Thursday, 29 November 2007

It was well worth the tassel...


Here is the finished toque I made as a gift for the lady who was so generous with her angora bunny fluff. I hand spun the wool (see the entry below). The band around the ears is 100% angora, while the darker stuff is an angora/alpaca blend. I notice that when I knit up the angora it looks darker than when it is loose (tassel), but it still looks pretty.

See how fluffy the angora is! And you can really tell int he picture below the difference in value between the tassel and the knit.

Time well spent! :)

And today i spent the morning sifting through the bag of Airo's blanket (his best grade fibre). Next I'll put it all through the drum carder. I would like to spin up a bit of chunky wool to make some more toques for Christmas!

Ciao for now!

Saturday, 24 November 2007

It toque me no time at all...

The yarn on the left, I spun 100% Angora and the yarn on the right is blended 70% black alpaca, 30% angora. Both are two ply. The black alpaca is from a bag full of fibre that was given to me because it was too heavily vegetated to send to the coop. It has been quite the ordeal removing the crud, but the fluff itself is so fine for a black that I just can't help but try to salvage a little bit. When blended and spun up the wool is a pretty charcoal color to match the greys of the bunny fluff.

Not here are a couple shots of what I have been up to this morning. Once again I am just knitting a simple K1 P1 toque but it's just so simple and easy to do and it is always such a comfort for me to make simple things. Way better than comfort food. :)

See how fluffy the angora is? I put a band of it to cover the ears because I have read that Angora is something like7 times warmer than regular wool.

And that's what the last few days have been filled with. good grief I need to get cracking with my spinning wheel because I am going to want to spin so MUCH fibre and the drop spindle is just TOO SLOW. Not till after Christmas JacQueline. Priorities.


Thursday, 22 November 2007

I've got me a box of happy!

What is in this box?
packages are in this box...what are in the packages?

FIBRE!...but what kind of Fibre???

... ... ... ...BUNNY!
Look at how fine it is, and it's like silk to the touch! I am so excited!

Just so beautiful!

All this was a gift from one super awesome person who had angora rabbits at one point and this was sitting around in storage not being used. She said if I wanted it all I could take it all! *HAPPY DANCE*! awesome is she? How excited am I right now? Lets just say I haven't stopped hugging it since I brought it home except to get a bit of sleep. I have already looked up tons of info online about how to prep and spin angora and plan to spend my afternoon blending a bit of angora with some of Airo's fleece (he's my favorite Alpaca). I will promise to post images of what I get up to in this dept.

Anyways, I can't stand it any longer. I have to go play with fluffy fibre now!

Hearts of the charts!

Welcome to the warp zone...

Three cheers! I did in fact remember to take my camera with me to last night's inkle weaving workshop! Here are a few action shots!

Alicia is using the card weaving technique we taught ourselves a month or so prior to the workshop in combination with the inkle loom, and has a bunch of 12 card patterns drafted so she can make shoe laces!

It seems like the majority of the folks in the workshop would like to try and make a guitar strap , and there have been a few other project ideas, like Christmas tree garlands, baggage tags, and curtain ties so hopefully by the end we'll have some pictures of finished projects to show off!

Ciao for now!

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Alpaca toques and a linen book cover...

Okay so here are the toques I knit from the alpaca fluff I spun (chunky) while I was in Calgary. Just basic K1 P1 rib, nothing fancy. The buttery yellow color was from a batch of dandelion dye that I made mid summer. I liked these because they were quick, and simple to both spin and knit. Plus they are oh sooooo soft!

And the following two images or of a book cover I have been working on in my spare time. The cover itself is straight single crochet linen and the borders are done with some midnight blue chenille my mom salvaged from a mistreated sweater. There is a bit of inkle up the spine that extends from the cover as a bookmark. I still have to do a little embellishment on the front cover and add some sort of clasp, but I am happy with how it is coming along and hope to try out a few book covers made completely with inkle strips.

there is the inkle spine and bookmark:

Alright so I am going to try very VERY hard not to forget my camera when I go in to the workshop tomorrow night, so hopefully I'll have a post up in the next week chalk full of action shots!
Cheers n beers everyone!

Thursday, 15 November 2007

drop spindle blues

I love my drop spindle. I love the process and at this point am far more comfortable with it than with a spinning wheel. Unfortunately this means that I spin and spin and spin for hours only to end up with 150 yards of two ply. :(

It is a very beautiful two ply. I tried for something finer and with more twist than my past attempts and definitely succeeded, but the finer it is the longer to spin it so I had my heart set on finding out just how far that shopping bag of fleece would take me. Apparently it wasn't a lot of fibre and all I got was 300 yards of total singles, plied together 150 yards of rose-grey alpaca yarn for my mom. Unfortunately we discovered that even with a knitted lace scarf, that amount of yarn doesn't get very far! :( She'll probably have to find something pretty to put with it or else wait until I have some more fleece spun up.
Anyways, Here is a photo of the scarf and yarn:

I have some images of the inkle loom that Justin and I put together 10 of for the workshop. These needed to be inexpensive so we made them out of soft wood. Also we had little time to spare for the building of them so they aren't shiny perfect models but I have woven several strips on them and they work like a charm, at least for the duration of the workshop, until people see if they want to pursue the craft further. Then they can think about building out of hard wood or ordering a good one.
yes I look like a total goof here (too many hours of sanding), but you see the loom is pretty nice. :)

Hmmm...what else can I include in today's entry. Well I managed to forget my digital camera last night when I went to my workshop so I'll have to save those action shots for next week.

Here are a few pictures of the inkles I made using some rainbow variegated crochet cotton (hideous for any other purpose as far as I am concerned):

Tomorrow I'll unload all my photos of the new alpaca pen and share them here, as well as take a few pictures of my fluffy hand-spun alpaca toques that I made while I was in Calgary, sitting in my old haunt Central Blends catching up on all that missed LATTE. :P

Okay that's it for now
Hearts off the Charts!

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Return of the Vacationator

Hello everyone! I'm back from my trip to Calgary and ready to make three or four posts!
I have some preparations to do for my workshop this evening but as of tomorrow morning I am free to post post post!
I have a few photos of the simple ribbed toques I knit up out of my first hand spun, and some pictures of the scarf my mom was making out of some pretty rose-grey alpaca fibre I salvaged from a bag that was supposed to be felting quality stuff. I am so glad I took the time to sort through it all! Also have images of all the crochet cotton my mom and I dyed while she was here for a visit, and of course some action shots from my inkle weaving workshop!
Promise I will begin posting tomorrow!