Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Wool nests

Flick carded and then drum carded locks from some of my sheep's  fleece which I washed and stored some time ago.
I'm flick-carding the locks then adding them to the drum carder to make a batt then dividing the batt in four and winding each quarter into a fluffy nest.

I'm looking forward to spinning these using short forward draw to make a semi worsted (though could be semi woolen - I confuse the two) later this evening.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Yak and silk roving spun and plied

The 200 gms of yak and silk roving is now e-spun into a plied yarn.
I had intended to over-dye with a purple color but now that I see it, it has an interesting silvery hue - sort of slate color in some lights rather than a boring brown so I think I'll leave it as is.

There is about 363 yards of around 12 wraps per inch - a sport weight or double knit type yarn.
I expect it will knit with a lot of drape but it is soft and warm to the touch.
I imagine it as a shoulder wrap of some sort probably with some lace knitting involving larger holes and perhaps a crocheted edge…..could be a vest though or even long-armed gloves - but I think a wrap exploits its properties the best.
That's what I love about making new yarn - figuring out what it might become.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Teaching Rufus to jump

Took a little time off to try to teach my red cat Rufus to do a little cat agility. Slow going - definitely different from training the dog but still interesting;

Little video on youtube or perhaps here:


Monday, April 7, 2014

e-Spun white DAU fleece

I'm having a nice time with the e-Spinner. The first spool I made contains Drum An Uan sheep fleece, drum-carded and spun into singles. I've had to wind this off to let me ply the yak and silk roving singles  but I wasn't expecting the size of the ball it would produce !!

Yikes - just made it !

Sunday, April 6, 2014

e-Spinner, yak and silk roving and another wedding ring cushion

OH took pity on me for having to stand up using my spinning wheel, something I've had to do for a while now as I get tendonitis and bursitis and other "itides " when I use any part repeatedly (possibly due to my daft body taking aim at itself - sigh).

If I use the drop spindle consistently, well then digital tendons will get annoyed so it's been "a little of this then a little of that" for some time now.
An electric spinner seemed to be the answer but it is quite expensive and would it really be "hand spun" if not spun with a completely manual device? The answer to the second objections is, in my opinion  - "yes it would" because the most skilled part in spinning fiber by hand is the drafting of fiber and the constant reassessment of how the yarn is forming, how well the treatment suits the fiber being used, the technical consistency and not least, determining how it might best be used when finished. The first part of the possible objection remained - but my birthday arrived and became a good excuse for OH to buy one for me (plus, his Christmas present to me didn't quite work out - ahem).
So it arrived along with a coupon which allowed me to choose fiber from Winghand Wool Works - great!!
I choose 200 grams of brown yak and silk blended roving - very exotic!!
I practiced first with some medium-weight fleece which I drum-carded and spun of the e-Spinner. I plan to fill tow of the big spools that came with it and ply them but when the yak arrived i had to have a go at this before the second DAU fiber was spun. I've spun 100 beams now and am half way through the second 100 grams. They will be plied together too. The white will have to be wound off into a center-pull ball to allow for the third spool for plying the yak - then I'll commence the second white  wool spool.

Then back to knitting and another wedding-ring cushion for Aoife and Robert.
I made one before and the receivers seems to like it very much so I thought I'd make one for this couple too.
The yarn is hand-spun from an old Shetland sheep fleece my friend gave me some of and the edging is knitted lace I made from mercerized cotton. The two rings are fakes and just temporary - I hope :0.

Just a little more to do to get this finished.
The knitted cover is 8.5 X 8.5 inches and I made a cushion for inside measuring 9.5 X 9.5 inches.
I don't like the white ribbon holding the rings in place so I'll look for a cream colored one instead - but I have until may so not too worried. Surely there's a cream T-shirt with cream ribbons attached inside the neck (what IS that about - keeping it on the hangers or what ? - well I save them all).

Must take Huddie for a walk now - (7 pm ) it's actually bright and sunny and no more wearing a headlamp in the dark - yeah.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Two hand-woven scarves

With all this plain blue yarn spinning, I suppose I had a need for a lot of colors - and something more intricate to do with them.

This resulted in two scarves woven on my rigid heddle, using Cascade superwash Merino yarn -

A color-and-weave scarf (detailed in my projects on Ravelry - oisin10708)

Then a "Nerdy-ChiC' using the green and the raspberry with a deep blue to make another scarf where the warp is a Pythagorean triple (25/16/9) and the weft similarly until the last sixth where I placed just the raspberry and the blue in a Fibonacci sequence (als detailed in my projects on Ravelry)

These were pretty satisfying to do - color-hungry demons at bay for another little while.


Friday, March 14, 2014

Blue fleece progresses

The blue-dyed fleece has all been combed and he shorter bits carded.
The fluffy carded stuff is still being spun on a drop spindle but the combed fibers is nearly all spun and plied, the first hank is on the swift and the second lot is almost plied. Soon will be set and ready to test with swatches - that's the nicest bit!

Hank off the spindle

                                           Hank off the wheel: