Updates from September, 2014 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • knitting1105 1:45 pm on September 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Prepping my first fiber 

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    It is not that I do not have enough yarn, or already prepared fiber.  3 years ago, I went to the Midwest Fiber and Folk Festival, and I stayed overnight in Grayslake, with the intention of visiting Gretta’s Goats at Prairie Crossing, where they part of an incubator farm at the time.  They have since purchased a new farm, a couple of hours west of here, with a lot more goats too.  While getting the tour of the goats, Gretta had this fiber for sale, 1st lamp clipping from Violet, a Pygora (Pygme/Angora cross breed) who produced the wonderfully soft fiber that I will process and spin (hopefully)..  I purchased it, and it has been sitting in a bag ever since.

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    Last year I took a spinning class from Deb Robson in Wisconsin, and she gave us this scouring and wool wash.  I have been keeping it until I could put it to good use.

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    So, I know that I most likely did many things wrong thus far.  I did have the fiber pulled away from the running water, but now know that I should have had multiple bins of water and transferred the fiber over.  The scouring soap worked well, getting out a ton of dirt.  There is still some VM in there, but carding will hopefully take care of that.

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    When I set it outside to dry, I was afraid that I had totally ruined it, seemed felted.   I tried pulling the fiber masses out.  We left for dinner, and I woke up this morning thinking that this was an expensive mistake.

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    However, it is a gorgeous day, probably the last really warm day of this year.  The sun and air are drying it nicely and it seems to be fluffing up.

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    My drying rack is my sweater screen suspended between 2 outdoor chairs.  If I do pursue this again, something more suited would be good.  PVC rack perhaps?  I do have my Mom’s old PVC quilting frame in the attic, that just might work…

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    I also need to make a plug for Gretta’s Soaps.  I absolutely love them, and often gift them to others.  Give them a try, check out her Etsy shop.

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    • Diane Hamilton 10:36 pm on September 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I am so amazed how much work goes into dying and spinning the wool. Thanks for sharing and I hope this turns out the way you want!

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      • knitting1105 1:07 pm on October 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        I now know why people only had 2-3 outfits at at time! And fax to linen, that is even more complicated!

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  • knitting1105 4:22 pm on September 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    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 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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  • knitting1105 8:38 am on April 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Shawls to Excess? 

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    Can one person own too many shawls?  Especially when they are handspun and hand knit with a beautiful Fiber Optic gradient.  I do believe I am testing this hypothesis firsthand.  My Reef Shawl is finished and off the blocking boards, fiber was spun using the Reef gradient that happened to be the first Fiber Optic gradient one that I purchased.

    I know that this post will generate lots of offers to take these shawls off my hands.  Not happening people, too much time involved.

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    I was reluctant to spin this for 2 reasons, at first I thought the colors to bright for me, and second, I didn’t want to ruin the fiber.  It seems I should have had no worries. The colors are gorgeous, and the fiber is wonderful.

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    I chose the pattern, Poppy Shawl from Brooke Nico’s new book Lovely Knitted Lace, as I wanted to maximize the use of the yarn, and I often find that triangular shawls do not sit well on my shoulders.  The unique shape of this shawl is intriguing, 3 triangles separated by a thin rectangle that sits on the shoulders.  Sort of a simplified Faroese styling.

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    The shawl rests naturally on the shoulders.  Love the Nupps in the long, thin rectangular panels.

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    Using this mannequin helps me to see what the shawl looks like on the backside while being worn.  I changed the bottom edging, the pattern called for simply finishing a repeat and binding off.  Preferring a more detailed bottom edge, and wanting to maximize the use of all my yarn, I improvised a variation of the pattern for the end of the shawl, and bound off with the stretchy bind-off.

    I will wear it today, although it will have to be as a shawl scarf, as it is rather cool outside.

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    Pattern: Poppy
    Pattern Source: Lovely Knitted Lace
    Yarn: Handspun gradient Reef from Fiber Optic
    Needles: US 5
    Date Started: 3/28/14
    Date Finished: 4/27/14
    Finished Dimensions: 48″ wide x 20″ deep from back neck

     
    • Diane 7:43 pm on April 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Frances, this turned out beautiful just as all of your shawls do. I think shawls and socks go in the same category — “too much is just barely enough”, Enjoy!

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      • knitting1105 10:25 am on May 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        I thank Steve all the time for that outlook on life!

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    • chikwithyarn 5:47 am on April 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      This is beautiful. Bi love the yarn. Each of your creations you make with it makes me want to buy some. I think I am just going to bite the bullet and order some.

      Like

      • knitting1105 10:24 am on May 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you so much! The colors of her fiber are so amazing that anything you knit with them looks great.

        Like

    • floofymoose 10:46 pm on June 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      These are amazing. I’ve got a couple braids of the Midnight gradient but am almost terrified to try spinning them because I’m not sure they will match up. Any tips? Thanks!

