Just keep spinning

April 5, 2010 @ 12:59 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: spinning

March 2010 Spinning
March spinning

It’s just been spinning, spinning, spinning at Chez Bockstark. I have gone off the deep end and immersed myself in it again and LOVE it!!! I’ve also been doing some singles spinning, which is totally new for me. I am still overspinning a tad and have to do a pass back through to let out some of the twist, but it works. Merino/tencel is just perfect for singles! Here are the yarns that I finished last month – 9 skeins!!

I also ordered some new woven labels for the knits that I’ve been making and I love them (see new header!). Much better than my 15 year old “Made with tender loving care by …” ones.

I guess that’s all the news fit to print…just keep spinning!

Comments (4)

I did it!

February 18, 2009 @ 8:41 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: spinning

After wondering if my handspun is good enough and getting encouragement from Naomi and Opal, I finally opened an etsy store – http://bockstarkknits.etsy.com. I had to do something with all that handspun! Would you do me the favor – if you have an etsy account, would you please “heart” my store so that at least I feel like people are looking??? :) Yeah, I’m easy.

Comments (21)

I met my Heroes!

February 10, 2009 @ 11:26 am
posted by kris
Filed under: misc,spinning

I was lucky enough to meet up with KnottyNaomi while I was in Hawaii this year! She doesn’t go every year at Christmas, so I was just lucky! If you don’t know who she is, she is a spinner/photographer extraordinaire and one of my spinning heroes! She creates gorgeous yarn and is known for her bulky “ropes”. We met at a fellow knitter/spinner’s house – Opal, the AkamaiKnitter. I met Opal last Christmas at the Aloha Knitters meetings and we’ve been in blog contact ever since! She also creates amazing yarn at the other end of the thickness spectrum – laceweight! Seriously, this girl can spin 2ply laceweight and get 1000+ yards from 4oz – 2ply!!! Sheesh!

Get together with AkamaiKnitter and KnottyNaomi
Opal, Naomi and me

Anyways, we spent a few hours in the afternoon showing each other how we spin. It is a real learning experience and I wish there were more spinning gatherings. And I wish I had a traveling wheel! :) Luckily, Opal has 2 wheels so I spun on her Lendrum while Naomi spun on her Majacraft. Before this, it has been next to impossible for me to spin thick, consistently, that is. But for some reason, after watching her do it, it just clicked. Maybe it’s seeing how much twist she puts in? I dunno. So after I had a 2 month spinning hiatus, I sat down and channeled my “inner Naomi” and created some rope. Man, the fiber goes so fast!!! I can make a dent in my stash for sure! :)

Handspun CMF corriedale in

got rope?
Channeling my inner Naomi yarn!

Then as if that wasn’t enough, on my way back to Germany, we had a layover in SFO and Stephen of Y-Knit fame came out to meet me and the boys. Have your heard his and WonderMike’s super uber-professional podcast? My god, it puts everyone else to shame!!! But the instant he arrived at the airport, we were non-stop talking about all kinds of stuff. He was such a hoot and I enjoyed his company immensely. And his hugs…oh his hugs…they are the BEST! He gives those really tight hugs that makes your jaw hurt from smiling so big and you really feel loved. I cannot wait to see him again, and I hope next time we’ll have more time! I’m trying to convince him to come out to Germany, especially since his husband speaks fluent German!

hizKnits + Bockstark
hizKnits and me


hizKnits corrupting my baby!!! ;)

And he was such a sweetie and gave me a whole bunch of yummy clif bars (most of which we consumed on the plane) as well as a skein of STR Monsoon. I sold off all my STR whenever I took the spinning plunge, so to feel the squish again was nice. When I got home, I cast on for a Kid’s Cowl since my boys need one. And it stripes up beautifully! Thanks Stephen!!!

Kid Cowl

Kids Cowl in STR mediumweight Monsoon

So anyways, that was the excitement from my vacation! :) Now it’s back to spinning spinning spinning!

