Monday, October 27, 2008

Whole lotta stupid...

Things are coming along here, if slowly. Here is proof that I have been spinning.

It's the first half of a light fingering weight yarn I've been working on for about a week. Approx. 198 yards of Navajo 3-ply merino/silk. It has gorgeous shades of brown, green, gold and peacock blue.

And these are some of the latest from the dye pot. This one's merino/silk...

And this one's just good ol' merino.

I tried to make progress with the dyeing again today and had an absolute disaster (as far as I can tell). I was trying to do a similar roving to the brown/blue one from my last post and as I started putting the dye in the pot, I had a moment of unbridled stupidity. I poured a whole lot of navy blue in the pot instead of brown. I did my best to make it work, but this afternoon when I put it in the washer to spin out the excess water, I had a second moment of stupidity and forgot that I'd just removed a comforter from the washer (sadly, in our house washing a comforter = a washing machine full of dog hair). It's going to take me a while to remove all the Jack Russell contributions.

I'm hoping to have the merino/silk yarn done by the end of the week, as well as the last two merino/silk rovings all dyed up and ready to go. Then (hopefully) just another couple weeks of spinning before the next update. Cheers. =)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Learning Curve

After spending the majority of last week finishing off my Spin-A-Long fiber and knitting, I've started to get back to work for my Etsy shop.

Today I finished spinning some sock yarn (tomorrow I ply- yay!) and I also finished up with the first of the merino rovings from the dyepot, which turned out pretty good...

The last merino rovings I dyed came out okay (they spin up fine), but there were still a few neps and they were still a bit fuzzier on the outside than I cared for. This new roving is the least fuzzy I have done so far.

The last few months I've spent a good deal of time reading (particularly through the hand-dyeing forums on Ravelry, which have been incredibly helpful) and I think I've finally found a dye method that suits me. It's helping me to get a more interesting-looking roving, there's no felting and the fuzz problem seems to be going away more and more as I get better.

I'm aiming to eventually do more spinning fiber than yarn. I love making handspun and always want to have it available, but I've been noticing lately that I rarely get to keep any for myself anymore. I think that having the rovings available will help to keep the shop from being so empty when I need some 'me' spinning time (at least that's the way it worked in my mind). I also want to offer more handspun that is made from my own hand-dyed fibers (though I still plan on offering handspuns from other fiber artists to keep things interesting).

I still have about a pound and a half of fiber left to dye and I'm hoping to have those rovings all done in the next couple of weeks. I have 3-4 more rovings that are in line to become handspun (including a merino/bamboo and a merino/silk) and when everything is done I'll be doing another update. Though it may be a while longer than usual as I'm doing a few 3-plys.

I'll try to have more pictures and details of my progress as I go, 'till then, cheers. =)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Spin-A-Long and Scrubbing

For about a week, I've been taking a time-out from spinning for my Etsy shop and indulging in some spinning time for myself. Last Thursday, my fiber for the Allspunup Ravelry Spin-A-Long came in the mail and I started working on it that night. I had the first half of the fiber spun and Navajo plied by the end of the weekend and have since been knitting it into a beautiful sock while I work on spinning the remaining fiber. I still have about an ounce (from the original 4.4oz) left to spin.

When I finished the first half of the yarn I was (and I'm most disappointed in myself now for ever doubting its beauty) worried that it wasn't going to look all that nice knit up- mainly because most of the bright yellow blended with the other colors in a way that made it less yellow/magenta-ish/navy blue-black and more orangey/lime green/dark green. I'm so glad I was wrong. It still looks quite different from the roving, but I absolutely love these colors together.

I clearly haven't been knitting with enough of my own handspun. The colors in this sock are absolutely gorgeous. This project is making me want to knit with almost nothing but my own handspun (or other peoples' handspun).

I know that I have made a rule for myself about not knitting or spinning when Paige is in school, but I think I'm going to make at least a half-day exception so I can finish spinning this yarn and get it plied tomorrow. I do have an excuse (sort of) as nearly all of the yarn has sold from my shop and I really do need to get working on yarns for restocking. So it's important that I get this one off the wheel, right?

So, I'm going to finish this up and then resume deep-cleaning the kitchen, which I've been having a surprisingly good time doing. I worked for half the day yesterday and a couple of hours the night before cleaning my kitchen cabinets with a home-made cleaner that works better that anything I have ever used. I found this recipe here for the General Purpose Cleaner I've been using. It's awesome. I've never before been able to entirely remove the grease build-up on my kitchen cabinets (which for the record was partially already there when we moved into this house) not even with 409, hot water and the rough scrubbie-side of a sponge. All I've had to do is spray this stuff on, let it sit for a minute and then gently rub it with a dry cloth to remove all of the greasy build-up/residue. My kitchen cabinets are cleaner now then they have ever been since we moved into this house.

The sanding is also coming along better now than it was before, and it's making me feel encouraged. It's a good feeling.

ETA: Tonight I ordered a pound of merino top and a pound of merino/silk top, so hopefully I'll be adding a number of new spinning fibers in the next couple of weeks-yay!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


This is a new addition to the etsy shop. It's a 2-ply handspun and hand-dyed merino sock yarn that I've been hoarding in my stash, not wanting to give it up.

Approx. 3.8oz and 400yds. I call this colorway "Mountain". It came from a dye-pot mishap, and I mostly didn't want to sell it because I love this colorway and I'm not sure if I can repeat it. Maybe next time I order more merino I'll give it another try.

Also, I updated my shipping thing-a-ma-jig this morning, and now I have several more international shipping destinations (yay!). It feels like a big step for me, but I've had a couple of international buyers recently (Australia and Germany) and I've had such awesome experiences with them that it seemed like a good idea to add some of these countries onto my shipping permanantly.

Lastly, I've got another beautiful merino sock yarn on the wheel right now, with a beautiful merino/bamboo in line behind it. I'll try to remember to get more pictures up soon. Cheers!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I updated the shop this morning. It isn't quite everything that I've had in the works, but it's still a healthy-sized update. I have a really pretty merino/bamboo sock yarn on the wheel right now and more in line behind it. I also still have some merino/bamboo roving to dye. Another small update should be happening in the next week and a half or so.

Back to work... Cheers.