A little bit of knit, a little bit of that

Fiber mayhem! And some weather too.

Project 365: Days 2-4 January 5, 2011

Filed under: p365 — knitahollis @ 10:13 am

And it’s just begun and I’m behind! Doh. Three pictures for one post to get back on track.

 

Project 365 January 1, 2011

Filed under: p365 — knitahollis @ 9:27 pm
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I’ve been needing a jump start for blogging. So I will attempt a project 365 for myself. What will I take pictures of? Guess you’ll have to find out.

This is secret beach on kauai’s north coast. This might be the most beautiful place I have ever been. Its a cloudy day today but that doesn’t take away from the crashing surf and the lava rock landscape. Pretty nice place to knit, watching the trade wind cumulus go by…

 

TDF 2010: Days 11-13 July 16, 2010

Filed under: spinning — knitahollis @ 10:36 am
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A photo collage of my spinning from the past couple of days.

Clockwise from upper left: Finished alpaca singles (~500 yds, ~30 wpi); Targhee sample on Jenkins Kuchulu; Merino/Bamboo on Bosworth Mini; Carded rolags of Lakehouse Loft Corriedale for gradient spinning

 

TDF2010: Days 8-10 July 12, 2010

Filed under: spinning — knitahollis @ 9:06 pm
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Quick update on the Tour de Fleece progress:

  • Alpaca lace weight is finally finished.  Estimated about 500 yards (I can’t believe it!)
  • Next up for Charlotte is the Lakehouse Loft Corriedale.  I’ve divided the fiber into color groupings of purple, pink, and green.  I’m going to do a gradient carding with this tutorial as my inspiration.  I may not hand card the entire batch of fiber, but mostly the pieces that have tips of varying colors.  Not sure yet.  I did a test spin and knit of singles and 2-ply that I carded on Saturday.  I really like the way the singles came out and I think they will have a lovely drape in the finished project (Coquille).
  • The Bosworth mini has about 0.5 oz of merino/bamboo on it at the moment.  Going for a 2-ply yarn in a DK weight for Summer Flies.  It’s a heathery green with a wee bit of sparkle.  Yum!
  • Hopefully some pictures for Wednesday…the camera is hanging out with the noise canceling headphones again.

And because I’m me, here’s a brief weather update as well:  it’s hot.  and humid.  Blech!

 

TDF2010: Day 7 July 10, 2010

Filed under: spinning — knitahollis @ 1:29 pm
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Yesterday I finished the alpaca spinning.  As promised, here are the rolags I made:

Rolags

Pretty Rolags

I had some trouble skeining the singles onto the niddy-noddy.  Some places, especially on the wheel spun yarn, were underspun; as I was winding onto the niddy-noddy, I kept getting breaks.  I was doing my best to make “low twist” singles but I suppose I did too good a job in some points.  Kind of frustrating but cest la vie.  I finished the yarn by soaking it in very hot water and agitating it, followed by a dunk in cold water.  Hang to dry and voila. I did some reading up on this method of finishing and it supposed to help strengthen the single.  I still have half a bobbin to skein and finish so no final yardage totals yet.

Hopefully better pictures to come when my camera makes it back to the house and the sun is out.  Not that I’m complaining.  The rain is lovely.

Laceweight Alpaca Singles

Fresh inspiration!  This shawl from the new Knitty is awesome.  I think it would look  amazing in a handspun.  I think my TDF goal just became a little bit more focused.  Stay tuned.

 

TDF 2010: Days 5-6 July 8, 2010

Filed under: spinning — knitahollis @ 9:13 pm
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Quick update tonight.  I finished spindling 2 ounces of the alpaca on Wednesday night at the former JJJ now Nu Cafe.  So great to see some of my peeps again!!  And I missed those who weren’t there.  Using my Bossie midi, I started spinning my Loop batt.

Fluffy and delicious. And a monarch butterfly too!

