Sunday, January 27, 2008

Two Steps Forward . . .

And I'm not going backwards, for once . . .

I thought I would show you what that purple roving looked like after I put it through the drum carder. I only gave it one pass as it wasn't horribly felted. I just knew that trying to spin it straight from the roving would have made me a little stressed, and let me tell ya, that is not the point of spinning! So here is one shot, and I just want to say that I know it is not the best shot. As you can see there is an open cupboard door in the background, on the bottom left, well behind that I had three more open. . . and there was all the stuff from bringing in the groceries. . . so, this is the best I have, Gheez!

And a little closer:

Chris said it looks like it multiplied! That was funny, as it did appear to do that, I guess that's what a little bit of air does for you. It's been fun to spin up, but now I have decided to overdye this with just a hint of black and see what that gives me. I will definitely overdye the plied yarn. And after all this work, I have ultimately decided to Navajo ply the Goblin bobbins and use this as an accent to Goblin. So you ask, "what are you making?" Well, Uhhh, I dunno! Do you spin to knit or knit to spin? That is the question . . .

Anyway, here is a spinning progress shot:

I think that one is actually a little closer to the true color, it's really tough to get good shots in the cold gray gloom around here.

On the knitting front, I have made some progress on my Kai Cardigan, I put a pin in from the last point that I think I showed you. Don't you just love that motif? I know I do!

Have you ever noticed that when you are working on size 3 needles, it takes freakin' forever to get 10 inches done? Especially when doing three rows a night is a big deal during the week! Well, it's coming along, and I only lack about an inch and a half now. . . then the neck bind off and I can cut the armhole steeks and start the sleeves. I was hoping to get there this weekend, but I am obviously a slow knitter. Here it is all laid out with the armhole steek right up front and center!

This color shot is pretty good too! It is definitely pretty, I just want to be done!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Forays With the Dye Pot

So, do you all remember my dilemma with the bobbins of Goblin Eyes?

Do I want to ply the two bobbins together? Do I want to Navajo ply? Do I want to ply from a ball? So what do I decide to do? I always hem and haw, do I want to spin the fiber then dye or dye and spin the fiber?? See all this procrastinating going on? And the bobbins are still not plyed! lol,

All rightly then, I decided to dye up some roving dying yesterday! I think, that a really deep purple would look fabulous with Goblin and, well, I have lots of Romney roving (I love Melissa from Skylines Farms) so I will dye up roving! This roving from a ewe named Peggy Sue in the following experiment.

One messy kitchen counter! Note the note pad so I can recreate this again, although I'm not sure this is exactly what I was going for! Here is one dyepot with 8 oz of roving, at this point I am thrilled and thinking I got exactly what I had planned, well, not quite eggplant color, but a really deep purple anyway!

All right, so lets lift it out of the dyepot, after 30 minutes of simmering:

Well, %$#@^&*! What, what, what is this?? Fuchia and blue-purple?? Apparantly the dyes need to be pureed together or the dye paste needed further mixing or something I don't know what! This is quite a bummer I must say!

Here it is drying on the clothes rack:

I am planning to put it through the carder this morning before spinning to try to homogenize the colors a bit. It wasn't a total failure, I think it will go well with the Goblin Eyes, look here:

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Boredom Sets In with the old WIPs

I have been just having a heck of a time getting excited about what is on the needles. Maybe it is my New Year's Resolution of "Thou must finish one of your WIPs before Thou starts a new Project." I was trying to do this with Spinning fiber and Knitting objects, but apparently that is just too darn hard for this gal.

I did get Colette plied up (276 yards in this skein) and here she sits on the jumbo bobbin and with Georgia and Painted Desert:

So that is looking good for the Mill Pond jacket I want to make by Ron Schweitzer. Remember that I need five colors and it looks like these are going to be three of them, however, I am not 100% sure about the Painted Desert staying in the mix since the last skein I set the twist on still bled, and I don't want all my hard fair isle work to go to waste. . . I will try one more time to set the color and if that doesn't work, I will have to try Plan B. Plan B includes more pinks being spun up from another source!

So since I reasoned that I did finish the two bobbins of Colette, (let's not mention that the basket still holds a lot of her fiber, tho) and I got two new bobbins in the mail this week, I started this fiber called Blackberry by Loop:
I think I have dyed and gone to heaven! This is some amazing stuff, made out of alpaca and bamboo and the smallest bit of glitz! I am aiming for mittens for some recipient for next year's Christmas gift. The stats are that I am getting approximately 28 wpi and all in all I think I'm in love! I personally think she is a bit pricey, ($15 for 3 oz) but the ease of spinning this has made up for it in spades! Caryn took this picture with her new camera, but I have decided that getting a good shot of wpi is just about impossible!

And here is the bobbin getting started, I think I got interrupted about a bazillion times, so this was it yesterday. I did use the method that Vicki showed us way back in April 2007 to start the leader on this new bobbin. It works really well and I highly recommend it!

Hope you all are not experiencing the avoidance problems I am with your knitting and you all have a great week!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

A disjointed tale follows, be warned!

It got me! The creepin' crud that was going around the office just before we left for our Holidays got me. Unfortunately, I wasn't worth the words on this page last week. But all my work was due to the Corporate Office, so, I went to work. Finally took half a day on Friday, and yeah I went home and slept. . . and slept.

But ya know. . . .

Caryn's birthday was yesterday!!! She turned the big 18! OH WOW! No more kiddos at this house and that's the truth. So, here's the Birthday girl and her doggy:

Jake is everybody's dog, he's not picky, and we all love him to pieces. Bailey on the other hand is partial to Caryn and Chris. So, there you go.

We went to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch, since we can never seem to time it right to get there for dinner without a 2 hour wait. We brought the family, and her best friend, Whittney. She got a fabulous camera (Sony W-55) for her present, and more ice cream cake for dinner - Lord, we were so full! I think sometimes she still feels like it should be more of a party, but how do you do that? Well, in the end, I think she had a good birthday.

Bryan goes back to UK today, and it's been told that Caryn has decided she wants to go to UK next year. So, Mama will need to work for at least a year and a half I think to keep them both there for the next year and a half! Who wants to retire anyway? Naw- I really don't want to retire, I just want to do something a little more fun than spend 9-10 hours a day looking at numbers for people that don't understand numbers! Maybe a fiber shop? With yarn? Well, you know I did get my back room cleaned up which starts all these thoughts -

Ok, enough dreaming! You know, when I'm sick, I spin. . . here is one 4oz bump of Goblin Eyes:
And here is another:

These came out so very differently, that I think I have no choice but to ply from the ball - arrgh! So, you should see that next week. . .

Mama is still feeling funky, so Nitro says Bye till next week! (Oh what a gorgeous cat!)