Once again I am working with a particular Merino top to create a yarn I am calling “Rainbow Wishes”. The first skein of yarn I spun using this fiber is called “Muddy Rainbow” since the colors mingled together into a muddied mess.
Last year I entered two skein of handspun yarn into the crafting competition at the Burlington County Farm Fair. I was surprised when both did incredibly well, earning a first and second place. Competing is not my thing, but I was proud of what I had accomplished in such a short time.
I try to keep my mind occupied while I crochet or spin. Unless the crochet pattern is especially difficult, I need some form of entertainment or educational experience. My mind has to be working or it wanders off somewhere and I loose my stitch count.
I’ve always liked mental activities, not physical ones. When I was in school, I hated gym class, but loved English and History. My ideal gym class would have been sitting in the bleachers reading a good book. Instead I had to move around and waste a precious forty-five minutes of my day doing activities I wasn’t very good at.
This past weekend was lovely. Though the overcast skies threatened rain on Saturday, I took my spinning wheel onto the deck and spun my heart out. I even managed to get a bit of a sunburn on my right arm before I put my umbrella into an old plant stand I had hanging on the railing.
Sunday was spent playing PC games because there was a threat of rain. No doubt I would bang my spinning wheel against the door frame as I ran inside to avoid the raindrops. The only thing I can do while gaming is run my tractor into a building as I hitch up a flatbed trailer or fall into a lava lake as I run across a field.
Several weeks ago I started making my own hand painted fiber. After my heavy-handed first attempt at dyeing in a roasting pan, I figured I would have more control with this technique. And I do indeed. This is becoming an addictive part of working with fiber. I try to block at least one day a week to have fun and make a heck of a mess. This usually falls on Sundays so I can hang the fiber out with the week’s laundry.
As with most of my weekends, I spent it crafting. Do you realize that there is more than one way to craft? Yes, I was creating tangible items when I spun the Embers roving into yarn. But I also did some virtual crafting when I made iron ore into iron pick axes in Minecraft. I find both of these types of crafting enjoyable for their own distinct reasons.
Today’s “What’s on My Bobbin?” is the Embers colorway from Fuzzyfrog Fibers. I picked up this braid last September when I went to New Jersey Sheep and Wool. This is one of several braids, mostly named after locations in Middle Earth, that I was drawn to. Choosing something to spin this week was a challenge because I wanted to spin everything in my stash. I ended up blindly reaching into the box and spinning what came out. It turns out that this was a good choice.
Have I told you how much I like the way my first dye project came out? Well, if you missed all the other posts recently, let me tell you know that I really like the way the Muddy Rainbow looks. Something this interesting needed an equally interesting pattern so I chose the “Sequin Diva Cowl” by Sara Sach of Posh Pooch Designs.
i really want to show off the gradient of this skein so the increase of a triangle wasn’t going to cut it. I decided to go with the Sequin Diva Cowl because it has crazy “teeth”, but the stitch count remains the same across each row.
The pattern is an easy four row repeat. I memorized the instructions quickly even though they are not written in convention terms. Just keep in mind that you stop five stitches from the end on the same row you did the extra half double stitches and you’re all set. My brain took a left turn somewhere as I was crocheting the third set and I had to frog to the beginning of the sequence.
I also altered the pattern and did five stitches less that the 35 per row because I’m not sure I would have had enough yarn. With 166 yards my cowl may still be a little snug in the end, but it should be just fine.
How It’s Going So Far
I started with the chains this morning around 9ish and I had finished eight four row sequences by the time Mom showed up at 11:30. I’ll get back to this project as soon as I am done publishing this post and I expect that it will be completed early this evening.
Though the fiber is not next to skin soft, it is draping very nicely. I imagine this would go well over a winter coat with a collar. I just love the way the gradient goes from deep orange to dark maroon with brown, then to black and finally dark teal. My only concern is the sharp contrast from dark teal to deep orange when I sew the ends together.
Do you have any projects you are working on today? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to see what you are working on.
