Archives

Dreambird Shawl in Handspun Yarn

Dreambird shawl in handspun yarn

I’ve been working on a special shawl for a special friend’s birthday and I’m finally done! Yay!!

Heather's Shawl Close-up

It is Nadita’s Dreambird pattern, purchased from her shop on Ravelry. She is a really interesting designer with a lot of patterns I think would work really well with handspun yarn ๐Ÿ™‚

Hanspun Shawl

A reminder of where this came from — the shetland lamb from earlier this year…(the handdyed coloured sections)

Shetland, ready to wash

The grey is a rambo/bond cross.

Hand spun shawl - dreambird pattern

The pattern takes some getting used to but is really easy once you get the hang of it. Highly recommended!

Have a great day ๐Ÿ™‚

If you might be interested in my handspun yarn for sale, please check out my destash site!

Advertisements

A Very Bright Baby Blankie!

Samantha's Blankie/1060 metres

It’s a pattern from Wooly Thouhts, available on Ravelry. Best of all, it’s based on math and really easy to improvise as you go, once you get the hang of it ๐Ÿ™‚

I used some of the shetland lamb, dyed it in a multitude of colours. I use the Dharma Trading Co. acid dyes and they are excellent! I blended the dyed locks on hand cards and added a pinch of targhee cross to each rolag – each rolag was split in half so when spun, the plies pretty much lined up and created the blending of one colour to another. In total, 1060 metres of handspun two ply went into this blanket.

handspun from handdyed shetland lambswool

It’s Fleece Season!!

Oh yes, happy day!

It may still be snowing outside but I still love spring – I usually stock up on my fleeces and this year I’m pretty pleased with what I was able to find ๐Ÿ™‚ (lol, to be honest, I have always been pleased – I just love fleece)

There is the Romney fleece – purchased from a seller on Ravelry.

Romney fleece

It was very clean to begin with, hardly any vm.

DSC_7207

I separated the locks and laid them in a basket.

I really like taking the extra time to do this – the results are excellent and the fleece cleans very easily. I place these locks in a wire waste basket from the dollar store and then this basket is placed in a large pot of simmering water on the stove. I keep an eye on water temperature with a candy thermometer. I do the same with the rinse water and I have a second basket so I can keep one washing at all times. The going is a little slow because I don’t overcrowd my baskets but it’s easy and the results are excellent!

Romney all washed up

And this is the whole fleece, after washing.

Romney fleece/washed

The next fleece is a shetland lamb fleece – really nice!

Shetland lamb

Charlie really loves fleece!
(our dog really loves this fleece!)

I purchased this from a little etsy shop.

It is a beautiful fleece with minimal vm, well skirted and soft. Count me as a happy spinner ๐Ÿ™‚

Shetland, ready to wash

Washed shetland lamb fleece

I found some lovely suri alpaca – baby suri, just a little so I could try it…lol, I fell in love…

Baby suri alpaca

I ended up blending the suri with a little of the shetland lamb and have not yet plied the singles.

Happy spring ๐Ÿ™‚

So That’s Where All The Pillowcases Are…Taking Inventory

Good morning!

Another ‘weekend’ for me and I’ve decided to include fleece inventory in my cleaning – more ofย  a thorough spring-type-cleaning than I usually do ๐Ÿ™‚ย  I *think* I’ve gotton most of my clean fleeces together now and WOW – I think I can spin for the next year without really needing to buy anymore, lol.ย  Here’s a pic…

summer11 011

Yep, lol.ย  A little bit carried away.ย  But (in my defense), quite a bit of this was free so how could I help it? ๐Ÿ™‚ย  There is still some awaiting washing, in bins, both alpaca and woolย — as well as the bin of clean soft-as-a-babys-skin alpaca, of a much higher quality than the alpaca here in the pillow cases.

The group includes;
fleece inventory 001

Free meat sheep fleece – three bags full! – black, very springy, good for socks/mittens/scarfs and outerwear.

fleece inventory 002

Free meat sheep fleece, I presume suffolk/suffolk cross – both lamb and young adult – great for socks, mittens, outerwear, felting – springy and very white.ย  I have managed to stuff this into one oversized pillowcase and one of those shopping bags.ย  I believe I have more of this if I get around to washing it.

fleece inventory 003

Silver/black and red mohair – great for blending for socks/mittens/outerwear.ย  ‘Nature’s Nylon’

fleece inventory 004

A full bag of mid grade alpaca (free!) which I’ve found is excellent for spinning for mittens and the lighter shades dye wonderfully for stranded colour work.ย  I blend this with wool to give it a little bit of memory.ย  I also have this in two lighter shades….

fleece inventory 005

And yes, there’s more…

fleece inventory 006

This is some Border Leicester that I purchased last year – lovely, long and silky – great for blending for socks or anything where you want to add some silky strength.

fleece inventory 007

This is absolutely lovely silver shetland fleece (about 1.5 to 2 fleeces left) which I absolutely think is a staple fibre.ย  I’ve belended this with so many things! Spins up lovely on it’s own too ๐Ÿ™‚

fleece inventory 008

This is probably my current favorite fiber.ย  Purchased from Raspberry Hollow, it is a mixed breed lambswool which I cannot remember, with excellent crimp and beautiful softness.ย  Love it.

fleece inventory 009

And finally – some really wonderful icelandic lamb fiber purchased last year from a local ebay seller.ย  soft and silky!

