sarahbird spins

(and does other stuff, too)

surprise surprise July 30, 2007

Filed under: knitting,yarn — sarahbird @ 8:27 pm

I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m spending the summer working at a large fabric/craft store. I’ve pretty much ignored the yarn section of the store thus far, since I figured that it was all cheap, scratchy acrylic. But a few days ago, I was stocking yarn and I was totally amazed at what I found. There was organic cotton, alpaca, bamboo, cashmere. Cashmere?!? How did I not realize that I was working in a store that actually contained some really nice yarn? I bought two skeins of Paton’s SWS (Soy Wool Stripes), a gorgeous blend of, well, soy and wool. It’s super soft and shiny, and I love the colorway, Natural Geranium, which is a dark pink/light pink/tan. It’s seriously some of the nicest (commercial) yarn I’ve seen in a long time, and I’m super excited to knit with it. I’m thinking it’s going to be a scarf, probably for my future etsy shop, since, no matter how much I love this yarn, I really can’t justify knitting myself another scarf.

Here’s a picture for ya. Pretty, huh?


I took a trip to Goodwill with a friend today, and bought this sweater.


It’s pretty ugly, but I thought that the yarn it was made of was really cool. It’s blue, purple, and white, very thick and thin, almost handspun-looking.


I found this tutorial on unraveling sweaters for their yarn. I think that this sweater has the right type of seams…I guess I’ll find out. I think it could look really nice knit into a scarf. Or a hat, or bag, or whatever. Pretty much anything besides the sweater it is, actually.

I also bought a ball winder online today! So that should be here sometime this week. I’m excited, I feel like I might get a little obsessed with winding all of my yarn into balls.

Wow, that’s actually a lot of stuff I’ve bought in the past few days! I need to start cutting back, until I get my next paycheck at least!


l-o-v-e July 27, 2007

Filed under: celebrations,handspun,spinning,yarn — sarahbird @ 10:12 am

So I feel the need to show off the yarn I’ve been spinning lately. It’s from that rainbow roving that I dyed a month or so ago. I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out at first, but as soon as I started spinning it I realized it was going to be gorgeous. I love how it has literally every color you can imagine in it, all blending and swirling together. It’s just so pretty! I want dye some more roving with a bunch of random colors just so I can spin it again. I’m also really glad I chose to spin it as a single. I basically just love everything about it.

Here it is:


And a close-up:



I was also amazed at how much brighter some of the colors in this yarn are compared to the colors I normally get from Wilton’s when dyeing. I’m going to have to experiment a little with different dye concentrations next time I dye.

Oh, I also have a finished yarn to show you. This was my first time plying with thread, and I think it worked out well. I like the bumpy, bobbly look it has.


I’m going out of town this weekend to celebrate a friend’s birthday, which I am very excited about. Enjoy your weekend!


you’ve got mail! July 24, 2007

Filed under: spinning — sarahbird @ 11:08 am

One of my favorite things is to come home and find a package of wool waiting for me. Last night I got a pound of superwash merino mill ends in the mail! Hooray! It was pretty exciting, especially since I found it on eBay (from Shpherder) for a really good price. $4 a pound! With shipping, it ended up being about $16, which is still really good. It said in the item description that the fiber needed re-carding. I don’t have carders or anything, but I figured at that price I might as well just buy it and see how it was. I think I’ll be able to spin it as it is. There are some roving-like pieces that I’ll definitely be able to spin, and the rest is sort of just…loose and fluffy. It’s going to take a little more work, but I’m reasonably sure that I’ll be able to spin most of it. I’m hoping it works, anyway, and that it won’t be too much of a PITA, because it’s really super nice fiber. It’s so soft and gorgeous.

Here it is in the box:


And spread out on the table:


I seperated it into little 2-ounce bags, so I’m going to dye up a few of them in a couple days and see what I can do with it.

I just checked her Ebay shop again and it looks like she sells superwash roving and pencil roving for $8/pound. If this doesn’t work out so well, that’s what I’ll order next time. But I’ve got my fingers crossed for this stuff….

Wish me luck!

ps – Thanks for all the encouragement about the quilt! I think you guys have convinced me to go for it, so stay tuned for progress on that!


so crazy it just might work! (but it probably won’t) July 19, 2007

Filed under: books,knitting,quilting,sewing — sarahbird @ 4:44 pm

So for the past week or so, I’ve found myself utterly obsessed with the idea of making a quilt. I’m not sure why I want to do this, it’s not my usual type of project, and I don’t even particularly like the look of quilts. Plus, even if there was a rational reason for me to make a quilt, I’m not sure I would be capable of it, since I can barely sew and I have no idea how to even begin to make a quilt. However, it was an impulse that I couldn’t fully deny, so I went through my room, dug out all the cotton remnants that I’ve been bringing home from work all summer, and realized that yes, I probably do have enough fabric to make a quilt if I wanted to.


Ha, can you tell what my favorite color is from this picture?

