Spinning, Knitting, Dyeing. . . and WIPs and Yarn Pr0n
I'm being a little bit of a bit of a fiber artiste at the moment.
First up, spinning. I spun my merino tencel into singles, and have slowly been trying to ply it. When it works, it works, but it doesn't work for long. Here's what I've got so far:
This is about 16 yards. The thickness is very uneven, but like I said. . . when it works, it works. Here are some closeups:
(click on the photos to go into flickr, then hit "all sizes" and choose "original" to see these really big. . . if I post them like that here some folks have trouble getting my blog to load.)
Here's about 7 yards of the same thing. I keep snapping the yarn, so I think I'll get dribs and drabs.
I got some really good advice on the knittyboard, which I'm going to heed. One being to practice on a naked bobbin, to get my wheel going in the opposite direction (necessary when plying). Another being to try using my opposite foot to treadle. Yet a third being to practice plying with some of my commercial yarn. All simple ideas that I didn't think of, but I will try!
This is what the merino/tencel started as:
And here is it spun single ply:
I know I showed y'all before, but I figured I would again in case your memory is like mine.
Now for some knitting!
Those are my socks! I don't remember when I started them, but it was a while ago. I showed some progress but then didn't because I thought that would be boring. The yarn is the 2nd installment of the sock club at Mind's Eye yarns. I love it and I love the socks, even if they are a little loose in the ankle and tight in the calf. (Note to self: decrease at the ankle, increase at the calf!)
I made some attempts at dyeing yarn today with Kool-Aid:
Here's a boring on-the-kitchen-table shot:
Here's a lovely in-the-sun shot:
Here's a in-the-pot shot:
The first two pics are of Knit Picks 100% merino sock weight "bare" yarn. I dyed it with grape, cherry and berry blue Kool-Aid, using a pour-on method, which of course all ran into each other so there is barely any blue (and it is a gorgeous brilliant blue too!). I'm disappointed in myself for doing that, but it is my first time dyeing yarn so I've learned from it!
The last pic is Jacob Wool 2-ply worsted weight yarn from Stoney Acre Farm. I got the yarn at a fiber fest last fall in Sherborn, MA (I think?), with the intention of trying some dyeing. I used the leftover cherry and grape for this, and tried handpainting it with a sponge. It's done, and it's rinsed and is in the sink. I learned about pooling now, too -- I must have had a heavy hand with the cherry, because there are spots of blood-red pooling on what was probably the bottom side. Again, live and learn.
I also learned that I don't really like the color of the grape kool-aid. It's dull. The cherry and berry blue are awesome, however.
I also learned that I really should wear gloves. I did for the pour-on batch but not for the handpainted batch --- duuuuuuh!!! It looks like I just dyed my hair, except my hair isn't dyed. I used to not wear gloves when I dyed my hair, and ended up with reddish-purplish-brown fingers. Big duh.
So, that's my spinning, knitting and dyeing of the past few days. Well, the socks were finished over a week ago, but I'm just getting around to posting pics of them now. I've made ZMrK two hats -- one can be seeing as a WIP around my beer bottle in the picture with my socks -- since finishing those. The WIP shown is in Rowan Calmer, which may be my new favorite yarn. It's cotton/acrylic and feels awesome and has a nice stitch definition. I found that ball of it in the sale bin at Grafton Yarns. I want to get more and make myself lots of sweaters with it, except it's crazy expensive so I won't unless I find it on a good sale. But I don't really need to do that, because I have an overflowing yarn hutch and really need to do some stashbusting.
So, here's a WIP.
What do you think it is? Is it a sombrero, like Solvie seems to think?
Oh, and what did I say about not needing any more yarn?
We were in Waltham the other day, and stopped by Island Yarns. There was some Skeintilly Clad sock yarn, and I thought I'd support a local yarn shop, and a local yarn dyer by buying some:
This color is called "Into the Blue". I might make my mom some socks out of it, or maybe not. I remember that this yarn is very soft and prone to pilling, so it needs some special care.
This color is called "blaze!". ZMrK picked it out. I have some worsted weight yarn from another local dyer, Woolarina, that is almost the same colors. I may have to make some sort of matching set.
So, that's it. The start of my vacation. We have no big plans; just stick around the house and relax. How does that sound to you?