Knitting and Spinning Updates and a New Cria!

In the first picture are some of the things I am actively working on, a little girl baby sweater (yes the Flax :)), it’s in the Yarn Bee Soft & Sleek in Coral colorway. The larger item is a garter stitch comfort shawl in Lion Brand Homespun in the Waterfall Cascade colorway. The last item is the hat I will be knitting for my family member out of the lavender hand-spun (wool with a little alpaca blended in) that is showing in the next picture. I haven’t started the hat (Snowtracks Cap by Timothy Peters) yet, but I did get it wound into a ball. I actually enjoy the hand winding process, I find it a mindless and peaceful experience, well except when it is tangled as I wind, then it’s just an experience :P.

The next picture is all the yarn I’ve spun this year, (well except the orange skein it was a fractal spin I did last year, it’s just pretty :P).

The next two pictures are the alpaca cria (baby alpaca) roving I am spinning on my Rick Reeves double drive wheel. The alpaca fiber is butter soft as it goes through my fingers, and oh my it almost spins itself!! This roving was from a cria fleece that my daughter bought me a few years back that I had sent off to a mill in the east to turn into roving and they did a tremendous job!!

The last picture is one of my son’s alpaca, Summit, and her new cria, who was born this last Thursday, isn’t he a cutie, he’s white just like his mom! His dad was a beautiful fawn color from another herd. They have one more cria to be born in the next two weeks and that will make 4 new babies this year.

Finished Fractal Spin!

Finished the 2nd bobbin on Saturday and plied them together yesterday and washed it and set it out to dry. Done today!!! It is 187 yards and 91 grams, I figure maybe a dk weight. I should have been closer to 200 yards and maybe 93 or 95 grams but I didn’t weigh the halves before I started and I had more on one bobbin than the other, so there’s that, sigh, should still be enough for a hat :). It’s much more vibrant on my phone picture so I’m hoping that the muted colors that show to me are just my monitor. Let me know in your comments if they look muted or vibrant to you.

I want to start some cria (baby alpaca) fiber on my Rick Reeves wheel also, I haven’t used it in a while and I need to get back on it and make sure I don’t loose what I gained on spinning on a double drive wheel.

For my knitting, I am working on an orange color baby sweater (I might have already shown the start a month or two ago) and still working on the sock (lol) and a comfort shawl and one of my charity hats. I will post pictures later this week on how far along they all are. There are a couple of bookmarks I want to get started and done too, but they are small and can be done quickly. I don’t like having too many irons in the fire but here I am, sigh.

Hope everyone is enjoying the wind down of summer and thinking about the fall weather. 🙂

Finished the Tour de Fleece

Sorry, once again I can’t resize the pictures :(. The colors are more vibrant in real life, they even looked better than this on my phone, so this (hopefully) is just my computer and you will see them correctly, sigh.

The picture on the left is the 1st bobbin for the 2nd skein of yarn, and I finished it before the end of the Tour de Fleece. The 2nd picture is the roving I will be spinning for the 2nd bobbin and because I have separated it into 3 lengths the colors will be shorter when I spin them and that will make this a fractal spin with the first bobbin having all the colors one after the other and the 2nd bobbin having the same colors repeating 3 times and then plying them together. this is only my 2nd fractal spin, interested in how it will turn out.

The nice thing about the Tour de Fleece is that it has ignited my desire to spin and I will try to keep this going by continuing to keep spinning 20 to 30 min a day or more if the mood strikes me :).

Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the beautiful weather (hopefully the weather is beautiful where you are, tho I’m sure those of you who are in your winter are impatiently awaiting spring :).)

Tour de Fleece 1st Skein and Next Project

The first picture is the first finished skein of yarn, tho is not showing as colorful as it is with bits of blue, light turquoise and lavender in it. Sorry about that :/. It was a little under-plied but I can make a hat for a family member and it won’t show. It ended up being 213 yds and 93 grams, a nice sport weight.

The 2nd picture is the roving for the next project. It is a beautiful hand dyed merino wool, 3.8 ounces of roving. The dyer let it felt just a little bit during her dying process so I’m having to pull it apart width wise to separate it enough to spin and even doing this, it’s a bit hard to pull out as I spin and my hands are letting me know they do not appreciate it :P. As beautiful as the colors are spinning up, I will be glad when I am done with this one. I may, to make it a bit easier to spin, choose to do this as a fractal spin because I can separate the half of the fiber, for the 2nd bobbin, into 3 long strips which should help it to spin easier. I did separate the full roving into half, length ways already and am using the 1st half for the 1st bobbin. Guess we will see what happens 🙂

We got quite a bit of rain in the last 2 days, and I’m sure the farmers are appreciating it, at least until harvest time. The temps have been pretty nice 70’s and lower 80’s but the humidity is up. Hope everyone is enjoying their summer :).

