Have Ewe Any Wool?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Another Spinning Project Completed!

My latest SAL entry, "Easter Eggs" in the Spring Bright colorway from Pagewood, is done! I started spinning the singles right after I finished plying the purple Merino. The singles were quite thin (left), so I knew it was a good candidate for Navajo plying...plus, I really wanted to preserve the distinct colors. The colors in the yarn remind me of coloring Easter eggs...such fond memories!

I didn't start plying until Sunday at the Centreville Library. I didn't quite finish it up at the meet-up, but managed to finish it later on Sunday evening. I Navajo plied the yarn, but for some reason, didn't have real good control. The final results are a little more "lumpy bumpy"-like than I like, but I'm still pleased with the overall result. The total weight of the skein is 4.3 ounces.

I had spun up some pure silk that I'd received from my friend "Bead Sue". It's a gorgeous green and purple colorway that looks fabulous! I can't wait to ply it. I definitely want to preserve the colors, so it will be Navajo plied as well. Hopefully I'll be a little more adept at that than I was for the "Easter Eggs" skein!

I started spinning my next project Sunday at the spinning meet-up as well. I'm calling it: "The Scottish Highlands in Spring". It's "GnomeGarden" Merino. I love all the greens and teals in the roving - it's absolutely gorgeous! I've now completed the first bobbin of singles - about 2 ounces spun up. I'm going to two-ply this one...no need to Navajo ply. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the completed yarn - I'm expecting it to be somewhat tweedy looking and not really "barber polled".

On the knitting front, I've completed the back of my "Seville Cardigan" in pink "Mermaid" - cotton, wool, silk, and sea cell. I love how this yarn works up! Only the front, sleeves, and band to go! (Scheduled for completion by the end of April as part of the "Nerd Wars" on Ravelry.)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Blue Ridge Spinning and Weaving Inspirations

Oh, my! I saw such lovely samples of weaving this month at the Blue Ridge Spinners and Weavers Guild meeting. I definitely am feeling the "call of the loom".

Beth had commissioned a gorgeous rug from Jason Collingwood. It's absolutely gorgeous! The back side is predominately green (left) and the right side is a lovely burst of reds and oranges (right).

Beth also showed her sampler that she created in a recent class. It's gorgeous. I love the way some of the color interplay...and the 3-D effect of some of the weavings.

Debbie had a very interesting loom - it's an alternative to the traditional inkle loom (I can't remember what it's called). It has texsolv heddles and a brake - it's like a large loom only in miniature - perfect for weaving straps...and appears to be more versatile than the traditional inkle loom.
Edited to add: The loom is the mini-Wave, from Gilmore Looms.

And then, there was Chantal...she's so inspiring and incredibly talented. She created these gorgeous rugs on a very rustic style loom. Her eye for color and design is fabulous. She claims she's not yet a weaver, but I beg to differ. I think her work is incredible!

Here are a couple of Chantal's looms with a very cool project currently underway where she's twisting fabric strips as they're woven. I'm now convinced that I CAN do some incredibly things with my "Happy Loom". I'll start small. Perhaps I can craft some coasters before the next meeting?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

It's Done!

I've FINALLY finished spinning the purple Merino from "Spinner's Hill" - it took forever! I managed to create three skeins totalling about 11.7 ounces.

All three skeins are two ply - and I love the subtle color differences caused by the uneven dyeing. Some parts are very purple, while others are blue, pink, or almost white. It gives the yarn depth.

I still need to measure the skeins to see how many yards I have total and to determine the weight of the yarn. I believe it's somewhere around a DK. I'm not sure what project I'll make with this yarn. It's very soft, so it's perfect for "against the skin" wear.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!


Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!

My Valentine flowers really look beautiful today...and the weather is perfect - the mid 60's! What a welcome temperature!

