Friday, December 19, 2008

Losing my virginity

Well, i did it. I lost my virginity (and my 4.0 GPA). I am a little disappointed as I have been in school for five years and will be finished in May is not as big of a deal as I thought it would be and I feel surprisingly relaxed about life. Now that I let go of that pressure I can play without my fiber without guilt! I am also looking forward to three weeks off of school in which I will work some and do a lot of knitting and spinning. I went yesterday and picked up "three bags full" of FREE shetland wool that is beautiful! A local man raises the sheep for training his sheepdogs and I happened to find him. This could prove to be a really good relationship! Today is my first day of vacation so here I am, back on the blog. I am off to skirt fleece but will have pictures soon. Happy Winter!

Monday, September 1, 2008

More FO's!!!

On this last day of summer (for the kids!) we have a beautiful sunny day in Vermont- perfect for dying! I am working on my first overdying project. I have nine skeins of gray Manos wool that I want to be green for a sweater or poncho. The gray was a blue tone so I made my green dye mostly yellow with just drops of blue. It looks great in the dye pot but a little too yellow for me drying in the sun. I just have to be patient for it to dry to know the real outcome.

My boys here are modeling the hats I have made recently. The bright green is a simple cable cap knitted with some of my first handspun. The hat on the left is a Koolhaus hat knit with Malabrigo worsted merino that I have dreamed of for close to a year. I was bummed when I saw the pooling. I usually appreciate pooling on my socks to make them fun but the color pattern really takes away from the stitch pattern on this one. I have started a second Koolhaus with another color of the Malabrigo and no pooling so far...
Here is m finished February Sweater!! It was soooo fun to knit and I love the style. I may make a second one out of another yarn. This sweater was knit with Cascade 220 and it will be perfect for fall! Sorry about the sideways pictures- I haven't figured out how to deal with that yet. One of these days i will get a Blogging for dummies book and learn how to use my blog properly!

This last photo has been a long time coming. This is the cutest baby ever in one of the cutest sweaters I have ever knit. My first BSJ- out of my own handspun!!!!

Hope everyone if enjoying their holiday weekend!!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Picture Heavy Post

I walked into my yarn room this morning and realized that maybe I am having a case of Startitis. I have four pairs of socks on the needles and half of a Koolhaas hat on the table. I also have a partially finished pair of felted clogs and two afghans halfway knitted. Sadly, (or not) I am going to start one more pair of socks that I have been wanting to make.

I have to share about the best gift I have gotten in a long time. My friend, Laura, sent me a graduation present that has made me smile for weeks. There was a great children's book called Woolbur about a sheep that refuses to follow the flock and two skeins of DK weight yarn in the Doctor without Borders colorway. Half of the proceeds from that yarn goes to DWB. I just love that! I had to cast on right away for a sock- my gauge was off and it is big enough for my husband's huge feet and is the beginning of his Christmas gift!
Remember the green single ply in the last post. Kristin and I plied the two singles together and this is our final product.

Now that I have had a taste of dying I have to do it more and more. The following is some superwash merino dyed in really bright colors that ended up being rainbow. It is a little too bright for me but my children all love it!

The next roving I dyed with yellow, purple and olive green. I love the colors and how it spun up. I can't wait to see what it looks like knitted. The transformation that happens from roving to yarn to knitted object is so amazing to watch- every time!

This is the next roving in line for spinning. I started separating it into strips but then sidetracked by all of the knitting projects I needed to try out.

This final project is just a little sample of the spinning I have been doing this summer. We have had more rain than ever in Vermont this summer and although my garden is a jungle my fiber projects are moving right along!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

been a long time

True to my past schedule I haven't blogged since the last time I had a break from school. I have been really busy with my fiber projects this summer and I will have alot to show you once I get my camera working.

First up in this post though is my first dyed roving spun up into a single.
I have a new fiber friend and we dyed this roving in a crock pot using three different colors. I had merino roving and she had some wool top that we dyed in the same pot at the same time. It was amazing to see how differently they took the colors. We just got together last night and plied her single with mine and I will have a photo of that soon.

I love that I have a new friend who loves wool as much as I do. I enjoy the blogging community because it makes me aware of other passionate fiber fanatics but I rarely get to meet them in person. Kristin came over the other night and looked at the stash with me and talked fiber and ideas and knitting and we had such a nice time.

