Monday, June 28, 2010

Splatter Batts and Alpaca!

The idea struck me one day...if you can hand paint roving, why not batts? So I started by presoaking a batt and gently draining it in a strainer. I rolled it out on a cookie sheet covered with saran wrap.
I then took some syringes filled with dye mixed with some vinegar, and splattered the batt. (I was a bit heavy handed with the dye. Next time I'll be more sparing.)

I then rolled up my batts and steam baked them at 170 degrees for around an hour.

Then I rolled out the batts, and let them dry. Waaa Lah! Splatter batts! Love them! They remind me of tyedye. Next time I will not roll them up, it disarranges the splatters. I'll just leave them out flat on the cookie sheet. Need to pick up some more cookie sheets at Goodwill!

Next up is the absolutely yummy Cria Fleece I got from Linda at . It's buttery soft and Linda is a doll to work with!
Look how gorgeous this fleece is and how crimpy! I'm going to enjoy spinning this up for sure!

Here's a lock all combed out, pretty nice staple length too! I loved the way Linda packed this fleece. It was rolled up in a big sheet of plastic, so you could unroll it and it maintained it's structure. It's easier to work with this way.
Ok...I have more to post yet! Stay tuned!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

My New Hitch Hiker Wheel is Here!

Isn't she just the cutest thing ever!!!! My new Hitch Hiker Spinning Wheel from Beth at . As you can see, I wasted no time testing her out. I admit it took a bit of getting used to the heel/toe treadling, as well as going from a double treadle back to a single treadle, but it was a minor adjustment. It's not a bad spin at all, and at 9lbs, I can haul it all over the place. I've spun at Denny's yesterday while waiting for breakfast. ( The kids think I'm nuts...I am!) Now how to best decorate my little wheel....paint? Woodburning? Both?
Koi fish? Cherry blossoms? Maneki Neko???? I'm still undecided!

Batts!!! Count them! Eight yummy batts from my Corriendale all ready to spin into some yummy yarn! (And another pound to go! Man, a whole fleece is a lot of wool!!!) This is the wool I ran through my picker. I've discovered that you can't get smooth batts with a picker. It's opens up the locks, but doesn't remove second cuts that cause the nepps. The batts are neppy, but that's okay. Never underestimate an neppy batt. It can make some really nice textured yarn. The Fancy Kitty Drumcarder has been working overtime. As you can see from the next pic!

Shetland! My friend Monica sent me some yummy Shetland after I made the comment I'd always wanted to try some. Elizabeth Zimmerman was always going on about the virtues of Shetland. I used my hand combs on the locks to get smooth batts. (No nepps!) Hand combs remove the second cuts, as well as VM. (We've talked about this in other posts.) Below is the pile of combed shetland ready to run through the Kitty Drumcarder. Yummy stuff!

I wasn't able to take pics of the other batts I've made, but they're coming up next when I can take pics during the day. (The flash just makes it impossible to get the right color.) Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

New Stuff to Come!

Once again it's been awhile since I've blogged! I've got so many things to take pics of, just need some time off to do it! We're learning a new charting system at work and it's a brain fryer for sure!
On the fiber front, I have new tools to take pics of. First, Beth hooked me up with one of Eric's blending hackles. It is absolutley awesome and I'll be taking pics of it with some fiber I blended on it and pulled off into roving. It's just as nice as the hand combs Eric made, he really does an outstanding job of making these tools.

I've finally got a picker too. It's a Lil' Dynamo Picker. It does alright, but I'm afraid it's like my first set of handcombs. The points are just space too far apart to do a really good job and it takes several times to separate the locks on the fleece. It doesn't do a very good job at all on fine fleece like rambouillet. I'm thinking of adding more points to see if it'll help.

Then I have a cute little wheel coming in. It's a Hitch Hiker from Merlin Tree. Beth became a dealor and I ordered one. I have been wanting a little wheel that would be portable enough to take to outtings at the mall. I can't wait to spin on it!

I have some alpaca coming in . One is Cria, and I'm very excited! Both are gold tone like Vicuna. Very pretty! I also have been washing some Cheviot a friend gifted me with. I meet Barbara at the little spinners/knitters group I go to from time to time. She gave me two whole fleece! Then my Rav friend Monica gave me some Shetland! (I've been wanting to try shetland for a long time. Elizabeth Zimmerman is always going on about shetland!)

So there you have it! I've got batts I've made up to show and Addi's leggings are almost done. I promised to take pics and have a better blog next time!