Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Gosh, it's time already for the Troy Fair

Meet the Jersey Girls
Our booth is right next to the stalls where the Jersey cows are kept.  Not only are they beautiful and sweet, they also love nibbling on fiber.

photo courtesy of Carol L.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Yellow Jersey Day

Whoooo Hooo
Got me another YELLOW JERSEY.  This year I did set my sights a bit higher than last but am so happy I finished.  I do believe that next year I will try to do some thing with color, although the non color was part of the challenge too.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Tour de Fleece - 2009 - Day by Day

7/5  I am spinning 70% angora/ 30% alpaca in natural white at 32-36 wpi and eventually some 15.5 micron merino at about 30 wpi to make my sister a pullover. The angora/alpaca is turning out to be a very neppy pin drafted roving.

7/9 The bobbin is filling nicely. I am hoping to have half spun by Friday or Saturday.

Oh and those are neps in the singles, not poor spinning.

7/11 Half the angora/alpaca is now spun thanks to an afternoon at guild.
The Ithaca contingent of Team Spinning Bunny

However I have figured out I need more than I had to spin. Now I am working some 15.5 micron merino to ply with the non elastic ang/alp. 

7/12 A quarter of the second bobbin completed today.

7/14 Now at half the second bobbin. I do wonder if, at this rate, I can finish in time.

7/19. I am now at 40% - two full bobbins. Will ply them together tomorrow which will get me to 50%. It’s gonna be close, racewise.  At the same time I purchased the roving I also bought 4 skeins of milled angora/alpaca fingering yarn from the same vendor, just in case.

7/21. Plied the two bobbins together to make 680 yds of  fingering yarn. I only need about 1000 so am further along than I thought. Happy Dance.

7/22 With some input from Cathy C, I decided to work the two yarns together as one. They knit as a worsted weight yarn. That decided I now only need half of what I thought I did yesterday. Really fast progress. VBG  Plus I get will get to use larger needles.

7/23 Made a swatch to get a change from the endless spinning of off white. The bottom section is with US#8, middle with #9 and top with #10 needles. The top is too flimsy. The bottom seems about right BUT when all that angora and alpaca blooms it will be tighter so I am going with the middle. This whole project progresses faster and faster.

7/24 The sweater has been begun. It is a top down seamless raglan pullover, that starts with flat knitting, then goes to round, designed by Cathy Chesntut. I am the first tester.  The instructions are easy to follow and the sweater is moving along nicely.  The pattern will be available after the Knitting Getaway.

7/25  All the spinning for singles is now done!!! This evening, or tomorrow morning if I can wait that long, they will be plied into yarn!  Tomorrow is the last day of the Tour.  I am so relieved to know I will actually be going across the finish line tomorrow.

Yellow jersey here I come.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Andean Plying

At guild last Saturday, Ruth A showed us all how to do very neat easy portable Andean plying from a spindle. I took pictures to add visuals to her words.

Andean plying is quick and easy, provides instant gratification and a mini-skein of yarn.

1. Tuck the end of your single into your watchband for safekeeping.

2. Bring the single around behind the little finger, across the back of your wrist and then around to the front, on the thumb side.

3. Bring the yarn up and around your middle finger, (from pinky side to thumb side) and back down to your wrist where it just came from.

4. Bring the yarn behind your hand, along the wrist, and to the front again on the thumb side.

5. Bring the yarn up to your middle finger and around it, (from thumb side to pinky side) and back down to your wrist on the pinky side, where it just came from.

Repeat these steps - around behind the wrist, up and around the middle finger and back to the side the yarn just came from, behind the wrist to the other side, up and around the middle finger and back to the side the yarn just came from - over and over, LOOSELY, until you have used up all the yarn on the spindle.

6. Next, slip all the loops gently off your middle finger. Now you have a bracelet.

7. Reach inside the bracelet and bring the end of the yarn that was tucked into your watchband UP, inside the bracelet of yarn and out towards your fingers.

