Friday, September 29, 2006

Fiber Fridays

Mountain Sunset in the light of sunrise.



This roving, from Paradise Fibers.



Soft, intensely colored, fire on the bobbin!



Blue Faced Leicester Wool, 100%.



Spun quickly, softly, fluffy and thick.



What shall she become?



Yarn Specs:

150 g/ 5.3 oz.
256 m/280 yds
10-12 WPI, solid worsted weight.

2-ply, Z-spun single, S-plied.

Cabled scarf? Hat and wristwarmers? Hmmm. Too many choices....

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Cormo?, this stuff is so soft it should be called Pillow!

Spun, Plied and Petted.

Cormo wool. I traded some local Churro with CeallachKnits for a surprise she would pick up for me at Lambtown, and this is what she sent:



Above, pre-plying in little center pull pillows...



Finished yarn. A small skein and a big skein. Well balanced too!



My main goal in spinning this yarn was to maintain the lovely softness and sproinginess that the roving had. I think I suceeded, the yarn has a nice loft, and is incredibly soft. Against a baby's bottom soft even.



Still dreaming about what Pillow-Cormo wants to be knit into.



Yarn Specs:
Small Skein: 45g/1.6 oz, 108m/118yds
Large Skein: 78g/2.75 oz, 220m/240yds

Total: 4.35 oz, 358 yds.
Sport or DK weight, 13 WPI

Love it. Thinking of dyeing her purple, what do you think? Purple Cormo?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Pretty?

A snowy Fall in the San Juan Mountains.

Telluride and vicinity, last Saturday.

At the Mountain Village, ski area, from the Gondola:



And mountains all around...



Leaves of gold...



Snowy white...



Beautiful Autumn light.



Mountains. Majestic and white.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Handspun Handknit Sockies

Yay! They're done! I'm wearing them right now even.



Knit on US 0s from my first handspun sockyarn. Roving was a superwash merino handpainted by Heritage Spinning and Weavingin Lake Orien Michigan (great store by the way, if you're ever up there, they do in fact have a whole room of sock yarn...)...



I spun the yarn with a little extra twist since it was for socks, then 2-plied it back from a center pull ball. People say that you need 5 oz for socks when you spin....I think I spun about 3.5 and have a good deal amount of yarn left.



Knit in the Elongated Rib pattern stitch from Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch. Good book, I recommend it, if only for all the handy charts.

Knit top down, traditional heel and toe, Kitchener toe graft. I used a heel stitch on the heel flaps for the first time, and I dig it. I'll totally be doing heel stitches from now on.

As far as the pattern? I think I'm not a Lacey sock person. I like the look of the stockinette on the bottom of the foot more than the lacey top. So...simple socks, more of you shall be knit!

Oooh, Elizabeth got the Mead alpaca handspun I sent! Go check out her glorious pics of it!

And a certain someone tagged me to list 7 favorite songs.

So, here goes:
1) Poor Man's House, Patty Griffin
2) Iowa, Dar Williams
3) Hard Times in Babylon, Eliza Gilkyson
4) Carry Me, Hem
5) 3rd Planet, Modest Mouse
6) Every Little Bit, Patty Griffin
7) All Wilco songs ever written.

So...go forth and tell us your favorite 7 songs if you so desire. I'm not the tagging sort!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Fiber Fridays!

Handspun Mertushma (Llama, tussah silk, and merino wool)!



Gorgeous blend of fiber and color; an ultra dark brown from the llama, blended with the pale blue silk and merino.



Pic of the Raw, unspun here.



From my ultra lovely spinning secret pal Sasha, of course!



From this etsy shop: Lil Bit of Heaven Fibers.

Specs:

Hee, this is what happens when you forget your fiber notebook. Where you wrote all that down. No specs! I'll edit to add them in later!

Around 4 oz, 18 WPI, and a pretty good yardage, 400yds+ as I remember! But yeah, I'll add it in later!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Mountain Sunset

Being the spinner that I am, when the last part of my order from Paradise Fibers came in yesterday, I had to start spinning it. I couldn't resist. The lure of color! Of Blue Faced L.! So, here we go again!



I believe this colorway is called Harvest Sunset (from their Rhapsodies line). I like to call it Mountain Sunset...purples, oranges, red.....



My goal was to spin medium lengths of color. So I split the roving once vertically down the whole length, and drafted each section of color for an individual color spin...



This is half spun up as a single. I'm planning on spinning the other half on another bobbin, in the same color sequence and ply back the two bobbins together, trying to keep the colors somewhat in line, and hoping for a slight amount of barber pole effect....but not 100% barber pole. We shall see! I ordered 5 oz of this...and they sent me 6.7! Nice Paradise Fibers!



Ye olde second handspun sock. Still knitting these...finished the gusset decreases on the second, so I can knit the foot at Nate's football game this afternoon. Go Heights Knights!

