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Friday, January 30, 2009


I posted yesterday, and I forgot to mention my Sheep Shed Studio order?!?!!?!?!?!?!?

First, the background.

I'd never heard of their website until my aunt showed it to me. She said if I was going to order that she wanted to order, too, so we went dutch on shipping. She ended up with 5 lbs of black mill ends. I shopped around on the site and finally settled on 2 lbs of superwash, 1 lb of brown mill ends, and 1 lb of gray wool for overdyeing. I asked for "two contrasting colors" in the superwash. Here's what I got:

I am absolutely in LOVE with the ratio of brown-to-white in the mill ends. PLUS, there's a chocolate stripe in the middle of the chestnut, and oooh, it's yummy! I also am very pleased with the green superwash. The color range is fantastic.

I'm apprehensive about the red. See, I wanted to ply the two colors of superwash together. The trouble with that now is that I HATE Christmas colors. The whole holiday is superficial and commercialized, and not about what it's supposed to be about. I try not to celebrate it when at all possible. Anyway. I don't know what I'm going to do with the red now. It's got orange/yellow places in it, but mostly it got washed out by the red. Yellow's just too fragile when it's not over 50% of the dye used. Virtually none of it remains in the finished product. I will probably end up plying the green superwash with the brown mill ends, but what I really wanted was a hardy yarn that could withstand washing and all that. No felting/fulling! It seems that it is not to be, at this point in time.

So. That's my latest schpiel. Not enough time in the day...

EDIT: I chained the green and red one night out of boredom. They look pretty nice all tidied up :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A small update.

Today I will start crocheting the hat that has been requested of me. It's going to have a crocheted outside and a polarfleece lining. I went to Michael's a few weeks ago and picked up a HUGE skein (it's more like a bump) of yarn in "country blue". There are 14 ounces here. I'm about to wind a 4-0z ball of it off so that it's portable and I can bring it to work.

I've also been slowly working on carding up all the doghair. I decided it will be best just to do all the handcarding before I get any further with spinning. The thing about spinning is that I like to do it in one long session. None of this "spin until you're out of carded stuff and then take a break to card and then do it all over again" stuff. Anyway, my SO doesn't like when I work with dog hair. I get covered in it (we have a hair roller), and it IS dirty hair, so it smells like dog. I think it would be more okay if I had started working on it when he was in the apartment, but the first time I did it, I was by myself and then he came home to a doggy-smelling living room. Needless to say, that didn't go over well.

Anyway, I don't know what I'm going to do with the other 10 oz of this yarn. My afghan is supposed to be purple, green, and cream. Blue doesn't fit in. But I did also buy a large "bump" of cream yarn while I was picking up this blue, so I have enough creams to finish the afghan (after all the blocks have been posted, of course).

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Exciting new things!

Despite the onset of a new semester, I've been busy. I started a pair of socks from a "Flat Feet" I was given by my aunt. I got dog hair (:D):

I went to two different groomers. One gave me a little bit of clean hair (thanks so much!) but it's so short that all I can do is felt it. The other groomer gave me a LOT of hair (awesome!!) but she swept it off the floor, instead of picking up most of it and sweeping the rest into the trash. So yesterday I sorted through it, picking out dog nail clippings, potato chips, second cuts, and all sorts of other debris. I ended up throwing about half of it away, either because it was too dirty or because it was too short. Nonetheless, I still have most of a pound. So I whipped out my hand cards last night (oh, how I wish I had a drum carder at times like these) and began to card some of it up. I absolutely LOVE the color variations present! I get some batches that are mostly black, and some that are mostly white, with tan stripes interspersed. I don't know what breed it was, but the little inch-long curly locks floating around in the bag are my favorite. They're a lovely color, and they've got texture. I get sad when I card them in, because the texture leaves, but it's a subtle addition to a yarn that would otherwise not be as exciting.

I took some pictures as I was working, but then I figured out that my SO left the camera on "blue". So, everything ended up with a blue tint. I retook a couple of the pictures, but I pretty much gave up on retaking pictures of EVERYTHING I took pictures of in the last few days. It wasn't that many things, really, but it's just annoying. Anyway, some pictures of the yarn in progress:
(Carding the hair)

(After one pass through the carders. Most of these I recarded to blend a bit better.)

(And the beginnings of the yarn. It's more fuzzy than I anticipated, mostly due to the shortness of the fibers. I was trying to spin it fairly thin, but it's coming out more sport weight than anything. I can't really fight the natural tendencies of the dog hair! Anyway, this is why I prefer long long long dog hair--because it's easier to control the thickness of, and it's less fuzzy/pokey.)

