Social Filter Smackdown

Let’s start off with a small discussion on social filters.

So, I was sitting somewhere that it is socially acceptable to have a spinning wheel in public…and spinning on my Schacht Matchless. Spinning away. Loving every second.

And then…this woman comes in to the general vicinity of myself. She watches me for a few minutes. And then promptly states “I just hate double treadle machines”. To which I politely told her that that was fine, and mine was a single treadle.

(My wheel looks like this…..)

She stood there for a few more seconds and then said “Well but you’re using two feet”. I calmly explained to her that I was choosing to do that, but I could also treadle with one foot. I have a SINGLE treadle. ONE. ONE PIECE OF WOOD THERE. (I didn’t get shouty. Be impressed.) So she stood there some more, walked around me and finally said “Well, I have a CLASSIC single treadle, single foot machine.”

Good. For. You.

Did I ASK you if you liked my wheel? NO. Did I ASK you if you WANTED my wheel? NOOO. Do I CARE if you hate my wheel?? NO I DO NOT!!! Are you rude in walking up to someone and telling them you hate something they clearly at least like enough to borrow or own? YES!!! For the love of all things wooly, social filters, people! Social filters!!! Let me tell you, there was a LONG list of very rude things I thought about telling her that I “hated” but due to my upbringing and SOCIAL FREAKING FILTER, I maintained my good manners and didn’t tell her my thoughts.

She had a friend with her…and personally if one of my friends had have said something like that out loud to another human, I would have physically hit them. Or another option, the one I currently utilize, is to not be friends with rude people. I mean, turning to your friend out of earshot and expressing your loathing of jeggings is one thing…but walking up to a stranger and telling them about their fashion faux pas is not in your job description unless you are Stacy and Clinton. For seriously, people. SOCIAL FILTERS. Use them and encourage others to do so as well.

Social. Filters.

Moving on. And not beating anyone with sticks.

Knitting News

I fell down a rabbit hole today. I just discovered VeryBusyMonkey. Oh. Em. GEE. Have you SEEN her patterns?!!!? MUST HAVE ALL THE PATTERNS. Usually, I’m a free pattern knitter. I’m broke, in grad school, and value my free patterns. Yeah, I buy books and magazines, but I’m getting more than just a pattern or four with that. It is RARE for me to buy a pattern. Not because I don’t value the designers work, but mostly because I prefer to buy a whole book or magazine for some reason. I don’t know. It’s just me. I’m odd. Also, it’s rare that I like ALL of someone’s something (yarn, fiber, patterns, whatever). The only other designer I’m hardcore in love with is Wooly Wormhead. So now I’ve found another favorite, which is awesome.  I bought her Shawl Pattern #4 collection. I want every single one. The good news is that I’m getting one of these for Christmas. I’m gifting the patterns to a friend for a swap. I knit her socks, she knits me a shawl. SO EXCITED. I don’t know which shawl I shall get, but it will be AWESOMETASTIC.

I’ve also been working on mittens for KP’s mom. One done and size-tested on everyone’s hand I could find, since I do not know the exact size of KP’s mom’s hand…but I assume it to be larger than my tiny ones. If I was a good blogger I would have pictures. But I slacked. So sorry.

I did manage to get some spinning done though!!!

Spinning Stuff

DONE!!!! My first TIBH spin is all done!!!! Not sure on yardage yet, it’s resting on the bobbin right now. I’m also not sure what it’s going to be…. The colorway is Olivander’s Wand Shop. Mostly greens which isn’t something I wear a lot of…so I’m not sure what it will become just yet. But it was super-fun to spin. Love me some TIBH.

Photo Sep 21, 12 59 17 PM

Single ply…

Photo Sep 22, 7 05 39 PM

2 ply with some chain at the end because….I fail at spinning evenly.

More pictures once it’s skeined and set!

Craft-tastic Crap

Well as you know both DF and I are major University of Tennessee fans…and thanks to pinterest I have been stalking some super-cute UT wreaths. Then at the flea market I found wooden wreaths for $3. So why not make one???

I got some ribbon and wooden letters, painted them up, wove in the ribbon, and…..

Photo Sep 09, 8 25 40 AM

Super cute, yes?!?!

Well, that’s it for now. I’m going to go do some meal planning, school work, and remember to use my social filter!!! ❤

Proud Mary (Also Known as Sheep to Yarn in Pictures)

Here’s a quick and dirty explanation of how your yarn gets from a sheep to a knitted garment. Enjoy!!

This is the story of Mary. She was my cousins backyard pet. I don’t know if my cousin will read this or not…I’m kind of hoping she won’t because this is her surprise for next Christmas.

So, lets meet Mary, shall we?

Mary! She's about 11 years old in this picture.

Mary! She's about 11 years old in this picture.

Mary is a Dorset sheep. Typically this breed is more of a meat-sheep, but she was my cousin’s 4-H project, I think. Mary has lived with my cousin on their farm since 2000.

