Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Plying, Plying, Plying......

.......makes for a very productive few days.  I have the two plyed yarns ready for cabling.

And had enough left over for a 3-ply yarn....

.....and a 2-ply yarn.....

....and another 2-ply yarn where the single is plyed with itself. I used my trusty Tabachek for this. There wasn't enough left to justify using the wheel.

I hope to start cabling the two 2-ply yarns in the next day or so.....if appointments and errand running allow for it.

Monday, January 27, 2014

From Hand-spun to Socks!!

Hand-spun 2-ply super wash wool.....fractal spun from already dyed roving. Started with 438 yds. ( 4 oz skein)....left with 114 yds. The socks were knit on a 72 cylinder.....and I love them!!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Cabled Yarn Update

Three colors done and I'm half-way through the purple. Should be able to start plying in a day or so. The singles are being stored on weaver's bobbins.....which are on my new lazy kate. I made it myself using a beautiful piece of walnut. It can hold seven bobbins (weaver's or wheel) and won't tip when being used ( like my other lazy kate). Plus it was half of what a new one would cost.....which is always a good thing.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Good-bye old friend.....


                                         April 23, 2002 - January 19, 2014
                                                     You will be missed.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Learning Something New

It's always fun to learn something new. I love learning new things. My latest new thing is learning how to spin a cabled yarn. A cabled yarn is comprised of four single strands. These single strands are then plyed so you have two 2- ply yarns. These yarns are then "cabled" together forming a nice round 4- ply cabled yarn. I thought it would be fun to use a different color for each single. This way you can really see the yarn structure of the finished cabled yarn.

These are my four colors. All are a Shetland/tussah silk blend. The Shetland was dyed prior to being blended with the tussah silk and carded into batts. There are two batts of each color with each color weighing approximately 1 3/4 ounces.

I started with the yellow batts. This photo was taken after the first batt was spun. I have since finished spinning both yellow batts and have started on the turquoise batts. The plan is ply the yellow and turquoise together......ply the green and purple......then cable (or ply ) the two 2-ply yarns.

I'm spinning a soft single. You can tell that it is softly spun by how gently it twists back on itself. Not a tight twist ( like in the photo where the single is a bit thinner). I'm spinning the singles woolen using a long draw. The single is fairly consistent with the occasional small slub.......which I'm not real concerned about. Can't wait to see what the finished yarn will look like.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Yarn Porn!!!

Up close and personal photos of the Leicester Longwool that I finished spinning on my Navajo spindle. I just finally got them downloaded from my camera. Can you feel it's squishiness??

Snow Days!!!

Yes, I have been enjoying some snow days. I love it when it snows. I just want to spend the entire day snuggled in my big chair by the wood stove knitting, quilting, or spinning while watching it snow. Tuesday it snowed all day and into the night. Left about 4" or so behind. Yesterday it snowed really hard before turning to rain overnight. Added another couple of inches. Tonight it is snowing.....after being fairly "warm" all day. Wonder how much will be left behind?

Photos from the previous snowfalls.

Tucker loves the snow. Caught him trying to catch snowflakes. It was so cute! Wish I would have thought about hitting the video on my camera.

The quail came in for some seed. They chased all the juncos away. Guess they didn't feel like sharing. In the winter I spread seed on the ground instead of putting it in the bird feeders. Lets the birds enjoy it.....and not the deer.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Leicester Longwool

 I had purchased some roving last year sometime. I tend to get urges where I want to try something new. This was the fiber of choice at the time. I purchased it with the intention of spinning it on my Navajo spindles. Months later I finally finished spinning (and plying) it all using only my Navajo spindles. I now have two lovely skeins of somewhere between a worsted and Aran weight yarn which is already earmarked for a rather fun knit.  :)

Full spindle of plyed yarn

Freshly washed.....115 yds.

Both skeins.....back one was spun last year and has 130 yards. Front one was spun this year and has 115 yds. It looks like the back one may have a bit more plying twist than the front....but looks can be deceiving. Guess I will find out when I use them both.

More photos

Still playing with the new camera. It's been tons of fun to see what the little Canon can do compared to the big Canon. So far I'm real happy with it. Will it replace the big Canon? No. But it will compliment it nicely.

One of the barn cats.

A visiting woodpecker. I wanted to see how well the zoom worked. Not bad.

Monday, January 6, 2014

More flock photos

A couple times a week we feed a dry cob (corn, oats, barley) and llama/alpaca pellet mixture. It's more of a treat than anything else. We used to feed it in the trays of the hay feeders but there was just too much pushing and not everyone got some. There is a small stand of pine trees in pasture where the ground is bare underneath. We started feeding there and it's been their "treat spot" ever since. The cob mix is poured around the base of the trees so there isn't any worry about it being stepped in and drug all over. Everyone gets a bit. They move from tree to tree. Pretty much eliminated the pushing and shoving. The birds and quail come in and clean up whatever is left. 

(Nose smudge on the lens)

Cisco....huacaya alpaca

Cavierno llama and ruler of them all.....telling Witkin (black Huacaya alpaca) that he needs to move.


Up close and personal. ( photo intense)

Had a bit of Christmas money and I finally figured out what I wanted to do with it. I bought a new camera. Nothing special. Just a little one to compliment my big one. 

Got real lucky with it, too.  :)   My little Canon Powershot had been marked down for Black Friday (by half!!) and the price never went back up who knows for what reason. All I know is that it was exactly what I was looking a price I wanted to pay.....and was the last one in stock. Yippee!!!  I now have a small camera for those quick shots or for out in pasture. If something happens to it, it won't be near as heart breaking as it would if it were my big Canon.

Spent some time out in pasture yesterday playing with the little Canon. My guys were super curious about it. Had tons of nose shots.  :)  Seems everyone wanted their photo taken. Here's some of my flock up close and personal.

This is Arimas.....white Suri alpaca. llama

Willow...horned ewe. Gracie is behind her. You will see more of Gracie.


Charlie. A real sweetheart.

Jack.....huacaya alpaca

Trixie. She thought she was being cute by sticking out her tongue.  :) She's a feisty one. Loves chasing the dogs when they are out in pasture with me. It's rather comical to see.....especially since she is so petite in size.


Gracie...again. She was feeling very affectionate and just had to be the center of attention. shy boy.

Finnigan. The old man of the group at nearly ten years. He's so incredibly affectionate.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Heartland Shawl

I've been wanting to knit this for quite some time. Finally decided to cast on a few days ago. Haven't got to work on it as much as I want, but it is coming along rather nicely. I'm using a handspun 2-ply dk weight Shetland/mohair blend yarn. I decided to bead it even though the pattern doesn't call for beads. After looking at other beaded Heartland shawls on Ravelry ( there was only two and you really couldn't tell where the beads were placed on the second one)....and studying the charts I finally decided on where to place the beads. Part of me wishes I would have put more beads on, but, overall, I'm pretty happy with my bead placement. Of course I won't really know how it looks until the piece is blocked.

**60 rows in**

I'm using a pretty neat little tool that I bought last year. It's the "Fleegle Beader". Wasn't real sure how I'd like it. I love placing my beads with a crochet hook. Thought I would give the larger one a try with the size 3/0 beads I'm using. Gotta say, I'm pretty impressed with it. It can hold quite a few of the larger beads and it's been holding the yarn rather nicely so I can simply slide a bead over the tip and onto the stitch. The yarn rests in a small notch at the tip. Will it replace my crochet hook? Don't know.

**photo of the Fleegle Beader loaded and with the protective cover on the tip**

**photo of the small notch at the tip**