Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fiber Updates

As of last night this project is finished. But these are the most recent photos I have, they were taken yesterday afternoon. This is a shawl that I made for my sister. The yarn is Knit Picks 'Palette', and the pattern is my own. It is actually my first triangular shawl and I m very excited to have completed it. I still need to work up all the logistics of it and re-write the chart and instructions.
Right now I have the shawl blocking on my bed, today is more of a damp and over cast day so it's drying slowly. I probably should have blocked it somewhere else, I don't want to have to sleep on the couch tonight!

I had the opportunity to visit an Alpaca Farm this week! It was very exciting and I learned SO much. We were doing a dyeing class, which was so informative, and loads of fun. And of course there was the added benefit of being able to go out and look at, & touch, the alpacas.

The little black alpaca, pictured above, is the youngest alpaca on the farm. He was born in October. He was so cute, and so very soft.

Our whole group chose to hand paint/dye yarn instead of roving. I hand painted mine in this blue/green color and brown. The blue in these pictures came out way too blue, it has more green in it. I have hand painted yarn in this fashion before so that was nothing new, but I learned so much about the Greener Shades Dyes, and I feel more confident concerning my dyeing in the future. In fact I'm itching to get started on some new projects. It was lovely to spend several hours soaking up fiber-related knowledge and getting inspiration for future ideas.

And I'll leave you with a photo of the alpacas heading to the barn for the night.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A little Lace, a little Roving.....Sheer Happiness.

Hello Everyone! It's wonderful to be back with you! Last time I blogged we were in the midst of an ice storm. Now we are well into spring, with summer just around the corner!

I've been doing some light lace knitting, nothing too woolly and hot.

This is the largest skein of yarn I have EVER spun on my drop spindle. Or I could also say, the largest skein of yarn I WILL EVER spin on my spindle! I started out with a 4 ounce ball of merino/silk roving. I spun the singles as thin as possible, and had to use a good deal of extra twist to keep it a lace-like thread. I felt like a spider sometimes, spinning my own web.

It was a pain to ply, I had to let the singles rest for a month to get out the excess twist and make it somewhat manageable for plying.

In the end, my skein was 878yards of lace weight yarn! A skein that size will be enough for a good size lace shawl. But I didn't know what to make with it and I set it aside for a few months while waiting for the perfect project to come along.

I was on a self-imposed spinning ban for 2 and a half months due to a shoulder injury. For one who is used to spinning on a regular basis you can imagine this was quite difficult. But I had the lovely idea that if one can not spin, then why not knit with handspun yarn? I have several skeins laying around that need more spinning done before I have the yardage I need for various projects.

By this point, however, this lace yarn was just begging to be used.

My sister was skimming through my "Knitter"s Book of Wool" and suggested I make the Lyllia Hyrna Shawl again. I thought that was a wonderful idea. As some of you know, I made this shawl last year with birthday yarn. I'm looking forward to how it looks in a semi-solid color, as opposed to the two colour version. I love how it is looking so far. I think the Lillia Hyrna shawl is fairly easy, but if you are thinking about making it I suggest that you check the errata that is available for the eyelet row.

I also had an opportunity a couple weeks ago to dye up 3 pounds of fiber!

It was definitely fun, and exciting. I love to pull out my Greener Shades Dyes and just go at it mixing colors and seeing what happens. Happy accidents can be quite common when all that colour and water mixes. You just have to go with it and enjoy the process, end results and all. :) Actually the end results are my favourite part. I love to see all the hand painted roving drying on the line and fluffing out, that's when the true colours shine out and I get to see what they look like.

And braiding is the final step. Look at them all! I would love to spin up each and every one! However that is not to be as I have already sold some of them. I dyed up Corriedale and Merino wool, I'm thinking of keeping one of the merino roving for myself.

We'll see. :)