Handy PVC dpn case

Look at what my darling husband made for me, a couple of weeks ago -

One end has a dot -

The other end - no dot - you'll see why in just a minute -

The end with the dot is the "free end" and this cap pulls off and there are some of my small dpns. This is a fantastic case! I put a little bit of foam in the cap to keep the dpns from rattling around so much.

The foam is just wedged into the cap - no need for glue. It looks like the foam is nice and circular, but actually, it's quite crudely cut. It looks round because I just pulled it out from the cap and it hasn't had time yet to go back to it's rather angular shape. It works just fine, though. No rattle.

My darling husband cut the pipe to such exacting specifications - the dpns fit perfectly. There is also a bit of green foam in the other cap, so the longer dpns are held rather still with this arrangement.

See all that I have stuffed in there! Believe it or not, there's room for more. I have quite a few sets of sock dpns, a set of larger dpns, and a random assortment of small crochet hooks in this tidy little case.

Do you see these little beauties?

Last year, my darling son took a jewelry making class at the local community college. He completed all of his assignments and he had two days of class time left, and a bit of silver left over, so he made me a set of Sterling Silver Double Pointed Sock Knitting Needles!!!

Be still, my heart!

He made them exactly how I like them - US0, 4.25 inches long, and stilletto pointy. He pulled the silver through a plate, ground the points and smashed the little flat parts on the needles on one day, and then he was going to return to school on the next day to carve his initials on one side of the needle, and my initials on the other, on the little flat parts.

On his way to school that day, he fell off of his bicycle and broke his collarbone! On his dominant side! So, he wasn't able to carve the initials. Then, school was over, and he no longer had access to the jewelry lab. Maybe later... Anyway, initials or no initials, I just love these little needles! I used them to knit the Trekking to Taos socks, and another pair (not yet blogged) and I'm proud to announce that these are the best sock needles ever made! I'm a lucky mama! They've gotten really shiny from use. I really love these needles!!!

What's also something special is that these needles, along with lots of jewelry for his class, were made out of some sterling ice-cream cups which belonged to my mother. No one liked the ice cream cups, but sterling silver is sterling silver, so handsome son was able to use them for his class. He made lots of jewelry out of those cups, including my dpn jewelry!

Something else which might interest you - I put a length of plain old aquarium tubing on my crochet hook - it makes it easier to use. Try it.

So, that's it! Hubby started out with a foot of pvc pipe - the smallest amount that the hardware store would sell to him. He came home and cut the pipe just a little longer then my longest needles. Then, with his superhuman strength, he really wedged one end cap into place - that thing isn't going anywhere! It's on there really tight! I jammed a bit of green foam down into that cap, and then jammed a bit into the other cap - the one marked with a dot. This is so that I know which cap is the movable one, and which one stays put. This case takes no room at all in my knitting bag, and it's so strong that nothing will happen to my littlest needles.

At least one friend has hinted... you know, gift-giving season is soon upon us... all knitters would like a little needle case... just sayin...


I won at Taos!


I am so excited! I entered three skeins into the Taos Wool Festival, and all three won prizes!

My skein of Alpaca/Nylon sock yarn won first place in its division, and won Reserve Grand Champion for the spindle spun yarn!
I knit a swatch, and oooohhhhh this is going to make a nice pair of socks! I used US000 needles, and I plan on knitting just a plain stockinette sock, or maybe a use the stitch pattern, "King Charles Brocade" on the cuff.

Details -
Prepared roving, Alpaca 66%, Nylon 34% - purchased from Eyedazzler Alpacas
Top whorl drop spindle, approx 1 oz
Tammy Rizzo's Navajo Ply on the fly technique
Entered in the Spindle Category, Expert (because I've won competitions in the past, and because I teach spinning lessons. I feel like such a fraud - I'm FAR from an "expert"- I consider myself an advanced beginner - but these were the rules), plied, undyed alpaca fiber.

The judge marked on the card, "3 ply" and I just had to smile to myself. See, some folks insist that Navajo Plied yarn isn't really a 3 ply, it's a single ply, folded upon itself. I must admit to a certain immaturity, but I get endless amusement out of this, lol.

At any rate, I just love to do this ply on the fly method of plying yarn. I think that it is really fun to do, and for me, spinning is an area in my life where I want to have fun. So... I use this method of plying for just about everything.

