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This Yarn Is Delicious!

Closeup rambo/suri blend laceweight handspun yarn

I spun this 2 ply out of rambouillet blended with baby suri alpaca on hand cards. It turned out so soft it doesn’t even feel like wool!

Baby suri alpaca

Rambouillet Fleece

suri/rambo blended on hand cards

Also the colour is lovely – chocolate and tan with a bit of a shine! It has a really rich look and I love it.

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I’m working on a pair of gloves for winter…I’ll keep you updated 🙂

Have a great day!

If you might be interested in purchasing my handspun yarn, please visit handspunyarn.wordpress.com

Back To My Spinning Wheel…

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I’m hoping to spin enough 2 ply yarn for a light weight sweater 🙂 It feels good to be working with fibre and using my wheel again, after so many months of focusing on other things!

Since finances SUCK this year for us, I’m using mostly stash yarns and fibre in all my projects. I am out of sweater-lots of wool so if I want to knit anything bigger than socks I will have to spin first!

I have lots of bits of superwash merino in different colours and am going to combine them to spin up some yarn for knitting. It means combining colours and is a surprise every time. I made this a couple days ago – it’s a mixture of three or four blue shades, 2 ply, approximately 260 metres. I’m thinking socks for the baby boy, or a little sweater, perhaps 🙂

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Another project I’m working my way through is combing through the leftovers from last years fleeces. I have about a pillowcase full of jacob wool and another partial case full of rambouillet. Some of it is ‘second combings’ since I HATE throwing out anything and there is a lot of saveable wool left over from combing in the first place.

Happy Spinning!

Designing And Stuff

I’ve been searching the web, looking for lace designs/patterns/charts. I’ve found a couple of great resources!

One is Yarn Over. Another is Knitting Fool.

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I’m still working on the coat, sort of ‘off an on’ lol, but yes – working! I’m more than half way through the first sleeve and have, of course, to finish the upper body once the sleeves are done. It’s about now in the pattern where ALL the numbers are wrong, because of my different gauge, so there’s much more work to figuring it out. I’ll get there 🙂

I’m also dreaming of a pair of really fine lace socks. Hence the web search. I’ll likely use little tiny needles and lace weight yarn (I’m thinking the handspun rambouillet). I’m looking for an itsy bitsy lace pattern which fits…

Oh, yes – I made a little lace hat for myself, for when the weather gets cooler this fall. It was a free pattern (available at the canadian living site) but is from the book Runway Knits. Very cute! Sideways lace and cables…

The ‘Ingenue Hat’ (by Berta Karapetyan)

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The silk I used is ‘shire silk’ and it’s as light as air. I may have to find some time and make the matching scarf – also free on the site and also beautiful!

Spring!

Today, I’m dying my handspun, hand prepped, rambouillet lace – just over 2000 yards. I admit, I was afraid!

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The good news? It turned out beautiful! It makes me think of spring flowers, perfect for today since it’s pouring rain outside. 🙂

The second batch is ‘cooking’ in the pot on the stove as I type. I’m quite certain it’s going to be a perfect match for the first.

My recipe?

1/4 teaspoon of delphinium blue wiltons icing colour, dissolved in one cup of boiling water

Just a bit more than 3/4 cup of vinegar mixed with boiling water on the stove in my dye pot and stirred

–add the dye solution to the pot and IMMEDIATELY add the dry, loosely skeined yarn. Push down with a wooden spoon, keeping agitation to a minimum.

–allow pot to simmer for 20 minutes, remove from stove, cool to a comfortable temperature and place in rinse water (same temp as yarn) again without agitating.

–roll in towel to remove excess moisture and lay flat or hang to dry.

–admire the beautiful yarn you made yourself 🙂

I repeated this exactly for the second skein, in order to minimize differences in the two skeins. I suppose I could have done both together in a larger pot – we’ll see 🙂

I really like this 🙂

Combing Wool

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I decided to do this post to try and show ‘how’ I comb my wool with my diy combs. I find it’s easier to comb sideways. It keeps my fibre on the combs and it seems to do a nice job too!

