#yarnlovechallenge wrap up

The #yarnlovechallenge was a photo-a-day project hosted by Mary Heather Browne and Christina B of Ravelry.


I loved seeing everyone’s choices for the prompts! I can’t keep up with these type of “challenges” every month, but it’s nice to have prompts every once in awhile to help me post more regularly.

Last Week Chez Play – Tour de Fleece 2014

UntitledI finished this year’s Tour de Fleece with 2 large skeins of 2 ply Border Leicester cross. I tried for a 3rd skein, but I didn’t quite make it. A finished yardage of 835yd for 9.6oz is pretty good considering I was starting from these locks! I should have washed AND prepped my fleece before the start of the Tour. Lesson: plan ahead!

I have ~1000yds of singles on this bobbin and another bobbin going. I’m shooting for a third, 5oz/500yd skein which should be enough for the Hitofude cardigan I have planned. If I run out of yarn, I have plenty of fleece left, probably enough for another sweater or two if I spin fine again. I’m thinking about overdyeing some; perhaps with a fair isle sweater in mind? Something thick, and coat-like, and Lopi-ish?

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FO Friday – Mon Petit Pullover

P1080849Once upon a time, I spun 5oz of merino/silk top into 500+ yards of chain-plied, self-striping fingering/sport weight yarn. What to do? I am generally not a pastel person and I likely wouldn’t wear a shawl in these colors.

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Several months later, I had two minor seconds of Boundless Sock in The Grey and I knew they should be together! So I planned a pullover version of Mon Petit Gilet Rayé. I knit a goodly-sized swatch, did some maths and cast on. And it worked! It came out a tiny bit longer than planned, but I love it. I can throw it on with jeans or a skirt. It’s not fussy, but it’s together enough for vending events. I’m totally in love with it. You can read my notes (gauge, stitches cast on…etc) at my Ravelry project page!

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Last Week Chez Play

Last Week at PAL 7/14/14

Oh, hey! I haven’t blogged since February.

I joined a discussion with some online friends about blogging this morning and I admitted to being a terrible blogger.  I’m just not very wordy! I do post a lot of pictures on my Instagram account so I suggested a weekly photo recap, highlighting what I’d been doing in the studio, and out and about in the past week. That idea went over well so here you go!

My husband was on vacation last week so I took a break from dyeing. We did some work around the house, went to the beach a couple of times, and did some Geocaching. It was a very relaxing mini vacation!

Left to right, top then bottom:

1. I got some spinning WIPs off the bobbin just in time Tour de Fleece. Right is  4oz, ~150yds two ply Merino/bamboo/silk in Jewels from All for the Love of Yarn. Left is one of my gradients. I had a short 3oz braid of Redleaf on yak/merino top which I turned into ~300yds of fingering weight goodness. I love this fiber blend. This is my favorite handspun so far!

2. I was able to do a bit of thrifting and found these awesome cloth napkins

3. We went to the beach which resulted in this obligatory, dorky beach selfie.

4. I finished a huge bobbin of border leicester cross singles for the Tour! I’m working from clean fleece and flicking locks out as I go. It’s rather time consuming! I need to invest in some combs.

2013 – Life as a Yarnie

2013 was filled with a lot of personal ups and downs Chez Play. But there was always yarn and fiber to wind, dye, and label. Thankfully, I have Instagram to document the daily goings-on of a full-time “yarnie.”

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR, PALers! Here’s to another 12 months of fluffy color and steamy dye pots.

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May Wrap Up – Festivals!

I love small, local fiber festivals. Especially the RI Wool and Fiber Festival at the Coggeshall Farm Museum. The grounds are beautiful, there’s a kids’ craft tent (that my oldest loves), and The Knitaholics always have a sit and knit spot. Plus the spinning guild does a sheep to shawl demo and the Plouffe’s food truck is there with yummy barbeque and baked potatoes that are bigger than your head.

I usually share vending space with my friend Lisa of Autumn Olive and Katy Wescott. This was the first year vending in my own 10’x10′ space! I overestimated how much product I would need to fill the space.

But that meant I had plenty for the next weekend! Though it was a rather hot day, RIWFF was fun and relaxing as usual.

On to the MA Sheep and Woolcraft Fair in Cummington, MA. I was pretty nervous about a two day festival with my kids in tow. Which resulted in me messing up a bunch of little things. I had so much product and display stuff that we needed a larger vehicle to get there. The rental fee for an SUV or van would have been prohibitive. So we rented the largest car we could get and divided the kids and product between the rental and our Saturn. This set up was on the verge of being to small. With some rather puzzle-like packing, we were able fit everything we remembered to bring.

I say remembered because I didn’t make a packing list. And despite leaving them next to all the other things we needed to bring, we forgot to bring the legs for the grid wall pieces. And my sign. Thankfully, I had picked up some clothesline and a bunch of zip ties. I love zip ties! We strapped the grid wall together in a zig zag. My husband tied some loops into the clothes line and we used the zip ties, S-hooks, and ribbon I brought to hang the fiber. I really liked this on-the-fly set up.

The first day was very hot. We drank a lot of water and my kids were very happy that the play area was shaded well. Apparently, this was the first year for the play area. It happened to be just behind our spot which saved my youngest from extreme boredom. He was in and out of there all day!

He was less enthusiastic about it the next day. By the end of day two, the allure of out trip had worn off and the boys were back to bickering and poking at each other constantly. We were all beat and happy to sleep in our own beds that night. And ecstatic that the next day was a work and school-free day. We needed the day of rest!

And it’s taken me this long to wind down enough to make a blog post 😀 I assume, next year will be easier for us. I hope so, since I already booked a spot in Cummington!

May Wrap Up – The Clubs

May was very, very busy for me. VERY. Not only did I have my first outdoor, two day vending gig, I had to travel to attend it. And I brought my family with me. It was an adventure! Plus I had two club shipments to complete.

First up: the clubs.

The Not so Guilty club focused on my favorite musical guilty pleasure, Katy Perry.

Revelous Sockie Maki Set – Boom, Boom, Boom

I love this colorway! I chose the Revelous (sw merino/bamboo rayon/nylon) and its fiber counterpart for the sock and fiber club shipments. This blend is great for summer socks. Luxury Shawl club members received Telyn Maki put up in an exclusive 115g/4oz size.

Once again, members received some great stitch markers from Lucid Sunshine

In the Tripping Yarn Balls Zodiac Club, it was Taurus’s month. Taurus. A bull. It took me a while to find inspiration. I finally settled on a calf-inspired, self-striping colorway. I’m happy to say it was well received by members.

On Wednesday, you’ll find out what happens when I don’t make a packing list.

Shawl Inspiration

I am a big fan of PBS’s Masterpiece Theater, both Classics and Contemporary. I’ve recently been watching “Return to Cranford” and I’ve become inspired by all the beautiful, natural colored, sideways knit shawls the ladies wear.

Photo : BBC

Photo : Daily Mail

And of course, a quick search on Ravelry finds the Eyre of Romance Jane Shawl and several other shawls designed by Kay Meadors of Natural State Knitting.

Photo : Kay Meadors

I’m thinking hanspun. Maybe this Cormo I did a while back. It’s quite a bit thinner and could use another go through my wheel to tighten up some of the plying, but it’s perfect for a neck-thing.

I also have this for a smaller finished shawl. It’s shiny! So tempting!