Saturday, July 29, 2006


So we're going to do this the difficult way!

Damnit! Blogger wouldn't let me post any more pictures so this is a continuation of the post below - if you want the story in the correct order start below.

I put the clean wool my usual dye pot with a good chunk of Delphinium Blue dye from Wiltons (same blue as I used on the failed alpaca attemt a while ago). Looks blue right? He then got zapped a few times until the dye was done.

So we have a number of colours here. There is blue and pink and red and orange and black and no wonder the blue on the alpaca never seems to take correctly. It looks wild and handpainted but I don't think I would ever expect to get a consistent blue with this particular dye.

I pulled off a lock while it was drying and using my fingers spun it and plyed it back on itself to see what it would look like. I think it's going to be six kinds of cool spun up (I'm going to have to wait however because all three of my spindles are in action right now).

As I said - I think I need a sponsor - hopefully I can keep myself occupied with what I have for a while before I need to head back out in search of more.

I just remembered - I have more fibre comming from Spunky Ecelctic . Man, I need help.


I think I may need a sponsor!

Blogger is kicking my ass. This is the first part of the post above. Enjoy in whatever order you like.

So I went to Knit Knackers on Friday and bad bad things happened. The owner - who is perfectly lovely - had ordered an Ashford Turkish drop spindle for me so I went in to pick it up. While I was looking around I saw some Mulberry silk that should ply well with the Fleece Artist that I'm working on right now. While we were chatting the owner offeres me a taste of some raw fleece that she's working on right now. It's in the small bag between the spindle and the silk nolis that I'm going to try once I grow another set of arms.

The fleece is Rambouillet and was pretty interesting to work with. I learned alot about the processing of fleece and even more about why my last attempt with Wilton's dye may have gone awry. What follows is in chronological order.

The precious, it isn't alot but it was free and it will be some thing fun to try. Is it supposed to smell this much (turns out the answer is yes)

Man was he ever dirty. Most of the VM was already taken care of but there was still some grass and bits to take out. A little Euculan seems to be taking care of the smell. It took about three washes before I was convinced he was clean.

Here we are all clean and much less smelly - now he just smells like lovely wet wool. The crimp is still very obvious (I'm glad - I was afraid I might have felted the bunch while I was scouring him).

The story is actually finished above which sucks but oh well.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Why I love Kate Gilbert

Clapotis! So many other people have waxed poetic about this pattern that I have very little to add. It is so adaptable and very easy to follow. I find that it whips along at a break neck pace. This whole scarf took me maybe 4 hours. This is my third clapotis type scarf. I made a full sized one for my sister before I started blogging, the merino silk one for Mom and now a very very mini clapotis for me from silk I spun myself. This was another batch of silk hankies from Knit Knackers and dyed with kool aid. I only ended up with about 70 yrds (give or take) and I needed to come up with something small that would show it off. This was perfect. I finished the"set up" rows and row 1-6 of the "increase" section, worked the straight rows until I was happy with it, worked rows 1-10 of the "decrease" section and then the final rows. It only wound up being 40" long and maybe 4.5" wide but it's just long enough to go around the neck with a nice shirt and it is a lovely colour.

I've started spinning a batch of Wensleydale Teeswater Roving from Fleece Artist and it is super soft. I'm working on spinning a consistent and thin single so I have more options with plying other than just a 2 ply (with out ending up with a super bulky finished product). It's taking alot of pre-drafting but I'm pretty happy with what I'm getting so far.


Sock Wars!!!!

I just found out about This today and I've totally signed up. Sock Wars is on man and I can't wait. Check it out and sign up!!

Monday, July 24, 2006


Lovely Lovely Linen

So I promised pictures of the beautiful EuroFlax laceweight linen and here we go . . .

I absolutely love the colour of this stuff, it is really tweedy but the red lends is a wonderful casualness. It feels like twine when you first start working with it but after swatching a few times with different patterns and different needels the first few yards softened up so I can see that I'm really going to enjoy this once it's done and had a bath. The other thing I can't get over is that it's machine washable and can go in the dryer - how cool is that really?! The colour is so cool it needs a close up - don't you think?

I finally decided on a pattern after much fussing. First I started trying the Cozy pattern from Knitty but something about how it appeared in this colour didn't work for me. I tried it on about three different needle sizes too just to see if that was the problem. It's great to have my Mom in the city again (she and Dad were oversees for a few years) I raided her needle stash for some smaller straights but I ended up working with this pattern for what she calls a "snakes and laders stole" on US 4 circulars. I've cast on more stitches than she calls for and I'm slipping the first stitches on each row to combat curling and so far I'm really enjoying it! One last shot for posterity.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


dye disater to dye master

Not really. But I am much happier with the scarf now! I finished it up last night and then threw it in the microwave with three packages of grape kool-aid and I am very happy with the results. I didn't want it to end up being too too dark but I really like how I was able to get rid of most of the muddy look of the original dye job. The pattern is called Liesel and can be found here. It was very easy to follow. For the first time I actually had fun while I was reading a lace chart. It went super quickly and I'm surprised at how even the handspun looks when it is knit up because believe me it didn't look that even when I was winding it!