Comments (17)

Starting 2009 on the right foot

January 16, 2009 @ 4:39 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: spinning

Handspun All Spun Up sw merino in Hanauma Bay
All Spun Up sw merino in Hanauma Bay
Handspun All Spun Up merino/alpaca blend in Mauna Kea
All Spun Up merino/alpaca blend in Mauna Kea
Handspun FatCatKnits falkland in
FatCatKnits Falkland in “Of Royalty”

Hi everyone! Happy new year! It’s been awhile since I last posted, eh? I have been very lax about posting as well as reading y’all’s blogs. I decided to clear out my “cache” of unread posts and start anew for 2009. Let’s hope I can keep it up. So I apologize to you if I haven’t been commenting lately!

So, what have I been up to? I had a wonderful 4 weeks in Hawaii with my family. Christmas was great and the boys got a lot of new clothes! OK, they aren’t too happy about the clothes part, but I sure am! We went to the beach almost every day (even though it rained a lot) and the boys got a super wicked tan! They also got to tour the local fire station and they sat in the fire truck and got to see all their “stuff”. The firemen in Kailua are so nice! We also had a tour of the police department since a friend of ours is a detective. It wasn’t too interesting for the kids, but it was for the adults. Did you know that the Honolulu Police Department is one of the oldest in the nation? It was started 10 years before New York City’s! Also, their first police chief was a king – King Kamehameha III! Pretty cool. The boys got to sit in a police car as well as on the motorcycles, they enjoyed that a lot! My husband wasn’t able to join us on our vacation, but he was such a sweetheart and bought me an iTouch for Christmas even though I repeatedly told him we can’t afford it. I love it though, even though touching those tiny letters is a pain.

Also on my trip, I got to meet a couple of my idols – KnottyNaomi and hizKnits!!! I’ll save that for the next post, don’t want to overwhelm ya.

Since I was gone, I didn’t spin AT ALL for a month. It was torture. I missed my wheel terribly! All I want to do for a couple of days is spin spin spin! I forgot to post a few pictures of some finished spins so I’ll do that now.

I’m hoping that I will get off my lazy ass and start posting regularly. We’ll see…

Comments (18)

Gotta cram all that spinning in…

December 2, 2008 @ 1:33 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: spinning

Handspun Twisted Fiber Art merino/tencel in Octarine
Twisted Fiber Art merino/tencel in Octarine (n-plied)
Handspun CMF sw merino in In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida
CMF sw merino in In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida (3ply)
Handspun All Spun Up sw merino in Elijah's Heart
All Spun Up sw merino in Elijah’s Heart (3ply)

because in 2 weeks me and my boys are going to Hawaii for a month! I cannot wait! I am not a winter person. I hate the morning routine of putting layers of clothing on, especially with the boys. Each piece of clothing = potential resistance and bribery. But I do love that each person in the household is wearing something handknit, if not handspun!

This trip to Hawaii is going to be great. My mom retired this year, so that means I will have more free time to do whatever! Wahoo! AND I will get to meet one of my spinning idols, Knotty Naomi, as well as get together with the Aloha Knitters. It will be really great to see them all again. And of course I will pig out on all the ono food. mmmm….my mouth is drooling already.

The downside (besides the fact that husband is not going) is that I won’t have a wheel there. I’ve even thought about buying a cheap one since I’m there for a month almost every year. But then it seems like a waste of money. I’ll just have to knit knit knit! I haven’t knitted hardly at all, so it will balance me out. I’ve been meaning to make some cowls for myself and the boys as well as more socks for the husband. AND I have to finish up the @#$%! candle flame shawl that I promised to do for my sis-in-law.

Speaking of spinning, here are some of my latest spins. I’ve been on a 3ply kick, I have no idea why. AND I’ve even done them in large quantities! I did 8oz CMF sw merino and 7oz. of All Spun Up sw merino. And apologies – I’ve been too lazy to make mosaics and post pics of the before and after!

If I don’t post again before I go, hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!

Comments (25)

Green with Envy!!!

