Archive for the ‘spinning’ Category

spun hemp

September 19th, 2012 by knitnzu

Back in July, I got some different fibers to play with on the spinning wheel. Sometime last month, I finished spinning up the two or so ounces of hemp.

Let’s just say I’m not a fan.

The fiber felt a bit greasy and looked very coarse. I had a bowl of water nearby for dipping my fingers as I spun, which helped. It’s softer than it looks (this is a very relative term here), and I hear that, like linen, it’ll soften with washing and wearing. I’m thinking this bit will do well as washcloths.

This,
halcyon heemp

Became 400 yards of single ply,
spun hemp (1)

It really stunk when I wet it, and whew, did it make the water filthy! It also coiled tightly on itself. But I beat it pretty well, and it evened out some…
spun hemp (3)

I think it came out fine… for washcloths…
spun hemp (2)

so I took the day off

July 12th, 2012 by knitnzu

And took myself to the beach! But on the way down, I had to stop at Halcyon Yarn because I wanted to get some different fibers. I’m not spinning every day in this Tour de Fleece, but I am spinning again, so that’s a good thing.

Before you knew it, I had a little haul… I plan to dye some of the natural/white stuff, probably before I spin it, but who knows.

Half a pound each of Domestic (on the left) and Romney (on the right). Notice that the domestic looks like less… I’m thinking it is less airy.
halcyon domestic andromney

Three ounces of something called “Coyote Cotton”… it’s soft (and a gorgeous soft,, rich brownish color)!
halcyon coyote cotton

Two rayon-like things. Tencel on the left, it’s creamy white and very slippery/soft. The camera had a hard time focusing on it. And something called “Black Diamond” on the right. It’s the color of a charcoal brick. Two ounces of each, I think…
halcyon tencel halcyon black diamond

Two ounces of hemp… it feels kind of greasy, which is interesting. I’ll probably make a bag or basket out of it, but I don’t know.
halcyon heemp

Some cotton out of the sale bin, Louisa Harding’s Ondine. I’ll probably make a Montego Bay Scarf (Ravelry link).
halcyon ondine

And a Noro Kureyon knock-off by Plymouth, Gina. I’ll probably use it for some Maine Morning Mitts (pair #37 or so… I make a lot of these).
halcyon gina halcyon gina (1)

And some very cool steam-punkish buttons (for those bracelets I’ve been making).
halcyon buttons halcyon buttons (1)

I love the drive through Bath to Popham Beach. I had a great time at the beach… the tide was way out. I took a much needed sorta nap. I swam and floated around and played in the waves. And I started reading a new book (The Historian). Couple of things… I love my cup-sized bikini, but it isn’t really meant to keep things contained while swimming. So I developed this technique of surfing in a wave and then flipping over to face the ocean to be sure that what spilled out went back in. Didn’t want to frighten the young people you know…

And I think maybe I should have gotten the prescription bifocal sunglasses, no?
beach 018

It was as always, beautiful. And since it was Thursday, it wasn’t crowded!
beach 021

There was a very cool sea breeze coming off the water… you could see the mist flying about. The water was warm, for Maine. At first it seemed cold, but after I finally got to that critical depth (where you can pee), it was fine. I loved floating in the waves. And when I finally walked in (for those of you who don’t know the place, it’s long and shallow, so you can walk out for a long way and still not be very deep), it felt like bath water in the shallows!

Here’s some recent spinning… blue-faced leicester and silk, in the color “tropical fish tank”. It’s from the Portland Fiber Gallery and was a dream to spin. For the first time, I beat the yarn after I washed it… it really makes a difference! Freshly spun on the left; soaked, beaten, and dried on the right.
tropical fish tank unbeaten tropical fish tank beaten and hung

DH has been away this week. I developed a little irrigation system in the garden… ahem… actually it’s to hide the paw prints. Guilty as charged, yes, I did not close the gate behind me…
garden dogs in the garden

Check out this awesome thing I got at the Salvation Army store in Rye (NH). I think it’s goat (angora mohair??), and it’s woven, and I got two at $1.99 each. Based on Gravy’s reaction, I think somebody used them for what I intend… dog beds/blankets. Even after washing (they shrunk quite a bit, but still will be bigger than the girls’ crates), there is a lot of shortish black hair, so I’m thinking maybe they belonged to a lab.
woven goat

ooooh spahkly!

July 1st, 2012 by knitnzu

I had no intentions of joining Tour de Fleece, but somehow it seems I might have. This is a “spin-along” that takes place during the Tour de France. Anyhow, I finished spinning up that purple batt I started over a month ago, spun up the sparkly batt I made at Gilead Fiber Farm, and spun up some wool-mohair I got a few years back from Friends Folly Farm. I even Navajo plied the purple yarn!

Here it all is:
purple wool single (1)
The purple wool single… I let it rest a day before plying. I swore rather a lot until I got into the swing of the chain plying.

purple wool navajo plied
Navajo or chain plied, a pseudo three-ply yarn. I ended up with one small skein (the single broke, thus the swearing) and one larger, 17 and 115 yards, respectively.

