Friday, February 23, 2018

Raw Wool

I like to purchase most of my spinning fiber from the farmer and raw, meaning unwashed and full of lanolin and dirt.  This is what the fiber looks like when I get it.






After I purchase the wool I scour it.  This really means that I let it soak.  Usually I rinse and soak several times to get most of the dirt and poo and pasture particles out of it.  If I agitate the wool too much, it will felt. If I decide to dye the wool, I like to use the rainbow dye method.  Below is a modified version of rainbow dying which I did last week.  

I started by filling a large stainless steel pot with water.  The water should be prepared according to the dye manufacture directions which usually means that I should add salt or vinegar to the water.  Place from one to two pounds of wool into the pot.   The wool should also be wet when placed into the dye pot.  I made a big M across the top of the wool with fluorescent green color dye.  Then I used a pine green dye across the top and the bottom of the wool in the pot.  In the center of this M, I placed cantaloupe melon color dye.  In the center of each of the M arch, I placed yellow dye.  I let this mixture sit for a while and then I may flip the wool over and get all of the dye mixed in.  Normally I can skip this step, but I used a new fluorescent dye for the M and it needed some aid in order to penetrate into the wool.  If the wool is too tight together, natural wool color spots will show.  (This may be a desired affect).  If I get a little heavy handed with the dye and I use too much, I will place more wool on the top of the dye so sop up the excess.  I weight it down with a plate and a jar of water on top of the plate. Once I get the water and wool to a boil, I turn off the heat, place a lid on the pan, and leave the dying wool over night.  The next morning I rinse the excess dye out of the wool and lay the wool out to dry.






Most of this wool came out to be a beautiful bright avocado color with a lighter color of yellow green.  A few areas of brownish show up from the melon colored dye.

Dawnie


PS  Don't forget to go to my website at:https://www.slipperywhenwetsoaps.com or my website at:https://www.custercottage.com or my Etsy shop at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CusterCottage





Thursday, February 22, 2018

Just a spinning....

eye candy



3 months ago,  I signed up for a fiber box from  TheSpinningBox.com.  It is a Mystery Box containing several different fibers and fiber blends.   Themes and colorways change every month. It is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get. You can sign up for one box at a time, or for longer commitments.  The box is worth the money.  The first box had a lot of fall colors in it, including orange.  I am not a fan of the color orange, but it gave me a lot of fun items to spin.  The next two boxes had less orange wool in them.  Usually I buy directly from the farmer and process my own wool, so it is really a treat to use fiber which is ready to use.







  


I spun a batt from the spinning box to crochet this cute little baby hat.  I plied it with gray Romney wool.  The gray fake-fur pompom also came in the spinning box!


Gift for an expectant mother.


The baby hat above is crocheted with 78 yards of most anything spinable.  It was made from many kinds of wool, mohair, alpaca, and nylon sparkle.  When you are tired of spinning a bobbin or more of one color and/or one type of yarn, do what I do.  (I know my entertainment is not the same as most people.  LOL)  I spin from 12" to 3 yards of one fiber and then I switch to another fiber, repeating different fibers until my bobbin is full.  Much of this fiber is spun lumpy bumpy or with some other technique to give the yarn a different look.   This yarn can be used as a one ply yarn or plied with a skein spun this same way, or plied with a regularly spun yarn.  This is fun yarn for hats, mittens, trivets, tea cozies, etc.  I don't use fancy fiber for pot holders if the fiber hangs down because I fear it could catch on fire.  







I made a trivet that is a little unusual.  I crocheted a regular circle with home-spun yarn and then I needle felted dyed wool locks of mystery wool fiber around the edges.  It looks kind of like it will start crawling, right?  LOL  It displays a teapot very nicely.  It is probably a little large for use as a coaster.  




I am playing with wool locks as you saw with the above project.  I am crocheting a chain with little circles.  Then I place a few locks into the circle and needle felt them in place.  This is will be a banner/bunting to string across a room or area of a room in my fiber area.  I think all fiber studios and yarn shop owners need one of these.  Don't you???  😊😊😊










More eye candy.  It is a dreary winter day and you probably need something to pick you up.




Dawnie





PS  Don't forget to go to my website at:https://www.slipperywhenwetsoaps.com or my website at:https://www.custercottage.com or my Etsy shop at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CusterCottage

Friday, January 12, 2018

What is on your wheel?

Lately I have been spinning Romney wool.  I am spinning lace weight (very thin) yarn.  What am I spinning the wool to make?  I have no idea at this time.  I enjoy spinning, but I get tired of one color, so I need to change color and wool breed quite often.  Romney is to be one of the easiest wool to spin, but the long staple length (average length of this fleece) may be difficult for some people to spin.  It is not next to the skin soft, so I can't make anything for me to wear, unless it is lined.  This wool is great for pot holders, trivets, tea cozies, rugs, etc.  
My helper is showing how lofty this wool is.

