Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

I am still here! It's been rather hectic these last weeks. As usual I was a bit late starting with the preparations for Christmas. And this year we for the first time had guests at our house for the Christmas Eve dinner. Unfortunately we had a not so welcoming guest showing up two days before the big day. It was the Noro Virus! First out was the daddy, and on the Christmas Eve it was our son. So he missed both the dinner and opening presents. Then early morning on December 26 it was my turn and the same day also my daughter got ill. Two days ago was the first day all of us was feeling OK. And what happened with our guests. Well they came and had a great time on Christmas Eve, but 3 out of 4 of them got the virus, too, I am afraid. Oh, well that can happen! And now we are all just fine and really looking forward to the Fireworks.

And now, there has not been as much spinning and knitting as I was hoping for, but I have done a little knitting. I am working on the Log Cabin blanket and I have made a neck warmer for my son.I just knitted this without a pattern. Here is some info about it:
Yarn: Lornas Laces Swirl DK
Color: Lakeview
Needles: 3.75 mm circular for the rib and 4 mm double pointed for the raglan front and back
Casted on 72 sts.

I also made these two cat mouses that I sent as a Christmas gift for my sisters cats. They have been knitted with some yarn I have spun.

The coming year is going to be very exciting I think. I am in good shape and have big plans for the coming months.

I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Spinning fun with colors!

I have done some more spinning. Who knows what happens with Christmas this year...there will be nothing but wool for decorations this year :-) The Concord colored marino-silk yarn came out very nice. It is light fingering - almost lace weight yarn. 59 grams and 210 meters with about 16 WPI.

It is very hard to describe the color. I t is blue with purple and some silver spots, I think. Very different and pretty. Will be interesting to try out a lace pattern with this.

So I have been spinning so much that our cat figured she just had to jump in on my lap while I was spinning. She probably loves the movement, but it makes it a bit harder for me to spin!

Have I had some fun with colors or what? This is the hand painted BFL I bought on Etsy a month ago. I split the roving into about 8 pieces and spun onto two bobbins. I used my slow flyer with the 7.5:1 ratio.

Then I plied it on my Jumbo flyer with 3.5:1 ratio, but that was a bit too slow. I had to treadle fast to get enough twist! But it sure gave me a larger skein.

This is the finished skein, washed and dried and re-skeined. It gave 107 grams and approximately 157 meters with 10 WPI.

I am spinning on my drop spindles, too. They are great for testing new fibers. This is my first go on Soysilk!

And while I was doing some moving around things here, I found some of the Norwegian wool I bought a while ago. When I spun with it I soon realised there was a lot of lanolin in it. My fingeres got very nice and soft :-)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

So then I could spin again!

Why do I not believe that I will be a "full-time" quilter? There is just too many operations involved. And it makes more mess. There is like a lot of different stations you have to move between during the process. Ironing - drawing - cutting - sewing - then back to ironing. There where a lot of small pieces in this project and it took some time sewing it all together, but is was the stitching that was the most time-consuming part.

Late evening the day before December 1 I had it hanging with two wrapped gifts. It is not quite finished. I still need to sew on pearls and buttons and it was supposed to have some more quilting around the edge. But I had a hard time doing the actual quilting, because I had never done this before so I might do it by hand for next year. The kids are happy. I am afraid they are more (or maybe more correctly ONLY) interested in the gifts than in the calendar. But I am so happy I made it and I am even more happy that I can do other crafts for the rest of this year.

For two weeks ago we went to a Christmas market at one of our neighbors house. There was a lot of nice handcrafted items for sale and we ended up buying this gingerbread basket. Someone is reaching for yet another gingerbread.

And then I could spin again. First up is some sample of angora that I got from one of my new spinning-friends Rhonna. I used a Cascade spindle weighing 20 grams and it gave me a 2 ply yarn with 18 WPI. So this is my first lace-weight yarn.

Here it is lined up with the single tread at the right, the two-ply in the middle and the full skein on the left. I would really like to try out more angora.

Next I spun some ecru BFL( Blue Faced Leicester) that I wanted to ply with some multicolored merino I had spun earlier. For plying two full bobbins of 1-ply, I will need to change to the Jumbo-flyer. And it means some effort since I will have to change the front maiden as well, so I end up spinning half full bobbins instead. Oh well, I guess these are less than half-full.

I think it looks nice. It is like a modern version of raggsokk-yarn (one white and one gray traditional Norwegian sock-yarn).
And here I have winded it on the home-made Niddy-Noddy I made this weekend. I have a nice wooden Niddy-Noddy but it make very small skeins. But I guess I was over-doing it for this one :-)

After washing and drying it was time for weighing the final skein of yarn. Not very much - 43 grams. And I measured 12 WPI, so it means it is a light worsted weight yarn.

It is hard to capture the colors in a photo. But on this close up you can see that there is a lot of different colors in this yarn.

When one project is off the wheel, I off course had to start a new one. This time it is with a merino-silk blend in a very attractive color-blend called concord. It is bluish purple with silver I think. I am excited to see how the finished yarn will look like, but this time I will spin a full bobbin. One last spinning update from me: This very small peace of yarn is very special. I was cuddling my cat when I noticed that there was some shedding. So I groomed her and had a very small amount of wool in my hand. Being a eager spinning adventurer I of course had to try spinning it. And so I did. With a lite weight Greensleeves Loki spindle I made a 4ply yarn. I will try to keep grooming my cat and maybe have some more Turkish Angora wool for spinning.