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  • knitting1105 4:22 pm on September 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Back to Spinning 

    It seems as if I have taken a summer hiatus from spinning.  I think being gone a lot, coupled with the really amazing weather where I would rather be outside, kept me away from my wheels.

    I finally finished plying up this fiber from Julie Spins.  I initially started the spinning mid-March, and am just now finishing. I had put this on my Spin-the-Bin challenge.  Not sure that I will finish everything, but I am making progress.

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    I ended up with 534 yards of 2 ply from a 5-6 ounce braid.  During the plying process, I was afraid that it was all going to be muted blues.  But when skeined up, it took on these beautiful subtle colors.

     

     

     

     

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    And I finished spinning AND plying this Merino/Bamboo/Nylon from River’s Edge Fiber Arts, it is so incredibly soft.  198 yards of 2 ply. This was purchased 3 years ago at the Wisconsin Sheep & wool Festival, about time it was spun up.

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    This yarn is to coordinate with Baby Ria’s sweater.  The plan is to put the iCord edging on with this pink.  I thought that using the variegated from the body would not look as good.  And, I should have enough to make a cute matching hat.  The sweater had been on hold until I finished spinning this edging yarn.  Need to get it out before she grows too much more, we measured her late July.

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  • knitting1105 12:45 pm on September 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Let’s try this again 

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    This beautiful handspun 3 ply, spun from Woolgatherings fiber, was first attempted to make the Totem jacket, like I am knitting for my beautiful niece Ria.

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    Not long into the project, I realized that my gauge was way off, and most importantly, I would not have enough yarn to make the sweater.  Yet, I loved the way this knit up with the garter stitch, and so posed the question of a good top down garter stitch pattern that I could use.  My friend Jane suggested the February Lady Sweater.  It is knitting up nicely, and I recently took it off the needles to test for size, easy since this is a top-down sweater, and opted to add some more increases and then the straight rounds.  When I get to the lace bottom part, I will use the semi-solid shown above, with the garter strip banding continuing in the variegated.

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    • andresue 8:06 am on September 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      That is GORGEOUS yarn! It really is very beautiful knit up in the garter stitch. I am coveting your yarn and project right now. lol.

      • knitting1105 3:51 pm on September 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks. The knitting is going slower than I would like, but I am enjoying it. I do hope it fits!

    • floofymoose 9:49 pm on September 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I LOVE their fiber. Lovely colors and high quality fiber!

      • knitting1105 3:52 pm on September 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        It was very nice to spin, and they were great at making the semi-solid coordinates for me after the fact. I wish that I had fractally spun the variegated, that would have made the colors more evenly distributed.

  • knitting1105 8:25 am on September 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Fessing Up 

    Last weekend was my trip to the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival.  I had a great time seeing all of the sheep, and taking my class on dying sock yarn.  But, not to be overlooked, is the amazing vendor halls at the fair.  Hard to go home without something, although I have become more selective.  It helps that I have a stash at home that needs attending to, and have acquired many of the necessary tools for spinning and knitting.  The booths are like a candy store for me.  So, here goes.

    My first stop, as always is Jennie the Potter.  She does amazing pots, buttons, mugs and yarn bowls.  I already have 2 mugs which I use for coffee every day, and a beautiful yarn bowl.  Limiting myself to one purchase from her each year.  This year, I chose a cute little cow with a scarf bowl to use for notions.

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    Here it is next to Louie for scale (Louie is big though).

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    And, she had a new, hot off the presses book that I knew would come in handy (books don’t really count anyways).  I will post a review of this later after I have had an opportunity to delve into it more.

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    Stopping at River’s Edge Fiber Arts booth is always a must.  The owner Carol, went to high school with my sister Marilyn (who passed when she was 21); other than family I have never known anyone who knew Marilyn, and Carol always remembers me.  This gives me great pleasure as it keeps my sister alive in some manner.   This year she had these amazing gradient packets.  I was hooked, Seacell and Bluefaced Leicester Wool, 4 ounces.

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    And lastly, I stopped at the booth that had me petting their bags of wool when I first walked in.  I love Shetland wool, and this was so beautiful with 3 colors mixed together in the roving.  When I checked out, and realized that it was Psalm23 Farm, I remembered that I had purchased from her 2 years ago at The Fiber Event at Greencastle, that time a dark blend.  I still have it, and can’t wait to incorporate the 2 into a beautiful sweater.   8 ounces here.

