What’s on the Wheel Wednesday!

For today’s post, I’m joining Ginny over at Small Things for the Yarn Along! Join us there, or leave a link in the comments below, showing off what’s on your wheel this week!

IMG_3819I’m still pushing through the Dance Fever… Saying it like that makes it sound like I’m recovering from a disease, lol! I’m still in love with it, but this is some of the thinnest wheel-spun spinning I’ve ever done. I gotta say, it’s killing my poor fingers. I think, from now on, I’m gonna save the super thin singles for my spindles. It takes a lot longer, but for some reason, I don’t get the impending carpet burn that I’m dealing with now.

IMG_3820

In other news, I got some fun mail this week! My Rav BFF, Stephanie (aka lonestarknits) is not only an amazing knitter, but quite the seamstress!

IMG_3826IMG_3822

For me…

IMG_3825

For you!

IMG_3823

So, just how do you get your hands on this fabulousness? Join my Ravelry group and check out this thread for the deets! I love these bags and really had a hard time choosing which one to give away, but the pinks and greys in the top bag eventually won me over. The bag that’s up for grabs is  a cotton, flat bottomed, drawstring bag with a nifty little toggle that you can throw over your wrist for knitting on the go!

IMG_3824

And that’s all for me today. More spinning, dyeing, knitting, and spinning and dyeing and knitting to do. Are you spinning up anything special?

Happy crafting!

Enough Already!

I know, I know! If you follow me in any capacity (or know my name) then I’m sure you’ve already seen this, but I HAVE to post it here. Just one last time!

podcast screenshot!

See that skein of yarn right there? See that caption right below it?

SQUEEEEEEE!!!

Anyhow, that’s it from me today. Lots of packing to do (more on that later) and some dyeing to be done also. Happy crafting, y’all!

What’s on the Wheel Wednesday!

For today’s post, I’m joining Ginny over at Small Things for the Yarn Along! Join us there, or leave a link in the comments below, showing off what’s on your wheel this week!

IMG_3796

I don’t know if you realized it, but the Tour de Fleece officially kicks off in 10 DAYS!! I can hardly stand it! So, of course, the logical thing to do is to break into a 4 ounce braid and start spinning lace weight singles… At any rate, it’ll be fun (I think?) and rather impressive if I can get this off the wheel by then. I don’t know why I’m always drawn to such crazy, unprovoked, time-crunched challenges. Anyhow, the fiber is my own, in the Dance Fever colorway, on 100% Merino and I love it! There are pops of hot pink, orange, yellow, and red throughout the fiber and it’s just plain fun. I’m hoping to be able to participate in my first craft show this fall, and want to get a few of my colorways spun up so they can get knit into “shop samples”. I think this would make for an awesome shawl!

In other news on the fiber front, something a bit disappointing:

IMG_3797

This is the raw alpaca fleece I purchased from the wool market in Estes Park (and FYI: I had 5.2 ounces, not 3.5). This was very… well packaged; I didn’t notice a speck of vm (veggie matter– hay, grass, etc.) until I pulled all of the fiber out of its bag when getting ready to wash it. Needless to say, I was a little disappointed 😦 I’m just hoping that anything I can’t directly pick out by hand will come out with a few runs through the drum carder…

A few FOs perhaps?

IMG_3794

Saints socks

IMG_3699

Handspun… This is also in the Dance Fever colorway, on my BFL base.

That’s about it for me today! I’ve got lots of spinning to do, and I better get to it while Boy is snoozing and Things 1 and 2  are occupied with their fanciful imaginings. Are you spinning up any fun these days? Either way, happy crafting!

DIY : Dye it Yourself, Team Braid Edition

Today, I have a quick photo walk through of how I dyed up the team braids for my Tour de Fleece team.

DISCLAIMER: My kitchen is tiny, old fashioned, and has horrible lighting!

Supplies:

IMG_3686

1) Pre-soaked fiber

IMG_3687

2) Dye pot filled with water

IMG_3689

3) Dye, either in the form of “raw” dye (powder, gel, tabs) or a pre-mixed  solution

IMG_3690

4) Acid in the form of vinegar, citric acid, or even lemon juice if you’re in a pinch! The acid can either be added to the dye pot or to the water your fiber is soaking in.

