Sunday, August 31, 2008

Nothing says Happy Birthday like a drum carder! I was fortunate to receive this beautiful Deb's Deluxe drum carder from my loving husband. As you might have noticed I have been enjoying the beautiful batts I have purchased on Etsy. So now that I have this carder I am able to attempt to make a few of my own. I will however not abandon my favorite sellers for their batts are beyond luscious and the amount of work they put into each batt, picking the fibers, dyeing them and then making the stunning batts is incredible. First thing after dh set it up I was putting it to work, and how nice it was of him to capture the moment, pjs and all.

This is the Corriedale/Rambouillet fleece I bought at Estes. I carded about 2oz of it to break it in. I think it could benefit from an additional scour however since there is still a bit of grease in it. Dh says it looks like old lady hair, he still lacks the appreciation of the sheep. Here it is stripped into a ball of roving.
Then I made this batt, it is a 80/20 Merino Tencel blend. I really like how it turned out.
So soft, like fluffy clouds. I have a little under 6 oz total.
The last bits of fiber that were left over I ran through the carder several times, as opposed to the one time on the above batts. This produced a more heathered blend.
I gave it a quick spin on my Ashford to see how it would work up. I only have a smidge of it, but I do like it and may card some more in the future. I am definitely enjoying the carder but see the need to purchase a lot more fiber to satisfy my new addiction.
This past month I also had the pleasure of taking Spinning II from Maggie Casey up at Shuttles. I can not recommend taking a class from Maggie enough. She is such a patient and knowledgeable teacher, I feel so lucky to have her practically in my back yard. This was a wonderful class that really expanded on my basic spinning skills. We learned how to spin worsted and long draw woolen, how to count twist per in. and how to spin much more consistently, how to make a thick lofty single and so much more. Our last class I must say was my favorite. We were give the change to spin a variety of fibers, some which had intimidated me in the past. Here are the fibers, from top to bottom: Bombyx silk cocoon, tussah silk, flax (linen), adult mohair, cotton, cotton on the pod, and a wool/silk blend.
And here are those fibers spun up in the same order, left to right. I really enjoyed them all. Linen, although a bit harsh is actually quite interesting to spin and could make some lovely summer garments. And the cotton which I thought would be difficult was wonderful to spin long draw. My favorite though by far was the silks. Oh they spun so incredibly fine and smooth. I did break down and buy some Tussah after class and can't wait to spin it, I'm sure it would make a divine lace scarf.
So now we are a bit more up to date in the goings on of my world. Right now I am trying to finish some fiber that has been on my wheel since July, I'm just about done. I also am determined to finish my tank top and wear it before the weather changes.
Oh and lastly, I had the great opportunity to get together last night with some of the ladies from the Downtown Stitch and Bitch for a sit and spin night. I had a wonderful time and was thrilled to meet some kindred souls.
Happy Labor Day!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's been a while

Wow, I can't believe it has been over a month since I last posted. A lot has happened in that time and it has been quite busy around here. The main reason for my absence is that my lovely husband gave my laptop to one of his clients and the one I was using in the meantime didn't have a SD reader. But now I am equipped with a brand new Compaq that I am loving, it has a huge 17" screen and is ginormous.
So here is what has been going on this past month. My baby started first grade last week. It has been awfully quiet at home during the day, I am not sure what to do with all that free time, but I am sure that I will figure something out.
My birthday was Aug. 5th and we celebrated the following weekend. I don't know why this picture is sideways, maybe one of bloggers weird quirks. Anyway, Anthony threw me a fabulous party. We started at the house with cocktails and some Thai food I prepared and played some Wii bowling. Anthony had the guests write a poem and bring something pink, prizes were awarded for the best poem and item. It was quite entertaining.

Then we loaded in the big Hummer limo and headed downtown to Tryst and Sutra. And yes I wore this tiara the entire time...after a few vanilla Stolis and diet cokes I kinda forgot about it. Sutra was a blast, we had a VIP booth and bottle service and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. We headed home and played drunk Rock Band on Xbox. I did a horrible Bon Jovi impression which shortly there after everyone called it a night and crashed at our house. I think they were tired of my singing!

This past month I also participated in the HHHH swap. Lainevierge was my partner and she sent me this gorgeous Merino/Tussah blend from Pigeonroof to spin up.
She also spun this gorgeous merino from All Spun Up for me. I love the colors and think it will make a great hat for the coming winter.

This is the roving I picked for my giftee, Lizard Smells, it is a Colonial/Merino blend from Copperpot and it is called Leaping Lizards, which I thought was fitting.
I was pretty happy with how the yarn turned out, although I had a hard time getting the photos to do it justice.
And this is my favorite purchase of the month. I bought these awesome clear Converse sneakers with the birthday money my MIL gave me.
They are just the perfect shoes for showing off hand knit socks, I adore them.
Well it's good to be back. I have much more to catch up on, so I should be back to my regular posting in the coming days. Missed you all!