Tag Archives: wool

Finished Objects – Kittens

A little finished project – knitted knittens!

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Tell me those aren’t the cutest? My boss in Colorado is a cat person but they don’t have any cats at the present time (multitude of reasons).  So, I knit these kittens with the rationale that they don’t require feeding or litterboxes, don’t shed, are soft to pet, and don’t require care when she’s out of town.  I sent them off to her with some brownies and muffins.  The gray and white kitten is intended to resemble a cat named Jasper she had as a child.  The pattern is for a solid colored cat so I knit the black cat first, then did some experimenting to get the white on the feet, belly (can’t see in the pictures) and face.

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Moving on to the details.

Needle – US 2 or 3 straight needles

Pattern – Kitten Knit Pattern (Ravelry pattern here) from Amy Gaines (AmyGaines on Ravelry). I looked at a couple different knitted cat patterns and liked this one the best.  There are a fair number of pieces (six) – I think the seaming and assembly takes more time than the knitting.  However, it does sit up on its own and the knitting itself is pretty easy.  Pattern is $3.00 US on Ravelry.

Yarn – I knit the black one out of Knit Picks Swish Worsted (merino wool), using the serrano color for the collar.  I knit the gray one out of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted (blend of corriedale and merino wool), I think in the Lace Ice Heather color, but I’m not positive.  Personally, I don’t think the Wool of the Andes very soft and wouldn’t use it for next to the skin, although the Swish was amazingly soft.  A 50 gram ball of either yarn is 110 yards. I used the following colors: Cloud, Brass Heather, Chestnut, Bittersweet Heather, Firecracker Heather, Pink Posy Heather and Rouge .

I stuffed the kittens with poly-fil and attached the safety eyes and bell.  My project page on Rav is here.

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Sunset Drumcarding

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I’ve been playing on the drum carder again!

One of the items I bought at the fiber festival in Greencastle this year was (another) Card It Up kit from Hello Purl.  It had four ounces of a variety of fibers (finn, romney, targhee, angelina, bamboo, faux cashmere, milk fiber, silk noil and silk thrums) in red, oranges and yellow.

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I added to that some red merino, yellow merino, yellow faux cashmere and yellow silk.  I also had some orange angora but totally forgot about it until it was too late.

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Short story is I split the fibers up into three equal piles and carded each pile.  Two passes through the drum carder (my friend’s Fancy Kitten) and painted the fiber directly onto the big drum.  However, this required a blood sacrifice.

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And now I’ll just leave you with a bunch of eye candy photos!

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Finished Object – Alluvia Felted Tote

I finished! I finished!

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I finally finished this.  I started on it in March but got distracted by the KAL shawl and some spinning, then ran out of yarn.  The ten feet of i-cord was made bearable by a Clover Wonder Knitter.  I now love that little tool.

Moving on to the details.

Pattern – Alluvia Felted Tote (Ravelry pattern here) from Alaskan Purl. I’ve had this pattern for a while but hadn’t got around to working on it. The pleats and different colors make knitting interesting and felting it makes for a sturdy bag.  You could use any set of colors for a truly unique bag.  Make sure you have plenty of yarn for each color.  Pattern is $1.99 on Ravelry.

Yarn –  Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted (WOTA).  WOTA is a blend of corriedale and merino wool. Personally, I don’t think it’s very soft and wouldn’t use it for next to the skin.  A 50 gram ball is 110 yards. I used the following colors, from the base of the bag up: Coal, Onyx Heather, Firecracker Heather, Claret Heather, Amethyst Heather, Lullaby and Lake Ice Heather.  NOTE: The pattern has been updated since it was originally published to add yarn because people were running out.  I had the amounts called for in the revised pattern and still ran out on one color.

Post felting and drying, I’m very happy with the bag and its size. Next time I would make the straps longer and possibly make the bag itself a bit bigger.

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Drumcarding the Card It Up Kit

Full on FIber

I’ve been playing on the drum carder again!

If you recall, one of the items I bought at the fiber festival in Greencastle was a Card It Up kit from Hello Purl.  It had four ounces of a variety of fibers (angelina, bfl/romney, BFL, carbonized bamboo, faux cashmere, shetland, silk noil and silk thrums) in teals, purples, grays and black.

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I also bought another four ounces of merino combed top from my local yarn shop (Nomad Yarns) that they bought from Ohio Valley Fiber.  Here’s all the fiber, which I fluffed up/open with my hands since some of it was compacted.

Ready to Card

Some searching on Ravelry told me the drum carder would likely only hold two ounces, or at least, after that it got challenging.  I divided each of the fiber types into fourths so each two ounce batt would have the same fiber/color composition.  FYI – if you have small amounts of silk, or any other fiber, you likely will need a scale that is more precise than a kitchen scale.

Divided Up

Finally it was time to start carding.  I started with the merino top, pulling is apart and laying it down first as a base (so it would be, in theory, easier to get off).  Then I randomly alternated between the other fibers in small bits, trying to get a variety of color and textures in each “layer.” I painted everything, including the merino, directly onto the drum since the licker in and I don’t get along. Even with being painted on the licker in still wanted to eat the angelina so every time I painted the angelina on I put something over it before turning the drum.  Same with the silk noil.  After a bit over an hour of painting it was ready to come off.

On Carder

Well, sort of. It still tried to stick a bit. But, I pulled it off slowly and finally got it. I’m happy with how it came out and can’t wait to spin it up!

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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.

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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).

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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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Playing with the Drum Carder Pt 1

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For a bit of a break from knitting and sweater stress (one sleeve and a bit to go) let’s talk about fiber prepping. Specifically, experimenting with a drum carder.  Part 1 will be about some BFL lamb locks and Part 2 about some silk noil, BFL, faux cashmere and sparkle.

My friend Patty has a sweet drum carder. It’s a Fancy Kitty with a fine or extra fine cloth, I think. At any rate, she was kind enough to let me borrow it for some experimenting.  Previously I’ve used a drum carder to mix colors of but never to mix fibers.

I had a couple PhatFiber samples just begging to be carded. The first are some hand dyed BFL lamb locks from Fiber Fancy (who unfortunately closed down about 9 months ago). Here they are before their trip through the carder.  I did pull and tease them apart a bit first.

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Some of the locks immediately wrapped around the licker in (that’s the little drum).  Also, despite the small sample I had I let the fibers cover the entire width of the larger drum. This made the carded fiber very thin and hard to remove from the drum. Would have been smarter if I had fed it onto only half the drum.

Once I finally got the fiber off the drum, I ran it through one more time. The end result was a fluffy, semi-textured batt.  I was happy with how the colors blended in the end.

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

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