Fiber Friend in Need

Thanks to Ravelry, I am getting the chance to know people I may not have otherwise met. People who are as crazy about their fiber as I am, which makes it even more awesome. One of those people, is Lisa, of Poppy Flower Fibers. Not only does Lisa have great talent as a fiber artist, she is a kind, caring person. 

Unfortunately, she is faced with a difficult situation at this point in time. Her sweet dog, Poppy is very ill and has been for a few months now. This is after Lisa spent money on her other dog who was sick, and she lost earlier this year. As any pet owner knows, vet expenses are, well…expensive. 

What was amazing to hear from Lisa, was that the fiber community is supporting her more than some of her “real-life” friends. We, as a whole do seem to be a great community. Thus, my blog post about Lisa and Poppy. She was encouraged by a friend to start a raffle to help raise some much needed money for Poppy. I think this is a great idea, and have already purchased two tickets myself! I believe in doing anything you can to save your animals. I would for mine. If it was really dire and was likely to cost thousands, I would want to be as lucky as Lisa, and have people out there willing to support and help.

Tickets for the raffle are a mere $5.00 and you get a chance to win, 8 oz of 80% Superfine 19.5 micron count Merino/20% Mongolian Cashmere. Yumm, how luscious does that sound?

Good luck to anyone who buys tickets, it is a great giveaway! My continued love and support to both Lisa and Poppy! May you get some answers, may Poppy heal very quickly, and may you have many, many more years together!!

Here are some links:

This one is to Lisa’s blog.

This is a blog she put together for people to track Poppy’s progress and her fundraising efforts. She also showing documentation from her vet here.

Here is the link to purchase tickets in the raffle.

Celebrian

Just a quick post here today. When I posted about my finished yarn, I wanted to post a picture of the darling girl that the fleece came from. Here she is, in all her glory! Look at that lovely color, that sweet face. What a beauty. Thanks to Jen, at Contented Butterfly Farm for letting me use her photo! I just think it is so cool to be able to see the sheep that my fiber came from!

 

Celebrian

Celebrian

TDF 09 Update #3

Happy Friday!

This past Wednesday was the challenge day for the Tour de Fleece. I tackled a few things all in one fell swoop. I decided I wanted to try spinning a batt and see what the difference was. I also wanted to try a new drafting method, long draw. I did both of those, and tried a new fiber too – Falkland! It was a fun challenge day. 🙂

I started to work with the batt on Tuesday night at knitting. I really like working with batts, and I think I prefer it to braids. I will still work with braids, but it is a bit of a different experience. I really love the Falkland too. It is so soft and is spinning up beautifully. It even has a bit of a nice sheen. It is going to make one pretty yarn! Special thanks to Cris from Into the Whirled for such pretty stuff to play with. 😀

I will be curious to see the end result I will get from spinning long draw. 

Here are some photos of what I have been working on. Click on any photo to see a larger version.

 

Look at that lovely color!

Look at that lovely color!

I REALLY love these colors!

I REALLY love these colors!

More Pretty

More Pretty

TDF 09 Update #2

I guess I have been bad at posting my Tour de Fleece progress. Then again, I wasn’t making much progress, to be honest. I am getting faster with the drop spindle, and I am able to spin for longer periods of time. I am still amazed how fast the last bit of Shetland went, it seemed to just fly out of my hands! A special thanks to Jen, of Contended Butterfly Farm for such well prepared roving. It really was a joy to spin. Give Celebrian extra love from me for donating her lovely fleece. 😀

I hit more great milestones, I finished my first batch of roving (total of 4 ounces), and I plied my first skein of yarn. This skein was navajo plied. It really came out great and I am proud of this one too. It is soft, squishy, and the color is great. It is going to make something lovely for me, that is for sure! The stats on this are:

  • Name: Celebrian
  • Colorway: Moorit
  • 148 yards
  • 56 ounces

Did I mention that I really loved navajo plying?! It is a lot of fun, and was so easy to do on the spindle. I liked that I only had one strand to worry about, and that I had no leftover bits at the end. I will be doing this technique again, and I may even use it on what I started to spin last night at knitting. I will have more on the new stuff Friday. For now, here are some pretty photos. Clicking on any of them will bring you to larger versions on my Flickr page.

Close up on the spindle, after plying.

Close up on the spindle, after plying.

Spaghetti, anyone?!

Spaghetti, anyone?!

The finished skein.

The finished skein.

Mmmm....Detail

Mmmm....Detail

The Best Laid Plans…

Ah, yes, how grand my plans were for the shetland I have been spinning for a while now. Well, ok…maybe not grand, but I was excited about them anyway. 😉 I originally had 4 ounces to work with. I took that and split it into 2, 2 ounce sections. The first 2 ounces has been spun and resting on its uber-fancy tp holder bobbin for a few weeks now. I wanted to take that 2 ounces and navajo ply it. I was going to spin the second 2 ounces into 2, 1 ounce balls and then ply those together andean style.

I started to navajo ply the first 2 ounces yesterday and was immediately unhappy with how thick it was. I just did not like the way it looked. So, like a true artist, I made a decision on the fly. 😛 I decided to leave this as singles, because it is so thick as is. That led me to another decision, and that is to keep going with the second (and MUCH thinner) half and navajo ply that. I think the second half will look great plied that way, and I seem to be getting a lot out of it. I love the way it is coming out and would love to use it to make something.

Since I decided to leave the first 2 ounces as singles, they went into a nice, hot bath with some lavender wool wash yesterday. I let it soak for a bit, and then hung it to dry. I am amazed at how wonderfully lofty this came out. It is soft, and beautiful, even if it is a bit uneven. This is my very first ever finished skein of yarn. So exciting!

