Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Raspberry Tweed

Here is a little bit of eye candy for the yarnies and fiber addicts (myself included), who frequent the blog and to the new visitors out there WELCOME! and enjoy :)

First off I must share the Antique Skein Winder I scored for $15 when I went to a local antique shop with my Grandma, Aunt and Cousin. I found this wedged behind a couple of old shovels and a wooden crate. At first glance I wasn't sure if it was what I thought it was, but when I heard it was only $15 on sale that day, I bought it on the spot. I used it already, to wind up the skein of Raspberry Tweed I finished spinning this weekend.

This is a skein I just listed on my Etsy today! I spun it up and plied it all on my top whorl drop spindle made by spinsanity on Etsy. It was spun from an Angora Merino batt I purchased from Wiley Woolies at the Fiber Fest at Cornwells Turkeyville this past fall. It is 294 yds of a heavy worsted / light bulky weight yarn weighing in at 5.4 oz / 150 grams. I am in a little personal competition with my cousin who fills her spindle to such capacity I have yet to surpass her in total yardage of a single skein. I thought for sure I would do it with this skein, but her last skein was 295 yds! I missed it by 1 yd! She also told me that she found some extra fiber after plying her skein and if she had been able to add that in she was sure she could have hit 300 yds in a single skein. WOW! Her success with spinning keeps me striving to excel in my own abilities. Someday I would like to own a wheel to make spinning faster, but there is a real sense of satisfaction knowing that this HUGE skein of yarn was spun up on a humble little stick and whorl!

Now that spring is here, I am pulling out all kinds of roving and fiber that has been stored away during my winter knitting phase. The Holidays really wiped me out with all the knitting they required. Now I can get back to a relaxed pace of spinning, knitting and sewing. Currently what is keeping me busy is spinning and knitting, sewing only falls in here and there when I get a free moment from everything else.

So currently, almost all of my spindles have fiber on them. I am spinning up some more flax. I have 4 ozs of flax fiber that I spun just a small amount of last summer, I navajo plied it, and then it sat around in a tiny skein (I think about 90 yds) for this past year while I was a gloomy gus, disappointed with how much it resembled a bunch of sticks in color and texture. Well, I finally pulled it out and decided I was going to knit something with it and see if it would really soften up like I have read and been told, that it would. Surprise Surprise! I am knitting a napkin, yes.....a napkin in a basic stockinette with a garter stitch border this yarn has gotten softer and softer the more I knit with it. I can only imagine how much softer it may get once the napkin is done and I launder it a few times. So I have been encouraged by this little bit of knitting to spin up the rest of the flax and maybe make something a little bigger than a napkin with the finished yarn.

I am also spinning a bit of australian merino wool that I Hand dyed when I was visiting with my cousin a few weeks ago. You can see her hand dyed rovings on her blog at Holly Marie Knits. Here is just one of mine currently on the spindle. We have just been practicing our dyeing with some Wilton Icing Dyes, but I plan to purchase some Greener Shades Dyes for my next batch of fiber dyeing coming up in a couple of weeks.

And....I am just starting to spin a burgundy batch of Merino/Alpaca fiber I purchased from Jehovah Jireh Farm at last years fiber event at Cornwells Turkeyville in Marshall Michigan. My grandmother wants a wimple like the one I knit for my cousin and so I thought this would make a nice yarn for it if I spin it up lace weight. The pattern Ice Queen from Knitty.com

Well, I'd love to stay and chat a while more, but with all the photos this post has taken me longer than I anticipated. The new women's bible study with the ladies from my church starts tonight and I need to get a move on or I will be late! More updates to come later this week........(including some video of fiber dying and a knitting tutorial for one of my patterns)

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