Disappointing

They say that pride comes before a fall and irritatingly, They are usually right. Alfresco is a beautiful yarn and I remain very proud of it. Meringue however, not so much. It was the fibre that I blended and spun for the Spunout shawl SAL/KAL. However, I decided not to use a control card to help me maintain a relatively consistent thickness instead spinning to what I thought was my “default” thickness. I’d heard so much of spinners having a “default yarn” that I thought I should try to find mine. Turns out I don’t have one!

Whilst the thickness of the singles isn’t dramatically variable it is definitely inconsistent, in a very bad way, though this wasn’t immediately noticeable as singles on the bobbin.

I plied 2 bobbins of singles together and when they were finished and I slipped them off the noddy-noddy and astonishingly, the yarn was really balanced and I mean REALLY balanced! Before it’s bath and thwacking balanced!

Still, it looked like this…

 

…and that’s before we even mention that the yarn turned out the colour of ancient bra! Not the desired effect at all. For those who don’t know me IRL, ancient bra is on a par with baby poo and insipid apricot as my worst colours ever!

As the yarn was balanced, I didn’t think that passing it through the Hansen in a clockwise direction was going to improve matters, though perhaps I am wrong in that. One thing that I could do to improve the yarn was to dye it a prettier colour than “ancient bra”.

Fortunately, I’d planned a crafty meet up with Ursula and Bee. Ursula has a spectacular talent for dyeing so off I went in the hope of redeeming my fugly yarn.

So, we did a randomised uncontrolled  dyeing experiment in immersion dyeing, adding a bit of this colour and that colour and waiting to see what the end result is. To be completely honest I really didn’t care so long as it wasn’t one of the aforementioned colours in the end.

This is the result of that experiment.

 

I told you she was talented! I love the way it turned out even though it didn’t magically restore the yarn’s consistency problems or even hide them very much.

Anyway the proof will be in the knitting and I just have to figure out what to knit with it. I shall knit it very soon because let’s face it, I have no desire to have it hanging around in the skein so I can admire my spinning skills. I do however, want to knit it up to see how the colours behave.

Anyhoo, more positive news is on the horizon.

ttfn x

Alfresco spun up

Do you remember Alfresco? Well, I’ve just finished spinning up 100g of it and though I say so myself, it is totally yummy.

 

I spun it on my Hansen and then Navajo plied it to get 115 yards. According to my WPI gauge it’s somewhere between an aran weight and bulky yarn. There are subtle changes in tone throughout that my photography skills haven’t done justice to at all. It’s also very squooshy which you can’t tell either.

At the moment I am really loving blocks of coloured yarn knitted with blocks of natural sheepy yarn and that’s what I have in mind for this yarn. But as you all know I’m as fickle as the wind so that could all change. I haven’t got a pattern in mind as yet.

Three bags full

I love blending wool on my hackles but it does come with a downside.

 

That’s all the waste from just the Alfresco!

 

So now I have 3 bags full of blending waste.

I was wondering if there was anyone out there who could make use of nearly 1.8 kgs of fluff for free. Obviously postage would have to be paid for by the recipient. As I do blend with felt resistant wools such as Southdown and Dorset Horn not all of it is felt able .

Alfresco

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…

 

…or 2

 

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!

top or roving, what’s the difference?

I thought I’d take a little time to explain the terminology because these two terms are frequently confused.

Simply put, top is combed fibre that is either commercially combed or hand combed so that all of the fibres are aligned and the shorter fibres are removed. Top can then be spun using short draw which maintains the parallel fibre alignment to create a worsted spun yarn.

Roving is carded fibre which can contain both short and long fibres. The fibres are not aligned parallel to each other. Roving can then be used to create a woollen spun yarn when spun with a woollen spinning technique.

My preference tends to be a worsted yarn because it has more strength and drape than the woollen yarns but it is a personal preference.

The benefit I find, to hand combed top is that the top is less compacted which makes drafting easier and prevents your hands from hurting after a long period of spinning. I add this because myself and several spinners I know have said how their hands get sore sometimes when spinning with a compacted or felted top. Hand combed top also produces a much less dense, more airy and elastic yarn.

I hope this helps.

Catagorical

I’m usually adverse to labels and labelling as it’s usually followed by stereotyping and judgement which make my cringe but it just occurred to me that I might have unknowingly crossed a line.

I appear to have become a spinner who knits rather than a knitter who spins. When I say this I don’t infer any kind of level of expertise, heck I have so much to learn about both crafts that I think intermediate beginner is probably an exaggeration of my skill level. It just seems that given a choice I would much rather spin than knit. Put another way, knitting is something I do these days when I can’t spin. I absolutely could never see myself giving up knitting, never in a million years! However, my current WiPs only 1 knitting project and 4 spinning projects certainly give the game away.

Currently on my needles is Terra by Jared Flood. I’m really enjoying this knit even if last night I ripped back a huge chunk because I’d messed up the garter stitch edging on 2 rows. A testimony to my beginner skill level if ever there was one.

On the Hansen is the accent colour for a Dream Stripe shawl that I’m doing for the Spunout shawl SAL/KAL on Ravelry.

 

On my spindles are The Thylacine sock club fibre on the Turkish and my own blends on the Ken Ledbetter.

 

One thing I will always be though, is a woolista.

double blended duck egg omlette

I always try to follow advice given to me by wise, knowledgeable people and a comment by Jules on my last post about making more for myself really hit the mark. So much so, that I immediately set to work.

I took a custom blend I’d had made by World of Wool which was a bit insipid as I hadn’t put enough colour in it and I added three more shades of dyed merino to it. Then I put it through the hackles twice to make delicious clouds of duck egg fluff.

 

I’m in love 😀

Thanks Jules

Duck Egg Omlette

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.

 

Creme Caramel

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.

 

Blueberry

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.