Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

I can't believe another Thanksgiving is here. Time goes so quickly...I've been busy knitting mittens and hats,  washing and carding wool, and spinning and dyeing yarn. Oh yeah....a little cooking too.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mini Spinner Dust Cover

I have been meaning to make a dust cover for my Hansen mS for a dog's year.....I finally pulled out a sewing machine yesterday and got to work. This was an easy project. I made a paper pattern for the ends of the machine and just eye-balled the the rest. I did make the cover wide enough so that the cords and foot pedal can fit too which does make the table look a little neater. I'd say the whole thing took 30 minutes; that doesn't include the hour that it took me to get the needle threaded...........

Dyeing a Multi-Colored Yarn: Stovetop Method

I thought I might try to do some dyeing in mason jars on the stove. I love the look of hand- painted top that has been wrapped in plastic and steamed or micro-waved but I don't like using all that plastic wrap. The yarn that I used is a 2 ply Corriedale that I spun last week. It was such a pretty white that I decided to leave some showing.

First,  the yarn was left to soak in water with a glug of vinegar until  it was thoroughly wet(about an hour) and removed from the pot. Then, using two mason jars, I made a dye bath of brown and for the two with warm water, dye and a glug of vinegar  (stir well to make sure the dye dissolves). I added a  little violet dye to the pot for a third color.  Using a spoon (dedicated to  dyeing), I squished one end of the hank into one jar and the other end into the other jar. The remaining yarn was allowed to drape over the sides of the jars and into the pot. Next, I very slowly added water to the pot until it reached just under the lips of the jars; I wanted as much violet as I could get. The whole thing was covered and allowed to simmer for about 30 minutes.  

After it cooled, I hung the yarn to dry and here is a picture of the final product:

Overall, I'd say this worked well. It was less messy than laying out large sheets of plastic and it would translate to top or roving easily. A bigger pot would allow for more jars thus more colors. This also would work well to use up dye from other projects. It would be fun to try this with dry fiber. I used both Jaquard and Greener Shades dyes in this project.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Peg Loom Alpaca Rug

Kate, owner of Great Rock Alpaca's in Barre had some of this year's fiber spun into fun, core spun alpaca yarn. She asked me to give a go of using a peg loom to weave a rug. You may have seen both a peg loom and this kind of yarn at festivals in the last couple of years. Here rug:

It was a quick weave and a fun project; I'm pleased with the finished product.  It is so soft and squishy! Next I'm going to do a rag rug or two on the loom. These looms are fun and so easy to use. I think one would make great gift for a young fiber fanatic to be.....tee shirts, rags, roving, old bed sheets....I can think of a zillion things to use to weave on it.  Perhaps I'll do a how-to blog post.....

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

It's Over

Fiber festival season that is. Here in New England, the first show is in early April and the last was this past weekend at the Big E in Springfield, MA. This is the 5th year for this particular show and it keeps getting better and better. We went on Sunday (me and my long suffering husband). There was a fleece sale that I resisted but I didn't resist a fleece. Here are a couple of pics of a Romney Cormo cross fleece from a sheep named Mercy that I bought from a familiar farm. 

The Cormo will make this fleece a little harder to wash because there is so much lanolin in it. The results will be well worth it. I bought a fleece from this farmer earlier this year and it is just wonderful. Now, I should have enough raw fleece to last through the long winter! (All told, that's over  14 pounds....)

Here are a few pictures from the festival: