Archive | May, 2015

Hot Out Of The Microwave

31 May

  

Another 4 oz of Superwash Merino Roving in what I’m calling “Citrus” is cooling now. 🙂

I keep forgetting that I like solid / mostly solid yarns. When I’m dyeing, I just keep adding colors!

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Lots To Share

30 May

First… Gianna’s 8th grade graduation was last night.

 
I have a million pictures but that’s my favorite. She was one of four students with perfect GPAs plus she received  As for the high school math class that she took as an 8th grader. That class is weighted more, so she ended up with a 4.2 GPA out of 4.  She’s a smartie and a nice person to boot!

I’ve been busily spinning away too. First I finished the singles from the Koolaid dyed superwash merino. And I got it plyed.

  
I haven’t counted the yardage yet. The small skein is the left over that is chain plyed. I love the color and it will make a great scarf or a great pair of socks! This is pre-bath yarn. It will relax a bit more after a soak.

I also bought more fiber. I know! Enough already! First I bought a pound of suri alpaca / merino blend.

 
And I bought 3 pounds 12 ounces of a Wensleydale cross fleece.

 
I’m trying to find out what sheep breed it is crossed with. The locks aren’t very long – about 2-3″ is all. But it’s really soft. I pulled off 3 ounces and washed it up. Then I did some experimental spinning and plying. 

   

 The top mini-skein was hand carded and the bottom one was “flicked” by individual lock. I feel like my hand carding makes the yarn more rustic and wanted to see the difference that aligning the fibers might make. I think they look the same, don’t you? It might be the breed or it might be the color. But after 3-plying, the resulting yarn isn’t too much different.  The singles of the flicked fiber is much more consistent, but flicking takes 10 times more time. Both of those mini-skeins will get a bath too and I’ll reevaluate what the yarn looks like. 3.75 pounds is a lot of fiber!  It’s very soft. But do I love the brown color? I might try to over dye those mini-skeins to see what colors are possible.

 

Like A Nut

28 May

I’ve been running around like a nut this week! Yesterday I left the house at 9am and didn’t return until 9pm. But DJ got moved back home and that’s a good thing. Gianna graduates tomorrow and then, “Let our summer begin!”  I should have plenty of help with the housework, the yard…. Yes, I know. I have great expectations….

I did start these socks.

 
I need a simple pattern for softball game travels. This is actually very simple. I have both socks done to this point.

By the end of the night, I will have two of the three bobbins spun of the superwash merino.

  

It looks solid in the picture, but it has a lot of variation throughout. I’m excited to see it plyed up. 

Back to work on spinning this single.

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!