Patience Rewarded

Yours and mine! 

And the kids’ too.  (three out of four anyways)  While I thought the best part of visiting the Mill was the fiber, the kids liked the animals outside.  Sheep, llamas, chickens and probably more that I just don’t know about.

But here is my best part…my first fleece to fiber…

There’s 4 lb of cream Suri/Merino (80/20), just over a pound of dark, dark brown Baby Alpaca (from Tootsie Roll) and 4 lb of grey Alpaca/Merino (80/20).  There’s another big ball of merino in the photo on the upper right corner because I fell in love with their creamy merino.

There of course had to be a small souvenier yarn purchase too.

Three colors of Fair Isle Fever,  (green and blue are 90% merino, brown 90% corriedale / 10% Samoyed).  The halo is gorgeous!  While I had planned on cashmere, these colors grabbed me and shouted KNIT ME some colorwork!

I may only complete one of my Ravelympic events because of the distraction.  I am nearing the edging of Ulmus and am excited at the prospect of the finished shawl.

I have played with some of the fiber made yarn and even planned a project!  Can you guess what it is?

The Process

Once inside the Still River Mill, the excitement builds for any budding fiber enthusiast.  All laid out in front of me, the machines that take fleece to fiber and fiber to yarn!  And the wonderful fumes!  I don’t know if it’s the oils, the cleaning agents or just the fiber, but I love the smell.

Washing and de-hairing machines

Carding then combing machines

Spinning and Plying

 

Steaming

 

Skeining

Then off to the Luxury shop upstairs!

Outside, even a few friends to keep the kids interested!

Sorry, there has to be a part three…too many pictures to play with!

Hope you enjoy your Sunday!  GO USA!

Another Interruption

It all started innocently enough.  A simple trip to Davis Farmland for the 2 girls, both the youngest of 4, whose mothers were feeling they’d been cheated out of some of the adventures the older kids had done MANY times in earlier years.

Tell me you could resist these three?  My little one in blue, her buddy and their newest companion, Tootsie Roll. 

Then, a simple inquiry from the new spindle spinner, “what did you do with Tootsie’s fleece?”  while thinking “I could make these two girls each a cute Tootsie Roll bear”.  And lo and behold, I not only owned Tootsie’s fleece but also Opal’s (Huacaya alpaca) and Pearl’s (Suri alpaca).

Fast forward from Spring to Fall 2009, I knew a spinning wheel was in my near future and I found Still River Mill, only an hour from my house.  I dropped off the fleece after washing 2 myself and left the rest up to Deirdre and Greg, the mill owners.  I got the call this week that my fiber was ready and scurried down to Connecticut to retrieve it!  Last day of February vacation and a field trip for the kids to the mill.  Should be fun, right?

The Still River Mill

Come back tomorrow for the rest of the trip…I have to catch up on my Olympic Knitting.   My medals are in jeopardy!

The Games Continue

What a fun night of Olympic excitement last night! Snowboarding, Downhill and Short Track.  And now we are officially super-fans here in our house!

Vancouver 2010 Red Mittens.   Hubster came home with two pairs of these sought after mittens yesterday.  One of the perks when you work for a Canadian company.

The tag is even cute!  I love the mascots!

I also have a little knitting to show you.  The Ulmus shawl doesn’t look much different but I did manage to  bang out a hat.  It’s part of the Woolympics/Woolalong that sprang up on The Knitters Review forums on Ravelry.   Clara is every bit justified in her love affair with cormo.  It is decadent! Sproingy, soft and wonderful to knit!

Pattern: Button-Tab Hat  from i like lemons

YarnElsa Wool Company 100% Mountain-grown Cormo wool, Worsted yarn woolen spun (approx. 120 yds). Color: medium grey

Needles:  Size 7 Addi Turbo 16 inch cord, size 6 bamboo dpns for the crown.

Mods: none. knit 5.5 inches then started crown.

Cockeyed helped me via video hookup to choose the button.  It’s a Lantern Moon purchased from America’s Favorite Yarn Store last fall!

My Sweet Fern Mitts have been waiting for months for their matching hat and here it is, a day in the making.

Off to be monogomous to my Ulmus now.  The kids’ vacation has cut into concentration time. 

How much longer do I have?  (I have a pair of socks for my other event, Sock Hockey, too.)