Think I’m going to go get a milk shake, my favorite is chocolate-cherry :P.

Tour De Fleece and a Mandalorian goody :)

I can not figure out how to make these smaller :(, every time they update this platform it’s harder to use :(.

I am doing a spin-a-long for the Tour De Fleece (take off of the Tour De France race). I am spinning with Fiber Love Diary on youtube. She has a great spinning and dying podcast. The first picture is one of the two batts I made on my blending board with Polypay and some firestar I dyed. I think I put a little too much firestar in LOL, but it’s a learning experience right? I still have to put this 2nd batt on the blending board for one more pass. This was day two, sorry no picture of day 1. I won’t be posting everyday but I will when I get the first bobbin done, then the second and then after plying before I start on another batt or roving :). This is going on for 3 weeks and I’m spinning about 20 min a day, well maybe 30 :P, except we take a break on the days the bicyclists aren’t riding.

The last picture is a gift I got from my son and his spouse. They go to Disney World and Universal Studios every year, well except for last year when absolutely no one went haha, so the year before or maybe it was the year before that, anyway when they went to Universal Studios they brought me back a wand from Harry Potter World, I’m such a fan of the Harry Potter movies! This year because I am such a Mandalorian fan they brought me back these two pins, which are now adorning two of my knitting project bags, what more could a knitter want? They look very awesome and I am loving them!!

Hope everyone is well and enjoying the summer, or at least the air conditioning :P, and the longer days (meaning more sunshine, well except for all the rainy days we’ve had lately)

Finishing Some and Casting on All the Things!

Spring has finally brought back my knitting and spinning mojo!

First my finished spinning project that has been on my wheel for about 10 months? I finished the wool/alpaca singles I was spinning and plyed them. Well you can’t really call it finished because now it will become something haha, I will be knitting that into a hat for a family member who moved to AZ and complained this past winter it was cold HAHAHAHA, I’m laughing because I live in the Midwest which is where she grew up too, Cold My Foot! sigh. I dyed the yarn lavender, and it will become the Snowtracks Cap by Timothy Peters, free download. My yarn is not dk but a light sport weight so I will knit the medium size instead of the small that I usually do for her. Hopefully it will fit :P.

2nd, Knitting, I am working on the Ara Fingerless Mitts, free Ravelry download. One is done except the thumb and I’m at the start of the design on the 2nd one. Should have those done this week, yeah!! They are only 3 1/2 months late :P. I am using left over yarn from the wedding shawl I knit last fall I am using a ChaoGoo size 3 9″ needle and I always have to go down a needle size because I knit a little loosely, the combination continental knitting style seems to do that, but because that yarn is a light fingering I would use a size 2 needle next time if I make them again.

Next I started another hat to donate to the homeless shelter this next fall. I like knitting them, they are a mindless comforting knit when I need to unwind and think about things, or just not think at all, so not only am I doing good I’m also finding comfort in them. I’m using I love this yarn and my new Knitters Pride Ginger Special interchangeable needle set, size 5 needle with a 16″ cord. These needles are so nice to knit with, not as grabby as bamboo but not as slippery as metal. I love these sets!

Next I’m also working on a long term project that I have had on my needles for a couple of years, eventually it will get done and I will probably give it away and then start another, it is just for something to knit when I need some mindless knitting that has pretty colors to pick my spirits up, is just a long skinny diagonal scarf. We all need those mindless knits. I’m using a bamboo size 5 needle 12″ and Yarn Bee, Glowing, in purple multi from Hobby Lobby.

Finally I have started another baby sweater using Hobby Lobby, Yarn Bee, Soft and Sleek, in Neutral Stripe and a Knitters Pride Karbonz size 5 needle 16″ for the neck and ChaoGoo size 5 needle 9″ for the cuffs and KnitPiks Radiant (wooden) needle size 7 16″ for the body and ChaoGoo Bamboo size 7 needle 9″ for the sleeves. After I get past the yoke the body and sleeves are mindless knitting too. There must be a theme here!

I generally do not have so many things going at once I usually find it stressful to have so many things on the back burner, but I just want to knit all the things!!

I hope everyone is enjoying this wonderful Spring, it’s been warm and cooler, warm and cooler, rainy and sunny etc, but it’s not COLD!! The birds are out and singing, lawn mowers are humming, the grass is green and leaves and flowers are budding and the Spring smells are amazing! Gotta love it!!

New Child’s Flax Sweater and Some New Progress Keepers!

