Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Week 3: Getting organized

Sort of a late post today, for which I apologize. I was busily, as the post title says, getting organized and then trying to finish up one last bit of spinning and the time got away from me. All fixed, here I am, and there you are, and we are all met.

So! This week has been all about getting organized for me. In our house, we have a bedroom that was designated as my craft room. My sewing machine and various other crafty things were stored there. Well, over the years that we've lived here, it has slowly but surely turned into the "crap" room, meaning that things we wanted to move or just didn't know where to put ended up in there, as well as my ever-growing supply of craft stuff. This has become a problem, especially since I got into spinning and then dyeing my own fiber and yarn. There is too much stuff all over the house and this room was out of control.

So. The Engineer, my husband, and I took a trip to Ikea after some discussion, and came home with organizational supplies. I have a lovely new bookcase and 4x4 divider from Expedit and decluttering the craft room proceeds apace. I'm actually excited about this, and I am not Suzy Homemaker. Cleaning is not one of my happy things. This, however, is kind of fun.

I promise to take a picture when everything's filled and tidy. Right now there's lots of empty spaces and it's very much a work in progress. There will be no "before" picture. I wouldn't have shown that to anyone.

Let's instead talk about:

What I'm Dyeing

We're getting ready to head to Vegas for a weekend of fun (and seeing Bon Jovi in concert!), so I haven't done a lot of dyeing this week. Anything I dye has to hang to dry and I don't really want to leave it in the house alone with my ADD/OCD cat. I didn't promise to show you the brand new stuff anyway, did I? So I'll share one of my older favorites.

This is a colorway I call Snowshoe because it reminds me of a Snowshoe cat. This particular bump is about 4 ounces of blue-faced leicester, one of my favorite spinning fibers. I love the fact that it's full of fluff and has a little bit of crimp. It's easy to spin for me, and fun, and I love the resulting yarn.

What I'm Spinning

This week's spin is a fiber that I have never spun before. I got this particular bump of fiber from David at Southern Cross Fibre. David has an amazing colorsense, and his fibers (or fibres!) are very well-prepared, and a joy to spin. Even this one, which is Norwegian wool. I did not realize that this is meant for things worn further away from the skin. I do now. Norwegian is not particularly soft, certainly not next-to-skin soft. It felt a bit coarse and wiry to me, not unpleasantly so, but definitely more geared for rougher use and wear. I'm glad I tried it.

And I really like the colorway. Most of David's stock colorways come from landmarks and places around Australia, or native flora and fauna, as I understand it. In this case, this colorway, Sturt, was named for a place in Southern Australia, named after Captain Charles Sturt, who was an explorer. At least, that's what I'm guessing. I could be wrong. Maybe it's named after the man. Maybe it has nothing to do with either. It's a lovely colorway anyway. I haven't plied the yarn yet, but I finished spinning it today. We'll see how it turns out.

What I'm Knitting

I managed to finish the first clue on one of the (many) mystery shawls I'm working on at present. This is the In Dreams shawl, part of Susan Pandorf's Lord of the Rings collection. If you're on Ravelry and you've seen the gorgeous Evenstar shawl in people's projects, this is the same series. I intended to knit that one, but discovered I wasn't quite ready for lace yet. This year, I feel more confident, so I'm giving it a go, but I'll tell you, it's still a challenge.

That said, I'm pretty pleased with my progress. I'm taking my time, so I'm a couple of clues behind, but I'm getting it right, and that's what matters. This is sort of a trifecta for me, as well, because I dyed the yarn myself and I'm adding the 5000(!) beads as I go along. It's going to be amazing when it's finished, but here's where I am now. And please forgive the not-so-great pictures. In progress shots are rarely glamorous.

And that's all for this week. I think that's enough blabbing on, don't you?

I may do some excited squealing over the weekend about Vegas and the concert on Twitter, so if you want to read that, feel free to follow me. Other than that, see you next week!

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