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One of the yarns I spun last week has big fluffed up balls of black llama fur in it (so big they'd barely fit through the orifice on my jumbo flyer) and, in my head, I referred to them "Llama blobs" which made me laugh. Say it out loud: "Llama blob". It's as funny as saying "Bob Loblaw" like the lawyer from Arrested Development. Here's a scan of some of the stuffs I have been spinning, all of which are up for sale in the store:


On a personal note: Even though I rarely put non-yarn related things in this blog, if any of you were curious what songs are stuck in my head lately, here's my list of recommended listening on

I Love Math: "Only Clowns are Scary"

Rose County Fair: "Falcones"

Cade Callahan: "Foxhole Prayer"


********************* Edited to add:

OHMYGOD! Amazon has a November release date listed for Son of Stitch 'N Bitch!!! This will be the first real book I'll be published in. Most exciting thing EVAR! Everyone look for my roll-up scarves!



Well, it's taken me what seems like years, but I'm finally done with the hundreds of dollars worth of "regular" wool I ordered long ago. I made the switch over to merino on my last order and the difference is really noticeable. The last couple yarns I've spun have been very easy on my hands, not to mention a pretty bright white. It makes a small difference on my dyeing since I have a less rich base-color to start from, but still very beautiful. The first merino-thingie in the store is this beaded number, with freshwater pearls, swarovski crystals, and a matching slubby skein to go with:



So... I have this idea for a book. Not just a submission, but a whole book full of things, all designed by me, centered around the theme I have come up with. (I won't go into details since I am weird and paranoid that everyone will either a.)think the idea is stupid and ridicule me, or b.) love the idea and steal it from me.) I'm excited about it, but also very worried that I'm getting my hopes up too high. One of my biggest pet peeves in life is when people remember something I said a long time ago and bring it up at the worst possible time, such as "Hey, didn't you have an interview for your dream job? How'd that work out?" Then I have to say, "I didn't get the job. If I had gotten the job, don't you think I would have told you about it? You are an asshat." So my frustration is that being excited about something makes me want to share it with people and tell everyone, but I usually regret having opened my big mouth.


I didn't even pick up my needles or anything craft related at all yesterday. I was too nervous waiting for Harry Potter 7 to arrive all morning to knit, and too busy reading all evening and into the night. (Got done shortly before 4am)

Today I'm going to continue my quest through the alpaca filth fiber and see if I can get enough for a whole project. Right now I'm hovering at a 50/50 ratio of keep to throw-away. If that keeps up, I should be left with 2.5 pounds, which would, in theory, be enough for a pretty good-sized project.


It appears I may have jumped the gun a little bit when I declared my alpaca fleece a waste of money. After what feels like 10 bottles of dish soap and 15 wash cycles, I finally got the fiber to reveal itself as the "Misty White" color it originally claimed to be, and spinning it was like having a ball of clouds in my hand. My first tester mini-skein is hanging to dry right now and as soon as it's done I'm going to knit a swatch and see how it works up. The only problem I am left with now is that after all the work that went into cleaning this sucker, there's no amount of money that could make me want to sell it. This was definitely a learning experience that I'm glad I had ...but hope to never have again.

Here's the gag-worthy sight that awaited me when I opened the box:

Here's me thinking "I am SO glad I put the fiber in the part of the sink with the dispose-all in it, because god only knows what's in this stuff":

And here it is, FINALLY white, on my drum carder, then spun and handing to dry:

Since I still have almost 5 pounds left, I had to come up with a game plan for the rest of the fiber:
1. Throw it into hot soapy water before I even look at it. (This will cut down on the gross-out factor when I have to pick through it.)
2. Sort out the fiber that's 100% free of veg matter and card it into a usable batt.
3. Throw the veg-matter-having fiber straight into the trash can and do not feel guilty about it.
4. Re-wash all the good stuff until it's squeaky-clean and spin, dye, or blend it.