I have spent alot of time spinning while I have the summer off of school. I am still studying for the boards which I take in ten days and then I will start a part time job. I got a job at a quaker based assisted living community and i am looking forward to working with people during the end of life process.

Back to knitting content-- (I have been doing some of that too!)

First up a morning surf scarf as seen in the latest Spin Off. This was a fun project and stitch pattern to work with. It is some of my first handspun yarn and I think it turned out well. The roving was from Spunky Eclectic called Delphinium.
This next project is one of the cutest things I have ever knit. It is a Minnowknits pattern made from a now discontinued yarn put out by Cascade. I forget the name of the yarn but it is cotton and 1% nylon which gives it a little strech. I have some cute fimo buttons to sew on and voila- a baby gift!
There is so much more to show and talk about and one of these days when the garden is not such a jungle of weeds I will take more pictures. Happy summer to all in blogland!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

another vacation week

There seems to be a pattern that I only blog when I have time off of school. When I am in school I barely have time to knit let alone blog about it! After this week I have ten weeks left and then I will get a certificate as an LPN and sit for the boards! It is pretty exciting after all of the work I have done to know that the end is in sight. I am waiting to hear if I got accepted into the RN program for next year (I really think I will- I hope!) but I am planning on working as a nurse this summer and part time next year too.

OKay- on to the good stuff! I bought this yarn on e-bay a few weeks ago. It is a silk/cashmere blend that I am hoping to make into a montego bay scarf. I made one this last summer with the sea silk and I love it and I know that my sister-in-law will too. She gets a scarf every Christmas and I am really ahead of the game this year!

Speaking of e-bay- does anyone else have this problem of buying things on ebay even though you didn't mean to? I just can not look unless I plan to buy- I'm weak when it comes to deals on ebay. I am currently expecting 3 skeins of Koigu in the mail any day now.

I have been making progress on my knitting projects. It's slow but it is progress. The Morehouse merino sweater for my son is missing sleeves so I hope to knock this out quickly. It looks like it will be for next year or the year after as it almost fits me!

I started another pair of socks too. I am using the Noro sock yarn for the first time. I read alot of other knitters opinions on Ralvery- Did I tell you I got my Ralvery invitation? Pretty exciting! I haven't had much time to organize myself there but I am now a member and come summer I will be more active...anyway... I agree with most folks that the yarn is a little rough. It is also quite thin but the colors knit up well and it is making a nice fabric. I anticipate that it will get softer with washing.
This is the beginning of my Gathered Pullover from IK. I have a few more inches on it now but I am already thinking I may not like the rolled edge. I also had to choose a size that was too big because the next smaller size would be much too tight. I still have to follow that patterns on sweaters and not make too many independent changes- that's for later in life.
This photo is a FO! Socks I made for a friend who has been really helpful this year taking my kids ALOT while I am in school!
On a final note some great friends and a really special family just had a new baby. WELCOME WENDELL!!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A big change!!

This feels sooo good! I have been thinking about cutting my hair for a while and it finally drove me so crazy, getting in the way, that I did it! I wanted to grow my hair so long that it was Mermaid style (see Sandi's blog). It got there and then I promptly chopped it off. I may even go shorter next time.

It is really hard to take a picture of yourself. I took at least twenty shots that made me question what I really look like- they were so awful! This was the best I could do.

Isn't it funny how we knit so many things and then go out and buy something someone else knit? It is supporting our knitting community. My husband may hang me for buying something handknitted when I have a room full of yarn! It's cute though, isn't it? I saw it at least six months ago and passed on buying it, but when i went back to the store it was still there, so I knew it was meant to be. It even works with the new hair.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


This is the second one of these headbands I made out of this nice merino from Uruguay. It is also the second one I gave away. I now have to make one more for me because I really like it! It is a pattern from Knitty and it is a great first cable project- it has a few different stitches and it is easy to see how they work.