We Interrupt…

this regularly scheduled Knitting Olympics to bring you this special announcement…

The fiddleheads mittens are done!

And I love them.  Just love them!  One of my favorite projects and not a moment too soon.  This winter is cold and seemingly endless!

Pattern: Fiddlehead Mittens (details on Ravelry)

Needles:  Outer Mitten: Size 4 Addi Clicks, 40 inch for magic loop and Lining:  Size 3 Darn Pretty Needles, Double Points

Yarn: Cascade 220 and Rowan Kidsilk Haze for the lining

Size: Medium

Mods: none except knit the lining with only a single strand of Kidsilk

Gotta run, off to the Knitting Olympics!

One last thing, Happpy Valentine’s Day!

Let the Games Begin

The Winter Olympics begin tonight! And so do the Knitting Olympics! I am entered in both the Knitting Olympics and the Ravelympics as a member of Team Blue Moon.

My projects have been chosen.

1. Ulmus Shawl in STR.  A project lingering since the summer and now its time has come.

2. Flabella socks in STR Happy Go Lucky.  Rocking Sock Club January kit. I WILL knit them all this year!

3. A Cormo hat, as a part of the Woolalong/Woolympics over on Ravelry.  Fun inspired by Clara Parkes.  No pressure.  Cormo is the wool of choice.

What will you be knitting during the Vancouver 2010 Games??

Chugging Along

Things seem to be moving at a snails pace.  The needles are working but not fast.  The wheel is spinning sporadically.  But this is only because the family life around me is whizzing!  So, I will show what I can…

This is my newest yarn made from the beautiful Briar Rose BFL fiber. 

Here is the 3.5 oz ball:

Here are the bobbins:

Here is the 3-ply yarn (3.2 oz / 240 yds):

I really love looking at the progression of fiber to yarn.  When I became obsessed with knitting 5 years ago (after being a casual knitter for 20 years) I did alot of felting.  (I should show you…someday) I was always thrilled to see what the yarn would do and how different fibers would react.  Then once Clara Parkes came out with The Knitter’s Book of Yarn and its sister The Knitter’s Book of Wool, I was a fiber theory student.

I love this BFL so much, I think it needs to become mitts so I can look at it all the time.  The color is a bit difficult to photograph with its tealness and silvery grey tone, perhaps due to the sheen, but here are 2 more picture.  The BFL with the almost done Fiddlehead Mittens.

 

One more thing though…for spinners, what do you do with your bobbin leftovers?

Spin them as a two ply, save and wind onto spare bobbins for a mystery yarn? Care to share your secrets???

Spin Along

I had my first (in person) spin along this week!  My partner-in-fiber Pat came over with her twin wheel and we actually did some spinning together!

We ordered our Lendrum wheels (after much research!) the very same day and they made the journey across the country together.  We have been experimenting with fibers and plying and have lots of show and tells but this was the first time we actually spun in the same room!  It was great fun.

 

 

I was working on my creamy merino that I got at the Still River Mill when I dropped some fiber off in November.  I am usually a color girl but for some reason the purity of the natural color really sings to me. 

 

It is 140 grams and somewhere in between the prewashed 550 yards and the post wash 460 ish yards.  It really puffed out and shrunk up after its soaking and whacking.  It prpably needs to be a shawl.  But it is simply too pretty to knit right now so I have declared it eye-candy and placed it in my yarn bowl.

So… what’s next up?  Something with some color.  Oh, how about this BFL I picked up at Rhinebeck from Briar Rose.  It’s really fun and drafts like a dream.  The Briar Rose colors are really beautiful and thanks to the new fiber spreadsheet, none made it into my cart this morning.  (Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing?) For now, this one wants to be a 3-ply.

And so knitting doesn’t feel left out, there was an emergency hat.  My son has decided that the Superbowl is a holiday worthy of special gear.  His paper hat representing HIS Superbowl team, the New Orleasns Saints (Patriots bowed out early but he recoved to pick a new team) wasn’t working out how he planned.  Good thing Mom’s a knitter.  Only the embroidered or duplicate stitched fleur-de-lis remains.  Not bad for a day of knitting…

I have until Sunday.  I think I can do it. 

Who is your pick for the Superbowl?  And any cool munchies or appetizers I need to add to our menu?