Location: Crescent City, California, United States

I love to make things with my hands. My current passions are knitting and spinning.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

New Treasures

My wonderful husband gave me a gift certificate to the LYS for Christmas that I have been saving for something very special. I have been tempted to spend it on yarn for a big project, but didn't think I needed anymore big/sweater projects at this time. I was visiting the LYS last Saturday and they had just received some new "special" yarn, and suddenly I knew what I had been waiting for.... Mooi by louet. It is lace weight yarn - 50gm/350 yds. Fiber content 15% Bison/15% Cashmere/70% Bamboo. It is very soft yarn and feels like quite a treat for me, since I don't think I would ever spend that much for one skein of yarn if I didn't have a gift certificate. Now, to find the perfect lace scarf pattern :)
They also had another new fiber that I had never heard of before - Banana hemp. It is made from Banana leaves. It feels stiff to the touch, but should get softer with handling and washing, much like linen does.
The LYS (A Perfect Yarn) also had some new books. I couldn't resist buying Mother-Daughter Knits.
There are several projects that I would love to make.
The Classic Shirt...
Mother-Of-The-Bride Cardigan
A Gray Cardigan (but probably not in gray!) those cables and the long ribbing at the hem.

And the Reversible Tank Top...
Alpaca with a Twist - 100% Baby Alpaca, 7 oz. in the Fawn colorway. It requires more concentration and skill to spin than the wool that I have been spinning with lately. It is very slippery. I think it will be beautiful when it is done.
I have been hand teasing the 8 oz. of dyed wool that I bought in March. It is very time consuming and a dirty job (should I give it to Mike Rowe?), there is a fair amount of vegetable matter including some burrs, and a bit of dirt still. One of the colors that I got was very sticky, which I hadn't noticed in the store, and some of the locks are matted together requiring a bit more care to tease apart.
I tried blending the 2 colors together on the carder. I think this will add more visual (and spinning) interest.
The batt on the top is solid pink, the batt on the bottom is the pink merino mixed with dark purplish brown merino.
I am sending off my registration today for 2 different dyeing classes by Nancy Finn from Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks, that will be held at Black Sheep Gathering in June. I have to send the form by snail mail, but should receive confirmation by e-mail. Here's hoping I get in. I am excited to possible have this opportunity since I have been wanting to learn more about dyeing fiber, and haven't had any luck so far finding anyone local who could teach me. This week I told some people that I was going to "take a class in dyeing", the room got "dead" silent and I got some odd stares! I had to explain myself so that they would quit worrying about my sanity :)

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Saturday, April 04, 2009

Out Of The Dye Pot And Off The Wheel

I feel like I have been pretty productive the past 2 weeks. I finished plying the last of the 8 oz. of Autumn Corriedale pencil roving. I ended up with 2 large skeins, and one small one. I had a tiny bit of leftover singles that I tried Navajo plying, but the singles weren't cooperating and kept breaking. The yarn came out a lot different than I expected, to my pleasant surprise.
The yarn came out allot different than I expected, to my pleasant surprise. There was a lot of orange in the roving (see picture from previous post), but when I plied it, the orange just ended up mostly being a highlight.
WPI – average of 10, Worsted Weight, 3 ply
Yardage – Approximately 331 yds,

I had to play with color on Thursday, so I broke out the crock pot and the dyes and some Pastaza by Cascade yarns. The colors didn’t come out as deep as I would have liked, but I am still pleased with the results. The yarn was sitting in my bag at the yarn shop yesterday, and the lady next to me said she loved the colors. I must be doing something right!! I am anxious to try the dyeing again with some different colors. I think I will add more dye to see if I can get the deeper shade that I want.

I have also been working on the Printed silk Cardigan here and there. I had made a fair amount of progress, then realized that I had been off on my measurements and had to rip back about 7 inches of work. That was last weekend, I have since re-knit those 7 inches and now I am ready to start the diamond pattern on the second front piece. My next obstacle is doing the buttonholes, the directions in the magazine are different than the buttonholes I have knit in the past. I can’t wait to get this sweater done and have something new to wear -and move on to the next project that is waiting in the wings.

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