Monday, November 10, 2014
We put in an offer on an short-sale house last April. At this point our closing day is November 26th. I was patiently waiting through Spring and Summer and now Fall. The house is quite a dump and it will take several months of hard work to get it in a liveable condition. So besides moving all of our belongings we will also be doing extensive remodel. There will be no time for knitting once the sale goes through---if the sale goes through. They are giving it an 80% success rate because of a tricky legal situation with the title. So what should I do? Start a complicated lace and beadwork project, of course!
From The Knitter's Book of Wool I've started Tibetan Clouds Beaded Stole. Now I'm staying in the moment like a Tibetan monk...detached...knitting.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Lac is a dye made from secretions of the Lac insect. It's an imported product and I got it here: http://www.maiwa.com/home/supply/natural_dyes/lac/index.html
Also an imported product, logwood generally comes from Mexico or South America or India. I had little bits of left-over logwood and lac so I dyed a few skeins of hand spun yarn that I had sitting around.
Saturday, November 1, 2014
I cut little squares and began experimenting. Dying fabric and cellulose fiber is new to me. It was so much fun using these little squares because there was no harm done if I screwed it up. It's not as risky as dying a yarn that took 2 weeks to spin, right?
Normally I don't like cutch but on fabric it looked nice. I added iron to cutch and got a totally cool dark taupe. Marigold made a nice orange-yellow. I added tartaric acid to marigold and got a pale yellow.
I tried black tea and got a dull color. I used marigolds and back tea and it looked a little more interesting.
The house that we are trying to buy was built in 1912. I've looked at paint swatches of color palettes from that time period. Of course they only had natural pigments back then. Inspired by the old-timey colors and the linen swatches I was dying, I decided to make a color palette: cutch, marigold, cutch with iron, logwood with tartaric acid, and marigold with black tea! I showed the palette to my Hubby and he was not impressed. That's okay. I'll just keep day-dreaming of remodeling my future home.
Monday, October 27, 2014
Thursday, October 23, 2014
The design came from a pattern call Afmaeli that I found for free on Ravelry. It's a basic Icelandic pattern that I modified into a long sweater that buttons up. The pattern was in the round so I had to do some math to get it right. I added a button band and big black buttons.
The photographer can be found here: http://www.naissancestudios.com/
Sunday, August 17, 2014
The sun was out in the morning so we dried out our wet clothes. I sat in the sun and knitted for a few hours before hiking back down the hill. It took 5 hours to get back to the car.
This was a "test-run" since I'm new to backcountry camping. Lessons learned: pack more rain gear and polar fleece. Next time I'm planning an easier hike with more time for knitting.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
We went on a walk down by the water at Penn Cove and came across a little alpaca farm. My husband is the talkative one and insisted that we march up the gravel drive way and talk to the folks that live there. The woman who lived there had a little store where she sold her alpaca fiber among other things. Jackpot!
I bought two different kinds of roving, one being this "Ceno with Silk" blend. (My understanding is Ceno is the alpaca's name.) It was a delight to spin.
Frosen Acres Alpacas on Penn Cove Road saved the day.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
on this blog. The middle gray one is some random unwashed raw alpaca that someone gifted me. I hand carded that one. The light gray was made from roving that is an alpaca/silk blend. I washed all these skeins today and noticed all the difference regarding the prep. The raw fleece that I carded (middle, dark grey) was really dirty. The batt was pretty dirty too. The roving was clean and just needed a soak. All were made into a lace-weight 2 ply yarn. All are natural colors.
brown = batt
dark grey = raw
light grey = roving
brown = batt
dark grey = raw
light grey = roving
Friday, August 8, 2014
Sadly, I couldn't make a nice yarn. From the bottom up: the fiber as I bought it, spun straight from the batt, hand carded and pick, hand carded and pick out as much VM and little lumps of bison as possible.
Friday, August 1, 2014
Working on an Icelandic sweater in August seems crazy. It's in the upper 80s and I have to have a fan blowing on me while I knit. I know I should have some kind of "summer project" but I've been obsessive about getting this sweater coat made.
I've been keeping busy these last few months with some major knitting projects (to be unveiled later), but I've done very little spinning and absolutely zero blogging about fleece. I feel change a comin'. I feel like getting back in the saddle. I feel like giving some attention to my blog again. More to come.
Friday, February 28, 2014
A friend of mine from High School recently started selling Alpaca fibers to spinners.
Her etsy shop is here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/BlueHeronRanch?ref=search_shop_redirect
Her blog is here: http://blueheronranch.wordpress.com/contact/
I obtained 2 oz and spun it in to a two-ply lace weight yarn.