Tag Archives: blue

Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival 2017

Second fiber festival of the year is in the books! I spent most of my time teaching, a little socializing, and a little shopping.  I was slowed down, just a bit, by my broken foot and made an effort to keep it elevated as much as possible.

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I had three wonderful classes with some smart and fantastic (and returning!) students.   Unfortunately, I was so focused on the classes I didn’t take any pictures. So here’s a sheep from the day.

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On Friday I taught Beaded Wire Bracelet and DIY Stitchmarkers and on Saturday I taught Cables 101.  One of my Cables class students from April took the Beaded Wire Bracelet class and I got to see two cabled handbands (a pattern exclusive to the Cables 101 class) she made. Saturday morning I got to Franklin early so I picked up my mini-rug hooking kit and sat at the edge of a friend’s booth working on that.

Of course, I did a little shopping. Yarny goodness:

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  • (Upper left) This actually just came – I loved the colorway but requested it on a different base (superwash merino rather than a merino bamboo mix) and they dyed it up this week.  It is a “shawl ball” from Brenda and Heather Yarns (aka BAH Yarns), a local dyer. This is 645 yards of fingering weight in a single gradient colorway called Sunset. 
  • (Upper right) Yet another large gradient, this time Arial Evolution (100% merino) from Twisted Fiber Art.  This is a new to me dyer so I’m excited to start on this soon.  Colorway is Downten.
  • (Lower left) This was a dyer I specifically wanted to buy something from this year as I’ve never tried her yarns.  This is sportweight 100% merino (superwash) in the Plum Drum Weekend colorway from Oink Pigments.  It’s actually not the softest merino but it feels like a very sturdy merino that won’t fuzz or felt so I’m planning to use it for socks.
  • (Lower right) Another yarn from Brenda and Heather Yarns but this is a self striping DK yarn.  I love self-striping for socks but given I’m a crazy slow sock knitter, DK weight yarn is perfect for me.  Colorway is Sunshine on a Cloudy Day (or as I call it, Grellow).

 

 

 

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Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival 2016

Second fiber festival of the year is in the books! I spent most of my time teaching, a little socializing, and some shopping.

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I had three wonderful classes with some smart and fantastic students.   Unfortunately, I only got pictures of my raw fleeces class because I had a bit more time.  It’s so rewarding to see the moment a new skill “clicks” with a student.

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On Friday I taught Lace Knitting 101 and after talking about yarn and needle selection we worked through a couple swatches to learn some common lace stitches and how to read lace charts.  Saturday morning I taught raw fleeces and I talked about selecting a fleece before we hand processed some samples of wool and alpaca.  Lastly, I taught Bead Knitting Rockstar Saturday afternoon.  We talked about bead selection and worked through different ways of adding beads to knitting.  If you took one of my classes I’d love to see what you’ve done!

Around teaching I did a little shopping. I also ordered two skeins from Copper Centaur, which Lucy is dying up for me this week.

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Non-Yarn/Fiber Goodies

Combing Spray – Something new to try!  I’ve seen recipes/formulas for combing spray but didn’t have easy access to all the supplies.  When I saw this I wanted to give it a shot. The idea is it will decrease the fly-aways when combing.  I bought the lavender scent.  The seller is Twistery Fiber here.

Soap – I’m a sucker for natural soaps since they are a lot less likely to make my skin itch (and I can recognize all the ingredients).  I bought lavender scented goat milk soap.  The soap is made by Gina’s Essentials here.

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Two 3oz DK weight skeins of merino from Knitted to a T.  The deep blue color is called Sapphire.  I think I might knit another Curl shawl with it.

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Hand-dyed self-striping yarn from a new company – BaH Yarns (Brenda and Heather Yarns).  This is the Mr. Sparkle Base, a blend of superwash merino wool, silk, nylon and glitz.  The colorway is Winter Sunset, stripes of yellow, orange, coral and purple.

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Lastly, from A Good Yarn, is handpainted 100% superwash merino.  The first skein is a gray with spots of teal.  The second skein is dark gray, nearly black.  I plant to use these together in the form of stripes.

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Stitches Midwest 2015 Part 3 – Yarn Goodies

YarnThe post you’ve probably been looking for since last week is here.  Or you’re so bored at this point you’ve nodded off and are busy snoring at your screen.  Either way, just don’t drool on your knitting.

Hundred Ravens CollageFrom A Hundred Ravens (Owner Kate is amazingly friendly and cheerful, they also have a cool yarn club)

  • (left) Iachos, a 100% superwash merino, in colorway Rivendell (a soft olive green and grey)
  • (center) Iachos in colorway Hecate (light to dark purple and grey/black)
  • (right) Iachos mini skeins in colorway Into the Darkness (catch the Star Trek reference?) which is a light to dark teal

 

Grinning Gargoyle CollageFrom Grinning Gargoyle

  • (left) Lux Lace (laceweight alpaca/cashmere/silk) in the colorway Shiny Penny
  • (center) Primo (DK weight merino/cashmere/nylon) in the colorway Signature Red
  • (right) Shimmer (fingering weight merino/nylon/metallic) in the colorway Black Spruce

 

Buffalo and Wandering CollageThree More

  • (left) From Wandering Wool: Udaipur (50/50 merino/silk in a fingering weight) in Emerald Isle
  • (center) From Buffalo Wool Company: Buffalo Skies DK (50/50 merino/bison in DK weight) in Indian Paintbrush.  I actually sort of won this yarn from a grab bag.
  • (right) From Buffalo Wool Company: Sexy (50/50 bison/silk in lace weight) in Night Shade.

 

Remaining CollageAnd the Final Four

  • (left) Valley Yarns Sunderland (DK weight 100% alpaca) in colorways Charcoal Gray and Brilliant Blue
  • (center) Lost City Knits Oak Barn Merino (laceweight 100% merino) in colorway Spring Valley VFD
  • (right) White Birch Fiber Arts long sock gradient (80/20 merino/nylon gradient) in colorway Shake Your Tailfeathers

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Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival 2015

Another fiber festival is in the books! I had a wonderful class with two fantastic students.   I did some shopping, some socializing, some teaching and then some more shopping and socializing.
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Non-Yarn/Fiber Goodies

Happy Hands Lotion – This stuff is great for knitters and spinners because it dries quickly and isn’t greasy.  Today I bought the Clover scent.  I also like Mandarin Clove and Sweet Dreams.  Our local yarn shop, Starstruck Cat, carries the lotion and it is available directly from the Etsy site here.

Yarn Bowl – This is the second year I’ve bought a yarn bowl from this vendor, Beech Grove Clay Works.  The glaze jobs on their work is amazing, as well as patterning in the clay.  And, they are reasonably priced.

Project Bag – Another project bag from Unique Petites.  These have a flat bottom so they stand up.

Yarn Ball Pin – This was actually a gift from a vendor (Froebe Fibers) Patty and I both bought the same yarn from.  And she will be at Stitches (as a participant, not a vendor) – we hope to see her there!

Yarn and Fiber

021An alpaca/merino/tussah silk braid from Knitted to a T.  The electric/denim blue colors are deeply saturated.  The colorway name is Janie’s Got a Gun.

014Hand-dyed yarn from Froebe Fibers.  This is the Shady Leprechaun Lace, a blend of 70% superwash merino and 30% silk.  There are 1090 yards in the 100 gram skein.  The colorway is a silvery gray with bits of teal blue/green over it and she dyes using food-safe dyes.  Her online store is here.

019Lastly, and from a new to me dyer, is yarn from Copper Centaur Studios.  The dye on her yarns is a deeply saturated tonal, nearly solid.  The base for the yarn I bought is Slightly Silky – a very squishy fingering weight blend of 80% superwash merino and 20% silk. The colorway is “Intentional Tardis” and is destined to be a Dr. Who shawl.

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Finished Handspun – Spinner’s Cottage

Handspun 2 of 3 for Spinzilla. A simply perfect merino from The Spinner’s Cottage. This is part review/part what I spun.
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Review of The Spinner’s Cottage Merino

I had never heard of this seller before but won a gift certificate on Ravelry to her shop. I wondered through her shop a bit, had some messages back and forth about what she might be adding. I finally settled on 4 ounces of merino in shades of blue and purple. It came in time for Spinzilla and I knew I wanted to spin it fine.
And wow was it amazing to spin. Just buttery soft and smooth. The finished yarn was much more lofty and squishy than I expected. I highly recommend this fiber and the shop was wonderful. It’s on Etsy here and is called The Spinner’s Cottage. She still has a few braids of the merino or merino and silk left and some beautiful Wensleydale and BFL braids.
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Spinning Process

Rav page

Ounces: 3.8

Yards: 410

Weight: Fingering

I tore the top into strips for predrafting, mostly because I could predraft before Spinzilla started and knew that would save me some time. I spun the singles together as a two ply. After plying, I had 410 yards in 3.8 ounces and it was a fingering weight yarn.

I would love to make a shawl out of this handspun but the 410 isn’t quite enough for most patterns. Does anyone have suggestions on what colors might go well with it?

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Finished Handspun – Malabrigo Nube

For the record, I think I’m partially recovered from Spinzilla.  At least in terms of catching up on sleep, not so much in terms of my back. I promised last post to talk this week about what I finished so here we go!  This is part review/part what I spun.

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Review of Malabrigo Nube

I love Malabrigo.  It was one of the first yarns I knit with and I still love it.  Their merino is soft and squishy and their dyeing is exquisite.  I received 4 ounces of the Nube, which is 100% merino, in a swap and it was likely from one of their first batches.  The colorway is Indecita, which is a nice blend of vivid purples, blues and greens.  I thought I was going to love their fiber.

All that said, I think they need to work on their spinning fiber.  There are some wonderful qualities about this fiber and I understand from reviews on Ravelry some of the problems I experienced may have been addressed but this is not something I would work with again.

First problem – the dye did not saturate all the way through.  When you pull open the braid there is white on the inside.  Stark white.  So when you draft and spin it lightens the dyed colors to a pastel.  Of course you can’t tell its like this until you open up the fiber and start drafting which I doubt your spinning shop is going to let you do.  At any rate, I’m not a big pastel fan but I can always overdye.

The second issue is the biggie.  This fiber was compacted like I had never experienced before.  Based on reviews and comments online, this is common problem.  I first tried opening of the top by teasing it apart perpendicular to the top with my hands.  Even after that I could place my hands ten inches apart (so certainly much longer than any staple length) and it took a lot of force and tugging to draft the fiber apart.  Then I switched to splitting the top into narrow strips which also took a fair amount of time.  All in I spent hours (like a whole afternoon) predrafting this fiber.

When spinning I frequently had to stop and use both hands to pull apart small sections.  With all the starting and stopping and little slubs the yarn is uneven and not what I had hoped for.  Don’t get me wrong, it is still the squishy merino we all know and love.  But, the time it took to get there just wasn’t worth it for me. I understand from online reviews that some of the more recent batches may have improved.

cSpinning Process

Rav page

Ounces: 3.8

Yards: 262

Weight: Worsted

Once I realized the extent of the drafting issues I decided I want to do a 3-ply in hopes the plies would lie against each other.  You can read in the prior post my, ahem, issues with 3-ply.  After plying, I had 262 yards in 3.8 ounces and it was solidly a worsted weight yarn. I love the squishyness but may overdye it to be a bit darker. At this point I’m thinking a medium blue since that would tie with the purple and green.

Has anyone bought this fiber recently and started spinning it? Has the fiber improved?

 

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Playing with the Drum Carder Pt 2

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I talked a couple posts ago about playing on my friend Patty’s Fancy Kitty drum carder. The good news is by the time I got to the second sample it went better.  I enjoy preparing fiber in general and playing just for the sake of playing is especially fun.  As a recap, the drum carder is a Fancy Kitty with a fine or extra fine cloth, I think.

This sample came like the picture below.  Four separate colors in four separate fibers.  The blue is silk noil, the orange faux cashmere, the pink sparkle/angelina/firestar and the BFL purple.  It’s from Spin Culture on Etsy.  Here they are before their trip through the carder.  I did pull and tease them apart a bit first.

Spin Fusion Brights

I tried briefly to feed in the fibers normally but as expected the silk got stuck on the licker in (the little drum).  Based on my experience with the prior locks (see part 1) I applied the fiber, silk noil and the other fibers, directly to the big drum.  I also only applied it to half of the drum (width wise).

SF Drum

After removing the fiber from the drum, I ran it through one more time. The end result was a fluffy, textured batt.  I was happy with how the colors and fibers blended in the end (the picture at the top).

Have you ever tried drum carding? What would you card if you had a carder?

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