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    She also had gorgeous black Shetland, so a 2 ounce ball was in order.

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    Not too bad, I think my restraint was good.

     
    • atangledyarn84 8:48 am on September 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Well done!

      • knitting1105 1:15 pm on September 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks! A couple of times through the market to spend wisely worked well.

    • Debbie Jarmusik 2:16 pm on September 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Your kitty cat is pretty. I like those yarn bowls too.

      • knitting1105 1:16 pm on September 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Isn’t he a cutie. His sister is grey and white, also very gorgeous. Louie often likes to help me though. The bowls are really beautiful, get something form her each year.

  • knitting1105 1:11 pm on September 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: sock dying, sock yarn   

    Dying yarn 

    At the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival on Saturday, Jane and I took a class on dying self-striping sock yarn. Not being a particular fan of self-striping sock yarn, the class title left me less than enthused, but it was open, and something to do for the afternoon.  I was wrong.

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    First off, the class was taught by Nancy from Nancy’s Knit Knacks, the place where Dan got my amazing ball winder for me a couple of Christmases ago. Nancy is a wealth of knowledge, she started out quiet, but really knows her stuff, and explained all of the math that goes into dying self striping yarn.  Her samples were perfect.

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    We set about choosing our colors of dye.

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    And coming up with a plan.  I had to adjust mine, as some of the dyes that I chose were empty.

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    Then painting the appropriate sections of the yarn that was already pre-wound to the correct skein length.

    Edited for clarification:  Nancy pre-wound the skeins.  First you knit 10 rows with your yarn, and figure out how many inches that is in total. You then rewind the yarn to a skein that is that length (it is quite long).  Nancy based her calculations on a 64 stitch sock.  After you figure out what colors you want to use, you need to set up a pattern.  The “Faux Isle” portion needs to be at least 4 rows long if you want to do that.  You can do any combination of row colors to add up to 10 rows.  I chose 2-2-2-4.  Then you measure out the length that you need for each color section and dye that individually.  That section is then placed in its own plastic ziplock back, and saran wrap tied around the end of it (this was the hardest part!).  Continue dying each section and placing in their own plastic bags.  They then get put on a tray with a little bit of water at the bottom for steam and microwaved for 8 minutes.

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    After they cooked in the microwave, we hung them in the doorway to dry

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    Then we spread all of them out and talked about our skeins and what we were trying to achieve.

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    Here is my skein drying

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    And wound up, waiting to be spun into socks for me.  I am not sure that the “Faux Isle” section of the pattern will show up that much, but I like the colors.  Hopefully it will stripe properly.

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    • Selena Rea 4:05 pm on September 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      This is such an interesting post. Thanks for sharing!

      • knitting1105 1:17 pm on September 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks!

    • andresue 7:59 pm on September 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve been itching to try my hand at dying yarn. I wish a class like that was offered near me. I hope you post pics of the socks that your yarn will eventually become. :) So neat!

      • knitting1105 1:18 pm on September 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        I will post pictures when I make the socks. Need to finish the ones on the needle first. After reading your comment, I realized that I could elaborate more on the process, so have added some notes to the post. Thanks for reading.

        • andresue 2:04 pm on September 10, 2014 Permalink

          Thanks for adding the notes. Such a cool class. I can’t wait to see the socks!

  • knitting1105 1:05 pm on September 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Sheep & Wool 

    Yesterday, I went with 3 friends up to the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival.  The past few years, Dan and I have made a weekend retreat out of this, but opted to save that for a different wool festival to be determined.  Still wanting to get up there, I talked 3 friends into going, and 3 of us took a class.  It was a lot of fun, 2 1/2 hours each way though is pushing it a bit.

    The first part of the festival I spent watching fleece judging.  This was very helpful to me, as I know little to nothing about how to choose a correct fleece.  I think that I may watch this again next year, and then bid on one of the winning fleeces.  In the first photo, the judge is pinging the locks to see how strong they are.  He was very good at explaining how and why he was rating the fleece.

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    There were sheep shows, which I only caught a bit of…

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    And the Hall of Breeds

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    Lastly, the cutest baby lambs.  This one was born that morning.

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    I also took a class, and of course shopped, which I will talk about later.

     

     
    • Diane Hamilton 2:07 pm on September 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Looks like you had a fun day. The baby lamb is so so cute!

  • knitting1105 1:07 pm on August 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Whoooo New! News 

    My friend Barb has a really cool business, making knitting bags and purses out of old sample fabrics that designers typically throw into the trash.

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    While the sizes of the samples are not large, the packets are designed to coordinate together, and she works with that to create some truly stunning designs.  Barb gave a trunk show at my house last Fall which was a great success.

     

    Now, she has a website, go and check it out, and get your own WhoooNew! bag.

     

     
  • knitting1105 8:19 am on August 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    The Colors of Ria 


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    I was spinning this beautiful yarn, on my portable wheel, so it went slow as I mostly spun every other Sunday at our spinning group.  The fiber is from Western Sky Knits, and I got it from someone’s destash on Ravelry.

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    While I was working on it, I was unsure of what it should become.  Then, looking at my beautiful niece Ria, and the bright colors that she wears, I knew that it had to be for her.

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    The next question was what to make, and I wanted to work on it during our vacation.  Of course, I waited until the day before leaving to try to figure something out, I finally decided upon the Totem Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman.  The garter stitch works so well with a variegated yarn, and between the softness of this yarn and the squishy garter stitch, this is a joy to touch.

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    And, even though this is not my most uniform spinning, it knits up very nicely with the garter stitch.

     

     

     

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    Now I am spinning some lovely soft pink for iCord edging. There was enough of the variegated, but I felt that might be too much, and some of the repeats are longer.  This way there will be enough yarn to make a hat to match!

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    • atangledyarn84 8:46 am on August 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Nice job!

      • knitting1105 9:35 am on August 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you! Can’t wait to finish it up.

    • tinywhirlwind 1:17 pm on August 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      That jacket looks lovely – admittedly I clicked in to the post because your niece has the same name as me and I was intrigued by the colours! Looking fab :)

      • knitting1105 2:11 pm on August 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you! Hopefully I will have a photo of her in the next few weeks actually modeling it. And you both have such a lovely name!

    • Diane Hamilton 6:51 pm on August 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      These colors will look beautiful on her and she loves hats! Can’t wait to see her model the outfit!

  • knitting1105 8:53 am on August 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Zero 

    Directly from the wonderful blog The Knitting Needle and the Damage Done, this definitely needed to be reposted.

    In an Aldous Huxley-esque world of yarn creatures where yarn babies are born marked with the rank they will live with all their lives, one little yarn boy bearing a zero grows up to prove that something can be made of nothing. Directed by Christopher Kezelos, Zero has been shown in over 50 festivals and has won 15 awards including ‘Best Animation’ from LA Shorts Fest and the Rhode Island International Film Festival as well a nomination for an AFI Award in the ‘Best Short Animation’ category.

     

     
  • knitting1105 12:19 pm on August 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    The Best Thank You’s! 

    My niece Rebecca continues to provide the best thank You’s.  I gave her some new American doll clothes when we were out visiting last month.  Not only did she tell me how lucky she was to have the original thing, meaning handmade clothes for her doll, but these came in the mail.  I am a bit late at posting here.

     

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    First, a lovely painting of a waterfall:

     

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    And my favorite, which will hang proudly in my knitting room.  A tree with a swing.  The leaves in the tree are words spelling: NICE, KNITTING FRIENDLY, LOVE, CARING, AUNT, LOVELY…

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  • knitting1105 10:59 am on August 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Rabbit fur 

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    When we were out East last month, we spent time in Vermont seeing the sites, which of course had to include at least one fiber related visit.  That was a visit to Fiber Kingdom.  And of course purchases were mandatory.

    First 2 oz of Angora.  I have not spun angora by itself, so this will be interesting.

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    Then, 2 skeins of sock yarn, 50% angora, 30% wool, 20% nylon.  That beautiful natural color.

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    Lastly, she had these machine knit socks, from the same yarn that I purchased above.  The machine knits much denser than I, although I will include some great patterning.

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    It surprised me as to the cost.  $20 for angora fiber, 2 oz; $45 for 2 skeins of sock yarn, 4 oz; and lastly the knitted up socks $25.  How is this pricing working in reverse?

    She had a really cool workshop in an old barn.  If I lived nearby, I know that I would be spending lots of time there–knitting, spinning and weaving.

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