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      • knitting1105 3:31 pm on June 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        As long as you are somewhat consistent in your spinning, you should have no worries. I find it easier to ply 2 braids together than split one evenly down the middle. Having a bit of the braid not match up is actually an advantage, as it gives some transition to the final braid. If you are plying and not happy with how they are matching up, you can break the one that is ahead in color and pull out some of the singles. I have only had to do that once. Kimber’s colors are so amazing, you need not worry. Warning however, they are also very addictive!

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    • Erica 8:54 am on July 31, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I’m having trouble understanding the pattern, I hope you can help!! After you do the first round of charts 3 and 4, there’s 131 sts. For the chart 3 section there are 27 sts, but when you start row 1 again the stitch numbers don’t add up. Did you do k4, to, k1, then repeat the red section twice, ssk, yo?

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      • knitting1105 3:12 pm on October 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I have been swamped and have not had the opportunity to respond properly. Did you look at my notes on Ravelry, that is the best that I can do, as it has been awhile since I made this. Sorry.

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  • knitting1105 5:41 pm on April 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    3rd Fiber Weekend 

    First there was YarnCon, then Lorna’s Laces sale, and this past weekend was The Fiber Event at Greencastle, the kick-off to the county fiber fairs in the area.  Located just west of Indianapolis, it is an easy drive down and back in a day.

    2012 was my first trip to Greencastle, and I loved it.  Andi went with me, we had a great drive, talked, and shopped, and found GeeGee.  My impetus at that time was to find the Fiber Optic booth and see all of her wares firsthand for the first time.

    A torrential rain the night before we were to leave last year made getting out-of-town nearly impossible.  So, this year I was even more determined to go, and really wanted a knitting buddy.  My husband would have gladly loved the trip, but he does better when there is also a livestock display involved.  Lynette agreed to go with me, and we got a rental car early and drove off to get there in the morning for best selection.

    First on the list was to make a beeline to GeeGee and score some of her aprons while the selection was still good.  I could have left with many more… I chose this lovely apron, from the early 1950’s for me.

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    I really love the pocket that goes all the way through both sides.  I think it will be great to toodle around the house in and have things (think knitting) close at hand.

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    Here is Lynette purchasing from GeeGee, we made quite the dent in her booth.  I absolutely love her aprons, and she has such a great sense of color.  75 years old, and full of life and optimism, a great inspiration.

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    Then it was off to take a first pass at all of the vendors and see what caught our eye. There were a lot of Alpaca vendors this year, many more than I remember 2 years ago.  We saw someone from the Champaign-Urbana fiber guild demonstrating a Chakra, that was really interesting.

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    I knew that I would be returning to Fiber Optic, just what to buy this year? A gradient of course!  My 2 favorite colors together, green and purple.  This is a definite Frances shawl! Lynette is trying the paintbox gradients, it will be fun to see how they knit up.

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    I have always wanted to knit the Sheep heid tam, so found the pattern and knew that I needed to get that.

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    Then, it just so happens that we passed by a Shepherd who had many colors of Shetland sheep, perfect symbiosis.  I scored these 7 colors, couldn’t be better than handspun for this project!

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    And keeping with the Shetland theme, I purchased a beautiful book, that deserves its own post tomorrow.

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    • Helen 2:19 am on April 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I’m jealous, you look to have had too much fun! 🙂

      Like

    • Mimi 11:52 pm on May 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Looks like so much fun! One of these years…Interesting that you’ve wanted to do the tam because I want to do that blanket.

      Like

  • knitting1105 2:13 pm on March 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Reef Shawl 

    Work has been steadily progressing on the Poppy Shawl by Brooke Nico.

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    If you decide to knit this pattern, look for the errata.  I found a mistake in the first row of Chart 3 and in the repeat width (it is 8 not the 9 std boxed out). When I emailed Brooke to ask if I was correct, she concurred and issued a correction on Ravelry.  It is a lot of knitting of the same pattern repeat, which is fairly straight forward albeit a bit boring at times.  I am very intrigued with the shape which is 3 triangles separated by 2 narrow rectangles (those are the sections with the nupps).  It should sit nicely on my shoulders and have lots of fabric to wrap.  One thing that I would like to change is the ending, rather than just casting off.  I have plenty of time to mull that over, still not finished with the first skein of yarn, my spinning was wound in 2 sections.

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    The colors are so gorgeous on this fiber, that I had to go back and see what the inspiration photo had been.

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    Which generated this colorway:

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  • knitting1105 1:31 pm on March 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Because I love color! 

    This long, dreary, cold, icy, snowy, interminable winter is getting to me. My spring break last week was hardly that, and they are calling for snow this week! Color is a great comfort. So, I pulled out the yarn that I had spun this winter, Reef by Fiber Optic.

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    And I turned to my new book, Lovely Knitted Lace by Brooke Nico to choose a pattern.

