Archive for the ‘Spinning’ Category

For every season; spin, spin, spin

Monday, October 30th, 2006

Ongoing projects update:

Lace scarf: added 12 inches, capsule 1/3 complete.
Gloves for Britts: 2 of the 6 patterns sewn on.
Brian’s sweater: 3/4 of the fiber spun totalling 1156 yards

I spent a bunch of lovely hours this weekend spinning up the soft, what is ed springy Babydoll Southdown fleece that I’ve slated for a Henley style sweater for Brian. Hopefully, misbirth I’ll have the rest finished up this week and than a trip perhaps next Wednesday to visit Joan at Heritage Spinning so that she can help me replicate one of Brian’s favorite sweaters.

Here are a few pictures of me spinning this project on my Lendrum wheel. This is such a wonderfully hand made wheel that is so versatile and pretty to boot.

I recently bought 4 new spindles, which I got in walnut. Just like my fondness for mixing metals, I love to mix woods, too. Having 8 spindles means that I can do multiple projects at one. I have 4 in use for this project, and one each for 3 other projects. I have one free for anything. This way I can spin what I want and not be limited to finishing one before starting another. I’ve always felt bound to finish one thing at a time, but I get bored with some projects so this allows me more creative freedom.

My goal this week is to finish the yarn for Brian’s sweater and to finish sewing the patterns on Britt’s gloves. I will have a new project shortly as one of Brian’s coworkers wants a pair of short gloves that I’m eager to get to work on.

Knitting (with a hard K) Sunday

Sunday, October 1st, 2006

About a week ago I started a holiday gift for my niece. Some fingerless elbow length gloves with an awesome snowflake that turns into a skull pattern I found on The Anticraft website. I found an awesome yarn from Lion Brand called Micro Spun. It’s so decadently soft! The snowflake/skull pattern will be in a silvery grey.

I forgot how much I enjoy knitting with double point needles

I’m actually really rather proud of how consistent I can keep my stitches. The needles are a size 3 US/3.25mm.

I fell in love with elbow length fingerless gloves last winter. I had some jet black alpaca fiber that I spun for these, pharmacy then I went the distance and even knitted them up with cables. I am looking forward to the cold weather just to wear them again. I love the feel of alpaca, seek and these are perfect since I like to wear capes more than coats. Perhaps I should consider making myself some thigh high alpaca socks :)

This will be perfect to help keep my damaged wrist warm and comfy this winter.

Looking over my recent posts, I realized I didn’t document the 24 oz. of Leicester I got last year. I love the colors, but it’s too scratchy for a sweater. I need to find a good project for it and quit buying pretty colors on itchy fiber.

I have also made firm plans for my birthday weekend to go to the fiber festival at the Allegan County Fairgrounds. Why no, making birthday plans 10 and a half months in advance is not presumptuous! I just have a lot of projects to finish between now and then!

New fiber from 2006 Autumn Sheep & Wool Festival at Mt. Bruce

Monday, September 25th, 2006

On Saturday, erectile Brian took me to Mt. Bruce in Romeo to pine after the Alpacas, physician to immerse my fingers in all sorts of delightful fibers, information pills and to purchase my winter fiber stash. I was reasonable in my purchases this year because I still have fiber from last year to spin and use. As a budding spinner, I understand that one can never have a fiber stash too large, but I’m not sure Brian’s sold on that idea…although he has explained how he’d like to gut the closet in the projects room to have storage for my wool and other storage.

On Sunday, we talked about getting him a chain saw to clean up a lot of the sapling trees in back, which would allow more sunlight in, and the possibility of an area where we could keep a couple of babydoll lambs, or a couple of Alpaca. In any case, it’s fun to think about owning my own fiber source these fascinating creatures.

An exciting project I dove into this weekend came about like this:

First, I found someone selling locks of dyed wool. I got 2 oz of a variety of bold colors.

