Monday, June 27, 2011

Make It Monday: From the Road!

No post today, this week, and no Wednesday on the wheel, due to the typist being out of town.

I will do my best to get a Fiber Friday post up for y'all.

Until then, have a fantastic week!

Speaking out on Sunday (okay, it's Monday): The Road Ahead

Week Seven is here and available for downloading now!

This past week was a rough one in the SSIC household. I've been home by myself for eight days and I'm headed out of town for a few more while the Engineer comes home from his business trip. As I stumbled out on the podcast, this is the first time that we've been separated for this long in fifteen years. To those of you who have spouses serving overseas or simply working in a job that keeps them far away from home for significant stretches of time, my hat's off to you. Maybe it gets easier with time, but this has not been a lot of fun.

I got some good knitting and spinning done, though. Mostly spinning. The spindles were apparently feeling lonely and let me know about it in no uncertain terms. I also got a magazine review in this week, and I'm getting ready to embark on my study of Henry VI, Part One with those of you following along.

Apologies for the show notes being delayed this week, but as always, thanks for stopping by!

New patterns I talked about:

Solar Flare by Laura Kanemori -- Not that I needed more shawls on the needles, but I couldn't resist the KAL going on in the Into the Whirled group on Ravelry. I'm using handdyed sw merino/nylon in that gold-brown yarn from my selfish dyer post. It's coming along really nicely. Join us, if you feel so inclined!

Magazines I mentioned:

Interweave Knits Weekend - The most recently released issue of this special magazine. This is the link to the digital format, but if you're more a fan of paper, like I am, feel free to order a copy or grab one from your LYS.

All That Other Stuff:

A couple of shops to check out on Etsy for fun spinning fibers!

Old Sheep - A great shop to find amazing bargain prices if you're willing to buy bundles of fiber and batts at a time. One of the first places I shopped when I learned to spin.

Dripping Fiber Studios - Purveyor of amazing batts, both with sparkle and without. Currently offering a series of batts based on the Game of Thrones books/series. Check her out!

How to Contact me:

iTunes: Slinging Color
Ravelry: creaturecomfort
Ravelry Group: Creature Comfort Craftwork Fans
Etsy: Creature Comfort Craftworks on Etsy
Email: sarah.hawke [at]
Twitter: creaturecmfts
Facebook: Facebook
Plurk: Plurk

Talk to you next week!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Fiber Friday: The self-indulgent dyer

As a human being in this life, it's taken me a while to figure out a few things. Occasionally I feel like I'm behind the curve when it comes to common sense notions, but most of the time I figure I'm right on time for where I'm supposed to be.

Doing things for other people before I do them for myself has been an ongoing theme in my life. I don't think I'm all that special in that regard. It seems to be a woman/female sort of thing to do, but some people figure out the whole doing for themselves a lot more quickly than I did.

In all aspects of living, including this newer one for me, as a fiberista/dyer/color-splatterer. :) I traditionally dye things that I think would please other people. Sure, they're colorways that I like, too, for the most part, but sometimes the dyes combine in unpredictable ways and they're more popular to other people than they appeal to me.

And then sometimes, I take a step back, and I dye things in color combinations that I really love. And I keep the results. I may eventually share them with others, but mostly, they're for me.

Today, I'm showing you a couple of self-indulgences. They make me smile.

Happy Friday! Happy weekend!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday on the Wheel: Mad spinnery

It's a late post, but it's still Wednesday, so it still counts! :)

I'm not sure entirely what's gotten into me this week, but I seem to be suffering spinning madness. Maybe it's all just me ramping up to Tour de Fleece, during which I am hoping to spin a little every day. Seeing as that's sort of the idea and all.

But this week, I have been reaching for the spindles a lot. Yes, I've been spinning on the wheel, too, but the spindles and I have really been grooving for the past few days. What can I say? When you've got gorgeous fiber to play with, it has to be used, doesn't it?

So. First, some progress on the Cloudlover rambouillet in the Saigon colorway:

And my current favorite on the spindle: Nightwatch from Dripping Fiber Studios

Monday, June 20, 2011

Make It Monday: More Mitts

I promised I'd get myself back on schedule with a post today, and here it is, a brand new Make It Monday. With a ...mostly halfway finished project. *cough*

This is 99% of 50% of a pair of Endpaper Mitts by Eunny Jang. I have talked about these on the blog before. I've talked about them on the podcast. And now I'm (nearly) halfway finished! I just need to do the ribbing on the thumb and I'm good to move on to the second mitt.

Which, of course, I don't need now that summer has finally kicked in, but when fall and winter roll around again? I'm going to have the warmest hands on the planet!

Well, they'll be warm at least.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

It's a sorry Sunday.

Due to a number of circumstances, there's not going to be a podcast episode this week. I know I missed Fiber Friday, too, but I will make it up tomorrow, starting with my usual Make It Monday and I will have a podcast next Sunday!