The glittery batt was like a creature. It seemed that no matter how much I spun, there was still this big fuzzy thing hanging to my left…
glitter batt glitter batt (1)

Eventually, though, the wheel ate it all up. I’m not sure what to do with this single. It needs plying, but I think I’d rather it as a two-ply than a Navajo plied yarn.
glitter batt (3) glitter batt (2)
The color is probably most correct in these photos, but it shifts and varies, and it is very sparkly.

And last for the day, a loosely plied single. This is a 50-50 wool-mohair mix.
friendsfolly_loose_single (1) friendsfolly_loose_single

I soaked all the skeins, smacked them a few times on the decks, spun the water out by swinging them around, and hung them to dry.

Oh, and I ate this today… the first sungold.
sungold 1july2012
It was very nom!

There’s another almost ready…
sungold 1july2012 (1)

Gilead Fiber Farm Shearing!

May 7th, 2012 by knitnzu

The recap of the Spain trip is being interrupted to tell you about the fabulous weekend I had with some friends in Bethel, VT. We were hanging with our pal Kristen at her farm. There were newish babies and a very new baby (born the evening we arrived)! Lots of snoggling with said babies and the bigger sheep and goats too. Lots of talking and laughing and playing with fiber. Doesn’t get any better, right?

But now I want a drum carder.
gff_sarapic801 snoggles and such gff 5 may 2012 (38)

batts gff 5 and 6 may 2012 (82) batts gff 5 and 6 may 2012 (10)

batts gff 5 and 6 may 2012 (45) batts gff 5 and 6 may 2012 (111)

gff_juliepic120 gff_juliepic126
(Sara’s thinking, “I don’t know, man, that’s some orange”)

gff_juliepic136

shearing gff 6 may 2012 (28) shearing gff 6 may 2012 (31)

shearing gff 6 may 2012 (3) shearing gff 6 may 2012 (1)

snoggles and such gff 5 may 2012 (61) shearing gff 6 may 2012 (30)
I ended up with a lot of “before” sheep and goat pics, but very few after. This is Anna (the ewe) with Atlas (her lamb), before and after.

ETA: Anna and Atlas on the left… Sophie and Stella, the lamb born the evening we arrived, on the right! Skippyjon is dad to both.

snoggles and such gff 5 may 2012 (54) snoggles and such gff 5 may 2012 (13)

snoggles and such gff 5 may 2012 (56) snoggles and such gff 5 may 2012 (58)
Yep, she ended up on her butt… but a few minutes later his feet were trimmed!

snoggles and such gff 5 may 2012 (29)

Sorry for the word-light post, but there’s no other way I’ll be getting these things posted if I don’t just do it whatever way I can.

We had a fabulous time!

And I still want a drum carder.

lacy knitting curly fulled yarn swatching ice and snow

March 8th, 2011 by knitnzu

Before work this morning I blocked out my most recent FO, Wisp. It didn’t fit on the giant piece of insulating foam I use, or the board, so it’s up on the bed in a room we close off. I think I will put the buttons on it, so I can wear it all sorts of ways.
wisp unblocked wisp blocking (1)
hanging unblocked, and blocking… I’ll take more photos when it’s done. It took way longer to pin than I thought, and after about 15 minutes I thought, wires would be good. Oh right, I have those… but then it was too late. And so was I, late to work that is.

Sometime late last spring I started spinning this wool, thinking I would coil ply it. And then in the summer I tried a few times, and mostly ended up swearing and ripping things up. My wheel has sat lonesome and unattended since then. So I figured I’d just ply the two bobbins and move on. And then I thought, why ply? And then I thought, this is some energized yarn… gotta do something.
estuary single unfulled (1) estuary single unfulled
The smaller (315 yards) of the two skeins… the other (350 yds) was already in the hot water when I thought, I should take some pictures. I fulled these… hot water, scrubbed, cold water, back in the hot water and scrubbed more, back in the cold, and then into the dryer for 15 minutes or so.

Kinda crazy…
estuary singles fulled estuary singles fulled (1)
They were wrapped on the same niddy-noddy, but one clearly shrunk up and twisted more than the other… Not sure what they’ll become, but something that wants lots of crazy twistiness or coily-ness (clearly these aren’t real words). Maybe something open. The one looks almost boucle-ish. Anybody ever knit with singles like these? I’m wondering if it was knit open and lacy if it would twist much, since the yarn is already twisty.

Right in my colorway, eh? Colors of mud. No, really, this one is the color “Estuary” from Spunky. Before he knew the name of the color, DH said, looks like mud and sand and seaweed…

Swatching for a knit skirt. Really I want a brown skirt, but I don’t have enough of that color… so I may do it in tan and then overdye. I’m also on the search in Ravelry for more of the brown.
heirloom swatch

The other thing I’m thinking about is the sweater “Reverse Me”, on the cover of this book (and scroll down for the “reverse” version).

Friday at work,
icicles 3 march2011

And coming soon… the snow melt contest (I figure I’ll announce it on the first day of spring). It’s a big humongous pile. Here it is Friday before it started raining…
snowpile 3march2011 (7) snowpile 3march2011 (2)
To give you some sense of scale… in the second picture, it is snow all the way out to where the puddles are. And the two women in the second photo are standing near the trees to the left of the first photo (left of the tree coming out of Shonene’s head!).

I think about calculating the volume of the pile, but that’s just way too much work… and then there’s all that business about the snow compacting.