Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Beer Can Cozies for Sam

Call it a mother's paranoia but I really thought the reason Sam wanted me to knit him beer can cozies was so that he could make fun of his old mother. It is a little far out and verges on kitsch, don't you think? Well, I finally made them for him and he's delighted with them. He's placed an order for more cozies with his name or monogram knitted into them.

For the brown cozy I used some of my earliest spun yarn -- extremely funky -- which I'd plied with a ladder yarn at an NCS workshop.

It turns out that Sam really wished he'd had one of the cozies with him at a particularly chilly end-of-season Mets game this year. Photograph taken as we were about to set the table Rosh Hashanah dinner (note the lovely Madeira cloth on the table). 9/22/06

Monday, January 29, 2007

Plying with Caroline

What a lovely afternoon of spinning we had yesterday. Caroline learned to ply so very quickly. As Caroline noted in her blog, we improvised a pretty cool substitute for the upturned flowerpots Jenny Bakriges recommends,instead using two book boxes weighted with hefty tomes. Caroline didn't have felt-cover pebbles for winding the singles around so I suggested tennis balls. They really worked well.

The green fiber was used as packing material in a carton from Grafton Fibers. Thank you, Linda Diak! The black fiber was in a little sample in a registration bag from MAFA or SOAR (??). It's Black Welsh Mountain Sheep, spindled in the grease and the roughest, uckiest fiber I've ever spun. It'd make a great rope because it seems awfully strong. Or, perfect for medieval hair shirts?

As you can see above, we have here a definite case of the student surpassing her teacher. As I was plying Caroline could tell that I wasn't plying tightly enough. It's my consistent issue, actually. The yarn strand running horizontally across the skein is the model I'd made from the fresh yarn and meant to reacreate while I was plying. After washing the skein last night, I could see that I'm going to have to add a little more twist.

I'm really enjoying sharing spinning with my daughter whose innate mechanical skills were again apparant as she understood what I told her almost immediately. I decided, too, to pass on two of my way-too-many spindles, a Golding ring spindle "(3" maple) and a Greensleeves barebones. She's also "borrowing" my mid-sized niddy-noddy. Oh well, one does need all the proper supplies.

Sarah Bradberry's "Stoke-on-Trent Tote" #1

Litmus's tote, pre-felting. Note the little paw prints left by Phoebe Rose who is looking longlingly on this lovely wooly object she's thinking of making her sleeping bag.

Materials: Brown Sheep's Lamb's Pride worsted weight: 2 1/2 skeins of Victorian Pink and almost 2 skeins of Brown Heather. #8 needles.

I'm a little worried about the handle -- will it felt tightly enough to be strong enough?

Post felting photo to follow. (Couldn't resist the alliteration.)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

North Country Spinners Blankie Project

My spinning guild's 2006 project was afghans. Originally they were to be donated to the Salvation Army and / or the Red Cross. As I support neither group, I didn't participate except to donate a partially completed afghan and yarn found on our recycle table in New York. Instead, I worked on the Sanctuary Blanket Project at work. Sorry for the blurriness. This year we'll be knitting PICC sleeves for cancer patients at Hackettstown Hospital.
(Sorry for the blurriness; as my cataracts ripen I'm less and less capable of focusing, it seems.) 1/5/07

Ed's Christmas Scarf

Ed chose this wonderful alpaca and wool blend and the garter stitch pattern early last summer after I bought the yarn at Sparta's Yarn Loft at their summer sale. It's about 6.5' long. We gave it to him for Christmas and he seems to love it. The DB and I have an arrangement -- she's the fiber enabler par excellence and I make our presents. Lucky me.

Ice Tea Cozies; The Genteel Version

Here are two ice tea cozies in cotton. They were originally knit for Sam who'd asked for them. But, they turned out a little too femme. Instead I gave them as a present to Elaine who remembers an aunt having these. I love the little faux lace cable stitch! Photograph 10/1/06