Monday, November 24, 2008

My Latest Batts

Here are my latest batts. I even had a small amount left over from the burgundy batts that I was able to use to spin up a sample skein. Wow! It spun like a dream!! And the yarn is so pretty!

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 ( ).

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

New Yarn

Here it is!! The finished yarn made from Shetland/Golden Retriever/Soy Silk with a touch of icicle top. It came out very pretty.....and is incredibly soft. There is about 142 yards here. Not sure of the weight because I haven't taken the time to figure out the WPI (wraps per inch). I'm guessing it is probably somewhere between a sport weight and a worsted weight.

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

Fiber play

After what has been a very stressful couple of weeks, I was finally able to spend a bit of time in my spinning room. Pictured above is the latest blend to come off of my drum carder. It is 40% Shetland, 40% Golden Retriever ( my dog Rudy), 20% honey colored soy silk, and a touch of icicle top (for a bit of sparkle....which doen't really show up well in the photo). I carded up two batts and had one spun the very same day. While it spun up nicely, I'm not sure I will go with the same blend. I'm thinking a bit more Shetland and a bit less "Rudy" may be better. It was more fluff than anything and made for some difficult carding.....even with my brush attachment. Other than that it was a wonderful blend and spun like a dream! The finished yarn is now outside drying. I hope to get a picture of that real soon. Not sure what I will use it for yet. It is a very soft feeling yarn.

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

What a week.....

It's been quite some time since I last posted. Things have been beyond hectic here the last couple of weeks. It all started out with my father having a heart attack last week. We got him to the hospital where he was in surgery less than an hour after arriving. Talk about stubborn! Even when he's in ICU he is laying there telling us how he should be at home and how he doesn't need to be there. Good news is that he is doing fine. He was released late last week and is home driving my mom nuts because he just won't slow down.

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 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'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.