments, and choir.

pipe organ update
1. Bourdon, 2. Gravissima, 3. Aeoline , 4. Ophicleide, 5. Celeste, 6. Piccolo, 7. Gedackt, 8. Posaune, 9. Gamba

p.s. wikipedia has summarized what these words actually mean here.

p.p.s. may be a slow week on the blog.  my mother-in-law is coming which means there could be fibery happenings, but also i may just hang out.

super fine wool

how i learned to like merino.

i’ve been spending a lot of my time spinning up the localish farm wool i received back here. in the process, i’ve been spinning two fine wools that i ordered.

navajo plied cvm (california variegated mutant)
local cvm

and the answer to the ultimate question? no longer 42, but that the freaking wool likes to be spun thin and way to a zen-like relaxing spin with said wools is, you guessed it, spin it thin.

local cvm

i fought this for so long. i am not a naturally thin spinner, so when i first started spinning merino, it was a struggle to say the least. after i became a better spinner, the reason for spinning fatter might have been brain block – i don’t want to spin super thin yarns to sell because i have to charge so much money for them.

local rambouillet
local rambouillet

here’s the story. fine wool has a short staple length, that is the length of one little sheep hair is not very long. this means you have to hold your hands close together when you spin it and when it twists, it wants lots of twist to hold those fibers together.  it is hard (and perhaps impossible?) to spin many of these wools fatter and really super even because i, at least, can’t have my hands close together and hold onto all of those little pieces of wool adequately enough to have control.  that might explain why i’ve noticed that thick and thin works very well with fine wools. i can hold my hands apart further than the staple length and just let it go.

local rambouillet

i do find that the way a fine wool spins also depends upon how the fiber is processed, dyed and the micron count (defines how slippy and soft it is ~ merino has the highest micron count). my soar hat spinning was merino, and it went well. no bitching over there. it might have been altered a bit by the dyeing, or perhaps a higher micron count merino. that said, i’m expecting it to pill like crazy one of these days.

speaking of, let us talk malabrigo worsted. making this yarn was a risk.  the softest a particular wool can ever be (theoretically) is a single spun with the smallest amount of twist possible to make it yarn.  that said, a fine wool, spun fatter than it wants to be without very much twist? that’s a recipe for a pilling disaster because it doesn’t have enough twist to hold all of those little hairs in place. i know you all love it, i know.  so get yourself a de-pilling device and go for it, but don’t say i didn’t warn you ;)

p.s. i’m going to be sending out my first newsletter in a couple of days.  if  you’re interested, you can sign up in the side bar to the right.  this one is all classes and events (DC and pgh), so it will only go to those interested in such.