Here are the stats:

  • Name: Celebrian Singles (after the sheep that graciously donated her fleece)
  • Colorway: Moorit
  • WPI: 11
  • 83 yards
  • 46 gram skein
My FIRST Skein of Yarn

My FIRST Skein of Yarn

The Close-Up

The Close-Up

 

I also finished my niddy-noddy, and it came out really nice. A simple oil rubbed finish and it really brought out the color and the grain. All I used was mineral oil. It doesn’t get much easier!

Unfinished

Unfinished - Bone White and Boring!

Finished - A Nice Golden Color

Finished - A Nice Golden Color

A Good Night, A Bad Night

Tonight saw me heading out to knitting. It all started out so well. I felt really good most of the day today, at least much better than I had after my last reaction to gluten. I even thought maybe the reaction had passed. Boy was I wrong, that thought all ended when I got to the cafe. When I sat down, I was shaking, my face felt like it was burning and was bright red, I had a nasty headache coming on and just felt BAD.

Once others started to show up, I tried to push how I was feeling out of my mind. I did the best I could, but I was having trouble focusing, thinking, and staying put mentally. I have a hard time when I feel like this. I know that it can come across that something is wrong with me. I try so hard to hide that I am sick / not feeling well, because I don’t want people to pity me, or see me as weak. I HATE that something I cannot even see, a stupid little protein, can have such a great impact on me. I do think that maybe my eyes glazed over once or twice, and I apologize if this happened while anyone was talking to me. I can’t control it. 

Getting ready to leave….well, things just got worse. I started to shake again, feel very nauseous, more spacey. Another headache started to come on, and all my joints started to ache. Did I mention how much I hate this? It was hard to drive home, and I am thankful that it is not too long of a drive. I almost had to pull over more than once because of the nausea. I made it home safe and sound, and am getting worse as I type this.

I think my other greatest reason for not sharing when I don’t feel well, is that I don’t want to be accused of being dramatic or negative. That is something that I fight from being a child. Showing sickness just was frowned upon as unnecessary. I promise though, there are no dramatics in anything I talk about when it comes to reacting to gluten. Just simple, honest, truth.

I wish I could change how this happens. That I could take a pill, and it would all go away. It just isn’t that simple, and this is something I have to learn to live with. It is a struggle that I have been fighting for a few years now, and it doesn’t ever get any easier. 

On the plus side, the good side, even thought I felt awful, I had a GREAT time. I laughed, and laughed, and laughed. I was surrounded by friends, both new and old, and we all just had so much fun. That is what I love about knit night, the fun. It is so nice to spend time with other woman who aren’t petty, catty, mean, nasty, or snobby. We all just get along, and that is awesome in my book.

I was also, miraculously a bit productive. I finally finished spinning that half of my shetland I have been working on for ages now. I will try to get pics up soon. Now I am debating if I should finish the other half right now, or ply what has been sitting done for a bit. I am not sure yet.

So, in some ways, it was both a good night and a bad night. I am so glad I went, even though I didn’t feel my best. Laughter is great medicine and I had plenty of it tonight! 🙂

Tour de Fleece ~ Day 9

I am still here and still plugging along. The update for today is of the roving I am spinning up on my Brandywine Woodworking spindle. It is superwash merino in the Night Sky colorway from Actual Size Creations. I really like spinning this stuff too. It is like spinning buttah! I also have an updated photo of my beautiful Garden of Alla shawl that I have been working on. It is really coming along.

 

Spinning Progress

Spinning Progress

Close Up

Close Up

Pretty Alla in the Sun :)

Pretty Alla in the Sun

Tour de Fleece Update

So far, I have been really happy with my progress. It is slow going, but I am plugging along. I really do like how this is coming out, but I am so eager to be done! I decided to leave the nepps in because I like the color they add to the chocolate yarn, and I love the rustic quality they lend as well. I am going to finish this as a 2 ply, so I only have .20 ounces left to spin until I finish the first half of this. It will be 2 ounces of yarn when all is said and done.

Here are some progress photos:

 

Here it is as roving, with the spindle I am spinning it on.

Here it is as roving, with the spindle I am spinning it on.

Here we are, almost half way through!

Here we are, almost half way through!

A lovely close up. :)

A lovely close up. 🙂

Tour de Fleece

So, as Tina over at Rows Red said, we knitters can be a strange bunch. For those non-fibery people, the Tour de Fleece is where you spin every day that the Tour de France runs. Each person sets their own goals, and if you accomplish them by the end of the Tour, you get a badge for your blog. It is much more than that though, it is an opportunity to accomplish something, and to challenge yourself. My goal is quite simple, but perfect for me. My goal is to spin for a minimum of 10 minutes per day.

Now, that might not sound like much to most people. However, just a few weekends ago, I injured my shoulder from spinning for too long. It was not intentional. I just got caught up in the moment, and forgot to put the spindle down. Spinning for a period of time every day, will help build the muscle memory I need to spin for longer spans of time. It will also help to improve my spinning skills. It will get me in the habit of spinning on a daily basis too, so that I am doing more than knitting. After all, it is kinda hard to knit when you have no yarn to knit with. While I can always buy from a store, there is something magical about making my own yarn, and then making something beautiful out of that. It feels like such an amazing thing, a true accomplishment that leaves me with something tangible and useful.

In other news, speaking of accomplishments, I knit my 100th row on the shawl I am currently knitting. It is my first lace project and it is coming along beautifully. I will try to get a photos of that up, and my spinning progress soon.