Remember the socks which I spun and knitted for my friend, Anastasia? Well, she's not really a shoes and socks sort of lady, so I had knit her a pair of bed socks. She waxed so nostalgic about her sheep ranching days, that I would like to spin and knit a pair of gloves for her - so that she can wear the gloves out in public and show them off to her friends, and they can all reminisce about their days, ranching in the valley. I think that she'll really like them.

I digress.

I entered a skein of yarn which I'm spinning for the gloves project, and it won second place! (You might like to see what the fleece looked like before it was washed - I like to post these pictures so that folks know that wool washes CLEAN!)
I really am happy with this yarn. I really like Suffolk. Can you see the sheen? The judge commented that she didn't think that this yarn would make nice gloves, that it was too thin and too stiff. However, I plan to make a twisted-stitch glove, and the yarn came out exactly how I wanted it to - thin and tight - so I think that it'll make excellent gloves. I can't wait to get started knitting this project.

Details -
Flick carded, pseudo rolags
Top whorl drop spindle, approx 1 oz.
Entered in Spindle spun, expert, undyed wool, plied.

The yarn of which I am the most proud, however, is this one. I really REALLY like this yarn. I'm stunned that it even placed, as it's quite thick-n-thin, but I like it just the same.I love spinning with Alpaca, but I always spin it really fine. I think that Alpaca does very well spun fine, and truthfully, I've never been able to spin it any other way. I've always bought my roving from Eyedazzler Alpacas, and it's so nicely prepared and soft and wonderful so that it drafts really easily, and, well, it just always ends up as a really fine yarn. I was determined to learn how to spin a thicker, softer, loftier alpaca yarn, and when I saw this fleece (on the animal's back as I was vacuuming it, lol) I knew that this was the fleece I wanted. I knew, instantly, how I was going to spin it, and what I was going to make with it.

This is from the batch that I washed early this summer.

I flicked locks, then made pseudorolags and then spun just barely enough for the singles to hold together. This is sooooo different from my usual way of spinning! I spun it at such a low twist that the single couldn't support the weight of the spindle, so I used my bike wheel instead. I love Tammy Rizzo's Navajo Ply on the Fly technique, so I had to figure out how to make it work on my spindle wheel. It took some head-scratching, but I finally came up with a method which works and is quite easy, actually. The end result is a nice, soft, lofty yarn and I just love it.
As you can see from these photos, the fleece has some natural color gradation. I sorted the fleece into three piles, light, medium and dark, and spun to as to maintain this slight variation. I'm really thrilled with the end result.

This was really a stretch for me - I feel like I really learned a lot from this project. Best of all, it was really FUN!

Details -
Fleece from the alpaca named "Nico" who lives at Eyedazzler Alpacas.
flick carded, pseudo rolags
Tammy Rizzo's Navajo Ply on the Fly, adapted for the Spindle Wheel (It's lots of fun!!!)
Entered in wheelspun, expert, undyed alpaca, plied.

Entering fiber competitions is so much fun! I wasn't able to attend the Taos Wool Festival - I sent my entries to the festival with some friends. They tell me that it was a good competition, that there were quite a few entries. Sigh. I wish I could have gone. I would have loved to see all of the skeins, and I especially wish that I could have seen all of the prize winners.

There's something I'd like to point out - many of us entered yarns and other items made from fibers from Eyedazzler Alpacas, and all of us won ribbons! My friends, Sharron, Erin, and Peggy (and maybe others who I don't know) spun Eyedazzler yarn and won ribbons. Sharron knitted a hat which won a ribbon. A woman made a needle-felted sculpture out of Eyedazzler fiber, and won a ribbon. Allie, one of the owners of Eyedazzler entered a fleece and won Grand Champion!

I'd say that this only proves what I've been saying all along - Eyedazzler Alpacas produces some glorious fiber!!! Allie recently received a new shipment from the fiber mill, and oh my gosh, she has some wonderful blends. My favorites are Bing Cherry Cordial and Storm Watch - the colors are wonderful, just wonderful. It's really fun for me because I know these animals, so when I see their names in the descriptions, it gives me a little thrill, lol. I see something like this, Charley, Tori and Bamboo, and I think to myself, "Hmmm.... I know Charley and I know Tori, but I don't remember an alpaca named "Bamboo..." and then suddenly it hits me, heh heh heh.

Anyway, you absolutely can't go wrong with any fiber purchase from Eyedazzler. If there's something that you want, but don't see on the web site, then be sure to drop Allie a line and ask her - she has loads of products which are not on the site. Just email her!