The Woolie Ewe is having free "Building Blocks" classes where each Friday, someone (me) sits at the back table and teaches everyone who comes in whatever the theme is for that week. Friday-before-last was for different cast-on methods (long-tail, cable, tubular, and provisional), and this past Friday was about fixing your mistakes (unknitting, ripping out rows, dropped stitches, accidental yarn-overs, etc). I was worried about my ability to teach in a group setting since most of the lessons I have done in the past have been one-on-one, and also because I didn't have a lot of prep-time. It turns out I am totally made for this. I had my demonstration swatches finished in time and I think everyone who came actually learned something. One attendee even picked up the tubular cast-on and did some two-color double-knitting on the first try (which I didn't really expect of anyone; I was just teaching it to show off.)

Next Friday will be about finishing techniques like weaving in ends properly, mattress stitch, three-needle bind-off, and possibly invisible grafting if I can get the hang of it in time. (I'm already attempting to prepare to put aside my personal feelings about how ugly I think the three-needle bind-off is. It makes the "dreaded number elevens"!!)

We had a request for a class on cables, and also I'd love to be able to teach everyone to knit backwards because it makes entrelac and short row shaping so much faster and easier. Teaching is so much fun!


I am NOT cut out for cleaning fleece. It is official. I received my gargantuan 5 lbs of unprocessed alpaca fleece in the mail today and I don't know what I've gotten myself into. The Ebay description of the item says it is "as clean as is normal for unprocessed fiber" but what they really meant was "You are buying the filthiest, smelliest fiber on earth and your whole house will smell like wet dog when you open the box and also, isn't it funny that we had the nerve to call this fiber 'misty white' when it's gray."

The first blob is currently soaking in my kitchen sink. We'll see whether I can bring myself to make it all the way through the cleaning process or if I decide to write this off as a $40 lesson learned. Or maybe give it free to the first taker who offers to pay for shipping. Ok, ok, let's not get carried away. I'm REALLY going to try to finish this batch, even if I never do it again. Man, I had NO IDEA how good I had it with my nice, neat, processed roving.

EDIT: Oh my god I just checked on it and the water was BLACK. I couldn't see my own hand in the 3" deep water when I pulled the stopper out. I'll never make it!! On the bright side, maybe that means my fiber is white after all once the filth comes out of it. Oh, and it would actually be a $61 lesson learned if I scrapped the whole thing because I forgot about the $20 shipping charge it cost me to get the stupid stuff here from Canada.


The price of ALMOST EVERYTHING in the store has been reduced. I've decided to start charging a separate shipping fee for orders (no handling fees, just the actual cost of mailing) so the extra dollars I had factored into my prices to cover shipping have been taken away. Plus, this way it's cheaper if you buy more than one thing and they all fit into the same flat rate envelope. So if there's anything you've had your eye on but couldn't quite afford it, check again and you may be pleasantly surprised.

And now, (drum roll please,) the grand opening of the "spinning fiber" section of my store! I want to keep them all for myself but there aren't enough hours in the day to spin them all. Please someone give them a good home!
foambatt   toucanbatt

currybatt   rendezvousbatt

Plus... My very first batch ever has been spun and is for sale over in the store as well. Say hello to the Grace yarn set:

Batts TTV

This photograph was supposed to go at the end of my huge upcoming blog post where I announce the creation of my new store section for carded fiber batts. Except I forgot that Adam hasn't created it yet.

So here it is, in a post all its own:  my most recent Through The Viewfinder photograph.


Look at me go!

I'm still at it. I have taken breaks only to eat, sleep and go to work. The rest of the time since the drum carder came has been spent either carding fibers I already had, dyeing new fiber to card in the future, or spinning the batts I just carded. This is so much fun! I predict that I will be out of room to put things by some time next week, because suddenly my neatly condensed roving is becoming giant fluffy clouds that don't fit into their designated box. (Perhaps I need one of those portable storage pods in the driveway.) The learning curve of using this thing is not very steep. Even though I'm sure I could use more tips & tricks from experienced carders, it seems really hard to mess this up. I don't feel like a "beginner" because even the very first batt I made looked beautiful.