Thanks for hanging with me! :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wednesday on the Wheel: Sheepy goodness

If you listen to the podcast, you will have heard me mention that I have not being doing much spinning of late. Last week was a very productive knitting week and this week continues to be so. I am, however, trying to do a little spinning every day. I've got enough fiber at the moment to keep me busy until I'm at least 40, so I really should do something with it.

Nope, not telling when that is. Yet. :)

I recently picked up the Shetland that I got from RogueAdventures again, so I thought I'd share some not-so-much-but-some-progress shots with you.

Do you remember what the fleece looked like? Clumpy and dirty and impressively full of vm?

Well, I've since washed it, combed some samples out, which resulted in picking out a lot of that vm, and then spun some, which made more vm fall out. And yes, there's still some in there, but it's much nicer much cleaner, and I am not grossed out by simply touching the stuff.

Also, it smells good. I've heard other people say this about fleeces, so I know I'm not alone, but this stuff just smells right. Maybe it's the lanolin. Maybe it's just sheepy goodness. I don't know, but I like it.

That's about 1.5 ounces on the spindle and another .5 cushioning it. I've got about three left. If I keep spinning it that thin, it may all fit on one cop. Which would be a first, but would also thrill me.

Anyway, there you go. Slow progress, small amounts of progress, but progress nonetheless.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Make It Monday: Stick a fork in me...

The Radiance Shawl is done! I've been talking (and griping) about it for so long that there's a part of my brain that just can't comprehend how I could possibly be finished with it.

The larger part of my brain is telling that little part to shut the heck up.

It took 665 yards or so of my handdyed merino lace, a US 4 (3.5 mm) set of Clover Bamboo circular needles, a few mistakes, hours of knitting and mile and a half of stick-to-it to get it done, but it's done and I love it and I have already worn it on chilly mornings here in the house.

Hundreds of stitches can't keep this knitter down, baybee!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Speaking out on Sunday: Investing in the Craft

Week Six is here and available for downloading now!

I have had a very productive knitting week, and I'm feeling pretty good about myself and about my work. It probably doesn't hurt that the weather has finally gotten (and stayed!) nice for more than a couple of days, so that lifts the spirits and makes me pretty happy in general.

I'm talking about investing in the craft this week, which is something that I feel it's important to do, and something it's really easy to forget to do. We crafty types, we tend to spend a lot of time alone and many of us are not quite ready to declare ourselves outgoing and social butterflies. When I'm feeling particularly hermit-like, it helps me to know that there are other people out there, possibly feeling the same way, and that I can reach out and connect with them, particularly in places like Ravelry.

I've got some new Shakespeare words for you this week, and a little bit of trivia. In addition to my usual project talk, there's a mini impromptu-review of some knitting needles and mention of a few magazines.

Thanks for stopping by!

New patterns I talked about:

Mystery Shawl #21 by Renee Leverington -- This pattern won't be available until the whole thing is completed and named, but she does a mystery shawl every month. There's one going on now and another starting in July.

Magazines I mentioned:

Colorways - A new eMag from Interweave Press that talks about dyeing techniques for fiber artists. Right up my alley!

You can also check out Sockupied, which is another Interweave Press eMag talking all about, you guessed it, sock knitting!

All That Other Stuff:

The SOAR event in New Hampshire this October. If you attend, come back and tell me about the Navajo spinning workshop!

Kollage Yarns makes some products that really interest me, namely the square needles and their recycled denim Riveting yarn!

And, for the curious, here's that article about the real Ophelia!

How to Contact me:

iTunes: Slinging Color
Ravelry: creaturecomfort
Ravelry Group: Creature Comfort Craftwork Fans
Etsy: Creature Comfort Craftworks on Etsy
Email: sarah.hawke [at]
Twitter: creaturecmfts
Facebook: Facebook
Plurk: Plurk

Talk to you next week!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fiber Friday: It came from outer space!

Another Phat Fiber box will soon be available, and this time the theme is... Science Fiction!

As a devoted fan, how could I possibly not contribute? (It's also a lot of fun, but who asked about that? :)

So this is my colorway this month: Pangalactic Gargle Blaster! It may not be quite the same thing as a brain bashing from a lemon-wrapped gold brick, but I think my after effect is a little bit prettier.

Happy Friday everyone! Hope your weekend is amazing. Share your WWKIP Day stories!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wednesday on the Wheel: The proof is in the ...yarn.

Never let it be said that I do not (most of the time) put my money where my mouth is. I said I'd finished the fall Creek Fibers wool, and I have, but there have to be pictures or it didn't happen, right?

Well, here, see for yourself:

250 yards of a fingering to light sport weight yarn, chain plied. Go me!

It seems, in looking at other people's stash pages on Ravelry, that we all have a comfort zone when it comes to spinning. Mine appears to be the ability to get about 250 yards out of a 4 ounce bump of fiber. I won't complain. It helps me to know how much I'd need to buy if I wanted enough for a bigger project.

