Last day to enter

May 31, 2008 @ 12:52 am
posted by kris
Filed under: contest

Hey all, just a reminder, the contest will be open until 11:59pm May 31st to win some Chocolate and Raspberry handspun. A winner will be chosen on Sunday! Click here for details.

Comments (2)

Crack Mountain Farms

May 25, 2008 @ 12:41 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: spinning


corriedale pencil roving in “Dance of the Dervish”

superwash merino in “We Are the Champions”

BFL in “Silk Road”

Twisted Fiber Art Festive in “Warlock”

Yep, you read that right! My parents have been here, what, a week or so? And in that time, I’ve spun up a pound and a half of CMF. I’ve tried the Corriedale Pencil Roving, the superwash merino and the BFL. The pencil roving was the most boring because it was too easy, no challenge whatsoever. It’s ok for 4oz, but when it’s 8oz, towards the end you just want to get it over with. The sw merino was lovely, I think that was my favorite of the 3. The BFL was ok, I don’t know what it is with me and BFL. Everyone loves it and I don’t. It’s ok and all, but I much prefer merino.

I wanted to spin up some different fibers, so I broke into my Twisted Fiber Art stash and I’m spinning up the Festive (merino/silk blend). It is dreamy!

I think I will need to change this blog title to “Bockstark Spins”! :)

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The generosity of knitters

May 21, 2008 @ 3:43 am
posted by kris
Filed under: gifts

from Olivia

from fbz

from Sandy

from Jennie

I should’ve written this a long-ass time ago, but well, you saw that mountain of fiber I just got!!! I’m lame. And I’ve been sick – I have some kind of cold which turned into an infection of my throat. When I went to the doctor, she just prescribed me some ibuprofin – I thought it was going to be some antibiotics! But, it worked, I’m still sick, but at least my throat doesn’t feel like it has knives in it when I swallow.

Anyhoo, I just wanted to write a post about the recent gifts I’ve received – knitters really are the best! One of you, I met in person. One of you, I’ve seen many pictures of and feel like I met you. One of you, I’ve seen a picture, but nothing close up. And one of you, I have no idea what you look like. Amazing!

First, thanks to Olivia for a wonderful stash enhancement of Politically Incorrect fiber (1/2 of which is already spun up) and another wee tiny sock (she sent me one last year too!). And from the looks of things on flickr-land, she has been giving gifts to a lot of folks – what a sweetheart she is! She is also a very productive sock knitter and one of my favorite flickr people. She is almost done with her 365 pics – I hope she continues though, I enjoy seeing them. I think it’s kinda like her saying “hello” to me everyday.

Next, thanks to fbz, who has volunteered to spin up some Twisted Fiber Art roving for me into 2-ply fingering weight. It came out gorgeous! She also opened up an etsy store, so please check it out!! I can attest to her spinning quality – it is superb! Not only did she do that, she also sent me MORE FIBER!!! I think I am going to explode! ;) I told her that I would go visit her in Berlin, but I haven’t yet. What is my problem? I haven’t traveled around Germany hardly at all, and it would be a really cool place to explore! They have stuff open past 8pm! :) I will, fbz, I will, just gotta get off my ass!

Next, thanks to my SP11 downstream pal, Sandy. She sent me some gorgeous roving as well as some sock yarn for the other 2/3 of Knitters Uncensored. She did an amazing job and I’m twisting her arm to do more roving!!! :) Go check out her yarns…I keep eyeing “Strider” and “Stonehenge After Dark” – Delish!!! She lives in Omaha and goes to SNB with the Lime & Violet gang – I’m so jealous! Maybe one of these days I’ll hear about some juicy gossip from their knit nights! ;)

And finally, thanks to Jennie, who just out of the blue sent me a package of yarn, stitch markers and chocolate. But not just any yarn – Noro sock yarn in the most gorgeous colorway! And not just any chocolate – Green & Blacks!!! She is a very generous person – always giving away yarn and having lots of contests on her blog. Everytime I read her blog, I think of living in Austin – there was a place called “The Fiber Farm” in Georgetown (no longer in business) and it was my favorite place to be. I think the owner’s name was Nancy and since I worked nights, I would sometimes sneak off in the morning and visit and pet yarns. She sold the yarn out of her house (like a smaller scale Loopy Ewe) and I would always dream of one day having that kind of “stash”! Geez, I pretty much have it now! ;)

Thanks you guys for your kindness and generosity!

