Friday, September 27, 2013

Yarn Crawl day 1

I had an amazing time participating in the first San Diego Yarn Crawl today. We drove out to Ramona, CA to visit an alpaca farm and check out the Yarnover truck that was going to be there that day. I won't say how much I spent, but I will say that I'm glad I got paid today. ;-) I bought the top yarn to do a sock knit-a-long for the month of October. It's going to be a Christmas gift so hopefully being in a KAL helps motivate me to actually get it done before Christmas. The second skein is purely for myself. It's called Minty Unicorn and is a gorgeous mint green color with lots of sparkles, there was no way I was walking out of the place without it. The last one is baby alpaca, sheared from the alpacas on the farm. It feels so incredibly soft and silky, I feel like this is going to be one of the ones that I just keep in my stash and take out to pet every once and a while before putting it back.
The yarn crawl has a little passport that you can take around to the various shops and get it stamped. I made sure to print out mine this morning and kept checking to make sure I had it in the car with me, but sure enough, as soon as we pulled up to the farm I couldn't find it. I was really bummed because I had planned on going around to collect a bunch of stamps. Thankfully they had some extra passports at the farm so I could fill mine out again. I don't know how I lost it, but I still haven't found where the original passport went. Tomorrow I'm going to another alpaca farm to see how they process the fiber and then a couple more stores with some friends, so HOPEFULLY I don't lose this passport as well. If you get stamped at all the places you're entered to win $500 to a local shop. I'm not sure I'll get all of them stamped, but it's fun to collect them.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


I've been making slow progress on getting all the bracelets for Artoo's donors done. I've had some issues with my back and being hunched over trying to bead doesn't exactly help. I'm still not spinning yarn because my back just can't deal with it, but I'm able to do some short bursts of beading. I can't seem to keep myself away from the pretty sparkly things for very long. I also found some adorable cat/mouse findings and I thought they were just perfect for the donors. I had to refrain from saying 'purrfect', I hope you appreciate I didn't go for the easy pun. My favorite one so far is the brown/yellow one. I love the color of the seed beads, it's almost like an oil slick type finish, but as I was making it I really wasn't feeling it with the pattern. But then I added the yellow Czech crystals and it all came together. It has a really lovely Victorian type look to it when worn and it's not too flashy so it's great for everyday wear. I might have to make myself one because it's a little difficult giving this one away. Tonight I'm working on adding the remaining crystals and clasps so I can mail these puppies out tomorrow. There's 4 days left to Artoo's fundraiser for anyone interested. Bracelets are $30 shipped (US only) and there are a couple other perks.

Monday, September 16, 2013

You'd think they'd never seen a girl and a cat on a broomstick before.

Kiki's Delivery Service is one of my favorite movies. It has a talking cat in it, so of course I'm going to love it! For those who don't know, in the movie Kiki is supposed to deliver a stuffed cat that looks just like her cat, Jiji. I found a pattern on Ravelry for Jiji and I knew I had to make it. I added the red bow so it would look like the stuffed toy, using this tutorial I found on Pinterest. Most of my Pinterest finds come out nothing like how it's supposed to (I don't even want to talk about the mess I made trying to use mason jars for a blender) but this one actually worked out great! I started the project when Artoo first got sick. I needed something to do to keep me busy for all the long waits at the vets, and then when we got him back from the hospital I would work on it at night with him at my feet. Now that he's all better I keep trying to get him to pose with it. There were a bunch of treats involved so I only ended up getting pictures of him licking his lips and making funny faces, but oh well, I'm just happy to have my kitty back to normal.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Spooky fall yummies

1 oz of squishy merino
The spinning madness continues! I bought 4 oz of deliciously soft and squishy merino from Kitty Mine Crafts on Etsy. I'm wicked excited about Fall/Halloween, so I was looking for something in that color scheme to keep me busy while I'm waiting for the lingering heatwave to pass. I have spun up about one ounce so far and it has taken about a week. I got just a smidge over 68 yards out of it in about aran weight. I was hoping to make a scarf, but a this rate it'll be Christmas time before I finish spinning enough yarn for one! I still really enjoy my drop spindle, but I feel like I will quickly outgrow it.
I reskein my yarn on the back of our dining room chairs. It makes for small skeins but it's free!
The internet has so many excellent resources for new spinners. I did navajo ply on the fly with this yarn, but I'm not sure that was the best route to go. It's a 3 ply yarn, which means I have to spin 3x the amount of yarn to ply it to the length I want. It also preserves the color variations, but as I was spinning it I really liked the barber pole effect I was getting as one color blended into another, and I feel like this plying method kind of muddled that. I already washed the hank and it's currently hanging up to dry. There are some over spun twisty bits, but I'm planning on snapping the yarn to try to get rid of those. We'll see what happens. And I totally painted my nails to match the yarn, I'm THAT excited about it.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Daily dose of fiber

I got my drop spindle kit from Queen Bee Fibers on Etsy in the mail today! The owner, Lexi, went out of her way to make sure I was happy. I didn't see any kits in her shop that I really loved, so she took some color requests for when she dyed her next batch. I liked the colors so much that I bought an extra braid, but I'm really wishing I was able to buy one of each because they were all so gorgeous. I'm teaching myself from YouTube videos so it's a bit of a disaster, but not as bad as I was expecting! I wanted to learn to spin for a couple years but I always thought it looked hard and frustrating so I never went for it. It's actually REALLY relaxing. I went to the park today and brought along my spindle and it was such a nice time. I'm doing navajo ply on the fly from this tutorial and it's alright. I keep getting weird knotty bits where I chained the yarn, but otherwise it has been mostly successful. I have also finished as much of the capelet as I can. Unfortunately I ran out of yarn! I'll have to dye some more before I can continue, here's a sneak peek at it so far.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The past couple weeks have been tough. Our cat got sick and then required a two day hospital stay. (For those who are interested, I provided daily updates here.) He's much better now, just fighting off a bit of a virus he got from his stay, but caring for a sick cat was very stressful and as a result I spent the past few weeks being a bit of a hermit. But a productive hermit. The truth is, I really enjoy being alone and having time to work on my various projects. Going out is nice, but having to constantly socialize gets a bit exhausting. All of this made me remember why I created this blog in the first place. I wanted a place to share all the things in my life that I loved and made me happy. It started off as sending blog posts out into space, but then I got a response! I didn't know what to do. My baby started talking back to me and I suddenly found myself at a loss for words. It made posting a bit awkward, I didn't know what to say or how to say it, and it just wasn't as enjoyable. Anyway, the point is I want to bring the blog back to what it originally was for me, so here's some yarn I made that makes me happy.

I dyed two skeins of white Patons Worsted Wool with Wilton's gel color and Kool-Aid following these instructions. I originally wanted the yarn to be light grey and rich pumpkin, with little speckles of blue. As you can see, that did not happen. I couldn't find blue Kool-Aid anywhere, and I couldn't figure out how to mix a grey dye (black food coloring is actually blue + purple + red  so it wouldn't have worked). To make matters worse, I mixed up my brown and violet dye! I kept wondering why it was turning purple in the pot! I didn't realize it until I was almost halfway done. I'm still using the yarn for my Ravelry project and I'm excited to show the ladies in my knitting/crochet group what I made. I also picked up some sock yarn for SOCKS!! I'm very excited, I haven't knitted in forever. On top of that, I also ordered a drop spindle kit from Queen Bee Fibers on Etsy so soon I can be spinning my own yarn.