Saturday, December 11, 2010

Before and After

I needed a birthday gift for my daughter in law. These are knit with hand spun Finn/Montedale and Samoyed dog hair. She likes pink, (and hearts) so I thought I would dye them pale pink. I needed it to be quick and did not want to mix up dyes. Kool-Ade was the choice. I had one package of pink lemonade. That probably would have given me what I wanted, but I was impatient, thinking it would be too light. So.......I opened a package of strawberry, removing the mitts first I sprinkled in a TINY amount. Put the mitts back into the pot and let it simmer until the water was clear. The result was less than spectacular in my opinion because I was aiming for PALE pink. I was disappointed. However, she loved them and the color too.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Another wonderful retreat

13 attended my group's third retreat. This time we had a class in Nuno felting. Had a great time and learned a lot. More scarves have been ordered so we can do it again. Once again we had the services of my daughter in law, the massage therapist. The weather went from hot to very cool in one day with a few sprinkles. That did not hinder our fun. Much spinning and felting and knitting going on all weekend both inside the three level house and on the porches and decks. There was great food and wine. Good friends and lots of laughs. What more could anyone ask?

Vicki wearing my first attempt. It needs some tacking and embellishing.

My second scarf before felting.

Where did everyone go? Must have been lunch time! Wonderful view.

Cute little bag

Just finished a little bag. It is handspun Cotswold that has just a tiny bit of copper firestar added to it. Bought the fiber at Morro Fleeceworks. Spun on my Suzie Pro. I like the pattern, although it is a bit fuzzy to see all of the detail. (both picture and bag) I added some beads to it just to make it a bit more jazzy. It is for a friend and I know that she likes red.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ah ha!

I had a light bulb moment when looking at a rear view mirror part. You know, the one that makes objects appear closer than they are? I added a clip and it just sits on the wooden crosspiece on my Susie Pro. Now I can keep an eye on how the bobbin is filling.

A Challenge

The vest is finished. Two actually. The first one is handspun Coopworth from my girl Sierra. I have The Swearer Wizard software program. I can create patterns to fit. I used it for a vest pattern and added some lace stitches around the bottom and up the fronts. I am happy with this vest.

The second vest is from wool yarn that I picked up at an estate sale. I once again used the software to generate my pattern and added the cables and lace on the front from another pattern. It took some concentration to get it right. I used stitch markers and row counters for each section as the patterns each had different row counts in the repeats. You can see that in the previous blog entry. I had to rip back about four times. The fact that I was waiting for my knee surgery and on medication probably entered in to the difficulities. After the vest was finished and blocked I tried it on and I really do not like the fit. It is too square in the underarm area. Not the software's fault. It is my fault. I generated a pattern for a vest and should have used the choice for a shell. I was envisioning a nice curve to the underarm area. I do have more of the yarn so I can make another vest that I will like better and either rip out the first one or put it up for sale. See, you really can use those lemons. ;-)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Life gave me lemons

No, not the yarn or the knitting..........I am suffering with a torn meniscus and waiting to hear when I will have surgery. To keep my mind off of my problems and the discomfort I have been knitting this vest. 100% wool. It is called Glengary. It is one that needs a bit of gray matter and so far I have gone to the frog pond three times. I am on the right track now. My stitch markers help along with three row counters. The patterns are all different row counts. During this down time I am doing a lot of knitting, reading, bobbin lace,and listening to books on tape. I finished a vest that had been lingering a while, and have three pair of socks in progress. Could be worse. The most aggravating thing is that I cannot go down the hill to see my animals. Really makes me appreciate being whole. I will be that way again soon I hope.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lady Fern Targhee

I was gifted 8 ounces of hand painted Targhee top at Christmas. I divided it into thirds by weight. Then stripped the top down to thin pieces. I spun three bobbins and then plied them together, resulting in two skeins of lace weight. One has 339 yards and the other has 358 yards. I had a bit left on a couple of the bobbins so I Navajo plied that and got 30 yards. Came out pretty close by weighing and I tried to spin consistently. I was pleased with the way it came out. I thought it might become a shawl, but I may have to just look at the yarn a while. Any Suggestions?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Color Coordinated

See how nice the color of the Targhee I am spinning goes with the wheel on my Suzie Pro?

Do you think I should get a Majacraft Alpaca if I wish to spin black wool? :-)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

No Wonder it took so long.....

Just off the needles are a pair of socks for my son. He and his family are Civil War reenactors so they need wool socks. Thought the comparison is pretty funny, with my socks in progress. I wear a size 5-51/2 shoe and my son wears a size 9 1/2. His socks have 10.5 inch tops. Mine will have 8 inch tops and will have a much shorter foot.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sable by Tahki Yarn. 70% Merino and 30% French Angora. Lovely and soft. The pattern is one that I found on Ravelry. It is called Checkerboard Lace. This was a fun knit.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Wool Breeds

I finished the 46 samples in the Wool Breed Study box. I just worked on the samples as I had time in between other projects. This was a fun learning experience. See the February 3rd post for more information on how I processed and mounted the samples. I also made small skeins and hung them on a metal ring, so that people can handle them. They are tagged with the year and wool breed. This box will be invaluable to my local group of fiber enthusiasts. Now people can see and feel the various wool breeds and that should help with making decisions about what to purchase for their projects.

