Speechless…

August 24, 2008 @ 11:37 am
posted by kris
Filed under: misc

What do you say to a family who lost their father last year, lost their best friend last month and at the same time found out one of them (my sister in law) has MS? I am at a total loss for words. Saying “I’m so sorry” sounds ridiculous. I want to call them and hug them, but I’m sure they are getting a million calls right now and explaining everything over and over. It is devastating. I want to write an email…but what to write??? Argh!

Yesterday we went to the Theatinerkirche (church) to show my mother in law the beautiful interior. I am not a religious person, but I can appreciate churches and their beauty. They have this table where you can buy a small candle and light it, so I lit two for my brother and sister in law.

All I can do is knit and spin. So I decided to knit her a candle flame shawl out of wollmeise laceweight so that she can be wrapped up in love whenever she wears it. I want to finish it before Christmas, so will you all please keep me honest and if I’m spinning too much and not knitting, give me a kick in the pants, please. Thanks.

Comments (18)

A lot of firsts

August 17, 2008 @ 1:39 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: dyeing,spinning

Handspun Bockstark sw merino in
I can’t believe I dyed this!!!
Bockstark sw merino in
The before shot

OK, so the last post I had my first 3ply, and this time it’s my first handspun from my own dyed roving!!! I was SO excited to spin this up that I kinda rushed through it and it’s more thick-and-thin than I would like. I was shooting for a sport weight and most of it is right on, but it’s also thinner in some places. I also had a lot of dye runoff, but after rinsing and rinsing and rinsing, I think I got all of it out and the colors are still saturated.

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The roving was a joy to spin, and I will certainly buy more of this for the next time! I am getting better about having a more relaxed twist so that the yarn is softer and squishier.

As requested by Opal, I am including the roving shot along with the spun up shot. I think it’s nice to have both in the same place.

I am excited to spin some of my other roving up, but I also want to spread it out so that I don’t do it all at once. So for now, I’m working on another All Spun Up merino/silk 3ply (can you tell how much I loved the last one?), and then I will probably do one of the plain merinos – maybe the green/blue one. We’ll see, I always change my mind!

Fiber:
Bockstark Roving 100% superwash
Your Brain has the Shell on it
2ply fingering – sportweight
Approx. 340yds/3.8oz

Comments (18)

My first 3ply

August 15, 2008 @ 11:30 am
posted by kris
Filed under: spinning

Handspun All Spun Up merino/silk SAL fiber
I am in love!
Handspun All Spun Up merino/silk SAL fiber
A closeup

This is my most prized spin so far – very even and consistent, not too tight and it feels so sturdy. I heart 3ply. I also was pretty good at splitting up the roving, as I only had a very little bit left over. I heart All Spun Up, I think she is my favorite dyer now. :)

This is the spin-a-long colorway, which I’ve renamed to “Haleiwa”. Most of my ASU rovings have a Hawaii town name to remind me of home, especially since I usually buy blue/greens.

Fiber:
All Spun Up merino/silk
Haleiwa
traditional 3ply
Approx. 350yd/4.2oz, sportweight (take yardage with a grain of salt, I measured pre-washing)

Comments (17)

Of course this happened

@ 2:09 am
posted by kris
Filed under: dyeing

Dyeing in Darmstadt

So I spent the last 90 minutes on writing a super long post about my Darmstadt weekend, I press the SAVE button and it’s gone. WTF? I don’t have the energy to type it again… :( Sorry, folks.

I’ll just post a pretty picture of the rovings that I did. I named them all after movie quotes. I think this batch is mostly from Tommy Boy. I could’ve gone on and on. From l-r, top-bottom:
“Chotchkie’s”, “Your brain has the shell on it”, “Fat guy in a Little Coat”

“The Shaggin’ Wagon”, “10 in the morning”, “My pretty little pet”

“Me want wingey”, “As you wish”, unnamed yarns

I also wanted to ask those who have dyed roving before:
1. How do you keep the roving “nice” after rinsing? We had a lot of dye runoff so the rinsing process was long and because we had to squish some of that dye out of there, it created a bunch of neps, especially in the superwash. Is there a way to avoid it?

2. Is there supposed to be a lot of dye runoff? Ok, we were lazy and didn’t blot away the excess, but didn’t think there was THAT much excess. Maybe the dye just didn’t take?

3. What makes a dye not take? I think it was either – not enough vinegar and/or not hot enough steam. Is that right? We had inconsistent results, but we got carried away and didn’t write anything down, so it’s just guesses. Is there anything we can do after steaming that will help set the dye?

4. Is there any way to get rovings to dry faster??? :) We are also worried because we are planning our next session in November and it will be a lot colder then.

For more info and pictures, visit Linnea’s post about our weekend here. Thank you so much Linnea for being a great friend and hostess and letting me play with all of your toys! I had a ton of fun!!!

Oh, and I just cleared off some bobbins, so I started spinning up some of this roving tonight!!! Stay tuned for the progress.

Comments (8)

Freaking Fantastic Weekend

August 11, 2008 @ 2:11 am
posted by kris
Filed under: dyeing

Taco Bell in Germany, a dream come true
Taco bell supreme taco – a dream come true!
Hundertwasser's Waldspirale in Darmstadt
I ate at a Hundertwasser building!
Finished roving
We dyed those!!! Can you believe it???
Finished yarns
We dyed these too! Some came out great, some kinda *meh*

So, I had just the best time ever with my friend and soon-to-be-spinner-lebrity, Linnea! She and her husband, the Economist, were the best hosts and we had so much fun! I will go into more detail later (as it is 2am now) but wanted to post some highlights!

Comments (17)

Off to Darmstadt

August 7, 2008 @ 10:18 am
posted by kris
Filed under: spinning

CMF sw merino in We are the ChampionsWe are the Champions
Hello Yarn Falkland in Hive
Hello Yarn Falkland in Hive
Handspun baby hat
Handspun baby hat

Hi folks, this is just a drive by posting as I’m off to Darmstadt today! I haven’t really traveled around Germany, so this will be a great vacation (without the family)! What am I going to do you ask? Well, we’re going to dye, spin, knit, chat, and everything in between. We have been planning for a spin-in for a long time, and sadly, because I don’t want my wheel to get damaged and because I don’t want to drive, I decided to keep my Seamus at home. BUT my friend Linnea has two wheels you see, so we *can* spin together! And one of them has a wollee winder for me to try out! YAY!

Anyhooz, I have been busy spinning up some CMF for peaknit. She has been oogling over handspun and while spinning this up for her, she bought herself a wheel (does this story sound familiar?)! We have been sending fast and furious emails back and forth about spinning, fiber, yarn, etc. She was supposed to wait until the fiber festival to get a wheel, but with all this spinning talk, it has motivated her to get one sooner. Too funny! I did manage so finish her 8+oz of “We are the Champions” and they came out very nice, if I do say so myself!

I also finished up my Hello Yarn. It was a fun spin, but I’m not a fan of falkland. It’s too hairy and coarse – I am a merino gal, through and through.

I have also knitted a whole bunch of handspun baby hats because I decided that baby hats are much easier to make than booties. And also, a friend of mine told me that she used the booties for maybe a month. At least with the hat it will last one season!

I also started spinning up a traditional 3-ply out of my All Spun Up fiber club fiber. The merino/silk is divine!!! Even though I will sacrifice some yardage, I’ve always wanted to try a true 3ply. We’ll see how it goes.

Anyways, that’s all the news fit to print. More pics whenever I get back!

Comments (11)

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.