Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Spring Woolens

This is a busy time of year for the Dreams in Fiber household; Baseball is still going on, school is winding down to a close, and we've all been doing our best to get all of the rest of the various "stuff" done.  I've accepted that my existence is one giant WiP.  Of course it doesn't mean it makes the unfinished To Do list any easier to look at at the end of the day...

In the few spare moments I've had, I have managed to work on a few things AND take pictures of them.  Here they are in no particular order.

Mittens for little miss!

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Yes, I started these in January with the intent that she could wear then this past Winter.  Yes, I finished the first mitten mere days after casting on.  Yes, I finally managed to finish the second mitten in May.  Ahem.  Well, we are ready to go for the upcoming Winter....

Container Gardening!  

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Thanks to some mature trees spread throughout the front and back yard, our lawn is cloaked in shade for a good chunk of the Spring/Summer/Fall.  This doesn't necessarily help me out when I have grandiose visions of large gardens full of veggies, herbs, and flowers, but it does provide me the opportunity to get a little creative with my problem solving.  Problem: the minions and I want to plant flowers and things with no sunny spots.  Solution: containers that can be moved to sunnier areas throughout the day and handmade container hangers!

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I kept looking at this fence behind our deck and thinking that it needed a bit of color.  Then it hit me.  Why not kill two birds with one stone and do some stashbusting while creating a colorful little corner full of flowers that the minions can pick out as long as they do not require full-sun.  It was a cheap project - the plastic containers were only $.16/piece and I already had the cotton.  I sat down, whipped up a quick crochet pattern to meet my plastic pot dimensions, and slung them on the fence.  At that point, it occurred to me that perhaps they should probably be a little more stable given the wind and such, so I just made another tie at the bottom.  4 are shown here, I've made 6 so far and have another 4-6 to go.  


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The new greenish skein in the lower portion of the bowl has been added to my spindle-spun collection that will ultimately be turned into an all-spindle-spun project. -- I have a bunch of smaller fiber samples that I am spinning on my Turkish spindle.  I'm not done spindling these though.  I should probably start at the beginning...  

The hubby hit one out of the park this year for Mother's Day and surprised the hell out of me in doing so.  I should add here that I was not surprised that he would/could hit one out of the park, it is just that, earlier in the year, the hubby and I had come up with some low-key Mother's/Father's Day gifts for each other - random, practical, and not too exciting - so I wasn't expecting it.  Fast forward to back in April: the hubby came home from work one day and asked if I wanted any wool - a lady he works with has sheep (well her husband does anyway...) and they just throw it away after they shear them.  "Are you crazy?  Of course I want it!  How much are we talking?"  We are talking about 40lbs worth (and I could've taken more) of a Suffolk-blend that I skirted in the snow/cold and took up to a local mill to be processed.  Suffolk is a down breed and isn't really bread for fleece but they crossed these Suffolks with something nice because the wool was very soft and fluffy and of a nice micron.  Some of it will be turned into roving that I will spin, some will be spun into either Fingering or Worsted Weight yarn, and some of that yarn will be blended with Alpaca, Llama (the hubby scored me a llama fleece as well), and/or nylon for the Fingering weight yarn.  I have been wanting to create a natural line for quite some time now so this will be a good test/foray into what the mill can offer and what I would want to carry.  I digress.  Back to the story.  

In the conversations involving the logistics of obtaining the Suffolk fleece, the hubby casually asked me "How much fiber do you need to make something?"  I was rather taken aback by this because whenever I bring up something Fiber-y, the hubby generally gives me the polite glazed look that I give him whenever he gets too in-depth with baseball.  I didn't want to lose his interest by immediately going into too much detail about the finer aspects of spinning so I generalized it - 4oz will get you a smaller project, 8oz will get you a scarf, 2 lbs will get you an adult sweater..... 

Turns out he was fishing for info as to how much Qiviut he would buy me.  Yes, I said the "Q" word.  The glorious, luscious, insanely soft, insanely warm, and insanely priced, Qiviut.  The hubby got me 1 pound (POUND, not oz) of dehaired Qiviut fiber for me to spin and then make something with.  Qiviut fibers are very short and I don't have a high-speed flyer on my wheel to spin it with so I will be spinning all of it on my 0.6oz Turkish Spindle.  It will just draw out the whole process so insatiably :)  Knowing that I have a bunch of spindling to do, I decided that it was time to bust out my medium-weight Turkish Spindle and get to work on some of my remaining fiber samples.  I don't want to screw up the Qiviut!

Here are the wee spindle-spun skeins thus far.  I think I have another 5 or 6 samples left to finish up and then I'll figure out what to do with all of them.  

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  More Knitting!

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I mentioned in an earlier post that I was dyeing up prototypes for a series of Limited Edition skeins that will be released later this year.  As part of the In the Spirit Series, I dyed up a self-striping colorway called Yukon (inspired by Yukon Cornelius) and since I already know how it will stripe on sock yarn, I wanted to see what it did dyed on an Aran weight and knit up into a hat.  This will be for little man, he just doesn't know it yet.  I have another Aran hat on the needles for little miss...  The other colorways in the In the Spirit Series are:

All Aboard (Inspired by Polar Express)

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Under the Tree

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Dreaming of A...

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Yukon - in skein form

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Dyeing!  More prototypes - these are inspired by the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

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Left to right we have: Tarrytown, Midnight Rider, Object of Affection, and Schoolmaster.


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I have begun my journey into the realm of weaving.  It's rather addicting, this weaving thing.  I foresee more of it in my future.  This scarf was woven on a 10 dent read with 72 warp ends, all using a Superwash DK base dyed by a friend of mine.  I have a Silken Sock scarf on the loom now in one of my inspired by Dr. Who colorways...

I will be shipping out the first Camelot Club shipment soon so I will have photos of those skeins and the accompanying pattern so stay tuned for that.  I am going to do a little work on that To Do list...

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