Please excuse my incredibly ugmo ironing board cover. The board itself is from the 60's and is a wierd size so my choices are limited.

I'm getting severely hooked on knitting with wool I spun myself. This is a very very dangerous hobby!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Where is all my sock yarn going?

Why is it leaving me? To become part of something bigger and better!! The Heathen Housewife is looking for donations to help her make up a "left overs" sock yarn blanket and I was more than happy to get rid of the bits I just couldn't bear to throw away. I hope she enjoys them.

Good news on the Alpaca dying front. I snipped a little bit of a ball last night and tried over dying it with Grape Kool-Aid and it looks like I should be able to pull off a dusky midnight purple when all's said and done.

I went to Yarn Forward yesterday (and I didn't even mean too - I think they have a magnet in there) and I found the most beautiful single skien of Euroflax lace weight in "marble red" (I'll try and get pictures later). I almost didn't take it home (it was the last one and I would have prefered more yardage) but it was so pretty that it had to be mine. I'm thinking some sort of lacy scarf/stoley thing but I'm forcing myself to finish a couple of things first. I finished the second of the BF's "Must You" socks yesterday. I hope to finish off the second of a pair from Vintage Knitted Socks that has been sitting on my desk for ages and maybe if I'm really dedicated I'll finish the alpaca scarf before I break open the Euroflax. It's unlikely but I'll really try.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


Well, that could have gone better

I tried the wilton dyes with the Alpaca on Thursday night and it was a bit of a disaster. The first attempt looked like it was going to be pretty (blues and browns alternating)but I think I put too much brown dye on the skiens and the brown mixed in everywhere and I got a really wierd musty brown with light blue patches. Then I tried overdying the whole thing with the blue to pick up more blue in the paler areas and that just made it worse. The blue separated a little so I ended up with some purple halo on the brown sections of yarn. I then gave in and threw it all in with more brown dye - the result was less than spectacular. The real colour result is somewhere inbetween these two.

I'm not really happy with it but I can't take any more dye jobs so right now I'm just knitting it and we'll see what I can do once it's finished. I'm just doing a simple lace scarf and afterwards I'll maybe try to overdye with purple kool-aid or something similar - anyone else have any other ideas?? I'd love to hear them!

Here is the scarf as it stands so far and I really like the pattern - I just wish I could make myself love the colour. Hopefully I'll find a way to make it work!

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Part II

As promised the other project that I finished during the long car ride this past weekend (is it Thursday already!!). I knit up a fantastically fun Dream Swatch in Eden colour 626. The yarn was left over from an Xmas gift I made for the BF's sister last year and I was looking for something short and sweet to do with it. It went really quickly and was a joy to do - just the right mix of paying attention rows followed by blissful mindless rows. This one is for me and me alone but I think the pattern might work as a gift for my oh so fashionable sister. I used just a smidge (technical term) over one skein and I think if I make it again I will use more. I'm not much of a head wrap person (I have really short hair so it's not often necessary) but I do really like the pattern as a summer or dressy scarf - it adds a little colour just where you need it.

I'm really excited to get home tonight. I finished spinning up some Alpaca yesterday but it was too late to try my hand at the new Wilton Dyes I picked up so tonight is the night. I have a brown and cornflower blue dyes and I hope to approximate something like this. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


It's amazing what you can do with 10 hours in a car

The BF and I went to a friends' cottage this weekend near Bracebridge and had an amazing time just relaxing and swimming. I finished a bunch of stuff in the car (5 hours there - 5 hours back). The one I am most proud of is my handspun Clapotis. It is amazingly soft and it was a blast to take this project from this to this to this to . . . . . . . This -

It was such a satisfying project and I can't wait until I've spun enough Alpaca (my new spinning project) to do something with. I think if I can spin it fine enough I'd love to do a lacey scarf that would still be very warm. The Alpaca is the purest white and I think I will try my hand at dying with Wilton's. I also finished a Dream Swatch - it's blocking right now - pictures tomorrow. One last shot of Merino Silk goodness .

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


it can become more than just a pretty thing!

This is making me so ridiculously happy! This used to look like this I've started making up the merino silk blend that I spun into a mini"ish" Clapotis . I was a little worried because the yarn is a little uneven (being a complete understatement) but it's really turning out nice and it's super soft. I think I have enough but thankfully the LYS where I got the fibre has tonnes so if I need to spin up some more it should be no problem!

Monday, July 03, 2006


why I didn't mind working today

Even though most of the city didn't have to.
On my walk to work this morning I spotted this
huge bunny that let me get ridiculously close because there wasn't alot of traffic this morning.
Sorry for the crappy picture quality - cell phone camera and all.

I guess it won't be all bad. The BF is on vacation so he's meeting me downtown for lunch at the Black Thorn and then we're going to hit a museum. Should be a good time!

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