Sunday, January 31, 2016


From start to finish. Ashland Bay Merino Top in Jade transformed into a pullover vest for the peanut. The vest is called "Neighborly" and was a quick and easy knit.  It's turned out to be a very versatile little garment too.  Perfect for cool days over a t-shirt and leggings.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

On spinning a yarn...

While I was in Syracuse with the gathering of creatives that Susan put together, as mentioned in the prior post, I had a chance to see some spinners in action.  I've always been fascinated from a distance with the idea of turning wool into yarn. But I'd been sort of actively resisting investing in a spindle or really any un-spun fiber tools or materials.  On our last day in Syracuse, we sat around in the sunshine outside – a big circle of Adironback chairs full of people making things.

The spinning looked so meditative.  Watching those wheels turn was something akin to watching a fire burn in a fireplace... And the fibers that were being spun were just beautiful.  I must have come home just bubbling over with descriptions of the process.  And the next month on my birthday, my better half surprised me with an Ashford Kiwi.

First attempt
I was equal parts excited and terrified.  Having never even used a drop spindle, I had the feeling that I was diving head first into the deep end.  But it turned out not to terribly difficult to grasp.  With the help of the local yarn shop owner, who also spins and an excellent Craftsy class with spinner Amy King, I was off and running.

Wavy blue thick and thins
First handspun finished object
For my little friend Charlie
My first run through four ounces of Merino was anything but smooth or consistent, but it was fun, and I got a grasp on the process as a whole.  And with each successive attempt, my control is getting better.  I think I'm prone to over spinning in general.  I do love a tightly twisted ply, but even I will admit that some of my output seems to be spun to death.

Take two

So slowly, I'm learning by trial and error. We'll see how things progress and maybe someday if I see another spinner in the flesh who is able to watch what I am actually doing, and I'll learn to improve the process.

In the meantime, three cheers for new found hobbies and husbands who are patient enough to listen to stories about things that are of interest to only their spouses. You never know when the two might intersect.

Two ply

Happy making.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Where does the time go?

July was my most recent post in this space. I'd like to say that I'm not sure how this absence has happened, but I have some pretty good ideas.

My eldest in her element...

Our girls are growing and the eldest is developing her own small and closely guarded orbit of activities, school and socializing.  Both of our careers are going swimmingly and are keeping pace a frenetic full-time rate.  And when given the chance to "make" or blog in the last six months, I've chosen the former. (I've also developed quite an Instagram habit.  I wish that it hadn't impacted this space, but I believe that it probably has.  Sharing pretty things and progress shots is such instant gratification with that app.  Come and find me there if you like.)

Window screen in Syracuse

I had opportunity to visit Syracuse, NY for the first time in the spring with some of my friends who I found on my first Squam adventure. We attended the Yarn Cupboard Retreat that was hosted by the lovely and kind Susan Miller.  The event was well organized, really affordable and packed with gracious people.  The classes were fantastic and the "faculty" of the retreat was amazing.  My classes were taught by Jill Draper, Cal Patch and Norah Gaughan.  Be still my knitting heart... I could barely get over my triplicate fan-girl reflexes.

Cal helped me navigate crochet and I learned a lot about the options for color work in crochet.  I have not actually crocheted anything since attending, but I'm tempted... and I now own a crochet hook.  And best of all, was the chance to spend a couple hours around the table with the charming Cal Patch.  There is something about her that just exudes kindness and also makes me want to giggle. Weird, I know.

Norah's class was all about deconstructing cables.  She had oodles and oodles of swatches and garments.  And shared so much really interesting information with us on her methods and experiences.  I was a little awestruck by the body of her work, not just how prolific she is, but also how inventive she has been in her design.  I left feeling very inspired.

And then Jill's class.  It was my last class, and was a cowl pattern called Twister, designed to intentionally pool the colors of a skein of her hand-dyed, superwash Hudson.  And I loved it.  The class, the project, getting to hear from Jill.  And I wear the cowl ALL the time (Ravelry details here).  It is double layered and crazy durable and warm.  And Jill shared with us a little about her business and how carefully and intentionally she selects farms, breeds and mills.  All that talk of sheep and sustainability made me want to rush home and reclaim my agrarian roots.  But alas, reality struck as soon as I returned to the other side of the rainbow.
"Embracing the wobble... as Jill says"
Pooling beauty
My finished friend

Any way, it was great.  A perfect getaway with lovely friends, doing things that I love and with people whose creativity and commitment inspire me.

P.S. Susan's registration is open for this year.  Just sayin'