November 12, 2008 @ 3:54 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: spinning

All Spun Up Oct SAL extrafine merino
All Spun Up SAL fiber
All Spun Up merino/bamboo
All Spun Up merino/bamboo

So I get a call from my husband this morning and he tells me that he has to fly to Los Angeles TODAY for work. First, my mind is upset because he gets to be a bachelor for 5 days. Not only that, he is a bachelor in LA! And he gets to eat at Taco Bell, and see old friends, oh yeah, he has to work, but still!!! And then he calls again demanding that I wash some clothes for him. Yeah, uh huh. And then he comes home to pack and then tells me that he has to go to CBS studios and is going to be in Burbank the whole time through the weekend because it’s cheaper for the company to stay overnight on Saturday. Gah, that bastard!!! OK, yes, harsh words, but I am so envious!

This week we have so much going on too. We have a parent-teacher conference with the preschool today, on Friday I have a big photo shoot to do (5 toddlers/4 mothers – nightmare!) and was counting on him to help me set up, and Thursday night we have a friend from Italy staying over and on Monday is our 19th anniversary!!!!! GAH!!!! He’ll be back by then (I think) and he better bring me back a good fibery present or I’m going to be so mad. OK, I’m not, and I probably sound like a raving lunatic, but I think that this has just never happened before. Usually he has a few weeks of warning and we can kind of prepare. But he was just whisked away and I feel so… lonely.

Anyways, enough about my jealous rant. I’ll include my latest spinning FO’s. They are both from All Spun Up. The yellowey one is the Spin-A-Long fiber and it was ok. I’m not a fan of extrafine merino, but it was still nice. Very nicely prepared. The other one is merino/bamboo and it was so wonderful to spin. It’s like there is some silver in there – it’s so shiny! I will certainly buy more!!!

I have also been doing a little knitting. I’ve been trying to motivate myself to knit on the Candle Flame shawl for my sister-in-law, but hell, I really am wishing I didn’t choose laceweight. But at the time, I had no other options. I’m maybe 1/2way done. I also started some Endpaper Mitts but thinking of frogging because my gauge is so loose. Argh!

With husband gone, I will probably get LOTS of spinning/knitting done! :) I guess that’s the good part. Heh.

Comments (18)

Undyed spinning

October 30, 2008 @ 11:01 am
posted by kris
Filed under: spinning

So I’ve been faced with a spinning dilemma. I want to make a handspun sweater for my boys (I would make one for husband but thought that I wouldn’t have the patience), and the only fibers that attract me for a sweater amount would be undyed roving – like some of those grey, brown or black shetlands or undyed merino. I really think for sweaters, plain is better, especially for cable details and what not.

But then I think about spinning a POUND of plain roving. Ugh. Sounds like torture, especially when you can buy the same wool in commercially spun hanks for just a little bit more. Is it worth it? I know I would be much more prouder of a handspun sweater, but it will only be worn a little while (6 months, if I’m lucky) and to put all that work into it…for just a little bit of wear!

So then I’m back to making an adult sweater – but by god, *2* pounds is even worse!!! At least it would be worn forever (I would make sure of *that*).

What do you think? Have any of you spun up a sweater’s amount?

Comments (17)

Geez, has it been a month already?

October 27, 2008 @ 3:53 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: baby knits,spinning

Gardasee (Italy)
Riva del Garda, the town we stayed in
Gardasee (Italy)
Gardasee, we’ll be seeing you again!
Handspun Baby Surprise Jacket
My first BSJ!
Mini BSJ in Wollmiese
Mini BSJ in Wollmeise Spice Market
From Fiber to Yarn: Tausendschön ef merino in Traumtänzer
Handspun Tausendschön ef merino in Traumtänzer
Handspun Sunshine Yarns sw merino in Drift
Handspun navajo plied Sunshine Yarns roving in Drift
Handspun Annettes Wollwerkstatt batts
Handspun 2ply Annette’s Wollwerkstatt batts

Is anybody even reading this blog anymore??? I know I’ve been really bad about blog posts, but I hadn’t realized that THAT much time has passed by! I actually haven’t done a whole lot of knitting

or spinning – I may have learned to balance out my life and have done quite a bit of reading, vacationing with the family, and just plain enjoying life. So I apologize if I haven’t been reading all y’alls blogs lately!!!

