Friday, April 24, 2009

April nearly over!

Wow!April is nearing it's end and I've only put one blog on this month. That's because there's been a lot of April type stuff going on - lambs appearing, visitors, planting things along with sneaking in fleece/yarn business.

The Alpaca/Wool yarn has become, in part, a cowl for OH to wear beneath his motorbike helmet. It's soft enough but a bit wide so I put a few elastic thread darts in the center part of it.

Thank you Sarah Fama who put the pattern on the net and wyvernfriend who put her much nicer verion on the Ravelry linked Irish knitters group and that made me give it a try. That's me looking dark, not OH. When I make one for myself, I'll cast on 8 sts less for sure - if not 16 less.

The red alpaca is washed and dried. Didn't do the same with the grey - it seemed clean enough but when I retrieved the short fibers from the combs to make into rolags after combing the grey tops, the short fibers were really dirty - i.e full of clay and grit. So I've washed it and it didn't felt - phew...

Here are four Doggie Down balls spun and plied on the CD drop spindle then dyed with KoolAid.
This little project is great fun - collie undercoat spun and dyed in small lots. I'm hoping to do something like this with some beginners spinners (if I get any) in May.
It's what I call recession spinning - the cost is the cost of the dye alone really - the rest is available free - even if you don't have a double-coated dog, someone you know has one and would love you to brush it! The colors are much nicer to my mind on the greyish fibers then the really bright colors on the white fibers.

On the hunt now for Alum - aluminium pot. oh. - to act as a mordant for the maroon dye that's matured from some avocado pips (pits?) Lindy saved and gave me (much appreciated Lindy). I initially thought it was a dead loss as I got just a brownish sludge after soaking the ground-up pips but with straining and re-boiling and letting it set for a couple of weeks, the color has appeared. There's Alum on Ebay all right but needs some special delivery so I'll hunt around some more before ordering any from the UK (as usual, it can be got of a minute fraction of the cost in the US).
Just to remind me what the beginning of April was like:

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