Thursday, April 30, 2009

The dreaded "C" word, and Lambchop

For some reason I was under such stress during finals that I couldn't even *gasp* knit. Seriously there was some form of mental block that disallowed me from even remotely knitting. So I started a crochet afghan out of scraps from the baby log cabin blanket. This will make me happy when it's done because I will have learned a new skill and used up a bunch of superfluous acrylic.

In the mail on the day of my last hand in final a lovely man with a box appeared. In it was this:

This gorgous fleece came from AuntieAnnies from a lovely sheepy named Lambchop. Now I have to say I have never processed a fleece before, a chunck I got at Agribition for free but really when it came to doing the whole partial fleece thing I was perplexed.
I have been reading SockPr0n for a while now, and have watched several fleeces transformed in her blog so I researched and backread her blog (which was really thee best informative source without a book that I found). I started by diving in. I wanted to know the fleece, I wanted to see what it had to offer. So did bebop. He's very much a fan of sheep.

So I decided to be nitpicky and I got some laundry bags so I could keep the lock formation. I contemplated the Yarn Harlot method, but as my kitchen heats up like crazy when the stoves on and I am one to walk away unsuspectingly I opted for the sink. I layered the locks in the bag after fluffing them out a bit and picking any VM out.
It should be said that this fleece is well skirted and was jacketed so really there isn't a lot to be picked but I find that if i pre-fluff the fleece before washing then I get more dirt out with less washing. And I am super paranoid about agitation so clearly I wanted to do everything possible to minimize that.

The lanolin just came off, seriously, this was the first wash, Look how yellowish that water is. I really should have uploaded a picture of the finished product but as I feel it's ongoing I haven't. Because of space constraints etc I can only really process a little at a time without compromizing quality. So as I truck along slowly I have a pile of fleece that is clean and joyous.

Now the only thing will be if I want to dye it, spin then dye it, leave it plain (this probably won't happen as me and white are mortal enemies). But I'll figure that all out when I have this whole thing processed.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I have been knitting... I swear

Just because it seems like I haven't doesn't mean that is the case. The February Lady Sweater is still on the needles and I'm almost done the body, it just takes so frelling long. Seriously. It's out of a recycled sweater that I found at the Value Village. The sweater itself was hideous so I felt no remorse (except maybe that someone worked hard on the orginal sweater only to have it discarded to VV). I'm guessing by the amount I have at the moment that it's going to be a three-quarter lenght sleeve that I go with for the sleeves.
It seems everytime it gets warm I want to spin, spinning and spring/summer go hand in hand in my world, I have no idea why. But I have been spinning a lot lately. Here is the skein of the lovely stuff I did at spinning day (navajo plyed and weightin in at 4. something oz). I call it "Sparkle Motion", and if you catch that referance know that I love you.

Remember the stuff I was carding during the power outage? Ya well, I used it to bait myself to get through a paper and ended up finishing the carding and spinning and plying it. Thusly volia (Approx 139 yards) Blueruin was born. Both skeins need to be set but I think I'll wait until I have a few more that need setting before I do it, I prefer to do a schwack load at once

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

When there's papers due, and the power goes out, I turn to.... carding.

Around 2 pm this afternoon the power went out. This threw me into some form of crazed insanity the likes of which have not been seen for a while. With the coffee maker and all the lights out on this here gloomy april day I set about on some busy work, I put my textbooks away and cleaned the bookshelf, and then with time still standing still I decided "f this noise" and pulled out the handcarders.

I recalled a bag of locks that Amy had given to me during the spinning day leftover swap. The locks themselves have a fair amount of VM in them and they are severly felted in some areas but free locks will not be over looked. I started picking and teasing. And as i did....

I remembered that in the roving stash lay this, 110 gr of similarly dyed romney. The great workhorse of spinning fibers. I got it out and compared the colors, they were nearly spot on, having come from the same place this didn't shock but made me happy.
I set about carding the two together at a 80/20 split in favor of romney, as I didn't know how the locks would look with it.

The conclusion: fabulous. The deep blues and hot pinks were netrualized a bit and in some cases gave a purple hue that is very nice. I'm not usually a blue/pink person, I like hard colors, generally, or heathered greys and browns. It's carding up fabulously, and I'm guessing it will spin with ease. It will however take a while as after the power came back on I had about 10 rolags and made barely a dint in the bags of fiber. This could be a lenghty process.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

dyeing and spinning

Okay lets start this off with HANDSPUN, I started this on the drop spindle when lana was here and then put it on the wheel last weekend at the spinning day, and I plied it yesterday and thusly, a skein of prettyful yarn with a bit of sparkle and loads of fun. I hand carded the rolags for a kind of heathered run look. Minimal glitz but enough.

Now I had to dye a pound of roving for the spinning day so I took pictures, because well I was bored when waiting for the stuff to do it's magic. First off it all had to be soaked in its stuff for optimum absorbtion. I went with Deb Menz's instructions.

Here are some packets in the steamer, I did them in approx. 1 oz. intervals. this was the red orange yellow set, there was a blue green black yellow set as well. I got three packets in my steamer at a time and it served well.

While I waited for the steamer to do it's magic I preped the second set and let them absorb prior to packeting them up for the steamer. (And for the record magic eraser does remove dye from lino - just sayin).

And when they were done it was hang to dry overnight. Which left my place looking like a yarn harem. I think people enjoyed the colors. I myself didn't really like the red yellow, too bright for me, but it worked. I did however fall in love with the blue colorway, it was nice. The black took forever to wash out, and even after a good hour it probably still will bleed when they set their stuff. Tis the downfall of black I guess.

I knit therfore I am