Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Targhee so lovely...

At the spinning guild meeting last Saturday (oh, yeah, I'm in the process of working up a blog for my spinning guild, Wild and Woolly Women of the West, so stay tuned), I finished spinning up the Targhee wool top:

Lovely stuff. (Yes, this is the dark blue of the three I asked about in that contest a while back). Handpainted by Mountain Colors, and purchased from Woodland Woolworks. I think this is the 'Midnight Sky' colorway.

As you can see....predominantly deep blues, with some purples in there too. A more subltle colorway, the color effects are really there to add depth and dimension rather than stand out and say "Handpainted Roving!!!". I like.

A section of the roving:

I definitely enjoyed spinning this one up. Soft, sproingy, requiring a fair amount of the fluff and floof, but not as much as say, the sock yarn. Spins even, could go thickish, or thinish.

Specs:
110g/3.9 oz (finished yarn...bought in a 4 oz. lot)
493 yds (451 m)
2-ply
Approximately fingering weight; 15-17 WPI.

Hmmm, this would make some nice socks methinks. (For me of course, since I couldn't give anyone else cold wash socks right, well, maybe another knitter). Or a lacy wrap thingy....enough for one too!

Nice stuff. I'd spin it again! It was similar to spinning Merino, but a little easier to draft. Soft as some Merinos too.

I'm hoping I'll get around to weaving in the rest of the ends on that scarf soon so I can block it. It would be nice to show a little knitting eh?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Finally!

I can post!

I'm reallllllly hoping that I can get Beta blogger or something soon. I'm sick of faffing around with this.

So! Fluff from the Sasha!

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Three lovely green batts of Rambouillet fluff. Rainbow colors, mostly green. From Rowan Tree Woolery they came!

Along with a little bag of sample fluff too!
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Samples of white and gray Rambouillet, pencil roving (gray Rambouillet), green and white silk, and pinky-cream silk. I enjoyed spinning these. I took each sample, spun about a yard or two, and moved on to the next. Then plied back on itself.
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The sample yarn specs:
21 g/0.74 oz
62 m/68 yds
2-ply, DK-sport weight.

50% silk, 50% Rambouillet wool.

Enough maybe for some cool stripes in something? Nate likes this yarn. And I spun it thinking I might not like the end yarn. But I do!

Oh, and I couldn't resist:
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I started spinning the batts too. Not super easy to draft. But, super fast! And, I really like the nepps and noils left in. This isn't a smooth, even yarn. But we must listen to the fiber. To what it wants to be. And so I let it be neppy and noily, and I like it. (Even though mostly I try for even yarn...I can let that go in pursuit of happy fiber).

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Quasi-felted Churro and a winner!

First....remember this little contest?

Well, we have a winner! Since no one correctly identified each of the three wools (and yes, I know it was hard...but this way it was fair free draw), I put the names on a spreadsheet, popped into chat, and asked Yorkie to randomly pick a number. She picked the number that went with Spin!

So, Spin! You are the winner! I'll give a brief rundown of the yarns, and then you pick which one you want, let me know, and I'll send it your way.

Yarn 1) The white one. Corriedale-cross wool from England. When finished this will be a nice all around wool for dyeing, felting, or knitting. It is very soft and sproingy. Will be 4 oz, and likely around 220-270 yds.

Yarn 2) The dark blue-purple one. Targhee top Handpainted by Mountain Colors. When finished (I worked on it last night) this yarn will be soft, and about sport weight. I'm guessing 250-270 yds in the skein.

Yarn 3) See Below, for this is that yarn!

It looked like this:

This is Churro roving. It came to me in a plain ecru state, and was already a pain in the butt to draft, and was already semi-felty. I thought I'd at least like it better if I dyed it.

So, I went with a light dye of Wiltons. The dyeing worked. However, it did not make for an easier to draft yarn, and it continued to fight the draft.

But, alas, I perservered. Spun a whole bobbin of the singles, then plied back on itself.

The yarn in the end, is somewhat thick and thin in spots, with little undraftable nubbins here and there.

Definitely will make an excellent felting project, though I would hesitate to make any kind of wearable anything with it.

