Sunday, April 30, 2006

This is the pound of organic merino x rambouillet raw wool I got on Saturday morning. Its dirtier than it looks in the picture. The sheep did not wear a coat, they did skirt it though.Inside the laundry room sink. This was when I first put the wool in. When I came back 15 minutes later the water was brown brown brown.
After two washes and 3 rinses: billowy soft white wool! I carded some last night and
spun some. No pictures yet. I think I'll dye it first... somehow spinning white wool is kind of
boring for me.

And this is what I found this morning inside a plastic cat toy thingy. Aww!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Which one will you pick?

So the question is, which one would you work on? The drab, beige "must have"? Or the spring color, soft BFL roving? I actually picked up "must have" last night, fixed the boo boo and finished another inch or two. Its really a fun knit, but now that the sun is out again I long for something more colorful. I'm really not a green/pink kind a gal, but the color combination really appeals to me.
I dyed up some more bfl in turquoise and orange last night. Somehow the turquoise is not as bright as I'd like. We'll see... I'm down to only 4 oz of corriedale and 4oz of finn left in my fiber stash. My order from coppermoose is on its way and I just ordered 1 lb a raw organic merino x wool from our csa(local farm). So my wool will be there tomorrow morning with my veggies. :) I've knitted with their organic wool yarn before but was a little disturbed by the amount of VM in the yarn. I have a feeling there will be a lot of vm in the wool, hopefully not, but worth a try. DD#1 will be enlisted to pick out the vm.
I'm not sure how much time I'll have dedicated to crafts this weekend. We're having our now annual May Day celebration at our house next weekend, so we have a lot of yard work to do. DH wants to test drive one of these, so we'll do for a little bit of that on Sunday.
Have a good weekend! I'll post if I get to the raw merino x this weekend.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

More spinning goodness...

I made a boo boo on the must have (knitting while entertaining guests), and not looking forward to frogging it. So here I am dyeing and spinning more..
BFL, 2 ply, about 63yds, dk to worsted weight. about 2.5 oz
I actually dyed about 4 oz of fiber but end up pulling off a lot of the orange. I did the hot pour method and got a lot of bright orange. I'm going to dye up some torquise and blend it with the orange. Hmm... I love orange yarn. So maybe I'll do that today. These are all done with the fiber reactive dyes.
Hey sis, I'm thinking about getting the lanaset dye set instead of ordering the jacquard acid dyes from dharma. I have 2 dye books (Color in Spinning and Twisted Sister's Sock book) that I love and they both use lanaset/sabreset dyes. So I thought I'd give that a try before ordering the acid dyes from dharma. I'll be ordering from sheep hollow btw.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Results of my second fiber reactive dyeing... I'm pretty happy with it. :) My 5 year old is crazy about this yarn. There is about 63 yards of bulky weight here. And I love the BFL (I think I've said that before). Soft and it has a nice sheen to it. So what about my first fiber reactive dyeing results? Well.. think red, blood red roving. The whole thing - red, red and more red! Argh! I didn't bother to mix up new dye, I just poured in the dye I mixed up from last summer's tie dyeing party. Oops! I'll use the roving for blending later on.

I also need to order more fiber. I'm thinking about getting more BFL, some merino, merino-silk and maybe some merino-kid mohair. I'll be ordering from copper moose again. I'm also thinking about ordering some mill end from the sheep shed studio (great reviews on craftster). Cheap fiber.. great for experimenting with color blending and such.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

About 100 yds of DK to worsted weight. I definitely like the BFL better than the corridale blend I've been spinning with. Softer and easier to draft. I love yellow, especially beginning of spring. Whats up next? I might dye up some Finn top tonight with the Procion Fiber Reactive dye I got last year for tie dyeing. The dye is made for cellulose fibers, but would work okay with protein fibers. I have tons of this stuff and I figure its not going to hurt to experiment a little.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Yummy goodness from the other day. Twist set... I just love the colors of this one.

This is what I spinned/spun yesterday. Thick thin, about 76 yds of corridale, plied with green thread.

Dyed up some BFL in violet and yellow last night. Yummy. I predrafted the fiber and started spinning with it but the colors seem a bit intense. I'm going to card it a bit to see if that softens up the colors a little. I space dyed the roving.

I started reading Color in Spinning by Deb Menz. Wonderful book. I'm still reading the first chapter but learning quite about hues, saturations and values.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Some wool roving chicks and felted eggs we made for Easter. I spent 3 hours on Easter Sunday entering all the expenses for the biz into quickbooks. Only for dh to tell me later by doing so we owe more taxes! Huh? Less profit, more taxes? Should have spent the 3 hours spinning or knitting instead.

Progress shot of must have. The front is done, will start on the back. This is such a fun knit. Not a knitting in the car kind of knit, but fun!

Spinning wise (also Project Spectrum update), I'm done with my first skein. I still have to set the twist, but I love it. Its sport weight to dk weight with a couple of worsted spots. :) So thick-thin. About 240yds. Need to dye some fiber tonight. I hope dd#2 will cooperate (i.e. go to bed early)

Friday, April 14, 2006

Got my Lendrum...

