Stage 2? DONE!!!

Friday night I finishes plying the rest of the Corriedale!

There is 17 skeins of yarn of presently unknown yardage…going to either invest in a McMorran Yarn Balance or go all off grid/Olde Schoole (yes the “e’s” are intentional, it implies extra age!) and actually count the # of wraps. I’m estimating from the pile it should be enough for a sweater, and the pre-setting of the twist weight of the yarn is Heavy Worsted/Aran.

I’m going to be washing the skeins over the next week…

My Lovely Assistants

On Sunday (at least I think it was Sunday) I finished spinning up my Corriedale singles and yesterday afternoon the kids were polite enough to have a 2 hour nap AT THE SAME TIME(!!!!!!!!) which gave me an opportunity to ply up 3 (!!!!!!) bobbins AND I was able to finish spinning up the brown Shetland I had going on the Victoria I had rented for a few *ahem4ahem* weeks from LettuceKnit!

This morning I tried winding off the now 2ply yarn so the bobbins were set and ready to go just in case as the saying goes “lightening strikes twice” and the kids comply with the napping this afternoon. However as with all my attempts to do anything fiber related I ended up with “help”:

“Look, Mummy, I fixed it! Dosen’t it work much better now!”

“This is the best teething chewie EVER!!!!!”

“wait, Wait!!! This is better, I swear it will work WAY better now because I KNOW THINGS! Besides knitting needles are for KNITTING not whatever you are trying to use it for here!”

“Mummy?! Why is the air around you a peculiar shade of Blue?”

I’m going to have to try to be all stealthy about this task…or perhaps I’ll just pop in a movie so I can get the job done with out “help”.

The yardage is at present unknown and I think I might invest in a McMorran Balance to help me out but it looks to be a DK/light worsted weight. I’m super pleased with it and excited to start to design my first adult handspun sweater!

Oh yay!!!! Oh Yay!!!!!

My Fleece are here, My fleece are HERE, MY! FLEECE! ARE! HERE!!!!!!!!!!

A rather confused looking PostLady knocked on my door yesterday afternoon and handed me a large but very light box…have a gander at what was inside:

The Reserve Grand Champion

Breed: Corriedale

Sale weight: 7.89 lbs

Weight after processing: 5.11lbs

I thought this was a black fleece but after it was cleaned it turns out it’s a beautiful dark chocolate!

First Place: Medium Long Wool

Breed: Corriedale X

Sale weight: 5.34lbs

Weight after processing: 3.45lbs

This fleece is destined to become a lovely vest…perhaps with a simple cable design Or another of those Danish Shawls I’m all sorts of obsessed with…

Second Place: Medium Long Wool Category

Breed: Romney

Sale weight: 5.34lbs

Weight after processing: 4.51lbs

This one is possibly my favourite, I think It’s going to spin up into a lovely heathery yarn which will become a beautiful top down raglan.

The fleeces were processed at Wellington Fibers who I cannot say enough nice things about! Donna Hancock and her husband Lorne are super nice and I am determined to make a road trip to their mill/farm sometime this summer! The fleeces are going to be a dream to spin up and I just can’t say enough nice things about their processing.

I am going to have to keep these fleeces as my “carrot” to encourage me to spin up the 5 (!!!OMGWTFBBQ?!!? when did that happen?) fleeces that are ahead of them and then there are the batts and smaller amounts of fancy fibers…Once the fall arrives I should be able to get more spinning accomplished as my Lovely Assistants will be in daycare three days a week in addition to Abi being in JK!

Last bump

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That right there is the last bump of the Corriedale fleece to be spun up. It’s weighs in at just a smidge over 10 ounces and I might just have it spun up by the end of next week, then the plying fun begins. I still haven’t figured out what to do for the yoke, but the 4 Sheep Sweater is out as the diffrent shades don’t quite work together, but that is a concept that I will come back to with a future sweater.

I’ll be plying it up to a two ply which looks like the final product is either a light worsted weight or DK weight (the difference between those two is eluding me at present) and then I’ll be continuing my search for a yoke design.

Spring/Summer projects…

Now that there are two Sprogs running/crawling around the house I have accepted the reality of my situation and now make crafting goals that are realistic to achieve. There is enough guilt foisted on Mum’s from dumb assed outside sources that I really don’t think it necessary that I add to it by setting unrealistic Lookit Me I’m A SuperMUM!!!goals which will just leave me feeling like crap when it becomes obvious I’m getting nothing finished and the work I have accomplished are badly done which just adds to the crap feelings. So now that I’ve got that out of the way…

There are two projects that have caught my eye: Solar dyeing with natural dyes and Nuno felting. They are both just messy enough that they are perfect backyard warm weather crafts. On Friday I received my plant dye kit from Maiwa

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I don’t think it quite warm enough for the solar dyeing yet so I’ve got a bit of time still to get the fiber spun up and ready for dyeing. I’ll be using Alum (came with the kit) as my mordant as it’s the safest and most environmentally friendly. The kit contains Cochineal (Fushia to Purple), Cutch (Browns), Logwood (red/purples to Orchid blues?), Madder (reds) and Osage (yellow to yellow greens). Denny is going to come over and we will have ourselves a wee bit of a dye party…rest assured there will be picture taking when it happens.

