Category: spinning


Dye Day

This morning was the day I had set aside this week for dyeing some wool batts. Most of them are 100% Corriedale, but there were a few mixed breed rovings I had made that I threw in different pots just to see what might happen. 

Small batch, hand processed and hand dyed Corriedale batts


I had learned a lot about dyeing here at my house today. Previously, I had thought I was just really bad at it. My colors were always muddy, or too pale.  I figured out today I just need more acid than normally called for in dyeing instructions.  1/2 tsp of citric acid does not get me the bright sharp colors im looking for; however, bump the citric acid up to 1 tsp and Wow! I am much happier, and looking forward to dyeing many more batts in the future. 

Love this Spicy Red and Amethyst rovings.

That was fast!

Boy, June went fast here in Oklahoma. So much happened here that there is no way I can catch you up in one post, so I thought I would start with a knitting post first!

I have been interested in knitting with beads for a long time, but it wasn’t until I found these beads at Hobby Lobby that I finally decided to try it.  Aren’t they pretty? I don’t know why, but I love this turqoise color, lately.  So I paired these beads with some handspun grey laceweight (the wool came from my sheep Ivy)  I like the way these two look together, but I wish the grey yarn was a different color. I am looking for advice on wether you can dye yarn that already has beads on it or not, and if it looks possible, I may try that.

These have been and interesting knit. I found a mitt I really liked, the Bronte mitt. However, it was written for a different gauge than I was getting, so I have just had to modify the pattern for the yarn I wanted to use. I had to completely rechart the lace cuff.  The cuff is the part that is on the needles in this picture, with the part with k4p2 ribbing is the part that actually goes on the hand. Once I finish the cuff, I will pick up the stitches from the provisional cast on, and then knit a little more lace up there. Then, after knitting a thumb, it will be done.  I am using the method of beading where I put the bead on a live stitch with a crochet hook, instead of threading all the beads on the yarn. I just thought that this yarn is too fragile for that rough of treatment.  So far, I have used about 2 and a half tubes of size 6 beads, (I counted, there are 328 beads on this mitt alone. ) I might have to go get more beads!

I have been doing other knitting. A co-worker of DH’s is having a baby, and so I knit this baby hat and burp cloth. I meant to knit a baby hat and booties, but ran out of yarn after I got the first bootie done. So I knit the burp cloth instead. I used Peaches and Cream yarn, in their new (to me?) stripes variety. I really enjoyed it. 4 episodes of lost and a movie off of Turner Classic Movies later, I had a burp cloth. It was very mellow knitting, and I think I’ll buy more and make dish cloths.

I’ll try and post pictures and news from my garden tomorrow. Boy, are things taking off in the garden! Hopefully we’ll have tomatoes soon!

Feather and Fan Shawl

Well I finally finished this shawl last night, after some marathon knitting, now that the air conditioning is on and it is too hot to venture outside except in the morning and evening.  I was afraid that this shawl was going to look like a semi-circular ugly couch afghan, but I have been pleasantly surprised, I love it!

This is the Marialis Shawl  from  Stahman’s Shawls and Scarves. the dark part at the top of the shawl was from a recycled sweater, as was the grey at the bottom of the shawl, but all of the different colors in the stripes is my own hand dyed,  handspun yarn.  I have no idea what yardage is in this, but it’s a lot, towards the end, I could go all the way across one row and back in the time it took to watch a movie.  I can’t wait until this fall and winter, when it is cool enough to wear this shawl!

 

New Adventures

Isn’t she pretty? (Okay, the color in this one is a little off.  She isn’t really green)

Her name is Tinkerbell.  I had to completely veto anything having to do with snow, including, snowball, snowflake, snowstorm and Winter Wonderland.

 

 

 

Well, I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and found a lot to be thankful for. We certainly are blessed in this country,  and it is good to reflect on all the blessings that the Lord has given us.  The Lord used Thanksgiving this year to do a work on my heart, and while I don’t want  write about it on the blog, I just wanted to say that He is so faithful and true.  Just like our earthly parents, He has to correct us when we are wrong, but I don’t ever remember feeling blessed when Mom and Dad corrected me!  Somehow, His corrections leave me feeling happy and new, instead of angry or sad, and I am really thankful for that.

I have got the spinning bug recently. I think it is because I am thinking of all the things I am going to get to teach my new friend from the area.  It makes me want to dig out the drum carder and the dye pots. But I had that llama already on the wheel, so I finished spinning that up first.  Ever since I have started spinning I have heard that llama isn’t really good for spinning, because it is so rough, and maybe that is so, there does seem to be a lot of gaurd hair in this. However these singles are soooooo soft. 

 The problem is, I can’t decide what to do with them next. Ply them for knitting yarn, or wind them off for singles in case I get a  loom  sometime in the future?  I want to do something spectacular with them, as this is the roving that I bought at Market Street Yarn and Crafts when I was on vacation. I want to make something as memorable as the vacation was.  I think I will probably just wind them off for now, and set them as singles. That will give me an idea of the yardage as singles, and maybe I can decide what to do then. I wish I knew more about weaving, so I would know what kind of yardage I would need for a decent size project.

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As it is, Chad and I are going to get the drum carder and some wool out of storage this evening, I am going to dig out my copy of Spinning in Color, and I am going to start planning another project.

