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!

 

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It kinda looks just like an ear of corn on the cob, doesn’t it? This past week I’ve been spinning up the 2oz sample of my Sweet Corn colorway, and I just got the first half done. This was dyed on 100% merino and is spinning up like a breeze. I’ll be honest though, this was more of a “spinning for the sake of keeping what little dignity I have left” project. Remember this post where I flashed that photo of everything I was gonna spin during the tour? I even made some superfluous claim about spinning a 3-ply sock yarn! Well, sadly, it didn’t happen 😦 Only one of those braids got touched ( The Sweet Georgia, Violet Hill), and the others are all still sitting in bags, in a box, waiting for their shot at freedom. I’m a little disappointed with how my first Tour panned out– I just didn’t have the time or focus to tackle most of my goals. It’s still so fun (and encouraging and inspiring) to see what everyone else is doing though, and that’ll help me stick with my goals, even if I don’t reach them until well after the Tour ends.

Some knitting?

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This batch of fluff is the beginnings of a Featherweight Cardigan, which I’m giving myself all the way until my birthday (end of November) to complete. I can’t wait till it’s done though, because I am going to LOVE this sweater so much. A simple, grey cardigan is a staple in my wardrobe, and the one I have now is nearly 4 years old, and getting a bit raggedy. Plus, I got it from Wal-Mart, so you can guess how luxurious it is.  Once this baby is done, I fully expect to be wearing it for the rest of my adult life. To ensure it’s long life, I’ll be adding a good bit of length to the body and probably changing/ narrowing the neckline a bit. And I’m also knitting it about 2 sizes bigger than I need– never know when it’ll need to be a maternity cardigan 😉

I also have a finished object!

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Despite what my 3 year old thinks, this  isn’t a “white pumpkin”, it’s a boob. Remember my friend who needed the uterus? Well she requested a breast that could be used for nursing demos as well. I used this pattern, and it worked up in no time. I’m excited to see what her next knitted anatomical need will be!

So that’s it for me today. Here’s to the last week of Le Tour! 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!

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I’m still going strong with my spinning for the Tour! I was able to get this little bit done while watching So You Think You Can Dance last night (and FYI: this season is looking a little lackluster if you ask me; things haven’t been the same since seasons 4 and 5). The fiber is superwash merino, courtesy of Sweet Georgia, in the Violet Hill colorway.  It’s really gorgeous with different shades of purple, some pops of bright pink, and even some chocolate brown throughout.  Out of the two Sweet Georgia braids I have, this is the one my eldest chose for herself, so she’ll get… something. We’ll figure all that out once we know how much yardage we have. I thought about spinning both of the braids and then plying them together, but with how slow-going the Dance Fever colorway is working up, and the fact that I still have three other skeins that need to get spun up for HPKCHC, I needed a “hit it and quit it” type of spin. Wham! Bam! Thank you LAMB! On and off the bobbins as quickly as possible. I should have around a dk-worsted weight yarn when this plied.

Other things I’ve worked on throughout the Tour:

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I showed this is my last post, but this is a much better photo. Dance Fever on 100% merino.

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This is the first half of the Sweet Georgia that I as able to get done during Jr.’s nap yesterday. See those pretty pinks and browns? Delicious!

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Day 3 of the Tour was a bit slow on the spinning-front, but I was able to get 2 1/2 rolags done in my Meaedow by the Lake colorway.  Sometimes my poor spindle doesn’t get touched for months at a time, but everytime I pick it back up I think, Why did I ever put you down?

That’s all the spinning going on for now. I have a few knitting WIPs, one of them being another commission knit, but I’ll post photos of that once it’s done (which should be by the end of the week)!

Have y’all visited and “liked” my Facebook page yet? Interesting things will be happening there tomorrow… Happy crafting 🙂

Tour de Fleece (and other stuffs…)

Hey, friends! First of all, where in the world did last week go? Ghee whiz! That may have very well been the busiest week I’ve had this year. I was busting my rump to get my sweater done for the KALS, decided at the last minute to attend a friend’s surprise birthday dinner, had my monthly “mom group” meeting, and lots of dyeing and spinning in the midst. So, how’s about a recap, yes?

Le Tour de Fleece

Sadly, I was not able to spin through the 4oz of Dance Fever that I broke into last week, but over these last two days (days 1 and 2 of the Tour) I’ve gotten through the first 2oz. I’m soooo excited to see this finished up and to get knitting with it!  Please excuse these low quality night time photos:

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For today (or at least this morning), I’m spinning up some rolags in my Meadow by the Lake colorway, but there isn’t very much to show with that just yet. But since we’re speaking of rolags, if you’re a beginning spinner or someone who prefers spindles over wheels, rolags and punis (“POO-neez”– like rolags, but much denser) are perfect! You don’t have to worry about splitting fiber into sections, the process used to make them does  some pre-drafting for you, and they’re great for traveling! And if you’re a wheel spinner, the prep on them is ideal for woolen spinning.

