Sunday, December 16, 2012

I bought some gradient batts from The Fibre Fairy. Three shades of green that are blends of Merino, Shetland Lamb, Polworth, Alpaca, Silk, and Firestar. Wonderful stuff!
I spun the darkest first. Today I started on the lightest and then I will spin the medium shade. I will do a bobbin of each shade and then ply on itself. I want to knit a shawl that is shaded from light at the top to dark on the bottom with the yarn. Not sure just yet what pattern I will use. It will depend on the yardage I get.
This photo shows all three shades of green.
Darkest in progress
Lightest. I tear the batts into thinner strips before spinning.

This shows the darkest and the lightest. I must say that AJs' batts are so wonderful to spin. They practically spin themselves!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas a bit early.

I have to share a gift from a very dear friend. She made a spindle for me, a support bowl holder and some winding stars. I love them! The spindle bowl is felted as well as the spindle whorl. There is a wooden bead inside for more weight. Can't wait to play!

Dear Blog,

I have been neglectful. Sorry.
Last month I acquired two new spindles and a support bowl from Malcolm Fielding. The spin so fast and well that you cannot even see the motion. All I can say is WOW! The order also included a spindle for a very dear friend. Hers is a Dervish in Lace Sheoak. Mine are a Pu Yok Tibetan in Lace Sheoak and Blackheart Teatree, and the starter kit Dervish and bowl are in Tasmanian Myrtle. Shafts and bowl center is Dymondwood.

The bottom photos show the first spinning on my new spindles.

Monday, October 15, 2012

I have been adding to my collection of support spindles. First came the Rose from Gripping Yarns. It is Lignum Viate.The wood smells like roses. Next I ordered spindles from Malcolm Fielding. I am waiting on their arrival so no photos yet. I ordered a Cocobolo Russian from Enid Ashcroft in the UK. (3)  I found a Texas Jeans  maple spindle (1) while at Lambtown in the Carolina Homespun booth. When I got back home again I had an offer to trade one of my knitting bags for a Spanish Peacock holly spindle.(2) I jumped on that right quick! I also have been making support spindles to see what works. I had some carved disks and with a double point knitting needle and a grommet, they weigh 7 grams each. They spin silk quite well. I am slowly progressing with some silk that I dyed on the holly spindle. I have been spinning for 30 years on wheels and took up drop spindles a few years ago. Just now getting into support spindles and I love them.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Support Spindle Bowls

I have fallen down the rabbit hole. Now I am on the look out for bowls to use with support spindles, of course more support spindles and ways to store them. These fabric bowls were made by a dear friend. They function as bases for wood, glass or ceramic support spindle bowls. Keep the bowls from slipping off your lap or leg. Sometimes I use a lap bowl as the Gin Glass in a previous post and sometimes I use a shallow bowl in my lap or on a table or beside me in a chair.

Spindle with Gin Glass

Here we have a work in progress on a support spindle. The lap bowl is working quite well. So glad that Cheryl bought that Gin! :-)  The glass works equally well in the wide bowl and in the base. Sort of a two for one thing. I am really enjoying support spindling. I have some on order from Malcolm Fielding. Cannot wait for them to arrive.

Demalangeni Shawlette

I finished another shawlette. This one is so incredibly soft. It is a blend of silk and wool. The pattern is Demalangeni by Wendy Neal. The shawl is drying now. I plan to add freshwater pearls to each point.
The pearls have been added. I think it looks nice and gives a tiny bit of weight to the shawlette.

Birthday Spindle

I was gifted a lovely support spindle from a dear friend. She made it from a hardwood dowel, a
porcelain drawer pull and a glass donut. The cork came from a bottle of wine. How cute is that with a sheep printed on it?

Afternoon Tea Shawl

I just completed a shawl for a dear friend. She is going through chemo and I hope the shawl will give her some comfort as she walks this path. It is the Afternoon Tea pattern by Helen Stewart. It appears much darker in the fist shot of it in progress. The yarn is wool/mohair from Kid 'N Ewe.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Three Fleeces are dyed

I now have three whole fleeces dyed. 53 dye lots, phew! I will add a few photos here, but if you wish to see everything check out my pages on flickr. Search for The Lace Shepherdess. The last nine batches are drying. Then they will be photographed and added to my flickr pages. As hot as it is now, it should not take too long.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I have been dyeing again. So much fun to see how the natural colored Coopworth fleece comes out. Most of my flock are shades of natural gray. This creates a heather when dyed.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Silk stealing mice!

Looks like the dye sample book will be a bit short..............I went out this morning to check on the dyed fiber from last week. It has been cool and damp so things were not drying too fast. When I checked the wool and silk samples I noticed that some sample groups were missing the silk. Lost six silk samples and the mouse left some calling cards! Somewhere there is a mouse nest with a very colorful silk lining. Hope the wee mousses appreciate their mamma's efforts.
I had the samples on a drying screen with cheesecloth clipped down, both top and bottom but it did not stop the mouse

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Dyeing with a friend

A friend came for a few days last week. We played with a lot of dye. 39 sample colors on wool and silk. 4 lots of vat dyed fleece and 4 painted rovings. All in one very l-o-n-g day!

The fiber was measured and placed onto plastic wrap after a good soak. Dye applied and the packages were rolled up and tied with some garden tape with the color numbers written with a Sharpe pen. Then steamed for about 40 minutes. The bottom photo shows some of the packages after steaming. The next morning we opened them and after rinsing they were put onto a drying rack. The garden tape was left with each bundle for identification.
This was done with some lesser quality roving which is fine for our plans. We are going to make sample books with the fiber and color information. The samples of wool are large enough for a bit to be put into the book as is and a bit to be spun to show what a yarn would look like.
My friend had mixed the colors prior to coming to my house. We needed to add vinegar to the stock solutions and some of the bottles being smaller could not hold the vinegar too. We poured some of the dye from each of the too full bottles into a jar as we worked. The jar became full so started a second jar and that one would up being about three quarters full. I thought it would be fun to see what *ugly* color those jars would produce. Hence the vat dyeing. One was sort of dark green (bottom of photo) and the other is shown in the top of the photo.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Blocking the Bitterroot Shawl

I have finished the Bitterroot shawl. I worked on it mostly in the evenings and had to rip back more than once. Even so, I enjoyed knitting it and putting the beads on with a crochet hook worked like a charm. Better than stringing the beads onto the yarn and playing slide around. As you can see from the close up below,  I need to put some pins into the edge loops yet, but had to get a picture and post while I had time. I still have quite a bit of the baby camel and silk handspun, so may do another shawl from it. This one is 58 inches across and 32 inches down the back with 47 inches on each side. Not sure yet if this one will be for me, a gift or for sale. On to the next project............

Friday, February 10, 2012

Bitterroot Shawl in progress

Going from this handspun baby camel and tussah silk along with some bronze beads to ......
 knitting in progress.....................
When finished will look like this.........
The Bitterroot Shawl from Knittyspin Winter issue 2009