Friday, February 29, 2008

On the Triloom

My second weaving project is on the triloom.....this time it is charcoal merino-silk and I am weaving in a 2/2 twill that will come to a point at the center of the shawl. Great fun!

This project has taught me the virtues of spinning from the fold. The merino-silk laps from Yarn or a Tale are delightful (especially at her Yahoo group pre-order price), but spinning them from the end makes consistent drafting difficult and results in little ends of silk and merino poufing out here and there. I changed to spinning from the fold, and like magic, had the smooth even yarn I was looking for.

I am spinning up dyed merino-silk for a wide knitted border on the shawl. These colors are deep and saturated, but the yarn is terribly camera-shy, and so is the fiber. Perhaps it is the last day of February that wants to take my lovely greens and purples and blues, and make them shades of gray.

My new loom is missing a few heddle bars, so it will not be warped until I can get some. In the meantime, I am having fun planning what I will weave first. My first warp will be some millspun linen that I already have stashed....and I am still deciding on a weft.....handspun, of course.....hemp? linen-silk blend?

Since my yarn is shy, here is a sky which isn't.....

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Fire and Ice

"Many waters cannot quench love....................."

Project Spectrum, Fire

Needle Felted Art for my Sweetie

In various naturally dyed, naturally colored, and acid dyed fibers, including bamboo, silk, and wools.

Second Snowflake

Knitted and Crocheted with handspun merino-tencel and silk

"And He made the stars also"

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Spin-aversary Contest

About a year ago, a box arrived at the house with roving, and then one with a spindle. This yarn was the result. My first yarn!

It was the blogging community that helped me realize that my long-held dream of learning to spin was within my grasp. ( and it was a long-held dream....when my sister and I used to compare dream houses as teenagers, my house was full of children, spinning wheels, looms, and quilting frames.) So my already-blessed life holds one more little blessing.

What better way to celebrate than a contest?

Leave a comment, making sure that I have information to let you know if you win....either e-mail or blog URL. Tell me if you spin, or not. I will choose a winner by random number generator....if a spinner wins, that person gets a little gift certificate to the Etsy shop Loop. If a non-spinner wins, that person gets a learn-to-spin kit from the Spindle and Wheel shop. I'll choose the winner next Saturday.

I hope to keep learning from you all in this next fiber-year!

Friday, February 22, 2008

I still knit.......a little

Once upon a time, my babies were tiny, and I spent the day sitting, nursing them,

and knitting......

No more. Now is a little more exciting, the time for chasing....

But I still knit a little.

Verity wanted Pocketbook Slippers, like Mercy's, so here are hers in Spunky Eclectic Skinny Sock, from a sampler skein.

And here are my ankle socks in the
British Suffolk sock yarn I spun.
A little lace rib at the top to please my
feminine wishes, the color delightful to

I'll be knitting afterthought heels on
these....My guess? I'll love it. I'll get to
knit four toes instead of just two. Toes are so much fun!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Exploring the Down Wools: Hampshire

I had my dye day yesterday, and so was able to get acquainted with the Hampshire that is the next down wool to explore. This is really nice stuff. Going for a cushy two-ply this time, the Hampshire responded to my sampling with lofty softness. In fact, though it is no merino, I would say that this passes my "lip test" for comfort.

The source for the Hampshire is Kathy of Wool World. She has over a hundred different kinds of fibers and fleeces available on her site, and sells in quantities as small as an ounce....perfect for sampling! It is a wooly smorgasbord.

I wanted to paint this roving, but I gave up on it, because presoaking was ineffective. Next time I'll use a wetting agent if I plan on a cold pour method. It seems that these wools practically shed water, which can be a good quality in certain instances.

Once they took a nice hot water bath with the dye, both the Hampshire and the British Suffolk took dye like a dream. And I love the watercolor mix that comes with the hot pour method!

Below is the finished 3-ply British Suffolk. I ended up with a little over 200 yards... enough for a child's pair, or anklets for me? The hand grew even more pleasant in its steaming hot bath, and I would say that though it is not as soft as the Hampshire, it is on a par with sock yarns like Aracunia. The color is much brighter than shows here. So pretty!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Made of cherry. Though not chocolate-covered...... I still think it is perfect.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Embracing Grey

Looking at my spinning queue, I see a lot of grey to match the February days....seemingly dull, and yet full of depth and subtle variation....