Some of my other Tour plans include spinning up the Sweet Georgia fiber I acquired.

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I was thinking of spinning one of the braids into a 3-ply sock weight (they’re both superwash merino), but now I’m thinking I’m just gonna spin them as regular 2-plies and knit something fun for my girls… Maybe even ply them together!

I also want to spin this braid, dyed by another of my Rav BFFs, and get it knit into a Hitchhiker:

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HPKCHC

School’s still in session over at Hogwarts! June was a much slower month for me, but I still got some classes complete, and one major assignment turned in. I had to get the OWL I proposed to 50% completion and I did! I’m interpreting the solar system into spun yarns, and here’s a few collages I submitted giving some insight into fiber prep and dyeing:

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FO’s

I finished the sunshine sweater!!!!

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What I learned: don’t judge a pattern by the photo! I loved the shape of this sweater, but never fully considered how the shape was achieved; much to my demise, it was with a million short rows! Overall though, I love the finished product. Blocking it did wonders (although the 3-needle bind off at the shoulders still looks a little sketchy), and it’s light, loose, and oh so yellow!

Stash Enhancement

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The lovely Wren, of Sunrise Fiber Co., had a flash Facebook sale last week on samples, seconds, and a few one of a kind colorways, and I was able to snag this sweet skein. It’s on her Classic Sock base (100% merino) in a one of a kind colorway, Once Bitten, and it is absolutely gorgeous. It’s very dark (for me anyway– you saw that big yellow sweater), a deep berry color with a wash of black on top. I find it quite romantic, and am planning an equally romantic project for it, the All About Love Shawl by  Sylvia Bo Bilvia.

In other news, Junior made 8 months last week!

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Anyhow, that’s it for me today! I’ve got lots of cleaning, and dyeing, and cleaning, and packing to tackle today (more on that later). And spinning! And I have a few photo “tutorials” planned and, as always, I’ll be back on Wednesday with another spinning update.  Until then, 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_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.

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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!

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For me…

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For you!

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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!

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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!

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:

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1) Pre-soaked fiber

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2) Dye pot filled with water

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

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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:

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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.

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

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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!

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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.

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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!

Name that Colorway!

So, as I made light mention of in this post, I’m being featured in a giveaway hosted by the lovely ladies of the MustStash Podcast! And y’all… I’m excited! I dyed up this gorgeous fiber for the occasion, but once it was dried, I had no idea what to call it:

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That’s where you come in! Visit the MustStash group on Ravelry (actually, join the group– you have to, to be eligible for the prize), and in this thread leave a comment with your suggestion for a name for this lovely bit ‘o fluff.  The winner will win the two skeins of yarn pictured, but the actual fiber is being saved as a TDF prize; so you may want to consider joining their TDF team too!

In other news, I started a Ravelry group! Come join us!

But, it’s back to reality for now! I’ve got lots of dyeing to be done today, as soon as the dishwasher is all done– I can’t dye in a chaotic kitchen! I’ll be back tomorrow to show off some spinning goodness. Until then, 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!

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Today’s featured fluff is brought to you by my oldest girl, Nevaeh! Yesterday she just up and said, “I’m ready to spin some yarn now.” And she was right! It’s funny how kids know these things. I’d given her a spinning lesson before, on the spindle and the wheel, but both times she was only interested for the first few seconds. I’m not sure what was different this time around, but things just clicked! It was pretty awesome. And best of all, she really could care less how it looks; it’s lofty, lumpy, and full of slubs, but she loves it! Once she gets the rest of her fluff spun (it’s only about a half of an ounce– maybe), she’s gonna dye it, and knit it into “a bookmark or a tiny scarf for the baby.” It’s so great to be passing this craft on to the next generation, starting with my own sweet girl, no less!

And no, I don’t have any spinning of my own…

But as for knitting, I’m working on my first knitting commission! Are you ready for this? Get ready, cuz here it is:

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What exactly is that, you’re probably wondering, right? A uterus! Tehehehe! I had a friend that made a post on facebook asking, “Can anyone knit me a uterus?…” I thought it was a joke. But come to find out, she recently got her certification as a doula and natural birth instructor, and will be using this for demonstration purposes.  That said, I didn’t realize I was making a life-sized, full term replica– this thing is gonna be huge! It’s an easy knit though, pretty much just a very elongated hat. It’s taking a little longer than I expected, and I’m kind of sick of it; I’m ready to get back to my sweater (which pretty much looks just like it did last week, FYI).

The Tour de Fleece team is still growing and you still have a chance to come and join us and get your spin on this summer!

Happy Crafting 🙂