Thursday, November 11
The fiber is a merino top (colorway: Forest) from Alpaca Direct. I was very happy with it. Spins well and the colors are nicely saturated. More to come!
Wednesday, November 3
This was a process. See the green there? Unknown, randomly dyed wool. See the issues with it? It was thick with lanolin. Not a problem since I can wash it out. I waited until after it was spun knowing the manhandling it was about to receive would help with that. Due to the amount of lanolin in it this was a sticky clump. It pulled apart easily but it was clingy to itself. Imagine pulling apart a peanut butter sandwich. Connected to itself but not. It also had second cuts in it. Not a problem seeing as most of my non-commerical fiber does and I'm used to it but this has been processed once before. In a very basic way but it has been done. As a result this has turned the end pieces of the cut (I'm assuming based on how they spun) into balls worthy of a sweater shaver. Add in my quirky blue and it was a fun night (no sarcasm). The blue is some of my free cycle fleece, dyed with Ashford one pot dyes last year. As you can see mine is loaded with kinky and curly pieces (some of which include 2nd cuts). Also, vegetable matter. Luckily this was not a repeat of the fleece-that-shall-not-be-mentioned and it was easily removed.
How did I make my bats? I grabbed a chunk of the green and a chunk of the blue (which needed some picking and fluffing to make it through my drum carder) and sent them on through. Once my large drum was filled I removed the bat and worked it another couple times. If a piece was noticeably not working in (i.e. a second) I'd simply pull it off/out and toss it. By the time I was done I only had a small handful of fluff not worth writing home about. Spinning the blended bat was interesting. The wool is not from the same sheep. Two different textures makes that very clear. Despite being covered in lanolin the green was very dry and had no silkiness to it. The resulting yarn is hearty and tweedy. The single made from the blended bat turned out a nice mellow blue. In fact it made me think of ocean water in the fall time. That blueish grey color you can get on an overcast day. Cheesy and poetic but there you have it. Once plied however the blue single swallowed any blue in the blended one and it was now a mild green color. Sage-y if you will. Tweedy and rustic it makes me think of places like New York. Places, I'd like to add, I've never been but that's the feel it gives. Because I didn't bother to work out the second cut fluff from the green the yarn has slabs in it. As I was spinning I wasn't sure I would like that but in the end they behaved nicely and add to the rustic quality.
Is this yarn something to take home and rub all over yourself? No. Not at all. Is this a yarn that could be worn and used and abused as an item of usefulness? Absolutely. I think, just from the experience of having knit it already, it also has the potential to submit and be broken into an item of comfort. Will its scratchiness (notice I said scratchy and not itchy....there is a difference) or utilitarian aspect go away completely? Probably not. It will however mold itself into something that makes you think of home eventually. It's a heavy load for a yarn to carry but it screams that to me as I ponder it. Who knew yarn would scream at ya'? I feel the need to share that this is a scratchy yarn. It isn't like the itchy most folks think of when they think of wool. I've had that kind before. This is a dry and brisk scratchy*. I rather like it actually.
Yes, the yarn is scratchy. No, the cowl is not. No worries. I've managed to work with the yarn and there will be no scratchiness going to town on your neck. :) It's all about working with what you have and what I have rocks.
Tuesday, November 2
Sunday, October 31
Wednesday, October 27
Every hat was done in acrylic. The hats were on 8's and the horns were in 5's. The smaller needles helped with not showing stuffing and kept the horns in size accordance to small heads. The 2 fellas on the ends have a band of rivets up the center. This is a mod. created by a Ravelry person. It rocks but can be tricky when it comes to decreases. I did do the decreases as written but it does throw off the purl texture that helps them pop. The middle guy has no rivets for a couple reasons. It is for a little girl so I wanted less bulk over all and, as odd as this sounds considering it's a VIKING hat, to make it a little less manly. A feminine Viking hat. Who knew? One set of horns needed to be done in a different white (ran out of the original) and as result of it being thinner I held it double. That made the overall horn larger so I stuck it on one of the boy hats. All hats have a large ear flap with ties. I live in Idaho and these are for Halloween. Cold does not even begin to describe it. This way they get the ear flaps from the original pattern but they double as warmth. I love how these turned out. As did my kids. I had to hide them more than once. The nice thing about this pattern is the stretch. It fit everyone in my house from my one year old to me.
I will leave you with one final image:
Hope everyone who celebrates Halloween has a good weekend. I'll have family up so I'll be quite until Monday. :)
Friday, October 22
I've noticed more and more lately that I have lots of people visiting here. I want to hear from you! Comments, questions, concerns. Whatever floats your boat. Talk to me. I want to know what's rolling around in your noggin. What would you do if you had a couple large fleeces that made your skin crawl in terms of ugh factor?
First up is an FO. Shower mitt. Done on 8's in some basic cotton. It was meant to be part of a gift exchange but I had forgotten it at the time (this has been done for months) so I kindly took over it. It needs some tweaking. As it is once it gets wet it grows way too much to be of much use. I like it though. Makes my tub look inviting. I do have a pattern somewhere but I'd have to track it down.