After a little comb with my dog rake, I place a bunch of locks onto the comb, so the tips are farthest from the tines. I then comb them off, onto the moving comb.

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Since I HATE waste, I save all these bits in another pillowcase. I suppose I could use them in lots of ways…carding (if I ever try that), felting, needle felting, stuffing…

Then I comb back onto the stationary comb…

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I usually give the last bits a bit of a pull…to get as much of the fibre as possible…

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You can continue this ‘off, on’ as many times as you like. I usually just do two passes (one off, one on). The more passes, the more perfect the fibre becomes but the more waste as well. It depends what you like.

Next, I pull off the combed top, as evenly as possible. I don’t have a diz and frankly, am not planning on getting one. I have no trouble pulling off the top and then drafting it out evenly to spin.

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Give it a little twist and move my hand up to the comb again…

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When I’ve pulled all I can from the comb, the rest goes into the waste bag…

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The finished combed top….

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I’m spinning some of this right now, for lace…

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I hope this post was at least a little helpful 🙂 Have a great day!

A Hard Week

This week has been really hard for us. Our beautiful Lukie (the basset hound) passed away last friday after suffering from poisoning for over a month.

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I seriously think they ought to stop selling rat/mouse poisons to the general public. Why, with all they know about the dangers of poison, do they presume that everyone who CAN buy them WILL use them responsibly? For that matter, they have outlawed pesticides here but yet still sell the poison??

Our boy got into a box that was irresponsibly left OUTSIDE behind our home when the back neighbor moved out. This is what we assume because he was never unsupervised or off leash. The vet couldn’t confirm the type of poison but 2+2 still equals 4.

We buried him by his favorite stream at the farm, on Saturday. It’s been a very difficult time.

I’ve been knitting the shetland, some more. The sweater is coming out beautifully with my mods and I should have something to show soon.

Oh, yes, and still washing the rambouillet fleece. That’s about halfway done. I have the second half soaking and a BUNCH to comb and process. I like to get it to the combed top in little nests stage and that way it’ll be ready for me when I want to spin it.

I’ve become fascinated with the idea of weaving. I have no idea how really, unless it was the ‘Wild Fibres’ article about the weaving in Morocco – yes, that was likely it! I highly recommend that magazine. I bought it for the first time and read it cover to cover the same day. Really really well done and informative. I may have to find space and pull out the weaving loom from Seneca College that I have!

Take care. Hopefully by tomorrow or so I’ll have a lacy sylphish cardigan to show you 🙂

Awesome!

Very cool day in wool-land!

I’ve started to knit with my charcoal shetland…

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It’s a ‘sylph’-ish cardigan…or at least that’s what I’m going for…

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I had to downsize it, one size, and am thinking about leaving the open pattern throughout rather than changing it to the closed version halfway, as the pattern is written. I think it shows off the shetland nicely AND the mods are necessary if I hope to have enough wool!

Since I’m new at this, I didn’t realize how much weight is lost in the cleaning and processing of the fleece. I have approximately equal amounts of the outer coat (silvery gray) and the inner coat (the chocolate brown/gray that I’m using for this sweater).

My rambouillet fleece arrived today! From Knit-Knackers in Ottawa, Ontario – purchased from ebay but also available directly from the store and sold by the pound, for anyone who is interested. 🙂 It’s so soft and fine, really really fine. 17 to 21 microns. I’m almost afraid of it, lol.

It’s soaking already, in a cold water soak.

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And – the 3rd fantastic part of today – I’ve found (or been found by, lol) a local lady who raises sheep and she’s going to drop off three fleeces on the weekend, for FREE. Yay for free things! Very cool and she says next spring I should get back in touch again. LOVE the idea of having local fleeces and saving money even IF they are more work! She’s shearing tomorrow and I’m excited. 🙂