She is not very attractive, is she? She may yet grow into her beauty. Her name is Lily, like our doggie, so naturally I found that interesting. I read about about Little Hen Rescue in an article in a knitting magazine. It explained about people knitting and making fleece sweatshirts for chickens. The group is devoted to rescuing hens from non free range farming operations. Some of the rescuees have to be taught to walk because they never have. The group works from Norwich which is located inland on that little bumpy part of England that looks like it is shaking its fist at Amsterdam.

Maybe this is why I took an interest in chickens:

These are part of a flock of chickens that roams the town where I go to work. Free-range in a big way. I do not think anyone knows to whom they belong. The picture above is the view I have every day on my way to work. Just past the Fire Station is a traffic light. It is always red and I never mind because I can have a quick visit with the chickens, though more often the group I see is 6-8 roosters. The girls seem to be over at the library much of the time although in the late afternoon I have seen the whole flock pecking around behind Popeye's Fried Chicken...This is a picture also taken from the town where I work. Many days I have looked up from my desk and seen one of these three and a half foot fellows looking in the window at me. They range around our work location as though they know Sandhill Cranes are federally protected.


Cute, yes? It is a Kate Davies invention found on Ravelry.com You have to be a registered member to access but all it takes is patience and determination. Navigating the site may take eons. People use it to see what others are making with a particular yarn, find out who might be having trouble with a specific pattern, and just generally get ideas--and LOADS of free downloads like the one above. I think the idea is one I might use on a bag or a tea cosy.

I have been working on my version of that bag above, from Knitty.com It is called Twiggy Tweed, designed by Missa Hills. Mine is not too far off in color. I had a ball of something called Di.Ve' from Cascade (#33051, pinks with a little chocolate, pinks with a little orange) which I used for the body. For the little belts, I had a skein of Karaoke in the color that goes from deep rose pinks to orangey pinks. Not what the designer called for, but ALmost enough yarn.

I decided to make the opening self-faced, so I ribbed a few extra rows, purled a row, and then roughly followed her directions. Luckily I had decided to knit both sides at the same time so when I ran out of yarn, I was at the same point on both panels. I knit the belt pieces, then took all the Karaoke I had left, hand-carded a lot of it, found some natural brown New Zealand Coopworth, and hand-carded it with the pink and tried to make a new yarn. I think I need a drum carder. The yarn I made was not quite what I wanted so I tried some core spinnng around the Karaoke. That was not right, either. Finally, I spun the Coopworth and plied it with the Karaoke. Not right, but useable. Right now the bag is pinned and blocking. I will update with photos later today when the sun comes up.

In the meantime, I cast on for a sweater which will be come my new dummy-knitting as soon as I get all the increases done and the sleeves on holders. My current dummy knitting is about 20 yards from the finish line. Of course, I always have dummy socks, the perfect carry-along.


Which ewe are you? Take a little quiz and find out.
I am a Shropshire!

How well do you know your color hues?
Zero is perfect and my score is 8. I am disappointed. I almost feel like spending time to study and retake the test but that would be TOO compulsive. It is bad enough that I thought about doing it.


One of my bags has been on display at my LYS.
The suede bottom comes with holes and directions to knit a piece and sew it on or crochet and sew on. Instead, I picked up stitches from the holes and used Cascade 220 and Berroco Jasper, changing colors as I wished. I'm not sure, but I think I remember single crocheting around the picked up edge.I figured out how to make eyelets, crocheted a drawstring, added tassles.

Here is a decision I made recently:

What could I have been thinking of when I chose such an inappropriate gauged yarn for this small suede bottom? DK to Worsted is plenty heavy enough.
It was hideous.


Yesterday, I started the day with this:
Spun until we drove out of the country to the city for lunch (3-4 hours) then came back and spun another couple of hours:
Ended the day like this:
I can not believe that there is still half of the first of these twin balls left. I DO like the irony, a PEN for scale with the PENCIL roving.


Thanks, Grand Purl Baa, for the layout hints! And Happy Birthday

I refuse to call that color school bus yellow anymore. From now on I will call it MANGO. So much more delicious, do you agree? This was sacrifice fiber. That is, I wanted to spin the pink from Alchemy Fibre Arts (see the June 22 post) but I knew I had to get back into spinning on some fiber that I could sacrifice. I selected the Abbigale pencil roving (see June 23 post) and tried out some of the scrids and made a fine mess and accomplished nothing. Well, nothing useful unless I start needle felting...Then I found left over fiber from a spinning class and sacrificed it and any other loose fiber I could find. It is the MANGO above with coral, green, wine, and brown. I like what came out.

