Thursday, April 30, 2009

!@!ACK*^%#@& this mitten

Why the anger? Because I had a heck of time ripping it back to the mistake I made early on. I'm OK now. It's OK now. I'm happy to be using the worsted yarns I make last month. It's been snowing for 3 days so I'm not crazy for making mittens this time of year.

Friday, April 24, 2009

OK, that was fun.

Would you believe that this was made from all natural dyes?  The yellow was dyed with Black-eyed Susans last summer.  The pink is Cochineal and the red is also, but dipped twice.  This scarf is so bright that I probably wont wear it.  It totally looks like a thrift store item.  I'm done crocheting for now.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Trying to Crochet

This is what my 2-plied combed Shetland turned out like.
This is what my 3-ply carded Shetland dyed "dusky seafoam" turned out like.

This is what my first attempts at granny squares turned out like.

Once I thought I got the hang of it, I started a stack of granny squares. I'm not sure what I'll do with them. After doing a little crocheting, I checked ravelry to see what people have been crocheting these days. Holy cow. I've ignored the whole crochet element to ravelry, but now I can see there's so many talented people out there!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It was hard to capture the true color of these singles because it's such an odd shade of green. I'm not even sure I like it, so I'm going to use it for practicing spinning a 3-ply. I'm letting these singles sit on the bobbins for a while before I ply them.

What's up with knitting puns? I am just as guilty as anyone for using the "fleece" in place of "peace" It's weird that I'm drawn to making puns about spinning and knitting. I have to control myself when I blog.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Last Week in Review

My new lock by lock washing system left this wool stinky. So the combing process was not enjoyable. I had 5 oz. of these Shetland balls. I weighed out 2.5 oz and spun a single (see bobbin) and plan to spin the other half to make a 2-ply.
I did a little improv dyeing. I just used what ever acid dyes I had on hand. The blue is OK.

...but what do you call this mess? My aluminum pot had residue and the "avocado" had purple in it. And after I carded this wool, it seemed to be a mossy-sea foam. Sigh... well, it was just an experiment. No biggy.

Monday, April 6, 2009

World of Woolcraft

Last night after dinner my son asked me if I wanted to play the XBox game Resident Evil 5. "No." I'd rather wash wool. It occurred to me that if they designed a game that was more interesting to me I'd play XBox. Maybe a game where you had a flock of sheep and if your sheep ran away you could go to different areas (XBox Live-interactive)to get them. You could shear and sell fleece, maybe buy more sheep with the money. There could be a lambing challenge of some sort. When I told this to my son and husband they agreed that it sounds like a game I would play. My husband promptly titled it World of Woolcraft.

So instead of having bonding time with my teenager, I took my latest fleece purchase out of the box and checked it out. Nutmeg is a Shetland. I have about 2 1/2 lbs here. As I sorted through it I decided to keep the locks intact and carefully wash them.
I divided the fleece into three sections. Shorter locks with lots of crimp, long locks, and "other" which is the more tangled pieces that I'll end up carding.

I'm going to flick card the shorter locks, comb the long locks, and card the "other" locks. I'll probably dye the "other" batch also. I washed all the long locks by hand---lock by lock method. That means I dipped them in hot soapy water then rinsed them carefully under the running faucet. This actually went really fast and left them in excellent condition. I washed the shorter locks carefully in a shallow hot soapy sink and rinsed them so that the locks stayed aligned. I'm almost done with that process. While that's all drying, I'll wash and dye the "other" batch later today.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Odd Balls

I took time today to wind all the odd skeins into balls. These are the skeins that I spun last year that just got thrown into the back to the closet. Once I pulled them out and decided to process them I realized that the colors were really interesting. (The spinning was lumpy and uneven.) Some are natural wool, some were dyed with natural dyes, and some were dyed with acid dyes. That bright yellow one was dyed with Osage Orange (natural dye) and it's obviously the brightest.