Friday, June 20, 2008


As promised, here's "Hive," the last shipment in the February-April Hello Yarn Fiber Club. Like the Red Velvet fiber, I wasn't organized or disciplined enough to get a photo of the fiber in its unspun state, so you'll have to do with Adrian's picture.

I'll have fond memories of this fiber because I actually spun it in the Japanese Garden in Houston's Hermann Park, which is one of the big green spaces in the city and home to the Houston Zoo. I had a terrible, wracking cold for about three weeks in April and May and wasn't exercising much, so I wanted to get outside and breathe some fresh air before it got too hot. I lugged my Lendrum to the park, found a handy little pavilion in the Japanese Garden, complete with a bench and a roof (it drizzled a bit that day), and sat down and spun up almost the entire batch of fiber.

I was pretty absent-minded when I wound the yarn into a skein, so I don't remember the exact yardage, but I'm pretty sure it's over 200 yards of DK-weight yarn. It was very hard to get the colors exactly right in the pictures, and even now it looks a little oranger in the pictures than it is in real life. But at least you have an idea of how nice and cheerful the fiber is. Spinning it really made me feel like that princess in Rumpelstiltskin who had to spin gold out of straw!

It's 4 oz. of Falklands wool, and although it's not my most consistent spinning effort, I'm very pleased with the finished yarn, which is soft and happiness-inducing. I just have to figure out what to make with it. I think a bright scarf might be the way to go, to cheer up those winter days when the weather is blah.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Red Velvet

I'm quite embarrassed about how long it's been since I posted. Everything is still fine here at Chez Seedless Grape; work has just been more than a little crazy for the past few months. I won't go into the dirty details, so let's just continue with our regularly scheduled blogging (such as it is), shall we?

In the midst of work craziness, I've managed some intermittent knitting and spinning. Unfortunately, most of the knitting has already been given away--mostly birthday gifts--without proper photographic documentation for blogging. But the spinning FOs are still hanging around, so at least I have something to show for my efforts!

I can't remember if I ever blogged about it, but I joined the Hello Yarn Fiber Club for the February-March-April installment. Wow, I love Adrian's fiber! I won't even pretend to have the same sense for colors and shades that Adrian does, but participating in the club has definitely expanded my color horizons. The colorways are always fun, interesting, and super-saturated. Adrian combines colors that I wouldn't necessarily pick out for myself or even think would look good together, but somehow they always turn out looking amazing.

Below are some pictures of the second club shipment--"Red Velvet." Unfortunately, I was too disorganized and distracted at the time to take a picture of the fiber before I spun it up, so you only get to see the finished product. (But you can click here and see Adrian's picture of the fiber.)

Spinning this fiber was MY MOST PERFECT SPINNING EXPERIENCE EVER. Seriously--no exaggeration. The yarn is the most consistent I've ever achieved, AND I got my singles to match up almost perfectly. I think I had about a yard and a half of extra single after plying the two singles together. That's the closest I've ever had my singles match up. I am in LOVE with this yarn!

It's 4 oz. of Shetland wool, and I can't remember the exact yardage, but it's well over 200 yards of a DK/sport-ish weight. Enough for a hat or mittens, definitely, although I haven't figured out what I want to do with it. I'm a little too in love with it right now to knit anything out of it.

I've spun other fiber since the Red Velvet, but nothing has achieved the same level of UTTER PERFECTION as this lovely little hank. I think it helped that I spun all the Red Velvet fiber up in a fairly concentrated period of time, so I had serious muscle memory, got into a zen-like groove, and kept going until all the fiber was spun. Other spinning projects since then have been a bit more stop-and-go, so the finished yarns are lumpier/bumpier and my singles haven't matched up quite so well. I'm looking forward to the next zen-like spinning experience; as perfect as it is, surely the Red Velvet can't be the apex of my spinning career!

Next up (eventually): "Hive," a.k.a. the Hello Yarn fiber club's April shipment. (See Adrian's picture of the fiber here.)