Wednesday, June 22, 2011

June Socks - Done

Should I mention that I started the June socks in August. 2010?  They were stalled on the needles for a long time, but were recently taken out of the hibernation chamber and finished.  I dislike the yarn as much as ever.  It is Knit Picks long discontinued 'Dancing' in the colorway 'Jig' - a wool/cotton/lycra blend.   It splits, the pooling looks terrible, but I really do like the way they feel on my feet.  I am wearing their fraternal twins today.  I bought a healthy amount of the yarn when it first came out.  I have knit 3 pair and still have enough to knit another pair, but no time soon.

The blog has been rather quiet and I mostly have the day job to blame.  I have been preparing for 3 summer teacher workshops, and am finishing up workshop #1.  It is going well, but it does take a lot of energy.  But because tonight is spinning night, I'll pump some of it right back in.

I've also been having a fine time in the garden.  It has seldom looked better and we've had good rain lately.  The vegies, fruit and flowers all look good.  I'm still eating peas and blueberries, the summer squash are beginning to come in, the green beans are very tiny but I really need to pick and cook and eat kale.  Yum!

There has been other knitting, spinning and dyeing, but more about that later.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Spinning Yarns

I've been on a spinning binge lately.  It seems to happen after a carding binge - and this time I have some nice batts to spin.  It's sort of like putting food in the freezer.  eventually you have to take it out and eat it.  The difference is that carded batts don't get freezer burn (though the white that you see here bit have sort of a basement-y smell before I washed it.  With plied skeins still on the bobbins and recent knitting aside, here it a bit of yarn that I made recently.

On the left is a big honkin' skein of a wool-mohair blend  from Bitsy Knits.  It's one of her custom carded rovings in a lovely blue-green color.  I don't have the label with me so I can't tell you the official name.  I got it in a gift exchange and finally got around to spinning it.  I didn't measure it, but it's big!  Just past that is a merino-alpaca blend that I carded myself a long while back and kind of forgot about.  When I was tidying up I found the box and though it was a bit musty smelling, it spun up fine and after a wee bath, it smells good too.

On the far right is one of 3 skeins of a Corriedale-like fiber from   Cherry Tree hill via Discontinued Brand Name Yarns.  The colorway is 'Irish Mist' but I am a bit tired of it, so I overdyed the last 6 ounces of the pound in blue, so the resulting roving is a lovely peacock blue-green.  Easy to spin, btw in case you have wondered about that roving.  I spin rather thick and it came out nicely squishy.

The deep blue is another overdye.  I spun it a while back - a natural grey carded with a medium blue wool and some angelina, but I didn't love it.  It was too grey with not enough blue to really pop, so into the dyepot it went.  I love it now - deep and heathery.  I rolled it into a ball this morning and brought it with me to knit at the SAFF board meeting tonight.  It is destined to become a Trailside hat.  I'll post pictures when I'm done.

I heard about a big destash yard sale over the weekend.  The flyer said there were 2 spinning wheels, 6 sowing [sic] machines and lots of yarn and fabric.  There was, indeed!  I was the first person there when she opened at 8 and bought a Lendrum double treadle (and a bunch of yarn!).  It's quite beautiful and it spins nicely, but by the size of the skeins above, you can see that I like fat yarn and BIG skeins.  So my trusty Louet S10 isn't going anywhere.  So far I've only spun 2 bobbins on the Lendrum & plied them on the Louet.  A nice combination, I think, particularly for smaller quantities.