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June 2011

May 2011

Mini drop spindle

V is 5 & 1/2 now and has been wanting to learn how to spin yarn for a while. I told her I'd get her a drop spindle for Christmas because by then she'll be 6 and I thought that'd be a fine time to learn. But when she mentioned wanting to learn again the other day, I decided maybe I shouldn't wait until Christmas.

So I started looking around for an smaller spindle that would be just right for her hands and be inexpensive enough that it'd be ok if she found she didn't have as much interest in it as she says.

Roxy and mouse

I browsed Etsy until I found Spinerosity and her mini spindles, which she says are the perfect size to fit in your purse for spinning on the go. It came today and it looks to be the perfect size for V too. 

I've never spun yarn on a drop spindle before. When I was spinning yarn for a living, I knew I didn't have the time or the patience, but lately the idea has grown on me.

One Pink Toe

So I checked YouTube and found this video, which showed me everything I needed to know and I got started. They say learning on a drop spindle makes wheel spinning easier and I'm sure it's the other way around too because it was no trouble for me at all. I had the fiber wrapped around the wrong hand at first, but that was an easy fix.

Paw

I spun from an old batt I don't remember making. I haven't shown V how yet, but when I do I'll report back. She wants to take some wool from undyed roving to dyed (with Easter egg dyes - no acid dyes for her!) to yarn. I'm sure she can do it if she has enough patience, so we'll see if her patience has developed to that point yet. 

Roxy with spindle

As for me, I'm sorry that it took me so long to try spinning on a spindle. It's one of those things that lets you feel your connection to this life, to fiber animals, and to people around the world and across generations who spin and change that yarn into useful things. It would take time to produce enough yarn for something really useful. I could just as easily go to WalMart and buy something. Or get out my wheel and spin something in an hour or so. I've done both those things, many times. But at the moment, the simplicity of the spindle is enough for me. It feels right.


Summer's coming

So I planted cantaloupe (it's the same one that's in my banner right now!). In a pot. Because I thought it'd be fun to try - my square foot gardening book says I can do it. We got a cage for it to climb up and I'm fully prepared to fashion slings for the cantaloupes should they get that far.

Cantaloupe 2

We got a doll bed for V from IKEA. It's made of wood. She plays with it a lot but her favorite thing to do is to take it apart. That's also her favorite thing to do with drawer pulls - take them off the drawers and leave them on the table for me to find. Sometimes she puts them back, but really it's the taking apart that interests her.

Cantaloupe

This weekend we joined our local science museum, so V and I can go anytime and look at the dinosaur bones and see what's playing at the planetarium.

I also signed up for Supercharged Science's summer e-camp this morning. I'm going to do it along with her. I think it'll be lots of fun - there are over 130 projects to keep Miss V's hands from getting too idle this summer...

In shop news - have you seen the new look for the shop? I hope it's even easier to navigate and prettier than before. I've got a big shop update coming up on Thursday at 3:30pm Eastern. And I'm going to do something different this time - if you visit on Wednesday afternoon, I'm going to have everything that will be on sale showing as "coming soon." So you'll be able to check out the yarns that are coming on Thursday before the fray that usually occurs with an update. It seems like the sensible thing to do, yes?


Knitcircus giveaway

Look! It's the latest issue of Knitcircus!

CoverSU2011 (4)

There are lots of patterns to love in this issue. I really like Isis by Chriss Storch, Litha by Allison Haas, and the adorable Girly Gansey by Marie Grace Smith, but there are many other beauties to choose from.

Another one I'm particularly fond of is Michelle Miller's Saffron Baby Hat.

Saffron baby 1
She's taken the fabulous idea of using the Fibonacci Sequence to shape the crown of this hat - it looks intricate and beautiful, just as nature intended. And Michelle used my Muscadine Sock yarn (coloway: Fleur d'Oranger) in the design of this hat!

Saffron detail
If you don't subscribe to Knitcircus, you should! It's a great knitting magazine. And here's your chance to really check it out - I'm giving away a one-year subscription! Your subscription will start with the current summer pattern collection.

Also, for 3 runners-up, you'll receive the current summer pattern collection!

Pretty sweet, huh? 

Just leave me a comment on this post and you're entered to win. Yay!

Contest is open until Friday, May 13th, at noon & I'll pick/post the winner soon after then!


the unwind project

Theunwindproject
the unwind project is my latest collaboration with Alecia from madbird and we'd love for you to join us!

If you participate in the unwind project, you will receive a package in the mail every other month (mid-June, August, and October 2011) that includes one project bag from madbird and one skein of Julep Sock from Springtree Road in a surprise fabric/colorway. Then you can join us in the unwind Ravelry group to show off your knits! You will also have the option to purchase more than one skein of yarn, if you like.

Alecia and I will be picking our own patterns to knit and you can pick your own knit/crochet pattern, or choose one of us to knit along with. I can't wait to see all the different ways that the yarn will be used!

the unwind project goes on sale on Monday, May 9th at 10am Eastern and spots are limited. Half of them will be available in my shop and the other half over at madbird's gorgeous new shop!

If you have any questions, you can either email me (springtreeroad at gmail) or leave them in the comments and I will answer them there!


Lingonberry Gloves (+ shop update)

Check these out - aren't they adorable?!

Lingonberry Gloves Anne Riley knitting pattern 001

I'm in love with fingerless mitts. I like to wear them when it's chilly - inside to type on the computer and outside to take photographs. 

These are the Lingonberry Gloves, designed by Anne K. Riley. Anne, a Georgia girl like me, used my Muscadine Sock yarn in the Lingonberry Jam colorway, though I think any of my sock bases would work well with this pattern.

Lingonberry Gloves Anne Riley knitting pattern 002

I just love this design - simple and elegant. I've been knitting a lot of lace lately, so I think a pattern like this will be perfect for me to knit next. I am thinking of hosting an informal KAL in my Ravelry group if anyone wants to join me, but more about that later.

Anne also has some gorgeous stitch markers in her Etsy shop, if you're in the mood to look at some pretty.

(And thanks to Anne for letting me use her photos for this post!)

In shop news, my next update is tomorrow at 4pm Eastern! I'll have some soft and pretty springtime shades from the Macaron Collection in my Julep Sock.

Airelle aqua blue pale julep sock yarn mcn merino cashmere indie dyer springtree road top down magic loop toe up sock knitting crochet fingering weight 001

Plus 10 skeins (in 5 colors) of Tea Cakes Lace! Yum.

Blackcurrant Jam purple dark Tea Cakes Lace merino silk laceweight yarn shawl shawlette 001

Later in the month, I'll have a brand new sock base that I just can't wait to dye up and see what happens! And tomorrow I'll have details on my next collaboration with Alecia from madbird!