This yarn is going to be made into socks for a friend of mine. He has requested warm socks, and hey, there's not a lot that's warmer than dog hair. He wants them dyed blue...I'll see how he likes them after I knit them up, though. I'll definitely be capturing pictures of the socks sans dye, because I have a feeling they're going to be quite lovely. Dyeing them blue would give a nice variation in tone, because of the overdyeing. I dunno. We'll see!

Also in the works...

The PVC loom I was so excited about!

(It's blue. Stupid camera.)

On the floor you can see the blue carpet warp I am using. It really is blue! But it's not quite that color of blue. It looks lovely in the sun (but we don't get much of that around here this time of year). Anyway, a warping-in-progress picture [sans-blue]:

Okay, so. I used right around 9 feet of CPVC for the frame (it was cheaper) and I used 3/4" instead of 1". My SO had some CPVC cement lying around, so we cemented the corners to the bar that has the dowels tied to it. I talked to Martin at A Weaver's Yarn (he does more of the weaving than Susan) and he recommended that I put some thick dowels in each end to prevent the CPVC from bending when tension is applied. Of course, we already cemented the corners... I'm just going to work this project and see how it does. After that, I'll probably be willing to saw it apart and put in the dowels (if it becomes apparently necessary). I still have to devise a tension system so that I can wind the warp up and begin weaving. I'm going to try for the nail thing...gotta get some 2" nails.

Um, what else. Oh, I don't have a warping board, so here's how I wound my warp:

This picture is blue, too. Anyway, one end was around a chair, but the chair has sloping sides, and the warp was sliding up and being all improper. So I found the other stool. They're not good for much else, as they're all torn up!

Also, I ended up doing the warp in a nontraditional manner. I wanted 7-foot warp ends. I originally set a path that was 7 feet on one side (which is how I should have done it) and then I, being sleepy, decided that was twice as long as it needed to be. So I wound a 7-foot path and I did it 125 times (the number of warp ends I need). Of course, I forgot that once you've wound a warp with a cross that you end up cutting both ends. So I only cut one end, and I'm pulling the warp out of the cross one by one. It's more tedious this way, but I'm correcting the mistake without having to waste a set of warp.

And finally, I got my order from Dyeingforcolor on Etsy:
Yep, these pictures are blue, too. Anyway, the actual product looks just like the pictures that she had in her store, and I'm pretty pleased about that. I don't know what I'm doing with these fuzzies yet, but I'm sure something will come up. Not that I have time to make anything. Anyway, that's all for now (I think).

Thursday, January 22, 2009


So, I made my first yarn with beads.

It's really bulky. Also, since I spun the thick strand with the jumbo flyer, there's not quite enough twist in it. This is good, because it's a fluffy and soft yarn, but it's bad, because it's threatening to drift apart in a few places. I think it would be easy to disguise in a project, though, and that it would be plenty strong knitted or crocheted or woven in.

All in all, I like it. I used up the last of that colorway finally, which is nice. It would have been cool to use twice as many beads, so that there were just beads EVERYWHERE, but that gets costly fast.

I also made my second corespun.
This yarn is NOT photogenic. I took almost 50 pictures of it and just about all of them were blurry or whited out with flash. I took this yarn all over my apartment to try to get a good shot of it. This one was taken on my kitchen counter in a shadow (hence the crappy lighting). But I'm a little bit enthralled with this yarn. I think maybe I just like corespun yarns in general. Their texture is slightly different, and I like that it's just as flexible as regular yarn, without being floppy.

Also, I spun up the second skein of "Lakeside Sunrise". I did well-the two skeins weigh exactly the same amount, and there is only one yard in length difference. I didn't even micromanage it!

I also ordered some Wilton's icing color today. For some reason, I couldn't find any at the grocery stores! I didn't try Michael's, though. I bought 4 oz of superwash merino a couple of weeks ago so that I can try Wilton's without worrying about felting.

Next on my list of spinning projects are flax, hemp, and yellow lab. I REALLY need to get ahold of some lab so that I can let that lady know if it's possible. I think it is, but it will be really intensive for me. It shouldn't take too long to get the hang of it, though.

Also, I'm going to pick up the supplies for that homemade loom now that my student loans came in. I really want to build this thing! I have NO idea what I'll use for heddles/harnesses at this point. Or as a reed, for beating the weft. I get fed up with warping the loom, and the length of time it takes to actually produce a length of cloth, but weaving is a good project for me to work in in small bursts. I want to get something started!

Also on my list of things to do is navajo plying with the 3/4 lb of lincoln I have laying around this place. I mean, why not?!

