Playing Around

Last year, I purchased two 4-ounce braids of Malabrigo Nube Merino roving in the Archangel colorway, with the intention of playing around with it. I took one braid, spun it end to end, the first half on one bobbin, the second half on another bobbin, then plied the two singles together. The other braid I spun end to end on one bobbin, then I chain plied the singles.

I present, for you viewing pleasure, the results, with minimal commentary. I’ll let the fiber speak for itself. :-)

Two braids of Malabrigo Nube in Archangel

Two braids of Malabrigo Nube in Archangel, as soft as it looks.


One braid spun end to end, ready to ply


What are the chances that the singles would be so evenly divided between the two bobbins?


The bobbin on the top is the chain-plied braid.


The chain-plied skein beside the 2-ply on the bobbin


Chain-plied on the left; 2-ply on the right


A close up of the two skeins


The 2-ply after setting the twist


The chain-plied skein after setting the twist


New City, New Life

Things are starting to calm down a bit after the big move from Carlisle to Pittsburgh. Sort of. A lot of the unpacking has been done, but a lot of stuff is still in boxes and will remain so for the foreseeable future because we will be starting some big projects soon to get the house spruced up, and if we unpack everything, we’ll just have to pack it back up when the work begins. (How’s that for a run-on sentence?)

But I did finally buy a new desk for my computer

My new computer desk. The old desk didn't make the move.

My new computer desk. The old desk didn’t make the move.

which means I finally got my iMac back up and running, which means I’m finally getting around to updating my blog with pictures. Yes, pictures.

I haven’t been doing a lot of knitting, but I have been spinning like a fiend ever since I got my Travvy and my Lendrum unpacked and set up.


A River Runs… Loop Bullseye Bump for December, 2014



The yarn off the niddy noddy before setting the twist



Field of Dreams from Loop Fiber Studio

Field of Dreams from Loop Fiber Studio



Chain plied. The twist has not been set yet.

Both of these Loop Bullseye Bumps were spun end to end on my Ashford Traveller in double drive using the sliding hook flyer, then chain plied on my Lendrum using the regular head. I started the Field of Dreams back before we moved. I was almost half way finished with the spinning when we started packing up just before Thanksgiving, so it was untouched for almost two months. When I started it up again, it felt wonderful to be back at my wheel.

It may seem odd that I have been doing so much chain plying lately. I used to be quite vocal about my dislike of chain plying, but with practice, I’ve gotten more proficient at it, so much so that I have started to enjoy doing it. And having knitted with my chain-plied handspun, I have discovered that the “bumps” don’t show. I was skeptical when spinners/knitters said that the “bumps” don’t show, but now I know they are correct. :-)

I have lots more spinning to share with you, but it will have to wait for another day. I’m just happy to be back to blogging. With pictures! :-)




Still Alive

Yes, I’m still in this world. Sorry for the silence, but I’m currently living in Limbo. The move itself went smoothly enough and the Xmas holiday was fine; I received some excellent alpaca yarn that was purchased in Peru, most of which has already been knitted up. But the new year brought the obligatory winter respiratory infection, so that put the kibosh on virtually all of life’s pleasantries.

Fortunately, I am mostly recovered now, and a lot of the boxes that were filling the kitchen have  been either unpacked or moved to the basement. But a lot of stuff will not be unpacked until we have remodeled the kitchen (we’re in the getting estimates stage) and had the floors downstairs refinished, hence the Limbo. To unpack or not to unpack. That is the question.

And to top things off, I have misplaced two hats that I knitted (including one knitted with the Peruvian alpaca I received as a present). I remember where I last saw them, but I have no idea where they are now. Where the hell did I put them? I have searched in every conceivable place for them, but no joy. So I guess I will have to start searching in inconceivable places. (Please, no Princess Bride references. Thank you.)