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Finally Fiber Friday!

May 16, 2008 @ 12:55 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: spinning


Where do I start?

So, fiber parents are here, finally! :) I am in fiber heaven! The problem is that I don’t know where to start! CMF is really calling to me, but 8oz just seems like a lot. Maybe try a BFL again? or have better luck with merino/tencel? Or try out a bamboo blend? or silk blend??? So many choices!

It’s also hard because I know that I *should* visit with parents but gah, I also want to spin spin spin! I may never leave my apartment again. :)

Also, thanks to everyone who entered the contest, I really wish I could give some handspun to every one of you! You all gave such good reasons!

Comments (13)

Handspun giveaway

May 14, 2008 @ 4:13 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: spinning


Chocolate! and Raspberries!

No fiber shipments yet…STILL! But I did receive a special birthday surprise gift in the mail to hold me over until tomorrow (when my fiber parents arrive).

Now that I am down to my Ashford merino (which I *finally* was able to spin), I was forced to spin this up out of the Chocolate and Raspberry colors. It has large blocks of colors. I had to try really hard to make it thicker and voila – sportweight! It came out waaaay better than I thought it would.

Approx. 175m/135g 2-ply sportweight, 100% merino from Ashford in Chocolate and Raspberry colorways

So, if you would like this skein of yarn, leave a comment on this post saying why you like knitting with handspun. If you haven’t yet knitted with handspun, say why you want to try it. :) A winner will be chosen at random on June 1,2008 (so send your entries in by May 31st).

Comments (61)

Happy Belated Mother’s Day

May 12, 2008 @ 12:51 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: misc


Flowers from my boys Hey there Mothers – hope you had a happy day yesterday! The weather was (and still is!) glorious here in Munich and I had a pretty laid back day. No spinning (NO SHIPMENTS YET, I’m DYING HERE!!!), some sock knitting, and playing with my sweet boys. They are both getting the hang of using the toilet, which is a gift enough for me! They made me my first gift at kindergarten (preschool in Germany) and it nearly brought me to tears. They probably had lots and lots of help from the teachers and older kids, but still, I think it really shows a lot of personality. We immediately hung it up on our wall in the sunshine. I will always smile when I see them.

I broke down today and had to play with my wheel. It’s been a week or so since I have spun anything up. I waxed and oiled it up and it is running very well and super quiet, you can barely even hear any movement! I tried again with the Ashford corriedale and merino that I bought and for some weird reason, I CANNOT spin those up. I don’t know what it is. I get so frustrated and think that I can’t spin anymore and then I pick up something else and everything goes well. What is it about this fiber that doesn’t work with me? I really don’t understand. I was hoping to use this fiber as “play” fiber, but it really doesn’t work. Maybe I’m too inexperienced? I am spinning up the squoosh fiber that I have and trying to get sport/dk weight. I’m also playing around with a faster ratio (finally breaking in that smaller whorl) and wowee is it fast. I have to constantly remind myself to treadle slower.

Since today (Monday) is a holiday, I’m hoping that tomorrow will yield some fiber shipments. Can y’all please put some pressure on the Deutsche Post to bring me my freaking fiber??? At the very least, my parents are coming this week so I have mucho fiber then, and that is guaranteed. :)

Comments (4)

Something is seriously wrong with me

May 6, 2008 @ 2:23 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: spinning


Unplied yarn

After running it through the wheel

I *cannot* stop buying fiber. I’m serious. Everytime I see some, my heart skips a beat and suddenly the credit card is whipped out. The problem is, I ordered a whole bunch from the states, some is coming with my parents next week and some should be delivered to my door. The ones that should be delivered to my door aren’t here yet so I feel like I don’t have any and must order more!!! And I’m sure one day the mailman will come with a truckload just for me (I’m not kidding). I have several POUNDS of fiber coming my way. I justify by saying that it is quick to spin up so I need lots. Heh. I thought I had a problem with buying yarn, but it pales in comparison to fiber! Does fiber hoarders anonymous exist?

