Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Purple sparkle! (Scheduled)

A few weeks ago I finally spun up those sparkly rolags I made on the blending board.  They have been plied off and washed ready for use and looks stunning!  I am very pleased with it but the photos don't do it justice.  Took about 10 photos in different lighting, directions etc and none of them even come close to really showing the yarn at its best.

But will make a gorgeous stole/scarf.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Socks all finished! (Scheduled)

The ordered socks are all finished and washed.  Was not too keen on the hat so I am almost ready to do the shaping on another one.  Well it has to be perfect!    The two hats are from the same fibre but when I used to spin on the little upright wheel it put a lot more twist into the wool and the results are totally different.  You will see that when the other hat is finished and I post up a pic of it.  This wool was originally going to be a vest for me but as it is so different I have almost made it all up into either socks, beanies and to come a scarf or even just some knitted squares for a patchwork throw way into the future.  Don't want too many balls of wool hanging around forever lol.

Whoops think I need to press the hat before gifting it away lol.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Lace weight yarn!

Well I have finished spinning up the singles and let them rest so it was onto plying them together this morning, yes while dying fibre lol and washing clothes. 

I needed to use one of Merlin's favourite spots to get some pics lol.  Not sure he was very impressed with me or my fluff after a while!

I think it has come up quite well and although this photo shows it still a bit damp it is looking promising with no kinking and is well balanced.  Not sure I have achieved the stretch like in the tutorial but it is there and will look forward to it drying enough to ball up and test knit some lace.

Its only a little skein but there is a lot of metres in there.  Will take note of the weight and meterage when it is dry so that I can compare any future skeins with a little maths.

Today .........

is a cold, damp miserable day and I decide to dye fibre! Outside! 

Old Gaywool dye Paw paw

Landscapes Saltmarsh

Old Gaywool logwood
so once they have all cooled down in their buckets I will be able to rinse them through and get them drying on a rack outside.  Complete madness really.

The logwood and saltmarsh will be blended with some sparkle and other fibre to create a nice yarn.  Well I hope lol.  The lady who has asked me to make some sparkle yarn wears a lot of browns and greens and wants something arty.  She was eyeing off that beaded yarn I made into a scarf quite some time ago.  I said I will make up some different ones and she can purchase from those.  Lets face it they will not go to waste anyway although I don't think she would want to pay for the beaded yarn took soooo long to spin up.  Hate stringing beads!

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Spinning for lace part 2

A little while ago I purchased a downloadable dvd from an Interweave sale about spinning fine merino for lace knitting.  The dvd takes you through all aspects from preparation to finished yarn and everything in between.  The previous post has a sample of the dvd for those interested. 

So when I received a beautiful fine merino fleece from Wendy Beer through the facebook group I set to watching the first segment of the dvd again and separated locks to be washed.  Surprisingly you scrub the wet lock onto a bar of velvet soap!  I believed it would surely felt and mat up but it didn't.  Once they were all dried they puffed up beautifully.  To prove this the last two photos were taken 3 hours apart with the drying rack a metre from the heating vent and no I didn't shift them closer together lol.

After they had sat around for a few days I re-watched the 2nd section and began to spin some singles.  So very easy to do and with little to no tension on the wheel.  That allows more control over the fibre to be able to spin it very fine indeed.  I plan to spin up a similar amount and do a small sample to make sure I am on the right track before diving in too deep.  Apparently you can have a perfect looking plied yarn but can come out as a disaster when washed to set the twist if the fine crimp has somehow been trapped within the twist of the singles.  Complicated lol so I will trial and error a bit I think.  Will be interesting to see how my sewing thread reacts.

So this is only a single and will hopefully be plied to another by Saturday to see how we go.  It is best to leave the spun singles sitting on the bobbins for at least overnight before plying.  No time for spinning today but will do it tomorrow morning after tea goes in the slow cooker lol.  Friday is going to be a me day!  Fingers crossed.

