Posted in crochet, spinning, yarn

What Am I Doing?

Excuses waste time and I’ve wasted enough so let’s get down to brass tacks.  What am I doing?

I’ve finished full single ply from an entire batch of fiber.

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It’s made from the cotton candy colored mystery fiber I picked up at Upcycle Trading Company, sadly now closed.  I really enjoyed spinning it up though it took me a while and I’m looking forward to plying it.  Because it’s all a continuous single ply I’ll be plying it back on itself, which will be an adventure because I’ve never done that before.  >.>  I have done a little plying, but it was on a wheel and with very different yarn.  I’m thinking I might actually film myself plying for the first time on a drop spindle for laughs because I’m sure there will be plenty of that as well as cursing.
I also completed a headband, basically the sister to the one I made my sister.  Yes that one from forever ago.  I misplaced the yarn for a while, then I moved (remember when I bitched about it endlessly?) so it was really misplaced, not that they were large balls to begin with.  Anyhoo I found the yarn again, the lovely cria, $10 per 90 yd skeins and finally made my own headband.

I rather like the way it turned out using the Harlequin Check pattern.

If you’ve followed my other blog you’d know about my love for You Are Umasou and Umasou specifically.  I’ve been working on a crochet pattern for him (unique shaping challenges there) that I think is coming along nicely. As it progresses I plan to post updates to twitter and tumblr (BTW, I know my tumblr theme is a hot mess, I’ll sort it out soon).  Anyone who follows me on tumblr probably knows it’s been pretty scarce on the DIY/crafty and geeky side lately and I’m going to work on fixing that.

In other news I’m going to be casting on my first pair of socks this month.  I know basic casting on and how to knit and purl a stitch so I figure I might as well jump into the deep end!  You’ll definitely see video of that attempt as well.

 

 

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Posted in babbling, crochet, LYS, review, spinning, yarn

Brushes off the dust

Ok, I’m back!  I request a pass for missing out on posting pretty much anything last month, it was insanity.  If you’d like full details please see sqpegroundhole because I’m not going to whine about it here too.  Here is a place for happy things like the new friend I’ve made!

As a library worker you get to know hypothetical people through their holds and when people get a lot you get a decent idea of what the person is like.  I’d noticed a particular library patron getting a lot of yarn related materials and one day I lucked out in that our self check-out machine wasn’t working and she came up with a stack of books on spinning yarn.  I had to ask her about it and then we got into a lively discussion about spinning and she mentioned that she had a drop spindle, but was focusing on her wheel at the moment.  Then she suggested we meet up to spin together sometime!

So Tuesday night we met up to hang out at Felicitous, a delightful coffee shop near both of us that I highly recommend (it’s a bit pricey, but super cute, quirky and hilariously hipster).  She not only brought along her drop spindles, but her wheel as well!


It was beautiful and adorable, an Ashford Kiwi that qualifies as “inexpensive” which means it’s less than $400 dollars.  Ugh.   -_- Definitely not getting a spinning wheel anytime soon, I can tell you that.  What I will say is that those who spin tend to really love the Ashford wheels so if you’re going to get into spinning seriously an Ashford seems like a great investment.  In my, at the time, nonexistent experience it was pretty easy to work with.

I brought along some generic brown wool of indeterminate origin, but a nice staple length to practice on and she showed me what to do.  Over the course of a couple hours I spun my first single ply “yarn” on a wheel!  I’ve made “yarn” on my drop spindle and I have to admit this didn’t look too different, but it was lots of fun!  Then she let me use some old yarn she’d made as practice that was still hanging around on a bobbin to try plying on my drop spindle!


I’m ridiculously proud of the result because even though I know it’s not very good yarn, I still made it!  It’s not much and I have no idea what I’m going to do with it, but I’m going to figure out something and I’ll post the result here.

I also picked up some beautiful baby alpaca last Friday from Criativity, a yarn store in Largo.  It’s luscious and springy and now I finally know what chain plying is because I’ve been seeing a bunch of yarn lately that looks like it’s a length of single crochet very tiny and that is chain plying, a yarn spinning technique. I’m going to work up two headbands (I hope I have enough, it was $10 a skein and the skeins are only 95 yards, ngh) for my sister and me.  She’ll be getting a teal headband with red accents, I’ll be getting a red headband with teal accents!


Aren’t the colors pretty?  I don’t even think the picture comes close to showing the loveliness.

The store was huge and lovely and sometime I’m going to go around to a bunch of yarn stores with structured rating criteria and I’m going to do a series of reviews of the stores in the larger Tampa Bay area, and yes this will include Sarasota and the St. Pete area because goodness knows there aren’t really any yarn stores in the Tampa area proper.