Other things I need to do:
--Call groomers for dog hair (so I can make custom socks)
--Find dusky blue yarn (so I can make a custom hat)

Friday, January 16, 2009

12-point Star Afghan!

I want to preserve this here, in case the site shuts down for some reason. The original link is here:


12 -18 oz. 4 ply WW Yarn
(your color choice...solid or varigated, or both.) (or baby sport/pompadour with an F hook)
size G hook(this makes a 12 point afghan)

Rnd 1. ch 4, join with sl st to form a ring. ch 3, ( ch 3 always counts as first dc ). put 11 dc into the ring, (12 dc). join with sl st .

Rnd 2. ch 3, 1 dc in same st, 2 dc in each st around (24). join.

Rnd 3: ch 3, *skip next st, 1 dc-ch 2-1 dc in next st (V-st made). repeat from * ending with 1 dc in same sp as ch 3, ch 2,this completes the last V-st. sl st to join.

Rnd 4: sl st into the ch 2 space, ch 3, 1 dc-ch 2-2 dc in same sp, * 2 dc-ch 2-2 dc in next ch 2 sp, repeat * around. join. (this row begins your points).

Rnd 5: sl st into next st, ch 3, * 2 dc-ch 2-2 dc in the ch 2 sp, 1 dc in next dc, skip next 2 dc, 1 dc in next st. repeat from * around. join.

Rnd 6: sl st into next st, ch 3, 1 dc in next st, * 2 dc-ch 2-2 dc in next ch 2 sp, 1 dc in each of next 2 dc, skip next 2 sts, 1 dc in each of next 2 dc, repeat * , skip last 2 sts, join.

Rnd 7: sl st into next st, ch 3, 1 dc in next 2 sts, * 1 dc-ch 2-1 dc (this is a small shell made of a V-st) in next ch 2 space, 1 dc in next 3 sts, skip 2 sts, 1 dc in next 3 sts, repeat * around, skip last 2 sts. join.

Rnd 8: sl st into next st, ch 3, 1 dc in next 2 sts, * 2dc-ch 2-2 dc (this is the large shell or a double V-st) in ch 2 sp, 1 dc in next 3 sts, skip next 2 sts, 1 dc in the next 3 sts, repeat * around, skip last 2 sts, join.

Rnd 9: sl st into next st., ch 3, 1 dc in next 3 sts, * 2 dc-ch 2-2 dc (the large shell) in ch 2 sp, 1 dc in next 4 sts, skip 2 sts, 1 dc in next 4 sts, repeat * around, skip last 2 sts, join. work in rounds ,alternating 2 rounds of small shells, and 2 rounds of large shells. this helps the afghan to lay flat.

** work as many rounds as needed for desired size.
**NOTE** one 6oz skein 4ply = 23 inches or 18 rows
two 6oz skeins 4ply =38 inches or 26 rows
three 6 oz skeins 4 ply= 40 inches or 32 rows

~V-st = 1 dc-ch1-1 dc or 1 dc-ch2-1 dc .
~double V-st = 2 dc-ch1-2 dc or 2 dc-ch2-2 dc .

Blanket Finishing: {courtesy of Beth Parsons}
1 hdc in each stitch around, putting 4 hdc into the ch 2 spaces for neatly rounded points.

(\0/) 1984/3rd edition (rewritten 11/05 for simplicity)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


So, I took half of this from roving through dyeing, spinning, and knitting. Not quite a full process, as most of the work was done for me in the cleaning of the fleece, but that's fine by me. I tried to process a fleece once, and I gave up. I could probably do it now, but I was too young then I think. Anyway, scarf!

(He's really cute!!)

He's about 5'11" and it goes just past his knees. So, around four feet long on each side? Anyway, It's longer than I intended, but I just knitted until the red yarn ran out. Somehow I spun more of the bamboo, even though I filled the bobbin less full of it than I did of the red (and I'm pretty sure that overall the red was spun slightly more thinly). *shrugs* Yarns can be weird like that.

Oh, and a picture of me modeling it after he tucked it all in (I blinked):

Overall, I'm pleased with how it turned out, although the edges are more sloppy than I like.

Stuff I'd like to do in the near future.

Save Handmade Toys

There's the link to a site which is organizing more protests against the dumb laws going into effect.

Things I intend to try soon:
--Dyeing with Wilton's
--Novelty yarn with beads
--Colorful corespun
--Navajo ply a skein of yarn
--Build the loom listed here:
--Finish the second skein of the "Lakeside Sunset" so I can list it in my store.
--Make a long skein of superchunky yarn.

Bookmarks on my home computer: [WILTON'S!!]

