Thursday, November 24, 2011

Why yes, I do knit socks.....

I have been knitting socks for many years. Once long ago I read a pattern and when I got to the turn the heel instructions I balked. "Oh no, I do not think I can do that" went through my head. One day I saw and article in Spin-Off by Celia Quinn on knitting boot socks. With the article and the Elizabeth Zimmerman book that Celia mentions I decided to take the plunge. I figured if I got stuck I could ask for help.One step at a time is good in many situations. Go forward until you are at the end or get stuck and either figure it out, or ask for help. I managed to knit a pair of socks following the instructions even when I thought things did not look right. It worked! I was then on the path to being a sock knitter. I even had a pair of hand spun dog hair and wool socks published in Spin-Off.  Now these many years later I always have at least one pair in progress so I have something to do while waiting in a doctor's office or at the auto repair shop, etc. I used double points for a very long time and finally tried two socks at a time on two circular needles and now also the magic loop on one circular. A few years ago I tried toe up and that is my preferred method. Three pair in progress in the picture are 3 ply hand spun BFL that I had blended with 20% nylon at the mill. I dyed the yarn in balls, sitting them first into one color and then turning the balls over into another color. This is a fun way to dye and I like the results.  From top left the socks are; Jojoland Melody, (magic loop)   Drops Fabel Superwash, (magic loop) and the other three are my hand spun. (double points)  The first pair was done with peacock and old rose, second is a mix of color to cover up the screaming orange from the first dip into the pot. The last is done in purple and forest green. However, there are only a few spots of green showing, it turned into a nice gray where the dye mixed. Not bad, but not what I was aiming for either. I will be playing more with this technique, but first I must get more sock yarn spun.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

More Dye results

We went from this>

To this>
Spot dyed dark gray Coopworth roving from Mocha Blue turned into a Navajo ply yarn. What fun!

and then today.........

 More of Sierra Silver dyed Myrtle Green. Straight from the dye pot, hung to drip.

This is also Sierra Silver. I think I am going to call this one Embers.  It was a combination of orange, peacock and magenta. Mixed and added to the dye pot. Then the soaked roving was added. The colors split and I like the effect.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Another Great Retreat and improvisation

The past weekend was spent with wonderful friends at our annual retreat. There was lots of spinning and knitting and some really great food. The weather was very cool and we had wind and rain. Perfect for wearing wool socks and woolies. Although a bit cool and damp for spinning on the deck. So many laughs that my sides are still sore. My cheeks hurt too come to think of it. My daughter in law tried her hand at spinning using a crochet hook to get the feel of twisting. I did not have my twisty stick with me nor did Cheryl. So I improvised with a tip from an oak branch tip that I found on the deck while Cheryl made some hook sticks from a coat hanger. It is from plastic coated wire and about 8 inches long.
Kelley soon decided to try with a spinning wheel. She borrowed a Lendrum and got the hang of things pretty quickly. In a short while she  had a singles skein to take home. It is wonderful that my daughter in law wants to learn to spin. However, I may be creating a monster. She is a massage therapist and does massage during our retreat weekends. The gals may be upset with me if Kelley  would rather spin than do massages. Ha.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Played with dye again today

 I dyed Coopworth wool that was originally  pale to dark gray. First  Sierra Silver is now dyed plum.

 Next is Sierra again and this was a  pot of some mixed roses and a bit of magenta.

 Mocha Blue is a dark gray. This was done with dyes dropped in spots all over the damp roving and then steamed. I used peacock, teal and magenta dyes. The mix created some dark purple. All photos are of wet fibers, they will dry a bit lighter. This one was just playing around. I think it will make an interesting yarn.
 Garry Coopworth is pale gray and this was done in the pot after Sierra had been dyed. Exhausting the dye.
This is also Garry done in a lavender pot. I think this one is my favorite.

All dye pots have come out with variations in the roving. I like it that way. A solid color all the way through is nice, but a bit boring.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

More of the same

The dyeing continues.

                   Close up of the skeins from the other day. They are drying in the house now.

 The Jacob is dry and into a ball again.
             Silk cap dyed with greens and a bit of yellow. Yellow and rose cap in the background.
                                                          Silk cap spotted with plum.

Dyeing has started

The dyeing is coming along, although not much of a dent has been made in the stock solutions. Will  do more soon. So far it has been wool, silk and a combination of wool and llama. I have more silk caps and roving planned as well as a lot of the natural colored  Coopworth and Shetland. They make such lovely heather colors.