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    While this is not the pattern that I really want to knit from the book, I like the look the yardage requirements were almost perfect.  Poppy Shawl.

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    Here is my start.  At least the sun was shining for photos.

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    • Diane Hamilton 8:39 pm on March 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Love the colors, it will look beautiful on you as you watch the sunset on Lake Michigan!

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      • knitting1105 1:35 pm on March 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Oh, it is indeed a sunset shawl!

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    • Linda 6:17 am on March 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Wow!! This is going to be beautiful! Can’t wait to see the finished garment.

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      • knitting1105 9:25 am on April 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, maybe another week of knitting…

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  • knitting1105 1:30 pm on March 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Soft to the Hand 

    I recently finished the second of my 12 items for the Spin the Bin Challenge.  This was a fiber from River’s Edge Fiber Arts, called Monkey.  Silk, bamboo and Merino.

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    It was a dream to spin, but the fiber was so silky that it was not a fine spin.  Thinking that this would feel so good on my hands, I chose to make a 3ply yarn for some future mittens.  Yardage was not as good as I would have liked, 160 yards of 3 ply, 4 oz.

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    On the knitting front, I am currently finishing up some CookieA socks from my last club shipment last winter.  The yarn is Tanis, made in Canada. 70% super wash merino, 20% cashmere and 10% nylon.  Look at their website, the colors are amazing (my color is off in this photo, it is really a lovely soft green, color Julep, which describes it well). This yarn, called the “Purple Label Cashmere Sock” is a dream to knit with, I have another skein in my stash that was from my birthday Twin that I now can’t wait to pull out.  Not sure how easy this yarn is to get in the US, that was the great thing about the past 2 sock clubs, was finding and trying yarns that I would not have necessarily found on my own.   Even though I have size 9 feet, I am knitting the size small in Cookie’s pattern.  When I took classes from Cookie, I realized that she knits so incredibly tight that my gauge is never the same as hers.  Not sure yet if these are for me or a gift…

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  • knitting1105 7:02 pm on March 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    The color of Amish 

    Sometime last year I purchased this braid of fiber from JulieSpins.  This is one of the braids from my Spin the Bin challenge

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    Her fiber and sense of color are wonderful, this was very different from what I am usually attracted to, the color was called Amish.  I wasn’t really sure about the name, I work with the Amish, and wondered about using that title.  Then I started to spin it, and it morphed into these lovely muted shades.

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    It got me thinking about the colors of Amish.  Their quilts have always intrigued me, the dark offsetting the wonderful colors within.

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    And I found more inspiration in the traditional clothing, which if not from natural dyes, surely mimics them well.

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    Berlin PA 6b Amish farm north of town 2010 BlogA fiesta_amish-80-qpr

    And Amish scooter colors!

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    This will be very interesting to ply up.  I think that it will make a gorgeous scarf.  Perhaps appropriate for my husband.  My hope is that it will not muddy out when just doing a 2 ply.  I was tempted to make it a 3 ply to avoid that, but wanted the yardage.

     
    • Linda 1:12 pm on February 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Amish do not wear red or orange. I have never seen them wearing bright green or yellow either. Red and orange are colors of the devil. I do not even wear red or orange when I visit their community. They also don’t pose for pictures which are a graven image.

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      • knitting1105 6:40 pm on March 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Linda, Thanks for reading my blog. I was comparing the colors to the items that I see in their community. I have worked with the Amish Community for 20 years. I think that the colors as they spun up were a great representation of the muted colors that I see in their quilts and clothing. That was my point in the blog. I love how it spun up, and when I first saw the braid, I did not know where the color name was coming from.

        Like

  • knitting1105 1:35 pm on February 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Reef 

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    I finally have spun up the Reef Gradient from Fiber Optic.

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    This was the first of Kimber’s gradients that I purchased (I was already a fan, and had been in her club for 1 year).  This sat on the shelf, as I felt while the colors were beautiful, that it was too bright and just not ME.  Well, times have changed, and this long long winter has me looking for bright and sunny and anything that feels like warmth everywhere.  

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    I have also come to appreciated the bright colored shawls and how striking they actually are.

    My spinning was not as even as normal, so I had to pull it out a few times to bring the colors back into closer alignment.  I do like some overlap to transition, but a couple of times it was too much.  After plying it was washed and set on the bathroom radiator to dry.  990 yards of 2ply.

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    And then the photographs.  The colors were so beautiful and intense that I took tons of photos.  Enjoy the splash of brightness!

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    Now, I really want to knit this into a shawl quickly.  I have a couple of ideas…

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    • Diane Hamilton 9:58 pm on February 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Love the colors, anxious to see what you do with this yarn. I know whatever you do will be beautiful as always. It reminds me of a beautiful sunset on Lake Michigan!

      Like

    • Vonna 12:43 am on February 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      990yds you are awesome! I hope to do that amount one day.

      Like

    • CWLFibers 4:44 pm on February 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      How lovely.

      Like

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