Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I've mostly just been working on my Boxy in handspun -- the handspun in the post below this one. It's very bright and making me very happy! We've been watching The Walking Dead (well, we were watching it, but now the new season is out and I have to wait another whole week before I can see the next one! I should have spaced out seasons 1 and 2 likewise so that I got used to that rhythm, Netflix has spoiled me.) I am not a horror person, nor a zombie person, but this show has me obsessively attached. I am going to begin reading the comics this week. I don't mind spoilers and apparently they've been changed from the comics drastically anyway.

In other news, the blog had another facelift -- several folks mentioned that it was a bit like reading in a cave, so I decided to go with something a bit more bright and cheery. I don't want any of you to feel like this blog is dark, dank, and full of bats. There's only one bat here, and it's me.

I've been very busy, and next week I get to go home to Iowa and fetch Thusa, so there's been much preparation for that. I also have some exciting projects coming up next month that I can't wait to share, and I'll be sure to let you know as soon as possible. In the meantime, happy knitting (and crafting, and crocheting, and whatever it is you do...)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Product Review - Two If By Hand

So, I am in full fibery swing over here, now that it is beginning to feel like fall, and that means that I'm finally ready to dig in full force on some of the sweater lots that I spun up over the summer. One of the sweater lots was a custom order from Two if By Hand, a two-person hand-dyeing team. Maria and Ceylan have been spinning and knitting for a long while, but only begun dyeing fairly recently, and they are definitely making up for lost time. Their colorways are fantastic!

When I saw Jubilee in an update (on Polworth), I knew that I had to have some and organized a custom order with the team. It was my first Two if By Hand fiber, although the brand has been getting great press for awhile, and I was very impressed by the turnaround time and quality of fiber I received. I got my order within a month or a month and a half -- very quick for something custom made -- on the fiber requested (Polworth). I was shown some example braid photos from the dye batch to confirm that I still liked the colorway prior to payment, and was given a shipping notice when my package was sent.

Upon arrival, the braids were gorgeous! I took them out right away and took a picture. While spinning, I noticed that some of the fiber in small sections had rolled together, forming 'rings' -- I have experienced this with all level of fiber prep, I just removed these sections and kept on spinning. It was very easy to draft and I did not pre-draft the top, instead spinning it for long color repeats end to end, and then plying. I did notice that there were slight variations in saturation between braids -- this is my only complaint, but it was not enough of a difference for me to be willing to return the fiber! I simply plied the brighter braids with the slightly less saturated braids, and the results were very even.

I will definitely be buying fiber from Two if By Hand again! My Jubilee spin (which ended up being around 1800 yards), is slated to become a Boxy. Like I've said, I was really impressed with the quality of this brand. I do not buy a lot of fiber, and am very picky about the fibers that I buy regularly. It has to be very colorful to catch my eye!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Transition Weather, Transition Mittens

Ravelry: Transitional Mittens
Yarn: Hello Yarn Bristling Handspun

I could not be more excited for fall. Here in Knoxville, the fall comes in late, late October, bringing with it a fabulous change of leaves that people come from miles around to see -- it truly lights up the Smoky Mountains. Unfortunately, I have been so used to Iowa winters that I am ready for it to get chilly at night and in the morning around mid-August, so that's when I go full out on the knitting front.

It's not cold enough yet for these, but they're almost finished -- a pair of elbow-length mittens, spun with Hello Yarn 'Bristling' fiber -- that go from deep gray-blue all the way to bright mint green, kind of a reverse of the changes we're seeing in the landscape here. This fiber was pre-drafted and divided by color when I got it as a gift from a Ravelry friend, so I decided to spin it up as she'd intended. I love the results thus far. I can already imagine wearing them with my navy peacoat!