Wednesday, August 24, 2011

In Which We Speak Of Fiber, And More Fiber

 I thought I would share some pictures of my recent fiber festival aquisitions with you today. I went with a friend and between the two of us we purchased 7 and a quarter pounds of fiber! However a good deal of it was not processed, and raw fiber tends to be available at much better prices then already processed and dyed fibers.

 This will be a bit of show and tell so bear with me please, I'm pretty excited! So first up is washed Romney locks. I picked up a pound of Romney, 8 ounces of a light grey Romney, and 8 ounces of dark grey locks. There is a LOT of colour variation within the Romney fleeces that I looked at. It was really quite exciting and quite the process to narrow down which of the fleece we wanted! 

 I started carding my Romney yesterday. I made up about 14 rolags and then started spinning. It changes so drastically from locks to spindle because all the colour variations in the fiber are blended together in the carding process and then blended even more so when it is spun. Overall the colour would probably be described as a gray-ish cream color, with little strands of black running through it. 

 Romney has a beautiful crimp to the locks. Once I started carding and spinning this fiber up I was wishing I had purchased more. The sheperdess did a fine job of skirting and washing these locks, I was very pleased with the fiber. It is SO beautiful, soft and springy with a sturdy hand to it. I'm considering making a beaded stole with it, and keeping that idea in mind I am spinning it a fingering weight right now.

 Our Siamese/Angora cat, Sasha, insisted on getting in my photo shoot. 

 Here is the darker Romney roving I picked up for my Mother.

 Look at all the colour variation just within the rolags she has carded up so far! Beautiful.

 I splurged a bit on 4 ounces of Blue Faced Leicester/Silk roving. Mainly I was trying to shop with making Christmas presents in mind. This first skein will, Lord willing, become a Christmas gift. Though I can not say who it is for, or what it will be, here on my blog!

 This was the first time I have ever spun a singles yarn on my drop spindle. I am using my handspun in a pattern that calls for Manos Del Uraguay handspun, and I decided to pattern my yarn after the Manos. The single ended up quite lovely I think. As it was my first non-plied yarn I over-spun it slightly, but I'll know better for the other 2 ounces. If I spin them up the same way, that is! I have enough yardage in my first skein, 138.25yds, for the Christmas gift I have planned.

 This is a sampler pack of various mixed wools, Merino, Corriedale, etc. I don't have any definite plans for this, just a few ideas. I'm sure you'll hear more about this roving in the future. :)

 60%Llama/40%Polworth roving. So scrumptiously soft! I purchased an angora/polworth blend from this same farm last fall and was very pleased with it. This will make something warm and cozy for wearing this winter.

 I also picked up a 1.5# of Merino/Corriedale/Dorset raw wool. It is not skirted, and unwashed. Quite pungent indeed! But I'll be washing it up sometime within the next couple of weeks. I'm waiting until I get together with my friend, as she bought a pound of the same fiber (in a different colour) and has never washed raw fiber before. We are going to wash our fiber up together and lay it out on a sheet in the sun to dry. A few ounces of this will be carded together with angora fiber.

 I picked up a couple things for my sister, one of which was all these little wool/llama/alpaca/silk balls of roving. I also got Romney roving for her. I learned some interesting facts on Romneys. Apparently Romneys are originally from over in europe, and were much smaller in size. With inter-breeding Romneys have become much bigger, but at the price of the fleeces becoming less soft then the fleece that comes from the original Romneys. The locks I purchased are from a medium sized Romney. Whilst the roving I picked up for my sister is from a small UK Romney and is amazingly soft. 

The total haul of the day between my friend and I. We made a lot of identical purchases as you can see!
Well that is it for now. I hope you enjoyed the show of fibers! Next time I'll try to update you on projects, and such. Take care my friends and I'll be back with you soon, Lord willing!

Friday, August 5, 2011


 Greetings! I'm glad to be back with you. I thought we would start with a garden update before plunging into all the knitting and fiber. I've been gone the last few days so when I went outside to take pictures for my blog I also looked at the garden and snapped a few photos.
This year I planted lots of flowers from seed. Though they did not come up as I would have liked, we still have quite an abundance of flowers that are just beginning to bloom. The zinnias were one of the first flowers to bloom. Zinnias are such a sturdy, cut flower. I like to plant scads of them if at all possible, to use for bouquets and such all summer long.

 The garden is doing well. We didn't plant as great a variety this year as we did last year. But what we do have is doing well indeed. We have 12 butternut squash plants and they are simply loaded with tiny squash! We love to make squash soup in the cold months, and having a good supply of squash on hand will be wonderful. When autumn rolls around I'll have to remember to post our squash soup recipe for you.

 Our tomatoes are flourishing nicely, though they are all still green. We got the garden in later then expected and it is slightly behind. Last year we tried fried green tomatoes and they were surprisingly delicious. 

The soybeans in the field next to us are growing so high, and they are now blooming.
I prefer to have soybeans next to us as opposed to the corn fields. We are not so boxed in with the soybeans.

That is it on the garden update. Now on to fiber!

I've been doing a bit of lace knitting this week. Right now I am in the midst of figuring out a new shawl design. It is past the "frog-it-and-scrap-the-whole-project" stage, which makes me happy. I'm fairly certain that I am on the proper track with this pattern right now. I'm still debating on what to do with the edging though.

Because of my shoulder injury, plying still gives me some grief, though spinning is not as difficult. So my plying projects are piling up right now. The yarn in the back of this picture is all ready to knit with. The two balls in the front still need to be plied. I'll just take my time and do a little here and a little there until they are done. My problem is once I start plying I want to keep at it until the skein is complete.

This single is ready to be wound off into a center-pull ball so I can ply it later. This yarn is part of 5 ounces of alpaca seconds that I purchased at a local alpaca farm earlier this summer. I washed the locks and am working on carding them up a little at a time. I'm considering making a cowl or perhaps another helix scarf out of this yarn.

Speaking of the Helix, here are some updated photos of the my Chocolate Mint Helix!

Currently I've used up all the yarn I had spun for this project. So now I am spinning up my last two ounces as fast as I can because I really want to finish this project. The Helix is such an easy project! It is a repeat of 3 rows the whole time, so it is easily memorized and perfect for take-along knitting. I've been putting it in my purse and taking it to church to work on between services.

I hope you all are having a lovely summer! What projects are you working on? What do you like to knit for easy take-along projects during all the busy summer goings-on? I'd love to hear what you are doing!

Have a blessed day!