Sunday, December 29, 2013

Camel silk

It. is. finished.

The 2 oz of camel-silk blend fibre I have been spinning for-ever (since last February, according to my own blog) is finally plied. 3 delightful plies and still this is a lace weight yarn. Yes, it was fine spinning. The 2oz yielded 342m of 3-ply yarn plus several more meters of chain-plied yarn using the remaining singles - but I found this resultant yarn to be of a lesser quality and certainly does not blend the colours as the 3-ply does.
In the photos above the yarn is skeined but not yet washed. (Looks pretty balanced pre-wash if I do say so my self.) Currently it is washed, dried, and I'm pretty sure it will be knit up as a Lapidarius scarf.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Happy Yule to Me

Oh happy day. My much anticipated package of fibre arrived today from Ranching Tradition Fibre. Combined with my order from Waterloo Wools that also arrived recently, I'm a very happy person.

BFL locks in burgundy and sage from the ranch.

Targhee Rambouillet roving in blues.  These are delightfully fluffy. Compare above how much larger these 4oz look from the other (BFL) roving in the group photo. Note Waterloo Wool's fibre is the density I am used to buying. Don't want you to think hers is more compacted.

More of the TR roving to match the burgundy locks. I'll be playing with spinning these together.

From Waterloo Wools, some oceany BFL and pumpkin spice BFL roving. Nom!

My favourite vintage (colourway) Kirkland lace for my own Carménerè shawl (which I had also test knit/ made the sample for Waterloo Wools).

 And some more of my favourite lace - Montague. This purple will be a new sample of my Battle-Weary Dragon shawl for Waterloo Wools.
Another picture - this one with sunlight - of my new handspun.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Dramatic Dénouments

This month I participated in the Ravelry Spindlers monthly challenge, which was to spin in the theme of "Teaching and Learning".  Normally I don't participate because I've tried a few times and failed to complete anything in the allotted month.  However, I more recently realized that many participants don't actually spin a full 4 or more ounces of fibre.  Apparently, enough people were spinning very small amounts that the group made a 1oz minimum rule. I decided I could manage an ounce and I had three lofty 1 oz batts to spin up.
I had picked up the batts this fall at the First Annual (or so the organizers hope) Manitoba Fibre Fest. They are hand-dyed batts of brilliant BFL (74%), silk (25%) and angelina (1%). Of course my camera fails to capture the beauty of the red and the sparkle.

 Batts by The Dyeing Arts

 Following my students' final exam, I started spinning and took a few class room photos - my first "teaching" element in the challenge.

 A little started...
 Spinning in progress at the university.

Such a delightful batt to spin.  I spun from the fold of chunks pulled off the batt.

Having spun the first ounce (one of 3 batts) I could ply it. One thing I love about my Turkish spindles is that I can ply straight from the 'turtle'.  In this case, I plied from both ends. In addition to being delightfully simpler (than rewinding), it guarantees no leftovers!

Making it look festive.

 It's not koolaid in the water...

To give some context to the name of the project - Dramatic Dénouments - I photographed the (damp) skein with some relevant books from my course.  The one that stands alone on the far right was the required textbook. The term refers to what can happen, in rare cases, when new religions enter into a downward spiral that results is some kind of dramatic ending (like murders, siege, or suicide).

Yes, the drying skein is currently adorning my tree - which is conveniently near a vent.

Here's my video attempt to show the sparkle of the angelina: It looked much better before uploading...

To continue with the teaching and learning theme of the challenge, this is only part 1. I won't finish (or start) any more ounces this month, but my intention is to spin the other two batts using different tools and see how that works out.  For one I'll use my top whorl and for the other I'll decide between my rakestraw and my supported spindle. Or maybe a new spindle...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Not Waste

Husband had the silly audacity to call this tangled mass of singles (that slipped off the stick and seriously hampered plying) garbage.
I still call is camel-silk fibre and it looks feltable to me! Actually, I was thinking of either stretching it lengthwise for a felted bracelet or balling it up for a bead.
The plying ball is coming along nicely as I did manage to salvage most of the tangled mess - very slowly and carefully.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

This is NORMAL

This is normal for a fibre-ista home, right?

Abi's practice fibre and some random yarnage in tea room

Mini skeins display - this is deliberate

FO hiding...

WIP next to the desk. Adding a wider border to an old FO I was never satisfied with.

That's where my fuschia singles are hiding. I've been looking for that box - safely tucked out of the way.

Fibre on a shelf and half-hiding in a box after the fibre fest.

WIP that belongs in the van for long drives. I think it snuck into a bag that came in. Waiting at the door to go out again.

FO that needs blocking - waiting above the living room TV.

WIPs in the living room and some leftovers I haven't stashed away yet from other recent FOs.
WIP I was working on during kiddos' bath

hiding in my newly-accessed bedroom closet... WIPs on the top shelf - spinning and ? Oh, look, hellabitch horns. And a few lace shawls folded on a shelf.

Primary WIP in the living room / wherever I'm nursing.

WIP baby sock I didn't finish for baby shower because I couldn't find the first to know when to start heel...

While photographing above WIP look what I spotted. Wonder where it was hiding that kiddos dug it out from.
craft room bulletin board with swatches and such

where the stash belongs

see, I do put some away

even if some has to stored above

...or in another cupboard

okay, so it doesn't always find its way into the cupboards...
Sorting/storing stuff is still a WIP in general...  Only recently finished master bedroom. Now I just have to wrap up the course I'm teaching at the university.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Jurisfiction beginnings

I'm not looking at my Sabbatical cardigan. I'm not thinking about how much of it needs to be frogged and reknit.
I'm moving on to a new cardigan instead - a Jurisfiction by Glenna C.
Working it up with some Briggs & Little / Selkirk from Ram Wools in copper.
This will be my biggest cable project to date.
(Except, when one considers how many cables go into a heavily cabled pair of socks, I really shouldn't underestimate my previous works.)

I have finished 2 sleeves. The first was my gauge swatch, so it has been blocked. As soon as I finished the second, I had to cast on for my back. Loving this knit.

Unblocked sleeve on top of blocked sleeve for size comparison

 It really is amazing what blocking does for your knitting. This is the first time I've blocked cables and ribbing. I knit a lot more lace and I have always loved the process of blocking my lace for its glorious transformation.  With this blocking I paid attention to how the fabric changes.  Primarily I was concerned to block for gauge.  While knitting I was getting 3" tall for the row count where I wanted 3.75".  I assumed I would get gauge, so knit my length accordingly - allowing an extra quarter inch for every inch I knit.  Then when I blocked, I made the width to the diagram and stretched the length to add those extra quarter inches.

I look forward to blocking the back and watching those knotted cables grow.