Sunday, January 24, 2010


Lots of fiber content today! But first a status update.

I've been substitute teaching pretty regularly, and it's usually pretty fun and easy, but I'm still not used to being on call. I really don't like waiting for the phone to ring at 7am every morning. Usually they tell me in advance though, so it's ok.

We haven't gone out much this month, but we did attend a wine tasting party with Joe's coworkers last Friday. We tasted about 16 wines, mostly whites, from a local vinyard at the owner's house. We purchased 7 bottles. Wine is very affordable here, and very good (if you like German whites).

I made my first batts on my new Kitten Drum Carder!
I got it for xmas, and was having a lot of trouble with too much fiber sticking to the licker-in, and not filling the drum correctly, but I was able to fix this by adjusting the distance of the drums and using a dog brush to pack the fiber onto the drum. I think the fleece that I was trying to learn on was a little too damaged anyway though.

These were made with some Border Leicester fleece I got last year and washed and dyed myself. I separated the colors and flicked open the locks, and carded each color into its own batt, then stripped them apart to combine into 2 striped batts. I estimate that I have just under 4oz between the two of them, but my friend has my scale right now so I'm not certain.

The dark purple batt
batt 001

The finished striped batt
batt 006

And look how big it got when it came off the 10" carder! It doubled!
batt 008

I'm re-ordering dye supplies this week (had to leave my dyes in MD) and will be making many more batts in the near future :) It's a lot of work, but fun.

I'm currently spinning up some Merino/Silk/Angora batts I got a few years ago at MDSW. I got some encouragement and ideas on how to spin it on Ravelry, and am enjoying watching the color changes. I decided to split each 1/2 oz batt in half lengthwise, creating two similar piles of 2.5oz each, and spin the batts 2 at a time by color. So hopefully I will be able to have a two ply laceweight yarn with long stripes of solid color. The dye job is not even at all though so there will be some mixing. I am debating plying the 2 finished strands with a third strand of sewing thread with tiny beads.
jan 009

Here's how it's spinning up. The first picture the dark orange is not visible, which is why I included the second, even though it's blurry.
jan 013
jan 010

I also finished my Spiral Cowl, using Tess Designer Yarns Cultivated Silk (gorgeous stuff, I had exactly enough in one skein), and a handmade button. It's surprising how very warm it is!
jan 008

I finished Amused as well, but I am not happy with how the ribbing sits on my hips, so I'm going to rip it out and extend the stockinette and make it a tunic/dress, since I have a ton of yarn left.
Amused from Knitty

I'm also working on Pomatomous again, this time Magic Loop so it's less confusing!
Pomatomous: Take 2/>

Also, if you're on Ravelry, go HERE to see the hat, cowl and mitts my friend made from my English Licorice handspun!
And here to see the shawl she made from my hand-dyed sock yarn!


Javajem said...

I love the batts you are blending! I made a few myself before Christmas. I really do enjoy spinning from batts. I may have to borrow the one from the shop and make some more!

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