Stats: Around 4 oz (I didn't weigh it). Aran weight. 190 yds of yarn.

So, yes....this is yarn 3!

I'll put up the pics of the other yarns as I finish them, so if you'd like Spin, you can wait til you see the others before you pick (or you can pick now, your choice!).

And, yep. I've decided to finish up all of these 3 yarns before starting a new spinning project. Which means I only have 2 spinning WIPs right now....and normally I have 4! Maybe I'll do the same with the knitting.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Sasha's Hordeurves

Sasha the Spinner of Morg (my Spinning SP from the Knittyboards) has sent Hordeurves!

And what might they be?
Black and fluffy,
That we see...

A little note tied with twine
Around the present that is mine!

Shiny, soft,
Wicked black and brown,
I cannot wait to spin it down...

The locks are long
and thick and strong,

Pancake you say?
Why yes, I'll take three!


Thank-you very much dear Sasha! I love it!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

O is for OMFGThisReallyGotToMe!

***If Snakes (yes, real snakes) Freak you out uncontrollably....simply look at the pretty picture of this Mertush and scroll no further***



SNAKES IN MY STOVE!



So, last night. I was happy, roasting some garden chilies in the broiler, cooking up some Toor Dal (all for my newest concoction, the Indian-Roti/Quesadillas, which, by the way, is excellent).

I have the chilies broiling. I have pots on the stove. I open the oven to check the chilies.

I see, in the little gap between where the oven door rests and the actual oven, something pop out and wave back and forth a few times. Mind you, I saw this out of the corner of my eye, and my first thought was, "Oh, that liner thingy that seals the gap must have come loose and was waving around."

So. What do I do? I stick my hand up there to see if the liner thingy is gone. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Snakes in my stove!

The snake then pops his head back out, and slithers around my arm! AHHHHHHHHH! Before dropping off through the crack where the door hinges are, and I see him slither into the drawer at the bottom of the stove.

NOOOOoooooooooooooooooo!

For real. There was a snake in MY stove. Now, I'm not afraid of snakes. In fact this snake (which is either a garter snake or a gopher snake, my co-workers are still debating this) had it been outside, in the grass, would not have scared me at all.

But when a snake comes out of your stove as you're attempting deliciousness it is freaky. I waited a while. I turned off the oven. I peered in the oven drawer. Yep, snake still there. I did not imagine the whole thing. And snapped this photo.....(snake was subsequently re-released into the field across the way by Nate).

Monday, August 21, 2006

Mertussah!

Merino (80%) and Tussah Silk (20%) blend from Louet. Given to me by the lovely Purrl/KitchenerBitch ! In the Garnet color. I loved this from the minute I laid my eyes and hands on it! So soft, so shiny, so red!

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I spun a perfectly balanced skein too!

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Easy to draft, a lovely fiber to spin...I see more wool-silk blends in my future!

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The color is best represented by the top and bottom photos in the series...

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Specs:
3.14 oz of fiber (pre-spinning, and I didn't weigh it afterwards)
447 yds(!) of 2-ply
Definitely laceweight, though not as fine as some laceweight yarns I've used.

Destined to be...something lacey and small. Swallowtail shawl from the new IK? The Trellis scarf from the IK a few seasons ago? Something new?

I'll say it again. This fiber is a joy to spin! If you haven't tried the Mertussah, you're missing out. Get some for yourself, get some for your spinny SP, get some for your mom.

Oh! It came from this:

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And it looked like this:

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On the bobbin!

Oh...having blogger photo uploading issues this morning, so I uploaded through photobucket. Don't like the quality as much though. Bah.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Friday Fiber

Yah. Fiber on a Friday, it's what I like to see!

A little handpainted love:

(Handpainted by me...KoolAid. Who knows what colors, what combo, I am very unscientific about these things, but I like it. Destined to be the body part of another pair of cable mitts, with lavender edging.)

Stitch markers from Ana!

I got these a while back and forgot to blog em. I'm not always the fastest with that. I love them! Thanks!

And now, a little more fiber, for this fibery Friday...

Merlinthecat (Cortney) sent me 4 oz. of her gorgeous Coopworth fleece! Already washed, it doesn't have all those vegetal bits I'm used to picking out, nice.

