Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Spudnick Fleece Pictures

I finally got the camera out and got some pictures of the lovely fleece that I'm making my sweater out of. When I found the tub with the bags in it I was very pleased to find the tag describing it. This fleece is from a ram named Spudnick.

I've been remembering it as CVM, but the tag says that he is a mix of Corriedale, Polypay and Cottswold. It was shown by Clyde A. Vair, of Eaton, CO, and took 5th place. I guess I was told it was similar to CVM, and that's what I remembered.

This picture is of the largest bag of fleece awaiting processing. It is dark silver in color.

This fleece is soft, cushy and has a nice sheen to it. Truly lovely.

This is a close up of the bag of nearly black fleece. It is a mix of some completely black, some dark gray, some mixed silver and black.

This is a box of one batch of the fleece that has had the locks combed with a wide-toothed dog comb. In the lower left corner is a single, darker lock, from the nearly black bag, next to a tube of lip balm. This box contains medium-dark silver, just a shade darker than the medium silver shown being carded below.

Close up of the single dark lock with tube of lip balm.

This is my new Strauch carder with the medium silver going through for the 2nd time to blend it well. I ended up with 11 batts of this shade which I then split lenghtwise into 3-5 strips, attenuated, split that attenuated length into half again, and spread the attenuated strip out flat before feeding it into the carder. I used one strip from each of the original batts until the carder wouldn't hold any more.

It may have been more than I needed to do, but the blending has been very even from this method. I've currently got 5 nice recarded batts, and enough strips to make 2 or 3 more.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sweater Update

As I may have mentioned, I got partway along on the body and sleeves of my lovely gray sweater only to realize that there wasn't enough yarn to finish it as the yoked sweater I've been dreaming of. I put it down and went on to other things, trying to decide what to do. Well, as fate would have it, I was looking for some angora/silk/Merino yarn the other day and lo and behold, I found a tub with some wool in it! I brought it in, hoping and praying that some of the bags of washed fleece was the same gray fleece that I spun over the summer. Eureka! It is! I've got nearly-black, some more similar gray, and a 2-4 times the amount of darker gray.

Yay! I may rip back to redo the yoke with the dark as well as the light, but I should have plenty for a nice yoked sweater, no problem.

Well, other than preparing to card, carding and spinning, of course!

I've got one of the bags of medium gray carded. Took me a while to figure out the best process. I have got it to where I'm using a dog comb on each lock to tease/comb it open, then laying the carded locks all parallel. Once I've got a decent amount ready I'll run them through the carder. I've run all I've got done through once, but need to split the bats, thin them down then recard them to finish blending the silver & darker gray.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Hats and Socks

I got 4 mitts, 2 pairs, out of a single ball of hand spun yarn, with a little bit left over. The double kit fabric is thick enough to be cushy and warm, but not so thick as to be uncomfortable. Since I'm working on such things, I dug out a very old WIP (Work In Progress) and decided that the best thing was some Frog Stitching. This WIP was a Stahmann scarf that I was trying to knit up in hand spun quiviut but I just didn't have enough yarn to make it. This was the 2nd thing I'd tried to make from this small amount of yarn. I kept thinking I'd get some more fiber and spin up matching yarn, but well, it's been several years now and it isn't happening.

So Frog Stitched it, rewound it into a ball and started knitting a hat. I'd hoped to have enough to make a fine cap with ear covers, but no joy. Then inspiration struck. I remembered a similar weigh of yarn that I'd spun up not long after I got my first spinning wheel, the Lendrum. It is a fine white yarn of 50% superfine Merino wool, 30% Bombyx silk and 20% angora. After poking through my boxes of fiber and spun yarns I found it! Amazingly enough it is an exact match to the quiviut. I'm not sure I could have spun it that perfectly to match if I'd been trying. Ironic I did them the same at totally different times over several years. Running your fingers across the join between the 2 yarns the texture is the only thing different, and that's not by much.

I decided that I'd make a reversible, doubled hat. It's over 1/2 way done now, and I expect will use up nearly all of the angora blend. The taupe/brown of the quiviut should look very nice with a nice fluffy white brim.

I've also been working on the socks using Cat Bordhi's new book, "New Pathways for Sock Knitters: Book One". I'm using I think it's Riverbed, where the shaping is under the arch of the foot. The socks really feel good on my feet, hugging in on the area where they are usually a bit loose.