Next, I found some gorgeous heathered black mohair, which I purchased in a big bag of 17 oz. When I got home, I thought “mohair is nice, but it would be even nicer if I combined it with something silky soft, like alpaca.” After looking at my existing stash, I discovered about 6.5 oz of jet black alpaca. Then I thought, what a perfect way to use those gorgeous wool hanks! In my head I could see the black fibers shot through with bold colors.

This is a photo that shows the colored wool locks, along the bottom is the silky alpaca, and at the top left is the heathered black mohair that will be used for this project.

I have some wool hand carders that I use to comb out scraps for reuse in other things, so I grabbed those and started blending a small amount of color, 4 parts mohair and 1 part alpaca.

These are the first night’s experiment, resulting a handful of rolags that I will spin from.

Each one has a single color shot through, some bold, some blended well, for variety.

Sunday, after filling half a brown grocery sack with rolags, I couldn’t stand it any more and had to see what the spun fiber would look like, to see if my idea would come to fruition. I’m quite pleased.

This is what the single ply fiber will look like:

If you can’t see the colors (there is red at the left and blue in the middle), click on the picture to see a larger version. When I ply these together (not sure if I’ll do 2 ply or 3 ply), there will be plenty of black, with some color and the possibility of multiple colors together. From a distance, I suspect it will look grey, but up close, it will be a myriad of bits of color on a black background. This is the most fun I’ve had with a spinning project to date.

However, the floor by my side of the couch is a little scary. It would seem that mohair, since it comes from a goat (Brian insisted we ask the merchant what a mo looks like), it has a lot of particulate in it (bits of hay) that need to be taken out. So as I blend, I pull the hay out and a few fibers stick to it and it looks like I have a shedding problem, or more like the dust bunnies are becoming sentient.

The other bit (well, 20 oz!) of fiber I was thrilled to pick up was some snowy white babydoll southdown wool.

Now, knitting with white does nothing for me, this is going to be my first attempt at dyeing wool. I got a little extra to experiment with, and that’s great because this is my favorite fiber to spin so far. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I love the fact that this fiber feels like it has an incredible amount of elasticity. This is the same as the chocolate brown fiber in my previous post. I have some FD&C dyes from making soap that I’m going to try first. I’d like to actually paint the spun yarn instead of dyeing the roving. I’ll eventually try both methods to see what results I like best.

In all, it was a great weekend and I’m set for my spinning addiction through the winter. Now that I’ve gotten a feel for my blending project, I need to put it away and finish the gloves I’ve started for my niece for a Christmas gift. All this fiber waiting for me, it’s difficult not to start all my projects now. But alas, I only have 4 bobbins to spin with, and they all currently are tagged for existing projects. Such is the life…

Fiber Projects as of September 2006

Friday, September 22nd, 2006

Jen bought me some handpainted yarn (60% Merino Wool Superwah, dosage 25% Mohair, healing 15% Nylon) for my birthday. I’d been looking for just the right yarn to make this gorgeous lacework scarf (pattern). It’s knitting up beautifully. I do love knitting lacework, treat although Brian is certain it will bump me over the sanity edge.

Despite his teasing, I’m spinning some of the softest, springiest, chocolate Babydoll Southdown wool to make a shaker sweater. I have a wonderful snowflake to skull pattern to add to the sleeves to make it slightly work inappropriate, but fun.

The turquoise yarn for this shrug was spun from a Corriedale Top. It’s a silky feeling fiber and I added some long thread furry fun yarn around the collar, bottom, and wrists to make it fun. The colors are a little off here, they furry stuff is carribean blue, purple, olive, and copper.

This is an aptly namee Mixed Berries dyed Romney & Corriedale blend. I love the color, but it’s rather scratchy. I need to find a good project for this.

I had been looking at this lovely large ball of roving at my local fiber shop, Heritage Spinning and Weaving, for ages and finally bought it. She gave me a good deal on it because she didn’t know the fiber and it had been there a long time. There’s enough here for a full sweater.