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Hot Yarn Porn!

All yarn pr0n all the time! The past week or so of yarn.

Exciting yarn pr0n! Hot mohair action! Thrilling blends! Commercial alpaca!

Click any picture to go to the photo gallery (and you can leave comments and questions on the photos there if you like, too).


One ply kid mohair, one ply tussah silk, appx 2400 ypp


One ply merino/tencel, one ply merino/tussah silk, one ply space-dyed in the roving tussah silk


2-ply alpaca from commercial combed top

Next up: Deciding whether, and how, to dye the mohair/silk, and what purpose it’ll be put to. I’ve decided that 1.5 lbs or alpaca is going to be a cabled sweater, which means I won’t be getting to it anytime soon, and I’m going to deliberate about pattern, and doubtless come up with my own to a degree so that I can be one of the cool people who does that. The purple 3-ply tweedy giant skein is like 850 yards and, given an appropriate pattern, could be a close-fitting lacy sweater with a nice drape to it. With 3/4 sleeves and a wide neck, cropped. Haha.

I should be working on the shawl for my mother-in-law also, of course.

Next up spinning stuff: if there’s a Fiber Friday theme I’ll do something for that, I figure. I have this one bag of maybe a pound of blended interesting colour stuff I bought off ebay a while back, that I spun some of 2-ply and so now, of course, I have to come back and match that like a year later. I’m on a mission to spin my way through all the stuff that doesn’t readily fit in a neat location in my new stash organization scheme. Because if nothing else, the yarn’ll store in less space and it’s that much closer to being used for something, I guess.

I want to do some blending… but, I’m waiting for my new motorized Fricke drum carder, which I hope will get here in time for the weekend. It would be sweet to be playing with it this weekend. And now that I have solved my drum carder quandary, I have to also choose, then score, a floor loom. Then maybe I could chill out for a bit and just be productive.

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Projects, Projects…

A handful of recent projects. Lace knitting, even…

I started this in September as a “should take a while” project when we flew to Connecticut for my father’s memorial service, and finished it last week on vacation in Ohio:

http://ucan.foad.org/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=200402-shawl-01


It’s elann.com “Baby Cashmere,” which is a cashmere/merino/alpaca blend. One large panel with the leafy thing, two small end panels that are zig-zags, knitted; then each panel edged and straightened out some with single crochet then simple filet crochet border, then sewed together, then a simple crochet edging all around.

The major point of this project was prototyping for the shawl I figured on having made for my mother-in-law for this past Christmas, from this yarn that I spun last summer:

Impossible to photograph the yarn, and it turns out, even harder to photograph in progress

once it’s finished and blocked I’m sure it’ll look better. I’ll have to take pictures in daylight probably.

Included in the album are 2 photos of the swatch for it — it’s the leafy pattern, with central diamonds, and leaves have sorta diamondy vines around the center diamonds, which are going to occur throughout, and… well, okay, it’s just not gonna look right until it’s done and blocked and stuff.

Aaaaand a small amount of spinning:

I had 2 pounds of this commercial alpaca top in my stash when I sorted it the other week, and resolved to spin it all up reasonably fine, to get the hang of the new accelerating head for the Suzie that Chad gave me for my birthday. Turns out, inidentally, that I can cram about 8 ounces of this on a standard Majacraft bobbin:


That one’s not quite full yet. Once I get a pound — about 8 oz on each of 2 bobbins — then I’ll get back to the plying. I got about 6 oz onto the Woolee Winder bobbin, so I figure I’ll get another skein around that size off, then cram those 2 bobbins the rest of the way full again, using up the remainder of the yarn, and then ply for 17,000 years and be done with it. Then I’ll try to figure out what to do with the yarn.

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Summer Sweater, WIP

It’s been too hot to spin, so I’ve been covering myself in yarn instead.

This was a stash-reduction project. I had 9 balls of this rather nice cotton yarn, Skacel Tola, that I had picked up on sale at some point, and concluded I ought to be able to make a wearable object from it. So it’s a raglan I made up with some mild shaping, a lace panel from the Susanna Lewis “Knitted Lace” book that my dad got me for this past Christmas, with the “fern” motifs fudged a bit for shaping in the sleeves. I didn’t like how it sat with the rolled edge I had originally planned so it would be a slouchy sweater, so I added a few rows of crochet edging to the bottom. And I may do the same to the 3/4 length sleeves. It ended up using 6.25 balls of yarn — about 600 yards all told.

