Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Half way to Graduated Swirl

Graduated yarn shows better in wound cakes than in the skeins.  I have more than 600 grams of this blend which might or might not be enough for a Swirl,  but that is not a problem.

I don't want to use the graduated yarn on the sleeves, it will pool much differently from the body of the sweater knit in the round. 

I will blend some of the remaining fuchsia with gray aiming for a tweedy solid for the sleeves.  

The skeins are lovely too.

This is another 4 lbs towards my self challenge of spinning 20 lbs before the next Fibre Week

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Planning (somewhat) spinning for a Project

My Guild was having a contest, the Orange Challenge,  the items on the person and the wall are part of that.  They will be exhibited at Art Point. And many of them will be for sale Nov 14 at our annual show and sale.

I don't like orange much,  I didn't have much orange yarn or fibre, so I decided to use up what I had.

This is Sally Melville's Universal Vest a wonderful garment,  it has pockets and is becoming to all body types.  It also shows off handspun very well.  Notice the brown stripe on the front and the edging on the collar.  Didn't intend to knit this, I planned to do L'enveloppe and I know roughly how much yarn it takes, 670 g. garter stitch takes a lot of yarn. 

 This is the fibre I started with, red, yellow, orange and brown, some Angelia glitter Copper.

I choose to use the neutral brown, to darken the blend and to bridge to useing brown if I ran out of the blend.
 That's the batts, though they look different they actually have the same amount of each colour roughly, the difference is created by the layering in the batts.  Love drum carders.

Spun the yarn from the batts across the top, which blended the colours nicely.

First skein, 2 ply both plys Orange

Still thinking I don't have enough fibre, I spun brown singles and plyed with the all orange.

By this time I have changed the project I wanted to knit and I was in a hurry,  I didn't weight these skeins.

Then I looked at the Pattern,  what can I adapt to allow for running out.

Sally writes to knit one pocket first, I didn't, I did the pockets last. In solid brown, they don't show.

The vest is knit from one side to the other, I used a couple of the orange skeins on one side, and the back then I did the the other side useing the brown and orange and joined then useing a Cowichan cast off in the 2 ply brown,  that's the brown stripe.  It makes a good decorative element.

Saved a skein of the orange and brown 2 ply for the collar, That collar is ideal for playing yarn chicken,  It could be done with something quite different if you wanted.

But I still ran out of yarn, I could have stopped when I ran out,  an other yarn chicken method but I wanted the full, full collar, and next time I will knit it even longer.  Cast on enough stitches to give the width I wanted and garter stitched all the way to the other side of the collar, Knitting 2 together to join. Then I did the pockets.

Using the Brown in the orange blend, and then in the 2 ply orange and then by itself as a 2 ply  works, draws the whole thing together.

Total weight is 650 g or 23 OZ,  I don't know how much the metallic fibre added to the weight.

I wish I had weighted the parts, fronts, back and collar,  the proportions would be handy to know.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

East Side Studio Crawl

 Last Saturday's East Side Studio Crawl was a joy and delight.  Weather was good, the Guild had more than 150 people though the doors.

We did demonstrations and exhibited our work.

Above is a felted hat in progress.
And felted items finished.
 The new peg loom was shown off and used.  This new weaver taught by Siri, was completely enthralled.
 Of course we had spinners showing off our skills.  One of the things the public was very interested in was the source of all our fibres,  yes there are sheep in Alberta.
 There items from the Orange Challenge were exhibited, beautifully displayed.  And got a lot of interest.
 This is a Ruana, it has an open front, done as part of this summer's weaving workshop.
Lucille is teaching Tapestry this fall but not at the Guild, maybe some other time.

People were very interested in the simplicity of this loom and the process.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Planning a demonstration, In Pink

Sept 19 is the East Calgary Studio Crawl and Heritage Weavers my fibre guild is one of the open houses.

I volunteered to do a demonstration of colour blending on a drum carder,  I love doing demonstrations, or spinning and knitting in public.

But before demonstrating something it is a good idea to try it out.

My dyeing, 30 gr of  fuchsia on the left, 5 gr of silk, 5 grams of mohair, not dyed by me, and 5 gr each of dark and little gray, dyed by the sheep. 50 gr total.

The pinks were blended evenly across the drum, and light gray on one side, bottom of the picture, dark on the others side.

Dizzed off to make roving nests.

Two nests make a 100 gram ball of 2 ply graduated from light to dark.
It's more red than I thought it would be  and the shade change is less pronounced.

I have 2 lb of the the fuchsia wool, A lb each of the 2 grays,  My limiting factor is the silk and mohair.

The goal is enough to knit a swirl and that's a lot.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Carding and spinning for graduated yarn

 Wish I could say I carefully planned this but I didn't.  Started with a crowded crockpot with Navy Blue and Forest Green Ciba Washfast Dye and 16 oz. of Romney Lambswool and 8 oz of Alpaca.

The thrice accursed crock pot would not heat up, so I dumped it into my big pot and heated it outside, lost most of the colour variations.

I wanted a very dark blue green so I used lots of dye.  And got a nice dark colour.  Did not exhausted the dye bath, which I hate, so I went looking for more fibre to dye and found another lb of the Romney and weighed out more of the alpaca. Got a batch with much lighter colours.

 Out of the pot and dry,  the wool took the dye best, the alpaca is lighter in both batches.

Another picture of my basket, with Queen Anne's Lace.

Ripped the slightly matted fibre apart with coarse cards,  channelling my inner Norman Kennedy.

Then I drum carded 30 grams of each shade,  then carded again dark on one side and light on the other.  Dized it off in 60 grams roving nests.  60 grams is about as much as I can get on my drum carder.

Spun singles, and plied.
Love my Ashford Country Spinner 2.  Ended up with giant skein dark to light to dark. 224 Grams.  

Notes for next time,  don't just put the 2 shades on either side of drum carder blend in the middle more, the graduation quite abrupt.  

Norm Kennedy is one of the four vastly skilled fibre artists on a video called How to Card Wool, Four spinners, four Techniques, Interweave press