Crazy Monkey Creates

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Long time, no post… August 31, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — crazymonkeycreates @ 5:55 pm

I’ve been working and haven’t had time to take pretty pictures, and I’ve been somewhat grumpy as well. I’ve unsubscribed from a couple blogs lately because they’ve either bashed or promoted (OVER-promoted) stores.

My sock-pal from knittyboard sent me some cool stuff:



and I’ve been working on socks for benny:

and a little further away…

.. and the full shot…

Boyfriend Socks being knit 2 at a time, toe-up on one addi 0, 40″. This rapidly withering ball of yarn is austermann step in color # 3.

And of course, there’s been spinning. This is one ply of “Burning Tundra” — which will be an 8 oz skein of merino superwash.

Now, it’s off to camp with my husband and our friend mike. Have a nice labor day! 🙂

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So, what came by UPS that I was so excited about? August 9, 2007

Filed under: 2007,lendrum,spinning — crazymonkeycreates @ 7:11 pm

This.

lendrum-folding.jpg

A Lendrum Double-Treadle wheel. Complete kit, including the Jumbo flyer, the tensioned lazy kate, and the Fast flyer. It arrived on Tuesday, and setup was a snap. I don’t see why anyone would classify it as a “portable” wheel, as it dwarfs my Joy (which I didn’t think of as a small wheel). Yes, it folds flat, but you have to take the flyer head off for it to be compact enough to “slide under a bed”.  And then you have to figure out a good place to put your extra heads that you don’t lose them.

The regular flyer is a nice size, and the flyer head is easily adjustable in height. The Jumbo flyer lives up to its name, with an orifice SO BIG that it doesn’t come with an orifice hook. Because you can reach in and grab the yarn with your fingers.

The bobbins are large. The regular bobbins are longer than my Joy bobbins, and after a test spin, have proved to hold 4 oz. of pre-fingering weight singles. I plied some singles that I had spun on my Joy onto the Jumbo bobbin, and it was barely full (as my Joy bobbins only held about 2.5 oz of fiber, this is not terribly surprising). The Jumbo flyer and bobbin were a huge selling point for me, as was the “Castle” style. I like that style of wheel over a more traditional wheel. My Joy has pleased me, and I looked at different wheels before deciding on this one.

I’ve yet to use the tensioned lazy kate for more than one bobbin full of fiber, but the way I’ve been able to wind off a bobbin without the singles flying around the room, the bobbin spinning backwards, etc. has been very nice.

If you’ve not seen one in person, the flyer head and the wheel lean toward you, which seems rather awkward, until you actually start spinning, and realize that you’re not leaning toward the orifice because the orifice is leaning towards you.

I’m already planning 8 oz skeins of yarn, already thinking about plying 2 4oz bobbins together to give me a Cascade 220-esque skein of handspun yarn. Already dreaming of a handspun sweater for fall or winter.

 

Review: The Twisted Sisters Knit Sweaters

Filed under: 2007,book review — crazymonkeycreates @ 6:47 pm

The Twisted Sisters Knit Sweaters is the “sequel” to the Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook, but instead of clothing feet, this clothes torsos.sisters.jpg

I ordered this one last week, after a crappy week at work. Image blatantly stolen from amazon, but hosted on wordpress.

I loved the sock workbook, with its discussions on spinning for sock knitting, and the patterns and different toes and heels offered. This seems like a shorter book, but it goes into almost as much detail on how to knit the designed sweaters, and how to design a sweater to fit your own proportions.

The first sweater is a drop-shoulder sweater knit from the bottom to the top or the other way ’round, then the same basic sweater knit side-to-side. The rest of the sweaters in the book build off the basic sweater construction. There’s a side-to-side knit vest, a side-to-side knit v-neck sweater, a small cardigan knit side-to-side with saddle shoulders, a saddle shoulder aran, a ‘winged’ lacy sweater, and more.

The photos are well-lit, the models all look comfortable and warm (no “model poses” with the half-twisted waist). The sweaters all look blocked and lovely, and overall, it’s a great book to explain sweater construction. The back of the book even has MORE sweater pictures, including 2 “friendship sweaters” knit half by one person, half by another.

