Sunday, October 12, 2014

10.12.2014 Dyeing workshop

I took a fun workshop at Fingerlakes Fiber Fest, playing with dyes with Sara Lamb.  I took along some Zephyr and some bombyx silk top and finally got decent pics of the silk which did not want to be in focus.


and Silk top:

Saturday, August 02, 2014

8.2.2014 And when you finish plying...

You get to take it off the spindle and onto the niddynoddy for skeining.  And then you get to take it off the niddynoddy and dunk it in water for magic!

The tied are #10 crochet cotton.  You know, for scale.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

7.31.2014 New Toys are always fun.

I won an Etsy gift card in a drawing; Etsy has Andean plying tools available.  Thanks to the wonders of the modern Internet and 2 day USPS shipping, I now have an Andean plying tool draped about with the last bit of the Murex ultrafine merino from Freyalyn.  I should have taken a picture with the neatly wound fiber but I couldn't wait to start actually plying it so I didn't get the camera until half the single was already plyed.

Monday, June 02, 2014

6.2.2014 Recording the stash

I spent this weekend recording the handspun stash.  I'm not done by a long shot, but my arm said it was tired of running the ball winder so I quit and went back to spinning again.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

5.7.2014 Muting down the garish

Some years ago, I bought some tussah silk for the red bump it appeared to be and was mildly appalled to find bright turquoise bits inside.  (There were also bright pink bits inside that I didn't expect but that will be another day's story.)  Ordinarily I don't mind turquoise; in fact, I quite like it, but not when I think I'm buying a deep red shading to browns.

I spun some of the silk into a single and plied it with Malabrigo lace which I liked, but I did the three skeins of Malabrigo I had that way and I still had more than half the original silk bump left.  I almost dumped it all into the guild fundraiser, but then I had another thought.

I split the silk into three categories:  red shading to browns (what I originally thought I bought, for those keeping track), the Pink sections, and the turquoise bits.  The turquoise sections turn out to be just longer than the staple length of the silk, so for the most part, each end is tipped in red.  The turquoise is only more or less centered in the section depending on how accurate I was in the separation process (which is to say, not very).

I'm then dividing each bit into approximately five by pinching off a section at a time.  If you've worked with silk top before, you will recognize that it can easily be divided longitudinally.  The two bits on the left are working amounts of top; the five bits on the right are the full amount before dividing.

Each working bit is then folded in half and joined to the single in progress:

The drafting triangle pulls from both halves and merges the blue with the red to give me mostly purple in a much more muted shade.  Short draw, obviously.  Keeping the fibers parallel to each other until they are drafted out means that it can actually be drafted - silk doesn't like sliding if there's any twist at all.
The single still shows the red and blue but the final version is something I might wear.

You know: Eventually.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

5.1.2014 Bosworths and silk

I got to thinking about my Bosworth spindles which haven't all been in one place in quite a while.  I hadn't noticed that they had all acquired silk.  Birdseye maple midi with natural tussah silk dyed by me in a bound resist on the left.  On the right we have a moosie with natural bombyx silk, a tulipwood mini with natural bombyx hankies and a walnut featherweight with commercially dyed tussah that was almost certainly bleached not natural.

That was probably the last bleached tussah I'll ever buy - I just don't like the chalky feel it gives the silk.

I'm off to MS&W and I've got to decide what size I want next...  The midi is as large as I plan to go, I like the moosie but don't need a second - I think it will come down to what choices are available in the featherweight and mini sizes.  I already have a second mini somewhere in the world, but the bag it was in went missing three or four years ago and I'm slowly losing hope in finding it again.  Maybe if I replace it, I'll find it?

One missing knitting (wegman's reusable grocery) bag with one mini Bosworth, the fiber on and with it (who knows now what it was) and the last ball of yarn needed to finish a stole.  Obviously if I'd had any sense I would have given up ages ago and replaced the replaceable things.  If I'd done that I'd know where my bag was by now.

Friday, April 11, 2014

4.11.2014 More pink silk, but slowly

The best thing about having two wheels is the ability to easily switch between two different projects.  I like spinning silk, but it has gotten harder on my hands.  I've noticed that when I have a silk project on the Lendrum, I go longer and longer between times of sitting down to spin.  It doesn't actually feel bad; it just isn't something I find I have the impulse to do very often.  I really like the finished product though, so I still do it.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

4.8.2014 Latest lace blob

This is one of the shawl's on my bucket list: Pacific Northwest by Evelyn Clark.  I intended to take the purple merino with me on vacation (off to not-very-sunny-at-the-time Charleston, SC).  The pattern I wanted wouldn't print at all reasonably, so I grabbed the alpaca lace I had sitting about and the one copy of the two of Pacific Northwest that I had sitting about and a random needle I had sitting about (a size smaller than called for I think but didn't ever bother checking).

