Thursday, July 28, 2011

New Pattern in Tangled

I have a new pattern out in the Sock Summit issue of Tangled... Spandau Ballet!  These socks are a combination of a comfy knit sole, a cool crochet instep and cuff, and a knit ribbed cuff for support.  Currently available from the Tangled website for $6.00.

And guess what else!  I have a COUPON!  From today through August 14, use the code "SOCKSUMMIT11" to get a dollar off any pattern in the current Tangled issue, including mine.

Remember too, I'm still having a sale on all the patterns in my Ravelry store -- 10% off.  No coupon code on that one, the discount will automatically be taken off at checkout.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Tour de Fleece is over...

... and I survived!  So to celebrate, I'm having a sale over at my Ravelry store... 10% off any patterns bought through Ravelry.

So, how did I do on my spinning goals, you may ask.  Well, I finished the CVM roving, which turned out very nicely.  I worked on the silk thread, until I discovered a spot where the roving (neatly wrapped around a pencil) had become one with itself, so I gave up.  I spun my suri alpaca to a very fine lace weight on my favorite spindle, but broke the spindle (it has been dropped one too many times!).  I did not, however, finish the baby alpaca fleece.  This is entirely due to how thin I'm spinning it -- it two plies to a heavy lace weight!  I have finished 1310 yards, and have a bobbin and a half of finished singles, which I think is pretty darn good.  Hopefully I will be able to keep my spinning mojo going and finish it soon!

Did you spin for the Tour?  I'd love to hear about how you did.  I'm already excited for next year!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Thinking about spinning...

Once upon a time, not too long ago in fact in the cosmic order of things, all women spun.  The spinning wheel is actually a relatively new invention... before that women spun on spindles of various shapes and sizes.  Before that, women spun on rocks, or simply by rolling fiber along their thighs.  The reason so many had to spin was because hand spinning takes a LONG TIME to do... especially if you are spinning fine, high twist yarn/thread for weaving, which was the primary means of converting thread into fabric.  In the last several weeks, I have been doing a LOT of spinning.  But when I pick up a my spindle, or sit down at my wheel, sometimes I wonder... what would those women think of me today?  I don't have to spin.  I actually have no particular reason to do it at all, except that I enjoy it.

Would they like my appreciation for their craft?

Would they think I am wasting my time?

I don't know.  But for me, my hand work builds an appreciation for their lives.  A link between me, and my ancestors who spun, knit, and wove every stitch their families wore.  Not because they wanted to, but because if they didn't, no one else would.  And in my heart of hearts, I think that's why I enjoy spinning so much.  I feel it as a connection to my grandmothers' grandmothers, back to the dawn of time.  Would they think I'm an idiot?  Maybe.  But I think they were pretty awesome.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

It's the Tour de FLEECE!

Every year during the Tour de France, spinners everywhere have their own event... the Tour de Fleece!  Me and the Tour have a bit of a history... the first time I tried to participate, I found out a couple days before it started that I was pregnant.  That pregnancy spinning made me nauseous.  The next year, I suddenly had to move two days before the Tour started.  But this year, so help me, THIS YEAR I will spin!  My goal, other than to be hopelessly over committed?  Finish all spinning WIPs.

First off will be this half pound of CVM roving:

Then I will finish this silk thread (probably by transferring it to my wheel, because I HATE the spindle it's currently on):

Then I will start on my uber project:

That's two and three quarters pounds of baby alpaca, which I carded myself, on HANDCARDS.  I have been working on that on and off for nearly a year!  Will I get it all spun?  No idea.  Especially given I plan on spinning it lace weight.

But seriously, get out your wheels, spindles, rocks, potatoes (hey, I've seen it done), and get spinning!  And check in with the Tour de Fleece group on Ravelry -- there are daily prize threads!