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  • knitting1105 1:30 pm on August 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Braid, , , Roving, shepherd's rug   

    Rug test 

    Having finally found the Shepard’s Rug book, I was anxious to try making one.  I decided to make a ‘rugette” to practice my braiding, felting and sewing.

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    First I gathered my roving.  My inspiration for wanting to make these rugs is 3 boxes like this of roving (see this post).  All you newbie spinners, heed my advice and do not randomly take wool from the person who has a friend who has some sheep.  The staple length on this was not great, nor was the crimp, and I was not enjoying spinning it when I tried it.  The wool is from Suffolk and Hampshire lambs.  Options were to give it away to the school perhaps for an art class, or to try to find something that I could make from it, I had paid for the processing after all.

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    Start by picking your 3 strands, all should be of different workable lengths, and secure the end with a rubber-band, clamp to a secure surface and start braiding, making sure not to twist.  When you need to stop, secure it with a clothes pin.  Overlap at joints when adding a new section of roving, remember this will all be felted so will become secure.

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    Use a chair back to collect the braided roving (my example had a very small amount)

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    Braid the  length you need and then secure the other end with another rubber band.

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    Put into a bag tied shut and wash in hot water for at least one cycle (I used a pillowcase and added towels to the cycle to help bounce it around).

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    When it comes out, sew on a flat surface; you will need a wax-coated lined thread.

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    And voila!  I see that my beginning section was sewn too tightly so it puckers up a bit.  This was a great first attempt, and it is pretty easy.  My instructions here are very rudimentary, I would suggest getting the book if you want to try this.  The book has much more detailed instructions, great drawings to illustrate every step of the process, colored photos of finished rugs, and information on several different sheep breeds that they have used.

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    Here is everything that you will need to make this project, in addition to your roving.  A clamp, rubber bands, an awl (for hiding the knotted join in the thread), a spring clothes pin, waxed lined thread, a large sharp needle, and a flat surface and a chair back.

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    Now on to making a big rug!!!

     
  • knitting1105 10:11 pm on February 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Roving, ,   

    Rainbow Fracting 

     

    This is finally finished with the help of Kimber from Fiber Optic locating a second bag of Polkadots and Moonbeams pencil roving so that I could use up all of the Rainbow Gradient. The effect is like a fractally spun yarn, but the pencil roving is already space dyed in smaller color lengths. I am going to make a baby blanket with this one. Looking now for some patterns. 9 ounces, 1390 yards 2 ply.

    I was having some troubles on the swift at one point and had to hand wind from the end of that section until I got to the tangled up piece of yarn. I love how the colors wound into a ball also.

     

     
  • knitting1105 4:54 pm on October 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Roving, ,   

    A tale of 2 sock yarns 

    When I first started spinning I had dreams of making fine yarn for lace knitting, fair isle and socks.  My abilities were not as quick to develop as my ambitions.  After a few months of spinning, I was confident enough to take some fiber from Socks That Rock, and spin for sock yarn.  Then I tried to knit socks with it.  So, it has languished in my spinning punishment pile for quite some time.  I have recently started going back to those early yarns to use them up in quick to knit winter outerwear.  And these came to mind for some fingerless mitts for the cooler dog-walking days.

    I have developed a new appreciation for some of the earlier, less than perfect spins.  The pattern is my own improvisation.

    And I recently completed knitting these socks for Dan.  The fiber was spun by me, from Fiber Optic. It is a pencil roving, and a dream to spin with. It was spun with the intention of making socks for Dan, and then when I saw this pattern in the CookieA sock club, I knew that it was a perfect marriage.  My spinning is much finer a year later, and while not perfect, I am very proud of it.  They are incredibly soft socks, superwash merino and silk, so I added some reinforcing thread to the toes for wearability.

    Pattern: Reykjavik
    Pattern Source: Cookie A’s Sock Club 2012, June pattern
    Yarn: handspun from Fiber Optic pencil roving, color: Black Coffee
    Needles: US 1
    Date Started: 9/?/12
    Date Finished: 10/19/12
    Finished Dimensions: Men’s size large

     
    • Mrspeterson 8:53 pm on October 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Tell Dan to watch out on the El– I hear there is a band of sock thieves stealing beautiful handspun handknit works of art off the feet of unsuspecting commuters.

      And by band of thieves I mean myself of course. Seriously, those are just gorgeous. I like the mitts too!

      Like

      • knitting1105 3:24 pm on October 31, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        I have alerted him to protect his feet if he sees you on the train!

        Like

      • Mimi 4:34 pm on November 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        So far I’ve just sock-stalked him with my eyes but I can definitely see making the leap to actual sock theft for these. Nice work!

        Like

  • knitting1105 1:17 pm on September 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Fiber art, , , Roving, ,   

    Birthday Sisters 

     

    On Ravelry, we have a small but wonderful group that comes together every year.  Our bond is September 22nd, and a love of fiber.  This is the third year in a row that we have done a gift exchange, and it is always so wonderful to have a present waiting, especially from someone who understands the fiber addiction/pull/love.

