160315pink-roving-detailin preparation..

Raglanify is in the home stretch.  I'm already working on the second sleeve.  After that, there is the neck, a very few ends to be dealt with and blocking.  Despite the weather and knowing that if these warm days continue, I may not wear it until next fall; I am already planning for another.   

Last week I began pulling various fibers, dyed and otherwise, out of my stash.  The one last color that I wanted, I was lucky to find at the Wayland Market.  It isn't a very soft wool, but I wasn't planning on using a lot of it.  It works well with all of the other very soft fibers that will be carded with it.

I love blending colors and fibers.  My carder does a great job if I keep each batch at about 1.75 oz. That meant a bit of math to keep the color of my sample.  Everything had to be weighed and each batch bagged for carding.  


I'm not sure what breed the natural is in the top left corner.  It is very soft and the color I was looking for.  When I checked the tag that was in the bag, it only gave me a weight and the animal's name.  Oh well.  Pure wool.  Then there was a bag of various fibers, floor sweepings, sort of.  I know that there is a very, very little bit of silk and some alpaca and probably something else.  The darker burgundy red is a Border Leicester.  


I've got another 9 or so ounces to card and a lovely big bag of these.  





coffee an'..



I'd no sooner clipped the ends from 'Stopover', which btw, I really enjoyed knitting (what's not to like about big needles and hand spun), then I was off to find yarn for another project.  I'd been searching for a simple raglan pattern, preferably top down.  Along the way, Raglanify came up in a conversation.  


Raglanify, in case you've been living under the same rock I was, is an app that generates a custom raglan sweater pattern.  After filling in a simple form with your gauge, needles sizes, desired fit and body dimensions, the app sends an email with the pattern.  I changed it to a pdf and loaded it into my Knit Companion app.  I love this stuff!  

This won't knit up as quickly as Stopover.  I chose size 8 needles.  My wrists are complaining.  9's may have been a better choice.  I have time to change after I get through the yoke increases.  I wanted the a bit tighter.  So here's my question....

Anyone want to join me?

2 hrs. of snow removal equals one good appetite. **

Apparently, walking behind a snow blower, no matter the miles, does not constitute exercise.  If it did, I would have lost at least one pound by now.  I figure a pound a storm would be a fair trade.  But no, not one.  Nada.  Zip. Zilch.  I weigh as much (and maybe a bit more) than I did when January began.  When I emailed this sentiment to a Cyndy over at Riverrim, she responded with '2 hrs. of snow removal equals one good appetite.' **  There's a thought.




Between the storms, and work, and if I don't fall asleep (because at least part of me thinks it has exercised), I've been carding and spinning batts of Shetland and silk that I dyed last fall.  Each batt delights me.  The variations in the hand dyed fibers, each a bit different, all part of the same, fascinate. So much fun.



At Rhinebeck, I treated myself to one special purchase, a Woolee Winder.  I'd always told myself that I didn't need it.  Maybe not.  The gain in time and the extra yardage that fit onto the bobbin makes it more valuable than I'd thought.   



I'm hooked. 

one + one =

this + this = that


If all goes as planned, I may have some time to spin this weekend.  We'll see.  In preparation, I carded up a pound of the Shetland blend I'm working on.  I'm thinking about two pounds equals a sweater.  hmmmm...


That ought to keep me busy.

learning, always learning

The more things I learn, the more things I need to know and more I find I don't know.

Take carding, for instance.  There are some fibers that I have carded that I am very pleased with.  They card up the way I expect them to be.  They are basic, easy wools.  I think that's why they are successful.   That's one of the things I think that I don't know about yet. 

  • A couple Sunday's ago, Jenny Bakriges challenged each person in the class to take a variety of fibers that she chose and that we, in this case, I knew little about.  We were to card them and spin them for an imaginary project also of her choosing.  I was given a bit of INGEO, a (miserable*) fiber made from corn.  One online description has it as "a fiber entirely derived from corn, with the final product a ‚Äúnatural plastic".  Felt like it, too.  The article goes on to state that it has great drape and so on..  It has a melting point of 170 F.  I found this description on a fiber site: INGEO (In-gee-o), which means Ingredients from the Earth, is made in the USA and represents a new era in fiber as one of several emerging products created from annually renewable resources.  It is one of those clever names that hints at it's origins and sounds good, like Canola oil, a derivitive of Canadian oil, a name having nothing to do with rape seed.  I gathered that it is a recycled bi-product of the sugar industry, corn syrup.  Recycling.. sounds like a good thing.  This past weekend I decided to card it with the green multicolored wool top she included in the challenge bag.  Darn stuff made a mess in the carder, sticking in clumps to the licker.  I carded and spun just enough to say I had, put the remaining into a baggy for later experimentation and went on to my next learning experience.
  • The next project I made for myself showed me that I know very little about carding with silk.  I had small portions of three different tops leftover from the same class.  I had maybe 5-6 ft. of the natural oatmeal colored coopworth, 3-4 ft of the mixed burgundy colored superwash top, and maybe 10" of silk top.  I put onto the carder in layers, sandwiching the silk between the wools.  The first pass gave me lines of the silk, colored and natural.  I wanted a more uniform blend so I separated it into four strips and recarded each of those.  That's when the trouble started.   I was getting fuzzy balls of what can best be described as wool bunnies jumping off the carder.  I got rid of them as they formed and finished the remainder of the fiber.  The results were a good blend, but the silk had nupped in places.  The resulting yarn is fine, I left the nupps in.  However, I know that I do NOT know enough about carding with silk. 

I ended up with 100yds of 2 ply yarn from the 1.4 oz of blended fiber.  More for the stash.  I had hoped I would have enough to make a pair of wristers or something... If I'd spin up the corn stuff and use it there would be, but 170 F?? Not for my hands.



* could be if I knew more about INGEO, I'd like it.. time will tell.