Saturday, July 25, 2009

Carding Outside

Yesterday I carded some dyed fleece out on the picnic table in the back yard. I'm planning on putting the carder away in storage--well, U-haul first and then storage in Seattle. So this is my last chance to use it for a while. This morning I got up made some coffee and starting carding again. The batts pictured below were made with just one pass through the carder. I did that because either: a) I'm lazy and it's 90 degrees out or b) the dyed fleece has an interesting color pooling going on and I want to optimize the effect or c) both a and b are correct.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Solar Dyeing

My plan was to dye some roving using tin foil to make a little solar oven. When I went to buy the roving at Sweet Grass Wool, Patti asked if I was going to use black plastic bags. Well, I think her idea was much better so I did indeed use black plastic bags. It's been in the 90's lately so not only is it hot enough to dye, everything dried quickly. First I made trays out of old card board and black plastic then laid the roving in them. I squirted on the dye and then covered the whole thing with another black plastic bag. I kept going out side and touching the black plastic to see how hot it was getting. It got very hot, even to the point that it hurt to touch them! I could feel the roving inside and knew that there was enough heat to process the dye. I tossed all the cardboard and plastic in the trash afterwards for an easy (and wasteful) clean-up.
I went with fall colors so I would have something to spin when I move in the fall.

Even though I said I'd just be doing fiber prep now and spinning later, I just couldn't help myself. I started spinning the sweater yarn that I recently carded.

I know my profile says I live in Seattle, but I'm actually in Montana now. The plan goes as such: my family and I are moving all our stuff to Seattle in a week or so. They will stay there and I'll fly back to Montana to work* until Sept. During the time that I'm in Montana without my family I will have a lot of time to spin. So I'm getting all my projects together now.
*As some of you know, I'm a midwife. I only have 2 births left this summer in Montana so I'll have a lot of time to sit around and spin and wait for the babies.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Republic Hat

This morning I found a button for The Republic Hat. I knitted these a few weeks ago using my Shetland/Sari Silk Scrap yarn I made. The first hat turned out too small so I added an inch or so to the height and the next one fit much better.
I'm still busy washing fleece. The kitchen stinks badly. I'm getting worried that I won't have kind of house to do big fiber projects in when I move to Seattle. Not that this one is great...I am washing stinky fleece in the kitchen here in Montana. Yuck.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Carding a Sweater's Worth (again)

Today I carded 10 1/2 batts of mixed color and 1 batt of a dark purple. This is all for a sweater that I plan to make in the fall. I want to spin this right now, but will hold off since this is suppose to be a spinning project for August.
These batts are a blend of 5 colors: dark purple, light purple, bright magenta, a dull magenta and a brownish rose color. I carded each color separately once, then carded large strips together so as not to make it too blended (muted). I think they will spin up in an interesting way.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fiber Prep Time

I'm going to spend the next few weeks prepping all my fleece so they will be ready to spin. Why? Because I'm moving back to Seattle. I'm not sure where I'll be living there, but there's no guarantee that I'll have the space to process a whole fleece. I might end up in an apartment or townhouse or someplace without the space to wash a big stinky fleece. We will see. Life is always an adventure.
The other factor in why I'm processing all my raw fleece now is I'll need something to spin while I'm in Montana without my family. My husband and kids are going out to Seattle 3-4 weeks before me because my husband starts his new job in August. I, however, will still be working in Montana until The first week of Sept. I wont be too busy with work so I'll have a lot of time to spin.
I don't really like the idea of storing raw fleece for a really long period of time, so there's another reason to get everything processed. So I'll be blogging about washing and carding this week...if you're in to that.