[EDIT: Also, nuno felting! Well, felting in general, but especially nuno.]

Nothing new yet. Almost done with that scarf, though! [EDIT: Finished the scarf at work today, except for weaving in the ends. Gonna do that tonight and then take pictures!! Also, I'm having spinner's block. I don't know what I'm going to work on next......]

Sunday, January 11, 2009

New parts, new yarns, and new projects.

Well. I guess I've been kind of busy, although it doesn't feel like it.

I agreed to participate in that crochet-along, and here's my first block (two are done, out of four for the month):
I still can't decide if I will do four of each block, or use some of the 2008 blocks as fillers, or do four of the blocks I like and only two of the ones I don't (with fillers added). Possibly the last. Oh, here are all the yarns I've purchased for the project so far (I need more creams):
There's actually a dark purple missing from that picture, but I've got a lot of medium tones and a couple of darks. I definitely need to find a couple of lights to balance everything out.

My SO bought me a jumbo flyer for my wheel, and here's what it looks like all installed:

I spun my first corespun yarn last night on my newly modified wheel! I think I like the technique.

Here's the bamboo I spun up to knit with the red romney:

And, last but not least, I'm over halfway done knitting the romney and bamboo into a scarf for my lovely!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Recent Stuff.

Since my last update, I've gotten a few things done. I spun up all that romney:

It was crappy and full of second cuts. But overall, the yarn still looks nice.

Before that, I spun up my first successful novelty!

It's a very chunky handspun plied with a commercial fun fur type yarn, complete with SPARKLES! I have no idea what I could ever do with this yarn, but I absolutely love it. I'm disappointed that only 4 people have viewed it, one of which I linked directly.

I also started to spin the bamboo. I like it because it spins up as easily as soysilk, but it's less messy. It doesn't stick to as many surfaces, and it doesn't flake apart. Maybe the soysilk I used was in a funky form of roving, but it seemed like it should come the way it did. I'll take a picture of the remnants sometime to illustrate what I mean here.

And, I crocheted a shawl. I went to JoAnn's the other day to deal with my sewing machine problems, and I walked past the yarns (of course). I fell in love with this yarn:

It's so...purple! I worked up a shawl using the pattern listed here: (except I'm too lazy to do the border they show at this point). I might at some point, but I want to use the rest of the yarn in the second skein for a crochet-along I am doing! I still need to weave in the ends and such. It ended up being somewhere around 40 inches across the top.

Speaking of which, I'm doing the year-long granny square crochet along listed here: [and I'm really excited about it!]. I'm going to do purples and greens (maybe some creams, too). I still haven't decided if I will do two or four of each pattern. I think I will start with two, because I can always make more! They're supposed to be 12"X12" squares, so if I do two of each, I would do four blocks by six blocks for the finished afghan. I could do three of each square and then I could do a blanket six feet square (which would be nice for me and my SO, since he hates when the blanket is turned sideways!). I could also do 9X4, which would give me another afghan in the dimensions of the last one I crocheted. If I do four of each, I will do 8X6 (which I think is the optimal size for two people). It's gonna be a lot of yarn, though! I think if I space out my purchases that it won't feel as bad. I want to get a jumbo skein of boucle from JoAnn's, because they are variegated, and it will give a unifying feature to the blanket.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

More finished yarns!

There's that watermelon yarn that I plied with thread. I meant for it to look much more "novelty", but for some reason that didn't happen. I kept the thread's tension high and let the wool wrap loosely around the thread. I think making a skein removed a lot of that looping, and the thread may be too short now, compared to the stretched out wool. I really can't tell. It looks lovely, though, and I'm excited to spin up more of it and try again with a thicker yarn.

And here are the corriedale pastels. The yarn turned out lovely. I'm going to spin up the other half of the wool and sell them both as one item.

Next up is the crimson romney and the pretty gray bamboo. I know it will take time, but I want this project to be done now, so I can see how it looks! In-progress pictures to come.

Now, off to craftster to share my accomplishments!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Pictures and today.

There's that soysilk picture I promised. It was a MESS to spin, but it turned out lovely. I have soysilk all over my clothes and my couch now, though.

I went into Susan's shop today for her spin-in, and it was pretty empty due to the temperature, but it was nice to talk with them and to sit and spin in company. I'm excited for the prospect of dog hair, because I love spinning it so much. I don't know how much to charge per ounce, though...I guess we'll see!

I also bought some variegated pink thread to ply with some of that watermelon roving, so we'll see how that turns out! Also in the works is some carbonated bamboo to go along with the crimson romney. It will be delicious, if it turns out the way I'm imagining.

More to come soon!