This stuff must really smell sheepy (I can't tell), because the second I opened the bag, the cats were on it!
I have to figure out how to make the yellow come out, or figure if that matters. But 4 oz washed will actually make a good amount of yarn!

So....if you haven't already, click on the little SpinKnitties button over there >> and sign up for the new Knitty Spinnies ring!

Thanks to an awesome Z. for the lovely new blog header too! If you were wondering, the blue-green yarn is my handspun sockyarn (the same yarn I'm knitting the socks from yesterday's post with), the other yarn is handspun Moorit Shetland that I overdyed with Wiltons, and the other pic, well, that's skiing in Telluride (oh how I wish it was winter right now!).

(And if you're having issues with the sidebar appearing at the bottom of the blog instead of the side...let me know. I'm working on stuff to fix it, but it might take time!)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Random Thursday

Yah. No new FO's spinning or knitting, so in progress it is!
In fact, I might not have any real FOs for a while, so you'll get other stuff to see.

The handspun sockyarn (winner of the which socks should I knit next post from a while back), all wound up...

And the progress on the first little sock. So nice, so cute!

I'm working the body in an Elongated Rib pattern, and using the charts from Sensational Knitted Socks for the sizing and decrease/increases. So far, so good. This is my first time branching out from the stockinette sock, and while I like it, I also like the fact that socks are often my 'easy' project. Throwing in a pattern where I have to keep track of the rows and such kinda negates that. Oh well.

And....here we have:

A pic of the Animas river from Santa Rita Park in Durango. This pic shows all the gates that hang over the rocks and rapids. The gates are for training and competitions for kayakers and canoes. This section is used as a national Olympic whitewater kayak and canoe training course!

So...those boats up there? A commercial raft trip run out of Durango. Three little duckies (inflatable kayaks) have tipped in the rapids, and the guides are trying to get everyone back in the boats, and make sure they're OK.

Anyways, this is the stretch of the river we ran last Saturday with Nate's sis and her friend. But did we have any problems like this commercial trip? Nope. Nate rowed through the rapids awesomely, and a great time was had by all!

So, if you're looking into taking a raft trip, investigate the guide and the company first. Some states have licensing programs for river guides (like Utah). Some don't (like Colorado). So check into them first....last season when the river was running high, there were more than a few deaths on commercial trips. Choose wisely, the river can win.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Nate Knit. Knit Nate.

At the request of Nate, I taught Nate to knit.

Casting on....and the knit stitch.

Simple, in fact, easy!

The First Knitting of Nate is pictured here. I love it.

I love that you can see where it clicked, and where it was new.

I don't know that he'll want to knit, keep knitting, or not. Either way is fine with me.

(sorry about the craptastic photos....yesterday's and today's photos were taken in un-optimal light conditions. Under which the camera's macro function doesn't work as well. I'm blaming the weather. Clouds and all.)

I'm wishing I had more personal time lately. I feel like I've been working, and working on this volunteer stuff (which I have to do tonight, again) and I just want to be. I think that comes too after having guests for the weekend. No alone space.

Maybe this weekend?

Maybe I can take a day off for me?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

1 year of Teleknitter! (and a contest too...)

So yeah, it's been a full year of blogging action here at Teleknitter! And, to celebrate, I'm having a little contest. I pulled out the Kate with the 3 bobbins of spin-in-progress (of course bobbin 4 is on the wheel, with more spin on it), took a few photos, and here ya go:

Three bobbins with wool....three bobbins half (or more) full!

What is on them, what do you see?

Take a moment, and tell me.

Three types of wool, which might they be?

One is handyed, one is not, one is handpainted, but not by me.

So take a gander, a guess,

And let me know which color is what, who and why!


Just leave a comment with what you think each of the three types is, the white, the light blue, and the dark blue, and which one of the blues you think I dyed.

You'll win if you're right!*
(Comments for the contest to be closed in one week, on Tuesday 8/22/06)

What will you win? You're choice of one the three handspun yarns (finished, of course)! Or, if you're a spinner and prefer it....roving!

