Knitting, spinning, dyeing and whatnot 

Spring has, seemingly, finally arrived in the Pacific Northwest. The winter was very wet and very long this year, and making really helped carry me through. I am, happily, continuing my making trend as spring rolls in. 

Spinning – It is hard to explain how much I’ve been enjoying my spinning over the past few weeks. It is giving me such a sense of relaxation, and I’m just loving these yarns that I am creating. 

This yellow roving is seriously like knitting up the sunshine ☀️ 

I picked up 2+ pounds of alpaca roving from a local farmer who is retiring. It was a bargain, but now I’m wondering what on earth to do with all of this alpaca! 

I finished my Hitchhiker Beyond scarf/shawl out of handspun. This process was so incredibly satisfying, and I’m so happy with the result. 


A little more handspun…

A 3-ply Corriedale cross that I spun and dyed in logwood. (Etsy listing here)


Dyeing – I’ve been dyeing up a storm. Mostly, I’ve been listing on Etsy, but I’m also keeping some for myself. 

Roving dyed with logwood 

Madder dyed yarn 

Acid dyed roving 


Knitting – Nothing big on the needles, but lots of little things. I’ve been in production-mode; I’ve been knitting for a local mill owner to sell finished items at the farmers market. 


And just for fun, some snapshots of the garden/homestead 


Find me on Instagram and Facebook @yarnbob 

WiP Wednesday: A little bit of everything

2017 is starting off beautifully, with a lot of knitting. I’ve been working on a little bit of everything. 

I’ve been knitting a few hats for the #pussyhatproject. I’m knitting the hats using the Kitkat Hat pattern in Cascade 220. I am sending my hats directly to a few friends who are marching in their areas and Washington D.C. 


A friend asked me to knit a few items for her to give to some babies, so I’ve been working on some hats and little stuffed animals. 

I have a project on the needles for myself for the first time in a few months. I spent the bulk of the end of the year working on projects for others, so this was a treat to cast-on on Christmas Eve. The pattern is the Hudson Shawl. It’s knit in Cascade Eco. At first, I was only going to use the brown and green contrast colors, but as I knitted, I realized it needed the third. So, I pulled out my dyes and dyed some white navy. I am working on it as a part of the Wearable Blanket KAL that is being hosted by the Imagined Landscapes podcast. It has been fun connecting with others on Ravelry and Instagram about these big shawls that I’ve been so obsessed with. 

My first weaving project is well underway. I used some Cascade 220 for the warp and some handspun that I dyed using onion skins for the weft. It’s hard to allow myself the space for imperfection, but I’m enjoying the process. 

I’m getting much more comfortable with my new spinning wheel, and I am trying to spin at least a little bit each week. Right now, I’m working with some locally dyed roving. No pictures yet, but I love how it is spinning up so far. 

Hand painted braid & handspun

Recently, I experimented with dyeing a braid of wool, so I thought I would share some snapshots of the process. 

I started with 4oz of natural Southdown. I hand painted the braid and then steamed set the dye on the stove. After letting it dry, I spun two bobbins of singles and plied them together. It was such a fun learning process, and I’m looking forward to experimenting with dyes more. 



WiP Wednesday: Knitting, Spinning and Binge Watching

The WiPs, generally, keep accumulating and progressing. I’ve finished the button band on my husband’s sweater (wahoo!), so it is blocking and ready to be seamed. My Featherweight continues to grow. I’m a bit stalled on the purple sweater for my boss, but I have plans to pick it up this weekend. 

I also started a shawl to donate (it has grown a bit since the picture). A friend of mine, whose baby passed away very suddenly, shared a post that was looking for people to knit shawls to put in boxes for moms who have babies in the NICU or have passed. It is hard to know what to do for someone who has endured such a terrible loss, so this is somethings concrete I can do to honor my friend and other moms. 


I also started spinning some gorgeous black alpaca fiber that I ordered from Etsy a while back. This stuff is HEAVENLY! It is from Old Homestead Alpacas


It’s rare that I get sucked into a television show, but I’ve been binging on The Fall. It has some disturbing elements, but the storyline and cast is excellent. I will admit that I’ve used the fast forward button a few times during awkward scenes, but those are mostly in the first few episodes and worth gritting your teeth through in general. I tried the second season of Bloodline, but I didn’t get into it like I did with the first season. 

Spinning: CVM & Alpaca blend


This morning, I finished up spinning and plying this CVM and alpaca blend. The fiber is from Hay Day Fleece and Fiber Co. It is earthy and wooly, just how I like it. 

 I am really liking the roundness that I get from a 3-ply, but I don’t have the bobbins for a traditional 3-ply, so this is chain plyed. I am resisting the urge to buy more bobbins for this wheel because I am getting a new wheel in the coming months. 

A girl can never have too much gray yarn, but I am thinking I should start to venture into more colors. 

Spinning on a Saturday 

  
Today I spent a little time spinning up a few ounces of an 85% Polwarth, 15% Silk blend. I picked this up from Mad Cow Yarn a few weeks ago. It is beautifully soft. Once I was done with the singles, I decided to chain-ply it. I am finally getting the hang of the technique. Right now, the skein is in a bath. 

Hope everyone is having a wonderfully crafty weekend! 

FO Friday: Handspun Alpaca Merino blend

Today, I happened to have a day to myself. It’s a bit of a rare occurrence, so I decided to spin up some yarn. 

This was an 80% Alpaca 20% merino blend that I picked up from an LYS: Mad Cow Yarn. If you find yourself in Bothell, WA it is a worthwhile stop. They’re super friendly, and their selection continues to expand. 

  
This was my first time working with alpaca at all, so it was a learning experience too. I didn’t find it much different or challenging. This fiber didn’t readily pre-draft, but I’m not sure if that’s a feature of this fiber or slaps a in general. I have some more pure alpaca at home that is in the queue, so I think that’ll give me a clearer picture of the qualities of an alpaca fiber. 

I ended up with about 160 yards of a 2-ply yarn. It needs a soak still, but it is pretty luscious as is. 

 

Little weekend projects 

 Despite company in town, I managed to get a few small projects done over the weekend. 

Here is the Sitka hat. I knit the darker one using US size 8 needles and the lighter on US 7s. This is pretty much the first time I have ever used a different needle size than what the pattern called for. Both hats are in Kenzie by Skacel, and they’re headed to #hatsforhannah. 

  
   
I also made a little felt bunny just because. Little One was taking a rest, and I was having a hard time deciding what to work on.   
I also finished spinning and plying my first 4oz of Shetland that I had gotten on a visit to a local farm. 

Finished Icelandic/Shetland Yarn 

I’ve mentioned this fiber in a few previous posts, but now, I have some finished yarn! In case you didn’t see the previous posts, I found an 8oz bag of fiber for a steal at a small festival that was sponsored by the Whidbey Island Weavers’ Guild. It was labeled as Shetland/Icelandic, and it came from a farm on the island. Spinning with this was pretty different from the roving that I had previously worked with; this stuff was earthy. After spinning my hands had a nice coating of lanolin, oil and dirt. There were definitely some second cuts in here, but I was able to work with it, and I had fun. I, of course, thoroughly washed the yarn after it was finished, but it is still nice, wooly, and earthy. I started with about 100 grams of fiber, but it lost a bit of weight when I soaked/washed it.

I saved a little for myself, and I made a little swatch from it. I was happy with how it knit up, and the halo on it is quite nice. So, I decided to put the skein below up in my Etsy shop. I am hoping to transition more to selling patterns and yarns rather than finished objects. Right now, I am starting to spin some undyed yarn so I can do some natural dyeing from plants around the property come Spring and Summer. I’d like to inspire creativity in others!

 

2.7oz, 125 yards of 2-ply DK/light worsted weight yarn!

 

The swatch from a leftover “partial skein.” On US size 6 needles.

 

Close up! 

Spinning Adventures: Navajo Plying 

  
I had some singles leftover from some fiber I had spun up. I decided I should try Navajo Plying. It was hard to keep a consistent twist on it at first, but I started to get the hang of it. I think it’ll be nice for practicing on small amounts at first, but I can definitely see myself using this technique for larger quantities. I like how round it is compared to a two-ply. Here are a few YouTube links that I found helpful: 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yGS3hd-HQus
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Psi6HXzXkeU