Before I start, just wanted to say, I didn’t forget Easter.  I celebrated Easter on the phone (conference call) with some members of my church, it was nice.  I just didn’t get on the computer afterwards.  Hope everyone had a good Easter, even tho we were all physically distancing ourselves.

I did finally get a picture of my Spring Robin :).  He kept his back to me so I didn’t get that beautiful red breast, but there he is :).

I didn’t get around to posting 1/2 way through this new Flax knit but here it is all finished.  Still using Hobby Lobby’s Yarn Bee Soft & Sleek, colorway Violet Stripe.  I think I neglected to say in my previous Flax sweaters my needle sizes etc.  It calls for a worsted/aran yarn and the one I am using is worsted.  I generally have to go down a size needle to get correct gauge because I am a looser knitter, but I went down two sizes on the body and sleeves and one size on the neck and cuffs.  So I used a size #5 on the ribbing and cuffs and a size #6 on the body and sleeves.  I’m sorry I don’t know what the mm sizes are :(, I like the fabric it created much better.  I used a 16 inch circular on the neck and body and 9 inch circular on the sleeves and cuffs.  I do like the way the color blocks on this yarn and pattern :).

I think my next project will be some more of those cute lace bookmarksI made 2 years ago.  They are a free pattern and the link for those is on my linked page.

I did some spinning on my balcony today, since it was about 60F.  It was nice to sit outside and enjoy a peaceful spin :).  I’m working on the second bobbin for the white wool/alpaca I am spinning.  I am having to have someone to make new bobbins for my Rick Reeves wheel, the other ones I had made didn’t fit and they didn’t have the metal piece in the middle to protect them while I spun.  I found someone who specifically makes them for this wheel.  Hopefully I can order them next month.

And as you can see, I bought some more progress keepers from CharmingMinis , they are sooooo cute, her artistry with polymer clay is amazing!! She always sneaks in a extra gift.

Hope everyone is staying safe and that we get back to normal soon, at least it’s getting warm!

New Stitch Markers and Progress Keeper, Spring But Not, Fiber Festival and that Dang Virus.

I have been enamored with The Mandalorian from the Disney Star Wars series.  I have finished all the season “chapters” as they are called and await this fall when the new new season comes out.  Ugh only one season a year.  But while I wait, I bought a Mandalorian stitch markers set with a Yoda progress keeper.  I got them from Adoreknit and as usual they are wonderful.  She even gave me an extra progress keeper that has the Mandaloian helmet in color and a stitch marker holder to keep them safe.  She is a great maker!

It’s Spring here but not, I have seen a few Robins, no pictures yet, might not happen this year, go into that later.  I have seen the Geese coming back, but because I live in the mid-west, Mother Nature said it’s not Spring until she says so and she sent us more snow last Saturday.  It was raining today.  Spring will be here sooner than later tho :).

The Saturday before last I went to a fairly local fiber fair with my son and his spouse.  Picture shows part of their set up and I have a picture of my son using his new sock knitting machine.  He loves it and makes a pair of socks pretty quickly :).  They had me bring my more portable Rick Reeves spinning wheel and spin while I was there.  Almost finished with bobbin number 1 of the Alpaca/wool blend I was spinning at the Mall fair in Dec (yeah I’m a slow poke sometimes) then I will spin another bobbin and ply a skein of yarn :).  It was a fun day.  This wheel spins very well and I’m enjoying the experience on a double drive wheel.

I did get another charity hat done, but haven’t gotten around to getting a picture yet.  Caught another cold about 3 weeks ago (does that make 4 or 5 this winter?) and just dealing with some bronchitis now.  It’s not as bad as usual but I haven’t felt like doing a lot.  I’m doing my best to stay inside because of that dang virus going around (that is why I don’t have any first Robin pictures, but I’ll keep trying), tho once in a while I remember something I forgot at the grocery store, I try not to go, but you know how it is :P.  I was able to start and finish all of the 2 seasons of Lost in Space.  It was pretty good but oh my gosh the new season doesn’t start until next year!  All these one season a year shows will make our heads explode!  In the mean time I’ll just re-watch Merlin, Harry Potter, Star Wars, and the Star Trek series, at least they are all finished and aren’t going anywhere.  I do enjoy a good marathon from time to time :).

Everyone stay safe.

Fractal Spinning Done!