Spinning for Lace with Margaret Stove Part 1

Monday, 16 June 2014

Sock order (scheduled)

Well the beanie and grey pair of socks have been finished and as of 7/6/14 I have made a start on the last pair.  Thought I would do these two at a time now I have the longer needles.  But by the time you see this post they might just about be finished and ready to post off lol.  Plus a cute pic of Tess that Grace took.  Shame her eye allergy was playing up.  Poor doogy with hayfever.  More like allergic to the fluffball!

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Fibre purchases (scheduled)

Another scheduled post lol.  Didn't realise I had actually achieved so much since the last time I posted about the dirty corriedale project lol.

This time I have made a few fibre purchases online and on a trip to Bendigo with Lance to yet another specialist appointment!  I was on the look out for another bag of nylon in particular to make up my own sock blends and also thought this dyed blue/grey alpaca would be great blended with something too eventually. 

Also picked up some white merino 22micron tops from Inverleigh Farms through our facebook fibre group I have mentioned before.  Pretty cheap too and will be blended with nylon and perhaps some other fibres and left to be dyed at a later date.  You never know I might end up with some more sock orders in the future!

Ah yes boring white at the moment but the possibilities are endless when it comes to dyeing.

Have also ordered 2kg of very fine merino locks for a special project and to learn a new spinning technique.  Might be a good one for the warmer months as I will have to wash it little lock by lock to be able to achieve the finished yarn I wish to create.  More on that later and no pics of grotty looking fleece because I haven't received it yet lol.  Just getting a little excited but other things to finish first.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Addi knitting needles (scheduled)

Over the last two weeks I have purchased some new knitting needles after trying a couple of pairs first of course.  Have never really liked metal needles like the cheapies you can pick up everywhere so though perhaps it was time to try something else.  Loved the Addi bamboo DPN's and their metal lace tipped circulars are amazing!  So I decided that I would pick up some more to fill in the gaps I had in my collection of needles and will be replacing one cheap set that were pretty uncomfortable to use.  This brand also goes down as low as 1.5mm up to the chunkies with a fixed cable and in many lengths too.  Went for the large length to make them multi purpose so I don't have to spend any more lol.  Pretty pricy but free postage and cheaper than other sites so cant grumble.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

New fleece to try

Two weekends ago I was given two rather seedy fleeces in a bag by a chap Lance has got to know very well through his Saturday job.  I very quickly washed up a small handful and whipped it through the carder before very quickly spinning it up and doing a test square.  It is soft but a tiny bit scratchy so will make great jumpers.  Because it was a very quick test you can see there is some blue, grey and white through it.  Not a bad blend really from the scraps left on Mum's drum carder lol.

Lance has just rung to tell me he has received another three bags of fleece.  Sadly I will have to wait for him to get home before I will find out lol.  Tease! 

Poll Dorset X witpol X Dorper

Here's two pics of the sheep that the fleece came from.

Birthday and Mother's Day

Had a lovely two weekends with Mother's Day and my birthday in May.  I have been very tardy with blogging so have scheduled a heap of posts so I don't bore you all in one hit lol.  Pictured are my lovely fibre/knitting related gifts!  Surprise! LOL.

Now the Erica Knight 'Essential crochet' was picked up by Lance in Melbourne as a surprise mothers day gift.  There is a shop up in the DFO area of the station that has piles of cheap books and so many knitting and crochet ones.  There are loads of fantastic projects in this one.  The tea and tea pot were from my parents and it is a small one person pot.  There were of course Lindt chocolates too!

I also received a lovely embroidery project satchel from Anthea too.  Which is beautifully made and believe it or not will be put to good use very soon.  I have some new cushion covers in the planning stage and would like to do a stitchery centre for them. 

We have also had a sad time with Lance's Uncle Bernie, who has been in aged care for quite some time, being told he has heart failure.  There have been lots of visits during May since the diagnosis which have been good because Bernie was still quite with it until the last week when the morphine was started.  So Bernie, who was more like a father to Lance, passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of Monday 26th May.