Jan 11

During 2017, I am hosting a breed/fiber study on my Fiber Pusher Podcast Ravelry group, but I want to discuss what I am learning as I am going.  In the Rav group, there will be one post for the entire fiber type study which will summarize the breed/fiber.

I decided I wanted to start 2017’s study out with the nicest fiber I own, which is the Paco-Vicuna that I picked up at The Woolery on Dec 26th.  Sandy and I bought an ounce at $39, which we split.  So, the sample I am working with is 1/2 an ounce or about 14 grams.  There was a bit of veg in this fiber, which you have to pick out every bit you can find.  This fiber is so fine and so soft that any extra bits feel like boulders.

img_20170108_161416159Spinning it was a joy.  It drafted easily and made for a consistently fine single.  Because I only have 1/2 an ounce, I am going to ply this back on itself to create a 2-ply so I can have enough yarn to knit and weave samples to test it.  Due to its dark color, I still am undecided on whether to dye a sample or not.


Here you can see the fineness of the singles.  I wish I had more of it, at least enough to make wristies to test wear. After the study has been completed, I will see how much is remaining and go from there.

Jul 10
Short catching up
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 Work-in-progress | icon4 07 10th, 2015| icon32 Comments »

I just wanted to show you a couple of things today.  One is where Sandy is on the shawl she is knitting out of my hand-spun merino/silk yarn.  She is using this pattern for it.


It’s going to block out beautifully!!

Also, I got this in the mail today.  Guess what I am dying to cast on?


This is from Susan B Anderson.  I love dolls, I can’t help it.  I can’t wait to make me a new, small-enough-friend to sit on my desk at work and make me happy.

May 30
Done and About to Begin
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I wanted to get these socks done by the end of the month so I can be ready for 90% Knitting’s Alphabet KAL that is starting June 1st.  This will be my first KAL.

Anyway, here are the socks.

Colette's socks

Remember when I finished spinning this 80% Merino/20% Silk Raspberry Ice handspun yarn?

Rasp Ice HS

Well, I finally measured it and it is about 760 yards total between the two balls.  They are going to become this shawl  (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/pretty-triangle-shawl).  Sandy is going to knit it up because I really am not fond (at all) of knitting lace and Sandy is.  We’ll take pictures of it as it progresses.

I’ll have the new podcast up Monday morning.


Apr 14

I sincerely believe that this past Saturday was the last extra work day I will need to make until next January.  At least I certainly hope so.  I have worked at least one day each weekend (except Easter weekend and one other) since mid-January and to say I am tired, is an understatement.  From here on out, if I am busy on a weekend, it will be my doing and not for the office.

Sunday, I had intended to clean up the yard and mow.  Mentally, I just couldn’t, so I did something that I have been wanting to do for weeks, now – I spent some quality time with one of my looms.

On my 4-harness, 22″ Harrisville Design loom, I have a 10-yard warp for waffle weave dish towels and dish cloths.  Before Sunday, I had one towel done using the same weft as warp, but it was full of mistakes because I had insisted on weaving when I was exhausted and not able to focus.  This towel will be for my bathroom where no one but me will ever see it.  Since then, I have woven a towel in a dark blue weft and most of the matching dish cloth.  Sunday, I had a blast!

After putting in a Jacob fleece to wash after its cold soak all week, I wove the rest of the navy-wefted cloth, wove an entire set with a green weft and started the next set with a magenta weft.


This picture shows the transition from the navy weft to the green.  I love how the different weft colors change the tone of the warp threads.  That red line is my cutting line after they are washed and are ready to hem.

color change

Going to the magenta weft really changed it.


I love how the floats versus tabby areas make hills and valleys.  This is going to be so much fun once they are washed and finished.


And underneath!  Looks like a fancy ceiling in an old building.

Once I have this all woven off (Still have to finish the magenta weft, then do a set with light blue weft and the last set in the same weft as warp), I will be ready to move on to something different.  I’m torn between overshot and double weave.

By the way, this will be the last thing I weave on this loom.  I am in the process of selling off all my looms except my 8-harness Baby Wolf.  I’ve already sold my 15″ LeClerc table-top loom, and I may have a buyer for the 18″, 4-harness Dorset (although if anyone is interested in this and you live within a couple of hours from Indianapolis, please let me know).  This Harrisville loom has been sold to a current student of mine and as soon as I can gather together everything that came with my 40″, 8-harness Herald loom, it, too, will be up for sale.  Then I have an old, ca. 1940, X-frame, 4 harness loom that needs the beater-bar rebuilt that will be up for sale once it has been fixed.

