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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Back to Spinning

I have not been spinning that much the last year or so because of my back and hips but found the container with my petting fibre's in it.....petting fibres are really nice fibre that you look at and admire but are afraid to spin as you are afraid they will not look as nice as they do now if they are spun up. I had forgot I had two braided rovings that daughter M.J. had picked up for me a few years ago, and I thought o.k. I am going to get these spun up, so I unbraided one of the braids and thought....if I spin it as it is there are going to be long large areas of one color and as I was going to spin one braid of roving and then spin the other braid which were matching colors....did I really want to knit something with large blocks of color, the braids were only 50grms each so would only end up with a 100grm ball of yarn when plyed....what to do....then I had read some info about spinning and plying a gradient yarn....so off I went to the computer to see what information I could find to give me some ideas. I came across a video where a lady had as an experiment had spun up two rovings dyed the same and plyed them and knit some mittens and it showed large patches of color on the small items. Then with two more rovings dyed the same colors she had spun one of the rovings as it was with the large patches of separate colors, then she took the other dyed roving and split it in four pieces and spun them each one after the other giving her smaller areas of color and she had some mittens knit from that skein and the colors flowed together nicely. So I took one of the rovings and split it in four pieces and spun them up. Here is the picture of the four pieces spun and the other roving I was going to spin as it was.
The fibre mix in the roving was a wool/silk mix and it did not say what kind of wool or the amount of silk was in it and I have an idea it might have been a superwash wool and it might have had more silk in it than I thought. Where the roving was the darkest blue it was felted a bit and in that dark blue area the silk was in lumps,so it was a bit of a fight to spin pulling the lumps out as I spun. So when it came to spinning the other roving I decided I would draft out the roving and pull out the lumpy/felted bits before I started spinning it and here it is.....it looks so delicious I hated to spin it!
But it had to be spun...well it started with the dark blue and I was spinning away...and....and....hit a piece of pure silk and it got away from me and separated from the roving and lost it's twist....now anyone that hasn't spun silk or 100 percent mohair and had this happens....I can not describe the horror....do not know how long it took me to manage to get enough twist into spun piece so I could get it to grab onto the roving but eventually got the spin going again and was super carefull from then on, there were such long stretches of the colors I was wishing I had maybe split the second roving into two pieces but it was too late so kept spinning and got it all spun and here are the two bobbins....
The next day I plyed the bobbins together which was also a chore as the singles were uncontrollable until I remembered I had a tension thing on my lazy kate...and I thought to myself...do you really know what you are doing! But then I have been mainly spinning alpaca and it does not usually get out of control so have not used the tension for ages. o.K. it is under control and finished plying the yarn all the time thinking it is not going to look as good as it did sitting in roving form......so off I went to bed, it was after midnight and I would take it off the bobbin the next day. The next morning I decided I would knit a few rows on the scarf I was going to finish before I started on something new which I got tired of and started something new....the spinning of the roving.....I wanted to finish up all the yarn I was knitting the scarf with and I swear the ball of yarn keeps growing when I turn my back as it is never ending. So sat down to knit on the scarf for a few rows before I went and took the spun yarn off the bobbin and Hubby came in and had to chat about something and I messed the row up I was knitting....lost a stitch somewhere, and in the pattern there are so many yarn overs and the yarn is a bit sticky and the only way to get back on track is to slowly rip back rows one stitch at a time until you are back on track with the pattern....so no progress on the scarf, just managed to get it back on track. I got my knitty knotty and started winding the yarn off the bobbin and as I was doing that the bobbin rolled back and the yarn wound around the shaft that holds the bobbin where all the oil collects where you oil the shaft!! And I only have two hands!! After a bit I finally got the yarn back on track...blotted the oil off the section of yarn that was around the shaft and went on and finished winding all the yarn on the knitty knotty and went to tie it off....and when I was juggling everything I ended up winding the yarn the wrong way right in the middle....now what am I going to do....got my swift out and up and slowly...slowly rewound the yarn off the knitty knotty. Now I finally have a skein of yarn.....I just had to put it in time out for a while....last night before I went to bed I washed the skein and hung it to dry and here she is....
Now the proof of success is going to be in the knitting....what should I knit....have to think about it and look at a few patterns...have not figured out the yardage but weighted it and it is 105grms. That was my week....but the good thing is...the snow is almost gone...the perennials are starting to come up so I better get out and clean up all the old foliage and the tomato and pepper seeds I have under the lights are up and some are getting their second leaves so will be ready to pot up pretty soon! I think spring is finally here!!!!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Where is the Sun!! I Run on Solar Power!!

