Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Second week of Tour de Fleece

I think I might have prepared the TdF a bit better! Maybe I should have prepared small amounts of different fibres that I can finish every day - or at least every second? as it is I have been spinning several days of boring beige alpaca - then only a day each with small amounts, which was fun. now I am back again with spinning days of the same colour - not so much fun! but on the other hand, if I spun only a small amount of one fibre - I'd end up with my usual problem of not spinning the same way for both amounts. the beige alpaca proves the point: my first smaller skein from March is a good deal finer than the main batch from last week:( which means that either I have to use them for two different projects - or I'll have to fiddle about, using the finer yarn for a smaller bit of knitting, and the thicker yarn for the main part. and 250 g of it doesn't leave a lot of choice for projects, where I could use two different amounts:( the woes of hand spinning!

here are the two beige alpaca skeins - on the right. the rest are the naturally dyed fibres that I couldn't find for the last entry.I think all of them were dyed with madder, same dyebath, just different stages - and different temperatures! my favourite is the brighter red on the right - which must have been in the first dye bath, because it didn't get the higher temps of the others. madder turns brick red to brownish, when it gets too hot - and even though they all go well together, the brownish red tones don't suit me terribly well. on the other hand I barely knit woollies for myself, so no worries:) maybe I should start selling my skeins?
 after I finished the alpaca I dug out this sample of camel/silk blend. I think the silk is noil, lots of tiny white slubs - that are not particularly fun to spin. the picture isn't great, but I nearly forgot to take it - and had to use flash inside - or wait until the next day with the spinning... and I did forget to take a picture of the sample of white tussah - which spun up nicely - but was too little to use for a separate project. so I plied both of them together. I had a bit more of the camel - that's the browner part in the skein. it is soft, but nubbly and bumpy at the same time.

This is my latest TdF fibre - either silk or soy silk, I don't know. I think maybe the latter, but either way it spins up into a smooth, shiny single yarn. I will ply it though, as it is it's too fine even for lace knits. I know that I dyed it myself - but I have no idea what the dye stuff was. maybe I should keep better notes???
you can see how fine it is - even with the full amount the bobbin won't be full to capacity! the plying will take forever - I have to be careful not to start it late in the evening - or I'll end up with a late night plying session to prevent the cat "knitting" it up! he isn't interested in the wheel or the fibres lying around, but finding a small ball or the freely hanging plies is irresistible to him. the dogs don't really care, but sometimes they just have to climb to my left side - where the lazy kate stands when in use - which wouldn't be the first time with disastrous consequences....
during our hot spell (over now, back to the normal summer temps of 16 to 18 deg. C:) I dug out my embroidery stuff. after finishing an UFO I made 4 small cards to give away (yes, four, I sent one out too fast and forgot to take a picture). these two were for friends, who needed a bit of a pick-me-up...
... and this (and the missing one) were for birthdays. the other embroidery project in the works is a game board for "snakes and ladders" - which "rested" in my stash for a long time.
I don't know why, but somehow I cannot bring myself to knit much these days. there's a sneaker sock in cotton in the works, but if I can convince myself to take it up, I loose interest after a row or two:( I also have to finish the sleeveless vest for DH - not much missing, but I avoid it like the plague just now. I don't even fancy starting a new project - there must be something wrong with me! maybe I just have to finish with the TdF to find my knitting mojo again?


Delighted Hands said...

Beautiful fiber pursuits!!! The natural dyeing always produces such muted coordinating skeins! The cards are always a fun pick-me-up for the maker and the receiver! The cross stitch is very pretty-enjoy plugging away on it!
As for getting a knitter's block, just go with it and enjoy the other creative outlets! (Nice thing about knitting-it doesn't have an expiration date!)

Woolly Bits said...

Cindy - thanks - and yes, I agree, most natural colours go well together. it's just that some of them don't suit me so well:) with some though, like the silk, I'd be willing to wear it despite the not so suitable colour - because the silk feels so lovely on the skin. or maybe I should overdye it??? not sure yet...