Friday, April 14, 2006

Traveling Stash

What's the first thing I pack for a trip? You guessed it -- my fiber projects.
From the right: lace socks (UFO); a Bosworth Midi with New Zealand Perendale/mohair; 2 Bosworth Featherweights with merino/silk; the INFAMOUS magic loop Interminable Socks; new yarn should I actually finish the infamous socks and necessary equipment, including a Stretton mini niddy-noddy, a sheep measuring tape and yarn cutter. The Bossies were a total self-indulgence. But they fit very nicely into skinny little tubes and will be perfect.

Too much. You betcha. I live in dread of running out of projects and having what my sisters and I used to call "itchy fingers." The Perendale/mohair is packed in the unlikely event that I actually finish spinning and plying all the merino silk.

When I return I'll let you know. We're not leaving immediately.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Partial Stash Revealed

The nice thing about living in two places is the opportunity for MORE STASH.
Top Photo: the bins storing fiber, mostly not yet spun. They hold some Lincoln, Shetland, silk from The Silkworker, Brown Sheep roving, hand-me-down batts, roving from Rovings (bought at SOAR 2004) and more. The cardboard box under the basket is my birthday present -- the color wheel of yarn from KnitPicks. The fiber I'm planning to spin next is in the basket. The right hand bins are topped by my family's ancestral quilt, made by the Maury family in Mississippi in the 1840's.

Bottom photo: equipment shelf with the Louet carder in the box to the left. Spindles, fiber prep tools, dyeing equipment and knitting projects.

Above: Fiber corner in the dining room. (The bin does not contain any fiber-related stuff). My Louet S10, faithful Strauch spinning stool, very favorite lazy kate and what I'm actually spinning. See last post.

Guild Meeting

On Friday I attended NCS's monthly meeting. It was a business meeting followed by a mini program. Jenny Hinchman spoke about the learning exchange sponsored by HGA in which she'd participated.

This time I brought my wheel. I had the privilege to sit next to Cordelia, the Guild's matriarch. She's 92 and was learning magic loop. That's impressive. On my other side was Jean S., who'd been such a wonderful mentor during the dyepot session last summer. Great neighbors!

I spun the fleece I'd dyed at a 2003 Peters Valley natural dyeing workshop, taught by Catherine Bump. I;d used Osage Orange and just love the bright yellow color. On the bobbin the color is uniform which I didn't expect. I realized that the variagation in the locks is caused by the concentration of dyed fiber at the tips.

I've tried various approaches to this fiber: spinning from the lock; flicking and combing. Although combing results, as ever, in lots of waste, it brings out the natural sheen of the looks. Combing also removes some of the second cuts. It turns out that the fleece, despite having been washed before and after dyeing, is still quite oily.

Coredelia, in the kindest way possible, suggested that I put more twist into it. She's right. Although I spun it worsted, I didn't put in enough twist. By accident I'd used the larger bobbin. So, next time I have a chance I'll run it through the wheel quickly to add a little more twist.

What kind of fiber -- good question. I can't find my notes from the class but it may be Romney.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Scarf for Di

Our friend Di, visiting from Australia, wearing the scarf we gave her. It was really brisk in New York yesterday and she was grateful for the additional warmth, having only brought spring clothes on this trip. It snowed yesterday, especially for Di, who was quite delighted inspite of being cold.

The scarf on the kitchen table as we wait for our Chinese food delivery. (Details on contruction below)

I'd knit this up during jury duty last December and was waiting for the perfect recipient. In our house I am encouraged to purchase any fibery item I want, even though I KNOW they are unnecessary. Many of the presents we give jointly come from my bounteous stash.

60" x 10", in Farrow stitch, knit on #15 needles using Modigliani by King Yarns/Filtes Rosina, color #12. It's a bulky cabled yarn 64 m/70 yds to a skein. This yarn requires a lot of yardage -- it doesn't go far at all; this scarf took 6 skeins. Di is taking this Australian merino home again.

This was an unfortunate purchase with a wonderful positive outcome. I'd bought it on the net from a yarn store in Western Canada. The yarn arrived having been rewound on a skein winder. I wasn't pleased and became more unhappy when I weighed it. Each skein was considerably underweight, individually and altogether. Because I have 20+ more skeins of the same set aside for a jacket, I was able to confirm that these balls fell considerably under the average variation. I contacted the vendor but was offered no satisfaction. Despite disguising where and from whom I'd bought the yarn, the KnitList moms did not allow me to post about this issue, "in case store owners' feelings might be hurt." I was surprised at their reasoning.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Easter Egg Dye Project Completed

1. 2-ply, color blending random

2. Navajo Plied

3. These were dyed in the skein. The one on the left is a funky early attempt at spindling; the one on the right was spun on a mini Bossie, a gift of a very, very kind Fiber Fairy.

This weekend I finally finished the easter egg dyeing project I began last May. I used Brown Sheep roving which I'd washed in Dawn and allowed to soak for a couple of hours. Then I dissolved the dye tablets in 1/2 cup boiling water and several tablespoons of white vinegar. All the skeins were spindle spun and spindle plied, using a random selection of spindles.