I have been knitting up some of my unfinished articles....and a lot of them are slipper socks...why so many unfinished slipper socks?? Well when I need some knitting to take with me as I run out the door or something to knit while watching T.V I just grab some yarn and needles to take with me....then a knitting order comes in and I have to tuck it away etc. etc. So I decided I would not start another thing until I found all the unfinished slipper socks and finish a scarf I started a few years ago. So far have finished the slippers I had on the go.
Now have been knitting on the scarf, it is not fast even though it is a one row scarf so only have to remember one row but the yarn is a fine sock yarn so is taking a bit to knit but just have a small ball of yarn left to go, Love the way the scarf is working out, my favorite colors!! I think I had this picture in a post this summer but will post it again as the colors showed up so great in the sunlight...these days it is hard to get a good picture in the house!
Oh look at the green grass!! And my Delphiniums!! Hopefully we will see it again pretty soon! Right now it is so cold and we just got a new snowfall last night. Is supposed to warm up a bit in a couple of days, hope it does and that is the last of the snow and cold weather! (Am probably dreaming) But the first day of spring in coming up pretty soon.....

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Winter is back!!

After having nice weather and the snow and finally the ice disappearing we had snow last night so everything is white again, I see the evidence on the deck of our Mango cat playing at making snow balls, hubby said there were cat tracks all over the yard and barnyard, he must have been having a great time out there. Never seen a cat enjoy fresh fluffy snow like he does!!
After I finished knitting the cat socks I was left with a bit of yarn left over and I had a ball of black sock yarn with bits of gold in it so I made myself a pair of short socks, I knit the leg with the black and then I had weighted the cat yarn and knit the foot until I had knit up half the yarn then finished the sock with the black, after knitting the other sock to match I only had a tiny little ball of the sock yarn left, I have a pattern somewhere that I have made tiny cats, maybe I have enough cat yarn left to make one......where would that pattern be....? Then a elderly gentleman near where my sister lives had lost his house to a fire right around Christmas, she said he was upset as he had lost his 'real' wool socks so I knit him up a pair of "real" wool socks, just finished them up the other day and got them in the mail today, if he looks carefully he can probably still find bits of straw in them, if that isn't proof of 'real' wool I do not know what is!! Now I better get at another unfinished item and free up some of my knitting needles, I have a lot of needles and when I can not find the sizes I need and have to rob from on going projects...leaving notes on the item of what needles I was using....that is a sign I should get some things finished up. When you find you have three pair of slipper socks.....on needles....you should give yourself a good talking to!! Am off to knit....on a unfinished item....... Real Wool Socks.....Washed and drying!!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Calico Socks Finished!!!

Finally here we are all finished, the first sock I finished no problem but the second sock I was almost cross eyed trying to decrease for the toe, with the color variation in the yarn could not see whether I had decreased or not on the rows and kept getting mixed up so had to rip it back and I took a piece of paper and wrote knit on one side and decrease on the other side so I could flip over when I finished a row and know what row was next, it worked and it was finished in no time. Now I have quite a bit of the yarn left over and I have a ball of black yarn the same fibre content as the cat yarn, it is a bit thinner so have doubled it....and this is the plan....I will knit the leg with the black yarn, then I have weighed the cat yarn and will knit the heel and foot until half of the left over yarn is used...am hoping that it will be enough so only have the toe left and will knit the toe in black, if not will just finish the foot and toe in the black.....that is the plan....Have started knitting the leg....only doing a small cuff....should have rewound the ball on my ball winder as I am knitting from both ends to double the yarn....and I have a tangled mess so it is a slow go but almost finished the cuff and will start on the cat yarn and will go rewind the ball before I start the other sock!! Everyone is posting the birds at their feeders but for some reason we are not getting many birds, maybe because we have farms around us and everyone is hauling their grain to market lately so there is plenty of spilled grain around the bins. But what I did get a picture of is our resident fox in the front yard! usually he is in the llama/alpaca field catching mice, we see where he gets under the fence but here he is in the yard and my old seventeen old barn cats are out sunning themselves by the garage....do foxes eat cats?? Not taking any chances so all I had to do was open the door and he left the yard. He has a beautiful tail!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Calico Cat Socks