And yep, I was spinning the white Cormo. But got sucked in by color again....seems that the spin sucks me in, then the combo of amazing color sucks me in deeper. As I bypassed the almost full Cormo bobbin last night in favor of this! Ah well, what can you do?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

When left to my own devices...

Apparently I go with greeny-blue-purple.

Evidence of 3 out of 5 last handspun yarns:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The Rambo batts from Sasha, the Mockking XXL, and the Targhee. And...the roving that made the other sockyarn (that I'm currently knitting socks from).

It seems that I've spun mostly natural colored yarn, or bluey-greens. I think this is why it makes me happy when I tell people to send me something of their own choice! Hence the red Mertush that Purrl sent me, and the new roving Laura sent me....

Not that there's anything wrong with bluey-greeny-purples, but one can have too much of the same color, right?

Realizing this made me want to start on that Fiery roving in a bad way....

Monday, September 18, 2006

Alpaca, lovely alpaca

Handspun alpaca. I shall call this one Mead.



3.6 oz/103 g.



430 yds, 16-18 WPI, fingering weight.



From Jim and Lois of Navajo Lake Alpacas (local!).



Final destination? Wrap, lacey, warm and soft.



On the needles still: Handspun socks (1.33 done), Cardi (on second sleeve), Starmore swatch (it's been a while), blanket (to be frogged and re-started).

On the bobbins: Cormo (started last night), and some Corriedale cross (long since forgotton....to be plied with the other half of the mohair locks one day...

Friday, September 15, 2006

Oooohh! New ring! And thanks to Zib!

TurtleGirl has started a new ring, Fiber pr0n fridays! You put up awesome fiberly pics for all to admire on Fridays! So, I'll be joining this of course!

Zib has so awesomely formatted my Suri Love scarf pattern into a handy-dandy-printable pdf file and offered to host it for me! Link on the side bar or right HERE! Mille Grazie W.

Some other nice things, Zib also got the package of goodies I sent her, and put up some lovely, lovely pics of the handspun Mertush!

In the next to knit list, hmmm, I think I really want to knit up some of these Very Special Things (felted boxes, pattern availible at The Garter Belt with all proceeds from sale of the pattern going to Breast Cancer research)!

Also, Ivy from the new Knitty is on the list. I swatched for it with some Rowan wool-cotton, which worked out pretty nice!

And, though it is Friday, alas I have no fiberly pics of the spinning or yarn type today...just this.


Happy weekend!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Suri Love Scarf; A little Stripey Lacey Thing (Pattern)

As promised, better pics, and a pattern (below pics)!

Oh she drapes so well accross the strawberry pot,

Lacey llama and alpaca, you say your mom needs a gift?

Light and soft, yet so warm!

Soon shall be the weather to wear it....for last night I heard the elk calling.

Quick to knit, nice to wear, good to give or to share!

This pattern would be an excellent first lace piece, especially if you decided to knit it in a solid color, I'd really like to knit it in two similar colors too to get a more subtle color change.

Pattern:
Materials:

1-2 skeins KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud (100% alpaca, laceweight)*
If you want to make the stripey version, you will need 2 skeins in 2 different colors, for a solid version, use a single skein of a solid color.

I used one skein of the Iris color, and the dark brown is Suri llama handspun (which, I love….Suri Love Scarf). Of course you can use your handspun here too! Perfect for a little bit o luxe handspun!

Size 7 US (4.5 mm) knitting needles.

Gauge: Not important, knit a swatch that pleases you! Lace can vary; I like to encourage people to knit what makes them happy.

Finished measurements: 5 inches wide x 52 inches long.

Directions:

*Note, the Alpaca Cloud was held doubled throughout.

CO 23 stitches in the dark color.

Work 3 rows even in garter stitch.

Work the lace pattern and the stripe sequence (as below) simultaneously, maintaining a 3 stitch garter stitch border on either side (this is accounted for in the directions).

Stripe sequence**: Repeat as necessary (I completed 4 repeats of the sequence in my scarf). Light = the lighter colored yarn you’re using, and dark = the darker yarn. The number refers to the number of rows you’ll knit with each color to make the stripes***.

1 = light
2 = dark
3 = light
5 = dark
8 = light
13 = dark
21 = light
13 = dark
8 = light
5 = dark
3 = light
2 = dark
1 = light

Lace Diamonds pattern:

Row 1: K5, yo, ssk, K9, k2tog, yo, K5
Row 2: Purl. (all even, or wrong side rows are purled)
Row 3: K6, yo, ssk, K7, k2tog, yo, K6
Row 5: K7, yo, ssk, K5, k2tog, yo, K7
Row 7: K8, yo, ssk, K3, k2tog, yo, K8
Row 9: K9, yo, ssk, K1, k2tog, yo, K9
Row 11: K9, Center Twist, K9
(center twist over 5 sts: slip(sl) stitch(st) to right hand(RH) needle, sl next st to cable needle(cn) and hold in front of work, sl next stitch to another cn, and hold in back of work, sl st from RH needle to left hand(LH) needle, k2tog, yo, K st held on cn at back of work, yo, sl st held on cn at front of work to LH needle, ssk)
Row 13: K8, k2tog, yo, K3, yo, ssk, K8
Row 15: K7, k2tog, yo, K5, yo, ssk, K7
Row 17: K6, k2tog, yo, K7, yo, ssk, K6
Row 19: K5, k2tog, yo, K9, yo, ssk, K5
Row 20: Purl.

Repeat rows 1-20 as many times necessary to get the length you desire.

Knit 2 rows of garter stitch.

Bind Off. Weave in remaining ends. Block! Blocking lace is always good….makes it so pretty. And because this is a st. stitch based pattern with a garter border, a full wet block really helps it stay nice and flat. Also makes the alpaca/llama fuzzy and nice!

**If you’re making the striped version, word to the wise…weave in (by knitting in as you go) as many ends as possible while you knit the scarf! I didn’t do this, and had 108 pesky ends to weave in at the end!

***I found the easiest way to keep track of both the stripe sequence rows and the lace pattern rows was to have a Kacha-kacha counter and a piece of paper. On the paper I’d tally up the number of rows per color and what that equaled in the total row count. Because the lace pattern is 20 rows, and it’s easy to see multiples of 20 on the counter this works well with this pattern. For example:

# of rows per stripe: color: kacha row counter #:
1 pink 1
2 brown 3
3 pink 6
5 brown 11
8 pink 19
13 brown 32
21 pink 53
13 brown 66
8 pink 74

This means, that when the kacha counter number reads for example 11, I would change yarn from the brown to the pink, and also be on the lace pattern row 11. When the kacha reads 66, I know I’m on row 6 of the pattern (20 row repeat, look at the counter in multiples of 20), and I’ll change to pink again. Because the lace pattern is in multiples of 20 rows, you can simply go to 100 = 5 repeats of the pattern and start the counter over again!

If you decide to make this pattern, and have any questions, please email me rather than ask in the comments. Because chances are, in a week or so this post will be archived and I likely won’t be looking at the comments! morgsarah at yahoo dot com.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A Great Mail Day!

Side dish from Sasha!

Four lovely ounces of llama, tussah silk and merino blend fluff!

SO soft and shiny! And I adore the blue-brown color combo, so I really want to spin this one next...
Sasha really seems to know what I like!

And from Laura:
"Windswept" colorway


"Fiery" colorway


and "Thoughtful" colorway


Bamboo top!


Laura sent me a big, lovely package of goodies from Lynn's Texas Fiber as a trade for spinning her quiviut! The colored fibers are all wool, and all lovely! The Bamboo top is amazing, so soft and shiny, with a staple of around 2 inches, so it should be nice to spin! Funny, not all bamboo top is alike apparently. I fondled some at Village Wools a while back that felt squeeky and somewhat coarse! SO different from this one....so, maybe with bamboo you want to try before you buy! (Or just order from Lynn...)

And Laura, I'm working on the quiviut still! Prepped for 2 hours again last night!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Quiviut-Suri-Quiviut

Lovely, lovely Baby Suri Alpaca from Sasha!


How soft you are, all fuzzy white! I can't wait to spin this. I'm so on the fence about dyeing it/not dyeing it. I love the fiber and worry I'd screw it up dyeing it...but I love color too....hmm. What do you guys think? 7 and 5/8 oz total.


Now....Quiviut Part I:

Laura sent me 3 oz of raw quiviut fiber to spin for her a while back. Now, I'm feeling guilty because I haven't finished it, and I got the package she sent me today! So, getting serious about the quiviut spin!


OK. I haven't actually started spinning it. It came as raw fiber, collected off of the musk ox, twigs, and rocks. In little clumps. One ounce of the fiber was packed in a small ziploc sandwich bag. After prepping the same ounce for spinning, the same fiber (above) now fits into a gallon ziploc.

The raw quiviut clumps, pre-prep:


And again, raw quiviut, pre-prep:



Now, I know those didn't look too bad, too dirty, etc. But can you see how they're kinda rolled up? Well, when you unroll them and pull the fibers apart, you can see the guard hair, bits and bobs, and dandruff stuck in there that you wanna get out before you spin it.

And prepped for the spin:



And again: all floofed and fluffed for spin: you can totally see how light and lofty this fiber is. The individual down fibers are so fine, I have a hard time distinguishing them! This stuff is soft. So soft!



And because its apparently the lightest fiber out there, one oz of this stuff is a lot more actual fiber than 1 oz of other stuff. You know the whole pound of feathers pile being bigger than the pound of bricks pile.

I'm prepping it! I should take a pic of the acutal dirt and guard hair I pull out of it....you know, I found a whole, dead balled up dried up spider the size of a pea in one clump! Hence the careful cleaning.

Oh yeah, and if you want your own quiviut to play spinny goddess with, Laura got her's here!