Icelandic 3 ply rug yarn, 4 oz.

Wensleydale that I am flick carding to spin for warp. Warp, you say? Trilooms warp themselves, don't they? Hmmm.....well, I have something to show you tomorrow.

Merino-silk on the spindle for the next triloom shawl.

I switched fiber clubs for the new year, to Susan's Spinning Bunny. This month natural silver baby alpaca came with silver thread to ply it with.....I think that will be a perfect opportunity to make a beaded yarn, with tiny silver glass beads that sparkle like ice crystals....I'll use this yarn to join my snowflake motifs together into.....something. A scarf, maybe?

Well, I am enjoying my grey, the depth of the natural color of the fibers....but I am still scheduling a dye day for Friday....What is grey for, if not making the most of other colors?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

First Weaving

This shawl is soft.

Baby llama, delaine merino, tencel, cormo lambswool, kid mohair. All spindled with love. It is going to go and wrap itself around my grandma, so far away.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Closing the Gap

So close, I can almost taste it.

Colorway Inspiration for the Weekend---Early Edition

This morning I looked out the window, and it looked as if someone had secretly strung Christmas tree lights in all the trees and lit them. I went out. Every pine needle had skewered snowflakes in the night, neatly through the center. The effect was sparkling, as in the photo below.

Friday, February 1, 2008

You Make My Day .... Lovely!

Theresa gave my blog an award. Her own blog posts tend to be full of lovely photos and a mind-boggling number of useful links. She seems to have been given the gift of organizing large amounts of information in a pleasing way, and more than that, I know she prays for me. That is a true friend.

Recipients are s'posed to pick 10 blogs that make their day .....and let the recipients know by commenting on their blog. (There is a button you can take from Theresa's blog, if you are good at that sort of thing. :-) )

Who else really makes my day?

People who comment! So first comes Charissa, who always comments.

Rhonna at Trenchwork, whose striving for excellence in spinning always challenges me, and who has become a friend.

Cindy at Riverrim. Her blog has received this award multiple times, but I can't help it. I'm doing it again.

Denise at Heart Threads who has woven her way into my heart. Check out her Knitting On group in Ravelry for those who are going through crises.

Then Beth at 110a Piccadilly, for a bit of literature, a bit of this, and of that.

My family! Two of my sisters.....

Theresa, who started a yarnivorous blog just a week ago...but her family blog has always made my day, too. You may enjoy her Yarn Monster post, but only if you are not prone to nightmares.

And Raquel shares her blog, A Road Less Travelled, with her best friend, who lives next door and shares her unusual occupation of aunt/nanny.


Ram in the Thicket, cause that is the best blog name ever!

Little Cabin in the Woods, cause I can't resist blogs with little girls and simple living.

And Large Family Logistics, which I need :-) , and which just moved to blogspot from here. Great recipes.

A Month of Spinning More

January was truly a month of spinning more for me. I finished the two skeins I had been working on. I spun yarn for my snowflake, for about three-fourths of a 6.5 foot woven shawl; I spun up a pound of Lincoln for rug yarn, and a hundred yards of British Suffolk for a three-ply sock yarn.

How did I get so much done? I moved my spindles into the kitchen. I discovered that I spend a lot of time in the kitchen! and that little bits of time spinning add up.

Here's my Lincoln rug yarn. A good word to describe the spinning on this yarn would be "erratic". I would have liked a yarn with higher twist in the singles, but that would have required a heavier spindle than I own. And I could have benefited from using a sample card to refer to.....why do those organized people always have to be right? :-)

On the upside, I love how the colors turned out, and despite my lack of spinning prowess, I think the rug will be lovely in the end.

Above is Sunny Autumn nestled on some grey Icelandic that will be the next to be spun up for the rug.
Rainy Autumn; and below, Waning Autumn

Here is my beautiful, squooshy sock yarn from the Suffolk. A true 3-ply, this is coming out at 18-19 wpi. Perfect. This is a fun spin! I hope to whirl out another 300 yards of this soon.

And the shawl....perhaps I'll bring that to show you next week.