8. Take both ends of the yarn and tie them to your leader yarn or to the spindle.

9. Now start spinning (plying) in the opposite direction from the way you spun the single, allowing both plies to come gently off your wrist. You
may have to swivel your hand/wrist occasionally to loosen a strand and let it flow. Keep plying until you have used up all of the yarn on your wrist; it will all fit back onto your spindle just fine.

If you need to stop in the middle of plying, slide the bracelet of yarn off your hand gently and stick the spindle dowel through the middle of the bracelet. Set it down away from cats, dogs, partners and curious children. It should be easy to pick up and continue plying when you get a chance.

I skein the plied yarn by wrapping it around from my thumb to my elbow, making a nice-sized skein for this smaller amount of yarn.

Copyright © 2009 Ruth Allen,

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Beep Beep

Beep Beep Little Nash Rambler - Kingston Trio

We were driving in to Ithaca when this car passed us. I was amazed to actually remember it was a Nash Rambler. I sped up to see it better while Jim took cell phone photos. The woman had a big smile and waved. Just had to go find this song to go with it. Playing the full version is really best.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Shawl Collared Vest Evolution

fiber--Sea Mist merino/tussah

plied Sea Mist with Aqua merino

bottom ribbing done.

Notice: this vest is done in the round.

Sleeve was steeked (!!! - myveryfirst) and stitches picked up for the edging.
front was steeked too

and the shawl collar was added.

blocked and ready to go.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Sun Was Shining

Open House Saturday dawned dreary and rainy.  Not an auspicious beginning to the weekend but nothing we could do about it anyway.   We finally raised the lowered tents back up to their full heights about 8:30 with hopeful thoughts.  The tents are 10 by 20 and 10 by 10 so there is plenty of room under them but if it gets too rainy then 10 feet is not really wide enough to stay out of windy rain.

Ruth arrived early to help with set up as Jim went off to pick up ice and the balloons.  I was my normal nervous wreck before an event.  Once an event starts and I feel things are set up then I immediately calm down but until then........

Malinda from Rome came with her hubby and Papillon dog. I find it very exciting to finally meet virtual friends in real time.  Her delightful DH could teach many other husbands patience and her dog is too cute.
  Malinda is the test knitter for Goddess Knits. She brought the Spring shawl she knit out of my hand dyed sport weight yarn and she was the very first knitter to see the new lace weight yarn for Shawl # 13.

The day got brighter as it went on. Such a relief. Knitters and spinners came at their leisure, although many who came also signed up for the Dyeing Workshop.

The workshop started with an overview of what we would be doing, then we put our skeins into the solution. While they were soaking we took a little Spinning Bunny tour--Gumdrop and Keeper were first on the list as most people want to see angora bunnies and ours are so pretty. Sometimes they can be entertaining too. Then we had a Pat Green Supercarder demo where I carded up Ruth A's High Fiber Dessert for this month. Folks were drooling over this month's chocolate bundt cake with strawberries and chocolate sauce done in chocolate baby alpaca, hand dyed strawberry merino and commercially dyed dark chocolate merino.
Next we did a Dye Studio demo and finally folks got to the crux of the workshop --putting dye on their very own skeins. I explained a bit about colors and dyeing then they each got to dye,cook their own and wait for them to cool. Once they were cooled we went back down to the Dye Studio to rinse them out.

Each person put their skein into a baggie to take home to re rinse and dry.
S is the youngest member of our Knit Night and Knitting/Crocheting for the Community. She knits and finger knits with us.  And now she dyes yarn too.

Each person got to choose colors they liked so the results are really quite wonderful. This is Brenda's Tomato ripening in the sun before being transformed into socks.

Meanwhile, others were spinning and chatting, nibbling and knitting. Carol tried out the used Pipi and just could not go home without it.

Ruth is a wonderful teacher. She got several people spindling on one of Jim's spindles.
while Basel lent moral support. 
(See all that purple by Malinda?  Must be why I liked her even before we actually met.)

The Universe literally shined on us as the rain held off each day until after the Open House.
Thanks to everyone who came and played with us.