Friday, June 29, 2007

Black Sheep Gathering: Washed fleece and spun locks.

We have been very busy around here. Washing (which may have to join the list of verbs to keep warm), flicking, spinning, and washing again. I can not wait to knit these into swatches.

From left to right: targhee, shetland, shetland (I have left the guard hairs in both shetland), coopsworth/romney, and ramboulliet. Out of all of the samples, I love them all, but I especially love the Ramboulliet. It feels like velvet. Sometimes the color looks dark grey and sometimes chocolate brown. I defintely see a sweater in the future.

All 1oz samples have been spun from the lock with a mainly worsted draw. I find spinning from the lock somewhat frustrating. Funny enough, while most people learn how to draft worsted, I learned to draft over the fold with a long draw. The over the fold draw is great because its brings alot of air into the yarn making it very lofty and soft but soemtimes it is nice to have a tighter, slicker yarn. Also, I am used to spinning from top or roving. I decided to try and perfect my worsted draw because I would really love to use these yarns to make a cable sweater and I would really like those cables to pop. Needless to say, this experiment has been a challenge, trying to maintain the proper worsted drafting method, feeding a similiar and continuous amount of fibers into the drafting triangle and so on.

My next program will be to spin each type of fiber from a carded rolag. And to spin the shetland without the guard hairs. Onto the next topic, the new additions to my stash:

Lynne Vogel has hand dyed this beautiful blend of 60% merino/40% bamboo.

This is my first top up sock. I picked up this yarn from the Blue Moon Fibers booth. As you can see, there is another skein of Blue Moon hanging out in the background.

You might say "What on earth?" But I ask for you to with hold your judgement. Yes, the colors are in athestetic nightmare. But, these were done entirely on a drop spindle. I have to add that I have hated my drop spindle for the past years and am very proud to announce that I have a new warm and friendly relationship with my drop spindle. And, the even cooler aspect of these socks, is that they were knit as I spun, thus, they are made from energized singles. The close up photo is meant to show you the singles slanting. Energized singles give you a very elastic and springy sock. The only other cool piece of information that I can add is that these socks were plant dyed. Oh, and they actually fit my feet. Something, that I have not been so successful at in the past.

Here, we have a photo of my sad little indigo shawl. I started using a pattern from the Folk Shawls book. You know, I really don't think I like this book. Every shawl I try, I just don't like. What's a girl to do? Well, she goes out and buys A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara Walker. And, she makes up her own pattern. Swatching starts soon. I am feeling a watery, an ocean theme perhaps.


Stefaneener said...

You broke into the indigo! Good for you. I can't wait to see more of the Ramboulliet. Yum. And the socks -- good for you. Mine are just a languishing pile somewhere, but I plan to drop-and-knit mine soon. Really. You're inspiring.

The sock yarn is pretty.

cpurl17 said...

You're on fire with the fleece! Go you!

My sock never made it to life. The little bit I made turned into a lumpy cat toy.

LeftCoast Knits said...

Ooh that Ramboulliet looks nice- I love the color!

I am very impressed that you knit the entire pair orf energized singles socks- mine never quuite got that far either! I really like the stripey one- very fun!

Anonymous said...

"I started using a pattern from the Folk Shawls book. You know, I really don't think I like this book. Every shawl I try, I just don't like. What's a girl to do?"

ha ha! classic kristine! i can just hear you saying that. by the way, your pictures are really lovely. they have such a nice warmth (even the crazy color socks!)