Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cashmere-Tussah Handspun

Just look!
Cashmere-Tussah Handspun
Two-Ply Worsted Spun, about 60 yards, 2 ounces, 11 wpi.
Thanks to my Spinning SP, exSeidingly spoiled! I couldn't keep my hands off it, so I spun it up quick! It's so light and soft and shiny. I can't say enough about it. I probably could have done it more justice, it was a little fussy to draft, so I ended up with some uneveness, but I plan to knit this up pronto. I'm thinking a small scarf, because it's so soft I want to wear it around my neck.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

BFL, my new BFF

Meet my new BFF (sorry Kirsty, I know I said we would be BFF, but that was 20 years ago now. You had a good run.):
Spinners! Have you treated yourself to Blue Faced Leicester yet? How about some BFL handpainted by Spunky Eclectic? If you do, you will find yourself a new Best Friend Forever. It came looking a little travel-worn, but just fluffing it up a tad did wonders:

And it's a dream to spin! Smooth, even, sproingy. It practically spun itself and this is the result:

I'm so In Love! 4 oz, 130 yards, double-plyed, spun semi-woolen. About worsted weight, 10 wpi.

And now for something completely different:

Recycled Denim and Soda Bottles. Bad Amy sent me this last fall. The fiber feels like dryer lint and it's a bit tricky to spin. It sticks, sticks, sticks, and then pulls apart. I went for yards with a nice even singles and then yards of thick-and-thin Slub City. The texture is definitely cottony. I think I need more cotton-spinning experience to find out if it's just me. I am planning on buying a packet of RIT dye and dyeing this. It'll make a small discloth, I think.

Gratuitous Kitty Pic!

Ain't Nellie ladylike?


I now present to you, courtesy of my fabulous Knittyboard Spinning Secret Pal, exSeidingly spoiled, some Fiber Pr0n!

Angora! Pet the bunny. Isn't he soft! Just wonderful!

Cashmere/Tussah Silk blend! Oh my god. Beautiful, shiny, SOFT. If only that touch-o-vision had been invented! This is literally the softest thing I've ever touched. I had to put it away because I spent a good half-hour petting it, rubbing it against my face, encouraging family members to do the same. I eagerly await having a free bobbin to start spinning this up.

I also got a cd with songs about Illinois on it, so that gives me a nice clue. I plan on listening to it on my way to work today, in oh, five minutes or so!

Thank you so much, pal! You really hit the Wow Meter on this "little" package! I'm on Cloud 9 (and it's not as soft as that cashmere/tussah)!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Today I made my own hackle! For the none-fiber-processors out there, a hackle is a device used to comb fibers. In my particular case, I am interested in using it to blend already-dyed combed tops to create a custom color blend. First, I saw an article in Spring 2007 Spin-Off about using a hackle to blend colors and different fibers. Then, over at the knittyboard, Clotho42 shared her own home-made hackle. So I went off to the dollar store and the big box craft store and I bought these ingredients:
Two sets of clamps ($2.50), four large dog combs ($5.00), one 24" shelf ($9.99), one pack of wooden disks ($0.99). The truly frugal would make their own shelf with wood scraps, but I decided the saved work was worth the extra payout. I'm a horrible woodworker, so I take shortcuts where I can find them. Total payout: $18.48. Oh yeah, the clamps and the dog combs, although purchased at the DOLLAR store, were actually $1.25 each. Yeah, my dollar store is a big rip-off.
At home, I had: a saw, sandpaper, a power drill, assorted drill bits, and eight screws that were long enough to join the combs to the shelf, but not long enough to poke out the back. I had to mix and match, because I'm not that picky. Oh, and I had some safety goggles. Safety is very important, especially when working with power tools.

First, I trimmed the combs. I stuck them in the vise and sawed the ends off, then I sanded the rough edges with the sandpaper. Next, I positioned the combs along the bottom edge of the shelf. I tried to align the comb tines as well as I could, but I didn't stress too much over it. A few pilot holes drilled, a few screws screwed in, and a couple of clamps later and I have this:

And here it is loaded with some combed Corriedale:

I drilled some different-sized holes in the wooden disks and pulled the fiber off through the diz:

This small sample yielded three little rovings and some waste. I can't spin it up for the final step yet because I have to wait for my bobbin to dry. Because the other thing I did today was paint my wheel:

Yep, a real DIY kind of day!

Friday, June 01, 2007

As rare as a day in June....

"And what is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days..." -- James Russell Lowell

That's what my blogposts have become. Although what did James Russell Lowell mean, anyway? June days account for roughly one twelfth of all days when you think about it. Now if you want to talk rare days, well, how about Leap Day? June day, well you get 30 of them a year. But I digress. On to the post:

Here's some of this Corriedale/silk spun up:

Corriedale Wool/Silk Blend 2-ply
Spun from a carded roving
Dyed with indigo, osage and madder
2.75 oz, 230 yards, about 12 wpi
I still have another 4 oz or so to spin up. This spun so easily, thanks to the corriedale. After all the merino top I've been spinning, it's nice to spin something a little less fussy. I experimented a bit with the long draw on this, but mostly used a short backward draw. It's definitely a woolen, nice and fuzzy and light.
The World's Slowest Growing Sweater, the Bamboo Lace T has gained a few repeats:

I decided to incorporate some waist shaping and have been learning a lot about decreasing and lace. I finally have the pattern memorized and can figure out where I am and what row I'm on by sight. Hopefully that means this will start going faster.

I needed a mindless knitting project so I cast on a new pair of Tofutsies socks:

I'm just doing a standard K2P2 rib for the cuff, and a short row heel and toe. I might carry the rib down the top of the sock.

Oh, and I've become enthralled with LOLcatz. I even made one and submitted it to I Can Has Cheezburger? It amuses me.