For this particular colorway, I added water, vinegar and dye (I started with pink, but it doesn’t matter) to the dye pot and set it over medium heat. You want a decent sizzle, but definitely not any form of boiling. While the liquid in the pot is warming up, I squeezed all the excess water from the fiber and prepped it for dyeing.

The look of the team braid is achieved by how I folded the fiber before placing it into the pot:

IMG_3692

First, I matched the two rough ends together (where the fiber was pulled apart and separated into smaller strips), essentially folding it in half.  I then took the bottom end and folded that up toward the top end, folding it into quarters. This is what’s shown above.

IMG_3693

I grabbed what was now at the bottom end, and again, folded it to meet with the top end, like so.

IMG_3695

I placed one end, doesn’t matter which, into the pot of pink dye and left the other half to hang out in an old casserole dish.  You need something to hold the other end of the fiber because water is going to transfer from the pot, down the length of your fiber. Once the dyed end has absorbed all of the color, the undyed end should be sitting in a decent sized puddle!

IMG_3696

Now remember, this fiber and water is going to be VERY HOT, but you do need to squeeze the excess water from the oppose end, and repeat with your second color.

And that’s pretty much that! Give your fiber a good rinse, squeeze (or spin– in a salad spinner or your dryer) out the excess water, and lay your finished fiber out to dry! The result is a fiber with nice long color repeats, perfect for fractal spinning or striping effects.

IMG_3477

The same look can also be achieved by hand-painting, as long as the fiber is folded the same way. And, with hand-painting, you can add multiple chunks of color.

So, have fun! If you dye any fiber using this technique, let me know! Post a photo over in the group!

As always, happy crafting!

What’s on the Wheel Wednesday!

For today’s post, I’m joining Ginny over at Small Things for the Yarn Along! Join us there, or leave a link in the comments below, showing off what’s on your wheel this week!

IMG_3681

I hope y’all aren’t getting tired of my small-scale, spindle-spun projects as of late.  I’m trying to let my wheel rest until the Tour de Fleece starts up, which is very hard, mind you! I’ve got a growing pile of braids, batts, rolags, and a portion of a raw fleece that are all screaming, “Pick me! Pick me!” every time I walk past. So, to keep my spinning mojo until then, I’ve been practicing on my Tibetan supported spindle (from KCL Woods).

I’ll be honest, things were a little tricky at first! My fingers I use to set the spindle spinning felt like they were tripping all over each other.  Also, since one hand is always needed to help the spindle remain upright, I’m mainly drafting with one hand, which means… a very awkward form of long-draw! Woolen spinning was not something that I’d practiced around with very much, so having this really be my only option was a bit frustrating. But after much practice, lots and LOTS of Youtube videos (this is a good one), and even more practice, I seem to have gotten it together.  My singles still aren’t consistently even, but they’re at least consistently thin, and the woolen method makes them light and full of bounce!

IMG_3683

The sunshine sweater is still chugging along! You’d think this musch stockinette would make me wanna pass out, but I really love it. It’s my favorite type of knitting really; I’m a simple girl. Someone (between the ages of 2 and 4) broke my tape measure, so I’m not sure if I’ve hit the 17″ of length that the pattern calls for, so I’m just going until I run out of yarn; I’m alternating between 2 balls, and one is nearly gone. I really love how this is turning out and I really can’t wait to wear it! And, it looks like I have a really good chance of getting it done in time to enter it into the two KALs I’m participating in.

IMG_3684

My only other active knit are my Saints socks, courtesy of Lollipop Yarn. I got the first one done (minus the afterthought heel) on the ride to Estes Park last weekend. I’m knitting these from the toe-up (obviously), and am hoping to have enough yarn leftover to maybe knit my niece a pair of cute, sparkly leg warmers!

And that’s all I have for now. I’ve got a good bit of dyeing, packaging, and shipping to get done today, and I’ve still got to keep the 3 amigos entertained. We’ve been doing the Index Card a Day project, so that helps! But, until next time, happy crafting!