Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Schacht 25" Loom

First of all, lets do an update on the grandkids! First and foremost is Ms Addi, who said it was high time she got equal billing on Nana's blog! She refuses to take a back seat to her brother! Isn't she a cutie! Ha Ha...takes after Nana!
Not to be outdone is Mr.Aidan!!! Look at that grin!!! He's happy about getting his way for sure! (When doesn't he get his way?)
Now for my new loom! Here's she is all warped up! I'm making a blankie for Addi. Amy needs a blankie that's a bit longer for nursing. It took me a while to get it warped. I did it between shifts at the hospital.

Wow! Did not realize how big a 25" loom would be. I'm glad I didn't go for a 32" Harp now. It really would have been too big for my limited work space. (Now I have to rearrange my room!)

And here's is my first project underway. It's just a plain weave because I'm still working on trying to keep my weft from drawing in too much. Truth be known, it's drawn in about 1 inch on both sides. But I still love how it's comong out. I'm using Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece on a 8 dent heddle. It's very,very soft.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Dear Yarn Harlot

Dear Yarn Harlot,

I read your blog today and was intrigued by your mentioning in Judith MacKenzie McCuin's class, she said you should always add fiber to the drum carder sideways. I must admit I was thinking somebody, somewhere must of had too many of those little bottles on the airplane???
Nevertheless I decided to give 'er a try.

First of all, when adding fiber to the drum carder, I made sure I had pulled out my fibers thin enough to be able to see through to the tray. ( Drum Carding 101-If what your adding is too thick, you'll get a wadded up mess on your DC! Errrr-guess how I know this?)

Guess what? Maybe Judith is onto something? The fibers miraculously straight their little selves out, and I got a more even coverage this way! Go figure? I found my DC didn't bog down as much either. I just kept adding fiber, cranking away. It was a most pleasant experience at 4am. So much so, that at 6am, I'm blogging about it! Thanks for the tip there Yarn Harlot!
Drum roll, please...... And for your viewing pleasure....My sideway carded batt! (Of course I added some Angelina....I'm on an Angelina kick!)

Well, Ok...if it works so well for the DC...what about my hand carders? So there I went and lashed on some fiber sideways. Sure felt funny doing it this way! I kept waiting for someone with a ruler to come along and smack my hands!

But just like the DC, the carding on the HC went very smoothly, and I got excited! See...there's this Churro fleece with 6 inch staples that is difficult to HC due to the very long fly away fibers....Hmmmm!
As you can see from the pic, the little fibers magically line theirselves up. The carding was very effortless, and almost perfect after the first carding. (I did it twice....I'm OCD that way!)

From that I got my cute little rolrag! I must confess...I feel rather accomplished and may just never go back to carding my fiber from the ends again. Final jury will be out until I spin up my sideway carded goodness! (Hey, it's 6:30am, and I'm sleepy now!)

In closing, I would like to thank you for your pearls of wisdom! Your blogging has encouraged me, made me laugh, and turned me into the biggest fiber tramp there is!!! I have no less than 4 big boxes of fiber piled up in my room. Also about 6 big boxes of yarn. While I was once content to just own a set of knitpicks Options, now I have 2 spinning wheels, a drum carder, and more knitting needles that I could possible ever need! If that wasn't enough, now I want to weave! (Ok, I can't personally blame for that one!)
Your Sister in Fiber,

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Churro, Baby Surpise Jacket, and Yet another toy!

Here's a pic of my churro fleece I got from Thesheepshedstudio.com. It's a coarse wool, and a bit on the sandy side, but nothing that doesn't shake out or card out. I'm spinning up single ply doing a long draw from rolrags. It's spinning up really nice on the Fidelis. I'm rather anxious to finish up a few bobbins of this because I have plans for it that I'll reveal at the end of this blog. This is my first unprocessed fleece I've ever worked with. Carol was nice enough to wash it up for me, but it still has a lot of sand. The Churro sheep it came from was used to train sheep dog. ( She told me this up front, but I really wanted to try out the churro, and have no regrets.)Still, it's exciting to take something from sheep to yarn yourself! I've been handcarding this because the drum carder is still in use for making the yarn for Addi's Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman.
Gee, I wanted to post a pic with the fiber I'm drum carding up for it. But that didn't happen. The wool is a blend of Sweet Grass Targhee, Brown Sheep mill end rovings from SSS, and Angelina for a touch of sparkle. (Have I mentioned I really love my drum carder?) This is such a funny little jacket to knit up! It looks like a mess until you get far enough along to fold it up into a little jacket and suddenly it all makes sense. Knitpicks has their books 40% off, so I indulged and got 3 of Elizabeth Zimmerman's books. I have discover I simply LOVE her!
Lastly...a new toy to come my way! I have always wanted to, since I was a child, learn to knit, spin, and weave. Well, I taught myself to knit a little when I was about 9 or so via library books. I really got into knitting when Aidan was born and was thrilled to find lessons on the net so I could finally read a pattern. Spinning just came about last year, and I learned via the internet, mostly Youtube. Now I want to weave. I've decided to purchase a Schacht's Flip Rigid Heddle Loom. I'm buying through http://www.silverspuncreations.com/ . Susan has been wonderful in helping me, and maybe I'll get it in next week! My first project I've planned is to take the rustic churro yarn, and weave a bag!

I have become a fiber harlot!!! You should see all the fiber I have accumulated! Alpace/silk, BFL, Merino, Sweet Grass Targhee, bamboo, Punta, and I only want more! So I ordered some grey Jacob from Susan as well. (Hangs head in shame...oh yeah...there's the turquoise and black from SSS on order too!) There's just no known cure for this illness!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Poor Neglected Blog!

Well, seems I've been neglecting my blog lately. You know how it is...I've been busy. New grandbaby, Christmas, and Aidan's birthday. I've been spinning and knitting too. My poor neglected Ruana is finally getting the attention it deserves. I'm also 75% completely on Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket for the new baby. I have to finish spinning the rest of the yarn for it. I took some of my purple Targhee and drum carded it with plain white wool. It made a really nice 2 ply variegated yarn. Now I'm spinning some pink wool drumcarded with white, and I haven't plied it yet, but I think a purple BSJ with pink trim will be lovely on Addi's dark skin. This is Addi nestled in the pink wool I dyed up. Now isn't she the cutest thing? I'll definitely post a pic with her in the jacket very soon.