Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I finally finished spinning the Pigeonroof Studios South African fine in Lazy Daisy. This one really surprised me. I chain plied it and it did end up plying as I had thought it would: just like bfl. While I don't think I would do another chain plied yarn with the South African fine wool, I wouldn't be opposed to doing another fingering weight yarn with it. It's surprisingly soft.

"lioness" handspun sock yarn
approx. 4oz and 500 yards
chain plied

The name came to me upon finishing it and putting it in the bath. It reminded me much more of an African Lioness napping in the shade than a daisy. I don't name all of my handspun yarns, but this yarn seemed to want one.

I haven't decided what I'm going to do with this one yet. I might keep it, then again I might not. At least I don't have to decide on it today.

As far as my being cut off goes, I've been extremely good. I am still planning on joining the next SAL round for All Spun UP (it would feel wrong not to), but I haven't let myself buy anything else. I'm going to keep spinning and spinning on the stash and try to get as far through it as possible. We'll see how long it takes before I break. ;)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Cut off.

The other night I was able to sneak in another kettle-dyeing practice session and I ended up with this one. It is a grey Shetland wool, over-dyed in an autumnal combination of rust, gold, brown, deep green, navy and even a few hints of black.

I imagine this one spun into a nice worsted weight 2 ply and becoming a pair of Mitered mittens (E. Zimmerman). I think they would look nice. I've also considered spinning for a knitted hat, and although I see several patterns which would be lovely in these colors, I have a very sensitive noggin and I think my head would resent the Shetland. (My forehead -so far- seems to be the most picky when it comes to itchy wool -I could completely tolerate this wool as a sweater. While admittedly rustic, it's still quite soft.)

I've finally finished spinning my PRS Lazy Daisy roving and I'm going to let it rest on the bobbin over the weekend while I spin a lovely braid of sw merino/alpaca from All Spun UP. I bought it because A: it's one of my favorite blends and B: because the colorings remind me exactly of the ASU May/June SAL coloring. It's a rich blend of greens and dark blue/greens with little shocks of golden rust running through it.

Actually, I've noticed that I've been on a severe green-binge lately. I buy many different colors of handpainted rovings and I tend to have a month or two where I'll really be drawn to specific colors. I didn't notice this until I was looking through my past purchases on Etsy. For a whole month I'll buy nothing but blue -or gold -or green -or brown -or... you get the idea, and as I look at my purchase pages I see big blocks of just one or two colors. So, anyways, right now I'm really into greens and blues.

I also gave myself another shock when I started going through my fiber stash, photographing things I hadn't taken pictures of yet so I could add them to my stash on Ravelry. I think (at least for me) I almost have too much fiber. As much as it pains me to say it, I think I need to be cut off for a while. =(

P.S. Spin-A-Longs don't count.

Monday, October 19, 2009


My weekend went by way too fast. It didn't help that I had to pull an extra shift at work. At least I was still able to get stuff done, laundry in particular (I was able to get everything washed but some sheets and wool-things, which is a win in my world). Yesterday, my daughter and I made some chocolate mint marshmallows. They are very yummy and should be excellent on cocoa.

Also, my kettle dying experiment came out with great results. Now I know that less water in the pot is a good thing. I am thinking of spinning it into a 2-ply fingering to use in another February Baby Sweater. I have a friend who's expecting a baby girl in just a couple of months and this lovely, soft shetland might be just the ticket.

I'm also still plugging along at my PRS south african fine. I'm getting close to the end of it. Once it's done I'm going to let it rest for a week or so while I decide whether to go 2-ply or chain-ply. I think a chain-ply would be beautiful, though I have my doubts whether or not I've spun it evenly enough to have it look nice. I think it would probably react to chain-plying a lot like BFL. It feels like it will. Then again, it could be a very nice 2-ply, too. Maybe for a small shawl? We'll see...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Dyeing for color...

It's been a while since the last time I dyed fiber and tonight my desire to do so was overwhelming. I haven't ordered any fiber in a while, but as I was rummaging through a box I found some white Shetland I'd forgotten about. Within five minutes I had it soaking for the dye pot.

