Archive for January, 2009

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Fiber, Fiber, Fiber, Hat, Hook!

January 26, 2009

No, it’s not a silly game.  I have had a fairly productive week in my fiber loves.  

First, I had some yummy Angora spinning fiber arrive. I had been waiting for this fiber so that I can partake in the Spinner’s Study group in Ravelry.  As soon as the fiber arrived I yanked off a handful and tried to fluff it up.  I decided to use my hand cards, this required five passes through the cards to make the rolags nice and fluffy. 

 

Fiber Prep Set Up

Fiber Prep Set Up

 

First Two Angora Rolags

First Two Angora Rolags

 

 

 

 

I started a bobbin with a few pure Angora rolags.   Ulitmiately, I found fiber to be fairly easy to spin but initially we had a few minutes to get to know each other.  Once the rolags were finished spinning, I decided to blend some angora with some dyed Corriedale.  This time I blended on my mini-makeshift-hackle, as I do not own any hand combs – yet.  The Angora did not blend thoroughly and I am sure it would have blend better on the hand cards but – well, the final result was still nice to spin and looked pretty too.

 

Angora in Corriedale

Angora in Corriedale

 

Angora in Corriedale

Angora in Corriedale

 

 

 

Then I decided to blend more Angora with some Merino, again on my mini-makeshift-hackle.  And, again, not very thoroughly blended but still, loved the feel, the spin and the end result.  

 

Angora in Merino

Angora in Merino

 

 

I then carded and spun a little more pure Angora onto the bobbin.  I felt pretty good with the fiber and I feel as though I understand it better now than I did fresh out of the bag.  I decided that my exercise was finished and hoarded the remaining 3 ounces into the stash, to be blending for a future project. ;)

I should note now, that this month’s SAL in Spinner Central in Ravelry was to be a bust for me initially.  I had some Romney I had purchased in Etsy.  Before I placed the order, I asked lots of questions about the fiber such as: is it clean, is it clear (of nepps), etc.  When the fiber arrived, I began spinning and discovered that the 4 ounces were loaded with VM, nepps and even a bug!  I was really disappointed with the fiber and contacted Etsy about it.  They let me know that this seller has a few strikes against them and had voluntarily closed shop.  However, I did manage to pick most of the ick out as I spun and I suppose it turned out alright:

 

Romney Singles

Romney Singles

 

 

I also started some dye pots this past week.  I dyed a bunch of sock yarn, I plan to donate 1 skein to my DD’s shop, to add 1 skein to my stash and possibly to sell the other  2 skeins.  I haven’t taken any photos yet as I’d like to make the skeins first.  I will most likely have pictures by next week’s post.

After that pot was exhausted, I started  a pot of a green-ish color.  Into the pot went a few ounces of BFL and Corriedale, for the kids spindling.  I am pretty surprised at the difference in color between the two, the BFL is noticeably darker than the Corriedale.  I can’t figure out why.  Still, both colors are nice and most importantly, the kids like them.

 

(L) BFL (R) Corriedale

(L) BFL (R) Corriedale

 

 

I went on to dye some more Corriedale, over 4 ounces this time and hand dyed instead.  I chose three colors: a teal, a light blue and a dark blue.  I dotted the colors in sequence throughout the top and then steamed it.  It did not turn out at I had envisioned, but still very pretty:

 

4+ oz Corriedale Hand Dyed

4+oz Corriedale Hand Dyed 30 Jan ETA - I just bought a better scale, it's actually 6.25 oz/177 g!

 

 

 

 

I am not sure yet what I will do with this.  I may use it but I may also consider selling it, too.

As for knitting, I did start the Transformer’s Hat for DS2.  It is a great knit and all the kids love it, even the biggest kid – DH ;)  

 

Transformers Hat - Progress

Transformers Hat - Progress

 

 

I hope to be finished with it by Friday – wish me luck!

The newest and latest happening is Crochet… for those who do not know, I can’t crochet.  Nope, not a bit.  I have always had issues with the fiddlyness of it and besides, knitting seemed far more elegant anyhow.  But, secretly, it eats me up that I can not crochet!  Palomabella to the rescue!  Palomabella created a great crochet tutorial in the Monthly Adventures Group in Ravelry, and this month she started a CAL involving Broomstick Lace.  I agreed to join in the fun but felt hopeless of my success.  After several failed attempts, I finally got it and am learning to love it!

 

 

Broomstick Lace

Broomstick Lace

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Gifted Goodness

January 18, 2009

The Holidays have come and gone and the newness of my gifts are still with me.  How could they not be though?  For starters, my super early Christmas gift was my spinning wheel – 

 

Julia by Louet

Julia by Louet

 

 

While she and I have had just a few issues, I love her.  

I also decided, finally, on a WPI tool from KaratStix.  

 

Wooly Ewes WPI Tool by KaratStix

Wooly Ewes WPI Tool by KaratStix

 

 

Plus, the lovely Karen included 5 adorable stitch markers!

 

Wolly Ewes Stitch Markers by KaratStix

Wooly Ewes Stitch Markers by KaratStix

 

 

I love these tools and am so impressed by Karen’s fine handwork!

