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Wool Gathering

Believe it or not, I haven’t fallen into a fiber-induced coma and vanished off the face of the earth. I’m still here trying to make time for spinning and fiber in a rapidly filling schedule. (While juggling a change of work, vacation plans, writing, and getting ready for a friend to come visit.)

Every single scrap of Iowa fleece I have left (except for one chunk that had lots of VM) has been pre-soaked twice. All of it. Excuse me while I go collapse.

I spent I don’t know how long outside in the backyard hauling pots of water, wrestling fleece, spinning out the excess water, and shooing away any curious insects. It wiped me out. I have this feeling that the neighbors think I’m some sort of odd person — constantly lugging pots out there, whirling around spraying water in every direction — yeah. Well, if they want some wool they can have it. I just want to get it all washed by the second of August.

Why the reason for this sudden haste? A certain special friend is coming to visit next month, and she’s bringing a toy with her. Something very beneficial for those who have lots of fiber to process. Any guesses? Continue Reading »

Socks and Fluff

I have one whole sock now. It’s quite comfy, but a little baggy around the toes. It’s quite possible that I knit it a size too large. And the second sock is visible. I’m about an inch into it.

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All the indigo dyed fiber is carded up and turned into roving. Continue Reading »

Hobo Toes

Look! Look at that. I almost have the entire foot covered in stripy material. Whoo-hoo!

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I took it along to work, and the best part was a small friend’s conversation with me while babysitting.

Sam: “Why does that have so many needles?”
Me: “That’s just the way they need to be to help me knit this sock.”
Sam: “Whoa, that’s a sock?”
Me: “Yes. Wait just a minute
(the row needed to be finished) and I’ll show you.”
*time lapse while row is finished and sock wriggled on*
Sam: “Whoaaaaa, that’s cool. If I’d known you made socks I’d have had a pair by now.”

(I don’t know what he was implying by that statement. Just because I made that red scarf for him earlier.)

Anyway, it’s currently giving a great impression of a hobo’s sock, and if I can just figure out where the pattern went I can finish it up and knit the second one. It’s been long enough since I started the first one that I’m not worried about the second being the same old same old. Definitely a bonus. Continue Reading »

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I love it when I get to post about dyeing. The pictures are always so colorful!

As I hinted earlier, I did some regular acid dyes while getting the indigo pot ready. The plan was to handpaint the lace weight single in emerald, purple, gold, and blue. Ha ha.

My first mistake was not premixing the colors. I made a yellow, a blue, and a red, thinking I would just paint over the top of each one to create the nice green and purple tones. Believe me, that didn’t work so well.DyedLaceSingle

Especially since I diluted the colors so much it took three or four dabs to make a decent intensity of tone. In short, after messing about with it for awhile, I mixed up the colors I wanted and poured them over yarn in my usual method. Here is the result.

And if anyone can explain to me how pink mixed with lots of sapphire can turn into burgundy, I’d be most obliged. It’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen. It went into the pot purple and came out this red. I’m still not even sure if I like the finished color mix. It definitely has character. In fact, it reminds me of some sort of exotic bird. The greens and the red. Well, now I just have to decide if I’m going to use this for a headband after all. Continue Reading »

Indigo Dyed Yarn

Prepare to feast your eyes on the myriad of blue shades I got out of the indigo pot. Gorgeous!

DSC01816 This is the skein of heavy worsted I spun on the drop spindle. I have no idea what I’m going to do with it, which is unfortunate because I love the color. I dunked it in the dye only once, so it’s relatively light in color and actually has a little variegation going on.

So far the indigo doesn’t appear to be crocking. Hooray hooray. Dye leaks are something that occurred with dismal regularity during the cochineal dyeing. Which reminds me, yet another reason to like indigo dyeing is that it doesn’t smell bad like cochineal. It does have a strongish smell, but nothing like dead beetles with vinegar in them. (How’s that for ruining your yarn appetite? )

DSC01818 Here is another skein that I dunked three or four times. I think three. It’s one of the three Iowa fleece skeins I spun on the Walking Wheel. Continue Reading »

Rhapsody in Blue

So, I finally broke down and did it. I couldn’t stand waiting any longer. It kept calling and calling. I had to give it a try.

Allow me to introduce to you, indigo.

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What you see before you is real. And very, very blue.

The recipe I was given at the Handspinner’s Guild worked wonderfully after a minor delay. Something wasn’t happening as fast as I thought it would, so I did a little research and found out that you’re supposed to leave the lid on to speed things up in the preheat. I’ll have to do some digging to find out if I can legally share that recipe with you. It’s great. Continue Reading »

The Heel Turned

SockThusFar
Ta-da! Behold the latest in footwear fashions. (No, the photo is not sideways.) The unique design enhances ankle warmth and circulation while leaving your toes to cool off and wiggle about as they desire. The spikes protect from any little nippy dogs, and the ball of yarn drags along in case you have a sudden knitting urge.

Yes, I’m planning to finish it. And its mate. This one will have some queer little lumps and bumps in it. Things like “repeat rows A and B until x amount remains on the needles” should not be listed after “continue.” What do they think I am? A knitting guru? Ahem. Well, anyway, it seems to be turning out despite the difficulties. I can get it on. And off.

I’m enjoying knitting something that small. I like tiny things. Tiny stitches, tiny needles, tiny yarn. I even have a pattern picked out for the next pair! It’ll be a very special pair due to the fiber choice. (More on that later.) Continue Reading »

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