Monthly Archives: April 2011

Sweet Georgia Yarns – February – April 2011 Fibre Club

Felicia Lo at Sweet Georgia Yarns has a Fibre Club.  Once a month, for three months in a row — you get a braid of wonderfully dyed unspun fibre.  It’s a lovely way to experiment with new fibres and new spinning techniques.

Along with the fibre that you get with the club — approximately 4 oz — I ordered the additional amount. Which is double.  My thought was that I would experiement with the first braid and then settle in with a well considered spinning approach for the second braid.

Here are the results:

This is the February fibre.  It’s called “Sticky Jam”. It is 75% Bluefaced Leicester and 25% Tussah Silk.

I spun this very fine on my drop spindle and plyed it on my Ashford Traditional.
This double-ply skein is about 7/8ths of a braid.  So there’s more to go.

The March fibre is called “Placid Waters”.  It is 50% merino wool, 25% bamboo and 25% tussah silk.
Felicia Lo encouraged us to maintain the richness of the colourways by Navajo plying it.  The result is lovely and well advised.

The three skeins are the products of an entire braid. 

The April fibre is Falkland wool and the colourway is called “Vintage Postcards”.  The spinning advice was for spinning a low-twist single.  And the second advice is to spin slubs (a thick and thin yarn). 

Haven’t yet tried the slubs, but the skein shown is a low twist single.  It’s about 2/3rds of a braid.

That was time well spent.

So there’s a lot more spinning to do as I takle the second braid in each colourway.  Will try slightly different spinning techniques so I can really explore the fibre. 

And of course I signed up for the next Fibre Club – May to July!

My UFO’s – A Hall of Inspiration

For those of you with Puritan roots, you could see this as a Hall of Shame — an abundancy of unfinished objects that would have our New England ancestors turning in their graves. But here they are — seven of them.  [I actually have several a few more unfinished objects, but these are ones that are recognizable as knitted objects.  The others kind of look like swatches and test cases.]

In the midst of pulling them out of their hiding places and posing them for the photo shoots — I’ve been re-inspired.  There are several here that I am DEFINITELY going to finish, and one that I am going to rip back and reclaim the needles.

Before you read about them, just look at the photos and see if you can guess which one is toast.

Above:  This is a crocheted scarf — the yarn is amazingly soft Peruvian Cotton with a very light twist.  It will make a perfect accessory to anything I own for the colours are all mine. I put it down — years ago — and everytime I pick it up, I get tripped up because I can’t quite remember the pattern.  I will do a row and then the feeling of — “I’m making a mistake” takes the joy out of it and I put it down.
Below is the Claudia Skirt — it’s only in the unfinsihed pile because I got busy with the spinning workshops and other stuff — and I am having a hard time deciding how long I want it to be.  Right now it reaches my knees. I am not sure how “inaction” is going to help me decide, but there are many things that can fill my time until I do make the decision.
Additionally, I needed a deadline to complete this and it passed.  So I’ve created a new one for myself — the June Guild meeting — it’s going to be a Celebration of our 40th Anniversary as a Guild.  She will get her much overdue debut then.
This is a baby sweater.  I started making it for the daughter of a girl friend — the first grandchild in our midst.  I am shamed to say this little sweetie is now 5.  It’s all handspun yarn.  I stopped knitting it because I ran out of the white yarn — had to order more fibre from the source — kid mohair and angora — spun it up, and life got in the way.  ´╗┐It’s a beauty and really deserves to be completed.
Here is the Hall of Solo Socks.  Each one has its own rationalization story. 
The pair below: started them with enthusiasm and designed my own pattern for it. It’s a cabled leg.  I was so obsessed with making the pattern that I failed to notice that you can’t even see the cable work because of the variagated yarn.  So I stopped.  Started again half a year later when I realized that I could over-dye it an bring out the cable work.  Then I lost the scrap of paper that I wrote the pattern on and I’ve had to read it as I go along.  Not a big deal, but not a knitting pleasure.
I started making these a while ago and hated the yarn from the moment I cast on.  It is a lightly twisted singles yarn. Here’s a tip:  If you hate the yarn at the cast on stage, you are probably going to hate it the rest of the way.  And this one didn’t let me down.  I also dislike the length of the colour ways.  It’s like it’s NEVER, EVER going change colour.  I kept going because. . . .because I wanted to get to the red.  But alas, I got out of the brown, into the green, onto the blue and then the darned GREEN and BROWN stared all over again.  Trying to match these up is going to kill me.  I HATE these socks. 
I wrote about this pair in a blog post.  I love the pattern and yarn and the needles I am using to make them.  I only stopped because I had other projects to complete.  I didn’t want to have SSS – Second Sock Syndrome, so I made the leg of one, and then started making the leg of the other.  For this pair, it’s only a matter of time.  I will probably bring these with me on my next trip to Winnipeg.  Good knitting time on the planes.
I call these the Dirty Birthday Cake socks.  The yarn has wild birthday type colours that have been muted slightly.  Nothing exciting — wrote the pattern myself — like the pair above, it’s only a matter of time.  In fact, I started making these on my last trip to Winnipeg.  Socks are good things for the plane. They pack up small and if you have the pattern memorized, you don’t have to carry around a pattern book.
So there are the seven unfinished objects that I am willing at this time to share with you.  The others will stay stashed until I get struck by “finish-i-tis”. 
Can you guess which one is going to be reclaimed?  Or given away for someone else to complete?

Studio time and CBC radio

Now that I have an accessible studio, I can waltz in there and work at my pleasure.  So today, a lovely Sunday, that is exactly what I am doing.  I am listening to “Cross Country Check-Up” on Radio One — of course it’s about the election, and combing more of the polwarth fibre for drop spinning. 

I wrote about the polwarth in a previous blog post.  On all my travels this year, managed to spin up all the fibre I had prepared that weekend.  It is lovely stuff — so fine and so soft.  You can wear it next to your skin. There were enough combed nests to make two full spindles of finely spun singles.  I wound them into hard balls and plyed them on my spindle. 

It only weighs 3/4 of an ounce (20g) but it is nearly 90m of yarn. I don’t know what I will do with it yet.  A project hasn’t called me yet.  I do know that I want to dye it.  Mostly because I want to see how it will take dye.

Here’s the whole family of activity.  The wool comb is in the top left corner with nicely combed top ready to be pulled into a roving.  A couple of nests, newly made, ready for spinning are in the bottom left.  My Houndesign laceweight spindle with a bit of spinning on it already.  And the first skein.

Back to work and “Cross Country Check-Up”.