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Posts Tagged ‘spinning’

It’s been a hectic time since I posted last. In summary: we’ve had 20 hours without power; lost internet twice (for a period of 4 days each time); had the car in for repairs (finally seem to have found an honest and competent mechanic, so we are rejoicing over that);  while sitting in a traffic jam I also saw the car in front of mine get sideswiped by an oncoming truck (cosmetic damage only to both vehicles, but scary to watch)…

Amongst all that and the thesis writing I’ve been chipping away at some of my projects. I pulled out the crochet blanket and re-crocheted it all. I had a variation of 5 stitches along one edge, there was no way that was going to block out. I was pretty sick of this yarn by the end of the process, but I think it was worth it in the end.

An arty shot.

I’ve also had plied yarn sitting on the wheel for about 10 days. Finally got it wound off and washed this weekend.

Superfine merino, two ply from fibre I dyed myself. It’s the same dye lot. But I managed to get the colours in one of the skeins to match a little bit better than in the other and hence it looks more vibrant. I haven’t measured wraps per inch or yardage yet.

I hope life has been a bit calmer for all of you.

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Some Spinning

Recently I finished this yarn. It’s taken a few months to do. Snatched minutes here and there. It’s a three ply. Two thicker plies of merino/silk blend and one thinner ply of pure silk onto which the beads were threaded.

Fibre was a gift from Gorgeous Man.

In cake form.

Close-up.

Now to decide what to make with it. There’s 212 metres and it’s gloriously soft.

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Today is one of the hottest days we’ve had for a while (which is saying something, because everyday is hot here…). I’m hoping the neighbours didn’t see me in a wool hat standing on the balcony taking pictures of myself.

It was bright out as well.

Looking like my big 40 birthday is rapidly approaching. I don’t wear much make up here, it just sweats off, and I definitely need a haircut, but will wait another 10 days and get it done in Western Australia.

Here’s the top of the hat. I love the colours in this yarn.

Pattern is Runway . A donation of the pattern sales goes to a worthy cause. You can find more details about my hat here. 

I did this as a KAL. I might have been a bit too speedy, so far only one person in the group has posted a progress picture… I guess I have no life…

Because I’m not just a one trick pony, there has also been some sewing going on.

Finally working up some of those many placemat panels I bought before we left South Africa.

As you can see they don’t sit square – they are printed skew on the fabric. But I’m hoping that when they are around the table individually it won’t matter. These are earmarked for Christmas gifts.

Finally, one last batch of the purple merino measured and caked up. 173 metres to 75 grams.

It’s super soft and fluffy. Since I have a whole bunch  of this colourway I’m going to need to find a big project for it.

Father’s Day here today. We started the day with a cooked breakfast and will probably go out for lunch. We can’t go out for dinner because it’s too dangerous to drive back home in the dark. Gorgeous Man and Gorgeous Girl have been down to the lake to feed the giant fish.

In other news, yesterday I went for a walk with Gorgeous Man and Gorgeous Girl.  I managed. I did start to feel a bit sore on the homeward leg – and we didn’t go far…I did have to take some anti-inflammatories when we got home, but there were no major repercussions this morning. So I can see progress happening slowly.

This year we’ve planted a little garden. We’ve put in tomatoes, cucumber, rock melon, and courgettes. When I find some pots so that it can grow in the shade we’ll plant some basil. One thing that is a surprise to us is how fast things grow. The cucumbers came up three days after planting and I swear you can see them get bigger from one day to the next. I’ll take some pictures this afternoon when things cool down a little.

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When I got my first spinning wheel way back in 2008 I had no idea that there were people out there who dyed and sold fibre for spinning. So a friend and I bought 10 kilos of combed top (prepared wool), we divided it up and did some dyeing. Then I discovered the very talented Carle at Nurturing Fibres   and a lot of the fibre that I dyed sat unspun for years and years a little while. This year I’m working through my stash and that means that some of my early fibre has come to light.

I recently spun this up – it’s superfine merino fibre I dyed myself.

A side view.

This is lace weight. 112 grams and 638 metres. I’m not sure what I’m going to make with this yet.

While my stash of Nurturing Fibres fibre for spinning is running low. I do still have a massively overwhelming substantial stash of Nurturing Fibre yarns. It quickly became apparent that there was not enough merino single to finish the runway hat, so I pulled it out and started again with some Nurturing Fibre sock yarn.

I’m glad I did, the colours are lovely. I’m heading to Perth in two weeks. My friends tell me it’s still quite cold there. Given that their maximum temperature yesterday was 15 degrees C lower than here I’m going to feel cold anyway, so I’m hoping to have this finished so that I can wear it there.

One thing about living in the tropics. and only visiting cooler places occasionally, is that Gorgeous Girl outgrows her winter clothes between visits. I was looking through her clothes yesterday and realised we are going to need to spend the first day in Perth buying her some long pants and some new sweaters and long sleeved shirts. I won’t be buying anything brand name or expensive as she’ll only wear them for two weeks and then they will sit in the drawer until our winter visit to Australia next year.

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I actually finished spinning and plying this last month, but it took me a while to wash and set the yarn, and only one of the three skeins there has been measured and wound into a yarn cake.

This has turned out beautifully soft. I’m not sure what I’ll make with it just yet. It’s South African fine merino that I dyed myself way back when I first started spinning.

It doesn’t often get cool here, but occasionally the temperature drops a little. Last week Gorgeous Girl came home from school feeling a little worn out. She dragged this quilt out of the cupboard and made herself comfortable.

I think it’s the first time the little quilt has been used since it was finished last year.

 

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Playing along with the Tour de Fleece this year on Ravelry has taught me that I’m really good at spinning every day the real Tour is on (when I’m near my wheel that is), but I’m terrible at taking photos every day and uploading them to all my teams on Ravelry. I think next year I’ll spin along but I won’t join any teams.

So, on to the yarn. The first yarn I spun for the tour was this lovely merino dyed by yours truly.

(In exciting news, you can see my feet at the bottom of the photo out of focus – normal shoes…) I only had 58 grams of this (just over 2 ounces I think) and so opted to keep it as a single.

I love the way the colours have turned out.

The second yarn that was spun up is 100% camel fibre.

I opted to chain-ply this one for a bulkier yarn.

Next I knocked over some Wensleydale.

This is feels quite itchy. It hasn’t had a bath yet, but I think this skein and the other skein I spun last year will probably become a bag.

Speaking of bags. When I was in South Africa, my friend Kerin sent me some sari silk. I looked around for a while for the perfect pattern for it. Eventually I found one, but halfway through the knitting of it I realised I didn’t have enough yarn, so I made up this little bag pattern from the top of my head.

In other news, I have quilting project paralysis. You know when you are eager to start a big project, but also a bit daunted by the prospect? I have chosen a pattern/design I want to use for Gorgeous Girl’s Very Hungry Caterpillar Quilt, but the thought of all the maths I will have to do to make it work is kind of holding me in place.

Yesterday I knit a sheep’s hoof twice and pulled it back twice. Both times my fault because I can’t count, not the fault of the pattern. Perhaps tonight I need to start knitting a little earlier…

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Or rather, meet Morris’ head. I’ve finished the head on my test knit for Yarn Miracle.

I opted for safety eyes rather than French knots. Only for the simple reason that I recently used safety eyes for the first time and became quite enamoured of them.

I’ve used Elle DK yarn for his face. The head and ears are from rope yarn I spun in the very early days of my spinning career. In fact I think the brown is my first ever three ply and the whiteish grey is my first ever yarn. It’s so badly spun (over spun, over plied – that’s the three ply; underspun, underplied – grey) that I thought I’d never use this yarn, but the pattern encourages the use of odd yarn and so this is perfect for it.

Knitting hides a myriad of spinning sins :D

I have been spinning every day for the Tour de Fleece, but I’ve been very bad at taking pictures and adding them to my various groups in Ravelry.

I’m still working away on the camel.

I think I’ve spun about half of the fibre.

 

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In August I will have been blogging for 7 years. Over that time I’ve been blessed to meet people from all over the world and some of my blog readers have become true friends.

When we got back from Cairns there was a pile of post waiting for us in the mail room (all of our post gets sent to Gorgeous Man’s work). Three of the parcels were for me (the rest was magazines for Gorgeous Man and some books from Grandma for Gorgeous Girl, but I digress).

I’ve known Kate  as an online friend since I started blogging. Recently she had a destash/clean out of some of her paper crafting stash and thought of Gorgeous Girl and put together a little package for us, lots of odds and ends for Gorgeous Girl to use in her paper crafting. (This is appreciated more than you would know as crafting supplies are hard to come by here and I usually have to plan and purchase for a few months at a time when we visit Australia).

There was also a few goodies for me. I kept the maps and the text (I now have some french text to add to my pages – it will make a change from the Chinese history book I’m deconstructing!) She also included some fabric scraps. Most of these have gone straight into my strip bin to be added to my current strip quilt in process. Thank you Kate!

Recently I won a prize on Cathi’s lovely blog. I’ve been reading her blog since 2006 and we’ve become friends, though we also haven’t managed to meet in person yet. We decided to risk sending the prize to PNG and test the postal waters. Cathi, the package had been opened and resealed, but the contents seem to be intact. I can’t wait to find some time to play with these lovely things.

Doilies, wood veneers and perfect pearls! None of which I’ve had the opportunity of playing with before. Thank you so much. Cathi also quilts and so she also few in a few scraps of black and white fabric for me (I’m slowly collecting black and white prints for a scrappy log cabin quilt I have in mind) which was greatly appreciated.

Last, but not least, a new Ravelry friend recently sent me some camel fibre to try.

It went straight onto the wheel as my second Tour de Fleece spin.

It’s told me what it wants to be when it grows up, but I’m going to wait until it’s plied to see if I need to exercise the power of veto or not. Thank you so much Mazz. 

You all should totally check out her blog. She’s in Australia and does amazing things with dyes from native Australian plants.

I’m also in the process of test knitting a sheep for Yarn Miracle. Her designs are really well thought out. I think the big difference with Emily’s designs is that she makes use of directional increases and this produces a more professional look than many of the other patterns out there. This pattern is no exception. I’m hoping to get the head stuffed tonight and then move on to knitting the body. If you don’t for some inexplicable reason  knit Emily specialises in the placement of pre-knitted companion animals. 

This shameless plug helpful information is to make up for the fact that due to being unable to download the pattern while we were away I am two weeks behind the rest of the test knitters (ahem).

I have permission from the long-arm quilter to share the photos she took of my quilt. Guess you’ll be getting a blog post tomorrow as well. Don’t keel over from the shock of regular blogging! :D

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There’s been very little crafting happening here at Ruth’s Place over the last few days. Study is keeping me busy.

Gorgeous Girl had a ‘sick’ day today. She has a cough and a runny nose and she really didn’t want to go to school this morning, so we kept her home for the day. We spent the morning doing some school work (her choice). She asked me to bring some workbooks back from my last visit to Australia (“because there is too much colouring in at school and the work is too easy”) and so we’ve been working through them when she is interested. This morning we did adding by fives, the short o and a sounds, a short consonant review and then the long a, e and i sounds. It’s a phonics workbook. I think she learned just as much as if she’d been at school…

After that we did some colouring in. At the beginning of 2012 we visited my good friend Lisa and her family in New South Wales. She gave Gorgeous Girl a lovely Very Hungry Caterpillar fabric panel that you colour yourself. We had to wait until I found fabric markers and then I waited until I was sure Gorgeous Girl could colour nicely. Today was the day to colour.

She took it very seriously.

The finished panel. There were a few slips of the pens.

After lunch we began work on the butterfly. Once interest waned we packed it up for next time, but not before I snapped a shot of the work in progress.

Gorgeous Girl has said she would like the caterpillar to be a placemat, so I’ll see what I can turn out on Sunday.

I’ve had a problem with mould on one of my spinning wheels. Just one, and in the whole spraying it with clove oil to kill the mould, the cotton drive band shrunk. I couldn’t find a suitable replacement and Weaving Rose   very kindly sent me some linen thrums left over from her weaving that work a treat. This meant I was able to finish off this fibre which had been sitting on the wheel.

My first attempt at fluffy merino singles. I’m quite proud of them. These are unwashed, so still a bit twisty in places. At the moment we are getting a lot of afternoon rain so these are sitting in a bowl on my bookshelf waiting for fine weather.

The top  photo has the truer colour. This is fibre that I dyed myself when I first started spinning, so it’s been marinating in the stash for a while.

Since I didn’t have to do the school run today (less driving and walking) my foot is feeling pretty good. I’m hoping to spend some time working on my brother’s wedding quilt tonight. What do you have planned?

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I made two scrapbook pages this week. This one is my favourite from my scrapbooking session.

I’ve incorporated the jounalling into the border decoration and the handmade flowers are similar to those I saw on a blog this week, can’t remember which one though…

Here’s a close up of the flowers. I really like these.

The flowers were from an old book I’m deconstructing. It’s a classic history text and due to my frequent attendance (when we lived in Australia) at massive second hand book sales, I ended up with a paperback and the hard cover, so the paperback is aiding my crafting. The centres of the flowers were fussy cut from some scrap paper I had in the stash. I seem to be into pointy tags at the moment.

Not so sure this second page works terribly well, but it is what it is.

I’m slowly working my way through the pile of photos. Not fast enough since I’m planning on printing off all of the Brazil photos for scrapping when we get to Australia in July (it’s cheaper to do it there) and I need to dig out my CD of Amsterdam/USA photos from 2010 and print and scrap them as well…

There was also spinning this week. This is a Southdown wool that is a traditional three-ply.

It’s a little bit redder than this in real life. I’m planning to use it for socks. (At some stage, there is no rush on the sock front  as it never gets cold enough for handknit socks here in Papua New Guinea).

At Gorgeous Girl’s request I made her a monster chunk of her very own. We will be picking the felt for its teeth tomorrow and then it will be done.

 

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