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Etsy, Hand dyed roving, Hand dyed yarn, Hand spun yarns, Roving, Spinning, Yarn

Fiber Goodies from Turquoise Owl Fibers

While I did not actually formally participate in TDF (Tour de fleece) 2014, it didn’t stop me from purchasing some new fiber goodies from Holly at Turquoise Owl Fibers on Etsy. Her puni fiber prep is one of the best I’ve come acros and I’m in love with the colors that she blends. Two of my favorite are her “Cupcake Confetti” and “Rigmarole” colorways which are art style punis. Her art style punis have fiber content that may contain Merino, BFL, Angora, Silk Noil, Falkland, Polwarth, Sari Silk, Firestar, and Tussah Silk for example. Holly also offers smooth style punis which can contain Merino, BFL, and Tussah Silk, and Bamboo for example. My latest new purchases from Holly included colorways “TDF2014″, “OOAK #2″, and “Beyond the Garden Gate ” pictured below (from left to right).

Hand-carded punis by Turquoise Owl Fibers

Hand-carded punis by Turquoise Owl Fibers

I just finished spinning up 2 ounces of the “Cupcake Confetti” punis and I decided to go with a traditional 3 ply – first time ever as I usually do navajo ply. I knew I wouldn’t get much yardage because of the 3 separate plys and because I tend to spin more thick than thin, but I ended up with a nice, round 44 yards – pre-soak and thwack. Once I soak and thwack, that may affect the yardage a bit. I’m happy with how the colors look together.

Hand-spun "Cupcake Confetti" punis

Hand-spun “Cupcake Confetti” punis

I’m really looking forward to my next spin of these punis!

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Hand-crafted gifts, New Projects, WIPs, Yarn

Chevron blanket progress

I’m really plugging along on knitting this chevron blanket.  I love it so much! It’s really so effortless to knit once you memorize the 2 row repeat.

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Here are some blues and grays in Paton’s Classic Wool Bulky that I’m absolutely in love with!! These will be used in my next chevron baby blanket for my sister who is having a baby boy due November 8th, one day prior to what was my due date 4 years ago!

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Happy Knitting!

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Etsy, Hand dyed yarn, Yarn

iKNITiatives shop update is live!

I’m happy to announce that my Etsy shop has some new additions to it.

I have added 20 new OOAK colorways and some repeatable colorways in both of the sock bases that I carry.

My cushy sock base is 75% SW Merino & 25% Nylon and offers 450 yds. whereas my squish sock base is 50% SW Merino, 25% Nylon, and 25% Bamboo and offers 459 yds. Both bases are $20 regardless of how many colors are used to dye the individual skeins. My hand-dyed yarns are not priced above $20 unless they are self-striping or a true gradient; because of the amount of prep that goes into those prior to dyeing them, they retail at $22 each.

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Family life, Inspiration, Vacation

Farewell Cape May

This morning we left Cape May to head back home. Vacation always seems to go by so fast. We had a great time even though the weather was less than desired.

During our last day we rented a 4 seater surrey and took that around town for an hour and had a nice dinner at The Lobster House.

After dinner, we took a stroll on the beach. It was strange because the fog had rolled in and it was about 6pm. It lasted until about 8 and then cleared up. After the beach, we took a walk to Morrow’s Nut House, The Fudge Kitchen, and Rita’s Italian Ice. I bought a pound of fudge which included flavors such as Caramel Sea Salt, Chocolate with nuts, Vanilla Chocolate Chip, and a few others.

Here are a few of my favorite pics from the Cape during our last couple days.

Until we meet again, Cape May…

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Cape May
Family life, Vacation, Yarn, Yarn stores

Our Cape May Get-away

Our first vacation of the year is being spent at the Jersey shore in Cape May.
Cape May has to be one of my favorite vacation spots. We decided to be budget friendly and choose the Buckingham Motel. For the price, you can’t beat it. While the decor may be a little out-dated, it is always nice and clean.

One of the things I love most about Cape May is that it is very quaint and family-friendly. I also love the shops at Washington St. Mall.