There is not much of it and it ends with a clot of 2 types of brown. I Navajo plied it and tried to remember how to spin worsted weight for doubles knowing I was going to triple it. It falls somewhere between DK and Chunky. HMHC asked me what I was going to do with it and I really do not know. It would make charming stripes on brown boot socks or winter house socks so maybe I'll set it aside for that.

Maybe part of a WILD TEA COSY?


Look who came to visit me yesterday morning? KM says I should enter the photo in a contest but I don't know of any contests.


All about the Abbigale
It is (was) four balls of pencil roving. The colors are kind of pale and I am a saturated color kind of girl so I never really paid much attention to it. I have not done any spinning in over a year, but that did not stop me from finding some roving and ordering up a big puffy package or two from England. As referenced yesterday, the pinks all came from Alchemy Fibre Arts (The link should work in this post and if so, I will go back and edit yesterday's.) I bought 3 batches of pinks through reds through purples and spent yesterday morning arranging them. That was when I decided I should get back into spinning with something less challenging and found the pencil roving! Imagine my surprise when I pulled out those four little nuggets and found that each one was wrapped as DOUBLE pencil roving!
If you do not know me, you have no idea how thrilling this discovery was for me. Here is a picture that may give you a clue:
Yes, I am obsessed with color, balance, and proportion and keeping the order just as I think it should be. If I could only harness some of that dementia for housework...
Anyway, I spent a few hours separating the roving into 2 identical balls. The plan? Perfectly matching plies! I am certain they will not be balanced in weight since I am really a novice spinner but it will be fun to ply them and see how closely the color changes match up on each single.

Oh...and the picture at the very top of today's post? Just enough short little off-ends to warm up for the real thing.


Caught my attention last night:

I brought out my spinning wheel, set it up, looked at ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL my fiber, played with the pinks above from Alchemy Fibre Arts at Etsy.com then decided to spin something else entirely. This stuff which I have not the first idea about. Here is the bag it came in from Jackie's Fine Yarns.
Yeah, I know. I don't know what it is, if Abbigale is the colorway, maker, or the name of the sheep it came from! More tomorrow.

Is it really June 21 already?

Yep, a knitted trilobite. I always was fascinated by these little guys. This one was knitted some time ago, probably 2006 or 7 . I put a strong magnet in his stomach and he lived with my son for awhile. He probably was on a refrigerator or a magnetic bulletin board. Don't know where he is now. Want to knit your own? Beth Skwarecki created and blogged it. This one is knitted with leftover gray (or grey) Donegal tweed in a silk and merino blend, DK or maybe light worsted weight. When I do it again, I might try sock weight and make a whole fleet of them.

Here are some shots of a purse I made to go with my wedding suit. That is, the suit I wear to all weddings. The suit is milk-chocolate brown with pin stripes and I wear an aqua or turquoise shirt with it. I made copper earrings to go with the purse but haven't photographed them and they aren't with me up here in the mountains. Maybe I will photograph some of my jewelry creations as a new project. Then I can Etsy some of the excess!

I loved the fabric as soon as I saw it. The big aqua butterflies were just a shade off, more into the green family than I wanted so I bought some fabric paint and touched up the veining on the wings with the bluer tone I wanted pick up. I chose metallic copper E-beads and natural turquoise round beads stabilized with a brown matrix to coordinate. Then I used the beads as the top anchor on the purse frame when I sewed the purse and lining on. You might not be able to tell but the lining is a cloudy sky. It was just one of those serendipitous things. The fabric was just waiting for me to buy it.
I had bought the purse frame a year ago. It is very pretty and If I'd had time, I might have removed the crystals and put turquoise in their place, but it suited me just fine to leave them. Believe it or not, the place I bought the frame and the materials (3 different trips to the same store over the course of a year or so) did not carry chain in the lovely copper of the frame. I questioned the man who does the purchasing and he said he had no reason to think they would get any in, could not special order it and wouldn't the silver or the gold do just as well? Was he kidding? He obviously did not know he was talking to someone who would buy $10 a yard fabric for the body of the purse knowing full well she would have to repaint some of the designs to make them match. Anyway, 2 beading supply stores later and I had my chain, clips to attach the chain and the supplies to make the earrings that I can not show you right now.

June 6

Sorry this post is late. An accident on my street left our house without internet. Hope no one was hurt.

About the Fiesta Baby Boom. How I LOVE the color way, Madrid. How I love the fabric of Baby Boom knit on size 4—FOR A SWEATER. Yeah, I linked the words and the photo. The words go to WEBS and the photo above goes to a Loopy Ewe to see the yarn. Just click it.

Unfortunately, the entire time I was knitting them, I suspected the fabric was too loose for socks. Yes, I kept knitting them. Surely the material would suddenly shrink and thicken up. No, it never happened. Yes, I hate the way they are. I will reknit them. This summer I plan to try them on again, then free the yarn.

I may re-cast this summer or just relax the yarn to re-cast next fall. They really are beautiful until I put them on. Then the fabric is just too loosey-goosey. Luckily, I LIKE knitting, right, Helen?

June 5

Seems like the right day to show the whole New Year’s List of socks to finish. Originally, the plan was to finish the socks before knitting ANYthing else. Did not happen, but I am still committed to the list. I still intend to finish. I have only put one additional pair of socks on needles. Of that, I am proud.

Here they are in order of earliest time on needles:

Koigu (June 3 post)

Lorna’s Laces Bittersweet (May 26, I think. FINISHED!)

Seacoast Taffy (Also around May 26 and June 1Heels turned)

Fiesta Baby Boom (Finished and yet…See tomorrow’s entry)

Berroco with silver flecks (May 26 again. Heels turned, cuffs to be finished by recipient, so FINISHED as far as I’m concerned)

June 4

Like my little cool thingees over there? (insert right arrow)

You can right click them and then go to Cool Text and make your own or you can have mine. Yup, that’s because sock yarn does NOT count. And if you are lucky, it is always time to knit.

Still looking at the New Year's List (June 3)

Still knitting away on the Seacoast Yarns' Taffy New Year's List socks. After Taffy, I will have only one pair left from the list. I hope I can remember the stitch pattern. They sure are pretty ones. I chose Koigu KPPPM in navy and a varigated that looked like a good foil.
Then I found a honey comb slip-stitch pattern and started knitting away. Koigu is wonderful, if expensive yarn. The twist is tight, the yarn feels corrugated but the fabric it makes is lovely. I have a heel to turn and then knitting from heels to toes. This was my fifth (?) pair of socks, but I let all knitting languish for a few years. Can't remember why. When I took up knitting again, I learned toe up, then using two circs, then using one circ.

I like to patronize local yarn stores as much as possible. Usually the prices are about what you can find on the internet give or take a little for shipping. Also, you get to see the colors, handle the yarn and get a feel for what it will do as opposed to just seeing it on a website and hoping your monitor and the vendor's camera are fairly well adjusted.

Sometimes that just isn't possible. I linked Koigu to the actual Koigu site, but they don't sell retail. They have a store locator, though. My FRIENDLY local yarn store doesn't carry it. The other, of course, does. Of my two summer yarn stores, (both friendly) one does and I was only in the other for 20 minutes on my way out of the state! I will definitely have to check later on this month.

********Does anyone know how to fix the auto date posting at the start of each entry? They keep lagging behind me! I am in the eastern US and I think the date is set for Hawaii or something. I like to post between 5 and 7 a.m. and HERE it is definitely June 3. ********

OOOPS! Looks like it's fixed or I posted later than usual.

New Year's List Socks (although today is June 2)

Yep. Still knitting socks from my New Year’s list. This is Taffy color way from Seacoast Yarns that I bought from Jackie’s Fine Yarns. I think she is not actively in business right now. She had some health issues and I wish her well. She surely did have some fine yarns.

I have the heel turned on one and the other is ready to go. Changed my mind a couple of times along the way.
These have a pointier toe than I would like but I didn’t rip them back farther than the increases. Now they have just a plain foot, some rows of plain knitting to the ankle, K2, P1 for a 5 or 6 rows, then an increase on every second K to end up with a K2, P2 rib. This will keep me busy at stoplights for awhile.