Pat's Knitting and Quilting
May 27, 2010
I usually know exactly what I'm doing when I'm knitting socks - NOT this time! I blindly followed the directions putting all my faith in this math genius designer, and much of the time I had no idea what part of the sock I was working on or where the current section would end up in the final plan. It was fun to let go and enjoy this mystery construction and it all worked!
Pattern: Skew by Lana Holden from Knitty Winter 2009
A close up of the "origami" heel
These socks were fun all around and the fit is great!
I loved spinning this luxurious Fawn Suri Silk pencil roving from Hubbert Farms - it was such a silky, smooth fiber - I felt like I was spinning human hair...my own hair, since it is almost exactly the same color!
Loosely spun and plied for lovely, shiny, drapey (is that a word?) 2 ply laceweight yarn.
The halo of soft fiber on this yarn is incredible - here is a closer picture so you can get an idea of what it really looks like.
May 19, 2010
I make about 3 grams per comb full, so it only takes 3-4 batches to make a nice 10-12 gram ball of fiber - add a few of those balls together and there is enough for a small project.
Originally, I had planned to card the leftovers from combing, but after lots of experimenting, I came up with an even better plan. I throw all the combing waste into a shoe box and when it is full, I just recomb all the leftovers and get more soft lovely roving (that has a few more neps and some shorter (very soft) fibers) that I will use for a final "leftovers" project. After that 2nd combing the waste is truly just waste - nothing I want to spin - so it is thrown out under the birdfeeders, so our birds can have the softest nests in town. Here is a picture showing the 4 extra, second combing balls (light ones on the top) - kind of the same frugal feeling as making a scrap quilt from leftover fabric :-)
and last, but not least....I finally have some yarn to show from these 2 fleeces! This was my 1st experience spinning hand prepared fiber and it was so special and wonderful - I enjoyed every minute of drafting my beautiful, oh so stretchy, soft wooly fiber. This is the most "alive" yarn I have ever encountered -It has a huge squoosh factor! There is 156 yards of Whirlwind and 137 yards of Octavia from a total of 4.5 ounces of fiber. Enough for mittens?? I think so.
I've also done some colorful spinning...
Fat Cat Mixed Blessings Club Fiber for May - 2 skeins of bright beautiful 3 ply worsted weight Polwarth. 168 yards/ 2.5 ounces of each color.
I haven't figured out a final plan yet - they do look pretty together, but I think they are going to be 2 different projects.
I have done some knitting too - should have some finished socks next week!
May 11, 2010
I have been in fiber glory playing with this gorgeous Corriedale fleece.
After scouring (pun intended) the internet, I settled on this method of washing/drying. I knew I wanted to keep the locks in order for combing later, so separated the locks and placed them in small lingerie bags (I've never washed lingerie in a bag - I'm WAY more careful with sheep fleece than lingerie!) I washed them 4 bags at a time in my double kitchen sink. 2 VERY hot washes with lots of Joy dish soap, followed by 2 hot rinses, 1 with a glug of vinegar and 1 with a squirt of hair conditioner. You cannot believe how clean this fleece was - the water turned yellow in the 1st wash from all the lanolin, but there was NO dirt/vm - nothing!
Then set them out to dry on a sweater rack. This was my very perfectionistic start - it became much more disorganized as time went on with no ill effect to the fleece.
Just look at this pretty striped Whirlwind lock - she has not completely decided what color she wants to be.
Octavia started as 2 lbs 8 oz. and ended up 1 lb. 10.9 oz. and Whirlwind went from 1 lb. 12 oz to 1 lb. 3.7 oz. after washing
THE PLAN... I'm going to use this fleece as an experiment and try all different ways of prepping - I'll flick the ends and spin some from the lock, use mini combs and make roving for worsted spinning, and use the leftover from that to handcard and make rolags for woolen spinning - I've got plenty to learn, but it sure is fun!
The little lambs are from my 12 y.o. son, Cam - for Mother's Day :-)
For everyone who doesn't love fleece and for a little color, here is what else I've been doing...
peas, lettuce, bok choy, broccoli, tomatoes, spinach, peppers, potatoes
So far, it's a happy garden - YUMMMMM!
May 5, 2010
I wanted the perfect pattern for this wonderful handspun cashmere/silk and I found it!
Clothilde is a beautiful and well written pattern.The Gull Wing lace flows so beautifully into the Spearhead lace edging. Something about the combination of these 2 lace patterns grabbed me and I knew this was the pattern for my new yarn.
There are no words to describe the softness of this cashmere/silk fiber and the blues and greens that Jennifer used in dyeing are like the Caribbean Sea - gorgeous fiber!
Pattern: Clothilde by Kristen Hanley Cardozo.
close up of Gull Wing lace pattern
close up of Spearhead lace pattern
I haven't captured the cashmere halo in these pictures, but if you click on the 2 below, you can see the soft fuzz - esp. in the last one.
I couldn't wait to start some more lace spinning - this is 100 grams of luxurious fawn suri/silk from Hubbert Farms. Can't wait to ply - I think the laceweight yarn is going to be beautiful!
AND....the fleeces are washed and dried - more on that next time...