Luckily, we were able to squeeze in some beach time yesterday.  We had a good 2 hours of sun and were able to get into the water which was pretty cold as you could imagine.image

I love the Bath Time shop and picked up 2 perfume rollettes and an after shave lotion for Tim. I customized the scents for each. I mixed Tea Rose & Cucumber for one scent, White Tea & Blue Musk for another, and for Tim’s after shave lotion, I mixed Amber, Black Tie, and Clean Cotton. They also have this wonderful scent called Himalaya but they were out of it. It was a sweet musky scent that words cannot describe. And for a shore staple, we went to the Fudge Kitchen.

 

Yesterday, I stopped at the Fiber Arts Yarn Shop and picked up a skein of Austermann Step 6 fingering weight sock yarn which is a mix of 75% SW Virgin Wool and 25% Polyamide. It also has Aloe Vera gel in it which I thought was pretty cool!


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We bought Carter 2 new pets – 2 hermit crabs to which he named “Kermit” & “Junk Head”.  LOL.

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While the weather hasn’t been bad, there’s been a 30% chance of rain since we arrived on Monday and that will be the case until we leave Friday morning. I’m really praying the rain holds out until we leave Friday as this afternoon we plan on taking Carter to the Cape May Zoo. It is free and from what I’ve read, it’s really nice for being free. And, most importantly, this evening we have a Sunset Buffet Dolphin Cruise planned with the Starlight Fleet. It is $40 per adult (their website has a $3 off per adult coupon code) and children under 6 ride for free. For 4 adults and our son, Carter, the total with the service fee was $156. The cruise is 2 1/2 hours long and cruises past the US Coast Guard base, Commercial Fishing Fleets, Cape May Harbor, The Lobster House, Fisherman’s Wharf, and the Schooner “American”. It will also travel through the Cape May Canal which connects the Atlantic to the Delaware Bay.

Tomorrow will be our last day at the shore and we will eat a nice dinner at the famous Lobster House and perhaps do more souvenir shopping and biking during the day.

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Hand dyed roving, Hand spun yarns, Roving, Spinning

On the wheel again…

On the wheel again -
Just can’t wait to get on the wheel again.
The life I love is making yarn with my friends
And I can’t wait to get on the wheel again.
-Adapted from Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again”

I’m back on the wheel again. Spinning up some beautiful Merino/Silk blend fiber from Three Waters Farm.

The colors are gorgeous and are very muted shades of grays/blues/greens/silvers/golds.
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I have a Schacht Sidekick for those of you who didn’t know and I absolutely love spinning on it. I purchased it in March 2013 at the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Show from Susan who owns Susan’s Fiber Shop in Wisconsin. That day I had no idea I would be purchasing a wheel, but after falling in love with the gorgeous fiber braids I was seeing all over Etsy, Instagram, and my LYS Natural Stitches, I picked up a drop spindle a week or two prior. Well, that lasted until I sat down and spun on the Sidekick at the PK&C show. I was in love. Bye bye drop spindle hello world of spinning wheels. I won’t kid you – this wheel is expensive and definitely an investment, however, spinning wheels tend to hold their value and Schacht is a quality spinning wheel maker in my opinion. The Sidekick is great because it folds up and travels nicely and is one of the less expensive wheels that Schacht offers (compared to their Matchless wheel). Honestly, I would have purchased the Ladybug had Susan had it there, but she only had a Sidekick and a Kromski at the time. The Kromski looked a bit too old fashioned for my taste so I went with the more modern wheel.

Now to say my wheel hasn’t been finicky over the last almost year and a half would be a lie, but for the most part, it’s been my user error. In fact, I believe I had my wheel set up incorrectly for the last year and a half. LOL.
Finding in-depth setup videos on YouTube or in-depth setup instructions on the internet were and still are difficult for me to find. I did find a Sidekick video on the Schacht YouTube channel and that is how I found my mistake I guess you would call it…. I had the bobbin turned so that the 2 grooves (larger round and smaller round) were facing the back instead of them facing the front as the video had suggested. And, I finally figured out what the little black spinn-y wheel is at the bottom between the two treadles. It is for tension. Even though my wheel seemed to be spinning just fine, once I made those adjustments, I think my wheel improved a bit. So to say the set-up was entirely wrong may be inaccurate as I was still able to produce lovely spun yarns. Who knows. But, below shows the correct setup.

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I will leave you with some pics of my first full bobbin while I work on spinning my second bobbin. This will become a 2 ply yarn in the end.

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