Monday, February 28, 2011

of goings on in wintertime

I'm sitting here watching my plants slowly die (it's end of season for my peppers and tomatoes, and they're going down fast!) and thinking about what to plant for the new season. I decided to list all the seeds i had saved here and there around the house, and figure out what i actually wanted to plant.  Plus, i also need to amalgamate plans with mom, as we're sharing the garden. I'm pretty sure i'll be planting: white carrots, zucchini, pumpkins, and at least two types of tomatoes (likely more). must. do . more. planning....   :D

I got a swap gift in the mail today (and yes, i did a girly little happy dance as i started to open it!).
above is the first unwrapping (a postcard, and gift in bag)

next layer in, some toffee and the gift itself... this was a magic yarn ball swap, and my swap partner had it wrapped up beautifully!

partway through unwinding the yarn ball inside... so. much. yarn. woohoo!
you can't really tell, but it's a lovely variegated green. i think it will work into something crocheted (or loom knit) beautifully!

and finally, all the goodies that were inside. You see, a Magic yarn ball is a bunch of treats/goodies/things wrapped together in yarn, and the recipient gets to re-roll the yarn and find all the surprises inside!

in other news, my Strawberry mead is smelling WONDERFUL!... just about time to move it to the carboy, i think.

i`ve been crocheting a fair bit, and my spinning is currently on hold and will likely be so for a while, because March is National Crochet Month. Because of this, I plan on crocheting every day for the next month, no breaks (which of course means that i`ll be doing less spinning/loomknitting as a result)

i'm definitely ready for some warmer weather... maybe some rain.... melting snow.... anything?? yeah. soon, i hope.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Of winter, and fleece, and all things indoors

hey folks.  Guess i'm not feeling very blog motivated these days. Sorry.

However, i have been keeping myself busy (of course!)

my daughter is doing better everyday with her home education. she's beginning to sound words out fairly accurately, when prompted, and is starting to learn about telling  time.

strawberry mead,  brewing right now! yum!!

my first knit sock. no, really! i'm using a sock loom. it's slow, but very interesting!

I've recently purchased some icelandic fleece, and have washed a pound of it...

Yup, that's what a pound of fleece looks like.
It washed really really easily, and i'm very happy with the result. i also washed an 'extra' bit the seller threw in. unfortunately, the grease had hardened, and i was unable to completely clean it. I will be trying to comb and spin it, but don't expect fantastic results.

Icelandic fleece is much different than your 'average' white wooly sheep's fleece. it has two different parts of the hair, a long coarse hair, and a much shorter, very fine hair.

this fleece is grey, however you may notice that the skinny ends are dark grey, while the fluffy thick bits are light grey.
I decided to test-separate some of the fleece, because as far as i can tell, they did that historically (the coarse hairs had one set of uses, the fine another set. makes sense to me. dual purpose fibers.

as you can see, the fibers are very different in color once separated. The fine hairs were actually nearly perfectly white if i take all the coarse hairs out!  However, i'm only going to pull the longest and coarsest, leaving a bit of grey in the softer fibers.
some yarn i've spun, drip drying after being washed and set.

a little yarn porn  ;)  my most recently finished yarn. it's 50/50 alpaca and wool

and this is my currently-being blocked super-crazy colorwork crochet project. (in case you're wondering, it's a row of running feegles, a la Terry Pratchett)

hope everyone is staying warm, and planning your gardens!