Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A very Colorful weekend - lots of wool dying

My KoolAid sachets seemed to be solidifying and degenerating despite living in a shoebox in a drawer in the work room so I thought I'd better get ready to use them or else loose them. So I went started on a Friday and had pots on the stove until Sunday with fiber drying outside while the sun shone and in the porch when there were showers.
I added some dark grey Lanscape dye for blending on the drum carder and also some bright yellow and blue Eurolana dyed fiber also to blend at some later date.
These photos should remind me of my dyathon:
I use dater from the water button the the garden. This saves on using so much from the well and also is a much softer water. It has a mildly acid pH and I added to citric acid crystals to it to bring it down to around pH of 4. My well water is alkali and much harsher).

Washed Fleece and Kool Aid

Lemon Lyme in the Pot

Lemon Lyme drying outside

Strawberry Kool Aid being rinsed

Drying outside in the sun

Grape and a Landscape grey dye

Orange Kool Aid

The dyed fleece are piling up

The first fleece (L L) was a short staple, Suffolk-type
but the rest are Texel EasyCare cross fleece from my
sheep here

Eurolana blue and yellow dyes

First carded batt - stawberry

Lemon Lyme with strawberry batts in front
of the drum carder and lots of
Tropical Punch behind
The smell of "synthetic berries" has gone at last andI have plenty of carding to do !

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Blue fleece to blue hat

The fleece I dyed blue and spun on the spindle (see post Blue Fleece Progresses), has become a blue hat.
The pattern is "Market Day" by Wei S. Leong and I'm pretty pleased with it.

Some details on in my Ravelry projects (oisin10708 - projects).


Monday, April 21, 2014

iPhone gansey and coin purse

I've had a problem with change leaping out of the zipped pocket of my purse for some time. It's a great purse for credit cards and note but the plat zipped section is no good for coins so I finally got around to knitting a little purse for coins.
Lindy gave me a bag clasp some time ago and I dug it out. I also dug out the end of a ball of hand-dyed  hand-spun yarn I have a particular liking for to knit the purse body. The stitch pattern used  (Row 1 make 3, k3 together, Row 2 purl, Row 4 k3 together, make 3, Row 4 purl) make a fairly dense fabric with regular raised bumps, staggered between front rows. It knit up quickly and I don't think it needs any lining.

It disgorges its contents into my hand easily and hopefully will reduce the foostering time at the checkout.

The next little stash-buster is an iPhone gansey.
I dislike the bare screen on the phone, especially as it often shares a pocket with my car keys and, in addition, I noticed a little improvement in the temper of the sound the phone produces when it happens to lie under some knitting so I decided to knit it a little gansey/jacket.

The stitch for this is a twisted rib (Row 1 = p1, ktbl, Row 2 = k1, ptbl) which makes a fabric this stretches side-to-side but not much top-to-bottom.

I enjoyed making this pare over springfest :). 


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.