Monday, March 30, 2015

Spinning for a Shawl

Thanks to everyone who left such kind comments on my sweater post. I wore it yesterday for the first time, and it is just lovely! So soft and warm.

Now I have been spinning for a shawl. I love knitting patterns from Boo Knits and there is another mystery knit along coming up in May. The pattern (Be With You MKAL) calls for two fingering weight yarns, one plain, and one variegated and fuzzy, plus beads.

I used a blending board to combine fibres for spinning - this one is silk, BFL wool and a small amount of baby alpaca. These fibres are their natural colour.

the rolags ready for spinning

The yarn was lovely to spin, and because of the silk has a lovely shine.

I dyed almost half of the fibre for the second skein very pale shades of pink to blend with the natural fibre. This one is BFL wool with silk, baby alpaca and a small amount of angora for a fuzzy yarn.

I am all ready for the May 4th release date!

Sunrise this morning.
 Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Finished Sweater!

 I am so pleased to be finished knitting my first hand dyed, hand spun sweater.

I started with 2 lbs/almost 1Kg of pure merino wool fibre (from Ashford in New Zealand, purchased from Fibre Detours in Quebec). I divided the fibre into 9 bundles (just over 100g each) to make dyeing easier.

I dyed it (how I dye is described in this post). I had way more fibre than I ended up needing (but better than not enough).

I spun 800g of the fibre.

Here are the 3 skeins of yarn that used for the sweater.

The final sweater!! Before weaving in all the ends, washing and blocking - I just couldn't wait to show it off.
The sweater is a top-down, raglan sweater. I didn't use a pattern, but these types of sweaters are so easy - there is a basic formula once you figure out gauge and the number of stitches that need to be cast on for the neck. After that it is just trying it on and increasing and then decreasing as needed. more details of the sweater can be found on Ravelry (you might need to be a member to see this page). Top-down is a great way to knit a sweater because they end up fitting perfectly.
This project took exactly one month - I started spinning on February 26th, started knitting on March 4th - finished March 26th.

Yesterday we had a snow storm with heavy wet snow (all the old snow was almost gone).

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Sweater Progress

I finished the sleeves on the sweater, and should have lots of yarn left to finish the body (hopefully this week).

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 23, 2015

International Quilting Day

This past Saturday was International Quilting Day. I finished up a few projects.

I pieced the pillow top last week, and machine quilted and finished it this weekend. I started piecing the table topper last weekend and finished it this weekend. The little coaster/mug mat I made this weekend as part of a sew along.

For the pillow I added a piece of needlepoint that my Mother made a while ago - it has been waiting around for the right project and I thought it went very well with the French General fabric.

The diamond shaped table topper was made with the Mini Hex n More ruler. It is a great little ruler (about 3" long), and a nice way to use up little bits of fabric (it is pretty easy to figure out how to combine pieces for the patterns too). The table topper is about 18"x31" (measured from the points).

The mug mat pattern was from Kathleen Tracy (A Sentimental Quilter). It is about 4"x7".

Can you tell I am trying to use up every little piece of a French General fat quarter pack! Two quilt tops (waiting for quilting - the Double Wedding Ring quilt top has some French General yardage too), a pillow cover, a table topper, a mug mat and a little chicken pincushion.

 This is what is left of the FQ's - enough for a little selvage bag I think/hope.

Yesterday it looked like this-

and we woke up to this this morning-

The beauty of snow in March is that it will melt soon.

The animals had to dig for seeds. The snow didn't stop the partridges from fighting (you can see them in the background).

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

More of the Same

My sweater is progressing nicely - I started the sleeves because I think I will have enough yarn to only use 3 colours (the body is almost the right length), but I just want to make sure. I am working on the transition from pink to blue, so there are lots of yarn balls on the go.

My dry, cracked fingers needed a break from knitting, so a little sewing project was just the right thing. I used up little scraps of French General fabric from the quilt tops I pieced recently. I used a pattern from Ocean Waves Quilt Guild and the PDF pattern is found here. My quilt blocks are 3.5" instead of 4.5". The little pincushion is stuffed with crushed walnut shells.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Random Photos and Progress

The sweater is progressing nicely - I think I have about 5 more inches to knit for the body, and it looks like I will have plenty of yarn for the sleeves. There is one more colour to add to the body.

Yesterday's sunrise

A rabbit enjoying some pineapple trimmings

We saw a flock of geese this morning - a sure sign of spring

I am always amazed how dirty the snow is when it starts melting
 Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Sweater Update

The hand dyed, hand spun sweater is coming along nicely (I added the neckband already because I want to be able to use all the pink wool left over for the top of the sleeves).

The snow has started melting - last year it didn't start melting until well into April. We also didn't get as much snow this year as last year.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

New Toy

My new toy is a blending board - it is a fun way to mix fibres for spinning. This is my first attempt, so I tried blending little bits of fibre I've had for a while. There is some BFL wool (from SweetGeorgia Yarn, in the Tavern colour way), natural silk and merino blend, gold angelina, and white tencel (a man made silky fibre, similar to rayon).

Using a blending board is like painting with fibres (here is a link for the product on YouTube) - very easy to use.

These are the rolages I produced - just over 40g of fibre.

They spun up so easily - I used a long draw, woolen method of spinning. This is the first time I have spun like this, and it sure was quick.

I ended up with about 140m, 40g of lace weight to light fingering weight yarn.

The yarn is nice and fluffy too, because it is a true woolen (both in fibre prep and drafting method). I think I am really going to enjoy my new toy!

the sunset this evening

Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Winnipeg
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Fourth Skein and a Start

I finished spinning the fourth (and last) skein of yarn for my sweater.

Made from these two bobbins. It came out more purple than I thought it would, so it is similar to the third skein.

All four skeins

About 800g, and almost 1400m in total.

I couldn't wait to start knitting the sweater.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Third Skein

I finished spinning the third skein of yarn yesterday (tomorrow I should finish spinning the last skein).

It was so pretty when it was spinning on the wheel.

The two bobbins before plying (each skein is made up of two different colour ways plied together),

and the finished skein. About 190g, and just over 400m of DK weight, 100% Merino wool yarn.

You can tell it is getting a bit warmer because the partridges don't need to puff out their feathers so much. They seem to have split off in to pairs now - spring must be on the way!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.
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