Of course I was gifted a few items I might never use or wear, but still appreciate the gestures attached.  I have to say though, the most surprising gift was a vacuum cleaner!  At first I didn’t know if I should be offended or not!  Then DH put the little bugger in action… 

So, what could be so special about a vacuum?  How about one that does all the work for you!  DH bought the Roomba, by iRobot.  This little thing is actually a sweeper and just perfect for our floors – ceramic tile and low pile area carpeting.  It gets into place I can’t, well, not without moving furniture around.  I just love this thing!

 

Roomba by iRobot

Roomba by iRobot

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Oops!

January 12, 2009

In my haste to record and air Episode #12, I forgot to post here as well as on the DTP Notes Page!  :”)

:apologies:

Since I am catching up with you, I must warn you that this post will be quite heavy with the photos…  But you don’t mind, do you? ;)

My Holidays were bustling as each of yours were, I am sure.  Still, I did manage to find a few moments of solitude in the forms of knitting, spinning and dyeing, every now and then.  My only true knitting obligation was a ‘neck warmer’ of sorts to be ‘sent back’ to the wonderful Fibers, who gifted me a Magnificent MYB (see last post).  Fibers’ yarn was a gorgeous merino/silk blend and I must admit, I had a very trying time deciding just what to do with it.  

Ultimately, I chose to knit a mobius cowl, something with a nice amount of drape to play up the silk content of the yarn.  I thought this cowl could be worn not only to keep the neck warm but also the head, by pulling the back up as a hood or worm simply to dress up an outfit.  

 

Mobius Cowl

Mobius Cowl

Mobius Cowl

Mobius Cowl

From there, I went on to dyeing.  I had spun up some Corriedale, labeled as Bobbin No. 5 and it has been sitting here just waiting to become something.  DD had received some yoga gear for Christmas, one of which was a yoga mat.  The yoga mat, we quickly learned, did not come with a carry strap or sack as advertised. :/ Mom to the rescue, well sort of.  I told DD I would knit her a sack but it may take awhile.  In the meantime, we dyed Bobbin No. 5, resulting in this:

 

Bobbin No. 5 Hand Dyed

Bobbin No. 5 Hand Dyed

Not too bad.  Most importantly, she likes it!

After we dyed that skein of yarn, I realized I really wanted to spin.  I pulled out 4 oz of Corriedale and started right away.  The next morning I had 4 oz of this:

 

MY Sock Yarn!

MY Sock Yarn!

I will admit, I was so pleased with myself.  I had finally managed to spin 4 0z of somewhat consistent yarn, and sock yarn no less!  

I toyed with the idea of just casting on for a pair of socks.  But, I then thought of the dyeing I really wanted to do… mixing and testing new colors and trying lime instead of vinegar to fix the color.  I decided to split the 4 oz into mini skeins and soaked them overnight.  The next morning, after breakfast, after lunch, after playing with the kids, after dinner… OK, it was the next evening ;)  after the kids were in bed and DH was in his office, I started a few dye pots and after an evening of dyeing and a day of drying, I ended up with this:

 

Dye Night Bounty

Dye Night Bounty

 

 

First, I wanted to replicate the color I had mistakenly made for the Blue Booties.  I think I came very close, what do you think?

 

Darkest Blue

Darkest Blue

After pulling the above yarn from the pot, I noticed there was much dye left.  I plunked in another mini skein and the results were surprisingly pleasing:

 

Surprise Blue

Surprise Blue

Believe it or not, there was still so much dye left in the pot!  I then reserved the dye pot to later dye some top.  

 

Surprise Blue Top

Surprise Blue Top

 

 

 

 

From there, I was in search of forest colors.  Green and Brown is what I was after.  Green and a Rusty Brown is what I got:

 

Green

Green

Rusty

Rusty

While the brown is not the shade I was going for, I am pleased with the resulting color.  I can see this color on my feet ;)

After the green and rust skeins were dyed, each dye pot still had some color left.  I decided to play with my “Exercise Yarn”, resulting in this:

 

Exercise Yarn

Exercise Yarn

I think this will be knit up and felted for some future projects DD has in mind.  No waste! :)

My Holiday ended just after the New Year, this is when I allowed myself to log in at Ravelry.  There I had discovered the BOM KAL in Monthly Adventures Group had begun.  Fibers had selected a Moss Stitch block, my favorite textured stitch.  Since I had been knitting that stitch for the Kenobi, I decided to search for a stitch pattern which incorporated Moss Stitch into it. 

 

Tumbling Blocks

Tumbling Blocks

I’ve loved this stitch pattern for baby blankets and thought having a block of my very own would be nice.  

I mentioned in the Podcast, my children and I spent several hours over the Holidays, spinning.  After which, DS1 presented me with this:

 

Qs Lego Spindle!

Q's Lego Spindle!

Yes!  My DS1 fashioned a working spindle out of Lego parts!  You can see the yarn we started, wrapped around the shaft.  

I think that is all for now… see you next week!