Alpaca Farm Days 2022 Last Weekend and General Conference this Weekend

I went to my son’s Alpaca Farm Days on Saturday and after Church on Sunday to spin while people came to see the alpaca and feed them carrots and pet a few of them. My son has 22 alpaca, 4 males and 18 females. He didn’t breed last year so no babies this year, but he has bred them this year so there should be babies (alpaca babies are called Cria) next year! Here are some pictures from the event, 2 pictures of those beautiful alpaca (I wanted to get a picture of the yoga with the alpaca but it was on Sunday morning and I was at Church). He had a skirting/sorting table set up with a fleece on it and he had a tumbler that he built and used to clean the fleeces before sending them off to the fiber mill so they don’t have so much work to do but I didn’t put the picture in (sorry), and he had his drum carder set up to show people how to make batts. The last picture is my Rick Reeves spinning wheel, that I brought to spin some alpaca with. I managed to get 1 bobbin done there and I have started the 2nd bobbin, hope to finish it this week and ply it so I can finish the 2nd bobbin on my Kromski Polonaise. I get anxious when I have too many things going at the same time, so one at a time to get it worked down!

I am going to finish the hat I am knitting (very close to done) and start a sweater to work on this weekend for General Conference week end (friend’s baby is coming in two months). Because it’s on the BYU channel on cable or on the BYU channel free to add on the Roku plug in on TV, and at http://www.churchofjesuschrist.org on line, Saturday from 11am to 1pm and 3pm to 5pm and the same times on Sunday, I can sit and enjoy the wonderfully spiritual talks that bring peace to my soul and knit at the same time, can’t get any better than that! Hope you can enjoy some peace in your day and watch a little bit of this wonderful General Conference time.

Please join me in prayers for less damage, injuries and loss of life as possible during the hurricane. I know there will be some of all of that and the devastation of any kind of loss is horrible, so I’m praying for the blessing of help from others, and peace and comfort as they deal with and rebuild what damage was done and that people not affected by this large hurricane will reach out with prayers and physical help to help them. I know the help was much appreciated a couple of years ago when we had that awful derecho.

2022 Tour de Fleece Starting 2nd Spin

This is my new spin. It will be a fractal. The full braid is a 2nd braid in that color I had just to show you the braid before I split it to spin. The braid I’m using (Targhee wool/Bamboo/Tussah silk) is split in half (back left), then the other half is split into thirds (back right stacked on top of each other). They are all spun end to end on their respective bobbin, that way the ones split into thirds will be shorter in color length, and will be plyed with the half on the first bobbin where the colors will be longer. It’s an interesting spin :). Some of the colors will end up plying with the same color and others will be mixed up and look like barber poles. I took a picture of the tag on the braid of fiber, it is a deep stash pull. The fiber dyer is still around you can find them at Brenda and Heather Yarns .

Starting Monday we will be in the 90’s every day except Wednesday and it will be 87. I try not to wish for Fall because that means Winter is coming and I know I will miss the warmth and sunshine, but sigh, what can you do. So glad for air conditioning because we are also very humid.

2022 Tour de Fleece, First Skein Done!

This was a long time coming, yea!!!! This was about 219 yards, 14 wpi, 89 grams, it looks like a light sport weight. I still have a little I need to ply off the bobbins as it was so much finished plyed yarn I couldn’t wouldn’t fit it all on the bobbin. I’m thinking about 11 to 15 more yards maybe, I’ll ply that off tonight and see, got close to having the 100 grams on there. Thinking I might need a bigger bobbin for plying :P.

I’m preparing my next spinning project to start tomorrow. It’s a deep stash beautiful pastel multi color braid that I’m thinking of doing a fractal out of. I’ll put a picture in and more info on the braid tomorrow after I’ve prepared it for the fractal spin :).

The temperature has been in the 80’s but the humidity has been uncomfortable, will be worse with 90’s in our near future, sigh. Stay cool out there!

Tour de Fleece 2022

Another year spinning with the Tour de Fleece while the Tour de France bicycle race is going on :). These are two pictures that show my progress. This is CVM (California Variegated Mutant) sheep fleece blended with about 15% alpaca. The mutant tag has to do with the fleece coloring. I already had the 1st bobbin spun and had started on the 2nd bobbin and they just sat there for months while I waited for my knitting/spinning mojo to come back, this event is helping to spark that :). I think I have about 1/2 oz of fiber left to spin then I can ply it and presto, yarn. 🙂 This skein is a surprise gift for someone who made me a gift last year. Hoping she will enjoy her little surprise. 🙂

My life has been pretty busy and there aren’t enough hrs in the day to try to squeeze in enough sleep, but that’s entirely my fault, if I would go to bed earlier it wouldn’t be a problem, but sorry night owl here and I’d rather be doing other things except when it’s time to get up hahaha.