I ordered some alpaca fiber from a store on Ebay at a price that I thought was an absolute steal, until I realized the seller was in Canada and I ended up doubling my price with shipping costs. Still a bargain, but far less exciting. Especially since it's not here yet.

Last night I dyed lots of roving. I love "dye-nights." The whole house smells like Kool-Aid which makes my cats high, much in the way that catnip does. So I never get bored waiting for the dye to heat-set because the cats are flopping around and attacking nonexistent bugs. Anyway, among the colors I made were a pale blue-green and beige-brown that I mixed with creamy undyed roving and a bit of metallic copper sparkles. I ended up with WAY more than I expected. At the end of the whole shebang, I have 3 identical batts, each 2.2 ounces/60 grams, just BEGGING to be spun. I will probably end up adding a "spinning fiber" section to the store to "share the wealth" so to speak, since I'll never be able to spin it all at this rate. Here's a shaky picture of one of them:

And here's the Lorna's Laces roving from yesterday spun into their neat little color coordinated balls:


Thanks to an awesome sale at Spunky Eclectic, I am now the proud owner of a Louet drum carder. I got the big one, but I had no idea it was quite so... BIG. I made 7 batts my first night! Not bad, eh?

I finally got to use that crappy Lorna's Laces roving I bought 2 years ago. Don't get me wrong, Lorna's Laces yarns are beautiful, but their roving is felted beyond what my hands can tolerate. My wrists were so sore from pre-drafting that I put it in a drawer where it has been for a very long time. I pulled it out, divided up the colors with a bit of overlap, added some sparkle, and made 5 color batts. I guess this is in keeping with my rainbow-theme lately. I feel so professional.

I did one batt blending wool with mohair and that was interesting. The static electricity made the carder have a giant mohair afro, but I got enough of it blended in there I think.  Anyway, here's a close-up of a couple of the Lorna's batts:



As you may have noticed, things look a little different around here. Gritty Knits got a facelift this weekend and there's some great new stuff for you guys to look at:

- For the first time, I have patterns for sale. Don't worry, the free stuff is still there.
- There's a new section with my personal projects on them, both finished and unfinished.  
- I finally added an About Me page.

In addition to updating the site, I have been on a marathon Lucy Neatby watching kick. I have seen 2 of the DVD's all the way through and I'm working my way through the rest as they come back in stock at the 'Ewe. (They're getting so popular that it's hard to keep them on the shelves.) Firstly, the quality of them is outstanding. The camera angles and close-ups are better than anything else out there. I had a customer ask me the other day if they were of better quality than "Nancy Zimmerman's" were. (Since I don't think Elizabeth Zimmerman ever had a series of DVD's, I have to assume that she meant Nancy Weisman.) I felt guilty about how enthusiastically I replied in the affirmative, but they are simply beyond compare.

Secondly, the wealth of information is astonishing. I just keep asking myself, "Where did she learn all this?" If you decide to invest in the set, resist the urge to skip over things you already know. She throws little tips in here and there that I wish I had been doing all along. Part of me was very happy I found them, the other part of me was jealous that it wasn't my name on the case. I can only dream of one day becoming as incomparable a knitter as Lucy Neatby. When I grow up, I want to be Lucy and Noni and Debbie Bliss all rolled into one.

Perhaps I'm already on my way with the release of my two new patterns, specifically Roary Calhoun, the little lion. Get it? Roar-y? Isn't he CUTE?! 


"Look at him Smithers, that's the most adorable thing I've ever seen, you know who he reminds me of? ... Just look at him standing there on his hind legs, like Rory Calhoun. "


Welcome to my new & improved website, everyone! I'm going to update lots of stuff tomorrow (7/4) and send out a mailing list email with all the details.