Photo Gallery for the green raglan


The front… or maybe the back depending on how glaring I really feel like the one major error in it is… of a tank I’m making up to use about 500 yards of sort of sport weight single-ply tussah that I spun and dyed this past spring. This is pattern #78 from that same Lewis book. I think I’m going to block this and then press it, once I’ve finished the pieces, and before assembly. But it’s too hot to keep working with sticky staticky silk yarn right now. So more another time.

Photo Gallery for the tussah lace tank

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Oil Slick Yarn, or When Spindles Save The Day

I had packed 500 yards and over 5 oz on the Woolee Winder and…

http://ucan.foad.org/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=oil-slick

I just could not get the last little bit on there. So I wound all 3 plies into a pull-from-either-end butterfly type thing (hey, it works!) and then took the *other* end of the 3, and plied it with a drop spindle, and…

And then I had to feed it all back through the orifice, and 2 circles on the woolee winder, without tangling it, so that I could skein it off the wheel, and get…

Drop spindle saves the day! It’s a merino/tussah 50/50 blend that I had lying around, which is dark charcoal grey, with varied colour silks space-spun in different colours intentionally ummmm… and then with another ply that’s similar except less silk and it has some firestar, and a 3rd ply that is opalescent mylar or something like that, and the spacing of the colour repeats and the sequence of how they’re done, I’m expecting is going to work out so that the resulting shawl, which is for ME to keep in the office and use when it’s cold and I wore a t-shirt, is going to look like an oil slick on asphalt.

Anyway, this skein, which is a little less than half, is 530 yards / 5.5 oz. And the other skein is going to be larger so I’ll have to repeat the ply-the-last-bit-with-dropspindle trick… oof.

Dang shawl better come out how I want.

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Boucle Gallery

A few highlights from my photo gallery for the study I did in 2004 of handspun boucle yarns, found here: http://ucan.foad.org/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=boucles


The first, a blend of New Zealand Brush Tail Possum (whatever that is, it’s neat stuff though) and coopworth, with rayon binder. I tried to do this all 3 strands at once and it’s not a stable yarn. Therefore I’m stuck coming up with a project for it and working with its flaws.


“Tropical Rainbow Skeinbert”
Emma will be shaking her head over the flaws in this one, which is a true boucle and tolerably stable, but is the first I would deem so.


“Cadbury Foil”
A more stable boucle from a coopworth single from that same ebay source, ebay user jjfarm, that all these coopworth blends came from. 394 yards, 9.875 ounces.


“Dandelion Fields”
I dyed this yearling mohair bright freakin’ green. This time, I tried pills23’s sequence with twist direction, and got a too-twisty result which does have perfect little mohair loops in it. I think a washing and beating up will help this skein a lot. 133 yards, 3.375 ounces.


“Cranberry Garland”
Z tussah silk single, Z nylon core, Z plied together, then S plied again with the binder, this one is absolutely the best of the lot. I’m going to repeat this with other colours and other binders, with more tussah silk. 306 yards, 2.5 ounces

I have at least 3 more already-spun yarns to turn into boucles here, haha. A few more good evenings and I’ll be done, and totally sick of plying.

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Tropical Rainbow Skeinbert: Boucle

First you take this:


(coopworth/alpaca blend from Jehovah Jireh Farm)

and then you make it into this handspun single-ply yarn:

Which then in turn gets plied with this iridescent commercial flossy stuff for a binder:

And then it looks like this:

Then, ply it one more time with the binder, in the opposite direction from the last ply, the same direction in which the original single was spun, and when you skein it you get:


…what my better half named TROPICAL RAINBOW SKEINBERT!

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Crochet Shawl from Handspun Singles

From yarn that I spun from fibers that I dyed and blended… mohair/soy silk for the pinkish, mohair/tussah silk for the white, and tussah silk dyed with easter egg dye for the “mouldy green” part. All are single-ply yarns, and I did the blending with a drum carder.


Raw materials… er at least, partly done materials…


The ol’ “Point the camera at the mirror” trick! Hah!

Oh… scads and scads more photos of this hard-to-photograph object. It’s terribly pastel, yes… but it does have nice colours, and feels extremely soft and fuzzy.