Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Today brought us rain instead of the usual snow. It was nice in that it helped clear many of the roads. Not so nice in that it now added weight to what was fluffy, light snow. So the morning was spent cleaning off shed roofs.....and around the skylights on the house. Both barns have metal roofs and the snow is slowly sliding off. The pumphouse has already lost its snowy covering. Of course we are due to have another storm move in tonight and leave behind another 5" of snow.
I even managed to get some quilting in....believe it or not. A friend asked me for help with a pattern that she really liked. So I took some time one morning and played with it in EQ6. Loved the way it looked so much that I pulled out some Christmas fabric and started cutting. By the afternoon I had all of my blocks sewn together and my rows were partially put together. By the next afternoon I had the rows together and the top done. The quilt is now on the machine and in the process of being machine quilted. It's a wonderful pattern and I'm so happy that my friend brought it to my attention. It's been quite some time since a quilt pattern has caught my attention so much that I just had to make it. It also renewed my interest in quilting. I've been happily stitching away on December's block of the month. Does this mean that my knitting will come to an abrupt end? No. It just means that I will be spending some time working on my applique in between knitting projects. And I tend to spin just about every day. After all, there should be balance if one enjoys several hobbies. :.)
Friday, December 12, 2008
I love the snow! Doesn't always make doing outside chores the most pleasant, but it does make for excellent spinning, knitting, and quilting weather. I love sitting inside working on my latest project while watching the snow falling. Everything always looks so pretty all covered in white. Plus the sheep seem to really enjoy the snow as well. As long as it isn't too deep for them that is. Last year we had to keep a path shoveled so they could get from the buildings to their water. We'll do the same this year if need be.....only we'll use the new snowblower we bought last year and never got to use. It got held up on the other side of the pass when a huge storm came through closing the pass. By the time it finally made it to this side we didn't get anymore snow. And didn't have enough on the ground to be able to use it. So, needless to say, all this wonderful snow is getting my hubby very excited. He finally gets to play with his new toy.....the snowblower! :.)
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Here are pictures of the Shetland I've been slowly spinning up. Just not enough hours in the day to do all that I would love to do. The two skeins I have done so far are about 350 yards each (one is a bit less). While I haven't figured out the wpi yet, I'm guessing it to be about a sock weight yarn. Which is good since I really want to knit up a pair of cabled socks for myself with it. I have another bobbin filled....a second bobbin partially filled.....and six batts all ready for spinning. All from the same fleece the skeins pictured above came from. It's such lovely, lovely fiber to spin up. :.)
This is the alpaca/merino/silk blend that I purchased a couple of months ago. I have it all spun up and one skein completely done (pictured above). Love the way it turned out. So incredibly soft! And the color is definitely different. I still need to get the other skein plyed.....and then decide what I want to do with it. Maybe a lace scarf or something. There is about 200 yards in the skein pictured so it wil have to be a fairly small project. I don't plan on purchasing anymore of this roving. It was a bit on the spendy side. Plus I've been having way too much fun playing with my Shetland lately. :.)
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
As much fun as I've had blending I really need to put it all aside for a bit and actually get something carded up for myself. The rest of Carrie's fleece from last year has been patiently waiting for me to card it up so I can finish spinning it up. So I will be spending time doign that instead of blending. The first two bobbins have already been plyed and the twist set. What beautiful yarn!! Definitely telling me that it wants to be made into socks. And not just any socks.....cabled socks. One skein is 350 yards....the other 328 yards. So there is plenty there for socks. :.) And I anxious to see what the rest of the fleece will yield. She has such pretty coloring. Light gray with darker colored fibers mixed in. In fact, I love her coloring so much that not only did I keep last year's fleece from her, but I also kept this year's fleece.....and am seriously debating over whether I will keep next year's fleece as well. She produces such a lovely, lovely fleece....not only color-wise, but also handle as well. She always feels so silky to the touch.
I did start another knitting project the night before last. Like I really needed something else on the needles. I still haven't finished my sweater with the Shetland lace inlay. This project is a felted sheep done using the bulky weight Karakul yarn I spun up a while back and large needles (size 15). I have to confess that I'm in love with the sheep already and it's only half done. Working with the Karakul yarn has been a dream!! It knits up nicely and the coloring is simply not what I expected at all! I was expecting it to be pretty much all one color (off-white). To my surprise there are spots of darker color here and there. It really adds to the beauty of the sheep. I hope to have this finished in another day or so and ready for felting. It's going to be a big sheep that's for sure! And it definitely has been a very timely project. I find it extremely calming to work on and that is exactly what I needed right now.....especially since I'm fighting a pretty nasty cold.
