Tag Archives: spinning

The Colors of Spring

 

This winter has been so long and gloomy that I needed something cheerful to work on for a bit. It didn’t help that J wanted me to knit him a sweater- that was grey. Really, buddy?

So I did some stash diving and found 8oz of merino/bamboo blend roving that I purchased at MDSW 2010. I spun some of it up back in December, but the majority of the spinning and plying took place last week. Once I was done plying, I got to try out my new/old spinning weasel for the first time ever. This thing is awesome! 120 rotations/click, which works out to 312 yards or so.  It makes calculating yardage so much easier. 

20140510_172755

DSC02612

DSC02611

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20140517_085426

 

 

 

Finished yarn! I had to do two mini skeins; one is a traditional 3-ply (like the large skein) and the other is a chain ply because one bobbin had waaaaay more singles on it than the other two. If the weather FINALLY clears up, I’ll wash and whack these this weekend. The ultimate plan is to knit myself the Monsoon Shawl from IK Spring 2014. This will make such a nice, squishy wrap.

In other spring news, the local farmer’s markets have moved outside again! This one just happens to occur the same day as knit night, in the parking lot behind the yarn store. Thursdays are about to get a lot more expensive. I don’t care- fresh produce! Free range eggs! Fresh cheese! Well, as fresh as you want cheese to be.  

20140515_163014

 

There are no pictures of the planters with my snap peas and carrots since they haven’t sprouted yet. Just imagine another box, full of dirt.I also managed to get my miniscule vegetable garden planted this week. The first picture are my three tomato plants- a green zebra, an amish paste, and…I forget the third, but it’s a dark red/brown color. The second picture is my pepper plants. I forget the names, but we got two sweet and one hot pepper. The one on the far right is a chocolate something or other- I’m excited to see what those are like. Finally, my vine plants! There’s one cucumber plant, a longneck pumpkin, and a butternut squash. I’m not sure how well they will all do in there, but we shall see. 

20140516_171441

 

 

 

 

 

 

20140516_171444

 

 

 

 

 

 

20140516_171447

 

 

 

 

 

And finally, our lazy Saturday morning. Someone did not feel like getting out of our nice warm bed today. She got up long enough to eat and run around like an elephant for about 10 minutes, then back to sleep for the past oh, 3 hours. She’s lucky she’s cute.

20140517_082826

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up: figure out what fiber I want to spin now! I’m also trying to talk J into going to an estate sale today. I think I can get a CPW  for pretty cheap. Who could turn that down?!

Posted in fiber, spinning | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

And just like that, summer is gone

Wow, I can’t believe it’s already been 3 months since the last blog post. Things have been so crazy here, I’ve barely had time to think, let alone work up a blog post. Working out of town, completing classes, having my stepdaughter come to visit, the in-laws showing up…it’s been a very busy summer! So, instead of writing about “what I did on my summer vacation” I decided to do a photo essay instead!

Posted in fiber, spinning, Tour De Fleece, Uncategorized, wool | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Finally Making Some Progress

I finally feel as if I am making progress on my spinning, knitting, and sewing projects. Not having classes two nights a week really does give me a lot of free time! The hardest part about wanting to update on all of this is figuring out where to start. Guess I’ll start with the spinning. Last year a dog got into some combed top I was working on, and strew it all around the house. It would be impossible to spin it as prepped top now, but with my fancy new hand cards I could turn the top into rolags pretty easily and spin from that!

DSC02131

This is my spinning set-up from last week. In the front are the rolags I prepped from the affected fiber. The bobbin on the back left is full of 3oz of merino/mohair singles. The bobbin on the right is another 3 oz of the same fiber, chain plied. In the back you can see my yarn bowl and WIP.

I was hoping to spin a bulky single. Unfortunately learning to spin rolags in a truly woolen manner was a bit difficult, and I ended up with thick and thin singles, about a worsted weight. The colors in this photo are the most accurate for the pink fiber.

 

 

DSC02146

Here are the singles. About 200yds, 4oz. I spun it up as a gradient, from dark magenta to a pink so light it’s almost white. I really wanted a thicker yarn, but if I ply this I’ll get a really awful barber pole effect, and I’m just not sure I want that yet. We will see. I have time before I need a winter hat from this.

 

 

Here is a swatch knitted up. It’s not bad, but this is on size 8 needles. Definitely worsted. 

DSC02148

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the finished product of the chain-plied mohair. This skein is about 275yds, 3oz. I ended up with about a sport weight yarn. I’m still plying the second bobbin, but it should be around the same. I’m ok with that, I just need to figure out what to do with 500yds of a mohair blend. I’m not so sure it will make great socks. Maybe house socks? It could make a nice small shawl, too. That’s the hardest part about spinning- trying to figure out what to do with the yarn once it’s made! 

DSC02147

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, and here was my super fancy set-up to skein this yarn once I was done spinning it:

DSC02133

I know, don’t you all wish you had this impressive layout? I can’t wait until I have a craft room, and a table that has enough of a lip to attach my swift. 

 

 

 

 

This weekend we are heading up to the lake to spend the holiday with family. I’m bringing the Border Leicester, as I said earlier. Gertrude, all her supplies, and the hand cards are coming along, too. I plan on getting a good start with the Border Leicester this weekend. I’m hoping I bought enough of it- the original intention was to knit myself a sweater from it. If I am low on fiber though, I’ll have to decide if I want to blend it, or do a colorwork yoke to try and make the yarn last. I may kick myself if I find out I didn’t purchase enough.

