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Pat's Knitting and Quilting

May 27, 2010
Suri and Skew

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!

skew skew

Pattern: Skew by Lana Holden from Knitty Winter 2009
Yarn: 80 grams of Seacoast Handpainted Panda Sock (60% merino, 30% bamboo, 10% nylon) in Scarlet Letter colorway. Wonderful soft, shiny sock yarn!
Needles: 2 socks on 1 40" 2.25 mm circular needle.
Mods: Are you kidding me? I followed this pattern EXACTLY as written!

skew

A close up of the "origami" heel

skew 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!

suri silk

Loosely spun and plied for lovely, shiny, drapey (is that a word?) 2 ply laceweight yarn.

suri silk

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.

suri silk

I started Peacock Tail and Leaf by Nancy Bush from Knitted Lace of Estonia - it is so nice to have a lace project back on my needles!

peacock tail and leaf

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May 19, 2010
Continued...

Using my new favorite tools - Valkyrie Combs and a GV Pencheff cherry diz - I am having a blast making combed top from my Corriedale fleece.

Diz

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.

corriedale combed top

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 :-)

yay yarn

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.

yay yarn

I've also done some colorful spinning...

FatCat Polwarth FatCat Polworth Yarn

Polworth Close up

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.

FatCat Polwarth FatCat Polwarth

Polwarth Close up

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.

Polwarth Skeins

I have done some knitting too - should have some finished socks next week!

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May 11, 2010
Octavia and Whirlwind

I have been in fiber glory playing with this gorgeous Corriedale fleece.

octavia and whirlwind

My friend Marcy and I dove headlong into fleece - we bought 2 amazingly gorgeous Corriedale fleeces from Whitefish Bay and split them (what crazy fun THAT was!) between us.

Octavia's FleeceOctavia has a 5.25 lb Very Fine gorgeous pale gray/white, silver gray bi-color fleece.

Whirlwind's FleeceLittle lamb Whirlwind has a 3.88 lb. Extra Fine medium to silver gray with brown tips variegated 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!

Fleece washing

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.

Drying Fleece

Just look at this pretty striped Whirlwind lock - she has not completely decided what color she wants to be.

Whirlwind Lock

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

Fleece

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 :-)

Combing and Carding

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
tomato
spinach
pepper
potato
peas, lettuce, bok choy, broccoli, tomatoes, spinach, peppers, potatoes

So far, it's a happy garden - YUMMMMM!

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May 5, 2010
Clothilde

Clothilde

I wanted the perfect pattern for this wonderful handspun cashmere/silk and I found it!

Spirit Trail Cashmere Silk

Spirit Trail Cashmere Silk

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.

Clothilde Clothilde

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.
Size: did 4 repeats of Gull Wing lace pattern followed by 3 repeats of Spearhead lace for a 56" X 28" shawl.
Yarn: Handspun 2 ply lace/light fingering wt. Spirit Trail Fiberworks 50/50 Cashmere Silk in Water colorway (74 grams - 2.6 ounces - 454 yards)
Needles: US size 6 (4mm) 40" circular

close up of Gull Wing lace pattern

Clothilde

close up of Spearhead lace pattern

Clothilde

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.

Clothilde

Clothildehalo

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!

alpaca silk bobbins

AND....the fleeces are washed and dried - more on that next time...

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