    This year I got this package from ActiveNana:

     

    Full of wonderful little packages:

    Beautiful bright roving, I think that this is destined to be spun and knit into Fair Isle mittens with some natural rovings:

     

    A hand knit dish cloth, in my favorite colors!

     

    Sock yarn, similar colorway, from Kokopelli Creations (not used this yarn previously) she obviously read my favorite colors:

    Wine lovers stitch markers!

    And who could forget Chocolate?

    And, I forgot to photograph what I made for my Twin Exchange.  But, I did learn how to sew a project bag, here it is in progress, alas not finished photos, so I will just have to make some more.  Thanks to Jane for finding this pattern for me.

     

     

    And yesterday I was out with my friend touring PARKing Day set-ups, and saw this beauty at a Vintage store.  Could not resist.  An original Eva Zeisel pitcher.  I love it, and it is my Birthday after all…

     

     
  • knitting1105 10:02 am on February 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Roving,   

    Honeysuckle Rose 

    I spun this pencil roving last week, in record time for me (only about 3 days), it was such a joy to spin and very quick.  This is a view of a partial of the 4 oz roving from Fiber Optic.  It is Footnotes Unspun Pencil Roving, color Honelysuckle Rose.

    I loved how the pencil roving split evenly into 2 balls, and needed very little pre-drafting.  It felt like it was practically spinning itself.  Here are the progress photos:

    And, the finished skein.  400 yards of 2-ply, 80% Superwash Merino & 20% Nylon.  Just about the squishiest skein of yarn that I have spun.  Destined to become a pair for socks for ME!  Sorry about the fuzzy photo.  Time for  a new camera I think.

    Returned a little while ago from 1 1/2 days of classes with Nancy Bush.  Photos and details tomorrow!

     
    • Diane Hamilton 9:09 pm on February 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Very pretty–I hope to see your spinning in action this summer.

      Like

    • knitting1105 9:20 pm on February 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Me too! I miss you. I am anxious to show you my spinning.

      Like

  • knitting1105 4:02 pm on August 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alpaca, Jacob sheep, , Roving,   

    Michigan Fiber Fest 

    We drove up last Saturday, on our way to Mackinac Island, and stopped for the afternoon at the Michigan Fiber Festival.  As soon as we got there it started to rain, so we headed straight for the animal barns to hang out and bide the time until the storm passed.  That proved to be a wise decision, as it kept us both occupied, and gave us ample opportunity to meet and talk with some of the farmers who had livestock there.  As happened at Wisconsin last year, we gravitated towards the primitive sheep breeds.

    Loved the Jacob lambs from Wynsmoor Manor (Neil Kentner) of Mason, Michigan.

    I purchased 8 ounces of Jacob roving directly from him.    Great price right from sheep to spinner.   It has a wonderful “sheepy smell” to it, not overpowering, just natural.

    I loved these beautiful colored Merino with the golden tops of their heads.  I have no photos of them unjacketed, but they were gorgeous.  I need to try some of this roving.

    and more sheep…

    I bought this 4 oz ball of natural white Shetland roving to mix with the Shetland that I spun up this summer for Fall mittens and hats.

    There were Llamas, alpacas and one camel:

    I also bought this beautiful alpaca, I bent the roving so that you could see the gorgeous natural color variations.  This is from The Williamston Alpaca Shoppe (I hate that spelling of shop):

    And goats and rabbits (no rabbit photos though):

    I have mixed feelings about this Festival.  I loved the smallness of the barns, and really being able to talk with the owners in-depth.  There was not a huge animal selection, like in Wisconsin, and I found the vendors to be lacking.  I am not sure I would make a special trip up there just for this.  If I were in the area, I would go though.  I have never seen a large selection of their classes that I am interested in taking either.

    However, I have to end with this adorable little girl.  She was posing for her Grandmother, and I asked if I could take her photos also.  Her goat had just received Honorable Mention, and the way she was smiling and tickled, you would have thought it first place in a major competition.

     
  • knitting1105 1:28 pm on May 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Roving,   

    What Next? 

    I finished the “Cotton Candy” wool and am plying it up as a 3-ply.  So, I still need something to spin, the great thing about 2 wheels, is that I can spin on my Joy, while plying on the Traveler (with the jumbo bobbin).  I have several fibers that I received in my grab bag from Kathryn, a new friend from my spinning weekend retreat.  I am saving my Fiber Optics rovings until I feel my spinning is a bit better.  Here were my choices.

    Purchased from Kathryn that she dyed, known as ccsmile2006 on etsy.  4 oz. Polwarth combed top, color:  Teal’s 25th Anniversary:

    and from Woolgatherings a 4 oz Polwarth Wool top.  No colorway listed:

    Knitty and Color Haindpaint, 4 oz. Superwash Merino, color:  Bloodlust

    Some fiber that was gifted with the purchase of my Joy.  I do not know what it is, but the white is definitely Angora:

    Another unknown gifted fiber.  Very soft!

    and my choice to start with was 4oz. Targhee, I think that the color is “Harvest”.  It also says on the tag A Man Called Pan.  I don’t really know what that means, or who dyed this.  I have split the braid in half for 2 bobbins, then each half into 4ths to have shorter color repeats:

     
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