Our temps have been very warm and humid :(. I did get to spin on my balcony this last week, that day was so beautiful outside and that is something I enjoy doing. I usually try to do that in the spring before the flies and mosquitoes and other biting bugs are out but this last spring was a lot of overcast and rain, not conducive for the care of my spinning wheel. But at least I got one day in so far this year. In case sometime during my years of blogging I have forgotten to mention, I wish I could give the man that invented refrigerated air a hug, it’s so amazing!

Hope you all are doing well and enjoying whatever weather you have in your area.

FO! And the Hat I Will be Working on

I finished the scarf I was making for a friend for Christmas, yeah it’s late, so what else is new :P. The color isn’t showing right on my screen, it’s actually a fawn color and not grey. This is my Little Lace Cat’s Paw Scarf that I corrected a line of the pattern and added two more rows to, it’s not a beginners pattern but it’s not hard, just pay attention to what row you are on. I knit this out of some of my hand spun cria (baby alpaca), that my daughter had given to me as a fleece and sent it off to a fiber mill to have processed into what they call bumps for spinning, which is similar to a batt of carded fiber. Soft stuff!

The next picture is of the hat I am finishing for my friend this is where she left off with her knitting. It is Quivet (muskox fiber, and is very soft stuff too, and very warm) and I am getting ready to figure out where she was with it and see if I can finish it for her.

Our temps are back up to normal, I always hate those arctic blasts, but we get them every year, and I’m sure we will get another one before the end of Feb. The days are teens and 20’s ambient temps, occasionally we get up to the mid 30’s and we think it’s spring (LOL), and the nights are single digits to below 0 ambient temps, but I’m not out at night so I keep warm at home :P. Hope everyone else is staying warm as well.

An FO and And a WIP

I have finished the comfort shawl I was working on for a friend at church. It’s a free pattern and I have linked it to the Raverly page. It’s a nice mindless knit so you can think about why you’re knitting it, or if it’s not for someone else, you can think about whatever you want :P. I used 4 skeins of Lion Brand Home Spun yarn. It looks like it has grey in it, but that is lavender, again not a great camera or maybe it’s just me :P.

I have started another Flax Baby Sweater by Tin Can Knits , I really like knitting this sweater, it is in sizes 0 to 6XL. The color way I’m using is Teal Stripe and as usually I have to do a little color management on the sleeves. For future baby sweaters, since I am knitting so many of these :P, I will be using Yarn Bee Warm and Cozy that is kinda solid colors, but not quite, they have a slightly shaded feel to them so no color management.

Fall is here, we are still in the 60’s and 70’s (F) which is fine :), but the leaves are starting to change because we are into the 40’s at night off and on now. Only nice thing about fall is my electric bill goes down, lol. Gotta take your blessings where you can, and I wouldn’t mind fall as much but it means winter is right around the corner and I am not a winter kinda girl. 30, 40 and 50F below zero temps are not my cup of tea, but I have to admit, hot chocolate helps, but then chocolate helps most things, lol.

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.

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 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.

Roving Breakdown for Fractal/Gradient Spinning

I saw a very interesting way to do fractal spinning without a blending board or drum carder on a youtube video here and a forced gradient here , videos are by The Knitting Expat.  What I am doing is a slight combination of these, we will see how it turns out. 🙂  The picture of the mostly purple parts on this first bobbin is not nearly as bright as it is. The picture taken by my camera looks bright and true to color but it didn’t translate into that when I uploaded it, ugh.   It’s not finished I still have two more sections of the purple before I start on the lighter 2nd bobbin.  Both fiber bundles weighed in at about 55 grams, if my weighing scale is to be believed :P.

Hopefully I will be ordering the the carding cloth next week so I can make a blending board for my spinning.  The Knitting Expat shows how to make one on this youtube video.  Then I will just need to buy a cutting board and staple gun to put it together with :).  So excited!

I got a lot of time spinning on the balcony this past week with the sunshine and nice warm but not hot days.  It was wonderful being outside for more than brief periods of time after our long hard winter and all the rain we had earlier this Spring, but the bugs are now coming out and we have off and on rain again for the next week.  Wish my balcony was screened in so I could enjoy spinning outside a bit longer without flies, gnats, and mosquitoes :).  Maybe I’ll try a essential oil bug repellent combination to keep them away :).