I think it's coming out well for being a grab-and-go project. 

Saturday, April 05, 2014

4.5.2014 More grey corriedale

I suspect that should I ever want blog fodder in the next five years I can drag out the grey Corriedale again.

No one would every be able to be quite sure whether I was showing you a work in process or just pulling your leg.

This is bobbin six of the singles, to be the last of the singles needed for the bobbin above; bobbin 2 of the chain plied finished product.  I do like spinning this stuff long draw.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

4.2.2014 Rock Island done

The Rock Island shawl is finished: washed, blocked, worn, the whole nine yards.  Photographed finally.

Most of the lace was in the edging, then a bit more in the panel.  Not a difficult lace - the pattern is very repetitive and easy to follow.  Not so easy to pick up when you catch your needle on the side of the sofa and rip a jagged section off the needles - I tried picking up three times, then gave up, took whole thing back to the lower garter stitch section and reknit the entire lace panel a second time.  This may in theory have taken a little longer than picking up and fixing the issue properly, but since I find fixing a problem stressful and reknitting the panel soothing, the choice wasn't all that hard to make.

Monday, March 31, 2014

To get your very own wall o' snow:

Step 1: Have the weatherman predict snow, then hastily at the last minute upgrade it to 1 or 2 inches, no, 3 or 6 inches, what the heck, lets go for 8 or more!
Step 2: Have your neighbor move all his cars out of the driveway so he can have a furniture delivery made at 8 pm at night.  This will give him a good reason to forget that he's left his car in the street.
Step 3: Get 8 inches snow overnight and have the snowplow come down the street a couple of times before your neighbor gets dug out.  3 feet of snow piled up on all sides will give him lots to work with.
Step 4: Once you've help push your neighbor over that last barrier to freedom, wait for the snowplow to come back down the street to shove all that lovely pile of snow across the end of your drive.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Antique words

I got a word-a-day calendar for Christmas - Forgotten Words.   It's been a lot of fun - mostly words that are oddities, sounding strange and referring to times and situations we no longer need, unless writing or reading an historical novel.  Haven't had a use for Quintain or Gabriel's Hounds recently.

On the other hand, every now and then there's a word I want to bring back into fashion.  We need these words, we just don't know it.  Yesterday's word:  Afterwrath.

Afterwrath is that anger you feel post facto - something that slipped past at the time, but the more you think about it the madder you get.  You weren't mad on the spot - you were focused on something else, you were busy, but afterwards when you think about what happened?  you know you should have been mad, you would have been mad had you given it your attention at the time.  Now, you're suffering from afterwrath.  Afterwrath is almost worse than wrath, because just like that feeling of coming up with the correct retort five hours later in the middle of the night when you were dumbstruck at the time, I find it harder to deal with the wrath that comes from "what-ifs" than I do with actually dealing with a situation on the spot.

I have a need for this word - I dunno why it fell out of use, wasn't widespread and became forgotten, was isolated to a small portion of the world originally and never moved on elsewhere.  No internet with its Urban Dictionary in the late 1800s?  How many other cool words are there that exactly describe things we don't give specific labels to any more?  Do you suppose the Internet may preserve these words for us in future?

Saturday, March 08, 2014

3.8.2014 Merino laceweight, part the first

I spent quite a while spinning the purple merino laceweight.  I wound up with two unequal skeins - this is the first one wound into a ball.  315 yards - the other skein should be approximately twice that much.  At some point I'll figure out grist as well.  The whole started as 100 grams of fibery goodness from Freyalyn.

I had to go back and see when I last blogged about it  - ummm, that would be here.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

3.5.2014 And some knitting too...

I've also been getting some knitting done - Rock Island by Jared Flood.  I was worried about running out of yarn, but so far it's looking fairly promising.  The problem with starting at the bottom and working to the shorter rows rather than the other way round is that by the time the edging and lace sections are done, there doesn't look like much yarn left.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

3.1.2014 Spinning this week

Someone in my guild poked people to spin more this week.  So I did.  And actually took pictures.

Grey corriedale again.

And some of this pink silk top

turned out like this - short draft.  This can only be spun for a short period of time in a row because my hands get tired easily.  Nice to be able to switch back and forth between two wheels now!

Monday, February 24, 2014

2.24.2014 Grey fuzz => grey fuzzy yarn

2 pounds grey corriedale + wash + comb + pindraft

+ long draw =

1 pound 14 oz to go.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

2.23.2014 Comfort food

I really like pumpkin pie.  Unfortunately I can't eat the standard crust any more and heartily dislike all substitutes for standard crust that I've tried to date.

Pumpkin custard in individual cups is at its best when eaten directly out of the oven before it's had a chance to congeal down - preferably when it is still so hot you almost but not quite burn your mouth.

It's pretty darn good later on too.