Sunday, December 7, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
the Kitten has a 8 1/2 inch wide drum. It also comes with the brush attachment. (The Strauch you have to pay extra for! ) The drums are adjustable...yes, I like that feature. So I emailed Ron to check out what his response would be, and he was ever so nice and very prompt. (Good to know in case I needed to get a hold of him!) So there you have it! I ordered my Kitten!
I was sooooo surprised! It got here in 3 days!!! And it was packaged up like a ming dynasty vase... that baby could have fell off a moving truck and still made it intact!!! I was soooo impressed with the workmanship! It's not a cheapo throw together home made object. It is professionally constructed with great attention to detail! My Kitten was a fine tuned machine and I was estastic!!! What a bargain!!! (Let's just say the money I saved bought a whole lot of fiber, OK?) Mr. Ron did a follow up after it arrived to make sure everything was ok, and to give me his number in case I should have questions! ( Whaaaat? He still is supportive after the sale???? These days and times, that is just about unheard of!)
Ok, now for the nitty gritty!
I had to give her a test run, so here we go! The first pic is my first pass with some yellow merino and some white wool roving I got from the sheepshedstudio.com . I took my roving and fluffed it up and added thin layers until I got this. The drum carder works like a dream and was very smooth. Note I do not have it clamped down....didn't need too. I had no problems at all, and went through the first carding with ease. Say....this is fun!
Monday, November 17, 2008
I drained the braids and randomly squeezed the color onto the wet braids. The color doesn't seem too intense here, but don't worry...Jacquard always brightens with heat.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Last but not least the wool I dyed up in the crock pot. It's double plied and is 11 wpi. It's the wool I got from www.thesheepshedstudio.com . Boy, it's sooo reasonable, I'm going to order 5 bls next time. Anyway, it's hard to capture the true colors, but the brown,red,and golds blended together and I love the effect. The red/gold reminds me of a goldenrose color, and the color changes are graduated. I can't wait to see this one knit up!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I used 2 bottle of the gold, and saturated the presoaked wool fiber. It's about 9 ozs of fiber. Same as before, I sectioned the wool into 3 foot strips, and rolled into loose balls so I could handle them better.
I then took my chestnut, and my fire red, and randomly squeezed the dye. I didn't even use 1/2 a bottle of the dyes, I was trying not to over saturate with these colors, I'm trying a marble look, not to make mud. After 1 1/2 hours in the crock pot on high, (It took up the dye really quick. I knew it was done because the water was clear.) I removed my balls of fiber into the sink to cool. I rinsed in room temp water as before.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Here youcan see I already have some Llama going on it, it spins really fast! I really love the idea of having two wheels to spin on now. It'll be really handy for when I have a couple of projects going, like I already do!
Monday, October 27, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Ah, the object of my new affection! A Fidelis spinning wheel by
http://www.heavenlyhandspinning.com/ . I have decided that I just simply must have one. I've been studying all the different wheels, and wow! They are expensive! This one is under 2oo$, and has all the features I want. Large bobbins, Irish tensioning, good spinning ratios, and it's solid unlike some wobbly/jerky pvc models I've seen. It's through the same family owned, American made company that made my Little Meggie kick spindle.
While I love my kick spindle, and will always love my kick spindle...alas, she just doesn't spin fast enough by the time you have to stop and unhook your yarn, wind it onto the spindle, and then hook your yarn again. Very time consuming. With about 3lbs of combed top left to spin, and future fiber purchases, I need speed!
After knitting my very own hand-dyed,handspun BFL yarn...it has taken yarn snobbery to a new height! No longer do I look at pretty yarn...it's fibers now that fascinate me. The thought of taking a puff of plain fiber, coloring it, and spinning it into a yarn of your design/choice... awesome! I now know how Michaelangelo felt as he completed the Sistine Chapel. Being able to spin your own yarn is like a painter having all the brushes, and all the paints he could ever want. It like being complete as a knitter. You have every color, every fiber available to your artistic desires.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
And this is Aidan feeding the ducks! He was trying really hard to get a duck to take the cracker from his hand. One almost did! Aidan likes feeding the ducks.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Here is the first of my hand dyed/hand spun BFL fiber. I'm so pleased with how this is turning out! I love the colors, Okinawan Sea, inspired by my daughter's diving in the Seas of Okinawa. She told me of the purples,turquoise,and golds.
I'm using my Little Meggie Kick Spindle from http://www.heavenlyhandspinning.com/ . Boy, do I really love this spindle. The bearing on the base really makes it spin fast!
This is my Blue Face Leister fiber from http://www.paradisefibers.com/ . It's so fluffy and soft. I didn't have to comb it, card it. It's ready to go. This is 1 lb of fiber which takes up the whole kitchen table. I kept soaking it down with a spray bottle to wet it. (Yes, the table is covered in Saran Wrap.)
This is the dyeing process. I used Jacquard acid dye. I mixed 1/2 teaspoon in a 32 oz cup of water w/ 1/2 cup of vinegar. First I did the gold in the middle, then purple and turquoise. The turquoise and the purple bled into the middle more than I intended, but I like the effect. I poured the dye over the fiber and used gloves to gently squeeze the dye into the fiber. I still wound up with turquoise blue fingers...cheap gloves!
I wrapped up my fiber in the saran wrap, and baked at 200 degrees for about an hour, just until it was heated all the way through, and about 30 mins to set the dye. I let it cool very slow. It's hard to be patient, but I was scared I'd felt the fiber. I then took it to the bath tub and rinsed in cold water many tubfulls! It's hard to rinse so much fiber at once. Next time I'll try dividing it into 4 instead of 2, and rinse individually.
I put the drying rack into the tub, and put the wet fiber on to dry. I didn't squeeze it out, I held it up to drain a section at a time and just let it drain enough so it wouldn't stretch out from the weight of the water. It took 2 days to dry, but it didn't felt a bit and now I'm happily spinning away!