Oh...I received another Valentine's Day gift from DH...a "Bazinga" t-shirt! How cool is that? It's the perfect fashion statement for "Nerd Wars!" on Ravelry! (I'm in "Team Bazinga")

Last night I continued spinning the purple Merino. Both bobbins are getting quite full...and I still have a bit yet to spin! I love how the uneven dyeing (see the blues and pinks in the photo) work with the yarn to give it depth. Dad usually got mom a purple orchid to wear on Easter. The colors in this roving remind me of the annual Easter Orchid...what fond memories. Hopefully I'll finish spinning this later this week so I can then start on yet another batch of "fiber-in-waiting"!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Gorgous Winter Skies

This evening, the sky was absolutely beautiful...full of bright pinks, purples, and oranges.

When I started out on my walk with the dog, the sun was very low in the sky and was shining on a tree full of birds - a very welcome sight. Perhaps winter is nearly over and the birds are returning??? I love the way the birds were illuminated by the sun while the moon was rising behind them.

As I continued on the walk, the sun dipped lower in the sky, and painted the twilight with gorgeous splashes of color. You can see the start of some of the colors here with the purples low on the horizon as the sun continues it's downward trek.

The colors became more and more vibrant as the sun sank lower in the sky. It was absolutely beautiful! Perhaps I should try to capture that beauty in a fiber related project...perhaps a nuno felted scarf????

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Early Valentine's Gifts

DH is extremely thoughtful...

I received my Valentines bouquet early so I could enjoy it more...and experience its full beauty on Valentine's Day itself. The flowers are fresh out of the box and "somewhat artfully arranged" - as you can see, I'm not very skilled at properly arranging flowers, but I try.

DH also delivered two fabulous knitting kits from Moorehouse Knits. One is a kit for a sheep scarf...and the other, for a pair of hedge hog mittens. I started on the mittens right away and finished the first one on Friday night. Isn't it adorable? It's a tad big around my wrist, so I may add a knitted band with a button to "cinch it up" and make it a bit more snug. Other than that, I think it's absolutely perfect!

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Case of the Bleeding Scarf

The scarf I made from the purple "Mystify" yarn by Plymouth bled all over my needles and on my fingers. I knew it would take lots of washing to get rid of all the excess dye. It was suggested that I wash it (left), rinse it, then put it in a basin of water with a handful of salt, and end with a final rinse (right). How simple, yet effective! That seemed to take care of the excess - check out the clear rinse after the salt treatment! Wahoo!

Then it was off to "blocking land". Success. Total success. There was no bleeding of purple onto the towel!

Here's the closeup of the pattern. Some parts look quite blue, but they're actually very purple. (For some reason, many shades of purple show as blue whenever I photograph them - both with and without the flash.)

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Merino-Silk - Mmmmmm!

I've finally plied the Merino Silk blend (70% Merino/30% Silk) that I finished spinning at the retreat. I did most of the plying on Super Bowl Sunday at the Centreville Library with the founders of the Centreville Spinning group. We had a lot of fun even though there were just a few of us there. Many kids and their parents came in to watch us spin and ply...and even one of the librarians was intriqued!

I love the sheen of the finished yarn. It was supposed to be 4 oz., but after spinning it up, I only have 3.5 oz of the two-ply and .1 oz of singles. I don't think I lost .5 oz. to waste, so I'm thinking that either it was mislabeled, my scale is off, or perhaps it was a very humid day when I purchased it - I'm not sure how much weight humidity adds, but I do know that it can add some. Most likely it's a combination of all of the above.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

The Little Red Bag

In my quest for "instant gratification" as well as reducing stash, I decided to make this cute little bag - "Cable That Bag". It was a very quick knit and very satisfying. I used some Patons worsted weight wool from my "small" stash....LOL! It only took a couple of evenings and is perfect for toting notions or jewelry in your travel case. ...at least that's my plan for it. There were a few errors in the pattern I had, but I managed to work around them.

I also made a boo-boo on the cables on the sides - I forgot to hold two sets of stitches "to the back", so I had to drop the cable down and fix it. I managed to fix the errant cables, but they aren't quite as tight and defined as the others. It's not very noticeable, so I'm letting it ride. (Of course, I see the "repair" every time I look at the bag, but others didn't notice it until it was pointed out. )