Spinning

Skadi-California Red

california red

Wiki doesn’t have a photo of the California Reds, but here’s the link.

I’ve actually had this batch finished for months, just hanging out on the skeining ball. But the ceiling flooded in our bathroom again, so instead of doing OT I’m at home cleaning and decided to get Freya out again-which means there’s no time like the present to get working on Skadi.

Skadi [ Second Batch, California Red]

ply: n-ply

wpi: 11.5

yardage: 150 across 3 skeins

dye: n/a, natural

purchase: Etsy-Apple Rose Fibers

Project totals: 393 yards, 10.75 wpi

I am completely unfamiliar with California Red. My feelings are this: it was a dream to spin up. I don’t know how I feel about the fiber once it’s spun. The squishiness of it makes me want to spin it again, but it is flecked with darker hairs that make it look sort of grungy to me. I think it would be a beautiful base yarn for blues or greens though.

I’m looking forward to knitting this batch.

Next batch is mixed left over fiber batts and roving.

 

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Skadi-Planning

So I’m spinning all this yarn. I need to know what I’m spinning for, so I don’t spin all winter and end up with three times the wool I actually need.

(All photos belong to their designers, blogger does not claim ownership of any)

(All links are to Ravelry)

copywrite, Berroco

c, Berroco

 

Solaris, Berroco

I like that this one is fairly sleek, the pattern stitch is fairly low key, and there’s no button band to worry about. It’s nice for a work sweater, but I’m concerned about drape with the way that Skadi is spinning up.

Copywrite, Drops

c, Drops

114-2 jumper with cables and raglan sleeves in ”Karisma” by DROPS design

I don’t necessarily want to deal with the floppiness of a sweater on circulars while I’m knitting, and I think the heavier bits of the yarn will be too heavy on a size 6. But I like the yoke pattern.

c, Patons
c, Patons

Cabled Yoke Pullover by Patons

I really like the yoke on this one, but again with the knitting in the round.

c, Lion Brand

c, Lion Brand

Shaped Cable Top by Lion Brand

I really like this one, the construction is simple enough I could change the bottom band and readjust gauge. The only thing I would change right off the top would be lengthen the sleeves, but that’s simple enough.

c, Lion Brand
c, Lion Brand

Aran Sweater and Tam #1101 by Lion Brand Yarn

It’s been a long time (well over a decade) since I knit a sweater this heavily cabled. But if I could do it in high school, there’s no reason I couldn’t do it now.

c, Imperial Yarns

c, Imperial Yarns

Winter Games Pullover, by Tanis Gray

I like this one. I would just knit the sleeves plain.

Skadi-Jacob

Remember this attractive fellow?

photo by David Merrett

photo by David Merrett

One of this brethren spun up something like this:

 

 

Skadi [First Batch, Jacob]

ply: n-ply

wpi: 10

yardage: 243 across 5 skeins

dye: n/a, natural

purchase: Rhinebeck, in person

The fiber was split into two bags. The first bag was less compacted, but the second ironically spun up more evenly.

Jacob is both a primitive and relatively rare breed. I did enjoy this spin, and would spin Jacob again. It’s not a top fiber, it’s not a favorite, but it was pleasant enough.

The fiber looked and felt clean-until I did the clean up. My wheel looks like it snowed and the wash water when I set the twist was fairly dark. The roving wasn’t fully stripped and that may play a part in it.

*I did beat up on the yarn a little in finish to get it to full a little. I washed it without soap to keep that lanolin in it and washed it as hot as the water would come out of the tap. I whacked it against the side of the tub to set the twist.

**I have a lot of varying different shades of natural, so I’m skeining Skadi a lot smaller than normal to make alternating skeins a little quicker/easier.

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Skadi

skadi jacob 2

Just for something different, I actually ran a poll online to name this yarn.

Skadi was the winner. Skadi is a Norse giantess and goddess associated with skiing, winter, mountains and hunting.

I have a tendency to let myself buy undyed fiber. It tends to be cheaper per ounce (quality and breed dependent) and I can then dye it, spin it, and knit with it-I get more ‘usage’ out of it than pre-dyed fiber. Though I can’t resist good sock fiber.

I don’t however own a good white, work appropriate sweater anymore and all of my sweater projects for the last few years have ended up hibernating somewhere.

skadi jacob 1

With any luck, Skadi will eventually end up a mixed breed, white, slightly textured and maybe cabled sweater. Probably a men’s pattern, so I don’t have to worry about fit over other clothes and wearing my sweater tighter than comfort at work.

This is the first ball of the Jacob fiber I bought at Rhinebeck. I still have half the Jacob left to spin so I don’t have yardage or WPI yet. This handsome fellow is a Jacob ram-

photo by David Merrett

photo by David Merrett

Bloggers-I have started a new group board on Pinterest. Open to all DIY, craft, food, or other creative blogs, I would love to have you join. Joining instructions are posted on the board-join here.

