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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Navaho Plying----I did it!!


I did it!! I navaho plyed the whole spool of the tan colored alpaca/wool/mohair mix singles that I had on a bobbin and I think I got it. It has a few places that are a bit overspun but other than that it turned out great. I was so excited I went digging around in the mound of odd bits and pieces and found some singles that I had taken off a bobbin and rolled on a paper roll who knows how long ago...it could be ten years but I "think" it is all wool, so thought I would navaho ply that too and it worked out great. Only thing was the singles were really set after all those years and when I took the skein off the knitty noddy it was a mess as it twisted all over the place. So I soaked it in hot water and a bit of soap and then gave it a rinse and hung it to dry putting just a little weight on it and let it dry and it turned out great. So here they are!! Now to try the spinning from the fold for the long alpaca. But am taking a break and spinning some merino roving that I had rainbo dyed a bit ago. Also had a hat attack and knit five hats and two pair of slipper sox. They are washed and drying as I sit here, will take pictures later. Also the local mill just phoned me and the alpaca fibre I took up to them is all processed....I can not believe it!!...am I special or what!! They must have processed my order first!! Yahoo!!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Spinning and SPINNING!!




Where does the time go? Yesterday I pulled out the spinning wheel finally, have to spin in the bedroom as we are putting the stone on the fireplace so are walking on sand all over the floor and there are pieces of stone all laid out all over. I am trying to stay sane because what a difference it will make with stone on that wall instead of black tar paper and chicken wire, think we will be able to stand the change?? I had washed some of the black alpaca that was too long to send to the mill and had carded it with a bit of grey merino roving but with the merino being so short and the alpaca so long it did not card in very well and you can see the grey bits, should have dyed the merino first. Then I got the great idea to put it through the carder again putting some colored silk in it. It was really hard to spin being so long and sometimes it would break and I would have to go back and find the end and get it started again Grrrrrrrrr. One thing that happens (at least to me) is I think too much when I am doing things and I thought as the singles are so fine maybe I should spin up another bobbin and ply three together, was almost finished the last bobbin and the single broke and I could not find the end!! As the picture shows I made a real mess trying to find the end and was at the point where I was going to find a scissor and start cutting but had to go medicate myself with some chocolate first, that calmed me enough to not pick up the scissor but to try to find the end again and there it was!! (picture happiness)Off I went and finished spinning and started plying thinking to myself that if I would smarten up and get the navaho plying thing down I would have just to have one bobbin instead of three. Note to self....you can not do anymore spinning until you get the navaho plying thing. When I was plying and ran out of singles on one bobbin I thought well I could just start the navaho plying right now....so that is what I did. I could always cut that bit out if it did not turn out...right. I skeined it and gave it a wash and hung it to dry overnight, it looked a bit overspun. Now this morning as I sat drinking my juice in a sunbeam with the cats I was glancing through a spin-off mag. and behold!! there was an article about navaho plying!! They warn you about putting too much twist in your singles if you are doing a three ply....forgot about that....but then the singles started out to be two ply. Just went and got the dry skein and it is overspun a bit but actually it is not that bad, it is really soft, really do not like the grey wool bits showing up in it but.....I had another thought......if I had not put the colored silk in it I could overdyed the skein and all the grey bits would have showed up in color.....right? Now I am all excited to spin another skein with wool bits and overdye it!!But first I better go practice on the navaho ply thing, I have a full bobbin of tan colored alpaca/wool already spun and I am going to navaho ply the whole thing if it kills me. I am also going to try to spin the long alpaca from the fold and see if that is better, haven't spun from the fold in ages so that is liable to be another adventure.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Better Hat Picture


The picture I took of the hats was not great, sun is shining so took them outside and took another picture, now they look happier. I think I will sit in a sunbeam with the cats for a minute.......who knows when it will be back.


Well have finally finished the last thing on my 2007 list and can start the new year at this house!! Here are the little sheep hats that a lady ordered before Christmas, she has three little boys and dresses them all the same. She phoned me before Christmas to say that she had bought one of my sheep hats at a sale, the seller had bought the hat from me and for some reason she was reselling it but had left my tag on it, she said her boys loved it but were sharing it, they were taking turns wearing it, they even wore it to bed. So she needed two more and here they are. The pattern is from WOODSMOKE WOOLWORKS, she has patterns for the hats with cats, rabbits etc. I made them a couple years ago and had so many orders I was crazy, that is all I was doing was knitting sheep hats so was afraid to even put one on my sale table this year. The funny thing was it was the adults that wanted me to knit them sheep hats. I don't mind knitting the hat...it is those %$^&*^% little sheep that hang off the top!!! It takes as long to knit them, and stuff them, put them on their stings and put them on the hat as it does to knit the hat, the pattern calls for three little sheep on the top and if you make the hat with earflaps you put a sheep on each tie. I thought two sheep were enough!! I am going to try to crochet the little sheep and see if that is easier.....would save me having to say all those bad words. I would be a better person. My other problem with the little sheep are the cats think I made the sheep for them, so I have to hide them or search all over the house for them. So that is done..YA YA!! Plus I finished the other pair of gloves for resident husband, here they are in all their glory, look at the beautiful fingers and the cute little thumb!!
So to start my new year I am going to spin..and spin..and spin Ta La Ta La Ta La (picture dancing around the room here) Have to do some carding too I guess so I have something to spin.....right??