(This photo is a bit unflattering, but blogger rejected the nicer picture.)

I've thrown in a combination of greens as well as some brown and gold. I really hope this one turns out nice. I'm not all that great at kettle dyeing, but the only way I'll improve is with lots of practice and experimentation. Right?

I think that part of my problem in the past has been that I usually add too much water. So long as it's not boiling this isn't necessarily bad, though it seems to dilute the colors more than I like. When it comes to colors, I'm a big fan of bold, I always have been. Even as kid, I didn't care for pastels. I loved bold colors and earthy colors, and I'm still pretty much the same as an adult. So, this time I've added roughly less than half the amount of liquid to the pot and we'll see how it turns out.

I like doing rovings the other way (more of a hand-painted style) too, it's a lot easier for me to redo them, but sometimes they just seem to be missing something. I love kettle-dyed rovings, and personally I think they almost always have more character than my hand-painted ones. In the kettle the dyes get to mingle and when they do, it's magic.

Lately, I've also been daydreaming about dyeing yarn. For weeks now. I keep trying to push the thought to the back of my mind but it wont go away. Wildly-colored kettle dyed yarns... semisolids... yarns with layers and layers of color... I'll have to consider ordering a cone of yarn to experiment with. Soon. If my experiments don't turn out well, then at least there's always over-dyeing. I'd have plenty of yarn to make socks for the family.

It's about time to take my beloved Shetland off the heat. We'll see if it turned out as soon as it's dry.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Today is exactly the kind of day that makes you appreciate being wrapped up in warm wool.

The sky outside is an unrelenting grey and the hum of drizzling rain and rustling leaves can be heard from inside the house. I really enjoy this time of year. I like how the darkness comes early and leaves late. It's cozy.

This is the first of my two days off this week and I'm going to spend it doing laundry, knitting and spinning. I've been doing rather well on my monogamous knitting kick. I do have two projects on the needles at present. Though, it doesn't feel like cheating because one of them is my Angel Lace shawl and it's almost done. I'm not even going to bother with trying to photograph it until it's entirely finished and blocked. To me it's like photographing a woman with no make up (against her will). It's kind of insulting.

The second project is a new pair of socks for my husband. I like taking socks to work with me. It's good, small knitting and seeing as I haven't knit anything for my husband in a while and in this time I've stockpiled 4 different skeins of yarn to make socks for him, I thought I'd better get moving on it. Besides, as much as my husband gives me a hard time about my knitting, he redeemed himself yesterday when he surprised me by wearing one of the hats I knit for him. Willingly. He put it on in the morning before we left the house and he wore it all day. He finally took it off at bed time. He must have really liked it.

I'm using the Gentleman's Fancy Sock pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks and some KnitPick's Bare Merino/Nylon yarn that I kettle dyed into a rich, dark brown. I'm modifying the pattern for a shorter leg, as I don't have the yardage required for the pattern and my husband has an eleven inch foot. I weighed out the yarn ahead of time and I have 103 grams. I figure I'll stop to knit the heel after the first 16-18 grams. I suppose if I was really worried about it I could modify them to be knit from the toe up, but after knitting several socks toe up and then knitting them from the cuff down again, I've decided that I much prefer knitting from the cuff down. Toe up socks are great. I'm sure I'll knit many more in the future, but today I'm going to indulge my cuff-down craving.

Now, I'm going to go drink my Earl Grey, listen to A Perfect Circle: Mer de Noms (it's been in my stereo for weeks -I can't seem to get tired of it) and spin some Pigeonroof Studious South African Fine in the Lazy Daisy colorway. It going to be a great Friday.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

New Group!

I have decided to go ahead and start the Flickr group. I have only had a handful of people share their finished yarns and projects with me, but those few projects have been so wonderful I think they ought to be shared with everyone.

You can find the new group here. I hope that everyone who has something to share will join. Everyone is welcome. =)