What have I done this past month or so? I went with the family to Gardasee (Italy) for some camping. It was the first time we took the boys. We weren’t sure how it was going to go over, but it turned out to be the most fun ever! We stayed at a campground in Riva del Garda, right on the beach. We had two tents, one for the boys and one for us and they absolutely loved having their own little house. We brought a little disposable grill but it was a miserable failure since the coals wouldn’t light. It was so painful to have to throw away all the meat. But luckily, there was a pizza place next door. We walked through the little towns in the day (and even bought some climbing harnesses for them) and then strolled on the beach at night. It’s amazing how relaxing it is not to have the TV, internet, distractions, etc. and can just be together on the edge of a really beautiful lake. Oh and the gelato, so yummy! :) The boys did so well and is looking forward to more trips. I think we will head to Gardasee whenever we get the chance. It is fairly close (3 hr. drive) and now that we can camp, it is cheap too!

But I have managed to do some knitting – I even finished a BSJ – my first! I did an I-cord edging and did button loops rather than have a button band. I really like it, the construction is genius and I’m sure there will be more of these in my future! Handspun is just perfect for this pattern! For this one, I used Crown Mountain Farms sw merino in “We are the Champions”. I still need to attach the buttons, hopefully will get that done tonight and I can send it off. This is going to “baby Bockstark” – the German guy who introduced me to the word “bockstark” and *claims* that he invented it, just had a baby girl a few weeks ago.

I liked the BSJ so much that I made a mini one (to fit a barbie) for the boys’ kindergarten. They needed a “Jacke” as something that starts with the letter “J”. It is too cute!!!

And I’ll just throw in some of my spinning pics, nothing too exciting…

Oh and also, my pattern has finally been debuted with the first Wollmeise Sock Club shipment! It is called “I Mog Di” (ravelry link). Unfortunately, it is currently only available to the sock club members.

Sorry for the rambling and disjointed post, that seems to be how my mind is lately…

Comments (15)

I am all about the 3plys

September 14, 2008 @ 11:24 am
posted by kris
Filed under: spinning

Holy moly, I just realized that I haven’t blogged about my recent FO’s. So I think I will just have a jumbo post full with pics! I am done with the Twilight series books and I’m embarrassed to admit that they were so freaking addictive. GAH, just sucked up my time. So for about a week I didn’t do any spinning or knitting. At all. Really. But now that it’s done, I can resume my spinning! :)

First off, I have my handspun socks that I finished from my All Spun Up 3ply. And after it being worn only once, it accidentally got thrown into the wash and felted. Argh. (click on pic for details)
From fiber to sock: All Spun Up merino/silk in Haleiwa (SAL fiber)
Handspun socks big and small

Next I have another 3ply merino/silk from All Spun Up in “Kunia”:
Form fiber to yarn:  All Spun Up merino/silk in Kunia

Next I have one of my own handdyed rovings, “As You wish”, 3ply merino (click on pic for details):
Handspun Bockstark merino in "As You Wish"

Then I have a 2ply Pigeonroof Studios BFL in Corrossion. This one brought BFL back into my good graces. I guess now that I am a little more experienced, BFL is not as problematic as it used to be! (click on pic for details)
From fiber to yarn:  Pigeonroof Studios BFL in Corrosion

Then, I took a little merino/alpaca blend from All Spun Up and practiced the 2 step Navajo ply and it worked like a charm. It became the most perfect N-ply yarn I have ever done!!! I highly, highly recommend Bowerbird Knits’ 2 step method for those of you who are Navajo-ply challenged. (click on pic for details)
All Spun Up navajo ply sample

And lastly, I just finished spinning up a preview roving from Sunshine Yarns. Dani, who recently got into spinning, is starting to dye roving now! YAY! She is celebrating her 3 year shop anniversary and every order will come with a free gift on the 16th and 17th, so be sure to check it out! The debut of the roving will be in 11 colorways!!! I can’t wait to see what other colors she comes up with!

The roving was easy to spin and it fluffed up beautifully! I am such a sucker for brown!! :) I have another braid of roving that I’m spinning now that will be Navajo plied (using the above mentioned 2 step method!). (click on pic for details)
From Fiber to Yarn:  Sunshine Yarns sw merino in Toffee

Comments (16)

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)

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.