The trindle went out in the mail today to get fixed/replaced. I’m hoping he is able to fix it. I really love that little spindle and was very excited to spin on it this past weekend. I’ve learned my lesson though. Never take a trindle out of the house!

Posted in fiber, roving, spinning, sweater, Uncategorized, wool, yarn | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

A Sad Day

We are visiting some of J’s family out of town this weekend. I excitedly packed all the crafty things I was going to do while we were relaxing-knitting, spinning, blogging, etc. Yesterday evening on our way back from dinner I went to get my Trindle out of my purse….and the shaft has snapped. It was most likely from me carelessly packing it in my purse, which was then on the floor of the front passenger seat during out 9 hour drive. One of us most likely stepped on it and snapped it.  

That was the single fear I had when buying the Trindle- the shaft is so thin and light, I was worried about it breaking. Apparently I was right. J thinks he can fix it, although the creator of the Trindle says they have a lifetime warranty. I emailed him to see if this is something that is covered. In the meantime though, no spinning.

Maryland Sheep and Wool was earlier this month. I failed once again at taking photos, but take my word that it was a ton of fun. Nice cool weather this year, and lots of good friends. I am trying to cut back on how much fiber I buy, so this year it was mostly tools. I bought hand cards, a nostepinne, some new arms for my (now defunct) Trindle, and 2lbs of Border Leicester fleece to wash and spin. J also picked out some sock yarn for next years birthday socks. 

I also made another bag for a friend. This one was a barter exchange- she sent me fabric, I sent her one bag made out of it. I LOVE this print. I need to find out where she obtained it, because I want to make more bags from it. This bag is approximately 13″ tall, big enough to fit large shawls or sweaters. 

DSC02128

DSC02125

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s all for now. I should be home with more camera access this week, and next week I will take photos of the washing/drying/carding/spinning process with the Border Leicester fleece.

Posted in fiber, Rock Solid Designs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Spin a Yarn

A month goes by way too fast. I’ll admit, part of it is me being a complete slacker, but it’s been busy the past few weeks. Three weekends ago we went up to the lakehouse where I fully intended to take amazing and awe-inspiring photos of my works in progress. I got one.  It was a very busy weekend!

I finished up the 1oz art batt I was working on. It’s probably 100yds of singles. I have no idea what I will do with it. This wasn’t my favorite stuff to work with- there was still a lot of grease in the fiber, and sections of the merino seemed a bit felted. I am moderately pleased with the final product, though.

(Note- it’s more pink than orange in real life.)

 

Next up, some wool/mohair/angelina blend. I don’t think I have any in progress photos of it, but I did spin some of it up into an art yarn last year, documented in this blog post.  I got about 62 yds of worsted weight, 2 ply yarn. it’s nice and squishy. I learned a lot on this fiber. One: semi-felted wool sucks, and Two: I need to put more twist into my singles. I seem to habitually undertwist my singles, and it makes plying more challenging than it needs to be.

 

 I also worked on a similar fiber with a heavier spindle. This one had way more felted sections, and sometimes I felt like I was fighting with the fiber. The colors were so vibrant though, I almost forgot what a pain in the butt it is to spin. 

The rest of this month (all 5 days of it) will be spent getting bobbins and spindles cleared off for the start of Tour De Fleece 2012. Hopefully that means pictures of more finished yarns to come!

Posted in fiber, roving, spinning, wool | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

To Boldly Knit

I know my last post was all about new patterns I want to sew, but lately I seem to have a greater desire to knit. I have a number of projects I want to finish, and they seem to just drag. on. My purse sock, for instance, still isn’t ready to have the heel turned on it, and I have  been working on this sock for four months now. It’s like a black hole of sock knitting! Maybe it’s just imploding on itself due to it’s properties.

This sock is Viper Pilots (Ravelry link), knit out of Woolen Mill St Yarns Star Trek (it seems to be a discontinued colorway), worked on mostly while watching Stargate Atlantis. Maybe the problem is there is so much sci-fi coolness knit into this sock, that it just implodes from all the awesome? That can be the only explanation for 3 inches of a sock taking four months.

These are going to be J’s birthday/wedding/Christmas socks. Maybe I’ll get them done by the end of the year.

 

 

 I have spent the rest of my time getting ready for this years Tour De Fleece. I decided to finish spinning up some Corriedale I have been working on for about 6 months. I finally have two bobbins full, and now I just need to ply them. The fiber is also from Woolen Mill St Yarns, in her Cinderella colorway. What can I say, the woman does impressive dye jobs. I can’t buy enough of her stuff.

(I also got a new lightbox to play with. I’ll figure out optimal settings with it eventually.)

 

 

 

 

Once I finished spinning those singles, I started on an art batt I bought at Wool Gathering in OH last year from Roving Acres.It’s a 1 oz art batt consisting of Alpaca, Merino, silk noils and angelina. It’s been a little difficult to spin up. I am not sure I enjoy art batts. They seem to have a mind of their own on what they want to be, and no amount of wrangling will make them anything else. The singles are turning out awful pretty though. I’m sure the final yarn will convince me I love art batts and need hundreds more and that wasn’t really troublesome, was it?

 

 

 

 


 

 

This past week was J’s birthday. I don’t know if you guessed from the theme of his socks above, but he is a bit of a sci-fi fan. Every year I make him a special birthday cake, and this year we went with a Star Trek Theme. It’s just a basic chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting, but he loved it (and ate most of it. I would be more hurt if I liked frosting).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I doubt this week I will actually get some sewing done, but hopefully I can make a sizable dent in that sock and my spinning.

Posted in cake, fiber, knitting, roving, spinning, wool, yarn | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment