Electrifying hand dyed yarns, with personality!

Posts tagged ‘dying’

The LOOT!

Ooooo, ahhhhh

Ooooo, ahhhhh

This trip made my stash grow significantly.  I managed to get my family to allow me to stop at SEVEN different yarn/fiber shops over the corse of our three-week track!  😀  I was so excited!  I only have 2 local yarn shops, and I don’t make it out to them as often as I’d like (probably good for the pocket-book though).

The first shop was The Naked Sheep in Portland, OR where I picked up some much sought after Alpaca Lace Paint for a shawl, and some pretty Ultra Prima Quatro Cotton for a sweater for Little.

Wrong time of day for a pic :/

Wrong time of day for a pic :/

Super cute little shop, and conveniently for me, located just 2 blocks from a bottle shop that kept my brother and dad busy while my mom and I squished some yarn.  😉

Next up, I continued to feed my lace addiction with a little hank of Baby Silkpaca at Yellow House Yarns in Puyallup, WA.  Other locations in Washington held wonderful locally dyed wool, which I happily snatched up.  Diva Yarn in Port Townsend,
WA offered up that lovely little bat of blue green alpaca/mohair, locally hand dyed by Eaglemount Fiber (sadly no web site).

In Port Angelus, WA I turned a corner to see this…

Pretty yarn flowers!

Pretty yarn flowers!

Then this…

Yarn covered statue!

Yarn covered statue!

Then this…

Random yarn shop!  Score!

Random yarn shop! Score!

This was the only yarn shop that found me before I tried to look it up on my phone!  haha

Cabled Fiber Studio was full of beautiful yarns and fibers, lovely people, and a very sweet rescued greyhound (I’m sad to say I can’t recall her name)!  I picked up a lovely braid of 80% merino 20% silk that was dyed locally by Rain City Fiber Arts.  It was so soft and pretty, that, as you can see, I didn’t even wait to get home before I started spinning it up.  I don’t know what I’m going to make with it, but whatever it will be will definitely be soft and snuggly!

Spinning!

Rain City Fiber Arts, Eaglemount Fiber, and The Village Spinning and Weaving Shop

The North Coast Knittery in Eureka, CA was full of luxury yarn!  I’ve never seen so many pretty things!  They had a kit to knit a teddy bear, that came with 100% angora, and 100% cashmere yarns!  Sadly most of the prettyness was out of my price range, so I picked up a sweet little ball of Kidsilk Haze.

Monterey Bay was where I found my last custom yarn.  My family went to park the car, and ended up right in front of The Twisted Stitch (which I was going to try to bribe them to go to later any how haha)!  Dawn, the owner, was just as nice as she could be, and told me that while sadly nothing was made locally (You hear that people in Monterey!  Get on it!) that HPKY hand dyed colors just for her shop.  Each color was unique, and soooo pretty.  I decided to try to bust out of my ongoing “blue” theme and picked up that lovely hank of orange/purple sock yarn (1 hank is enough for a whole pair of socks!).

yarn

L-R top row first: Ultra Prima Quatro, HPKY sock, Kidsilk Haze, Alpaca Lace Paint, Baby Silkpaca,

 

The last stop I got to make was in Solvang, CA at The Village Spinning and Weaving Shop.  Some of you may recall that is where my hand spun hat started out, as just a little ball of wool.

Ahh, full circle.

Ahh, full circle.

In honor of that, I picked up some undyed BFL top, to turn into something beautiful.

It was a long and wonderful trip, and we did get to see a lot more than yarn shops (there were breweries too!), but I’ll save some of those pictures for another time.  Has anyone else gone on any adventures this summer?

 

 

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Up Past My Bedtime

But it was worth it!  I finally finished my hand spun hat last night!

It’s had itself a bath…

SAM_1022

 

And spent today in a sunny spot to dry out, safe out of the reach of the cats.

SAM_1023

 

With any luck, even with the icky humidity lately, I will have a hat to wear tomorrow 😀  (Never mind the fact that it’s been at least in the 90’s here lately, and this hat is 100% wool.)

What projects of yours are so good they keep you up at night?

Plying With the Spindle

Yesterday was a no make-up, get stuff done around the house kind of day, and today looks to be more of the same.  I dove into the spare closet where all my crafty stuff had been tossed, just to get it out of the way, during the move.  Spent all day burying Little’s room under a pile of stuff, then finding it again so she could go to bed.  To reward myself for a hard days work, I broke out my spinning once again to try to finish plying all I had so far.

On that note, I thought it would be a good idea to give you all the long-delayed plying tutorial!  When I was just trying to take up spinning I was lucky enough to get to sit in on a local spinning guild’s class.  I spun my first bit of yarn there!  Before I left, the instructor outlined the plying method I’m about to show you, and, not to brag or anything, but it’s a lot easier than having to wind up a bunch of center pull balls like most of the You Tube videos suggest.  So, on to it!  (But if you haven’t read my original drop spindle tutorial, check it out here.)

Supplies, easy!

Supplies, easy!

Grab yourself an old shoe box you don’t mind poking holes into, and a good, sturdy pair of needles you don’t mind poking through the box.

Poke!  Poke!

Poke! Poke!

Stick your needles through the shoebox as shown.  This is what I call the “poor man’s lazy Kate.”  Make sure you leave enough space on all sides of the needles for your “spool” to turn smoothly.  And by “spool” I mean those TP tubes with your singles wrapped on them (or is that just me?).

"Spools"

“Spools”

Double check!

Double check!

Make sure that your singles are coming off the spools on the same side.

OPPOSITE of the way it was spun!

OPPOSITE of the way it was spun!

Slip the end of both singles through your starter string (see previous spinning post for a how to) and start spinning the OPPOSITE direction that you spun your singles in.  In my spinning tutorial I spun my singles by rolling the spindle UP my leg, so, when I’m plying, I roll the spindle DOWN my leg.  Easy peasy!

Mmmmmm

Mmmmmm

When my spindle was full, I unwound it onto a home-made niddy-noddy (there are lots of tutorials on how to make one out of PVC pipe) that measures in yards.  That is about 80 yards of my finished, two ply yarn!  I can’t wait to finish plying the 1/2 pound I have spun up.  I’m hoping to have enough for a nice slouchy hat 😀

Even if you don’t end up with enough yarn for a large project, make something out of it!  Even if it’s just a thin headband.  You’ll love it all the more because it was made totally by you!  Have fun!

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Shop news!  I have the original colorways up and running again, and, new lower shipping cost!  Woot!!

 

 

 

 

What a Slacker!

Ya, that whole thing about posting more… so much for that I guess.  I did however just have my 1 year blogaversary!  So yay to that!  Now if only I could get this baby schedule thing down so that I have time to not only post, but have the time to knit something TO blog about!

So, while I wait for that fantasy “sometime” to show up, here’s a picture I never posted of Josh’s finished hat and scarf!

He looks so happy :P

He looks so happy 😛

Sadly the scarf continues to roll up a bit on the sides, despite more than one blocking and ironing >:/

The hat, as you may recall, had the issue of being a tad too short.  Hence the funny cast off edge.  But, the boy wanted as plain a hat as I could make, so that’s what he got.  The set went with him on the last two cold weather trips of the gig, and I’m assuming *causeinevergotapicture* that they were worn.  Oh well, at least I think I knit him a useful gift.

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In shop news, Etsy did a funny thing and deleted all but one of my colorways…  Not sure what that was about, but “Stuck-in-Gum Sheep” (more hanks to come!) seems to be the favorite any way, and is still up and running.  Wonder what it is about the lovely pink that’s so appealing?  While I will get my original colorways back up ASAP, I also have some super fun NEW colorways coming, including some self striping!  And as always, I’m open to custom requests and suggestions 😀  Here’s hoping this will all happen in a timely manner.  😉

Not Done

Ya, big surprise there!  It didn’t help any that I didn’t realize that Saturday is TOMORROW!  Especially seeing as how the only way I’ve been getting knitting done the last few days has been like this…

Sorry for the bad cell picture, camera wasn't handy :/

Sorry for the bad cell picture, camera wasn’t handy :/

I swear she’s going to learn to knit before she can talk.

I did the math, and it looks like I’ve got about 50 looooong rows to go.  Which seriously sounds like too many.  Then again, I don’t math very well.  I’m also not totally sure I have enough yarn to make it there, and I know that it’s not going to get anywhere near done by morning.  It will probably be 85 and sunny tomorrow any how.

I am probably the slowest knitter in history though, especially considering how long I’ve actually been knitting.  The bum wrist doesn’t help that any either.  With the ever growing Little Sheep to carry around, I’ve been wearing my oh so sexy wrist brace almost 24/7 these days.  I had once found a list of wrist and finger stretches for knitters.  Apparently I need to start those up again.  For now, I’ll just continue on at my snail’s pace.

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On a shop note, I’m about to order some more blank yarn to dye up.  I’m trying to decide to get more of the same merino wool/nylon blend sock yarn (which I do love!, but wool during a San Diego summer, not so much), or, to branch out into some more warm weather yarns like silk or linen.  Any suggestions or favorites?

Uugggg

I had planned on posting a bunch this week.  I had done stuff!  I had pictures!  I even had a finished object for crying out loud!!!  Sadly, I also had food poisoning.  Nothing stifles productivity like your insides trying to escape :/

We started out the week having some good, clean, family fun.  We keep alternating between winter (our version of winter any way. ” Ooo, it’s only 60 out, better bundle up!”) and summer here.  Apparently we don’t get spring this year.  Anyway, on one of the warmer evenings we decided to pack Little Sheep’s blanket and head to the park with the beagles.

H. G. Hankle, always on the look out over Little Sheep :)

H. G. Hankle, always on the look out over Little Sheep 🙂

We even decided to let Little Sheep check out the grass for the first time.

Not sure the grass was more interesting than her tough.

Not sure the grass was more interesting than her though.

Tuesday we had our good friend Liz come into town for a visit.  She’s a super awesome baby person and had fun with LS while I tried to finish up Josh’s “Christmas” scarf before he took off to the frozen north of Toronto for work.  I’m happy to say I was successful!  Although I am ashamed to say that I suck at blocking.  Example:

4am flash photo, not so good

4am flash photo, not so good

I seriously need some blocking wires, and cats who are less interested in alpaca.  I had to pin it out in a separate room and close the door to keep the cats from rolling all over it.  Although maybe letting them once and letting them stick themselves with a stray pin might teach them a lesson… but I doubt it.  They are super stubborn.

Another lousy picture

Another lousy picture

I did really love how it blocked out, and you could finally see the single, manly, cable down the middle.  I was a little disappointed with how it tried to curl back up some once I repined it.  Is there a trick I’m missing?  It’s baby alpaca.  I soaked it in wool wash for a good hour before wringing it out and pinning it.  I had a fan on it to speed up the drying process, but I did let it dry completely before unpinning it and weaving in the ends.  (At 4am in order to send it with Josh on his 6:30am flight.  I must love him or something.)  I got to wrap it around his neck just in time to send him out the door 🙂

Since it’s just been LS and me the last few days, with not a whole lot to do other than work out the food poisoning, I finally got a little more knitting for myself done!  I’m plugging along on my “Baaad Sheep” mini shawl.

Slowly but surly

Slowly but surly

What started out as 10 stitches per row, is now over 150 stitches per row.  I’m hoping to use up the whole ball and get a nice scarf size.  I’m figuring I’m about half way there.  I am loving the make shift pattern it’s got going too.

Close up beauty shot

Close up beauty shot

I can’t wait to wear it!  Hopefully it will be done before the weather warms up too much.  I’m thinking about adding some nice warm weather yarn to the shop.  I’m not a huge fan of cotton, so probably a silk blend of some sort.  I’m totally open for suggestions… hint, hint.

 

Sweet Freedom!

After an extremely long week, and an even longer wedding day, full of rain and thunder and flooding (by Southern California standards), I am finally free of wedding responsibilities!!!  Woot!  Through all the chaos, we did have a good time and my sister is now happily on her honeymoon.  Did I get pictures of the center pieces I worked so hard on, no.  Did I catch someone in the act of underage debauchery?  Oh yes I did!

Don't worry, it was empty, and she didn't have it but for a second

Don’t worry, it was empty, and she didn’t have it but for a second

So, to reward myself for all the hard work, I started a shawlette!  In “Baaad Sheep” no less!  😀

 

SAM_0640

I’m making it up a little as I go.  It will be crescent shaped, and fairly simple.  I’m going to play with the pattern and some graph paper and I’ll hopefully have a pattern up soon.

Loving the subtle color changes of "Baaad Sheep!"

Loving the subtle color changes of “Baaad Sheep!”

Eventually I’ll stop ignoring all my left over Christmas projects, but for now I’m enjoying the nice, bouncy shawl 🙂

Anyone have any projects that they’re extra pleased with these days?