See? Looks super inviting huh? :) That is a natural chocolatey brown (and black occasionally) alpaca fleece. I've been feeling the urge to spin lately (is my wheel put together? of course not). My sister and I have been talking fibery pursuits these last couple days so I decided to pull this bad boy out. He is large. Like stuffed in a 55 gallon black garbage bag you use for outside stuff large. In an attempt to find out just how large I managed to stick it on my itty bitty little home scale but it was difficult to see the number and I'm not sure it was correct anyway. During processing alpaca can lose anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 of it's total weight. That's on an already skirted fleece. Is this one skirted? Absolutely not. It's one gross, matted, clumpy fleece currently. The amount of vegetable matter is insane. At one point I was afraid to open the layers up and have a mouse or something come flying out. Do you know what it's like to be afraid of a fleece? It isn't pretty. I have 2 small sweater bags full of fiber in my washer. I'm currently on rinse 3. I'm hoping it doesn't take much more. The fleece in the tub has soaked overnight so with any luck a good amount of junk will have dissolved enough to shorten my overall cleaning time. There is a place in Salt Lake City that will process this for me but it has to be cleaned first. They are very honest and have no problem tossing a fleece if it's just too horrible. They say on there that a free one often costs you more, whether that's in time or money. This one was free and it will take a lot of time. If I send it to them (Spinderella) though they will process it into roving for me. I'm tempted. Very tempted. I know I could do it myself but processing a fleece is a time intensive thing I'm not sure I want to do it. Skirting it (removing tags and VM and the like) seems like such an overwhelming task at times. I'm thinking of cleaning it up the best I can and sending in pictures to see if they'll even accept it. If they will I'll totally send the beast in. Stay tuned for more pictures of the process.
Thursday, September 23
Friday, September 3
This was for the family the last Apple Blossom went to.
Thursday, September 2
Pics are older and not that great but you get the point. :) Same as the other one but with purple for the body (acrylic again). I love how it turned out...hurt my hands though. And because I know the rules ;) here is a modeled shot (yes I have permission on the photo....baby is much older now).
Thursday, April 29
Wednesday, April 14
I've been requested to make more clothes. We shall see. :)
Oh yeah! The Pogo socks have been under test knitting. I did take the pattern down in the mean time to allow for that and it will be up again here shortly!
Friday, March 26
Mods: None. I actually did what I was told. :)
This was a brother in law for Christmas. Our birthdays are right next to each other and for mine he gave me a giftcard for yarn and a request for a hat. To say I'm a slacker would be polite. I finally made him one for Christmas when we drew nanes for the guft exchange and he happened to be our giftee. Seemed fair enough. He wanted a hat and we had his name. I'm not sure he saw it like that though. :) I have no action shots (though not for lack of trying. I asked AND the spouse asked...nothing yet) so I have no idea how the fit was. It fit me rather snugly (remember...that's CABLES not ribbing) and his noggin is bigger than mine. I'm determined to find out though. It's such anice hat and a fun knit. There are some mistakes (in mine..not the pattern) and only because I wasn't paying attention. It doesn't need a super amount of it but it does require a little bit. The weather is warming up but this pattern has been on my mind for a bit now. I want one for myself. :)
Thursday, March 18
I asked a friend for help on the name. The construction of these is not a common one. You start at the heel and work DOWN the length of the foot. After that's all done you go back to your heel and work your way UP the length of the leg. Easy and fun but still offering a bit of a change in pace to keep you interested. It works great for handspun. I like toe up socks for the fact that I get to use every last bit of yarn but I don't always like the fit of them. With this pattern I was able to get the foot (and heel!) fit that I want. By turning around and going up the leg I was still able to use up all my yarn and not worry about running out too soon.
Monday, March 8
I need some test knitters! You must be familiar with sock construction (yes, I will be entering this in the contest mentioned in a previous post so if you are entering as well, please don't ask to test knit for me!). There are 2 sizes available. You can do 1 sock in each size, a complete pair in both sizes, a complete pair in one size, or just one sock in one size. However you want!
This is a unique pattern that uses sport weight yarn, size 5 needles, has a short row heel, and uses a provisional cast on.
For those who do this (I'm thinking I could 2 or 3 testers), you can get a final copy of the pattern for free. I do plan on listing this one for sale. Gotta love the motivation of a contest to get your butt in gear! I've been meaning to write this up since I made these socks.
If you are interested please leave a comment! First come, first serve!
Sunday, March 7
For the sock knitters out there lookie! A contest to help battle SSS. Who can resist goodie baskets? I think I'll give it a shot....if for nothing else than it'll be fun to see what everyone else cmes up with.
This is more of a note to myself but I have a couple things in the wings to blog. A hat for a brother in law (waiting on pics) and two (technically 4) final Christmas items (stockings and dolls). We are out of town right now so they will have to wait. Up next though are the socks mentioned above and another Apple Blossom Cardigan.
Saturday, March 6
Go check it out! I'm hoping this is the start to lots of designs (however simple they may be). I'm eager to see how it turns out. :)
Friday, February 26
All plied! Did my basic 2 ply. Not sure of what the yardage was. This was done for sometime before I was even able to get a good picture. I gave up on trying to get yardage and WPI. I'd say it was sport weight-ish.
The socks ended up being a Christmas present. The toes and heels are done in leftover Swish Worsted from my sister's socks. It ended up being a perfect match for the handspun. It was a bit thinner but it worked out well I think. I was hesitant to use it at first but knew they would be too short without. These are like my last handspun ones and done both toe up and cuff down. Not sure ont he numbers right now but I do have the notes somewhere. They fit a man's size 10.5 shoe though so just assume "large". :) I love the way they yarn striped. I didn't plan it at all. At first I wasn't a fan of it but in the end I really like the effect. Reminds of "country" scenes you see in gift shops...the ones with moose and pine trees and little cabins.
Saturday, February 13
Needles: 5, 6, and 8
Yarn: Red is random wool and green is Wool of the Andes. Snowflakes are done in Paton's Merino.
This was for my neice, L. I swear my sister said she has a picture of her in it but I could be mistaken. I'll have to ask. :)
Alrighty, I think all the gift edition knits for my sister have been blogged. Grand total? 10 items.
Hats: 3 "child", 1 "toddler", 3 "adult"
Extra: 1 doll, 1 soaker
I do believe she can never complain about never getting anything knit. :)