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Monday, August 7, 2017

Magic Monday....

I've been taking part in a swap group on Ravelry for about 9 years now. Today I received a  swap package, I had chosen a neutral palette as my colours.

My secret swap partner was from Scotland and she sent me a beautiful skein of Old Maiden Aunt cashmere blend sock wool along with a British Breed Fibre Sampler pack. I'm really looking forward to spinning all of these different fibre samples very soon.

A zippered project bag, some mini skeins of sock yarns, hand cream, a new cord for my hiyahiya needles and some wool wash samples. Ribbon and lace and yummy treats (chocolate, tablet and macaroon) completed the package.

Blue Faced Leicester
Manx Loaghtan
Black Welsh Mountain

This is going to keep me busy for a while!

I've also started knitting a sweater and a hat for my husband. The sweater isn't actually that far from being finished:
The yarn is Naturally Drift, a 100% merino yarn. It's very soft and lightweight and I'm really enjoying knitting with it. The pattern is so simple, a top down raglan with a bit of garter stitch detail down the sleeves.
The pattern is called Flax.

I'm loving the way my grey hand spun is knitting up into this simple stocking stitch men's hat. Not that we need hats today, it's just like a beautiful Summers day here.

Monday, July 31, 2017

I'm Back ......It's been such a long time.

It's been such a long time since I blogged here, I lost my craft mojo for a long while as I had other, personal things to deal with. I'm slowly getting back into the swing of knitting and spinning again.

So, here are a few things I would like to show you that I've been working on over the past few weeks:
Firstly what's on my wheel right now:

This is a bag of merino fibre that I bought on a recent trip to England. The colourway is Yorkshire Rainbow. I will call it the green green grass of home.

I'm spinning it very fine using my Ashford Traveller wheel. This will be a 2 ply yarn when finished, it's fairly slow progress but I'm enjoying the it! I love the greens, interspersed with tiny hits of black and white here and there.

I've been having a massive clear out of my craft room and in the process I found this fibre. It was half a carrier bag of unwashed fleece and I seem to think it came with a spinning wheel I bought. I washed it, combed it and spun it into a worsted weight yarn. I think it's Romney. My finished skein weighs 160g and there's 260 mtrs. It will become a hat for my husband.

I rediscovered a lot of things I had forgotten I had.

This is Ashford's merino/silk blend in the pomegranate colourway. I love the sheen and softness of this fibre. The finished skein weighs 115g and is 460 mtrs, it's a nice fingering/4 ply weight. Spun on my Ashford Traveller wheel.

This is some Jacob top that I received in a swap package almost a year ago. I had been wanting to try Jacob for a long time. I've decided I don't really like it as the combed top was full of very coarse kemp hairs which I tried to pick out as best I could while spinning but there's still a lot left in there. It will be used ~ I have started collecting skeins to knit a hand spun blanket.
260 mtrs
2 ply
Ashford Traveller.

I bought this fibre in England recently. It was pre bagged and sold as merino so I couldn't fondle it in the shop, but I don't think it's merino, it feels and acts more like a fine corriedale combed top.

I bought it because I loved the colours in it ~ it's called Renaissance. Hard to see on a photograph but there are multiple shades running through it. I really enjoyed spinning this:
638 mtrs
2 ply yarn
Spun on my Ashford Traveller wheel.

Finally, while emptying the loft I found a very large brown paper sack. It contained a very large, very dirty compressed fleece. I do not know where this fleece came from as I have only ever bought a white half fleece and have already washed and spun that ages ago, so unless they are multiplying up there I have no idea of the origin of this particular one.

It was the dirtiest thing I have ever seen and I almost threw it all away. I test washed a couple of locks and they came up nice and clean, surprisingly the locks felt soft and fluffy. So I picked out the best 2 kg of fibre and threw away a further 4.8 kg so it must have been a big sheep that grew this one!

I had to give the fleece a very good soak, in fact multiple soaks but the washed fleece came up very clean, white and bouncy. Some parts of the fleece have a bit of yellow staining on them but that doesn't matter as I'm going to dye this when it's spun anyway.

The picture shows from back to front ~ unwashed locks, washed locks and combed nests. This is something I'm working on when I get the urge to do something different in between other projects. Sometimes a bit of fibre prep is the only thing that cuts the mustard for me.

So it's been a few quite productive weeks for me. I have also knit something out of my hand dyed yarn, but I can't show it here just yet as it's for a Ravelry swap.

I'm very happy to be back here after such a long hiatus, doing my normal things ~ enjoying my crafts and making plans for what I will do next.