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The Beautiful Birthday Wool And Other Fun Stuff

Good Morning!

Yes, again, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted 🙂 It feels like spring – a beautiful beautiful day in Ontario. Time to sort, clean and catch up…

A couple of weeks ago I had another birthday and wanted to treat myself to something special. I decided to make some pretty yarn inspired by amethyst…a little bit of sparkle (silk from india), a little bit of shine and bold bright colour (handdyed longwool) and a fair share of beautiful, bouncy softness (gorgeous handdyed cormo/merino cross recently purchased from mmfwool on ebay – I *highly* recommend it).

In the dye pot – the wools and some wilton’s violet icing colour….

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I blended the fibres with hand cards and, voila!

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The plan is to knit ‘Sabbatical’ by Connie Chang Chinchio…it should be awesome!

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The wool from mmfwool is absolutely wonderful to work with…nice crimp, beautiful feel, lovely length….

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The kids have been enjoying march break!

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I’ve been working on some other wools as well…

black/brown suffolk mix – this is a three ply worsted/dk weight which will eventually become a sweater…
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Finished pictures coming soon for this and some lovely wool/silk mix yarn which I’m just in the middle of finishing up! Have a fantastic day 🙂

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Yes, I Have Been Slacking

I haven’t blogged in SOME TIME….wow, too long, really.

My beautiful daughter had her beautiful baby!! He’s the most beautiful boy in the world…of course, I am a little bit biased…just a little 🙂 She says I must ‘blog’ him, so here is a picture of cuteness itself….

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So, perfect, right? I’m one proud grandma, though that’s something to get used to — I’m so NOT used to being a grandma!

Certainly the excitement of new babies explains my blogging-slacking behaviour, doesn’t it?

I’ve done some spinning, some knitting and some beautiful fleece purchasing – all since I’ve been on the blog last and some of which I’d like to share here since I’m really thrilled with some of the results 🙂 I’ve been on a bit of a yarn/fleece diet this year, and trying to use up the fleeces and fibre I already have rather than buying more. IF you could see the yarn closet you’d definitely agree that the diet is necessary. It’s that or we have to expand the yarn closet, lol, or trade it perhaps with the children – their room would really make a good storage! 😉

I spun some navy and royal blue superwash merino fibre which I had bought last year at the Black Lamb (www.theblacklamb.ca), from Laurie, who is wonderful. I plied it (two plies – I’m a lazy spinner with two bobbins) and knit it up into the Gooseberry Cardigan pattern. I’m more than happy with this sweater – it’s comfy, it’s soft, it’s quite possibly my new favorite all time sweater!

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Not the best picture and I can’t believe it BUT, it seems I forgot (?) to take pictures of the spun wool or the spinning itself. I must be losing my grandmother mind!

Bonus! Found a picture of the spun yarn…
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I made a little crocheted top – the Avalon Top by Doris Chan. Love how it turned out too….

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I also made a little pair of socks, from my handspun superwash merino sock yarn…three ply this time….

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I prefer ankle socks so when I made up this design, they seemed the way to go!

Seems like forever and like I’ve got too much to say for one day. Instead of jumbling it all together we’ll have to finish this up tomorrow – when I’ll show the new alpaca fleeces I just washed and the beautiful shetlands I’m processing!!!

Have a great day! 🙂

3 Months Spinning…

I’ve been spinning for exactly three months today. On the wheel, that is…I spent about a month or so with a spindle, learning the basics of twist – getting addicted to spinning and whatnot!

I’m thinking I’d like to create a ‘spinning page’ where I can keep track, with pictures – in one place – of all of the yarns I’ve spun. It’ll help me see my progress as well as helping me remember what I”ve done!

I was an avid hand quilter for a long time when my kids were little. I made many, many quilts – so many I’ve lost track. My biggest mistake was not keeping a record of everything I did, with pictures. Now most of the quilts are gone and my memory, as it turns out, SUCKS LOL.