See all of the color variation in this wool.  This wheel is a Wee Peggy from approx. 1981.

Thank you for viewing!  Dawnie

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Girls at play

Dakota will stand and hold on to things but she needs 1 or 2 of your hands to walk---fear.

Kaylee has to wear lipstick wherever she goes.

Dakota and Kaylee are playing in their room,  They are wearing matching outfits Aunt Linda sent for Christmas.

More spinning but adding banana fiber...

More hand-spinning but I added colored banana fiber on one ply of yarn.  I crocheted with lace weight, natural colored beige/gray, mystery wool for the purple trivet.  On the green trivet, one ply was fawn Merino and the second ply was mystery wool.  I got my banana fiber from Blue Barn Fibers.https://www.etsy.com/shop/BlueBarnFiber










Thank you for viewing!
Dawnie


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Fabric Crocheting

I like to crochet with fabric every now and then.  I use cotton quilting fabric in strips about 3/4 of an inch wide to 1" wide.  I make Rag rugs, pot holders, etc.  When using fabric, I use a larger crochet hook than when I crochet with yarn.  My hand muscles hurt after using the larger hook since it is not my normal hook size.  I only use one brand of crochet hook.  I love the way they fit my hand and of course they are pink.  If only they had glitter in them, they would be perfect.  LOL  I use Tulip Etimo Rose Crochet Hook, 10.5/6.5mm/K.  It is smaller than many rug makers use.  I see many rug makers using a blue Boye plastic crochet hooks in a size S or so.   That is too large for me to grip comfortably.  My great-grandmother used a wooden hook.  It was larger than what I use.  I feel more comfortable with a metal hook since it is stronger.  I broke a few wooden hooks when I started crocheting fabric.  There are always fabric threads that get caught on the hook when I crochet with fabric---OK, I just pull too hard.  

I decided to make a bowl by crocheting a circle and then not increasing stitches so the sides would curve up.  I used a strip of fabric which was approximately one inch wide.  Along with that fabric, I used a novelty eyelash yarn.  As I crocheted, my bowl looked like a nest.  I hate to give up on such a lovely creation.  I placed a decorative Christmas bird ornament in the nest and went with it.  It is cute.....not what I originally planned.  I think one of those comments about getting lemons and making lemonade should go here.





I recently made 3 fabric trivets.  One was made with two different fabrics.  It can also be used as a pot holder.  (Rustic yet shabby chic)  The second was made with eyelash yarn, fabric strips, and a sparkle yarn.  This turned out real pretty, but the sparkle yarn is almost invisible.  In the third trivet, I used handspun Merino yarn to crochet an edge around the trivet. The yarn was mostly pink variegated but it had a pink, curly Wensleydale/Columbia locks placed in-between a second yarn as it was plied through the spinning wheel. I haven't decided if I like this trivet.  


  I used handspun yarn throughout the complete trivet, along with fabric strips.  It is all natural wool or cotton.  The curly wool is pretty, but I an not real a big fan of this trivet.   


Trivet made with fabric, eyelash yarn, fabric strips, and sparkle yarn.  The sparkle yarn barely shows.  I think I would use two strands of sparkle next time.


PS  Don't forget to go to my website at: https://www.slipperywhenwetsoaps.com or my website at: https://www.custercottage.com or my Etsy shop at:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/CusterCottage

Weekend Playing
A house that I dearly love in Hutchinson.  It is also for sale.


Thank you for viewing!

Dawnie

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Rag Rugs and Other Things



I have lately found spinning and making rag rug items for my home keeping me busy when I am not at my full time job.  I recently made the table runner and a couple of hot pads.  I am crocheting a circular rag rug, but it is only about 2 feet in diameter.  I want it to be closer to 5 foot in diameter.  Crocheting with fabric takes me a lot longer to do than crocheting with yarn.  Part of this time is due to the attachment of fabric pieces every 44" or so. 

Next, I plan to make another type of of rag rug using a peg loom.  I will update you with the progress once I get started with that rug.  

I don't know why I have been fixated with rag rugs so much lately.  I have always loved them and find them to have a welcoming charm in any home.  I only use new fabric.  It is remarkable how long the bright and bold colors hold up in a rag rug.  My great-grandmother made the one in the following picture.  This rug is at least 58 years old.  It has been well worn and in a few places the fabric is unraveling. 







PS  Don't forget to go to my website at: https://www.slipperywhenwetsoaps.com or my website at: https://www.custercottage.com or my Etsy shop at:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/CusterCottage