There is just nothing like freshly combed fiber. I have the first shearing from Seth, one of my Coopworth triplets to wash and then I will be combing it with my five pitch John Meck combs. That will be a good summer project. That is not all that is on tap for summer. I have a list as long as both arms and one leg. Of course the list will grow once the fleeces that I took to the mill are finished.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Trades are like Christmas!!!

Oh my! A box just arrived from Gypsyspinner. (Thank you Jody!!!) It is like opening a Christmas box. I sent Coopworth,and told her to surprise me. That she did! In return I got 1/2 pound of cria alpaca, 50 gr.rose grey cria and bombyx silk carded together, 1/2 pound of New Zealand Polworth, 75 gr. cria alpaca and tussah silk, a skein of alpaca/bamboo, and a sample of Gotland wool. Everything is so soft and lovely! I cannot wait to spin it. Think I will go pet the skein a while............

Friday, March 26, 2010

I am spinning Coopworth. So far I have approximately 600 yards of 3 ply. I have one more bobbin to finish for the second half, so should have around another 600 yards when finished. This is sport/worsted weight and may become a vest. This wool is from Sierra's brother who belonged to the man that had my ewes. He died last fall so there will be no more fleece from him. (the ram died, not the man).

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Shearing day was yesterday and the weather could not have been better. Great company and potluck. Everyone pitched in and the day went really well. Fifty head of sheep were shorn by 2PM. Hauled my sheep and a friend's in the trailer that B. had fixed up just for this. It was his dad's car trailer and he had a wire cage attached with a gate in the middle and double gates in the back. Here are the sheep loaded up after shearing. And I must say that mine walked into the trailer like obedient children. They are so good. Made this shepherdess proud.

I have fleece for sale as well as processed roving. Email me for prices and availability. or Thank you.

Click on all of the pictures to make them bigger.
This is Sequoia. She is Sierra's mother and Garry Coopworth's grandmother. This fleece is sold. Reserved 2011

This is Sierra. Garry Coopworth's mother.

This is Garry Coopworth.
This is Jeremiah. Reserved 2011

This is Seth.

This is Timothy. Fleece is Sold

I have not skirted the fleeces yet so everything shows. This is the first shearing for the Coopworth triplets, Timothy, Seth and Jeremiah. They are so different. Seth is white, Jeremiah is very dark and Timothy is spotted on his body with fleece of several shades.
This is Ian. A Shetland.

This is Cedric. A Shetland.

This is Mocha. She is Coopworth.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Making a little progress......

Here is the way I am processing the wool breed samples. Wash with Kookaburra Scour after teasing a bit and picking out any vm. After it is dry, place a lock on the sample card. Comb or card the fiber. (I am combing most of them.) After I have spun the sample, I wind some of the single onto the sample card and then wind the rest off the bobbin onto a tp roll as you would with a nostepinne. I start with chain ply and then after putting that onto the sample card, I finish up the ball by plying from the inside and outside, making the two ply. Then it is ready to weave a sample and knit a sample with the balance put into a small skein. I am able to see and feel many wool breeds this way and it will help with decisions in the future for purchase or project.

Weaving a sample of the two ply with the Weave-It two inch frame.

Spinning the CVM. I think I am in love! It is wonderful stuff. I combed it with my Alvin Riemer fine two pitch combs and spun it on the Mitzi.

Here are some of the samples drying in the studio. The swift is good for more than holding skeins.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wool Breed Study

I have started washing samples of wool breeds for my group to use as reference. There are 46 one ounce samples and so far I have washed a dozen or so and mounted three. This is great because it gives me an opportunity to see and feel the breeds. Some are surprising. I had notions of what they would be like and of course I was wrong about some. I am opening the fiber and getting rid of debris and second cuts. Then putting it into cheesecloth squares and tying in a bundle. See the little tags on the table? They are cut from milk cartons and labeled with a permanent marker. I am placing them on one corner of the bundle when tying to make it easy to identify each sample.

Unfortunately this sample of BFL was not sound and I was not able to selvage much. One of the samples was full of moth eggs and casings. The samples came in Ziploc bags and one out of 46 was not too bad I think. That was a good opportunity to show my group what to look for when we had a *Washing 101* lesson on Sunday. It re enforced the notion to check your stash often. You never know when those little critters are going to get in.

This is how I am mounting the samples. A lock, spun singles, plied, a knitted swatch, a woven swatch and a small skein. I am labeling with wool breed,washing information and if the fiber was combed or carded, knitting needles used, etc. I do this for my own sample box when spinning. No, not every project gets in there, just when I think about it. ;-)