 Hand spun 3 ply BFL blended with nylon sock yarn. I dyed in ball form. Half in purple and then turned the balls over and dyed in forest green. The green shows mostly gray.
                                                      Hand spun in various combinations.
                                Silk cap, silk, silk, baby alpaca and silk sampling. Jacob in the back.
                                         Silk roving in shades of pink and rose before rinsing.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Color Color Everywhere

Today I Made stock solutions. Will be dyeing on  Monday. I have been putting this off for a while. Not as much fun to do it alone so I have asked a friend to come play. I had a lot of dyes on hand that are various colors. After these are gone I will only use primaries and can mix whatever colors I wish.
Will be playing on the back patio. This was taken when I had some of the dyes mixed. We are going to dye wool and silk. Hope to post successful results next week.

This is after all are mixed and waiting. Chopsticks work well for stirring. Lets you know what the colors are too.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

New look

Hello Blog.
I have neglected you for a while so today I gave you a new look. Hope you like it. I have been busy taking pictures and putting things into my etsy shop. Here are just a few things.

This is a busy time of year with the holidays coming and lots of gifts to make. Looking forward to cooler weather and more spinning and knitting time.

Went to Lambtown USA on October 1st with some gals from my group. Had a great day and the weather was wonderful. I was good and only bought one alpaca fleece.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Diz Debut

Today I listed the cow horn diz (es?, what is the plural anyway?)in my etsy shop. The dictionary does not list diz, but it does list dizen: To dress a distaff with flax. Learn something new all of the time. ;-) Take a look if you have a wool comber on your Christmas list. Or just take a look. Thanks.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Wine and Wool

Yesterday was an adventure of wine tasting and wool spinning. A local winery was a great setting for demonstrating to the public and getting acquainted with some new fiber people.

Tivy Mt Vintners.

Cool in the shade.

Knitting and wine do go together.

Although it looks like the wine made her do it, she did not have a drop.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Using my Diz

I wish I had taken a picture when I first opened the fiber bundle. Guess I was just too excited to get started! This is the Aqua Fresca colorway from Lisa Souza. Zen Top. 50% Merino, 25% Tussah Silk, 25% Bamboo. The fiber was a bit compacted from dyeing. I opened the fibers and then stripped lengths and opened them even more. I am using a diz that I made from cow horn.(available in my etsy shop soon) Can't wait to start spinning. I love this fiber.

After opening a bit.

Through the diz.

See how it smooths the fiber.

Fiber *nests* ready to spin.

I have only just started the prep. This basket will be quite full when finished.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Pictures of etsy items

New on my blog is a slide show of items from my etsy shop. Hope you enjoy viewing. I am working on a variety of diz to add to the shop soon. Cow horn is traditional so that I what I am using. Messy and smelly, but I think it will be worth it.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Back from the fiber mill

Six Coopworth and Shetland fleeces back from the mill. More coming. I am in the process of putting this mountain into manageable portions and then into storage. It feels so good in my hands. Cannot wait to sit and spin. I will be offering some of this loveliness in my etsy shop...keep checking.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Shop

I did it! Today I opened a shop on etsy. I am feeling my way and will be adding things as I go. I am sure that there will be some tweaking of things for a while. This is exciting and scary too. If you want to take a look the addy is

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Better I hope

The first picture in the former post was pretty bad. The lighting was not so good coming from above. I also found out that black takes a lot of bandwidth? pixels? Whatever it is, it is not so good. Now I need to rethink some of the photos that I have taken for my etsy shop. One cannot just slap some pictures up and expect good results. Now let's see if this is any better..................
Hope to get the shop going soon.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

More playing with photos

These were taken indoors with light from above.

Coopworth X Scottish Blackface

Coopworth. Her name is Mocha.

Jacob wool. Felicia and daughter Amy combined.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Playing with pictures

I will be opening an etsy shop. I am playing with pictures to show what I have to offer. So this is sort of a test to see how things might look. I will announce the opening when it happens. Please check back.

Taken indoors with light from above.

Taken outdoors using the sun.

Taken outdoors in morning sunlight. I think this gives pretty true color of the wool.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Shearing Day



Saturday was shearing day and we have been experiencing cold rain and wind. So happy that the rain held off until evening. About 70 sheep and half that number of angora goats were relieved of their wonderful fiber. Some of my fleeces have been reserved. The rest will be going to Morro Fleece Works to be prepared. I have Coopworth, Shetland, FinnXMontedale, CoopworthXScottish Blackface, Jacob, and Alpaca roving for sale. If interested, contact me for colors and prices. or