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Dyeing in Pint Jars-Solar or Stove Top

I’m sort of in between projects right now. Or rather, I’m sort of in the middle. Even the shrub I’m working on is still at the sit there stage.

It makes it kind of hard to post about anything, when all I have to show you is a half finished or quarter finished project.

This wasn’t meant to be the summer of the dye pot, but I’ll tell you what I have been doing all the time lately. This has easily become one of my favorite ways to dye. I use it all the time right now.

There are some downsides to pint jar dyeing, and the big one is that you can only fit so much fiber in a jar at once. I don’t mind my roving being split because I split it anyway but I can see this being an issue if you’re dyeing yarn. You’re also limited to how many jars you can fit in a stock pot, unless you’re solar dyeing and can just sort of line them up. But since this is the year without a summer, I’m going stove top.

I also don’t normally like a roving with a lot of white space, and every batch that I’ve run has given me if not white space then significantly lighter splotches. I’m okay with that, though.

One of the upsides to dyeing like this is that since your dye pot itself is not containing dyes, you can rerun the same pot multiple times, thereby saving the water. I know that’s one of the big issues that comes up when I talk about dyeing. You can reuse the water in the jars a couple of times too but keep in mind that every round is adding acid, which can alter your outcome. If you’re okay with unstable/unpredictable dyes, than that’s fine.

A lot of words for a fairly simple process.

Here’s a solar dye:

solar dye pint jarand rovings dyed in the stove top:

hawthornehawthorne 2 hawthorne 3See what I mean about the splotching?

The process itself is simple. If you’ve ever melted chocolate in a double boiler you can do this. I’ve found that the jar can hold about 3 packages of kool-aide without an issue.

Add your powder to the jar, then fill the jar about halfway with water. Wrap -dry- roving around your hand about five times (I’ve found that with the size of my hand, five wraps is about the maximum amount of wool I can get into the jar). You may have to really force the wool into the jar. Fill the jar with water to fill.

Yes, the top of the wool will most likely not be covered in dye. Hence the splotches.

Add the jars to a water bath  (the double boiler effect) and bring to at least a simmer. Let it cook for about an hour (though I’ve done up to 45 minutes without an issue with striking). Pull the pot from heat, or pull the jars with a jar lifter, and let the jars come to room temperature.

Carefully take the wool out of the jars and unwrap the bundles. Rinse and let them drip dry. I haven’t had any issues with felting if I follow that process.

Again, a lot of words for a fairly simple dyeing process.

*The wool that looks like it didn’t take dye well in those photos, did. I ran three batches sampling all the reds in my collection, including the pinks which struck but didn’t necessarily photograph well. It’s not under the best natural light.

 

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Tour De Fleece (Almost) Wrapped Up

sunday edwardThere’s one more day of the Tour de Fleece left for this year, and I can say that this has been the most successful year that I’ve done it.

I think that giving myself such a laid back, casual goal this year (just work fiber every day) helped dramatically. I need to take pictures of my bobbins, but I have one that’s still on the wheel that I don’t want to touch so photos may come later tomorrow or Monday.

I didn’t get many projects actually finished, in the sense of spun, plied, and off of my wheel in during the length of the Tour. I did get miles of singles spun-even with my spindle, which is back in travel rotation until Fall.

Projects I can comment on:

Unicorn Farts and Faerie Wings- A snarky name for some beautifully dyed sock fiber that Mid has fallen in love with (good thing, hint hint). This bobbin is easily the finest spin I’ve gotten off of my wheel. I’m going to n-ply it and hopefully end up with enough yardage for socks.

*It’s named the way that it is because I get really annoyed that online land only likes pretty colored things. You can have a really technically awesome natural fiber next to a fairly roughly spun brightly colored yarn, and no one will care about the really awesome natural colored fiber. But my feelings on Internet magpies are well known.

Frigga-Speaking of natural colored wool, I got another completed round and another ply ball set up for my long term natural gray cable plied Icelandic project. I’m aiming for about 1000 yards total to make myself something cabled. I’m just under the 50% point right now.

Lady Edward-the green that I keep getting compliments on that’s most definitely not blue. Mostly merino, with a little bit of random wool seconds thrown in the mix. Mostly solar dyed at camp, but I did overdye a batch that broke into brown splotches and nothing else in the oven when we got back. I’m spindle spinning it and it’ll end up a 2 ply, probably on the border of fingering/lace weight.

 

Bloggers-I have started a new group board on Pinterest. Open to all DIY, craft, food, or other creative blogs, I would love to have you join. Joining instructions are posted on the board-join here.

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