Here’s a picture of my Rose Garden Handspun, plied, on the bobbin — It turned out really lovely…or at least I love it!

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I made this yarn randomly – didn’t measure sections of roving for uniformity or place them in an even, organized pattern – but was thinking, before I made it, of the beautiful hand painted rovings out there. Thinking WHY CANT I DO THE SAME WITH COLOURED ROVINGS? So this was my attempt to mimic the effect of handpainted rovings with a much more affordable substitute! Guessing that this will weigh in at about 4 oz…the savings is significant — I paid about $1.25 for the rovings I used as opposed to the rates of $14+ that I’ve seen (and paid in the past) for a similar amount of roving. Now that is a BIG difference!

The picture is a little dark, I know…here’s one taken this morning outside…on the board…

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I ended up with about 400 yards of light to heavy fingering weight yarn…depending on the section…I always have thick/thin sections 🙂

Today it’ll have a little bath and then be dried and weighed later on…

The Candy Stripe Socks!

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I made them as sockettes rather than full leg socks but the pattern is very stretchy and the leg length is just a matter of preference. I love how the twisted cables nest together and how the single purl almost looks lacy. I think if I had made them longer and IF (not sure this would be necessary) shaping was required it would be easy enough to add in a second purl stitch in each space between the cables, probably every other space, work a certain number of rows and then every other again, to gradually add girth.

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I’m so happy to have finished these 🙂 It’s satisfying to knit the one or two day projects, for me — and I’m happy because they are for my daughter’s 17th birthday which is about a week away.

I had way more yarn than I needed…I think I used just a little more than half of the ball. I realize I should have weighed it before I began — then I’d KNOW what I used! Had nothing here to weigh it with though…I really must get my own scale for yarn – borrowing is less than convenient.

It looks like we’re going to have a sunny weekend 🙂 We’re going to the ROM with the kids on Sunday…I can’t wait! Of all the things around here, somehow I’ve never been to the ROM and it’ll be so fun to discover it with the kids. My husband is even excited about it 🙂

I Can’t Believe It!

I have MISPLACED (I refuse to use the word LOST) so many of my magazines and books and I’ve got no idea how or where or anything!

It all became apparent yesterday when I was looking for a magazine (IK I think?) that had a beautiful sock ‘recipe’ for all sizes, guages, etc…for toe up socks…that I often use when trying to design a new sock pattern…

Thank goodness that I’ve written it out in the past when I wrote the other sock patterns…I didn’t write out the guage charts (sure wish I had!) but at least I could recover the basics of the short row heel that I like to use.

Then my daughter asked for a book, for school, that I haven’t seen in quite a while and had almost forgotten about…leading me to consider all the other books that are missing. If there is any hope of finding them they may be in the basement in one of the unpacked boxes. LOL, at this point I’m wondering how we decided to put thoses boxes down there in the first place or if we were just tired the night we were moving in! Looking through all of them is NOT something I’m looking forward to but I really like knowing where my things are!

I managed to figure out my sock pattern anyways…it’s the Candy Stripe Socks pattern listed in the pages. They use, of course, the Candy Stripe Yarn that I spun from the superwash merino from the black lamb. I’m almost done the first sock…

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I thought the twists in this pattern were reminiscent of the twists of candy cane sticks 🙂

I’ve also taken a picture of the spinning I’m working on…the first ply for the four ply….

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Enjoy your day 🙂

Making Do :)

So…

I’m trying to spin a three ply with only three bobbins and wanted to come up with a way to make it work without having to wind any of the singles into a ball before plying. Patience isn’t my strong suit, lol, so I didn’t want to wait for a chance to buy a fourth bobbin.

Ta Da….

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I spun it on the first three hooks and built a little separator out of a scrap of cardboard — and duckie stickers of course! 🙂

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I’ve done half a bobbin of the dark orange on it’s own bobbin (I was still thinking about the problem, lol)

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So far, so good! I’m pretty happy with this idea…I’ll let you know how the plying goes 🙂