What about you? Do you have an average? Are you satisfied with it? Inquiring minds want to know!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Make It Monday: The bare bones of knitting

It's Monday again. That keeps happening and someone should figure out how to make it stop. Who doesn't think the week would be helped by jumping straight to Tuesday? Hands up.

Not that voting changes the fact that it's Monday and Monday means another Make It Monday posting. Except... I don't have anything to share with you. Well. That's not exactly true. I don't have anything of mine to show you.

But I was reminded of this particular piece of amazing art while reading my Interweave Knits this weekend, and if you haven't seen it before, take a gander now:

Your eyes are not deceiving you. You are looking at a knitted skeleton. I'm astounded. What about you?

This fellow is part of Ben Cuevas' Transcending the Material piece and it's even more amazing when you get a look at all the little details. The teeth. The hands! It makes me seriously debate complaining about the time spent on any of my knitting projects. None of them turned out like this.

I'm awed and inspired and just a lil' bit jealous. Way to go, Ben!

Speaking out on Sunday: Knitting for a Cause

Week Five is here and available for downloading now!

A short week and then a long week. This is my longest episode yet. Y'all said you wanted me to talk, and baybee, I talked this time. I think there's some good stuff in there along with the usual Sarah-chatter. You'll have to let me know if you feel the same way.

The big thing this week is that I'm talking about knitting for a cause, or knitting for charity. I've seen a lot of calls for donations and a lot of donation drives happening lately, and I got a bit caught up in it.

There are of course updates, and the big news -- that my Radiance Shawl is finished!
All right, that's not all the big news. The winner for my inaugural contest has been chosen! Want to know who that is? You'll have to give the podcast a listen!

I've also decided on a play to break down for you, starting with the first episode in July. We're going to go in chronological order, so grab a copy of Henry VI, Part One, and get reading! :)

New patterns I talked about:

In Dreams Mystery Shawl by Susan Pandorf -- Part of the Two Towers series of objects, based on the Lord of the Rings series. Beautiful if time consuming.

Magazines I mentioned:

Interweave Knits, Summer 2011 - Lots of great quick-to-read articles and patterns inside. Check it out!

All That Other Stuff:

The event at the Retzlaff Winery was canceled this weekend due to inclement weather, but there's a possibility that it's on for the 18th, instead. Keep an eye out for updates about that.

World Wide Knit In Public Day (WWKIP) is on Saturday, June 11th. Check in with your local knitting groups and LYSses to see what they have in store!

How to Contact me:

iTunes: Slinging Color
Ravelry: creaturecomfort
Ravelry Group: Creature Comfort Craftwork Fans
Etsy: Creature Comfort Craftworks on Etsy
Email: sarah.hawke [at]
Twitter: creaturecmfts
Facebook: Facebook
Plurk: Plurk

Talk to you next week!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Fiber Friday: Ready, Set, Spin!

I can hardly believe it's June, and yet I'm already thinking ahead to next month. Are you a spinner? Spindle, wheel, stick, it doesn't matter. If you spin, then you should know about the Tour de Fleece.

Every year, to coincide with the Tour de France, spinners around the world sit at their wheels and spin their spindles en masse, spinning pounds of fiber and miles of yarn as they watch the cyclists compete.

Of course, there's no requirement that you watch, or that you participate in a group. If you're a member of Ravelry though, (it's free!), there's an entire group devoted to the event. Indie Dyers often have discounts, spin-a-longs and special colors that are offered to help encourage participation. Prizes are given out. It's great fun!

And this year I'm no exception. I will be offering various fibers in my TdF2011 colorway, which currently looks like this on polwarth:

Different fibers and different dyelots will vary somewhat, but the basics are grape-y purples and greens were the inspiration. I'm calling it Wheel-Time Wine. Bikes, France, it seemed appropriate.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wednesday on the Wheel: Progress? Knock me over with a bobbin!

It's Wednesday again, which means it's time for another wheel report.

Also...It's June 1st. That means I've been officially actively blogging for a month. Holy carp, does time fly. I'm still reeling over the fact that it's June at all (which you wouldn't know if you judged solely by the still-rainy weather in NorCal) and now this? Happy anniversary to me!

Slow though I am, I do occasionally make progress. This week I'm happy to report that I have finished spinning the Fall Creek Fibers superwash wool. It is not yet yarn, but it is a plying ball of singles at this point. This is what the very full bobbin looked like before that happened:

And now I'm on to yet another bump of fiber that I bought ages back and have shamefully not yet spun. Say hello to rambouillet in the "Saigon" colorway from Cloudlover.

Natalie has an amazing color sense and her fibers are always gorgeously prepared. I think this may be the first rambo I've spun, and I'm extremely happy this far. If it's going to take me a while to spin, it's always better when I really enjoy the fiber.

I think I pretty clearly have color family favorites, don't you? Sakura sits in there quite nicely, thanks.