Warmer Weather Means Washing Wool

For me, warmer weather means it’s time to start washing and dying wool and other fibers.  It’s not quite yet consistent enough to break out the wash gear and the fleeces (although it’s getting there).  But, I was itching to get to the drum carder, so I did the next best thing and pulled out what I had on hand already.   Although my stash is very limited right now I did put together a few fibers.

wool, alpaca, silk, and nylon fibers

wool, alpaca, silk, and nylon fibers

As they went round and round on the drum carder I started to see this:

on the carding cloth

on the carding cloth

I pulled off the batt after the first run through and decided to blend it more.

after the first carding pass

after the first carding pass

So I split the batt into pieces and ran it through again then dizzed off into roving form.

roving

roving

I ended up with 3 ounces of light, airy, yummy goodness ready to go.  Stay tuned to see how it spins up.

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Please Forgive My Lack Of Posting

While I haven’t been blogged the last two months, I have been keeping busy.  Here are a few of my completed projects.

From The Loom:

Scarf #1

Cotton and Chenille Scarf

Red/Black Tencel

Cotton Side 1

Cotton Side 2

Tencel

Chenille/Handspun Wool #1

Chenille/Handspun Wool #2

Mix of Cotton, Chenille, and Tencel

Chenille

8 Scarves

From The Knitting Needles:

Alpaca Haruni Shawlette

I hope to be more active blogging again very soon.

New Year Looms Ahead

Meg has continued her annual tradition inviting weavers to show their looms on the new year.  Well, mine are very very empty but enjoying the view in their new home.

The loom on the left (Harry the Harrisville Loom) was in Oklahoma this time last year.  By February it had moved half way across the country to Washington state and today is in Ohio.  The loom on the right (Larry the LeClerc Loom) was acquired in Washington and made the journey well.    Both looms sit in front of a large picture window and I can’t to sit in front of it and weave the day away.

My View This Morning

After the kids got off to school, I sat in the stillness of the morning to spin.  It was dark outside and there was one a table lamp on in the house.  Here’s a look at what I see across the room:

 

When I switched the camera over to low level light this is the picture that came out:

Yes that is a fake fire going on in the “fireplace” heater.  It’s cold this morning!  Even with this on your lap:

I was reading while spinning (you can barely see my iPad there) and Bear-Kat decided he was either cold to or he wanted to read and jumped in my lap.  He didn’t want to move and was quite unhappy when I decided to get up.  He is currently under a blanket trying to stay warm.

I Do….Because I Can.

Someone once asked me why I make socks when it’s so much easier to go to the store and buy a pair.  I replied, “Because I can.”   This week I have been making cotton socks for the family.  Each member got their own completed pair of socks today.  Almost everyone picked out their own color combo too.  A few pairs, I just winged it with what colors I thought they would like.

It’s kind of funny, really, because I recently read a blog post over at Granny Miller’s Blog and was excited because I finally felt like there was something I was doing right.  So, therefore, I do….because I can.

 

The weather is finally getting to me.  Having lived in the “desert” for the last 5 years I had grown accustomed to heat, sun, wind, and dry air.  Now living in a climate of near constant rain, seeing the sun peak out for a few moments is a treat.  Yesterday I started washing fleeces to spin up.

After washing, I am used to being able to set them outside for a few hours, and the fiber is all fluffy and dry and ready to go.  Not so here.  After a day and a half it is still quite damp, and I have a fan blowing on them to help speed up the process.  And, as I sit looking outside right this moment….sigh…it’s raining again.  I think I shall go find a project that will keep me busy.

More Socks and Some Bagels Too

I have been having way too much fun the past few days making more socks.  My latest experiments involve cotton and a microfine lycra thread.

 

When the cotton and lycra are knit together they make a tighter sock.  Once the sock is off the machine, it’s stretchy but it’s not until you steam the lycra that the magic happens.

This picture was taken before the sock was steamed:

It measures at 8 3/4 inches long.  Once steam is applied, the lcyra shrinks and pulls all the yarns together.

It shrank to 7 1/2 inches.  After a trip through the washer and dryer (on “normal” cycles)

PERFECT!  They are cushy and a bit snug, but not so snug they cut off your circulation.

 

Friday was bread baking day for the weekend.  Two loaves of bread and some apple cinnamon bagels that were perfect for Saturday’s breakfast.

A great way to use up some of those dehydrated apples from a few weeks ago.  If you are interested in the recipe, let me know and I will be glad to post it.  Our family really enjoys home made bagels.

Grape Jelly and Hand Made Socks

Do you know that you can make jelly from store bought juice?  So, when I found a sale on grape juice I decided to try this theory.  It worked.  Three cups of grape juice along with some sugar, and we had grape jelly.  Kids are thrilled.  Mom is thrilled, because the cost of jelly is rising and there are a lot of mouths to feed here.

I love this pair of socks.  The yarn was spun by me and then the socks were knitted on an old fashioned hand cranked knitting machine.

I love how the colors turned out.  Very comfy too.  These will keep my feet warm as it’s still pretty cold here even though it’s supposed to be spring.