Monday, November 24, 2008
The burgandy batt (s) (there are actually 3 of them for a total of 5 ounces) are 70% Shetland/20% Soy Silk/10% Icicle top.....for a bit of sparkle. I dyed the fiber after I had washed it, but before it was picked or carded. I also dyed the soy silk before blending it with the wool. Ended up with a very lovely batt.
The other batts are all a different blend using a fawn colored Shetland. I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to do so I opted to try something different with each batt. Hence the Shetland Blend Sampler. The top batt is 70% Shetland/20% Soy Silk/ 10% Icicle top. Turned out to be a very pretty (and very soft) white batt with a bit of sparkle to it. The middle batt is 75% Shetland/25% Honey colored Soy Silk. Really brought out the golden tones in the fawn Shetland. The bottom batt is 50% Shetland/50% Tencel. Made for a very white batt that has a nice sheen to it. Reminds me of white satin. All the batts came out incredibly soft. I had enough Shetland left over to make a baby batt (about 1/2 ounce) for myself. I went with a Shetland/Soy Silk/Icicle blend. I will spin this up into a sample skein. Not sure what I will do with all the sample skeins I seem to be collecting. All I know is that I really enjoy spinning them up. Gives me a chance to enjoy a bit of the incredible batts I've been creating lately. These batts will be available for sale on my etsy site (http://MadeForEwe.etsy.com ).
I have been spinning up the pink Shetland/Soy Silk blend that I carded up some time ago. Wow!! What an incredible blend to spin. It practically spins itself! I'm ending up with some very pretty yarn. I also plyed up some natural colored Shetland that I've been spinning up for quite some time. Just straight Shetland. I was spinning this with the intention of making a lace shawl from it. After plying it, though, it is just screaming for me to use it in a pair of cabled socks. :) So it looks like the shawl will have to be put on hold so I can start on some socks. Now to decide whether they will be for me or for my loving hubby. :)
On the quilting side of things....yes, I've actually found a bit of time to quilt lately. Haven't gotten much done but I am almost done getting a block ready for stitching. Just have a few more stems and the leaves to glue baste in place. Of course once this block is done and ready for stitching it will have to be put aside. I'm a block behind on one of the block of the month programs I am doing. So the current block will have to be done before I can do last month's block (which is the block I am currently working on). Why I didn't start with the latest one first is beyond me. Sure would have made a bit more sense. Oh well. :) Keeps things interesting.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I now have another very lovely blend in the works. This one will be a blend of Shetland/Soy Silk and icicle top. Love the bit of sparkle the icicle top gives. The Shetland has been dyed a lovely deep burgandy. The soy silk was also dyed burgandy, but took the dye differently. It came out much lighter in color. Almost purple. Very pretty. So far I only have one batt partially done. Needs a few more runs through the drum carder before it will be finished. I will be sure to share pictures when it is finished. I'm really enjoying my drum carder these days. It's another facet of spinning that I am just now discovering.....and thoroughly enjoying.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Here are pictures of the baby surprise jacket that I finally finished. I used a wool blend yarn that I had spun up at the fair this year. Let's see if I can remember the particulars. I think I ended up using about 290 yards of a dk weight yarn. Gauge was 6 stitches to the inch. Can't remember the needle size right now. I did do a swatch before I started. It was rather fun to knit up....once I figured out what I was doing. Not sure what I will do with the completed sweater since there aren't any babies in the family. Maybe I will make a teddy bear for it. I do know that I'm looking forward to making a larger version for myself.....once I figure out exactly what I want to use fiber-wise. I know it will definitely be Shetland. Just haven't decided if it will be a Shetland/Soy Silk blend (which I simply adore)......or if I will use all natural colors.......or all dyed fiber.......or if I will blend it with a bit of llama, too. Still in the playing phase of it. I dyed some more Shetland up yesterday and will blend that with a bit of soy silk (once it is dry). I'm also going to try dyeing a bit of the soy silk and then blend it with the Shetland. Curious to see the end results of that. Plus I have already carded up two batts of a Shetland lamb/llama/soy silk blend. I want to spin those up to see what the finished yarn will look like. Feels incredible though. :)
Friday, November 7, 2008
Of course that wasn't the only thing that went on last week. One of my "fur babies" got real sick last week. I came home from the hospital only to find that my miniature schnauzer (pictured above) was falling all over and extremely unbalanced. I was unable to take him to the vet the next day because I was due back down at the hospital early the following morning. So he had to wait until things settled down with my father before I could take care of him......which really tore me up. Things settled down enough to where I could get him to the vet near the end of last week. I was told that it was nothing more than a simple ear infection and he should be better before the end of the weekend. The end of the weekend came and he hadn't improved at all. So back to the vet he went early Monday morning. He ended up staying at the vet until Wednesday. He had a plethora of tests done on him (and some x-rays) only to discover that he has a very serious ear infection deep in the right ear.....and a ruptured eardrum in the left. They found some cheat grass (I believe that is what they called it) seeds in both ears. So they put him on two antibiotics, one steroid, and pepcid ac to keep his stomach calm. There's nothing like having to push pills down a sick dog's throat twice a day. He's not real happy about it, but at least he has been cooperating.
When I first brought him home he had to be carried everywhere. His equilibrium was so off that he just couldn't walk or stand. It was really heart wrenching to watch him try. This morning though.........it was amazing!!! I carried him outside so he could do his thing. I was really careful to set him under a tree (it's been raining for the last two days....even snowed for a bit yesterday) so he would stay fairly dry. While I was feeding the sheep I would glance over at him every now and then to make sure he was doing okay. To my amazement he got up and actually made his way across the yard. He only fell once!! He was even able to make his way back across the yard to the front porch without falling. Of course he is not walking perfectly. Still a lot of wobbling.....but compared to what he was able to do just yesterday......it's amazing. And makes me so incredibly happy. He even growled at me this morning. Thought I was going to cry. My little schnauzer is very vocal. Doesn't snap or bite....but does like to voice his opinion on just about everything. He has been quiet since Monday. So for him to start "talking" again tells me that he is finally starting to feel better....which makes me so incredibly happy. It's been a very difficult week and a half for the both of us.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
This is actually my first attempt at blending. I have never used my drum carder for anything other than simply carding up fiber for spinning. Love the end result of blending though and definitely see more of this in the future. I'm already planning on blending one of my Shetland lamb fleeces with a bit of wool from my llama and soy silk. I'm hoping it turns out really nice. I would love to use it to make a sweater for myself.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Now the first polar bear stuffie I did has a friend. I finished this little guy up a couple days ago. It's about the same size as the first one I did. I didn't use as much polyfil in it so it felted a lot better. Button eyes, needle-felted nose using black llama wool, and the facial features are needle-felted. This one has a red ribbon with a small gold jingle bell.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Of course all this fiber play hasn't left much time for quilting. In fact, I have barely quilted in the past month. Although I did get the first block of the block of the month I joined done. Which is a good thing. Especially since it's time for me to take my completed block in so that I can pick up the new block. Now I'm just hoping things will settle down a bit more so that I can enjoy my quilting once again. It's funny how you tend to miss something when you just don't have enough time for it....even though you may have other hobbies that you enjoy just as much.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Of course there was a very dark spot in it all. One of my little felted sheep was taken from the spinning area. It was definitely something I was not expecting at all. I had brought both of my felted sheep in so that people (especially the kids) could see and feel something made from hand spun. Apparently someone felt that they needed one of my felted sheep more than I did. "Little Charlie" disappeared the second day he was there....with people in the spinning area.....and a crowd in the barn. Someone had reached over the wrought iron fence that surrounded the spinning area.....to the inside of the table where "Little Charlie" was. At first we were all hoping a child had simply walked off with him and would be returned as soon as the parent saw it. Unfortunately he was never returned. "Little Charlie" did have a label on his belly with his name, my name, and date he was made. I honestly don't think I will ever see this little felted lamb again. I'm just glad that I took pictures and was able to make a small sheep pincushion from the left-over yarn. It was spun from the real Charlie's lamb fleece. The other felted lamb was taken home.....and a lesson was learned. Put things on display that you don't mind if they walk away.
I had taken my Clemes & Clemes wheel to spin on for most of the fair. My Hitchhiker was there for the first couple of days, but it went home when the Clemes & Clemes was brought down. The C & C is a much heavier wheel (less chance of it walking off) and people really seem to enjoy seeing it in action. I did so much spinning this year that I filled six bobbins (spun about 2 1/2 pounds) with singles....which now will be plyed into finished yarn. At one time I also had five drop spindles going. All with different fibers. Most of the drop spindles have been wound off and the yarn finished. Only two still have singles on them.....and those are the ones that I travel with. Now to decide what I will do with all that finished yarn. :)
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Looks like the summer temps have pretty much left us for this year and we have moved right into Indian Summer. Lots of lovely sunny days that aren't overly hot. Thankfully I was able to finish washing up all the fleeces I needed to before the weather cooled down. This summer I washed 13 Shetland fleeces, 2 Karakul, and one Llama fleece (from my guard llama). I look forward to spending the winter months playing with all of this wonderful fiber.
See Ewe at the Fair!!!!