I’m still not sure if this is a project that I’m actually going to attempt. I’d rather just have the pile of fabric sit there and look pretty than actually cut it up and do something with it. Plus, even if I started, I don’t know if I’d finish, since quilting seems pretty hard and I tend to find sewing tedious and frustrating. But on the other hand, I do have lots of nice fabric that I’m not going to use otherwise, and I really can’t get my mind off the idea of quilts, so maybe I will end up trying it. Something simple, probably just plain old squares. Hmm…I guess we’ll see.

Anyway, let’s move away from this crazy quilting idea, and on to more rational things. I recently finished reading Margherita Dolce Vita, and I really enjoyed it. I thought it was a very well-written and fun book. I did think it got a little heavy at the end though, much more so than I was expecting when I started reading it. But overall a great book, definitely recommended.

Also, I recently got my invitation to join Ravelry! I was pretty excited, since you have to be on a waiting list before you join now because they’re still in beta testing. I really like the parts of the site I’ve explored so far, everything seems really well designed and intuitive. I haven’t had a chance to play with it too much, but I’m sure I’ll be on there a lot in the next few weeks. I’m trying to figure out if it will be useful for organizing handspun/fiber stash. It’s mostly geared toward knitting/crochet of course, but I’ve heard that they’ll be adding features for spinners soon, which I think would be really exciting. But for now I’ll just use it to keep track of my (very, very few) knitting projects and (very, very small) commercial yarn stash. If you’re on Ravelry, feel free to add me as a friend! (I’m sarahbird there, too)

Have a wonderful Thursday!


busy busy July 12, 2007

Filed under: celebrations,handspun,sewing,spinning,yarn — sarahbird @ 7:49 pm

Wow, I haven’t updated in a while! Oops. The past week or so has just been crazy. Between work and summer school, I’ve hardly had any free time. It should just be one more busy week, and then my summer school class will be over and I’ll be working less, so hopefully then I’ll have gobs of free time to get back to my projects.

Nathan (the boy) turned twenty last week! Exciting. It was a very good day, starting off with birthday cupcakes.


We also went to the zoo, which I haven’t done in years. It ended up being a lot of fun. The butterfly garden and the dolphin show were highlights, but we also saw tigers and penguins and giraffes, and we even got to touch a live stingray. Crazy. It felt kind of like a wet mushroom.

Here’s one of the butterflies from the butterfly garden. It was really amazing, we walked around and the air was just full of butterflies floating around and landing on us. Very surreal, but beautiful.


I was also excited to get a picture of one of the dolphins at the dolphin show. It’s hard to take a picture of a dolphin! I finally got one after the show, when we went down to those underwater window things.


And of course, the requisite self-taken, rather disheveled picture.


On the crafting front, I’ve bought more fabric to make another skirt, despite the fact that I’ve made absolutely no progress on the first skirt I was intending to make. But I really love this fabric, and I can totally see it as a skirt that I would wear all the time. I think the little white polka dots on the black are just so cute.


I’ve also been spinning a little bit. I experimented with plying with thread for the first time and made a little mini-skein. I thought it was pretty successful, the texture of the yarn is really cool. It wasn’t actually supposed to be such a little skein, but I pulled too hard when I was plying and accidentally broke the thread. Oops. I’m going to ply the rest of it soon hopefully. It’s a pink, yellow and orange thick and thin single, dyed with Wilton’s, that I plyed with yellow Sulky thread.


And a close-up.


I’m definitely going to try this again, I think it’s really fun and different. I wonder what it will look like knit up…

Oh, and I had an idea for my very first art-ish yarn! I’m really excited to get started on this, hopefully what I’m thinking of turns out how I picture it.

Enjoy your Thursday!


Check it out! July 1, 2007

Filed under: handspun,knitting,shoes,spinning,yarn — sarahbird @ 10:56 pm

Check it out! New shoes!


Aren’t they cute? I love them.

Let’s see, on to other things. I’ve been wanting to make a string bag type thing for a while now, because I hate hate hate taking plastic bags when I go to stores, but I was having trouble finding a pattern that wasn’t crocheted (crochet and I have a strained relationship, at best). After a little bit of google-ing, I found the Saturday Market Bag, which I liked, but it didn’t totally grab me. Then, after looking around on a few blogs, I found this modified version, which I absolutely love. It’s totally practical but it still looks really nice, and I love the shorter straps. So I ran out to get some yarn, and I’m planning on casting on ASAP.


It’s just plain old cotton, I think it’s Sugar n’ Cream. I love the bright blue color though, and I’m super excited for this bag. Hopefully I’ll be able to cast on in a few days, as soon as my size 15 needles are free.

In spinning news, I skeined and set the twist of the yarn that I showed on the spindle the other day. I think it came out really nice, it’s suuuper soft and squishy. It ended up being about 57 yards, since it’s so nice and fluffy. I’m calling it sand and sky, since that’s what the colors remind me of (they’re Wiltons). I got a little picture happy on this one, so there are a few.





Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!