Thursday, February 27, 2014

Awwww, Jake

Mighty hard to be mad.

Jake, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO0000000000ooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, there is no one to blame but me. But, still.............

Friday, February 21, 2014

Spinning a textured batt

Ever wonder what those wonderful batts look like as yarn? Here's a photo of the batts before spinning:

I carded all those batts; the ones on the right are made from some scraps of wool left from other projects and some sari silk threads for texture.  There were three batts, each weighing around an ounce. I split each one down the middle so that I had two fairly equal piles of wool to spin. Two singles and a little plying later: 

I have a pretty 2 ply, bulky and textured yarn. This is a pretty straight forward method of spinning a batt and I'm pleased with the result. There are many other options; I could have spun a worsted weight and Navajo plied or a thick and thin single and made some coils or..............

Sunday, February 16, 2014


Remember that I bought the motorized drum carder? Well, here's what I've done this morning:

The white is some Corriedale that I bought at the Big E last fall. The other batts are made from scraps of roving and loose wool. Thanks to the carder, I have plenty to spin this morning while the husband goes and changes the battery in his Mom's car. I'll have more fun.....poor guy, it is 20 degrees out there!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Drum carder fun and new yarn

That Fancy Kitty drum carder is a total joy. The motorized version has saved me so much time! (no, I don't work for them,  just love the product). Here are a few of this week's yarns made from batts:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

And more snow.....

We had about three inches on Monday. About one foot so far today and more this weekend. That's my dear husband out cleaning our driveway. Luckily, the snow is pretty light and fluffy so it only took him about 1/2 an hour to get what has fallen so far swept away. He'll probably have to have another go at is still snowing.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Dyeing Fiber in Mason Jars: Oven technique

I was reading an article the other day about sun dyeing wool in Mason jars and I wondered whether or not I could use the oven to get a lot of colors done quickly. About the same time, the Greener Shades (dyes) forum on Ravelry was doing a dye along using alternative heating techniques, one of which was using canning jars on the stove. ( I decided to give the canning jars a try.

Because I like to use my drum carder to blend various fibers and colors into batts, I decided to add different fibers to each jar. I added Border Leicester locks, some combed Merino and some commercial white roving to each jar along with a glug of white vinegar and cold water. The fiber soaked for about an hour, and I added more water occasionally as the wool absorbed the water.

After soaking, I poured out the water and added some dye to each jar directly on top of the wool. Then, I quickly added a glug of vinegar and topped off each jar with hot tap water. I sealed each jar and turned them upside down and shook them around until there was dye throughout each jar.

I used a water bath (bain marie) in an aluminum roasting pan and let the jars "bake" for about 90 minutes at 220 degrees F.  

Here are the jars fresh out of the oven and below is the finished fiber, waiting for the spin cycle. I'll use this method again; it was super easy and mess free.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Bennington, VT

We drove up to Bennington on Saturday. What a great ride. The Green Mountains are so pretty and every which way we looked there were folks ice fishing or snowmobiling.  We wound up at Bennington Potters. I have loved their blue spatterware (or spongeware) since I was a kid; we used to get their catalog all the way down in Atlanta.

So, I couldn't resist a couple of mugs and two cow glasses. I don't know if you can see the embossed cow but they are super fun.

Here's a link to the pottery: