Thursday, May 29, 2008

What's On My Needles?

I've got a gorgeous sock on my needles! I really didn't think I'd like this sock yarn UNTIL I started knitting it.

This is my first sock AGAIN. The is the farthest I've gotten yet in sock knitting. I think I'll get this one DONE!! Yahooo. :)

I'm headed out of town tomorrow. Going to Cincinnati to my nephew's graduation party. Luckily I won't be the one driving all the way soooooo I'll get to KNIT my sock.

Maybe when I get back home my sock will be done. If so, I'll post a photo. Wish me luck.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Roving to Koolaid Dye Pot to Spinning Wheel then Plied

My first-ish attempt at Koolaid dyeing (continued from last week) - I'm pretty pleased with it.
I got the BFL roving from Miss Babs. I dyed the roving using yellow and orange koolaid.

Here is the plied yarn which was just removed from the niddy noddy. I will be setting the twist next.

I'm pleased with my first attempt. As you can see my yarn is still thick and thin but I can tell I'm getting better!!!

I love doing this -- all of it -- dyeing, carding, spinning, knitting!!

Oh, by the way, I'm ordering my drum carder today. I'm pretty excited! Yahooo!


Monday, May 26, 2008

Meet Rio

I spent another day at the farm working with fiber. I was carding my alpaca (Alice), and Rhonda and Caron were working on alpaca fiber too.

I got several bats done - thanks for letting me use your drum carder, Rhonda. :)

Sooooo while we were in the gazebo carding, Caron let Rio, a Double Yellow-Headed Amazon join us. This bird is such a HOOT. He can talk your ears off. OH, and sing!? You wouldn't believe this bird!! He can sing opera lol and he can sing "Old MacDonald". He can also impersonate various farm animals.

Thought I'd video tape him for you. He performed just like my children used to do when I wanted them to do something for an audience. Ha!!

Maybe next time he won't be so camera shy!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Needle Felted Horse

My friend, Caron, needle felted this horse for a woman she knows. The woman sent her photos of her horse and some of its mane and tail hair. (How cool is that?)

Caron carefully crafted the body out of wool then added the horse's mane and tail hair.

Want to see more of Caron's work and custom orders of treasured pets? Go HERE.

All I can say is WOW!! Isn't she talented?!!!

She does all kinds of animals. She even did an entire nativity set one year.

Caron said, "All of the beloved pets that I create come alive in my hands, after many hours and hundreds, thousands of strokes of a sharp, barbed needle into clumps of wool, dog hair, llama or other natural fibers".

Check this out!!


Oooooohhhhhh I was just looking at Caron's Etsy shop and saw an ADORABLE Santa!
Are you still making Santa's Caron??

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

BFL Dyed and Spun

Here are two bobbins with my dyed BFL. I have lots more of both colors to do and I have yet to start the darker red/grape fiber.

I wonder what that 'blob' is near the top of the green bobbin LOL.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sunday is FIBER Day!

Spent the day on the farm today. A bunch of us were all going to be spinning but we got sidetracked when Gerald showed us some really great alpaca fiber that he had sheared from his herd. We all loved the fiber so much that we just couldn't resist. In all I think we bought the fiber from seven (possibly more) alpacas.

I got some really beautiful fiber from an alpaca named Alice. It is a beautiful roan color. I can't wait to begin carding it! Caron and I also bought a gray fleece which we'll be sharing. Rhonda bought Jessie's fiber (black as coal I swear) and Gerald gave Lisa a beautiful black and brown fleece that had a TON of hay and sticks in it. Lisa has her work cut out for her but I bet she'll have a ball. She seemed quite pleased --- we were ALL pleased.

Back home I continue to work on dyeing some of my BFL using koolaid.
Here are the rovings hanging out to dry.

I need to learn how much roving I should dye should I want to spin it and make socks with it. I am clueless so I just pulled off a hunk and got started. :0)

Well, I can't wait to see what these three 'hunks' look like after they're spun!
Until next time,

Friday, May 16, 2008

Spinning on Ashford

Yep, it's just a long video of me spinning on "Ashford" (I haven't named my wheel yet).
Right now I'm just calling HIM Ash or Ashford because HE is an Ashford Traditional Wheel.

WARNING: If you're not into spinning, this video will be pretty boring. Even if you ARE into spinning, it will be pretty boring. I just felt like taking a video of myself spinning. I have watched numerous spinning videos online and love the way the various wheels sound. Sooo I HAD to find out what Ash sounded like in a video. LOL.

Oh, I asked for advice in my video so if anyone out there has any helpful advice, please send it to me!! I'm a real NEWBIE spinner and can use all the help I can get! :)


Koolaid Dye Job

Well, I tried Koolaid for the first time the other day. It turned out ok.
The flavors used were Grape, Black Cherry and Tropical Punch.

Here are the results. (I probably wouldn't have posted this online but my knitting/spinning/kayaking buddy, Caron, asked me to do so. So, Caron -- enjoy my first attempt!)

I did a few things incorrectly when spinning/plying this yarn (I think) like whacking the heck outta the freshly dyed yarn before plying it. Also, as you can see, my spinning is still in the beginner stage (notice the very thin and very thick areas). Not to worry though... practice makes better!!

I used a technique that I saw online when winding this ball of yarn. It is wound onto a toilet paper tube -- pretty cool idea because you can add notes about the fiber and dyes used right on the TP tube AND the tube keeps the ball from falling in on itself.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hand Carding and Drum Carding Llama

Here's what we did next with the llama fiber.
Lisa explains how to use hand carders and a drum carder.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

On the Farm - Shearing Llamas

I had a really fun (and tiring) two days on Caron's farm for llama shearing. I don't know how Caron handles this farm ALL BY HERSELF!!
One very strong woman -- one BEAUTIFUL farm. Amazing!

I need to get the total number of animals that Caron has on her farm so you will better understand what her workday must be like. I know she has 3 full-sized horses and a ton of really cool chickens. I never knew there could be that many varieties of chickens! She has some real "lookers"!! Oh, and the eggs these gals layed/laid?....OMG... all I can say is that when we looked under one hen it looked like a human had dyed Easter eggs and put them under her. I need to get a photo of that to show you. You just won't believe it!!!

Ok, well, let me step back for a moment and tell you how day ONE began.

As I drove down the long tree-lined lane to Caron's place a sense of peace and calm came upon me. I felt like I was on the path to my wonderland. As I slowly drove by the first pasture on the left, I was greeted by a male llama. He seemed to enjoy running along beside the car! (The llamas actually do the most cool gallop-ish looking thing. I took a video of it but the video just doesn't do it justice.) These guys look sooo graceful when they run. They sort of look like they're in slow motion. And the way they move those long necks... well, you just HAVE to see it sometime!

So, anyway, here are some videos that were taken over the two day period. During this time, we sheared 5 llamas. Most of the llamas were very well behaved and seemed quite happy with their new hairdos....except the last girl who we called momma (because she is the momma to the second to the last llama sheared). Momma was being a PAIN IN THE RUMP! She spit a few times... got Caron and Lisa. (I took off running whenever I saw her ears go back and that 'look' in her eyes. LOL. P-U... STINKY!

"Momma" and "baby" getting ready for their new 'dos'. ('Momma' is the llama with the white neck.)

Anyway, here are some videos of the shearing.
Enjoy! I sure did!

Video below shows Caron blowing the dust off "momma". Blowing the dust off really helps to save the blades a bit on the shears.

In the next video you'll be introduced to 'baby'.

A few cooperative 'baby' videos. And then...... a NONCOOPERATIVE 'momma'.

'Baby' gets a PEDICURE!

MOMMA is NOT a happy girl. Caron said she is usually so easy to shear and is not sure why she is being so 'witchy'. ;)

Free at Last!! This video shows the llamas running to meet up with 'momma' again.
I wish the video showed the gallop more clearly.

That's it for today!! Tune in to my next post to see what happens next to the fiber!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Yep, that's what I cried.....uncle.

After MANY attempts to knit a sock (my first sock ever) from the cuff down, I gave up - temporarily. I just couldn't get the hang of those dang needles - they were always in my way. I mean the dang things don't bend!!

Hey Lisa, Thanks for all your help! I promise I'll try cuff down again....someday! :)

Anyway, I haven't given up on socks altogether.

I'm using a pattern from Silver's Sock class . I followed Cat Bordhi's demonstration on Judy Becker's Magic Cast-On - what a cinch after watching the video like 32 times. ;)

Ok, so anyway, here's what's on my needles - the beginnings of the toe.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Alpaca Farm

While in Chattanooga this past week we (daughter, son-in-law and I) crossed the border over into Georgia to an Alpaca farm. Here are some of the alpacas minutes after been sheared (and one little one who had to be herded back into the barn for his 'haircut'). Enjoy!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Booga Bag Felted

I finished the bag today and ran it through the washing machine - hot wash/cold rinse one time. I think it turned out pretty good although maybe a tad bit more colorful than I had expected.

Question: Has anyone out there done a felted bag? Do you think this needs another 'go round' in the washer? I could throw it in with the i-cord straps when they're done.

Booga Bag etc.

I've been busy here in Chattanooga!!

First, I've been working on yet another dishcloth. These are fun for me to do especially since I am a new knitter and knitting these small projects allows me to try out lots of fun patterns.

Secondly, I've been spinning some of my BFL. It is turning out quite nicely.

Lastly, I started knitting my booga bag. Here's what I did yesterday. (I'm hoping to finish the bag later today because I can't wait to see how it turns out once it's felted!)

I didn't get a chance to do any koolaid dyeing - I'll do that when I get back home.