More Fiber

26 May

I finished plying the Icelandic wool.

  
I haven’t counted up the yardage yet. It’s so humid here that the wool isn’t quite dry yet – still slightly damp even after soaking overnight.

Gianna and I dyed 4 ounces of superwash merino.

 
It’s really mottled and a combination of blues and aqua a. What are those blackish dots? Navy food coloring that I dotted on in random places. I thought that ruined it but it’s blending in nicely. Here’s what I’ve spun up so far.

  

The lighting doesn’t t show the variation in color well.  I’m trying to spin 3-ply fingering weight. So I’m constantly gauging my singles for LIGHT fingering 3-ply because it seems that the yarn puffs up a bit when I set it.

Today is going to rain all day. I’m not walking the rescue dogs as a result. But I am giving blood and cleaning out closets! Fun times here….

Softball Weekend

25 May

Gianna was in a softball tournament this weekend 60 miles away. Just she and Dan went. DJ and I stayed home because DJ has finals coming up and had three papers to finish and three exams to study for. He has been studying and working non-stop. He only needs to to get through three more days and finish strong. I have mixed emotions about his school. It’s a lot of pressure for a young person. He was studying physics and chemistry yesterday with his brother, Cory. Cory was saying that what DJ was learning was exactly the same things that Cory  learned in college.  

During the softball games, I watched the play online through a program called Game Changer. It’s the coolest online scoring program. Usually when I go to the games, I score via Game Changer so that others who aren’t there at the game can watch it remotely. But since I wasn’t there, Dan did it for me. That app is awesome. Anyway… I knitted my heart out while watching the games and, lol and behold, got my socks finished.

  
The pattern was easy enough to knit while doing something else – especially because I was on the leg portion which didn’t require a lot of thought. 

I also have been steadily spinning the Icelandic wool. It spun up faster than any other roving I’ve done so far.

  
I am ready to ply today. I hope it doesn’t end up as rope! It’s so much thicker than what I have been doing lately. It should be worsted weight when finished. Maybe I’ll get time to ply that today. 

Lots of pictures

22 May

My shawl/scarf is finished. 

 
The dark maroon part hardly shows at all when worn. I like it overall and I used up leftover sock yarn from my gloves project and some cream that I’ve had stashed forever.  

I received one of my packages.

   Starting at the top, super-wash Merino, Polwarth, and Icelandic fiber. All are 8 oz. I will dye the white ones. I was very intrigued by the Icelandic fiber. I like the color even if it’s not the softest. So I had to start spinning that one right away.

  
It’s staple length is about 6-7″ so it’s a long silky fiber. I’m trying to spin it thicker than usual so I will turn out to be a 3-ply worsted weight. 2.6oz spun up in no time at all – probably less than an hour.  It feels like a horse’s tail when I’m handling it.

Finally,,the socks. First off: two-plying sock yarn is not a good idea for me. I just don’t have the consistency I need! But they are knitting up okay. Second: I’m trying a different heel. I’m using a video from Blooming Knitter.  The heel flap is the BOTTOM of the heel. Then you knit the reinforced heel at the same time as the gusset. 

 
Weird, huh? 

Socks

21 May

I started a new pair of socks from my hand spun.

  
Notice how they don’t match! A couple of years ago, that would have drive me crazy! But now I can live with it. Gianna never wears matching socks – it’s a fad for teens. I didn’t think I’d use the yarn for socks when I spun it. If I do this again, I’ll have to divide the roving in half both lengthwise and widthwise to get 4 pieces that are close to exact. Then spin into 4 singles and ply into two balls. Right? Or would there be an easier way? I’ll have to think that through when the time comes.

I finished knitting and blocking the maroon/white shawl too. I haven’t taken any pictures yet.

I’ve had a bit of a spending spree on fiber too. I bought some I dyed BFL and superwash merino, a dyed merino, and a Wensleydale fleece! Now I will stop! That (plus what I have) should last me a long time! 

Dog Walking

19 May

Today I walked Nico.

 
Nico is a husky / pit bull mix. He is only 8 months old and so full of energy that there was little to no actual walking taking place! I tried to walk him but decided to take him to the fenced in area and let him run around to tire out a bit. He doesn’t fetch a ball. He chased after it but only sometimes picked it up, never mind actually retrieving the ball! He was distracted by every noise, car, bird, etc. After 20 minutes, I went back inside and got a different harness that didn’t allow him to pull as much PLUS some dog treats to reward him for walking well. That helped a bit. He learned SIT easily enough but was still very difficult to walk. Get his puppy energy out of him and he’s going to be a great dog. He was so affectionate and eager to please!  But he needs a dedicated family who can spend a lot of time teaching him.

I also walked Fred.

  
He walked wonderfully. 

I’m going to say that most of the medium to larger dogs at the shelter are a mix of pit bull. Not only do people buy pit bulls and give them up but, if they keep them, they don’t have them fixed! WHY? Cost? Do they think they are going to make a mint by becoming home breeders? So sad that so many end up in the shelter.  Three of the four dogs I’ve walked are pit bulls or pit bull mixes.

Almost Done

18 May

  

I knitted with the maroon sock yarn until I ran out then continued with the white. I hope to get a few more rows of white in before a picot bind off. 

What’s Happening

17 May

My oldest son graduated from the University of Illinois yesterday.

 
His degree is in Kinesiology. He graduated with High Honors (GPA 3.5-3.75 on a 4.0 scale). It was very appropriate that he graduated on Armed Forces Day since he served four years in the Army and went to school on the GI Bill. He is looking for a job – but has his heart set on starting an advanced degree. He’s spoken to an advisor about a research project on the effects of exercise on soldiers with PTSD. I’m very proud of him. He’s come a long way baby!

I spun and plyed some very colorful superwash merino.

 
It’s two-ply fingering weight. I have no idea what I’ll use it for. My two-ply is not as consistent as my three-ply but I wanted a lot of thin yarn and this is the best way to get that.

On the way home, my daughter pointed out the window and said, “Look! An alpaca!” 

  

And, sure enough – there was an alpaca made of clouds! My DH said it was a dog. Silly man who doesn’t spin…. 

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