 

It’s either my photo skills or my camera (could be both), but my spinning pictures are really muted.  In rl (real life) these are brighter.  The fractal spin does mute things a little bit but the purple bobbin on the bottom was brighter purples and the aqua is a little darker (tho not dull) and has more blue hues scattered through out in it.  I got 274 yards of yarn and it weighted 106 grams, that would make it a light sport weight I think.  It was a fun spin and I will have to dig around for patterns that require that much yardage or less to make something nice.  Maybe a cowl or if it’s enough yardage a hat and mitt set.  I’m not a big fan of yarn chicken, so I will be looking at patterns. 🙂

I’m going to start the scarf for my friend from the teal yarn that I finished spinning just before this last spin.  I think I’m going to knit my Little Lace Daisy Scarf pattern.  But I will add a few more stitches to the edges to make it a little wider.   I showed her the finished yarn and she loved the teal color :).

I also am going to work on finishing the Changing Staircases Shawl that I have been working on.  I think I only have two more complete pattern sections (20 rows each) to be done.  Then I can block it and store it, it’s a Christmas gift.  Not waiting until closer to Christmas like I did last year, because if you remember “Murphy” moved in and I broke my hand last August and there was no Christmas knitting.  “Murphy” isn’t allowed at my house anymore :P.

I will be planning my next spin, but I want to finish the shawl first and get started on the scarf, then I won’t feel so anxious.  I generally do not have more than 2 to 3 projects going at any given time.  One is always a mindless knit for stressed out and non thinking days (usually a dishcloth or diagonal scarf, both which are very mindless knits.)  When I have more than that, I feel drawn in to many ways and anxious.  When I get more comfortable with the heels and gussets on socks, I will add them to my mindless knits :).  Besides I need a reason to test out my Flexi Flip needles (looks like they are on sale for 20% off at the moment.)  Maybe they will still be on sale when I get paid!

Blending Cloth Arrived!

 

My blending cloth came today from Howard Brush Co in ME, USA.  I ordered it this past week end and it was sent on Monday and I received it today,   I have to say not only is the quality excellent but the process was so fast!!  In the first picture is some of the fiber that will be spun on the 2nd bobbin for the yarn I am working on.  The 1st bobbin is pictured below (lol obviously way below.)  The 2nd picture is my first rolag, more on that in a moment.  The blending board DIY project is not hard, it will requite a 12X12 piece of blending cloth (mine is 72 TPI, teeth per sq inch), that seems to be a reg normal.  Cloth for finer fibers will have 90 TPI.  You will also need a wooden cutting board large enough for the 12X12 cloth, I got mine at Tuesday Morning it is a 16X13.5.  You will also need a dowel cut into 16 inch lengths (you should get 3 from one dowel, you will only need two 16″ lengths so one dowel is plenty) I had mine cut at Home Depot, which is where I bought the dowel.  I’m sure Lowe’s would cut it for you if you bought it at their store as well. If you already have a staple gun you are good to go, if not you will need to purchase one of those as well.  My staple gun was only $16.  Ok, big fopah there, my dad always taught me never to say only and money in the same sentence.  Sorry Dad!  Staple the cloth to the cutting board (DO NOT glue it) the cloth will need the flexibility of NOT being glued down.  You will need a stiff paint brush or if you don’t mind spending the money, Howard Brush Co has special tools you can use to push the fiber into the teeth as you put it on the blending board.  Total cost for me was Blending Cloth $52, Cutting Board, $11, Staple Gun $16, dowel $1.50.  I already had a tool to help push the fiber into the teeth of the blending cloth.  If you buy the blending board it can cost up to $200.  DIY is nice :).

I will put a link  to a video on youtube by the Knitting Expat for how to make and use your new DIY blending board :).  I follow her knitting podcasts but if you are only interested in the blending board info it starts at about 13.27 into this video.   There are many other video’s on youtube that you can watch as well for using the blending board.

Ok two lessons I have learned for using the blending board already: #1 DO NOT roll your rolags to tight when you are rolling them off the blending board or it’s a real struggle to get the dowels out, hahahaha  #2 be careful when using the blending brush with the metal teeth (or dog grooming tool if that is what you get), because the teeth on the blending board are not forgiving on your fingers!! :P.  Think I will get a stiff paint brush to test out as well :).  I’m sure there will be many more lessons.

  Ok earlier I said to see the picture below for the 1st bobbin of singles I just finished spinning.  I’m ready to put it in now, sorry I am a bit wordy when I try to explain things :P.  I wish the colors would be more true, it really is much brighter than this.   It is dark aqua (or light teal) and varying shades of purple.  This bobbin is mostly the purple.  The 2nd bobbin will have mostly the dark aqua with some purple running through it so it will contrast and and be more fractal.  Looking forward to seeing how it will turn out :).  No plans in my head yet as to what I want to knit with it.  I’m sure it will be next week before I have a plyed yarn, because tomorrow I have a young family member coming so I can show her how to make an fresh apple pie and apple butter.  🙂