Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Half-ounce spindles, dyed fleece, secretive animals

I love my handy spindles - they suit seated spinning and hold a 1/2 ounce of fiber comfortably . At about 18 wraps per inch size singles, they yield about 90 - 100 yards.
Here's four of them finished:

To wind the yarn off onto a swift,
 I enlisted the help of a shoe box.

I've dyed several lots of fleece - 2 - 6 oz - to spin into hanks of around 100 yards and use for a fairisle knit project.
Atilla the Hen seemed not to be laying this spring but then we spotted her in a dust bed behind her hutch sitting on a dozen eggs. We stole 2 or 3 a day.
But then.... noticed the INSIDE of the house - add 18 eggs to that!
Fallen through the grid!

Not the only hidden animal stuff - thought I'd lost a pair of twin lambs last week the day after they were born but they hid under the hedge.

 What's the next stunt i wonder?


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Cake

Me and Jen have a plan to each make a disgustingly over-decorated cake for Easter Sunday and post their photos on our Facebook pages - well on Jen's page and HuddieASBODOG's page to see which is the worst. I have the advantage of years of baking experience while she has the advantage of CVS - the drugstore with the most tacky seasonal decorations in the world.
Well I uncovered a dearth of such fancy shlock around here - in Ballymahon and Athlone anyway.  I had to resort to using fairly standard kiddies cake decorations in a pitch way plus I could find little decorative chicks only in a garden center.  These used to be standard beside the cashier but maybe "health and safety" considerations no longer allows them near food stuff. Ah, natural selection thwarted at every turn.
Anyway, decided on a 3-tiet sponge with Creme au beurre icing and a yellow glade top.
Lined the tins
Sponges came out 
Paper off.
Egg white and icing sugar for the Crem au Beurre
Unsalted butter and chocolate for the creme au beurre
Glacee icing on top - deep yellow !
Assortment of tooth-rot
Looked almost respectable until the mini-marshmallow went on
No-flash photo

For eating tomorrow - anyone got some insulin?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Lambing and Spinning

Six ewes have lambed so far - and 11 lambs between them. I'm lucky it's been so dry and often sunny - hop fit stays like that for a while.
Spinning a mixed breed sheep (Easy Care X Texel cross first shear). The fibers are medium size quite crimped and fairly short (maybe 3 - 4 inches). Just combing them out with the small carders and rolling the combed locks off the carder long-ways. Spinning on the Traveller at 9:1  and keeping it soft spun as I want to have the choice to use it as a single (not as much twist added as I would if I were going to ply the singles).
The plan is to spin about 600 yards of fingering/4 ply singles and, after dying it, use it to knit a shawl pattern I've been working on. I'm calling it "Shell Shaw" - for the moment anyway.  Writing the pattern seems to make it so complicated - making sure there are the right number of stitches for a complete pattern, trying to describe how extra stitches get added to as the shawl progresses and enlarges and eventually earn a pattern themselves etc.
First little hank - 1bout 130 yards: