Hello to all the charming new people I met at Craft'za this weekend!

Since this website is only infrequently updated (Facebook is much more active if you're into that sort of thing...), you can find Goldfish Love yarns and kits and sometimes me at Anoka Fiber Works.

What have I been doing instead of updating my page? Lots of fun things.

Getting ready for a Ravelry 101 class at AFW next Saturday. Writing gift knit patterns like these slippers I've been slightly obsessed with:

My Aviary-Edited Photo

Working on an amazing coat for myself in a garment design class I'm taking:

My Aviary-Edited Photo

Practicing twill weaving on my mini travel loom from Becka Rahn:
My Aviary-Edited Photo


Weaving up some colorful scarves for NoCoast:

My Aviary-Edited Photo

And working up some yarns for an upcoming art yarn class series at the Weaver's Guild of Minnesota this winter:

Layered Art Yarn


Remember back in, oh, August?  When I totally promised I would have pictures of the fiber arts (AND SEED ART <3!!) from the State Fair?  Yeeeeeeeeah. 6 months later I finally got all those pictures off my phone*.

There's this beautiful rug - I wanna make batts inspired by this palette:

 

Want this rug. Gorgeous

It's Minnesota, so there's always some sort of stunning Bohus knitting entry.  Knowing how long it takes me to knit, and how tiny and fuzzy those stitches are - these are always worth staring at in awe.

Always amazed by Bohus.

The cables! So many perfect, perfect cables. How do you cable knitters do this? I mean, the making-a-cable-cross part I get.  The row counting involved? Mind-boggling.

Fiber arts entries I love.

Another batt-inspiring palette.  And how the heck do I make a yarn with the texture like this?  It reminds me of lichen, and lichen are as cool as a man in a fez and a bowtie.

Arts entries I love.

Also, Seed Art. Did I mention the Seed Art? Crop art made with amazing dedication, and the entries are inevitably a range of Minnesota-pride, pointed political commentary, and a few characters who recur year after year (Bad Seed is my favorite of the serially (cereally?) appearing).

Political Weiner Seed Art

My tens** of loyal readers are now all caught up on the happenings of August 2012. Given that I didn't really have any Superbowl predictions, nor insights into the Pope news, I'm pretty sure you haven't missed any breaking news on my account...

*Ever wonder how long it takes to get 487 photos off your phone when you can't find the cable for your phone and have to borrow an old iPod one that is almost the same? Long enough that the computer gets alarmingly warm at the USB port.

**Number slightly exaggerated for dramatic effect.


Photographing fiber arts on the sly at the fair and finding some Superman Ice Cream! Always amazing things to see, lots more poorly composed pictures of awesome stuff to come.

State Fair Preview!

State Fair Preview!


Because I actually made something.  Two really, but I gave up the knit version before I even took pictures.  Rookie mistake.

Scarf

Simple crochet, with one skein of sock yarn held double and two skeins of art yarn for the lengthwise scarf.  I love it, and just need to find somewhere long enough to block it.  And somewhere it is less than 95 degrees out so I can show off and wear it for more than the 45 seconds it takes to get a photo.

Art yarn scarf

Plus, psssst, there's stuff in the Etsy shop again after a very, very long time there in the sidebar.  Free shipping for orders over $35, and all products guaranteed to have been fondled by a genuine roller derby lady.

Yarn dying is afoot

And now time to collect the yarn for a Tour de Fleece finale glamour shoot.


If you're in the group of spinners who haven't been playing along, we're 15 days into the Tour de France, fĂȘted among spinners by commiting to spin (and often watch the race) every day the cyclists ride under the moniker "Tour de Fleece".  I've been taking advantage of the project to experiment alonside some routine spinning, including some experimenting with how the scale and dimension changes the character of the yarn.

I'm on my third variation of the same yarn among my projects, "It's Complicated":

It's Complicated.

I've been playing on and off with oversized yarn, and this corespun then chain-plied bit of fluff is dense and massive.  The scale of it changes the character of the yarn, and this thumb-sized diameter reminds me of decorative uniform cording more than yarn.  In part I think it's the size of it, and in part how aggressively textured it becomes when spun as a multi-ply yarn.

"Taking Flight", with the same corespun fibers and a few more feathers, is a delicate little thing.  One half of it was plied withwool-silk laceweight:

Taking flight

The other half of Taking Flight is sturdier, plied with lime green wire.  With the sculptural wire ply, a bit of traditional knotwork, it's becoming an oversized bangle bracelet.  The beauty of the knot is a bit lost in the texture of the yarn, so I'm not entirely pleased with it.  I am really liking the structural possibilities here and think I need some more wire-based yarns to repeat this.

Bangle


Lots and lots of spinning underway for the Tour! Just a bit of yarn porn - some finished skeins and the gorgeous cormo from Strawberry Moon that is coming up next.

Tour de Fleece

Tour de Fleece


Last year I spun up a cormo-alpaca blend in three natural shades of grey and brown, and plied them together.  These knit up to a nice tweed effect in the final fabric.

Cormo Alpaca

So with the modified chain ply on BFL, and this 3-ply faux tweed on the brain, I set up a few other variations.

Bobbin one: a single of yellow/red/grey Targhee

Bobbin two: a silver and rust BFL/silk single

Bobbin three: a pink and purple merino single.

Chaining with two of the singles held together, and the third held alongside, changing whichever the plain ply strand was after each pass through the chain.

Lesson one from that: rest the singles better and use a tensioned lazy kate.  It requires an awful lot of tangled juggling otherwise.  It's an interesting yarn, and I'm curious to try this again with a better set-up.

Color study, seven ply modified chain

Just for fun and to make some comparison knit swatches later, the rest of the singles got turned into some more normal yarns.

Bobbin 1 as a normal chain ply:

Color study normal chain ply brights

Bobbins 1 and 3 as a two ply:

Color study two ply brights

Bobbins 2 and 3 as a two ply:

Color study muteds two ply

Only one swatch in so far, I'm curious to get all four ready and lined up side by side.


I saw someone describing this variation on chain plying on Ravelry and had to see how it worked. From two singles, chain one strand and carry the other along like a regular two ply. Alternate which strand is forming the chain.

The color blending that results just stunned me on this BFL. And getting a delightfully round four ply off two bobbins is nice too.

Tomorrow: variations on this with mismatched singles are waiting for photos...

Color study part 1 - love(1)

Color study part 1 - love(1)


Three ounces or more in, and there's still lots of room for more.

Local dark silver coarse mohair, Iowa teeswater locks, and silky silver Wensleydale. The singles have a personality, but I can't really tell what they want next. Thread ply? Chain ply? Pair them up with contrasting locks? Shock them and full them for some hairy singles?

Spinning for Texture

The super giant, unreasonably big flyer for my wheel is here and I can't stop playing. The whole scrap bin is getting roughly carded together for big core spun yarn. Love (1) for this thing.

I think some hairy Icelandic tailspun is in my sights next...

New Toys!