I finished my brother Bruces socks.  Jessica, if you are reading this, send me your address!! I don’t know where to send the socks, so I am going to put them up for now. I think I missed deer season for him anyway.  He’ll have them next year though, right?  I also finished my fingerless mitts.  Regardless of the fact that everytime I start I pair of mitts I say they are for me and I am not giving them away, I gave them to Sean. They were just too big on me, for some reason. They sure were pretty though. Sean likes them, they fit him fine. He probably needed them worse than I did anyway. 

I need to make a pairof fingerless mitts for the piano player at church.  Due to the high cost of heating oil at the church, they are not turning the heat on in the building until Sunday morning (instead of Saturday night) and it is sooo cold in there during the services.  I was practicing on the piano on day when the kids and I were cleaning, and my hands felt like they had been submerged in ice water.  She definitely needs a pair of fingerless mittens.  She wants blue though, which means I have so dye some yarn.  Luckily, I found a brand new (still had tags on it) 100% cream colored mens V neck golf sweater at the thrift store two weeks ago, and I have already unraveled it for the yarn. That means I just have to get the dye pots out!

Small Goals

I haven’t spoken about Weight Watchers recently. I’m still doing the program, but things have slowed down a lot in the weight loss department.  I haven’t given up though, and Tuesday, on my one year Weight Watchers anniversary, I met a goal that is a step to me finally meeting my entire goal.  At this point, I have lost 76 lbs, according to their scale. ( my scale has dropped a little more since Tuesday. According to my scale, I now weight 190! Woot!)  And I got my 75 lb star and a new reward, a 75 lb medal that goes on my 10% key chain.

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So, I guess in celebration of that, I am going to do something I don’t think I  have ever done on this blog.  Always before, I was too embaressed by how awful I looked to post a picture of myself. Although I still have a long way to go, I am proud of how far I’ve come. 

So, me, in the finished Mobius Shawl. Chad took the pictures, I was just the director.

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Moebius Shawl pattern from Drops Studio, knit from my handspun, handyed yarn.  I modified the pattern by knitting it in garter stitch. I knit five ridges of garter stitch, a row of yo, K2together, a row knit plain, and then another row of YO, K2 together.

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I love this shawl. I need to find a top to wear with it, none of the tops I have is quite right. It has a beautiful drape, beautiful color, and it is fuzzy and soft. I can loop it twice around my neck and wear it as a hood/scarf, or around my shoulders. I just love everything about it, and I think it was the perfect pattern to showcase this yarn.  I seriously can not think of a single other thing I have ever knit that I love as much as this shawl.  And I have knit a LOT of things, things more complicated and costly than this project. I think it is just because it all came together so perfectly.

Well, I finished the mitts for my weight watchers leader. I really like the way they came out.  I like them layered, and I like both sets of fingerless mitts on their own, but I’m really glad they are done.

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The yarn for the turqoise mitts is something I spun myself, and dyed with a mixture of turqoise, and bronze Cushings dyes.  While I was spinning it I kept thinking I wanted it to be a thicker yarn, but sometimes the roving has a mind of it’s own, and I ended up knitting them on size 1 needles, over 64 stitches.  They are fairly thin, and very decorative, but I don’t think they would be overly warm.  Which is why I ended up knitting the second pair out of Lion Brand Fishermens yarn to layer under them if Jean needed more warmth. Of course both pairs can be worn on their own, and look pretty good on their own as well.

Next on the list is to finish some spinning before we go on vacation, and then I think I am starting a pair of socks. I think I am going to knit them from the top down instead of from the toe up though, because I am having a lot of problems getting toe up socks to fit lately. And I am going to need a couple of pairs of socks before fall and winter get here.  And as sick as I am of knitting fingerless mittens, I am going to need a pair of those before fall gets here as well.  Plus I owe mom a cardigan. I have so much to do! Thankfully my Ravelry invite arrived last week, and I don’t think I am ever again be at a loss for inspiration!

On the Bobbins

I love spinning. It is so relaxing, and I really like the accomplished feeling that it gives me when I finish a spinning project and have enough yarn for an item that I made myself. That being said, I have about three different fiber combinations in various stages of completion, and I don’t really have enough of any of them spun up right now for a project.turqoise-tootles-yarn-resized.jpg

I have been spinning some of the fiber from shearing Tootles in various bits and peices.  A little plain, a little combed, a little dyed. I dyed it with some kind of “southwestern” shades: turqouise, rusty orange, various shades of greeny greens. My intent was to comb the various shades, and make a hackle and ditz off the combed fiber to get a streaky kind of top.  I got the dyeing done, and a little combing, spun a little of the original fiber and then ran out of energy on that endeavor.

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Then I had some of Tootles fiber just plain, and I have been combing that in bits and spurts. It spins up so nicely, and is so much fun, but this is a big job (Tootles had a lot of wool!) and it’s going to take a while, so I’m pacing myself on this job.

singles-on-bobbins.jpg

Then I had a combination of alpaca, Ivy’s first shearing and some mohair that I decided to spin, since it was just taking up space in my “fiber drawer”. This is just one drum batt of fiber left over after carding another project that I just threw together. It spins very very fine, and since I had such a small amount, I decided that I would spin it as fine as I could, just to see how much yardage I could get from that amount of fiber. I haven’t decided whether to ply the resulting singles or not, if I have quite a bit of singles, I may just set the twist and then knit some lace with it.  But again, it takes a long time to spin yarn that fine, and I get bored with it quickly and then have to go knit a while. (more on that later)

So I need a major battery jump. Something exciting to spin. I want lots of color in a fiber that is easy and quick to spin. I guess I need to start browsing the fiber lists and see what I can find.

Next fiber post, what’s on the needles!

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