Friday, September 28, 2007

FO Friday!

Okay, so this is not technically a FO yet because I have not felted it, but I grafted the handles and weaved in all the ends. All the real work is done. The beauty of this bag is what you cannot see: I spun the yarn, dyed it, and knitted it. This will be my MIL's gift, not only because she is special, but because she is a fellow craftster who can appreciate all the effort that went into this.

Mingus just hated modeling such a girly item. Unbelievably, this picture is the best of the bunch. The other pictures showcase Mingus giving me the ol' stink eye. Here, it looks like his tongue is protesting the humiliating modeling session and wants to take a flying leap from his mouth.

I finally got around to plying my merino/tencel singles from Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks. The color lot is called red, but the resulting yarn is more purple. I love how it turned out!

My two ounces of roving ended up being 157 yards and it is pretty much fingering weight. Unfortunately, that is not even enough for me to make anklets (it's not fair that I am so short, yet my feet are so huge!), so I'll have to think of something else to do with this yarn.

My Tofutsie anklets are almost done, and I love how the heel flap on the second toe-up sock turned out! I didn't have to pickup stitches, either. Perhaps I'll have some time tomorrow to make it FO Saturday so I can finish the anklets and the super cute baby hat that just needs assembly. One can only hope.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Chasing Away the Monday Blues

The question has morphed from "What's on your needles?" to "What's on your bobbins?" I suppose this is only fitting since my blog's name is Spindles and Spices.

So, what's on my bobbins, you ask (or maybe you didn't ask, but please indulge me)? These lovely singles are ready to ply - the colorway is Red from Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks. It is a 50/50 blend of merino and tencel. For this round of spinning, I felt brave and I used my fast speed flyer whorl, giving me a flyer to wheel ratio of 13:1.

Perhaps this will be for socks or lace? That is, when I actually start knitting again! This fiber felt squeaky when I was drafting it, which is due to the tencel. Two bobbins are full of this stuff, so it is ready for plying.

I guess this blog post's title is not entirely true because there were some Monday blues involved.

This is a 70/30 blend of merino/tencel from Carolina Homespun. Since my increasing stash is starting to scare me, I'm spinning it from Kim-Chi Crafts's roving collection (finished yarn will go to her). I'm using a flyer to wheel ratio of 15.5:1 and so far, this is working out well.

I realize that most of my pet pictures are taken in the same spot, but it's everyone's favorite place to be. Unlike last time, Fifty was able to ward off evil Greaseball to retain the sun puddle.

The cats were being especially tolerant of me today, probably because they didn't want me to take their spots.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Ying Yang of Pets


It doesn't get any better than this. Peace, quiet, and harmony. Today, I must focus on this, because...


In a fit of "I want to reclaim my office!", I had the bright idea of removing the dog crate. After all, in a 250 square feet space, a crate that can fit a malamute becomes the focal point the room. The idea was to put the crate back as soon as I rearranged and disposed of furniture. I guess Mingus is trying to tell me that he wants the crate back.

Now, to be fair, there are three dogs here today. While I don't doubt that at least one of them helped him kill the pillow, Mingus always squeals on himself by running into his crate (or the area where his crate used to be) when he does something destructive. So, I was a little concerned when he came running into my office with his ears folded down. A quick inspection of the house revealed the misdeed.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time he has destroyed a household item. Back in the days before we were suckers and Mingus was our foster dog, he obliterated our futon. We figured that he fancied himself a modern artist and that the futon was his installation piece because he was quite proud of his handiwork.

He used to tear everything up, so to those of you who think that Mr. Mingus is a mellow mutt, well, let's just say that he is turning into one and may perhaps achieve Mellow Mutt status, but we're not there yet. He has calmed down exponentially since we're had him, but he ain't a saint.

I've been spinning a lot in the evenings - this is the roving that is on the wheel right now. Pictures of the finished yarn might be a few weeks out, though. I've actually been knitting, too. The second Jaywalker is on my needles, and I might actually get that done soon.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Another weekend bites the dust

This weekend, the dogs spent their time on the boat. Mingus and Vespa would like everyone to know that a couch is a couch is a couch. So long as they have a couch to lounge on, it doesn't matter where they are.

Part of my weekend was also spent at the Sheep and Wool festival in Boonville! I scored fiber aplenty, so pictures of it will be forthcoming. But until then, here is a little goat that liked to mug for the camera. In honor of the fiber festival, I named her Niddy Noddy.

Mingus spent the remainder of his weekend working on his suntan. So far, he's still pasty white.

Vespa firmly believes that car rides are the best part of every trip, so while the rest of us are all sad that we're leaving vacationland, she's having the time of her life. Lucky dog! For her, all our trips end on a high note. After all, she is off herding duty when we're all crated together, so she can just relax!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wednesday Indulgences

Warning: gratuitous "I love my spinning wheel" photos. I can't help it! You'd think I'd be sick of it by now, but no. My wheel is the antidote to that thing I do to pay the bills because it is a simple system where operator error is usually the root of all problems. I wish I could say that about the possessed systems I troubleshoot for my clients, although telling someone that "you are the problem" is usually a surefire way to stop the cash flow. Anyway, please indulge me on this sleepy Wednesday.

This Kool-Aid yarn has dried and is already being incorporated into the bag.

Notice that little gray speck in the lower, left hand corner? My, oh my. Whatever could that be?

Will someone please tell me how this is comfortable? The dogs have more beds than us humans do, yet Mr. Mingleson always choose the hard floor and a back breaking position for his afternoon nap.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

A Sepia Day

Vespa and Fifty were startled by the camera since it has been awhile since I've whipped it out. Mingus, on the other hand, was ready to pose.

Currently on my needles is another bag. This is the Kool-Aid yarn I dyed up last weekend.

I ran out of yarn, though, so I spent yesterday spinning more singles and plying. Today, this yarn is going to be dyed purple because I'm too lazy to handpaint it.

The yarn I am spinning now is so much more even. I started out making chunky yarn, and now it is DK weight. This yarn is actually good enough to knit without felting!

Next up is some gorgeous handpainted silk/merino roving! I cannot wait to spin it!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

It's getting better!

Somehow, I found my groove when I spun the merino. I went back to spinning BFL today and was pretty happy with the results!

Before I show you my last bobbin, let's take a retrospective look at my first bobbin:
It was a slubby mess.

Now, here's today's attempt:
I'm getting the hang of it! Also, the single treadle is just fine, so I don't think I'll upgrade to a double treadle anytime soon.

Now, what do I do with all this fiber I'm spinning? I want to spin more than I want to knit - after all, I learned how to drop spindle before I even thought about picking up the pointy sticks. Hmmm, I better figure out soon before I have a stash mountain!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Watch out for the green monster!

Vespa: What is this thing? I think there is something landed on my head! I heard a crack, as if a lightening bolt hit the house.

Mingus: That cracking noise scared me. It sounded like fireworks. I hate fireworks. Fireworks suck.

Greaseball: Dude, what is this thing on me? This is my spot! No one takes over my spot!

Greaseball: Oh, you think you're funny, do you? Huh? Get off!

Fifty-Fifty: Sigh, it's going to be a long night. Will someone please take the camera away from her?

Before the green monster invaded us, we had a pool party since it was so hot (for us, at least). Notice the absence of Vespa and the boy holding Mingus in place. Yeah, the dogs didn't dig it at all and the pool party was a bust.

As the Wheel Turns

This weekend, on As the Wheel Turns, we have an experiment in Kool-Aid. I dyed this yarn using Tropical Punch, Grape, and Black Cherry. The Tropical Punch was a little too bright for my taste, so next time I'll leave it out.

Also on my wheel, I played with some gorgeous merino. I love working with merino! It isn't as "sticky" as BFL and alpaca, and it was a joy to spin.

I love my spinning wheel. I think a few tweaks, however, will make it better. The first tweak is going to be adding a strap to the treadle so my foot can also pull the wheel (similar to using clips on a bike pedal).

Family photo:


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