Spinning a sweater…

AKA: The Lost then Found Post

I’m almost done spinning the Corriedale from the 2006 Royal, there is just over one bump to go…If I ignore any knitting I might have the spinning and plying done by the end of March. Once the spinning is done I’ll be making a 2 ply for my final yarn so right now it looks like there will be enough for a sweater, but just in case I’m going to do a design on the yoke using some of my other fibers.
There are a few options I have to choose from:

Faux Fair Isle (from Spin To Knit), it would be super straightforward and a great way to showcase some of the beautiful hand dyed fibers I have procured from Etsy.

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These are from Enchantedknoll, they are lovely 4ozs of Esmerelda (top) and Gaia (bottom) or the batt of Sea Hag (below) I got as my first batt from my Cuckoo Batt Club.

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Fantom Bohus: a bit of a technical knitting challenge and nailing the colours I have in mind is proving a bit difficult.

Fair Isle/Colourwork yoke: again a technique challenge to myself as I had proclaimed at one point I would never EVER do stranded/colourwork knitting of any sort! My serving of crow pie came will be coming in the mail with my Fiddlehead Mitten Kits…Adrian is on my Girly Crush List (yes I have a list and no I’m not revealing who else is on it). Back to the fair isle; I have in my fiber stash two shades of natural brown roving (Shetland and BFL) and some beautiful robin egg blue merino that the family in England have sent over (I LOVE having international enablers!!!) which will work beautifully and give me a sweater made from 4 diffrent breeds of sheep. This concept tickles me to no end.
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While stash diving I came across this:

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Which has given me another option of yet another yoke style to consider…

I guess there is going to be an awful lot of swatching patterns in my future.

Argh!!!

Had a nice blog post that done got eaten! Not sure if it was the computer eating it or a certain preschooler with a predilection to “type you a letter” got to it while I was on the phone.
The gist of the post was: almost done spinning the corrie, going to make it into a 2 ply and am deciding whether to use the yarn for a Fantom Bohus, a Faux Fair Isle or an actual Fair Isle. Photos of my ideas to ome when the camera batteries have charged!

***Update*** The original post has mysteriously reappeared…Most bizarre, will use it as part of the photo filled post.

Less than Impressed

My knitting is just not working for me right now, I’m just not feeling motivated by it. I’ve got a few works on the go and all are languishing. The other day I cast off the sweater I was knitting for Liam, all I have to do is sew on the buttons and weave in a few seams but it’s just not happening. I have been trying to to work on a pair of socks for a gift and well they too are just sitting in their bag. It’s. Just. Not. Happening.
The spinning however seems to be where all the action is. On Thursday I received the first Cuckoo batt from the Batt of the Month Club membership Chris got me as a valentine’s day gifty.

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It’s called Sea Hag and I spent the rest of Thursday afternoon spinning it up.

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(this last photo is too dark to show off the nifty shades of turqoise, green-y blues and the bit of glitz)

I let it rest on the bobbins overnight and plied it on Friday, I really like how it spun up and am thinking of getting a second batt and using it in a yoked sweater design with one of the black fleece I sent off to the Mill.

Yoked sweaters seem to be what’s feeding my spin frenzy. I’ve been really inspired by the sweaters That Laurie showed us while guest blogging for Stephanie and by two sweaters (Wave Yoke and Fantom Bohus) that Adrian (finally spelled her name right!) over at Hello Yarn knit and I want some of my own! My original though was to dye the fibers for the yokes myself but then I came to my senses and realized that I really just don’t have the time or space right now to devote to the task and that’s where my old friend Etsy stepped in, again! See, Liam has taken to having at least one marathon nurse session a day which usually ends in him falling asleep, while I’m waiting for him to finish/nod off I window shop the glory that is Etsy and pretty quickly found some fibers that hit the proverbial nail on the head.

While I wait for the Etsy booty to arrive I’m spinning up the last of the chocolate brown Corriedale and planning what’s going to go with what and doing a bunch of reasearch on both the spinning and construction of the three sweaters I plan to knit. This whole project is going to keep me busy for some time! I guess it’s a good thing I have gone on a yarn diet?

The view from my Wheel

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Since my plans to go out have been scuttled by the snow I figured that this is the perfect opportunity to make some progress on my goal to spin up a large portion of my fiber stash. I decided to take a break from the never ending corriedale and spin up my three Art Club Cuckoobatts, the blend is 50/50 alpaca/wool and called Brush Fire. I think I might just use this yarn for the yoke pattern and use the Corriedale for the rest of the sweater…

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Chris was a super sweetie and went into my Etsy wish list and got me a 6 month Art Club fiber membership! I think he’s a keeper!