Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Another New Toy

I just go these:

Yep, those are hand carders, which I found used on etsy.  They're quite old, and at first they turned my wool brown because the teeth were rusty.  But I've now worked enough greasy wool through them that the rust has been cleaned out.  Now, I get fluffy white rolags like you see above.

The motivation to buy carders was that I finally decided to do something with this:

That is a whole bunch of wool I was given by an acquaintance with sheep.  He gave it to me a year ago, and I just let it sit around because the thought of processing 3 fleeces was kinda scary.  But now that I have my wheel it actually seems doable, and I'm having experimenting with preparing my own fibers.

Its definitely a different spinning experience, and I've been practicing long draw drafting.  My earlier attempts at long draw weren't all that great.  It just didn't work well with the fiber I was using.  However, this fleece is suited to woolen spinning with its short downy fibers, and I've been having a lot more success with long draw.  It's a good think I figured out how to spin this stuff because I have a lot more to do.

Friday, May 20, 2011

FO Friday: Annis

I have something to admit.  I am not a process knitter.  Of course I enjoy the process of knitting, but mainly I knit because I want the finished thing not just for the sake of knitting itself.  Annis, however, is one of the exceptions.  Recently, I had a hunger for lace.  For whatever reason I really wanted to do a whole bunch of yarn overs and decreases just because it is so fascinating to see them grow into the pattern as you knit.  So I searched through my stash, matched yarn with a pattern, and cast on.

To satisfy my lace craving I picked Annis from Knitty 2010 and used Dye Dreams Panda Sox in Seashore, which I bought at the CT Sheep and Wool Festival last year.  I loved the pattern, its simple and pretty.  But this was my first time doing nups and at first they were a giant pain.  After some research though I started knitting them very loose on the right side and then used a smaller needle to knit the stitches together on the wrong side.  This made the nups so much easier, and while they're not perfect I think they look pretty good for my first experience with them.

As typical with lace, it took a good blocking to open it up and make the shawl really shine.  Now its lovely and drapey.  I think the bamboo in the yarn helps with drape and makes it shiney. These photos don't really do the color just.  In the sun, the color ranges from deep turquoise to blue and has lovely sheen.

I didn't really need another shawl, but I do love it.  It should be perfect for all those cool spring and summer evenings I'm waiting for.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

WIP Wednesday

First, an update on something posted before:

The Corgi Hill BFL is plied. I decided to go for a basic 2 ply, and it looks lovely on the bobbin at least.  Of course it still needs to be skeined and washed but the spinning at least is done.

I also casted on a new projects recently.  (Don't worry, I've finished stuff too but that's for another day)
The beginnings of a the Beautiful Baby Sweater from 101 Luxury One Skein Wonders, which will be going to one of my co-workers who's having a baby towards the end of the summer.

Friday, May 13, 2011

FO Friday: Mother's Day Nutkins

 Like so many parents, my mom and dad are hard to shop for.  Fortunately, my mom can usually be pleased with one of my knits.  So when I realized that Mother's Day was approaching back in April I offered to give my mom any of the projects that I was working on at the time or to make something else for her.  When I mentioned I had a pair of socks on the needles she made her decision very quickly.

These are the socks she choose, Nutkins made with Dream in Color Smooshy in Beach Fog.  As many have said Smooshy is a lovely yarn.  The colors are vibrant and the yarn is smooth and springy. It even holds up well after wearing and washing.  It's just perfect for socks in my opinion.  The pattern was great too, though I decided to do my regular heel rather than the short row heel called for.   I'm a little sad to give them away, but of course my mom deserves them.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

WIP Wednesday

A half granny square shawl using Plymouth Zino.  I lost the tag so I'm not sure what color this is, but it looks nice in the pattern.

Two bobbins of corgi hill farm BFL.  I'm still trying to decide if I want to navajo ply them or just do a 2 ply.  We shall see...