I got my Lendrum yesterday, put it together (the instructions were pretty terse, but its pretty straight forward), and got spinning.
May I present... Sally!

And here's a little bit of spinning

Treadling was a bit difficult, and I figured out why this afternoon. Somehow(ahem) my bobbin was not snapped on all the way last night while I was spinning. :P Things are a lot smoother now. DD#1 is really interested in the spinning wheel. She treadled yesterday afternoon while I drafted/spun. It was really nice.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Take a look. The yarn on the back/right I spun yesterday, the one on the front/left just half hour ago.
The thicker yarn is more uneven and more of an aran or maybe bulky weight. My index finger is also developing a callus. The secret or duh moment? I didn't predraft well enough. I mean I was pull the fibers sideways and then length wise
before. But tonight, I was looking at the hand cards
I got last weekend and thought why not card the roving? And what a difference! The books I've read thus far said you don't need to card roving, but man it is so much easier carded.

More dyeing for me tonight. Hopefully dh can get that light up in my "dyeing room". I already selected a corner in the dining room for the wheel. Yes, I just slowly take over the house. First the spare room (small 8x10 room) became my craft room. Then half the laundry room. Then add another corner...

Saturday, April 08, 2006

What I did last night...

Here it is all spun up. Not too even, I guess practice makes perfect. I can hardly wait till I get my hands on the wheel.

Friday, April 07, 2006

More spinning...

Some yummy goodness to start out with. Kool-Aid dyed roving from the other night. I am getting ready to move on and try some "real" dye. I have some procion dye left from tie dyeing last summer. I'll give that a try. Great tutorial here.

I've decided on this little beauty. Yes, my logical/sensible side won. I'm also beginning to like how it looks better. I have been discussing my wheel options with dh and he likes the lendrum. Usually that would mean I'll be ordering the Louet. But looking at the ratios, and the fact that its foldable. DH also said its like buying a car. Do I tend to buy the car with good consumer ratings or the yugo? Not that the louet is a yugo or anything close.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Okay, so I should be in bed. But take a look see:

It doesn't look as bad as I'd thought. I did the yellow and turquoise for fun. But isn't the orange fun? Huh? i just wish they make the s51dt unfinished!! Okay, so I said that already.


I saw this wheel and almost died. It is beautiful. Its from pumpkinknits
I want want want a S51DT in orange. Alas, they don't sell the S51DT unfinished.
Or the S10DT unfinished. The have the S75DT unfinished, but I don't like the style as much.

Its too traditional looking to be orange. I told dh I wanted an orange wheel and he rolled his eyes and said: "Orange??!! Why?" "Why not? I love orange." I might play around with photoshop elements tomorrow to see what the s75dt looks like in orange. The only thing is... I don't think I'll be able to resell it if I outgrown it. :)

Today I cleaned out my laundry room to create a dyeing corner. We don't have basements or attics here in CA (and in our case, no garage either, just a carport). So the laundry is as good as it gets. Its looking pretty good now, just need dh to put up a couple of shelves for me. I tried out hot pour dyeing with kool aid. The lighting in the laundry sucks, I think I need to get some natural light bulbs in there. So I was half blind dyeing tonight. We'll see how it turns out in the morning. I checked out The Twisted Sisters sock workbook the other day. Love the book. Funny I really didn't like the book when I looked at it last year. But I guess not that I'm spinning, its a great book.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

More spinning...

I went to my spinning class last Friday. It was so-so. I didn't really learn that much. She just said yes, you're doing the right thing but need more practice. Umm, yes I know that already. I did try out her wheel which was fun and carded some wool.
Then on Sunday I went up to Carolina Homespun and learned a lot from Morgaine. I was there for 2 hours! I spun on the
Lendrum DT, Louet S51DT and the Louet S10DT

The three wheels feel about the same to me. I can treadle them all with ease. They don't seem to be fighting me. I prefer the looks of the Lendrum and the S51DT. Now that I have the pictures side by side, the two wheels look very similar. Intellectually, I prefer the Lendrum. It is a more versatile wheel, it folds up for travel and a lot of people really like the wheel. You know whats coming. My heart is pulling me toward the Louet. I don't know why. Maybe because I tend to like things that are less main stream (if you can call spinnning main stream. Although it is becoming very popular). I also like how it looks a little better than the Lendrum. Should I base my purchase on looks? Some say I should because I'll be looking at it for hours and hours. At this instant, I think I'll order the S51DT.

I also got a pair of Schadcht Handcarders, half a pound of corriedale blend and some dyed fleece (might not be able to use this for spinning). Then my box of roving arrived from Coopermoose
yesterday (1 lb of BFL and 1 lb of corriedale). Superfast shipping. I ordered on Thursday and it arrived Monday. So I'm swimming in fiber. I would like to dye it first before spinning.

On the knitting front, I finished the left front side of the must have. And started on the ribbing for the right side. Its progressing slowly because I'm spending a lot of time searching for spinning wheels on the internet.