Tuesday, January 31, 2012

More Spinning

I've been spinning more yarns for my story coat.   I'm sure once I get knitting, I'll find some yarns won't work and I'll need to spin more, although I'm also hoping to find more coordinates in my yarn stash.  (Photography isn't doing most of them justice, as the colors only seem true when the flash goes off. )  Here are my newest skeins:

Last time you saw this yarn, it was just a single wound on my bobbin, but now it has been Navajo plied (chain plied) and simultaneously wound with bamboo yarn that I strung beads on.   I occasionally pushed a bead up into place and found this to be the most difficult method of adding beads to yarn that I have tried so far, although the final yarn is beautiful, and more green than this picture.  The fiber is Ashford's merino silk in the Woodland colorway.

These next two skeins are spun from similar braids of merino wool that were purchased from the Yarn Wench several years ago in the dappled shade colorway.  Their color is really a deeper teal / green, but my camera seems to be washing out color when the flash doesn't go off, which seems weird to me and I'll have to figure out when I get time. This first one was Navajo plied:

For the second braid, I spun a thick and thin single, then plied it with Jaggerspun Zephyr wool / silk (laceweight) yarn to make yarn with beehives.  This yarn is much more time consuming to spin and ply, but I think it is a beautiful art yarn that will add some variety.

I happen to have four braids of this Poetry colorway of Faulkland wool from the Yarn Wench, and have decided to spin and Navajo ply all of them for a three-ply yarn that can be used throughout the coat.  This skein was finished yesterday, and I'm in progress of spinning the next braid.

I know these don't look like they will play nicely together, but the earlier skeins were dark blue/ teal / purples, and this last skein has purples in it, so I'm hoping I'll find other yarns (or roving that I can spin up) that will help them work together.  Whatever doesn't end up in the coat can always be knit up into something else...

Friday, January 27, 2012

Improvisational Quilt in Progress

Here's another project I've been working on, a little bit at a time:

The large striped panels will probably end up being cut up, but I'm playing with options while looking in my stash for other fabrics that will play nicely with what I have so far.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Figs and Ginger - additional blocks finished!

Finally got back to this project and finished sewing the additional blocks together.  The center of both quilts are now complete and ready for borders, but in my haste to pick up, I forgot to take a picture of the panels, so you'll have to wait for that picture until I have space to spread it out again.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Snow Outside, Creativity Inside

Over the past few days, we've gone from this:

to this:

We've shoveled snow (it doesn't look like it, since more came down) and endured two power failures.  So what does one do when there is no power?  Well, my knitting ran into a little snag, so I decided to spin some yarns for a project I'd like to start soon.

First, I finished plying this teal/ blue / white skein:

Next, I corespun (wool wrapped around a thin, premade yarn) a beautiful aqua and multicolor batt into this yarn:

Wanting to try something new, I spun a thick and thin single while letting multicolored thread autowrap around it.

That was fun, but I've seen beautiful yarns with beads, I had to try making one, so I spun up more fiber.  Left to right:  blue / violet / black batt, Ashford Damson Slyver, Ashford Woodland Slyver.

The first skein was multistranded.  I plyed the two blue-violet strands with three different quilting / embroidery threads, one being pre-strung with beads, which I skattered throughout the skein.  The metallic thread made it a bit scratchy, but added sparkle, along with the beads and it's beautiful!

I decided to try threading the beads directly onto the strand that was made from the batt, but only managed to ply a small sample skein before the yarn broke and beads flew everywhere!

Having more yarn to ply, I decided to blend the two blue-violet strands with a black lace-weight bamboo yarn and threaded the beads on it.  It worked well, with the black bamboo yarn darkening the skein, but only a little.

More experiments to come as I have time...

Monday, January 16, 2012

TAST Weeks 1 and 2

A few weeks ago, I said I was going to take part in TAST 2012 (Take a Stitch Tuesday) and I've been working on it in different ways, but hadn't sorted out the "how" part  for myself, because I didn't just want to do rows of stitching samples, I want it to work on something that will become something more than just a stitch sampler.  Finally, I decided that I'd really like to try to make a garden with these stitches, experimenting as I go and hopefully the results will work out.

The first week was Fly Stitch,  and I was experimented working on a light hand dyed linen.

The stitches were ok, but it wasn't the look I was hoping for, so I went in search of a fabric that was more green and began again.   This past week has been Buttonhole Stitch, so I added a little more stitching.  I'm still not happy with what I've done so far, but may keep working on this one and see where it goes, or maybe continue working on both pieces.......

During my search, I found a stitch sampler that I made several years ago and thought you might like to see it.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

TTL mystery sock 2012 - spoiler alert!

Last year I finally finished the 2010 mystery sock (only took me 2 years, because I set it aside for a while), but this year I joined the 2012 TTL mystery sock group in the Through the Loops group on Ravelry, and am trying to keep up with the weekly clues to make a pair of socks in a month. This is not an easy feat, as they're being worked on between other things (like bookkeeping in time for taxes - yuk!).  Not doing too badly, since I've got both socks in progress at the same time, one is ready for the next clue and the other is getting there - maybe it'll make it too.  If not, she said the next clue will be the heel, so will give us time to catch up before starting the foot.  It's a challenging pattern, but beautiful, and I've taken the liberty of exchanging beads in place of the bobbles in her design, since I've never done them before, and want my socks finished asap, because I'd really love to be able to wear them to the Madrona Fiber Arts spinning class that I'm taking next month!  Well, here's what I've knit so far...