Sunday, March 21, 2010

First Blooms of Spring

Spring offered up its first bloom Tuesday, a crocus planted on a drizzly October morning. Like the flower, my latest hanks of handspun yarn are the fruits of labor that began in Fall and continued through winter to bloom as usable yarn in spring. Last weekend I was spinning the last pound of fleece to meet my Spin Your Stash Ravelry group challenge. The yarn is from two Shetland fleeces dyed in my Purple Meltdown colorway and destined to be the Purple Meltdown Cable sweater which will be knit to meet the IntSweMoDo2010 challenge—you know, 12 sweaters in 12 months.

Yes. WhorlWindWeaving has its moments.

I filled two bobbins Sunday and finished carding the fleece. On Monday, I plyed using the Lendrum’s handy giant bobbin creating a 9.5 oz. skein. With just six batts to go after that, I was sure to meet the Spring Equinox Spin Your Stash deadline.

This isn’t bulky weight, but a nice worsted weight for cable knitting. I have the sweater all figured out, a design I came up with years ago and have been ever meaning to spin the yarn for and knit it. What’s next? I can’t decide which project to put on my carder. Should I blend natural brown cotton and bamboo for summer spinning, or should I forge ahead with the fingering weight yarn for the Kinsale I want to knit? I have the fleece for that project all picked and ready to card. Which shall I pick?
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Monday, March 15, 2010

Angora Explosion

Ever increasing in my stash is the fine, luxury fiber Angora. This is because my sister-in-law from Maine has added backyard bunnies to her backyard chickens and has been sending me envelopes filled with lovely fiber. Now that bunnies Alice and Albert have hooked up, so to speak, we are expecting an explosion of backyard bunnies in all different angora natural colors. Alice, you can see below, is a sublime chocolate color. Albert is grey and has an interesting natural-color-filled bloodline.
Bunny fluff is wonderfully soft and produces a yarn that glows with a halo of delicate fiber. Running ones hands through a pile of fiber, such as that shown below is an experience in silky softness all its own. It also takes dye differently than wool, so a blend with wool can have a naturally heathery look.
The pink, though, is dyed all alone with differing shades due to the natural color of the fluff. This I will soon be sending through the carder with some purple to see what happens. Expect to see lots more about Angora both here and on my website WhorlWindWeaver very soon.
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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Interlude

Ouch! I've been bitten by the beading bug. So instead of working on reducing the amount of wool I have piled up for spinning and knitting, I've gone out and bought beads. As you can see, I've been busy. All of these necklaces have matching earrings.Beading is amazing. I'm surprised at how much fun it is. It is something I've been thinking of doing for quite a while, so I had many of the basic supplies on the day I stumbled on a sale on semi-precious stones at Michael's. A few shoppng trips and some actual time beading and voila--a jewelry wardrobe. From the top you can see a necklaces of citrine, amethyst and tiger's eye. Below I have strung two kinds of jasper. In the middle is a necklace of peridot chips and zebra jade.
I love the natural stones best, which makes sense since I love to spin and knit with natural fibers. They are especially interesting because each natural stone has meanings and "properties." Now, I have a background in science, and I like to see data to back a claim, but I'm not about to go overboard.
I read that citrine exudes positive energy. and I have no problem with that. Who can't use a little more positive energy? And it is true, I feel good wearing it. Amethyst is reputed to be a healing stone, and jasper has protective qualities against negative energy. Why not? This would be difficult to prove scientifically and so falls into the province of spirituality and faith, not science. And why not enjoy a bit of positive energy?
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Exploring the art of home wool production from beginning to end; raw fleece to useful yarn to finished project