I got Mary’s fleece a little over a year ago. I didn’t have much time to process it, so that’s why we are just now getting to the end, but it went a little something like this….

Mary's fleece started here. Around 5lbs.

Mary's fleece started here. Around 5lbs.

Mary's fleece was...ahem...DIRTY. This was the skirting process.

Mary's fleece was...ahem...DIRTY. This was the skirting process.

Skirting is the process of pulling off the bad/too dirty/unable to use bits of wool. For Mary…this ended up being….a lot. I could really only salvage the top of the fleece (The part along the line of her back where she didn’t lay in dirt, didn’t roll too much, sit in stick-bushes and didn’t….well…poo. So much poo…*cries*)

Then we started the washing process.

Then we started the washing process.

Washing Mary’s fleece honestly has taken me the better part of a year. I have used every detergent known to man, every wool wash, super scour formula, anything and everything to strip out dirt, grease, stink, and ick. Mary had a LOT of lanolin which is the oil/grease that sheep secrete. Lanolin is great in some ways…it makes your hands super-soft and the wool as well…however Mary’s variety is…sticky. I washed this fleece just under 20 times in the last year. Not even kidding, guys. This is about an hour long process each time which involves boiling water, adding detergent, pouring the water over the fleece that is bagged to prevent it from felting, then draining out the soapy, dirty water, then rinsing it with more hot water and laying it outside to dry, sometimes for days until it’s totally dry.

Moving on.

This is the Picker. It's the only reason I could finish processing this fleece.

This is the Picker. It's the only reason I could finish processing this fleece.

Huge, huge, huge thanks to Natasha at Unplanned Peacock Studios for letting me come over and borrow her picker and drum carder. If she hadn’t have been around to help me out on this bit…I really think I would have quit. Drum carders are WORTH the investment.

Piles of batts fresh off the drum carder.

Piles of batts fresh off the drum carder.

So Natasha’s amazing drum carder made Mary’s fleece in to easy to manage batts. I also added a little merino in to the batts for added softness. As I mentioned, Dorset is typically a meat sheep and Mary…was coarse. Merino will help to soften things up. Also, let’s all take a minute to admire just how clean I got that fleece. Ooooo…..ahhhh…..

I stretched (or pre-drafted) the carded batts out in to roving.

I stretched (or pre-drafted) the carded batts out in to roving.

I pulled the batts apart, and stretched them. This stretching is known as drafting or pre-drafting because I did it all before the spinning process. Most spinners will draft as they spin, but because this fleece was still SO sticky and because my goal was a thicker yarn, pre-drafting was needed here. I also picked out a lot of twigs, burrs, straw, and other vegetable matter (VM) as I pre-drafted. This was probably the most time consuming process other than the washing.

This is some of Mary’s fleece being spun in to yarn on my wheel. This goes pretty fast as I was aiming for thick yarn.

On to the spinning process!

On to the spinning process!

Here’s what the yarn looked like as singles or one-ply bits of yarn.

Spinning Mary's fleece in to singles.

Spinning Mary's fleece in to singles.

This is one of the singles from Mary.

This is one of the singles from Mary.

You can kind of tell that there are a lot of little fibers that come off and go different directions on this yarn. This does tend to make the yarn a little more itchy. Again, this is partially because of the breed that Mary is.

Next I plyed the yarn.

Mary's Fleece is now plyed on to the bobbin.

Mary's Fleece is now plyed on to the bobbin.

Plying is the process of taking the singles and spinning them together to form a doubled up or thicker yarn. My final product here was around worsted to aran weight yarn. Because it’s handspun it does have a fair amount of variation. I wanted that in this yarn to add visual interest in the final product.

Once this was plyed, I then set the twist by taking the yarn and soaking it in very hot water. The hot water causes the fibers to felt a little and stick together. This allows the twist to stay in the yarn and not come undone when you dangle a piece or knit with it. After the twist was set, it was time to dye!!

All plyed and dyed!!

All plyed and dyed!!

I dyed it with two different colors of blue dye. I use a kettle dying or immersion dying technique. My cousin’s favorite color is blue, so that’s what I went with.

Hanging up to dry.

Hanging up to dry.

As I type this, the yarn is still hanging up to dry. Once it’s done I will knit it up in to *something* for my cousin. I know what the something is…but just in case she reads this I won’t reveal it just yet. She honestly has no idea this process has been happening. I hope she will be happy when she does read this and I hope she will understand how much I love her.

You see, Mary passed away this summer. She really was my cousin’s best friend. My cousin is 19 and had had Mary for 11 years. She had been a part of my cousin’s world for over half of her life. So that’s part of what motivated me to finish this project and write this post. Mary was an amazing sheep and I’m glad I got one of her last shearings so I could process it for my cousin so that she can have her sheep with her always.

Much love for Mary.

Much love for Mary.

Blogging FAIL

Ahem…….so….after Pittsburgh….I sold a crapton of jewelry and got super busy and….haven’t blogged in over a month.

