Before I do though, people who know me should be prepared as neither of them are duck egg blue, or even blue green. Yikes!
The first was originally meant to be 3 separate colours striped. I had it in my mind that I needed a yellow, grey and cream shawl or cowl or something and I had 3 Shetland tops in exactly those colours.
I started to spin the yellow and to me it just looked flat. So I got my hackles out and blended the 3 Shetland tops together to make something more pleasing to my eye. The finished yarn is about a 10-12ply.
The next yarn was a custom blend top from World of Wool. A gorgeous burnished orange BFL. Both BFL and Shetland have to be my two absolute favourite fibres to spin though they are quite different in character. But I could no more chose between them than chose between chocolate or salted caramels.
I don’t know what either of these yarns will become as yet but I think I need to spin a dark grey yarn to stripe with the orange.
I’ve been kind of busy with stuff which is why I haven’t blogged for a while.
Anyhoo, some crafting has been happening but not much, I finished a pair of ankle socks yesterday. They were my usual toe-up in a really beautiful Skein colour way “Industrial Age” I just cast off as soon as the heel was completed to give them a cute curled edge look. Here is the obligatory FO pic.
The cast off was the purl 2 together pass stitch back onto the left needle cast off, I don’t know if it has a proper name or anything. Sonia helped me pick the yarn out of my stash for them and she has excellent taste as you can tell.
I’ve also been working on a squishy blanket that’s going to take FOREVER! Actually I hope it doesn’t take forever because I might need it at some point this year if it ever gets cold. I am sooo very over this hot summer we’ve been having.
The pattern is Stephen West’s Garter Squish Blanket and I’m knitting it in Cascade Ecological and Eco+. I seriously can’t wait for some cold weather to snuggle under it.
Well, Summer is nearly upon us here in the Southern Hemisphere and though I’m not a huge fan of the hot weather (British understatement) I do enjoy an alfresco lunch with friends, preferably under the dappled shade of a tree or two. I love warmer days when you can throw open the windows and patio door to let some fresh air in. Gotta love fly screens though 😉
Anyway to the point!
I created a delicious double blended colour way for my Etsy store that makes me think of alfresco lunches with friends. It’s called, Alfresco! Ha, fancy that!
Alfresco on the hackles 2nd blending.
A dreamy cloud…
I spun up a sample because I needed to see it in the yarn so to speak. Obviously I’ve kept some back for myself. I’m not totally selfless! I see it as a shawl but then all I want to knit at the moment is shawls.
Oh, it’s a blend of BFL, English 56’s, Merino and a bit of Bamboo. There are only 2 x 130g boxes for sale for now so better be quick!
The last colour way of the day is Duck Egg Omlette. People who know me will be surprised that I’m even considering parting with this because it’s my absolute favourite colour but hey, I know the secret recipe 😉
It gets a lot of pics because it’s so flipping pretty!
1 part Merino
1 part BFL
1/2 white Shetland
1/2 grey Shetland
a pinch of Mohair
I have 170g available for $47.60 plus postage. As always it comes packaged in a box to prevent the squishing and ruffling of these hand blended fibres. Postage is by Australia post and will be calculated once I know where to send the pretty fluff.
More colour ways are on their way so visit me again soon.
Mmmmm, I love caramel and one of my favourite desserts is creme caramel though to be totally fair I love everything toffeeish and caramelly.
So, I’ve blended up some delicious caramel coloured Fluff on my hackles in celebration of all that is lovely and caramelly.
It’s fat free with no artificial sugars and light as a feather made from deliciously soft Merino weighing 110g and I’m selling it for $30 plus postage. It’s packaged in a box to prevent the squishing and tangling of the fibres that I’ve hand blended.
I’ve had a busy weekend with the hackles making lots of pretty clouds of wool.
It’s not a particularly great photograph but I just wanted to show what it is about blending on the hackles that makes me giddy with excitement. If you couldn’t guess its the play with colour, there are 3 shades of blue and 2 shades of purple in this blend. I like to blend like this because I’m trying to create yarn that isn’t flat in colour or tone, that has depth and interest. For me it’s a more natural and aesthetically pleasing.
This colour way is called blueberry because well, erm… it’s kinda like blueberries.
3 parts Corriedale
2 parts Merino
a pinch of bamboo
a pinch of silk
It’s 368g but I could split it in half or thirds. $28 per 100g because it’s hand blended it is very light and airy so it drafts beautifully. In order to preserve it’s light fluffiness I package it in boxes.
I think it’s safe to say that I’m a little bit obsessed with wool and that the more time I can spend with wool, the happier I am. Therefore adding another stage to the process of turning wool into knitted stuff is inevitably going to make me happier than a happy thing in a happy place. So let me show you what has been making me a very, very, happy, happy little woolista. (woolista: noun: like a fashionista but with much more sense)
Oh yes, Majacraft combs and hackle!
Which has enabled me to make these lovely samples.
From left to right; Herdwick and Merino, Massam and Merino, Corriedale and Merino, Dorset Horn and Merino and lastly, Southdown and Merino.
I had another play this morning with some Corriedale fleece and two colours of Merino.
Hackles loaded with wonderful wool.
Wool being dizzed off.
Pretty little nest of wool, wonder what it’s like spun up into singles? Let me grab a spindle.
Nice! Wonder what it’s like blended further?
The waste isn’t really waste because it can be felted, or carded and spun or tail spun or just spun as is into an art yarn.
There are so many ways to have fun with wool, which is why I love it so much.
Since we last spoke I’ve become polygamous again. I’m not normally comfortable with polygamous knitting, it tends to overwhelm me with all the WIPs bearing down on me but for many reasons I seem to have not two but three projects on the needles and it’s actually ok.
So you may recall I was knitting a pair of socks and I got this far on the second sock…
Then last weekend whilst browsing Ravelry for potential patterns for a handspun birthday gift for my sister I recalled a pattern for handspun fingerless gloves that I had queued previously. I started wondering whether the mini skeins of Bond 2ply and N-ply combined would be enough to make a pair of mitts. Then before I knew it I’d cast on for one because a pair of mitts takes a day and a half to knit up tops. Happily one mitt used just less than half the mini skeins in weight.
I love knitting with handspun sooo much it’s silly.
So anyway despite the fact that it takes less than a day to knit a mitt up I didn’t cast on for the second mitt because erm… *shrugs*
Instead I cast on for Ian’s birthday scarf in a bid to have it knit for the 2nd April which is his birthday. I am all impulsiveness at the moment which is so uncharacteristic but I’m quite enjoying it. I’m about half way through this scarf now and it’s ticking a number of happy boxes for me. It’s a pleasurable yet mindless knit, it is using up some stash from way back when, there are stripes and Ian loves it (he chose the yarn and the pattern).
I have decided on a pattern for Fiona’s birthday but only because I saw one of my fellow Richmond knitter’s wearing hers and I knew that it would be perfect instantly. I won’t blog about it though until it’s with it’s owner.
Sorry for the belatedness Fi but it had to be right.
My favourite online spinning store Spun Out has reopened, since the owner moved from Perth to Melbourne. So to celebrate I felt I aught to make a purchase or two. This was purely a selfless show of support of course, not at all because I am a greedy addict when it comes to beautiful fibre.
Amongst my purchases were three Skein merino/silk tops in the Wasabi colour-way. I love these colours so much.
I am a huge fan of Skein yarns as you know but sadly Kristen has stopped dyeing fibre so these tops are indeed a rare thing. They are 50% merino and 50% silk and so fine and slippery that I struggled to spin it on a wheel. This is probably my fault as I am a fast treadler, I am therefore spindling and enjoying every moment. I haven’t decided whether to 2ply or 3 ply yet but I definitely know I want to make a shawl with the yarn when it’s done.
Knitting is also very enjoyable at the moment, I’m up to mid-calf on the first sock.
That’s what I keep saying over and over again as I look at the yarn I just made. This surely is the greatest high that crafting brings. I mean, there are the regular pleasures of simply making stuff and frequently there is the “well it’s a little bit shit, but it still tastes nice/knits up well etc. But with this hand-spun it has been joy all the way.
It started out as two purple and blue tops and one blue tops (apologies for iPhone photo).
Which I spun up into three singles ready for plying.
I managed to 3 ply 250g/255m which turned out at 10wpi before running out of the blue singles.
So I continued and got 36g/67.5m 11wpi of 2ply before I ran out of one of the purple singles.
I Navajo plied the remainder into 13.5m which will nicely make a puff I think.
The colours are just beautiful, (I kept singing Purple Rain in my head whilst plying hence the name) the fibre is lush and I’m getting better at this spinning malarkey, Wayhay!
One thing that really made the spinning was that the tops had been prepared well and dyed beautifully so there was no felting whatsoever. It really highlighted for me that spinning joy is all in the preparation, which is why I NEED to buy some wool combs because that will make spinning my 2 fleeces much more pleasant.
Ooh, and for those who are interested Bond sheep are an Australian cross of Lincoln rams and Merino ewes. They get their name from the man who initially bred them Mr Bond, Thomas, not James :o)