No, you don’t have to spin to enjoy this book, as it’s a basic sweater book that just happens to have handspun yarn in it. There’s even a compare and contrast of the little girl’s sweater knit in handspun and knit in a variegated commercial yarn. To my eye, the color blends are softer in the handspun sweater than in the commercial yarn. You may like the more contrasting colors or the softer blends, but both of the sweaters are darned cute.

If you happen to be a spinner, the examples of what each sweater was made of, how the yarn was spun, and how the project was planned are rather interesting. If you’re just a knitter who has an interest in color (but not in spinning), it’s a little interesting to see how the sweaters  came together with the different colors.

I’ve been drooling over this book since it came via UPS (but it’s not the BIG THING that I got this week), and it will probably be used (and used well) over the coming months.

 

Time flies like an arrow; Fruit flies like a banana August 3, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — crazymonkeycreates @ 7:26 pm

So the guys I work with are insane. One of them decided that strippers have names of things they want to have, like “Ferrari” or “Diamond”.  He then proceeded to ask what everyone else’s stripper name would be. One of the guys who fishes wanted to be “FlyRod”, and this guy wanted to be “7-Room-Mansion”.

I said, “My stripper name isn’t going to be popular. But it will be unique.”

Ready for it?

“SheepFarm.”

This launched everyone into “… and here comes SheepFarm on the main stage. Give her a hand, guys, she’s not so baaaaaaaad.” “SheepFarm on the side stage, she’s a baaaaaaaad girl, get your singles ready.”

What would your stripper name be?

Also, I have a package coming to me that will be here on Tuesday. Any guesses as to what is in it? Something… very happy.
Oh, and I got my sock swap package… pictures to be taken later. I’m definitely spoiled! 🙂

 

Now! With Pictures! August 2, 2007

Filed under: 2007,spinning — crazymonkeycreates @ 1:55 am

So, my husband bought me a collet chuck. I said to him “How many men would buy their woman a collet chuck?” He replied, “Probably not many.” I said “Yeah, that’s because most women don’t want one. But I’ve got one now, and it’s awesome.” and thanked him.

Collet Chuck

Why would I want one of these? So I can make these:

turned spindle shaft

So, some yarn pr0n… Let’s start with “It’s My Party (and I’ll Cry if I want To)”, which started out as 8 oz of white merino roving that got dyed and spun into a nice worsted weight yarn:

4 skeins handspun yarn

And we’ll move on to “California Dreamin'” (another 8 oz of white merino that got dyed and spun into another worsted weight 2-ply):
California Dreamin'

Let’s finish with the lovely fingering-weight superwash that I’m calling “Goodbye, Blue Monday”. 128 yds and 130 yds respectively, these 2 skeins were lovely to spin.

Goodbye Blue Monday

I wish I had dyed more of this colorway and less of the one that’s sitting on my bobbins waiting to be plied. They’re called “12 years old”, and it’s 2 pinks and a purple. 4 skeins, each approximately 2 ounces, just waiting… waiting to be plied.

Finally, let me leave you with this happy leaping mountain goat, as a teaser for what’s to come from my trip to Mt. Evans:

 

First, a post with no pictures. August 1, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — crazymonkeycreates @ 9:23 pm

I’m hoping to get a second post up today (or in the wee hours of tomorrow) with pictures. Let me just say my husband is awesome. He bought me a collet chuck for the lathe so I can turn the ends of my spindles. We went out to Mount Evans on Tuesday to get pictures of sheep and goats and marmots, and it was awesome.

No knitting got done over my weird weekend (Sun-Mon-Tue), but I dyed 2 1/4 pounds of superwash merino and started spinning it up. I’ve spun 12 oz, but only plied 4oz of it so far.  I used the golden ratio again to dye, and came up with some pretty fingering yarn that I’m tempted to use as a ‘sample’.

My spindling class went well on Saturday, and all of the students were making nice yarns by the end of the class. I brought some angora, some silk, and some llama fiber for them to try, as well as the wool that the store provided. I figure it’s better to learn on different fibers so you won’t be “afraid” to try new ones. I keep reading about people who learned on some sort of generic carded wool who need encouragement to try anything that isn’t exactly what they learned with.

Then again, if you read some lists, you find people need outside encouragement to choose a knitting needle, to choose a color of yarn, to choose a pattern, the right way to make a gauge swatch, etc. I just wanted the students I taught to learn to use different fibers and not to be afraid to mix  fibers and colors in a project.