Thursday, April 26, 2007

Icelandic Wool

I bought some Icelandic fleece that came last week. I washed the white up and it is so beautiful. I love the look of the long tog with the really soft shorter thel (undercoat). However, some of the fleece is so short that I'm having trouble carding it up. My drum carder is just not working well with it. I need to try hand cards, I guess. I did spin some of the batt up and it was OK. THe yarn is a bit irregular, not as smooth as I like. But it's soft and wooly.

I am worried that the yarn will pill a lot as the thel is less than an inch long in places. I think it was only part of the fleece that was so short, but most of it is way shorter than I'm used to. It seems like it would be warm and I could always blend it with some longer wool. But would that just ruin the longer wool? Such a dilemna. I will have to ask my friend in Canada about it. Hopefully she has some experience with it.

I plan to go up to visit in a few weeks. I can't wait. It will be fun to get away. My son is supposed to go visit friends this weekend so I'll have the house to myself. That will be a treat. He's going down to do some music. I hope he has fun. I hear him downstairs practicing his beat box. LOL He is so good at that, it's amazing.

I finished one sock and will post pictures if I can get my card reader back from him. It looks good but not sure how it feels yet. Have to try it out. I have the second one started but only knit on it in the staff meetings. So every Tuesday, it gets bigger. must sleep. More pics later.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


This is a picture of my Orenburg Lace Shawl, more pics and details below.

I am making plans to go visit my friend in Canada in May. She will be participating in a doll conference and I get to go with her and do some sightseeing. She is a felting diva and does felted soft-scuplture dolls and things. It will be so much fun.

I am working on the socks still and yet another hat to send to Canada. She liked the first three, so I am pleased. I am almost done with one sock. The yarn turned out a bit firmer than I had hoped but we will see how it feels on the foot. I bought some nylon and have blended it and some angora into another batch of Polypay so I'm hoping that turns out a bit softer and maybe more durable. I have been doing a lot of carding and blending lately. I also have bought a number of fleeces on the internet lately. I'm getting some Icelandic wool which I am excited about because I have never worked with it. I'm also getting some more Polypay and Dorsett. It's tough to pass up all the goodies available right now because it is shearing season. My kids think I'm crazy, of course.

I was asked about my handspun Orenburg lace shawl. This was my very first handspinning project and my first lace knitting project. Before this, I only did scarves, LOL. I haven't put up pictures because it's hard to represent it with photos. But I have several and will post them so they can be seen. It is a beautiful shawl made with some fiber that my Canadian friend grabbed off of one of her carded Angora blended bats and gave to me. It is beautiful fiber and has a lot of Angora in it (and maybe alpaca?) which gives it that halo. But you can still see the pattern, so it works OK.

Now I am hooked on lace knitting and am planning a project with the dark brown llama that is so beautiful spun into lace weight yarn. But first, more hats!
It was a good effort for my first piece. Here it is all pinned out drying. I was amazed at how much better it looked after blocking. Wow!

And here is a closeup of the detail in the shawl. I used the Orenburg Lace Book by Carol R. Noble. I will put the title up when I find it. It's not the Gossamer Webs: The History and Techniques of Orenburg Lace Shawls, but another one by the same author. Can't remember it at the moment but they are both very good books for learning to lace knit.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Sock yarn

I have spun up some of the Polypay that I processed. I spun it a bit thick and worsted, so that it is a bit overtwisted. I then did my first skein dying project and made color bands so that when I knit it up, it will have bands of color. I will put up pictures soon.

I have been working on the hat, but I had to take 16 rows out because it was getting way too big. It was almost a sweater! This hat has been a pain to knit but it will look nice when done. I am determined to get it done in time to send to Canada with adopted daughter. I spoke to my Canadian friend and she is happy with my progress even though it has been slow. I can't wait to visit her myself. Maybe in May. We will get together and spin and geek out over fiber. She's a felting diva so we will felt up some of my overprocessed Merino. Canada should be fine in May.

Pictures coming soon of my hat and my new sock yarn. I hope it makes cushy socks!