Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Three bags full

This year I didn't need anything big, so all my money was free... to spend on yarn!

The fleece is a Romney fleece. It's actually a faded Mooritt, which means a dark wool sheep who's been a bit sunbleached. I wanted to get BFL until I found out that it's kind of  hard to get in Australia, so Romney was the next best type, according to my information. I'm going to use it for my NEWT project in the Harry Potter game. More on that later :) Also found some "Skein" yarn, and picked up 4 colors that I liked together. At the Ashford stall I found some Opal sock yarn. I certainly don't need sock yarn, but I like Opal. It's not the softest, but it sure takes a long time to wear holes! Plus, Jasmine is going to need some of those rainbow socks.

At the same place I got the Skein, I also found Madelinetosh and Malabrigo. I got Slytherin colors of each :) and three of the Madelinetosh Vintage in Bark, which is a pretty brown. The blue merino/silk is a soft and shiny one from Lara-Downs.

I ran into Kylie Gussett, who is responsible for the Ton of Wool project I may have mentioned. She decided that it was bad that Australia sends all their lovely wool overseas to get processed, and basically no yarn brand is entirely 100% Australian, sheep to skein. Except this. She got a bunch of Ravelers together in a Crowd Funding exercise. When enough people had promised a certain amount she bought a ton or so of Tasmanian Cormo, and had it processed locally, spun, she dyed quite a bit (as people wanted) and did a LOT of posting! I paid for 3 skeins of white, and got them about 5 or 6 months later. But Kylie had more at Bendigo, so I grabbed three more skeins and a bag of fibre to spin. I bought more colorful fibre next door, at Kathy's shop.

Also found a handful of bits. Got some T-pins for blocking, and two shawl pins, a bigger bottle of scour to clean my fleece, a boat shuttle for weaving, and Mr Ashford gave me a handful of Angelina to play with, free of charge (or maybe to get rid of me because I spent so long there watching him make sparkley batts! lol) The Knitpicks shawl pin gave me a nasty splinter that took me 20 minutes to dig out, so that's in the naughty drawer. But the one that Spinningwoodie made looks very nice in the

...completed OWL: Silhouette in the Sun.

It looks airy, but it's very heavy, almost a kilo, and it's a bit like wearing a blanket.

Next time: the end of the Tour de Fleece, and the start of the Ravellenic Games!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Bendigo, finally

Yep, I'm a bit slack, because the day-trip to the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Festival was more than a week ago. I'm blaming night shift ;)

I sat and watched one of the fashion shows. There were crazy outfits, as well as some that I would like to have taken home.

Thousands of sheep in big sheds (various competitions), including this little love

So cute that he inspired my lunch ;)


There was a shed-full of competition craft, all nicely displayed (except by the time I got there, on the last day, everything was covered with ribbons.)







Then I just wandered around, spending my saved-up BendiMoney on yarn and fibre. I sure didn't have much left when I came home, except for the proverbial "Three Bags Full" :)

More details on that later, after I've posted some yarn away...

Friday, July 20, 2012

Le Tour II

So, I am running out of time to get things completed. I have 10,000 stitches left on my OWL jumper (and about 11 days) and still need to finish that pink, lacey, beaded sock (2 days). But instead, I've been spending my days playing Tour de Fleece. Here is the one I finished today

Kathy (from Kathy's Fibres) dyed this one especially for the Tour de Fleece 2012, because some of us (in the KathysFibres team) wanted Leader's Jersey Yellow. She called it "TdF Yellow". Very bright!

And here is the Kalila from the last post, all 2-plied up. Somebody remind me next time that, although I like the idea of fractal plying, I hate doing 2 ply. It never works out for me.

Fractal plying is where you have a length of fibre in which the color repeats, and you spin half of it as it is, then split the other half lengthways (see 'nests' in the background) so the spun yarn will have one ply with long color changes, and one ply with short color changes. Then you ply them together and see how the colors mix :)

I had a bit leftover, so I navajo-plied it (the little one at the bottom). I just like the look of n-ply better!

And my favorite :) is another one from Kathy's Fibres, except this one was white, and I dyed it.

spun it

and, of course, navajo-plied it to keep the colors separated. It's a superwash merino and nylon mix, so I'm making stripey socks. (I named the colorway "10nant". Ten Nerdpoints for anyone who can figure that out in 10 seconds :) hehehe)

I'm in a brown and blue mood at the moment. And this yarn, this was the first yarn I spun on my brand new (second hand) electric spinning wheel!

It is so teeny and so fast! Of course, the main trick with spinning is drawing it out evenly, and I still have to do that, but I don't have to pedal. It has a big flyer that fit the 120g of 10nant quite well. I have been spinning with it sitting on the kitchen table while the kids draw pictures or eat lunch around me :)

Thanks to Terri from the local knitting group. She found it in an antique store for $90, but didn't buy it because she already has an electric wheel. Instead, she passed on the info, and I took Byron, Jasmine and Zachary for a drive to Beaufort one morning to get it. The sneaky guy charged me $120, but I didn't complain. It works perfectly, and new ones are worth a bit more. Bargain.

Next spinning is half done, but it's another repeat of the Callington you've already seen. Sorry. I have 200g, and I wanted to spin them both up. It's taking a little while!! And that's on the "old" wheel, which is out of favor at the moment. Hehehe. I also washed and dyed and carded a handful of fleece I had from Barley (the now-deceased mum of our tame little lamb, Kissy) ready to spin if I have time!

I'm trying to get the OWL jumper, the Order of the Phoenix socks, and spinning for three more classes done by the 25th, so that I can then start Quidditch/ Ravellenics when the Olympics start. I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew, but that's not going to stop me from starting a NEWT on August 1.

*laughs maniacally*

More on that ... after Bendigo!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Le Tour

Yes, I've been watching the Tour de France a little bit. It's kind of like cricket... background TV most of the time with the occasional highlights. Sprints. Crashes. Close finishes.

But mostly, it seems like the right thing to watch while spinning my wheel for the Tour de Fleece :)

So far I've spun up this red/brown one from EGMTK. I got it in Bendigo last year, I think. This was an easy spin, meaning I spun it at a thickness that I can do without thinking, and it ended up being 504m of singles, which I then navajo-plied.

This one, I did have to concentrate on! I was trying to spin a sock yarn, so I made it as thin as I could manage. Man did my left hand ache from pinching the yarn! For you non-spinners, you need to stretch out the fibres before you twist them (which I do with my right hand) and then let some twist up. But you have to stop the twist getting into the unstretched fibre (because you can't stretch it if it's twisted, which is actually the whole point of twisting) so you pinch it between the twist and non-twist with your left hand.  I was trying to twist this tightly, and so I had to pinch harder to stop it getting past my fingers. Ow.

In the end, the navajo-ply was about 220m and had a good sock-yarn thickness of 20 wraps per inch. It's curious, though, because usually 100g of sock yarn is about 380m and 16WPI. So it's both thinner and shorter...?

I guess I spun it into the denseness of wire :)

My goal for the Tour de Fleece is to spin more singles than last year. Last year I managed 2673m, but this year I'm aiming at 3497m. Odd number? Yep, well it's the number of kilometers the cyclists ride during the Tour. Since I have three kids and only one wheel ;) I figure 0.1% is a fair enough goal. hehe.


Damiknitter on Ravelry sent me some BFL/silk! And the pig. Haha. It was a prize in the HPKCHC game, for the multicolored woven scarf I did in Potions last month, I think.

See you next time, with yet more spinning!

*rides away*

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