BAD BLOGGER, BAD!!!!!!

So…here’s an update in picture form.

Riding to Pburg...with roving attacking.

Riding to Pburg...with roving attacking.

Unpacking the UPP.

Unpacking the UPP.

Building up the booth

Building up the booth

PRETTY!!!!!

PRETTY!!!!!

Me!

Me!

My setup

My setup

The proprietor of UPP herself.

The proprietor of UPP herself.

I felt the need to dye when I got back.

I felt the need to dye when I got back.

This one looks like punk-rock-vomit.

This one looks like punk-rock-vomit.

It really does...

It really does...

That about sums it up. Except for the new wheel.

 

Yeah. I said new wheel.

Sock-a-holic’s Anonymous

Hi, I’m KP, and I’m a sock-a-holic.

Hi KP…

Yeah. Not even kidding. I have problems. Most of them start with the word “sock” and end with the word “yarn”.

All my other problems start with “Boys” and end with “are dumb” but that’s a whole ‘nother story that we don’t want to talk about because this blog is a happy place and I DON’T WANT THAT $%*& IN MY HAPPY PLACE!!!!!! *remembers to breathe*

Ahem. Socks.

See, this? This is why I knit…so I don’t stab people (dumb boys) with….well…my dpn’s.

SO. Socks. Really now.

Last week I finished one pair…that I had started pre-Christmas knitting

I say they match as long as they are from the same ball of yarn, ok?

I say they match as long as they are from the same ball of yarn, ok?

…my yarn from The Loopy Ewe arrived *SQUEE*

SQUISH!!!

SQUISH!!!

….and I started and finish one sock out of my freaking favorite UPP colorway EVER.

Sock ONE!

Sock ONE!

ALSO…got to see UPP’s new roving fresh out of the dye-pot

Unplanned Peacock Merino Top...in Robin's Egg (I think)

Unplanned Peacock Merino Top...in Robin's Egg (I think)

Unplanned Peacock roving in I forget what colorway (BAD PR PERSON, BAD!!)

Unplanned Peacock roving in I forget what colorway (BAD PR PERSON, BAD!!)

and did some spinning of a sample so we will have that to take to Pittsburgh next month.

UPP roving spun up.

UPP roving spun up.

But to my main point…

All I want to do…is knit socks. I’ve officially decided that all socks (excluding ones I wear running/working out…because come on now, that is dishonor to the yarn) should be hand knit. ALL socks. All of them. And all shoes should be designed to show off my hand-knit socks.

Now I’m not big in to patterns…I doubt you will ever catch me making any fancy shmancy lace socks. It’s just not me. I’ve birthed a 99lb calf before, ok? Lace and I just don’t go together. I’m sorry. No offense to all of you out there who love lace and love fancy socks. It’s just NOT me. Quite frankly I think it reminds me of really bad childhood memories of mom dressing me up for church and other occasions in lacy ruffled socks that itched and did not allow for playing tag…maybe I should see a Cogknitive Therapist for some help on that issue…but for now, knitting lace socks (or really lace anything) just isn’t going to happen.

I’m a plain vanilla sock type girl. I start with my ribbing…knit down the leg…turn my heel (heel flap) and rock out till the toe…so if you want to see fancy socks, don’t look at my blog. But if you want rocking socks in awesome colors…keep clicking. 🙂

I’m so sock-obsessed that I’ve memorized kitchener. Not even kidding. I can kitchener in my sleep…not that I recommend it…the last few stitches end up a bit wonky and sometimes things fall off the needles….

But really. I…knit socks. A lot. The same pattern. Over. And over. And over. And I’m NOT tired of it!!!!!! What is wrong with me?!?!

Personally, I blame the sock yarn makers.

I mean…what other weights of yarn can you pick up, right off the shelf, and know that you have ONE WHOLE PROJECT in your hands? You already know it’s the right amount of yarn…you know what needles will work…you know what patterns even! And don’t even get me started on the colors. I swear, no yarn is ever as pretty as sock yarn.

*holds up a skein of sock yarn*

See? IT WILL BE SOCKS! I know this. I know I have enough yarn. I know I won’t run out (unless I knit for a big-footed person…which I don’t know if I will ever attempt again) and I know it will not make me go batshit crazy.

Granted I could make a nice shawl with my sock yarn…I could make a baby sweater…but I lose things off my shoulders that aren’t tied on…and I don’t have babies (boys are dumb and evil) so that kind of rules that out.

I may try a shawl…there are some pretty shawl pins that I’m told will prevent the slippage…but…I’m also messy and somewhat accident prone. I have horrid visions of the edge of the shawl getting sucked in to something…perhaps the conveyor belt at the grocery store…and me getting pulled right in with it…flailing about with my apples tossed in the air and my hand-knit-sock-clad feet over my head and the handsome man (who I will now never have a chance with) behind me backing slowly away…(running)…so really I just don’t know if I’m up to shawls yet.

So for now…I shall stick to socks. They are safe.

Yeah.

Socks.