These mittens are made out of some handspun I bought on ebay a year or two ago. I am really trying to stash bust right now as I have the winter yarn buying bug! I feel better about adding to the stash if I use some up at the same time. The wool was a heavy worsted and I knit it on size 7US DPN's so it is a nice, tight, warm mitten. I love the bright colors for this time of year too. We have so much snow here in Vermont that it is hard to get around the yard or driveway. I went for a snowshoe yesterday and my feet were sinking 2-3 feet even with the snowshoes on! That's alot of snow!!!

I finally finished theses socks that have been on the needles for almost a year. The yarn is a soft wool dyed by Mama E in a colorway she dyed exclusively for the store I bought it from, Knit Happens in Alexandria, VA. I love the orange and bright purple blend of color.
I have been needing new socks as I had a hard winter where four pairs got holes in them and I am not a darner. I did find a tutorial online but I have yet to use it so the pile just grows. I am gearing up to cast on for a new pair but I have alot of other projects in queue right now.

I started this last night and it is a big stash buster. I bought a sweater kit from Morehouse Merino years ago for my son and I am finally making it! The yarn is discontinued now- I can see why- it has alot of hay particles in it. There are too many to pick out as I knit so I will just do a big pick when I am finished. It is soft though and the pattern is nice and easy for me to knit.

I am on a week long break from school and it is much needed. I have had so much work to do lately that I felt like I may have a nervous breakdown. I am looking foward to decompression with alot of knitting and spinning so I hope to have fun things to show you by next week!!

Saturday, February 2, 2008


Two posts in a month- it's almost unheard of for Big Yarn Mama! I just had to show off my new spinning wheel. I have been breaking it in- every Saturday is spinning day. Here it is...

(I have got to figure out how to turn the pictures!! Sorry!)

Please ignore the mess in the background. By the time I finish my Saturday spinning the kids have efficiently demolished the house. They are nothing if not thorough!!! The following pictures are all of the yarns I have spun up since Christmas.

It is amazing how unique each roving turns out to be and how you never know how the yarn will actually end up. I have a few single color rovings but I am not as inspired to spin those yet. I would like to mix the single color with the variegated and try some new ideas I have. I just have to get up the courage and get over the fact that I may not like what I create.

And, Just so you see that I have been knitting... these mittens are made out of handspun. I have whipped out four pair this month. I spent a day this week cleaning and organizing the stash (no small project!) and now I am on a mission to finish all the WIP's I found. I did a little ripping and so far a little finishing. I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

catch up

I have so much going on and very little extra time for myself that the blog has just taken a very last page in life. I have been expanding my fiber pursuits these days and doing alot of spinning on MY NEW WHEEL!! I got a Kromski Minstrel for Christmas from the kind Bill at Copper Moose. He is local in VT and was recommended by three different friends. I did have a good experience with him and my wheel is great. It has taken a little adjustment to get used to as it is a double drive and double treadle and feels quite different than the Louet S15 I was using but I am getting the hang of it. Of course I don't have pictures yet but one thing at a time.

These are a few of the Christmas knits I made for my family this year. The pink skirt was for my daughter in her favorite color which she promptly told me she won't wear. I am looking for a new pink-loving recipient! It was a pattern I got off knitty and even though I made a size six and she is three it seemed a little tight for her.
The vest was a request from my son. He actually wanted the whole thing knit out of the bright green color in the stripe. I did spin that yarn out of some merino from Linda at Sunset fibers. She does really nice work and has a fiber of the month club. I decided it was just too bright for me to make a whole garment out of so he got a Charlie Brown stripe instead. It fits his personality to have that stripe. He is being a good boy and loving his new knitted gift!
The hat was my husband's christmas gift and it was the best spun yarn I have made. This was some merino from the Yarn Wench and I created that pattern. It is a cabled brim and just stockinette top. He has worn it every day since I made it which is nice as he is not into the handknits quite as much as me! He also got a pair of socks but alas, no picture of those either.

I have made a few pair of mittens out of my handspun and they are a great project for a small amount of yarn or for mixing yarns. I also have the Book of Yarn that has taught me about what I am making and how to use it and I got the Spin to Knit book for a gift also. It is a little more basic but it has info about people I know so that part is neat.

Nursing school is intense but i love it so much. After eight years of being a stay-at-home mom it is awesome to have my own schedule and routine. My family and friends have been so supportive that I give out a big thanks to them!!

I hope to be back soon with some fun fiber photos.