Wednesday, September 27

More fiber pr0n...

Here's the "leftover" batt from dye day that was dyed in all the leftover dyes..

Onto the batt/cap combos...


Purple and blue:

Brown and blue:

Grey and teal:

I'm so excited to get these spun! :)

First Batt and Cap - blue/green

Here's the first bobbin full of the wool...

And the next bobbin-full...

I've got silk caps in bags, because, well, it sticks to everything, and I've separated the fully drafted pieces of silk from the not-quite-done pieces of silk.

And here's the leavings of the batt. Lovely colors, huh? More pictures of batts and caps to come... the next post will be full of color, both on matte wool and shiny silk. :)

I do what the voices in my head tell me to.

Or so my t-shirt says today.

So far, I've spun about half of the green/blue batt (I'm on my second bobbin), and have been drafting the silk cap (2 layers down, 8 to go) in preparation for spinning. I'm still doing the *'pull from the middle' thing with the silk caps, because finding a cap on the edge is less reliable for me.

I'll try to remember to get pictures tonight; last night I was too busy spinning to stop and take pictures! I've got to remember to take a picture of the "rest" of the batt before I finish spinning it. It's a lovely blue/green/cyan set of colors. I went all 'Jackson Pollock' on the dyed batts, and the colors blended well when I wrapped it up and steamed it.

* Reach into the top of the 'bell', pull at the center until you have 2 layers. Versus trying to pry up an edge which may or may not get me a whole layer.

Monday, September 25

Insanity (pictureless for now)

Ben and I decided that we'd make Christmas presents this year. With everyone coming to our house this Christmas (Mom, all 4 of my brothers, and my eldest brother's wife), it's kind of a daunting task. What I decided on was hats and mittens for everyone, from a FiberTrends pattern, out of handspun wool and wool/silk.

I bought a 2 lb 9 oz wool batt from Val and Kris at Table Rock Llamas, and 10 silk caps, and started separating the batt into layers. I decided, in my insanity, that I would dye the wool and silk at different stages for one or two of the hats, to make them different. I've got 6 "colorways" dyed right now, 6 wool batts and 6 silk caps sitting on the railing, waiting to be spun.

Since I was going to dye the other 4 silk caps after they were spun (2 after spinning, 2 after knitting), I decided to spin them early. A tip for anyone spinning silk caps on the wheel: Pre-draft all of the layers of your silk cap before your first treadle. They spin up really quick (because you can't really draft them anymore, and you're just getting the spin into the really long pre-drafted fibers). I worked on 2 caps, and got a small bobbin-full. I plied that with THREE bobbins of the wool batt to get ~190 yd of wool/silk ply. And I had a large piece of the batt left over (from which I got another ~75 yd of 2-ply).

I'm hoping there will be enough wool/silk for the brim (folded up or rolled up) and wool 2-ply for the rest of the hat. And enough colored wool left over for the mitten cuffs (I still have 4 "layers" of the batt that I can dye in complementary colors, or in grey or black if I sho choose) I think I'll start with the blue-green batt tonight and spin until I'm done with that, then spin its corresponding silk cap maybe tomorrow night and ply.

Sunday, September 24

Alpacas on the Rocks

Yesterday, Brie, Darcie, and I went to Alpacas on the Rocks, in Golden, CO. I was kinda impressed by the sheer number of alpaca ranchers around where we live... Elizabeth, Calhan, Monument... they're everywhere!

We were met by the "official greeter", Diomande, ever so graceful a host in his hat and blanket...

And saw alpacas of all colors. From the "cafe latte" pair

To a pair with adorable spots...

To this teddy-bear brown one. Don't you want to cuddle him?

Some alpacas had their ears up, others had them down...

All of them had that 'mop top' look.

Some were more interested in eating. This one was eating the hay at the BACK of the feedbag, where it's obviously sweeter...

This one was eating the banner for its ranch.

I came home with a fleece from an alpaca named "Burt". It was his first haircut. I can't wait to give it a gentle wash and start carding...

Tuesday, September 19

Dye Day Afternoon

So, last Saturday, I had the girls over for a dye-day, spin-in, knit, crochet, finger-weave, whatever day.

Stefano loved the warping board that Ellen brought...

While Murrie just kept to herself, attacking yarn whenever it dangled too long...

Chery tried on her silk cap -- it worked well as a REAL cap.

The girls seemed to have fun with the dyeing, as shown by Lisa and Liesel at the table...

And we dyed yarn...

More yarn...

a wool batt (which got spun before everyone left that afternoon)...

... and silk caps.

All in all, a pleasant day.

For those of you in the Colorado Springs area, I'll be teaching acid dyes at the llama store in November. I'm hoping to have as much fun with students as I've had on dye days. :)

Thursday, September 14

Happy Post-Birthday to me :)

Look. Shiny. I started on the Lizard Ridge blanket from knitty:

This block used almost all of one skein of kureyon. I had a piece maybe a 1/2 yd long left. And I knit it on 7's, not 8's.

I promised a picture of the floats on the sweater, and here it is:

And here's the progress on the sweater. It's split for the front and back, and the back is almost done.

I'm looking forward to this weekend and all the girls coming over. :D

Saturday, September 9

Houston, we have Knitting!

I got my last box from my Secret Pal, and it's just... lovely. 2 skeins of alpaca (yay, alpaca!) yarn, and for my birthday (which is next wednesday), a skein of Trekking. The cute notepad has a hand-stitched sheep on it, and there's a FiberTrends lace pattern, too! Thank you, Karen! :D

And yes, as the title says, there has been knitting. The rumpled mess you see is the beginning of the Spartan Sweater from the Fall 06 Interweave Knits. It's the garter edging (which rolled up on itself) and all but one row of the fair isle 'belly band'. When I've got more time (and more sweater) I'll turn it inside out so you can see the floats. They're beautiful in their own right. :D