*Of course, if no one is right, or if many people are right, some kind of name drawing in the hat dealy is going to be required. Note...I'm betting that I talked either on the knittyboards or in earlier blog posts about what my spinnin-in-progress is...so if you're so motivated to dig and read, you might have a better shot at a correct answer.

Monday, August 14, 2006

words only

Just found out my zip drive isn't working...so no pics today.

I'll have to investigate further.

Weekend, good. Week, wishing it was still the weekend!

At least we got in a good raft trip, some visiting with Nate's sis and her friend, and some good food.

Oh, and I taught Catie (the friend) to spin! Sent her home with a drop spindle and some Corriedale! Since she already knits, I figured she'd like to spin!

Started spinning up the lovely, lovely silk and merino roving from Purrl (oh, how I love this), and worked on the handspun (remind me next time to spin up a little thicker handspun sock yarn....10 st to the inch is a lot o sock knitting) socks this weekend.

(taught Nate to knit too, but that deserves it's own post...)

And now, back to your regularly scheduled web browsing.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

[S]Oy Silk

The soy silk. OK, after spinning up the rest of the batch, I have to admit I like it better than I did at first spin. At first I really didn't like it at all. But last night after a good 30-45 minutes of sitting down with it it grew on me. I got to the point where I was in tune with the fiber and it was becoming the yarn it wanted to be.

In all it's fuzzy glory:

Now, I still don't love it, but I don't hate it anymore either. I love the pale cafe au lait color of it, I love the sheen, and I love the softness. I hate the squeeky feel of the fibers, the extremely short fiber staple length, and the fact that it gets overspun in a nano-sec. See how short the staple length is: about an inch or less for the actual length of the fibers.

This makes the roving fall apart if you breathe on it, and makes drafting an exercise in holding your hands really close together if you're drafting the fibers straight. I did find that if I drafted in a way that was closer to drafting from the fold, and holding the roving such that the fibers were coming into the drafting zone at an angle as opposed to straight from the roving I could get a longer draft. This also made a nicer single that was less prone to overtwist.

See the single:

Lessons learned: 1) DO NOT let the twist venture into the undrafted fibers. You will hate life.

See the skein:

2) Try to draft holding the roving to one side of the drafting zone and draft off the side of the roving for a longer draft length.

3) The balance between overtwist and undertwist with this fiber is a very fine line...learn where that line is!

4) Ply. The overtwisted parts of the single really evened out in plying. I don't think I'd like this yarn as a single at all.

5) Predrafting is totally unecessary with the roving I had. This was the first fiber I've spun where it was actually better not to predraft at all.

Final specs:
1.1 oz/31 g
12-14 wpi = worsted weight yarn
63 yards/57.5 meters

So. Final Verdict: I guess I'd spin this again. If I had no other fibers I liked better, if it was the only thing left in my stash, or (and this might come into play some day) if I really wanted to make a project with the finished yarn.

I actually like the finished yarn a lot. It doesn't have the squeek of the raw fibers, it is a beautiful color, is quite soft, and has a lovely sheen. But, would it be worth it to me to actually spin up enough of this for a large project? Or would I rather buy some commercial soy silk yarn? Hmmmmmm....Only time will tell.

Do let me know if you've spun the soy silk, and what your reactions/experiences with it were!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Socks ala Nate

They fit, and he likes them!

A little closer....look at those man colors! Brown! Gray! Tan! Tweedy blue!

Lana Grossa Meilenweit sockyarn (tweed something or other). Size 2 US needles. Basic cuff down, stockinette sock. My only modification was to add a single ridge of garter stitch at the top of the heel flap. I experimented with this on a pair for me, and liked the way it worked in tennis shoes and hiking boots...so I threw it in on the Nate socks.

Went to spin night last night at Durango Fiber Works studio . The studio is going to be a great resource for me in the coming years, not only are they working on more and more classes, but the three women who run it are fiber farmers! One alpaca ranch, and two sheep and herb farms!

Anyways, I spun up a bit of the soy silk I bought at Village Wools. And....I don't love it. I'll have to put together a whole post about the soy silk tonight I think.

(it feels squeaky, almost *gasp* petro-ish).....