Saturday, April 26, 2008

More Photos of Dyed BlueFaced Leicester

Yahooooo... I think this turned out really pretty.
Now, I have to figure out, though, why all the colors ran together making the wool basically orange with a hint of yellow. I wonder if I'm making my stripes too thin (narrow) or if I'm adding too much liquid dye solution???
This, will be yet another experiment. OMG, I can imagine myself coming up with my hypothesis etc. etc. (I am a former science teacher.)

Ok, here are the picts:


Friday, April 25, 2008

Dyed Bluefaced Leicester (with Wilton Cake Colors) Take ONE

Below you will find the results of yesterday's dyeing.
(I've learned several things from this first dyeing attempt.)
  1. Soak the wool in HOT water to which a splash of white vinegar has been added for about 1 hour prior to dyeing
  2. Add a splash of vinegar to each of the dye solutions
  3. When done adding the dye to the wool, wrap it in plastic wrap and place this wrapped wool into a ceramic bowl.
  4. Microwave on high for 2 minutes.
  5. Remove from microwave and let the wrapped wool cool for 2 minutes.
  6. Repeat steps 4 & 5 three or four times.
  7. Allow wool to cool a bit
  8. Soak wool in water that is the same temperature as the wool.
  9. Hang wool to dry.
You won't believe the difference adding the vinegar and heating in the microwave made! Ooh lah lah. ;) I'll show you the finished product soon. Nice colors!

So here's what I did for "Take Two":

Now, back to yesterday's dye. It didn't turn out at all like I expected although I think it is a nice soft variegated pink.

Until next time. (I'll probably be blogging from Chattanooga again - I'm going to visit my daughter.)


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Dyeing Bluefaced Leicester

Ok, I've gotta admit it. Sometimes I am a little impatient. :)

Like today. I got the bug to dye some of my Bluefaced Leicester roving. Did I have the supplies needed?? Nooooo... but that didn't stop me!

Since I didn't have any koolaid just lying around the house, I rummaged through my spices thinking that maybe something like turmeric would work. Dang, I couldn't find any turmeric.

THEN, it hit me. I have some "old as the hills" Wilton Cake dye (that paste stuff) that I really AM afraid to use for cakes since it is about 20 years old for heavens sake. Anyhoooo, I climbed up on a kitchen chair (so I could reach the highest and most inaccessible cupboard) and got that OLD cake dye down. YES! I feel a dye job coming on....

Now, I must tell you that I have NO idea what I'm doing. I watched a YouTube video last week and I THINK I'm sorta doing what the gal on the video did. Hmmmm not sure though.... I think there was something about hot water or steaming or something that I'm forgetting.

Well, here's what I did......

Find a Book Meme

I will have some more knitting news shortly. Until then, I've been TAGGED!
My bloggy buddy over at Colour du jour tagged me with a Find a Book Meme.


The book closest to me is:

"Teach Yourself Visually - Handspinning" by Judith MacKenzie McCuin

Page 25 first five sentences: Hand cards are traditional tools for processing short to medium-length springy fibers. They come in a variety of styles, with curved back and flat back being the most common. They also come with different types of carding cloth on them: Coarse is used for more open fibers, medium is used for everything but superfine wool, and fine is used for fine wools and some exotic fibers, such as yak and camel. Some hand cards are made especially for precessing cotton; these do a good job on cashmere and Angora rabbit as well. All hand cards can process fibers of mixed lengths.

Page 100: Make a Two-Ply with hand


1. Pick up the nearest book of 125 pages or more (no cheating!)

2. State the title and author of the Book

3. Find Page 25

4. Find the first 5 sentences and enter them.

5. Find page 100 and enter the first, second and fifth word on the page.

6. Post the meme to your blog.

7. Tag 5 people. Have fun! :o)

I tag DK at a Flyover Blog, Sticks and Spin,
Lain at Scrap Happy

Monday, April 21, 2008

You'll never believe what we spotted on our trip....

a BAT! Now I'm not talking about a bat flying around overhead. I'm talkin' about a bat HANGING upside-down in a low shrub/small tree about 2 feet in front of me.

Here's what happened. Robbie and I were determined to catch of glimpse of the Painted Bunting so we went off the beaten path near the Nature Center at Santee Wildlife Refuge. We decided that if we went into an area where we heard lots of birds (and Rob thought she heard the bunting) and just waited that the little guy would show himself. Well, we stood in an area for about 15 minutes waiting and waiting. Finally, when were were we ready to leave, I glanced again at the thingI had noticed earlier in the shrub in front of me. Something about it just didn't look right - it looked a bit out of place. What in the world is it?? I looked at it through my binoculars and, holy crow, the thing had fur!!! Here's a bad shot of him.

Well, we had to hurry off to our class but figured we'd make it back for some better shots of the bat. We DID make it back and the bat was still hanging there. Unfortunately, the fellow who came back with us accidentally snapped the branch that the bat was hanging on and the bat acted like a bat outta you-know-where. Off he went. Oh well. I did manage to get one shot.

Ok, on to knitting news. I have a new dishcloth on my needles. The pattern is simply called Stripes.

My spinning wheel arrived while I was gone!!!

When I got home, I found that DH had already put it together and it was ready to spin! So, before I even changed outta my sticky, stinky, "been in the swamp" clothes, I sat and spun a bit of the alpaca that I bought at a show I went to several weeks ago. Oh, this baby (Ashford traditional) is schmooth. :)

Well, gotta get to work.
Happy Monday!
PS. Sadly, we didn't see the Painted Bunting.
For any birders out there we did see:
Osprey (and a huge nest), cormorant, anhinga, fish crow, bluejay, prothonatary warbler, parula warbler, red-headed woodpecker, pileated woodpecker, towhee, cardinal, turkey vulture, red-shouldered hawk, egret, downy woodpecker, nuthatch, chickadee, yellow-rumped warbler, chipping sparrow, cowbird, red-winged blackbird

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Basket Weave Dish Cloth

Happy Saturday! I hope you're having a grand day!

As you read this, my friend Robbie and I are paddling our kayaks downstream hoping to get in some good birding before we go to our nature photography class tomorrow. Actually, we're on a birding mission. We're hoping to see the Painted Bunting. Our binoculars are ready!

Well, back to knitting....

Here's what I just took off my needles before leaving on Friday. I've got a question about it. Do you see those two ends of yarn on the left (where I began and ended this dishcloth)?
What am I supposed to do with them? I realize this is just a dishcloth BUT if I someday learn to make something 'fancy smancy' I'd like to know the "proper" thing to do. ;)

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Park and Draft Spinning

As I watched this wonderful video today I decided, "That's it! My spinning wheel has NOT arrived. It HAS been shipped but it has NOT arrived yet and I've got to spin something!!"

Sooo I headed out the Ace Hardware where I was able to get all the supplies I needed for TWO CD spindles for less than $3.50. I made one spindle with the whorl at the top and one with the whorl on the bottom as seen here.

I enjoyed trying to get the hang of this hand spinning. With practice I'll get there. I figure this is good drafting practice.

Tomorrow I'm going out of town kayaking/birding/wildlife photography course. I just BET my wheel will come when I'm gone (fingers crossed!).


Cat Bordhi - Part 1: Knitting on 2 circular needles

This video on YouTube is really going to help me learn to make socks!

Part Two can be viewed HERE.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sock Bag

I found several patterns online today for making a sock bag that can either hang from a belt or from my wrist. (I DON'T know how to knit socks yet but when I learn.... I'll be ready!)
Here are the bag 'parts'. The video shows the finished product. Sorry about my hand and arm getting in the way. ;)
Oh, I got the pattern here.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I had a BLAST

I had so much fun at the "spin-in" today!! OMG, thanks - I mean a HUGE thanks - to Lisa, Rhonda, Karen and Cindy for helping me begin to spin! I actually made some yarn which is now soaking in my sink hanging over my tub to dry. I'll take a picture of it later.

The only bad thing about the day was that my dang camera's battery was about dead so I only took this brief video. It is sooo cool though. BTW, I was told that last month Rhonda spun directly FROM the bunny. Wow... sounds sort of weird doesn't it? This month she is combing the bunny and getting all the loose hair (fur??) bagged up for future spinning. As you will see in the video, Rhonda has already made a scarf from this bunny's fur. (Click here for a better view of the scarf.)

Another gal was spinning wool from her llama. (Sorry, no video - like I said, dang camera battery!)

Oh, and guess what else? While I was there I got to watch the shearing of an alpaca. :) AND I saw a week old cria (baby alpaca).

Alpaca Farm Spin-in

Today, Sunday, I'm headed to a local alpaca farm with my Monday night knitting group. We're going to meet up with the Sunday afternoon alpaca group and spin. Well, actually, some of the ladies (I've heard that one guy goes) will be spinning (both wheel and drop spindle) and some will be knitting. I'm REALLY looking forward to this. I can just imagine the peaceful whirring of the wheels and clicking of the needles. Ahhhhh....

I hope Lisa (the gal I met at B & N a few weeks ago) will be able to bring her spinning wheel because she said she'd give me a few more spinning lessons. Yippee!! Just in time!! I THINK my Ashford Traditional Wheel will be arriving this week! I sure hope it gets here before Friday because that's when my friend Robbie and I are headed out for a kayaking/photography weekend in the lower part of SC and I would HATE to wait until AFTER the weekend to try out my new wheel!