Not much knitting has been happening, just two hats and half a fingerless mitt, but I did finally get my Travvy reassembled and working, and I finished spinning up the Loop bump I started back in November. I hope to do some plying today. Unfortunately, during the haze of my illness, I missed the deadline for the Jan/Feb/Mar installment of the Loop Bullseye Bump club, so no more new bumps till Spring. I guess that will give me time to catch up spinning all the bumps in my stash, not to mention all the other fiber.

Otherwise, there’s not much to report aside from saying that living in the city is taking a lot of adjustment, more for some than for others. It’s been a month since we moved here, but it seems like forever.

There Will Be Pictures

The month of November is more than halfway over, and I just realized I haven’t put up a new post since September. I usually don’t allow this much time to pass between posts.

The real reason I haven’t posted is because I’m kind of lazy; my excuse for not posting is that the DH and I have been in the process of buying a house, trying to sell a house, and getting ready to move house.

I’ve been doing some knitting, but nothing exciting. And I’ve been doing a wee bit of spinning, but not a lot. Pictures soon. I promise.

Anyway, I’m getting ready for an early Thanksgiving this weekend, then we start packing in earnest for the move next month. Soon we will be starting a new life in a new house in a new city in another part of the state. I’ve been in my current house since 1982 and my current “city” since 1977, so it’s a big change, but it’s going to be a great adventure.

Look out, Pittsburgh! Here comes Pinko Knitter!

In The Loop

I really love spinning. I don’t know why it took me so long to give it a try, but I’m glad I did. I’ve been spinning for over two years now, and I love it more than ever.

One of my favorite things to spin is Loop Bullseye Bumps from Loop Fiber Studio. I love the Bullseye Bumps so much that I joined the Surprise Me! Bullseye Bump Club. You can choose sparkle or no sparkle; I currently am subscribed to “no sparkle,” but I love the fiber with sparkle, too, and will probably switch back to sparkle at some point.

Most of the Bullseye Bumps are gradients, that is, there are long sections of color that gradually change into another color. But recently Steph, the genius behind Loop, has started doing some Bullseye Bumps that repeat the colors so that you get a self-striping yarn. The Bullseye Bumps really lend themselves to chain plying, but I sometimes spin the first half of the fiber onto one bobbin, and the second half onto another bobbin, and ply the two together to get a barber pole or heathered effect.

Anyway, here is my most recent completed Loop Project. The color way is Girl Power, and, yes, SPARKLE! I spun the bump end to end, then chain plied it. The spinning and plying were both done on my Schacht Ladybug, the spinning in double drive and the plying in Scotch tension.

Loop Girl Power Loop Bullseye Bump Club (9/13) Girl Power 5.2 oz, merino, bamboo, tussah silk, angelina (It sparkles!)

Loop Girl Power chain-plied on the bobbin

On the niddy noddy

Off the niddy noddy. You can see the sparkle. :-)

The colors are quite intense.

The finished skein, about 680 yards/5.2 ounces of fingering-weight 3-ply (chain ply)

A different view of the finished skein

Riddle Me This

So, why is there a shipping box sitting on its side in my living room?


Because I haz cat. :-)

Siobhan loves her box.

Siobhan is so pretty.

Peace, Fiber Work & Health

Pinko Knitter:

This blog says it much better than I ever could.

Originally posted on The Sweaty Knitter, Weaver and Devotee of Other Fiber Arts:

For the last 10 years I have lived with a serious disease that is exacerbated by stress. Thus the calm and centered feeling I get from engaging in any fiber work – from knitting to weaving – has been crucial for me.  Part of coping – in addition to the medical establishment, exercise and nutrition, of course – has been (sadly) no longer reading literature from my academic field.  (I get both excited at staying current in my field and frustrated because I have no “outlet” for it: no graduate students to work with, no undergrads to spell bind, no clients to consult with, no books and articles to publish.)

That said, I read with semi-regularity (including Harvard Business Review, New York Times, The Guardian, Mother Jones and Slate) but nothing close like I did before I retired.  Thor subscribes to several journals that I read: Bloomberg’s, Wall Street…

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