Sunday, December 22, 2013

And just what does 10 pounds of fiber look like?

Actually what you see here is only a mere 8 pounds of fiber.  The other 2 pounds are a natural cream and a variegated BFL mix that when spun will turn to a gorgeous soft grayish color.  These are all from Fat Cat Knits.  I just love Ginny's dyeing.  It has saturated, glorious and vibrant colors.  I have a small custom spin for a customer in Duluth, then I can't wait to see which of these I pick first.

I also realized I haven't had any finished pictures of my Color Affection.  So here it is, modeled by my newly 17 year old daughter.  Her birthday was yesterday. 

I used white, blue and brown.  All were merino with silk and they spun up super easy and so very pretty.  I was very happy with the result.  The Color Affection pattern is very easy and I enjoyed the calming repetitive nature of the knitting.  I'd do it again if I had more time!  Time, the bane of my existence at the moment.  Trying to spin yet knit samples, how I wish for another pair of hands!

And to end this post, here are some examples of skeins that while pictured in the snow, will be winging their way to Texas comes spring...

Monday, December 16, 2013

Dyeing and drum carding

I spent the best time Saturday afternoon.  I did a custom spin for Angela of All For Love of Yarn, she brought me a bunch of her beautiful roving, in a multitude of colors.  I spun 11 skeins for her and Saturday I went to her place where she taught me how to dye roving and use a drum carder.  What fun!  My girls went along to watch and after a few hours of play um I mean WORK, I took home buckets of still wet roving.  Look at these beauties!  I have literally pounds of beautiful stuff to spin. 

My younger daughter picked the colors for this, lots of blues/purples/pinks.  Have I mentioned her bedroom is painted a deep purple on 2 walls and a strong turquoise on the other 2 walls?  This is Emily through and through.

This was a bit of blues, reds, a hint of pink and yellows.  This is more me.

And this one?  I think this is my favorite, it is just a hodgepodge of colors, all blending into just an amazing batch of roving that I'm itching to work on.  One of the things I'm still working on, is to know what the finished yarn will look like after spinning it.  This?  I'm clueless but CAN'T wait to see!
After the fun of dyeing, Angela next introduced me to the wonders of working on a drum carder.  I mainly spin combed top.  I've had a few batts in the past but I never really liked spinning from them.  I found them stiff and bit cumbersome so I just stuck with what I worked with the most, combed top.  Well after this?  I just may need to explore the world of drum carding.  Because the stuff Angela helped me make is as soft as butter and I can't wait to work on it.  I have several coils of this soft delicious stuff.  We combined blues and green tossed in some gorgeous buttery Carmel with just a hint of sparkle.  Have I mentioned I can't wait to spin this! 
And why pray tell am I waiting to spin ANY of this? Because I'm plowing through ......

And I just got an email from Ginny of Fat Cat Knits, my order of, oh um, 8 pounds of fiber is on its way!  Must keep spinning!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

How is -2 a high?

I'm a native Minnesotan, now I lived in Texas for 13+ years and consider it home as well.  But no where in any sane person's logic would -2 be considered an appropriate temperature, much less the HIGH for the day?  Now that is sheer crazy talk people.  I look outside and it is a gorgeous winter day.  White snow, blue skies, beautifully sunny day, with nary a cloud above, but it is windy and it is cold.  And that leads to the notion the a number with a minus sign in front of it is a HIGH temp.  This is the sun that is a cruel, taunting sun.  It lulls you into thinking it will be just be brisk outside but when you step out and your breathe slams in your throat as the numbing wind sucks out any oxygen in your lungs, you know the sun is just giggling at you....sigh....and it is only early December.  Lord this may be one long hard winter.

On a much brighter (and dare I say warmer) note,
this is the roving for my younger daughter's China yarn.  This will be turned into yarn named for Emily, whose Chinese name is Hong Hong, which means red the color of fire.  I love the color range in this, it has sparks and strength much like my Emily.  I'm currently spinning some white Corriedale fiber, but once I'm finished with it, I'll be pulling this one out next.
One thing I'm trying to do this year, is spin more natural colored fibers, one reason is they play off so nicely with the hand dyed colors.  I like doing stranded work and having my own handspun in both colors and natural undyed fibers makes my heart happy.  So I'm planning to spin one batch of natural, then one batch of hand dyed, it will help me have a balanced selection at my fiber festivals.

And this is just a glamor shot of some beautiful roving from All for Love of Yarn, Angela is a local indie dyer and I use her fiber frequently.  I just finished a custom spin for her and can't wait to see the fiber I'm going to receive as form of payment!  Watch here...I'll post the new stuff as soon as I get it.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Building my Stock

Well we survived the first snow storm of the season.  And while we didn't get the snow that the North shore got, the 6+ inches was enough for me.  If I didn't have to commute to work via car, it wouldn't be nearly the issue it is.  I just crept along with everyone else, inch worming my way safely home.  But it is beautiful looking and makes it look like Christmas!  Someday I will be able to stay home, snuggled up warm and cozy while the snow flies.  But now?  Ya, working five days a week can be a challenge at times like this.

I've finished my custom spins and I'm beginning to prepare for DFW Fiber Fest.  I'll be showing my skeins as I go along...hope you see something you like!

This is Hong Kong at Night, it has some lovely glitzy sparkle mixed in the reds and yellows.  It so reminds me of the sunset in Hong Kong.  I spent a couple nights there during the trip to China to get my younger daughter.  She picked out this roving.  Seemed fitting

This is a special colorway called Zhi Hua.  This is the name my older daughter came to me with.  It means Wise Flowering Blossom.  I worked with my indy dyer, Ginny of Fat Cat Knits to come up with special colorways for my girls.  This is Anna's.  It fits her perfectly.

And this one is called Pink Lady.  A soft, shiny yarn that I fell in love with and created a long cowl from it.  The cowl is called the Biscuit cowl.  I think it showed off the yarn nicely.  That cowl can be found on my Ravelry project page.  Look for China will find it there.
And that is what I have to show tonight.  Hoping it gets some people thinking about stopping at my booth either in Texas for the DFW Fiber Fest, or in MN at Yarnover in the spring.  Yup that is me, we get our first snow fall and I'm already thinking of spring!