I’m not quitting weaving, only no longer teaching weaving classes.  So, I am going to get my equipment down to only one loom and the equipment I use myself.  I will keep a couple of wooden boat shuttles and my end-feed shuttles, but the rest will be sold.  I’ll let you all know when I am ready to place them out to new homes.  Sometime this summer.



Apr 9
I Think She Likes Them
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My SIL, Missy, stopped by and got her World’s End Fingerless Gloves that I knitted up for her.


Yes, I think she’s pretty happy with them.  Definitely a knit-worthy person!

Mar 20

Some of these pictures have been languishing in my camera for a couple of weeks, but I want to show you what’s been going on around here.  First my Beginning Spinning class at the Thorntown (Indiana) Public Library.  This class is the 1st Thursday of every month from 6-8PM.

beginning spinners

Four students and all doing very well.  The two in the back are a week ahead of the two in front and are working on plying the singles they spun as homework.  The two in front are learning the ropes (yarns?) and were doing quite well at it.  I look forward to showing them how to ply on April 2nd.  The two in back have homework to spin a colorful single so they can Navajo ply it.  Fun!!

pat's first cable pattern

At this past Tuesday night’s Advance Spinning Class at Starstruck Cat Studio, Pat showed off her very first cable project – Bonnie’s Wish shawl.  Yes, that shawl with the cables all over it?  How she learned how to do cables.  I should mention that Pat is very ambitious!!

Bonnie's Wish upclose

This is a close-up of the center segment of Pat’s shawl.  She has every right to be proud of this.

Pat's purple cowl

Another show-&-Tell from Pat is this cowl that she spun the yarn for.  The fiber is from Ohio Valley Natural Fibers and it has some sparkle in it, even though you can’t tell in the picture.  It’s for her daughter’s birthday.  Lucky daughter!!!

Brenda and Pat had two lessons that night.  Brenda had cable-plied before, but it had been a long time.  Pat had never made a cabled yarn, so their homework for this class was to bring two 2-plied yarns with each of the singles being a different color.

pat's 1st cable ply1

Pat’s on the bobbin.

pat's 1st cable ply2

Pat’s in a skein.  Lovely!!

Brenda's cable ply

Brenda’s in a skein.  Love the colors!!

Brenda's beaded yarn swatch

Brenda’s swatch with the beaded yarn.  Sweet little green beads add some sparkle to this lacy swatch.

And I have been doing a little spinning before going to bed.  The three spindles I have going are:


This is a mixed-fiber single from a dizzed-off batt created by my class back in November’s “How to Buy a Fleece and What to Do with It When You Get It Home.”  I’m actually done with this, now and just need to wind it into a center-pull ball and ply it together.  I love the colors in this and think I’d like to recreate it for something bigger.


Some Kool-Ade dyed BFL being spun on one of the consignment spindles from Dyed in the Wool.  Man, this thing spins like a dream and I am loving the yarn this is making.  There is enough here to make something when I get it all spun up – something like wristies or something.


And this is some of the Double-Coated Shetland that Dyed in the Wool sells.  I am so in love with this stuff.  I think I will spin up enough for some fingerless mitts for myself.  Definitely ones with a lacy pattern on the back of the hand.

Whew!  All caught up, now!

Feb 26
New on the needles
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Well, I am stuck on the sweater until I get a shorter cable for my circular needles, so I started a new project – World’s End Fingerless Gloves by Deborah Gall.  When I say started, I mean just that.


I am using Cascade Heritage Silk Paints in 9801 – Fall Foliage.  My sister-in-law, for whom these are being knitted, loves orange.  I thought the addition of the silk would both keep her warm and make them extra soft.

Jan 19

Waffle Weave!!!


Jan 6
One Done and One Begun
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I finished Sandy’s socks!  They are Hermione’s Everyday socks.  Fun to knit, too.


I brought them to her at work yesterday and she immediately put them on and they stayed on the rest of the day.  I think she liked them.

And I started my sweater, too.


This shows the yarn colors pretty much spot on.  I am about half-way through the first sleeve already, and I am really loving how this Mountain Colors yarn is knitting up.  This is going to be the Sweatshirt Sweater without the front pocket, which is a free pattern on Ravelry.

We received about 5-6″ of snow (depending on how far north you were), but it was all light and powdery, which made cleaning off the car pretty easy.  Unfortunately, the wind is really supposed to pick up tonight, so all that fluffy stuff will get blown about and create large drifts.  My niece, Kim, had never seen 5″ of snow before.  I can’t wait to see her reaction when we get a foot or more dumped on us at one time.

Stay warm!

Dec 22


See what I mean?

This is destined to become waffle-weave towels.  And it’s about time, too.  I’ve had this waiting for me for 2 years.  Now it’s time to weave them off and get other projects on the loom.  2015 may be the Year of the Sheep, but it’s going to be the Year of Weaving for me, too!

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