Monday, April 23, 2018

Spinning Box

I usually buy wool direct from the farmer.  I scour it, dye it, card it, and spin it.   Occasionally I buy wool that is already processed.  It is so much easier to sit down and spin without all of the prep work that goes along with it.  A few months ago, I signed up for a spinning box from Camaj Fiber Arts.  This box seemed to be better than the last couple, even though I am not a big fan of the color orange.

The spinning box loot.

Ice Cream is so fun!!!

I hope you had a great weekend and you were
 able to eat ice cream too!


Sunday, April 8, 2018

Using Wool Locks

Wool locks can be used many ways.  I am making a rug at this time.  It will be a while before the reveal.  LOL  I have made trivets and placed the locks around the outside in the last row.  I like that look, but it is not real full.  I have placed locks into the wool and let them do their own thing and I get some great results.  I really like the look of crocheting or knitting a lock in a stitch.  The middle of the lock I feel will hold the lock in place the best.  It depends on what is made and who it is made for as to the best use of my locks.  I like to use hand-spun yarn when I crochet or knit the lock in place.  Of course, felting works well too.  I recently made a trivet for someone.  Her favorite color is blue, but other colors work fine too.  In the center of the trivet is a button containing a blue bird and a pink flower.  The locks are smaller locks and come from BFL (sheep breed) and dyed in various pink colors.  The yarn I used to crochet with is hand-spun.  It is mostly blue yarn, with one ply in blue with various colors and fibers, one ply in pink Merino, and one ply in pink cotton thread.  I started crocheting a circle in the normal style.  Once I had two rows crocheted, I would catch the center of a lock in a stitch and single crochet it twice in that stitch.  I would then put three stitches between the stitches.  If the trivet gets too big, I would crochet the second and third stitch between stitches together.  This method gave the trivet some fullness.  It is very fluffy and it can be shaken into place somewhat if it gets settled down.  Yes, I like shabby chic decor.  LOL
This looks like it is about 4" wide, but it is closer to 9 inches in diameter.

In the picture below, a little girl is telling me that I have too much wool.  LOL  She is being photo bombed in the picture by little Joy, the Toy Fox Terrier.  I don't get a lot of work done when the grand-daughter is here.  She likes to play tea and sit on my lap.  Trivets under teapots come in handy at our house.  

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

What are you making???

When plying, don't hesitate to ply unmatched yarns.  An example of plying 2 unmatched yarns is in this crocheted trivet where I plied Dutch Spotted Sheep (Bonte Schaap) and a varied green yarn with lots of sparkles.  This batt is named Irish Blessing and contains Merino, Alpaca, Corridale, BFL, silk, and Angelina fibers.   It comes from Fawkes Farm.  Unfortunately, most of the sparkle doesn't come across in the picture.  I put a green button in the center of this trivet.  The button makes the trivet look complete.

I am in a couple fiber clubs.  They send fiber in colorways I would not have picked out if I went shopping.  This is an example.  A mostly gray Merino wool top with an orange and a light teal.  It really is not pretty.  I had to make it fun, so I added fun fibers with the Merino wool.  BFL in golden and orange, BFL in light teals, Nylon sparkle, mulberry silk, and orange kid mohair.  All natural fibers except for the sparkle.

Blending on a hackle and using a diz to remove the fiber from this hackle.
After spinning

Top of the hat.

After this, I spun the Merino top and made it a two-ply yarn.  I single crocheted a border and placed 8 squash colored buttons around the band.  This hat can be worn by male or female, but I think most men would not want the buttons on the bottom border. 

 As you may have noticed, buttons may give a hand-made item a finished look.  For the last row, I like to crochet around the stem of each stitch in the second to the last row, which gives the bottom of the hat more support and doesn't allow the hat to stretch out of place. 

 Another crocheted, hand-spun yarn trivet.  As you see, there is a button in the center.  This button is not flat, but the raised stitches around the decorative center allow for most items to sit level.  

I hope you had a wonderful Easter!  Dawnie

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Do you have a surplus of hand spun yarn?

Do you have a surplus of hand spun yarn?  I do, and I hesitate giving it away since it took so long to spin using a spinning wheel.  Some of the yarn is small amounts left over from a project, other amounts are spinning experiments, and some yarn is from the end of the bobbin(s).  To make the rug, I cast on approximately 125 stitches, using 3 strands of yarn, and a 14" size 10 pair of knitting needles.  As I run out of one yarn, I added another yarn from my stash.  There really is not a gauge. 

My finished size is about 21 inches by 29 inches.  Any size of rug will work fine.  I still have more yarn surplus and I am debating if I make a table runner, or maybe a set of place mats.  I think the rug turned out very well and the colors are great! 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Satin Ribbon In Yarn

Some of the BFL wool I recently dyed, I decided to spin onto a core yarn or leader of 1/16 inch wide green satin ribbon.  I have plied yarn with this same type of ribbon,  It works fine but you have to ply it a with extra twist or the ribbon will hang off the yarn.  I purchase the ribbon from a party supply store on line in 100 yard spools.

I had a small piece of felted wool dyed pink.  I thought of doll clothes.  My grand-baby thought it would make a car seat cover.  LOL

I hope you had a great weekend!  Dawnie

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.


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