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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).

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