Actually, the mailman did come today, but with a package for my neighbor. How dare he ring my bell without fiber in hand!!! I was so disappointed.

Just to give you an idea, here are the fibers coming my way (several of each): Crown Mountain Farms, Pigeonroof Studios, Funky Carolina, FatCatKnits and Twisted Fiber Art! I will have some serious eye candy soon! :)

But I *do* have fiber, just not any hand dyed ones. I practiced my navajo plying a bit but always get frustrated because it’s overplied or the joins are too bulky. Maybe I don’t have the settings right on my wheel. I don’t really care for the 3-ply though, I love the mixing of colors of the 2plys best (at least for now).

So yesterday and today I decided to ply up some 6-ply laceweight that I bought from ebay. It’s a 50/50 merino silk blend and knitting with it unplied sucks. I just ran it through the wheel and put some twist in it and gah, it’s sooo much nicer, don’t you think?

On a side note, I bought 50eur worth of boys underwear and socks today. And this is from the CHEAP store. It’s so weird, the store has TONS of underwear in the size 92 (1.5yr – 2yr) and then in 146 (7-9yr) and skips the main potty training age – 2.5 – 4! There are *some* but not with the cute cars on it and stuff. Luckily I dug through everything and found the only thomas the train underwear in their size. They are all about Thomas. One of my boys is ready – likes to wear underwear, but asks for a diaper when he wants to go, and the other one doesn’t want anything to do with underwear/potty training. Sigh…

Comments (10)

More spinning FO’s

May 5, 2008 @ 12:29 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: spinning


My growing pile o’ handspun

Pigeonroof Studios superwash merino in Lettuce

Funky Carolina superwash merino in Bright Grapes

Bonkers superwash merino in Dragonfly

I have emerged from spinning land to say hello! I thought my wheel should have a name and I hate the way it is assumed that it is a “she”. I guess like boats are a “she”. Why is this? So I’ve decided that since I am the only female in my household, it should remain so and my wheel is a he. Unlike my husband, he is hard working and does what I tell him to do (I’m kidding, I’m kidding..). The first name that I came up with was “Seamus” – since the wheel is very nautical, he should have a nautical sounding name. And then I thought I should name him “Spike” since I just finished watching Buffy – all 7 seasons of it and Spike is by far my favorite character. How disappointed I was to learn that his accent was fake. So anyhooz, anyone else have any other suggestions?

I have also been thinking of making a carrying case for him, so that I can take him places. I still am working out a design, but I think it’s doable. It is hard because you don’t want to have to remove the legs every time you want to go somewhere. So I think if there is a strap that goes underneath the base and just have the legs stick out or something like that. It won’t protect the wheel very much, but it will make it easy to carry. We’ll see.

There were some kinks that I had to work out – there was a squeak in the footman (still is whenever I go counter clockwise) and candle wax helped a lot. Then there was drive band slippage at the knot. I had to retie and pull it tight and then wax that as well. This wheel is so much more complicated than the louet! OK, not SO much more, but there are a lot more adjustments to do. Taking the bobbin off and on is a pain and I haven’t even tried the smaller whorls and different settings. But I think everything is running smoothly and we’re friends.

While I love my new wheel, there are something things about it that I don’t like – changing the bobbin is a pain, the bobbins themselves are small (4oz) and you need a orifice hook. No biggies. I thought about getting a Woolee Winder, but dang those things are expensive! And I don’t think the bobbins are any bigger anyways. If they are, I might seriously consider getting one.

So, here are some spinning FO’s. I am getting one serious pile of handspun and no knitting done!

Comments (15)

What does bockstark mean (pronounced bok-shtark)? My crazy German friend, Matthias, made that word up to mean "really cool" and says that it is catching on in Garmisch. So I am helping him popularize the word! I thought if I ever opened a yarn store, I would call it "Bockstark Yarns". This blog is all about my projects, yarns and crazy ideas related to knitting and other crafts. Contact me at bockstark.knits(at)gmail(dot)com.