More to come – I’ve got to see what I’ve got in bins and then there’s going to be the yarn to go through, lol.ย  Oh yes, and the cotton.ย  And the silk. Probably a little bit of superwash merino to rediscover as well…

Happy fiber addictions people!ย  We could do worse things ๐Ÿ™‚

Yes Sir, Yes Sir, Three Bags Full…..

Oh yes, I DO have wool!!! :)))

I’ve been accumulating a variety of wools and fibres this year. It’s the ‘year of the blend’ around my house. Last year I had a couple different types; shetland and jacob and some very dirty suffolk/dorset (actually unknown – this is my best guess). This year, I bought two shetland fleeces, both silver and cream — one is silver thel and cream/brown tog and the other is cream thel and silver tog. Absolutely soft and silky. Though I don’t know the micron count (and frankly am not too concerned with it), I’d guess they would class as fine or superfine. They both came from youngish animals, possibly yearling fleeces. They are my faves….a repeat purchase from a fantastic seller here in Canada. I’ll go back year after year!

Ok, so, to begin at the beginning – the shetlands; (approx 10 lbs total before washing)

fleece and stuff 008.JPG

fleece and stuff 028.JPG

Then, I was given some beautiful alpaca, in shades of honey and brown (which I had already blogged about), also from Canada, Ontario actually. I haven’t any idea of weight but it’s at least one full fleece and parts of another or two?

may 2010 097.JPG

may 2010 126.JPG

Some sari silk waste fibre caught my eye. I bought 100 grams and love the effect it has carded with wool! You could make a really nice silky tweed yarn with this! (I like it so much I’ve now bought another 100 grams – hopefully arriving soon) Gotta love ebay. It seems I didn’t take any pictures of this…

I purchased one pound of border leicester fleece. It’s a lovely, strong, long and shiny fibre which cleaned up nicely….from a yearling ewe.

rosa and stuff 016.JPG

I was then sucked in by some beautiful red mohair…lovely stuff! I purchased one pound and have tried it with some of the shetland — truly beautiful ๐Ÿ™‚

rosa and stuff 027.JPG

Icelandic fleece (again, from ontario) was my next find. 2.7 lbs of black and white (mostly white, really). I haven’t done anything with this yet, besides cleaning it. It seems very soft and silky (the softer undercoat does, at least)

046.JPG

Then, of course!, I couldn’t help but order more of the lovely mohair. This time I bought a pound of charcoal/silver/black. Seems not as fine as the red but the fibres are longer. I think it’s going to be beautiful mixed with the right wool or perhaps the brown alpaca….

049.JPG

Romney fleece became available and I thought – why not? I had never tried romney (actually have not tried most things and how do you know until you experience it for yourself?) and wanted to so I purchased 2.5 pounds and washed it up. I had to flick the tips before washing to get it to come up white but it was worth the work. Beautiful bright white and very soft!

051.JPG

052.JPG

This next picture is after flicking, but before washing!

053.JPG

My one, ‘non bargain’ purchase was some local (very local – we could drive to pick it up), very long, fine, white alpaca fibre. The staple is 6 or more inches. I WAY overpaid for these two pounds of alpaca but I don’t even feel badly about it since the fibre turned out so very very perfect! The fleece was absolutely covered in burrs and so I had to hand comb the locks before washing in order to clean them. It hadn’t been sheared in two years which is not usual and is why the staple is so long.

168.JPG

170.JPG

172.JPG

I am waiting for some mulberry silk top (500 grams) – thinking this would ply beautifully with the white alpaca…perhaps for my next up pattern Multnomah Falls by Magit Sage of Fiber Fiend. Very beautiful, isn’t it?

And then, on Saturday, I was given four fleeces! Suffolk/dorset or a mix of some sort – the shepherdess isn’t sure since they are more pets than anything. One is deep black and seems to be a lamb fleece. One is charcoal, one silver and one (very large one) is white. The blacks are cleaning up easily and the white is a little more difficult – there is a bit of vm in there that’s too fine to come out without combing. I’m positive it will be fine once I comb it out. All of the fleece is fairly soft with the black black one being the softest of all.

121.JPG

134.JPG

131.JPG

119.JPG

So, I’m overwhelmed. A little. I’ve been washing fleece for what feels like forever since I can’t handle leaving it to do later. I’ve got the silver and the white free fleeces to wash but the rest of the list is washed and waiting in pillowcases to become some very beautiful yarn this year! On the plus side, I haven’t bought any yarn since I began spinning and my yarns are a higher quality and much more interesting than anything I could buy ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ She says I must ‘blog’ him, so here is a picture of cuteness itself….

100_4483.jpg

100_4398.jpg

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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!

firstset 029.JPG

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…
100_4442.jpg

I made a little crocheted top – the Avalon Top by Doris Chan. Love how it turned out too….

100_4445.jpg

100_4469.jpg

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

100_4475.jpg

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

A Little Shetland Lace Cardigan

Using my handspun!

Remember the shetland fleece I bought earlier this year?
100_2590

I washed it, combed it – seperated the down coat from the coarse outer coat, and spun the down into a nice, lofty two ply.

handspun shetland

I wanted a little sweater – it’s really soft and I’m not overly sensitive to wool anyways. The Sylph Cardigan by Robin Melanson (Interweave Knits) was perfect. Or at least close to perfect! I downsized it, one size. I also continued the lace pattern throughout and knitted on the neckband rather than sewing it on later. I reshaped the sleeves a bit when downsizing. I like them well fitted.

100_2737

I love how it turned out!

100_2830