I’m sorry to say that there isn’t much to discuss in my world of crochet so WIP Tuesday is cancelled for today. After staying up way past my bedtime last night trying to get a Minecraft server together for my Mom and me, we skipped knitting because she had a doctor’s appointment. Bad us. 😉
Now after being out all day, my lack of sleep is catching up with me. I’m yawning and my eyes are bleary. The forecasted rain doesn’t seem to be helping Even Yuki seems to be feeling the change in barometric pressure as she just did a DBF (aka: Dead Bunny Flop) at my feet.
One Lonely Crochet Project in the Works
I did manage to cake up my first dye project in preparation of putting it on my hook. This is such an interesting gradient that I wanted to see how it really changes from one color to the next. It looks even better as a cake and I can hardly wait to start turning it into something nice. I had hoped for a corner to corner scarf, but with only 166 yards it will have to be something less grand. Perhaps a thin cowl if I work it in the round.
Contrary to what Yuki might be thinking, this new toy is not a birthday present. Though it might be made of wood and tempting to chew if you are a rabbit, this is far from being for a bunny. It’s a new blending board so I can play with even more fiber. My fun isn’t going to end anytime soon.
It was a “factory second” and thanks to my Dad it now has a working foot. Even if the rolags look less than stellar, my upper chest will be getting a workout. LOL
There is a pile of fluff sitting in a bag that I desperately need to turn into spinnable fiber. It’s all an experiment at this point so if it turns into mush, oh well.
How was your Tuesday? Did you do what you needed to do or did you play hooky too? Let me know in the comments below so we can swap stories of how bad we are.
It’s wonderful that spring has finally decided to show herself. I wonder what happened to her. Someone must have insulted her pretty bad for her to wait this long to come out. I’m glad she’s finally back because the weather this weekend was wonderful. I had all the windows in my home open, letting in the fresh air.
My lilac bush is starting to sprout leaves and I can’t wait to smell its flowers’ fragrance. The jury is still out as to whether or not the sage and lavender made it through the harsh winter. It’s not looking so good for them at this moment. I still need to plant the willows I got in late February, but they should take easily so I can cut sticks for the bun sisters to enjoy.
Do me a favor, folks. No matter how much I beg, plead, and cry please don’t let me get me another bobbin. I have four bobbins and in typical spinner fashion, I feel I need about 300 more. The hard, fast rule in my home is that the fourth bobbin is ONLY for plying so it is off limits for singles. Otherwise, I would be in one heck of a pickle and my life would turn into a really hard logic puzzle. And I really suck at logic puzzles. LOL
What you see on the fat bobbin is purple Super Wash Merino in a lovely purple with sparkle. This is half of a two ounce roving. I like the fact that one half of the braid was dyed one color and the other half was dyed another. This would make it easy to spin all together and then Andean ply if I had chosen. But I will ply this as I normally do with the second half of the roving on bobbin #2.
Peeking through is the sparkly Wintery Batt I spun last month. I haven’t taken it off the bobbin because I wanted to add the green, sparkly Romney and do one big wind off onto the niddy noddy so I could full the singles all at once. However, since I am not in the mood to deal with excessive sparkle, it might be a few more months before I spin the green batt.
I spun the second color of the purple roving onto this bobbin. It’s a strange color and I’m not 100% sure that it goes with the purple. The best description is flesh colored which makes it sound rather macabre, but I’m going to ply it with the purple anyway. I tried to think of other colors to ply it with, but nothing really stood out in my mind. I’ll let you know how it comes out in the end. I’m hoping to be delightfully surprised.
Recently, I started dying fiber. This was my first attempt and though I was a bit skeptical while it soaked in the dye, I think it came out alright. I do have a problem with adding too much of an ingredient when I cook and it seems I did the same thing for my first round of dyeing. But I’m alright with that.
Originally, I had intended to make a bright rainbow gradient. I should have known better. The colors were muddied and incredibly dark in the pan, but I like the way it came out. I accidentally made chocolate brown and black but I don’t care. I like it. I’ll get better the more dyeing I do. (As a side note, there was not one bit of dye on my fingers when I was done spinning. Yeah me for setting the colors correctly!) My plans are to ply this with the second half of the same roving once I clean off the other bobbins to make a really dark autumn to winter gradient yarn.
What fiber is on your bobbins? Do you think you might need more bobbins or do you feel you have enough? Let me know in the comments below.