Here is the process on my Calico Cat socks! A lot of things I should have done differently with these socks...like should have searched around and found my trusty sock pattern that I usually use, Even though I used the size needles this pattern asked for and actually knit a swatch they are a little wide in the foot...but only a little....I think when I wash and block them they will be o.k. I did change the size of the needles for the cuff of the sock as I wanted it tighter but should have used that size for the foot too.The yarn is an eight ply....eight ply! how can they spin such a fine strand? eight ply....do not think I like knitting with the eight ply...have found a couple of spots in my knitting where one strand on a stitch did not get picked up...but they are my socks so do not really care but if I was knitting them to sell I would have gone back and reknit the stitch. Crazy pattern of colors when knit up, could make a person dizzy when knitting but you could make mistakes and never notice it. So almost finished the other sock. Going to knit a few more pair of socks while I am on a sock roll but will dig out my regular pattern. But really what I should do is find some unfinished projects to finish up....right... The sun was shining yesterday and thought I would take my camera and take some pictures outside....but nothing and no one wanted their pictures taken....the llamas and alpacas were out in the field enjoying the nice weather munching here and there and would not even lift their heads up to look at me....they have been hiding out in the barns with the cold weather we had so were enjoying the warm sunny day.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Frosty Mornings and Back to Knitting.....

After having such cold snowy weather the winds came in and temps came up and a lot of our snow has disappeared, have been getting fog at night and this is what we wake up to in the morning....frosty sparkly trees!!. Now today we have clear sky and the temp is warmer. In the cold weather we could not open the back door...the locks were frozen...the door is on the north side of the house, one year I had all the doors freeze up and could not get out of the house...too scary! For some reason this year it is only the back door, now we need a storm door. RH searched around and found a storm door that was not mostly glass that would fit, brought it home but had to wait until warmer weather to install it. With the warmer weather we have it installed so hopefully when...(if) we get really cold weather the door will not freeze up. So we put the storm door in.....bought a small electric snow blower to remove the snow from the decks....got a block heater installed on the car.....now we are prepared... we will not get any more freezing weather this year.... Have not been knitting since before Christmas but finally brought my needles out and a skein of yarn my daughter gave me last Christmas, it is an Ancient Arts yarn 80% superwash merino/20% nylon....I call it my cat yarn, the color is taking from a cat picture and named Calico Cat. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this yarn are donated by Ancient Arts to charities benefiting stray and abandoned cats. Decided I would knit myself some socks! So here it is...interesting how the colors are knitting up.
Last post I wrote I had downloaded the Blogo app so I could post to my blog and it worked great....for one post....now I could not post through blogo because...an error 401 came up...whatever in the ***** that is!! I am sure the powers that be are trying to fry my brain!!! But....But...I went back to original blogger and played around and something must have changed as now I can post pictures in my blog...could not believe it!! almost fell off my chair! Have to have a chat with grandson and see what this error 401 is.....I did look into it and it looks like a common problem.....but when it said there was an app called error401 that I needed to download.....I thought...better check this out before downloading....just incase....

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Hope this solves the problem!!!

It has been ages since I have been able to get a blog post up and am hoping that this is going to work. I investigated online for help in blogging in blogger on a mac computer and being able to post pictures and I found a free app called Blogo that hopefully has solved my problems of posting a blog, so far it looks great….but I have to learn different ways of doing things. This is a test blog….we will see what happens.

Have taken most of the Christmas decorations down and packed them away until next year….I say most of them because just look at this smug little guy….he was raising such a fuss about getting into his storage box to be tucked away that I said…O.K…..you can hang around until the snow is gone and I see green grass….only because you are so cute!! So he is hanging out with his happy little face! Here goes am going to hit publish…….