Determination

I’m not even going to start going on about the Harry Potter House Cup on Ravelry.  Y’all already know what a Potterhead I am so let me just get to the project.

The Quidditch cup matches have been insane this term and the fourth match was a speed round.  We were given 6 projects to choose from — knit & crochet — to test our concentration and speed abilities.  First day submission equals maximum points and with all the other houses gunning for Slytherin this term (we are three in a row, Quidditch cup and House cup champions) it was all systems go on the first submission day.   This was one time I was extremely glad that I know how to knit and crochet.   My submission was this slouch:

Slytherin Girl I

Slytherin Girl III

Pattern: the Hadley Slouch and my  Ravelry notes are here.

I finished this in 2.5 hours and will definitely do it again.  My fingers were in pain from the death grip I wielded on that hook but I got it done in time!   It didn’t fit me like a slouch although it fit Ziva (my hat dummy) just like it should.  On my head with my fro unleashed, it fits like a beanie.  I think I’ll work the pattern again and add  extra rows to the body to make it more slouchy for my head/hair.

The other crafty bug that’s gotten under my skin is spinning.  My spinning wheel and I are still not talking so I’ve gone back to spinning on my spindle.  Well … as at yesterday.  I honestly think I need to sit with someone to help me with wheel spinning but the places I’ve contacted in NY regarding wheel spinning classes want upwards of $595 and I just don’t have that laying around right now.  LOLOL!  Even if I did, I still don’t think I’d want to pay that much for classes.   One woman even told me that I MUST take her studio’s spindling class before she would have me in her wheel class and that first class is upwards of $195.  Needless to say I declined because there is NO place in spinning history where spindling MUST precede wheel spinning.  NO PLACE!  Some crafters do one or the other or both, but there’s absolutely no learning “order” so I let that go too.  But I’m determined — I’m going to be on someone’s Tour De Fleece’s team in July.  So as at today, I plan to spin for 30 mins a day.  My goal is to start learning to ply by the end of the month.  Fingers crossed!  No scratch that … I’m going to do this!!!!

I posted this pic on IG but ended up changing my spindle to a Bosworth high whorl one instead of the Turkish one shown.

spindle and fiber

I also changed the fiber.  The fiber I chose initially need a shorter draw and at this point I only know how to spin using the long draw.  The spindle was a little wobbly and unbalanced but I believe it’s because I was trying to do a long draw on short staple length fiber.  The fiber kept breaking and the spindle kept crashing to the floor.  I guess they’re not named drop spindles for nothing.  I switched fibers to BFL (Blue Face Leicester) that has a long staple length making it easier for beginners to work with and I used my Bosworth which is worth every dime!!!  Good for me, one of the teams I supported at my old job gave it to me as a thank you gift on my last day before the agency closed.   Now I think I need another well balanced high whorl spindle so I could split my fiber and get to plying faster.

So there you have it.  Some of my goals for the next couple of months.   What are you planning to work on?

ETA: this post was brought to you by the letter U for Umpire: something to do with sports in my Scavenger Hunt 2015 Stashdown challenge.

Crafting Bee

I know this space has been filled with my former job woes and the like then silence for the last couple of weeks but behind the scenes, crafting has kept me sane and out of jail!  😀  Every project has a story but there’s been so much going on, I’m going to skip the stories and just show you the proof.  Plus there’s the inclination to just post to Instagram immediately then forget about it,  but I’ve missed this space so I’m back posting here.   Since my last crafty post I’ve been:

getting jiggy with natural dyeing.  Tumeric, coffee, red cabbage leaves have all been my mediums.  I wish I lived some place where I could go foraging for plants and nuts that I can use for dyeing.  Or even grow my own plant dyes in a garden, but until I can do that, I’ll make do with the mediums I have access too.   I have my eye on this Earthhues Natural Dye kit.  It’s a little pricey but it’s worth it as a kit.  If I had to pay for dye from each individual plant, nut or root in the kit, I’d spend a lot more.  Maybe this could be a Christmas gift to myself.  💡   In the mean time, the results of what I’ve been doing have been amazing but I’ll let the pictures do the talking:

Tumeric Experiment II

Dyed with tumeric/chile powder 1:1 mix, this is the perfect yellow!

Reducto I

The dye bath for this project was made from red cabbage.  I over-dyed a skein of Pearlescent Tonal from Knitpicks and got this amazing grey lilac shade.

Island Spice

And this skein is dyed with coffee.  The fiber is pure merino so the sheen on it post dye job is amazing!!!

All the fibers used are natural fibers — mostly merino and merino blends.  They all turned out so splendidly I can’t pick a favourite.  Can you?  The experience has been amazing with quite a lot of learning opportunities.  I think I’m going to have to start making notes while I do what I do so I can replicate the dye jobs if I need to.

In other crafty news, while my friend Sudana and I were in CT at Stitches East, I took a weaving class.  I have to say, SE didn’t have a lot of vendors but the classes I took and experiencing Hartford, CT definitely were worth the trip. As for weaving, I’m totally hooked!!!  At the end of the all day class, I ended up with this scarf:

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Not exactly the best woven scarf ever seen by mankind but I am very proud of it.  I found the process of weaving very calming — you get into a kind of rhythm that’s just so meditating.  I can’t wait to do more weaving soon.

I’ve also done my first set of cables; not that I thought they were hard, I just never did a project with them.  This one was a quick, easy one made to cover up a not so pretty mug.  I love the end result.   How luscious are those cables?!!!!  Now I want to make all the cable thingz!!!!!  😀     I’ve already started a cable hat!

Cabled Mug Cozy
I’ve also done washcloths for myself

Dishcloths

A hat designed by Bethany Hill called “Drips”.   This is a really lovely pattern, perfect for a person beginning colour-work.  My big head and hair however didn’t fit the hat but Bethany was great on IG and gave me the modifications to make it in a bigger size.

DaDa or Incendio

And on top of all that, I’ve been spindle spinning:

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There’s a not so nice story about how I actually started spindle spinning but at the end of it all, I’m glad the end result of that day was me learning a new crafty skill.  Especially one that I’ve been butting heads with for so long.  I’m not done the second braid yet … well half a braid.  Both samples were about 2 ozs each.  With the first, I ended up with 40 yards of worsted weight yarn.  The fiber spun was 2 oz of Coopworth I got in the Craftsy spinning kit for the class “From Fluff to Stuff” and the second is some Targhee fiber from “Into the Whirled” I got from a friend .  I’ll have to document my spinning adventures in separate posts but for now, that’s what I’ve been working on spinning wise.

So see … I haven’t been a slacker.    😀    I’ve just bee n delinquent in posting what I’ve been up to craft wise.  Now that it’s Fall aka nesting time, you’ll be seeing much more.

So … now that I’ve shown you all that I’ve been doing, the question is — what have you been working on?  😀

P.S. Paula, this crafty update is dedicated to you!  Just so you know your friend is not a slacker.  ❤    😀