Total love; very fun spin so far. Today I got out Charlotte (say hi to Charlotte):

Hi Charlotte!

and started spinning the remainder of the alpaca.  Because of some problems with how the fiber was drafting, I decided to try a slightly different technique based on this blog post about creating rolags from combed top. It seemed to make the spinning a bit easier and I admit I love the way rolags look, especially all lined up.  I’ll try to get a picture tomorrow of the ones that are remaining.

 

TDF2010: Days 3-4 July 6, 2010

Filed under: spinning — knitahollis @ 2:21 pm
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Yesterday and today have been travel days for us. Yesterday we drove from stuart to Jacksonville. Today is our return home. Unfortunately I just found out our flight is delayed by at least 40 minutes. Always fun when traveling with two small children. Rich has been amusing the kids by riding on the moving walkway and now they are playing over by a less crowded gate. Good thing I decided to bring my spindle with me in my carry on bag. Here is the progress from the past two days and the singles I wound off on the 4th.

 

TDF2010: Day 2 July 4, 2010

Filed under: spinning — knitahollis @ 5:47 pm
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Got a little spinning in this afternoon. Having a little trouble with the alpaca drafting out too thin/fast from time to time. Good thing I’m spinning over carpet.

Tomorrow we make the trek back to Jacksonville for our flight home on Uuesday. I’ve had a good time but I’m ready to see my house again. And my bed. And my wheel/yarn/fiber.

Here’s today’s picture. I like the way the colors are coming out. A nice chunk of sandy browns. Still not sure what this wants to be….

 

Tour de Fleece 2010: Day 1 July 3, 2010

Filed under: spinning — knitahollis @ 12:28 pm
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Today is the first day of Le Tour de Fleece! From today until the real Tour (you know, the one with the bicycles) ends, I will be spinning everyday. I hope I’ll be able to mow through a nice chunk of my fiber stash and end up with some happy yarns for fall knitting.

I’m on vacation right now so my wheel is at home. I did bring my little bosworth mini and 2 ounces of alpaca so that’s what I’ll be working on until I get back. On the wheel right now is some awesome wool and angora which I can’t wait to see as finished yarn. It is dreamy to spin.

Here is the alpaca project already in progress. Happy spinning!

 

Jumping in May 27, 2010

Filed under: spinning — knitahollis @ 10:37 pm

What's that? I can't hear you at the bottom of this rabbit hole!

Today I embarked on a little experiment in fiber preparation.  Now that I didn’t feel like I was going to spontaneously combust upon moving (98* was the high Wednesday…oi), it was time to play with some alpaca.  You saw the suri alpaca I bought a post or two ago.  Since there was only 6.5 ounces, I decided to blend it with some mocha merino from the stash.   Being scientifically inclined, I decided to do a simple comparison experiment: blending the two fibers by combing  first, then by carding and finally spinning each preparation into a two-ply yarn, from which a swatch will be knit.  I am curious to see how much difference there will be in the end product.

To begin, I took my bag of alpaca and began separating it into individual locks….like so:

Next step:  blend!  I wasn’t very scientific on the merino-to-alpaca ratio, but it probably worked out in the end to an 80-20 merino-alpaca blend.  My DIY combs worked pretty well.  I only scraped my fingers one time so I’m counting it a success.

Combed fiber

Carded fiber

I started spinning with the combed fiber first.  So soft!  So fluffy! And its the same color as Elisabeth’s hair.

Elisabeths hair!

The blending of the lighter alpaca with the darker merino ended up with a beautiful brown shade with blonde “highlights”.

Single on the spindle (combed)

Using the handy ply technique from Knitty, I created a two-ply yarn.  Final stats on the yarn: 0.2 ounces of 2 ply 16 wpi ~ 20 yards.  (**The picture below in no way does justice to the yarn…)

Finished combed yarn

Tomorrow, I’ll spin up the carded preparation and see how it differs (if I can tell anyway!).

I finally did finish my Spunky Eclectic Shetland in the club colorway, Selfish.

2-ply fractal spun; ~3.1 ounces, 280 yards

My camera will be back from China on Saturday (along with Rich….woohoo!)  so I will get some better (read: less blurry/grainy) pictures next week.