Tuesday, September 14, 2010
So last summer at the Black Sheep festival I bought my first fleece.
It was a lovely small jacob, with the typical dual colored dark brown and ivory coat.
On and off (okay mostly off) all year I've been combing it and spinning it up.
I started with the dark wool, then did some combo and finished with the light fleece so as to have a nice gradation of finished yarn. It's all approximately worsted weight, and navajo plied.
Today I took the plunge and dyed it up a lovely jeweled purple, which gave me just the effect I was going for. There's slightly more difference between the light purple and the deep deep burgundy than shows in this picture, but it's pretty close.
Now I just need to let it dry and knit it up into a lovely cabled wrap I've had my eye on for a while.
Monday, September 06, 2010
Saturday, January 09, 2010
2 month fiber recap!
I'm still slowly spinning my way through the Jacob fleece. I've had a kind offer of drum carder usage, so I may get off my ass soon and finish it up. I have to finish this and the Shetland *before* black sheep in June.
I finished Kendra's shawl. Look, she likes it!
Let's see what else... I knit new gauntlets for the husband.
and a hat out of the chunky silk/merino from my last blog update
I wove 4 scarves that zipped out of here without photos, bad crafter.
and this last week I knit a super sweet little one skein shoulder shawl. The pattern is Damson, by Ysolda Teague.
Next up is a sweater for Gordon!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I think this is probably most similar to what's known as a groom's cake in some circles, but this was always a holiday treat in our household.
I made up a batch yesterday, and instead of the candied cherries I used dried cherries soaked all morning in rum to rehydrate them.
SHIRLEY RAMEY’S AUSTRALIAN WEDDING CAKE (FRUITCAKE)
1 LARGE (29 OZ) CAN OF PUMPKIN
3 CUPS SUGAR
1 LB BUTTER SOFTENED
1 TSP VANILLA
1 TBSP MOLASSES
1 CUP OF MILK
1 LB DATES CHOPPED
1 LB RAISINS
4 OZ CANDIED PINEAPPLE (OR DRIED)
4 OZ CHERRIES, CANDIED (RED OR GREEN)
6 CUPS FLOUR
1 TABLESPOON BAKING SODA
1 TSP CINNAMON
1 TSP NUTMEG
1 TSP GINGER
1 TSP CLOVES
1. SOFTEN THE BUTTER AND WARM THE PUMPKIN IN THE MICROWAVE.
2. MEASURE OUT ALL FRUIT INTO ONE BOWL.
3. MEASURE THE FLOUR INTO SEPARATE BOWL. ADD THE BAKING SODA, CINNAMON, NUTMEG, GINGER & CLOVES TO FLOUR.
4. CREAM BUTTER AND SUGAR IN MIXER.
5. ADD THE WARM PUMPKIN AND CONTINUE BEATING FOR SEVERAL MORE MINUTES.
6. ADD THE BEATEN EGGS.
7. ADD THE MOLASSES AND VANILLA
PUT THE ABOVE MIXTURE INTO YOUR LARGEST BOWL. ALTERNATELY ADD AND MIX 1 CUP OF FRUIT, 1 CUP FLOUR, A LITTLE MILK. CONTINUE UNTIL EVERYTHING IS MIXED IN.
SPRAY 3 LARGE BREADPANS WITH PAM AND DIVIDE MIX.
BAKE AT 325. CHECK AT 1 HOUR (WITH TOOTHPICK). CONTINUE COOKING FOR ANOTHER ½ HOUR IF NEEDED.
SPRINKLE WITH RUM OR BRANDY. WRAP IN CHEESECLOTH AND FOIL. RESPRINKLE WITH RUM OR BRANDY WHEN DRY (CHECK EVERY FEW DAYS). REPEAT FOR SEVERAL WEEKS.
GRANDMA RAMEY ALWAYS STARTED THIS IN NOVEMBER, IN ORDER TO BE READY FOR XMAS.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I bought 2 hanks of luscious Sanguine Gryphon silk merino roving at Sock Summit and spun them both up this week.
The first one I spun up as a two ply lace weight. I got about 880 yards out of the 100 grams of fiber. It's so soft and shiny and begging to be a shawl.
For the second hank I wanted to practice spinning bulky. I don't want to become a spinner who can't spin anything but froghair. I've taken a few Judith MacKenzie classes and she gives excellent advice for intentional spinning. I switched to my standard flyer and set the brake to pull fairly firmly.
The high silk content of this roving made drafting out fat slightly challenging, the silk was a little compressed and not perfectly blended. This made for a delightful bit of texture and random fluffs of silk in the finished yarn.
I think the key to making fat yarn after you're proficient with fine spinning is picking a roving that has a bit of texture and really shines when left thick enough to show that off.
Here's the finished chunky yarn. 130 yards of 3ply
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Monday night I washed up half of my newly acquired Jacob fleece. It was very easy to clean. The second soak in soapy water didn't even discolor the water, I could have gotten away with one. Two rinses and a few whirls around my head in the garment bag. (woohoo, I'm a giant salad spinner) and my fleece was ready to dry.
By yesterday afternoon when I was done with work, it was ready to go. Yay for a sunny morning. Here it is drying on my trampoline in the yard.
This batch is mostly dark wool. I'm hoping to spin up some lighter and darker skeins to play up the fleece variation. I'm tentatively thinking of the end product being a feather and fan shawl to show off the colors.
Here's my first few dozen combed puffs. I've also gotten about a half a bobbin spun. It's light and fluffy and quite soft.
I had considered saving this wool for the Tour de Fleece next month, but I just couldn't wait. This will be my first raw fleece to knitted item project and I'm very excited.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
This was a quick trip, we went down on Thursday and came back this afternoon after the wool show.
Friday was spent learning how to blend fibers with cards and combs, making color wheels and custom palettes. It was fabulous. I think I see some primary dying and blending in my future. The depth of color you get from mixing already dyed fiber together is just stunning.
This morning was spent wandering through the barns making friends with sheep.
Look at this adorable face!
and someday... someday... these will be mine.
They're called "Babydoll Minature Southdown Sheep" They're 18-24 inches tall and just sweet and calm.
Please excuse the photos, I had my camera on manner mode so as to not annoy the beasties.
We stayed for the wool show this year. I was feeling vaguely competent with my hand combs after spending all Friday with them. I've been wanting to try to spin some Jacob, I love the variety of colors in their fleeces. I drooled over the 1st place Jacob fleece during the preview, and lucked out and snagged it when the sale opened. I also picked up a lovely shetland fleece on impulse. The prices were really reasonable, and I've got hours of fiber prep and spinning fun ahead. Also pictured with my newly acquired fleeces is a lovely hand-dyed wool/alpaca blend roving that I picked up in the market place yesterday. Three bags full indeed :D
My last purchase of the weekend was something that I don't really need, but just couldn't resist. It's a beautiful handmade shuttle for my loom. I kept wandering back to admire the wood working of Mr. Ledbetter and he's just the sweetest guy in the world and everything was so gorgeous....(His t-shirt, btw, says "I make stuff")
How could I resist? It's Australian lace wood, and light as a feather.