Well, here's what I'm taking to work on today at the farm. This dishcloth pattern is from the May issue of Creative Knitting. This is actually the second dishcloth I've made from the pattern. (The first one didn't turn out so well. I didn't have the right size needles so I thought I'd just make do with some needles that were two sizes larger than the needles called for in the pattern. YUCKO. The embossed flower was lost in the large stitches!)
Ok, lesson learned.
Before I started this pink dishcloth, I made a run to the store and bought the correct size needles.What a difference. :)


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Here's what I bought....

First, I bought a cool little felting kit. I think felting is soo cool and it looks so easy that I thought I'd give it a try.
Using the kit will allow me to needle felt about 4 Christmas ornaments. I may not make all the ornaments. I may try my hand at sculpting as shown here.

I also bought a bag of alpaca roving. I had envisioned dh making me a drop spindle out of CDs as shown here. I think he's still going to make me a drop spindle but....

I also bought THIS!! I don't have it yet.I can't WAIT until it gets here!. What fun!!

OH, a friend of mine at my knitting group) has a spinning wheel. I tried my hand at spinning the other evening. My first attempt was really, REALLY lumpy (don't laugh) but I'm sure I'll improve with practice! This Sunday I'm going to a spinning/weaving/fiber arts meeting.
Yeah!! Hopefully I'll get some tips on spinning and I'll be ready to start when my wheel arrives!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Alpaca Show

Dh and I had a wonderful time at the Alpaca show on Saturday. We spent a lot of time looking at all the booths and alpacas. I also spent a LOT of time watching one gal spinning and another dry felting a CUTE little sheep.
Here are a few of the pictures in a slideshow.

Shortly I'll be uploading a couple more photos including photos of the things I bought!!! (You won't believe it. No, it wasn't an alpaca! Stay tuned!!)

Friday, April 4, 2008

What goes up, must come down....

Spinning wheel
got to go round.

Remember that oldie but goodie by Blood, Sweat and Tears?? Well, my interest in spinning has been piqued as of late.

PART of the reason why I'm so interested in spinning is simply the word, 'MASS'.
MASS destruction, MASS construction and MASS production.

Let me explain further. You see, when I watch tree after tree after tree in my area being felled for yet another shopping center, I am deeply saddened. (I swear I could be one of those people who sits in a tree so it won't get cut down!) MASS destruction, right?

Also, when I see a huge semi truck hauling chickens down the road I am sickened. And no, I'm not a vegetarian although EVERY time I see one of these trucks I swear I'll eat no more meat. Anyway, can you see the MASS destruction and MASS production here? No mom and pop farm that's for sure!

Uh oh, I better get off this soap box before we all get into a funk. :) Let's get back to happier knitty 'stuff'.

So, anyway, where was I?? Oh yeah, back to point is... I think it would be cool to get some fleece and spin my own yarns - no MASS produced 'stuff' for me!!
Maybe this dream of spinning my own yarn is crazy -- you know, thinking that I could ever make spin enough yarn that would be usable. ( I've never even touched a spinning wheel.) But, I can dream, right? Am I crazy? Any spinners out there with advice?

Ok, well anyhoo, with my spinning dream in mind, tomorrow dh and I are going to our local college to an Alpaca Show! At the show there will be Alpaca judging (body, fleece, and halter) and obstacle course combined with artists displaying their products using alpaca fleece. Doesn't this sound like fun?? I can't wait!!

I'll let you know how it goes!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

What's On My Needles?

So glad you asked. :)

I started a scarf for dh but needed to buy a bit more yarn.
When I went to Hobby Lobby I didn't find the yarn I needed BUT I found this PINK, I mean HOT PINK, yarn on sale. It is regularly $5.88 per skein and was on sale for $.99 per skein!
Holy Crow!! I had to have this PINK yarn!!

Soooo what am I going to do with the BRIGHT, sparkly, oh soooo soft, pink yarn? Why, I'm making another shawl!! While I love the first shawl that I made, it really does have holes where there shouldn't be any and visa versa (Is that how you spell that??). Oh, it may be a tad bit too long too.

Anyway, I found this free pattern online for an all knit-stitch (hmmm I think you call it.... uummmmm.... garter stitch) shawl. I just started the shawl last night. I think I'm going to feel like a princess **wink wink** when I wear it! It's just so sparkly and pink!

Here's the shawl pattern.

(I actually wanted to make the shawl in the color, "coral gables" but Hobby Lobby was out of it.)

Got anything on your needles? Or doing any crafting?? Leave me a link to your blog! I'd love to take a look!
PS. I put my iPod in the photo because my NEXT project is an iPod sock. (I usually toss my iPod into my purse and I'm always afraid it will get messed up so this sock should help protect it!) BTW, I love listening to podcasts while I knit!