Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Spinning for Knitting

I have finished the edging on the capelet that I am currently knitting.  The capelet is my original design -- the Sierra Aspens Capelet, so . . . . I am hoping to complete the pattern and offer it for sale in my Etsy shop . . . some . . . time . . . soon.  Of course, I've been saying this for quite a while. I figure I better write up the pattern or I just have to stop wearing the the various capelets I've made with my handspun yarns.

I am keeping very accurate records this time. The first skein I spun for this project was a combination of my "Cinco de Mayo" and  "Northwoods" colorways.  Both of those were BFL.  This second skein for the body of the capelet is a combination (plied together) of "Cinco de Mayo" in BFL and an 80%/20% merino/cashmere blend in "Indian Paint Brush". I'm trying to keep one colorway -- "Cinco de Mayo" -- running through the entire project and plying that with other colorways.  It's a fun project and it will be interesting to see how the colors play off of each other.  

Knitting needles are poised and I've got the first season of "Call the Midwife" ready to go.

Oh, and BTW, I managed to score some Inglenook Fibers batts when Macrina did an update on Etsy last week.  I couldn't believe it.  The first few I bought were gone by the time I went to pay for them.  Went right back to Inglenook's store and started clicking on batts. I felt like a little fishy in a tank full of sharks having a feeding frenzy.  WOW! That's all I can say.  But, of course, when they arrive in the mail, it's pretty obvious why they are so popular.  They're just the best.  

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Keepin' Busy

For the past week or so, I have been doing quite a bit of dyeing, trying to restock my Etsy shop.  My supplies of rovings and other items was dwindling, the cupboards were starting to look bare, so I kicked it into high gear and spent some time out in my hot studio.  Thankfully, the weather has cooled down a bit.   Lots of new rovings in my Etsy store now.  

I'm still treadling away every day, too.  Spinning is such a calming and centering activity. This skein was spun using one of my handpainted rovings in merino/cashmere (80/20) called "Olive Branch" that I plied with one of Miryha's Blarney Yarns Polwarth rovings in "Sour Apple II".  Two-ply fingering weight, 442 yards, 3.9 oz.  

Another relaxing activity is knitting, which I try to do a bit of every day.  Here I'm using the handspun skein that was in my last post:  "Cinco de Mayo" plied with "North Woods". This is the edging of a shrug that I'm knitting.  
And finally, this morning, I dragged out the bins of eco printed fabrics that I have dyed and been accumulating.  Out came my scissors and rotary cutter and pieces were flying all over the place -- no plan, just snip, snip and cut, cut.  Then I started piecing some of the odd shapes  together. Like a jigsaw puzzle.  I don't know where this is going but . . . it's a shame to just let all those beautiful leaf prints sit around in plastic . . . and . . . I got some of those ideas swimming in my head down onto the table.  Whew!  That frees up the clutter in my head.  
Back to having fun!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Heat Wave

We have been having an early heat wave here in Southern California.  Oppressively hot for the past three days -- high 90's and low 100's. I am so over it.  Brings back memories of last Fall.  It makes it very hard for me to work out in my sunroom studio.  So, I continue to hunker down inside where it's cooler and treadle away.  I finished spinning and plying the Blueface Leicester rovings that I was working on.  I plied my colorways "North Woods" and "Cinco de Mayo" together.  I am quite happy with the outcome and have an idea for a project.  394 yards, 3.8 oz. 

I'm off to work in the coolness of the morning.  The weather report promises high 70's and low 80's today.  Fingers are crossed.  

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Well, I would be remiss if I didn't wish all of my wonderful women friends a Happy Mother's Day.  It seems that the women I hang with are all some of the best moms I have ever known and have raised to adulthood some great young people; some of my friends still have little ones and they are also doing a great job.  This is the beautiful succulent arrangement one of my sons and his girlfriend made for me for M's Day.  My other son and his girlfriend gave me a cool stand for my iPad mini when I'm following a downloaded recipe. 

So I have been in a spinning mode lately.  Once Miryha and I decided we were just going to relax and enjoy Black Sheep Gathering this year, rather than have a booth, oh my gosh, it opened up a whole new concept of extra time on my hands.  That meant time to weave, knit, felt and spin. I have been treadling away and having so much fun -- spinning some of those rovings I have been eyeing, especially the stash of batts from Inglenook Fibers that I am sad to say is now dwindling.  These two skeins were spun using two of Macrina's batts called "Rosie O'Grady" that I plied with my rovings of Polwarth/Silk called "Mon Amie".  One skein has 482 yards, and weighs 4.7 oz. and the other skeins has 662 yards and weighs 6.3 oz.   1,144 yards of pure delight.  

Here's another skein I have recently spun using a roving I randomly dyed in merino/yak/silk that I plied with one of my Blueface Leicester/Silk rovings in "Sargasso Sea".  This skein has 330 yards and weighs 2.9 oz.  
This skein in a combination of one of my Polwarth/Silk rovings in the "Queen of Hearts" colorway, plied with one of Miryha's Blarney Yarn Polwarth rovings called "Sour Apples".  344 yards, 3.5 oz.

And finally, I had the time to card and spin the fleece I purchased at the Taos Wool Festival a couple of years ago.  The fleece was from Myrtle Dow of Black Pines Ranch in Colorado and was a 75% Wensleydale and 25% "surprise".  The fleece was mostly cream colored but had some areas of oatmeal.  I have three skeins:  412 yards, 5.8 oz.; 390 yards, 5.3 oz., and 448 yards, 5.8 oz.    1,250 yards, and I actually still have 5 oz. left to spin.  
All of these skeins are fingering weight yarns (my favorite to knit with) and were spun on my Majacraft Rose wheel.  

I'm currently spinning two of my Blueface Leicester rovings, which I plan to ply together. Those are "Cinco de Mayo"  (yes, dyed on that day) and "Northwoods".  It will be fun to see what they look like plied -- the beauty and surprise of plying two different colorways together.  

We've got hot, hot weather today so I plan on a long Mother's Day walk down at the beach.  In a few weeks, I'll be off to Sewanee, TN, with my friend, Margie, to take a weeklong Shakerag workshop on natural dyeing with Rebecca Burgess, author of Harvesting Color.  I can hardly wait to have my annual Shakerag experience and to share it with my friend.