So despite some serious suck last month and continuing on, things aren’t all bad.  Also Felicitous makes a killer Chai Latte that I’ll definitely be having again.

Posted in amigurumi, crochet, design, spinning, yarn

The Best Laid Plans of procrastinators rarely get done

But even knowing that I’m a procrastinator and against my better judgement  I think I’m actually going to try out a game plan for July to get back on the creative wagon. It’s going to be a little complicated because I’ll be doing some traveling and a family vacation this month, but maybe having a schedule of sorts will ensure that I’ll actually get something done.

First off I’m going to be participating in the Ami-Along on Ravelry!  I like a number of the designers, but my financial situation is pretty sketchy so I’m not entirely sure how much I can participate with the purchased patterns, though I would really like to support some of these designers.  I think I’ll allot myself at least one purchased pattern, the trouble though is picking which one.  I’m kind of in love with the ridiculousness of cheezombie‘s Knitilus Nautilus, but it’s a knit pattern and while I want to learn to knit, I don’t think that’s the pattern to learn on as it’s a bit more complex than I think I want to start with.  I also really love Adorably Kawaii and definitely have plans to do her freebie patterns.

Setting aside the Ami-Along I’m going to start giving myself that Ami a week project I was considering from earlier.  Since I’m starting with a short week for July (i.e. I was too lazy to actually pick something before today) I’m going to focus on finishing up that MLP:FiM pattern I was supposed to finish two-to-three years ago.  >.>  After that I’ll just start working down my list of stuff I owe people and some of the designs I want to start working on.  I’ll probably map out what I’m working on for the next month so I have something I actually have to stand by.

In other news, the thing with the drop spindle I mentioned.  I’ve played around with it a bit, nothing big because I found out that A Good Yarn, an amazing store in Sarasota, is going to have a drop spindle class on August 1st!  They do have another one in July, but I won’t be able to make it due to scheduling issues.  So that means sometime with month I’m going to be sitting down my spindle before the class to film myself messing royally!  Yay!  I’ll probably also do some recording in the class if they allow it just to show any possible progress I’ve made.

I have finished up the first sleeve of the Prepster Jacket again, but that’s a boring picture so let’s end today with my cat trying to blend in with my plush collection.  Trust me, he’s fluffy enough to qualify.


Until next week!

Posted in amigurumi, crochet, yarn

SSDD

Ok, so this is going to look like a copy from another post I’ve made previously because of how much frogging I’ve had to do lately.  The two projects I’ve been carrying around are the Prepster Jacket and my Diana Shawl.  I just switch off working between them and have made some nice, measurable progress.

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Apologies for bad picture quality and framing, I took these on the fly at a cafe when I had access to wifi.

I think I’m going to have to set them aside one of these evenings though because while I do like that I just get to work on them and I can watch a movie or talk while working on them, I’d like some instant gratification and nothing gives instant gratification like amis!  Besides I have that back log I have to work through and I haven’t even really started it and the year’s pretty much half over.  If I actually want to finish my UFOs, make a few Christmas presents, finish my Amigurumi line, AND open an etsy shop that actually has things to sell I’m really going to need to kick it into high gear!

I think I’m going to set a goal of an amigurumi a week unless I’m working from scratch designing something and then I’ll give myself a bit more leeway.  I still really want to do the Mendell Palace dolls and fully intend to along with making some variations on the MLP:FiM design I’m working on.  I’d really like to at least make up a pattern for boy ponies.

I do have some bad news to report.  The Upcycle Trading Company I like so much might not be around for much longer, the original owner is moving to New York and I’m not entirely sure about it’s future.  It’s found a more or less permanent home in the Ybor Daily Market which seems to be primarily a coffee shop, but also seems to be a pop-up shop location for various local vendors and craftspeople.  There are still things available to buy and I did luck out on my last visit when I managed to snag this really nice roving.  I’m not sure how many ounces it is, what the fiber content is, or who made it, but I can tell you that I’ve decided on a colorway name: Cotton Candy because it absolutely looks like cotton candy.

Next time I’m in I’ll ask what the fate of Upcycle is and if they’re planning on keeping it open I might start volunteering some time to straighten things out, they were kind of a horrible jumbled mess last I was there.  Oh, they do have a cool program which is you can fill a particular sized bag and pay a flat rate for it: small is $5, medium is $15, and large is $25 and trust me the bags get pretty big and if you’re good with packing you could fit a LOT in there.

Well, until I actually have the amigurumi schedule underway my only real progress has been the aforementioned reworks, though keep your eyes open because I might have the first episode of Rome Improvement up soon featuring me absolutely failing at spinning yarn with a drop spindle!