Saturday, August 22, 2009

So Much Fibre, Not Enough Bobbins

Oh, oh! Another new (expensive) thing that I have discovered that I really, really enjoy. My already multi-function grooming/plant room is now also set up for dyeing fibre. And I have been dyeing up a storm!

I absolutely, utterly, completely refuse to even so much as look at carding equipment! I know what happens....

I have had a couple of "mom"cations this summer. DH Dallas and the kids are currently out again at Grandpa's cottage and so I have been free to do what ever I want! And to think that there was a time that I figured that I needed a 3-star hotel and airline tickets to have a good vacation. How things change once you have kids.

So there is dyed fibre all over my house right now. The problem is that I am eager to try them all out and start spinning them, but I have to ration my bobbins. I keep meaning to order more. In the meantime I wander around and pet them all.

I am starting to experiment with different fibres. This was my first try with Wensleydale. I was at my LYS bemoaning the fact that even though I didn't think it was possible for me to spin any finer without my singles disintegrating my finished 3 ply yarn was still coming out a bit heavier than I would like for socks. So Wensleydale was suggested. It has such a long length that it is literally possible to spin strong singles with only 3 strands of fibre. Unfortunately, I ended up felting this fibre a bit when dyeing so I had to rip it apart to draft it. It is still very fine and very strong. I Navaho plied it.

It is really overspun, but I don't mind that for socks. It doesn't have the softness of a lot of other wools, but it should wear like iron! It should end up to be loosely self striping when knit up.

A Blue Faced Leicester dyed with mauve, lilac and grey. I have discovered that anything dyed with purples in it will be dominantly purple. It didn't turn out quite like I expected (I thought the grey would show up more), but still a very pretty heathered yarn. This one is 3-ply fingering weight.

This one I couldn't wait to try spinning it. It is BFL again, spray dyed with pale pastel shades. So far, so good. I am very pleased with what is showing on the bobbin. Now I just have to hope that when it is plied things will still look as pretty.

This is a Corriedale-Rambouillet-Merino roving that I purchased from Wooly Wool of the West on Etsy. It is nice and soft and sproingy and should spin up beautifully. (Mikki had to get her nose in to see what I was doing. The dogs tend to like the sheepy smell of undyed fibre. Not too keen on the vinegar smell after dyeing, though)

Another Wensleydale. This time I didn't felt it! I also didn't get enough contrast between the blues that I would have liked, but it should still be fine. It is hard to go wrong with blue.

BFL again (I keep coming back to it!). It should self stripe nicely if Navaho plied.

And finally.... more good things in the mail. I got these notions from KaratStix on Etsy. Made of bamboo they are very light and should prove to be very handy. The wraps-per-inch tool is hanging on my spinning wheel. The Kitchener stitch tag is sitting next to my knitting chair. And the needle gauge (notice how she includes really small needle sizes) is attached to my knitting bag for when I am on the go.

I also have 3 more big, poofy piles of roving sitting on my kitchen table (all the easier to walk by and pet) still waiting for pictures. And there is a batch of Lincoln I dyed currently being spun also waiting. Not to mention the one finished skein and the dyed pile of roving to be spun with the intent of knitting two strangs together.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Which Ewe Are You?

I took the Which Ewe Are You? quiz. I'm not so sure that it really matches my personality (especially the hugging part - I'm really not much of a hugger except with the kids), but there are certainly worse wools out there.
" As a fine wool with roots in France and Spain, Rambouillets seem to exude a cosmopolitan air, yet stay grounded and easygoing with others in the flock. With big hearts and a spring in their step, these finewools' lively attitudes make them approachable and always ready with a warm smile and a hug."

The quiz did its job, though, as I eventually looked at the book it was promoting. The Knitter's Book of Wool comes out this October and it looks like it could be one to get

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Summer That Never Was

It has been way too long since I last did a blog post. Even my husband has been saying "What? No new post yet?" Like he cares about what I am knitting and spinning.

It has just been one of those summers. It started in June (it actually started well before that, but it didn't get incredibly nasty until about the 1st week of June). My son had been having the year from hell in school. In June we found out that it had been even far worse than we knew. So I spent the last 3 weeks of school pretty much living there.

It was at the same time that DH Dallas broke his arm. It was either fall off his bike or get hit by a car so at least he choose the lesser of two evils. "Broke" would be an understatement, though. He took the 2 bones in his lower left arm and made them into 7 pieces. So 3 metal plates, how knows how many screws and 56 stitches later he is sorta starting to heal. He got the cast off a couple of days ago and got some more great news. One of the pieces isn't healing properly and they may have to do a bone graft if it doesn't start to smarten up and start mending itself back together.

His scars, though, are making him the envy of all the neighbourhood kids.

So for a couple of months I didn't really do too much in the way of knitting or spinning. Being emotionally exhausted makes you quite content to just sit there and stare into space. I didn't feel the need to keep my hands busy. And I had even less energy to care enough to take pictures of things and post them.

Slowly I am getting back into routine again. The "Oops" yarn is now knit up into a hat for Katie. I used the One Day Beret recipe. The pattern needed to be very simple since the yarn is so busy and colourful. Katie loves it and has even been wearing it now in the middle of summer. Even though our summer weather this year has been leaving much to be desired it is still much to warm for a wool hat.

On the plus side I should always be able to spot her on a busy playground.

I also finished up the Crusoe socks that I had started sooooo long ago. This yarn was from my very first attempt at dyeing. I believe it started out as a KnitPicks undyed yarn, but it was so long ago that I can't say for sure anymore. I did 2 rows of plain stockinette stitch between the slipped rows instead of the 3 the pattern calls for. I didn't do it on purpose, but it turned out just fine.
Slowly I will caught up with picture taking on my other finished and partly completed projects. Not to mention my blog reading. I have been dyeing up a storm with roving for spinning. I have discovered that I would much rather spin than knit.