Hair O\’the Lamb

18 March, 2008, 8:49 am
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p1010016.jpgp1010016.jpgpretty goodyarnnotbad yarn


In my bathroom (I’m not oversharing here, I promise) I have a large scallop shell that I use as a soap dish.  It has the prettiest colors on the inside, soft pinks, pale purples, taupe, fawn…and I decided to use that as my inspiration for the colors of this yarn.  Despite my reputation with my oldest friends as being a *Goth Princess* in my previous life (I hear you snickering out there), I admit a certain fondness for some shades of pink…natural shades like shells, insides of bunny ears, kitten toes…and rosy cheeks-not the neon pinks from the  ’80s.  Antique pink…blush….pink like rare steak. (Like I always said, you can take the girl out of the goth but you can’t take the goth out of the girl)

I am pleased that my spinning is improving with practice (compare to the yarn in my header up there for proof)!  I gifted the “hotdog” yarn-the yellow/red/purple/green/white skein that I mentioned a few days ago to Bonnie (the Bonnie from the great yarn hunt situation. BTW she is nearly done with that sweater and I’ll share a pic as soon as she is) but this yarn I am keeping.   I spent this morning dyeing up the remainder of the BFL roving in the same colorway so that I will have more than enough for say…socks?  A scarf with a Shell lace pattern maybe?  I know that this yarn is very soft even though I tried to spin it firmly and probably wouldn’t be ideal for socks but there is something to be said for special socks to be worn around the house on lazy Saturday mornings…and I do have a great pair of pink Dansko sandals that would look great with socks in this color….this is getting exciting!


It may be a little late…
17 March, 2008, 3:45 pm
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but Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  I would have posted earlier but I was in a homemade Irish Soda Bread induced coma.  Mmmmmmmmm…fresh from the oven with butter melting all over…it was sooooooooo good.   Being a little bit of a picky eater (no white sugar, very little processed stuff, no white flour and all that) it was exciting to make an exception for the holiday and chow down on something I usually don’t indulge in.

In between episodes of inhaling huge chunks of hot bread oozing with butter and listening to The Chieftans, I found time for some spinning.  Seems to go easier each time I try it and I am slowly gaining confidence that someday I will be able to produce usable yarn.  I spun up a little from my last batch, then practiced Navajo plying…now I’m knitting up the sample to see what it looks like.

Pictures will have to wait, it would be bad to get butter on the camera.

Ketchup, mustard, pickles and onions…
11 March, 2008, 1:13 pm
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p1010006.jpgAll I can think of is that I must have been hungry when I was dyeing this last batch of roving…well, if you use red onions on your hotdog that is.

Its an improvement for sure (this is shown pre bath)…it came off the swift balanced and straight with no twist one way or the other.  Even though there are (GRRRR) thick and thin parts to the yarn (I really want to get better at spinning smoothly) it turned out better than the pink/purple mix and overall it is a finer gauge.  Also-note to self-rinse the yarn more thoroughly next time!  My fingers and the palm of my right hand are tinted bright pink,as is the thumb and index finger on my left.  LOL  I have a meeting at work tomarrow and I hope it wears off before then. 

Pink overload
7 March, 2008, 10:33 am
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Spinning is fun.  Figuring out how to use my *new* (read: used, but new to me) camera is a bit less fun since I’d rather be spinning.   I guess I’ll have to break down and read the instructions-lol.

I’m nearly done with the pink/purple  mix and hopefully should be hanging up some new yarn to dry very soon.  The yellow green mix is going to be really pretty I think and I can’t wait to see how it spins up.  I have been watching the pink stuff spin up forever it seems and I confess I don’t think I see the color anymore.  The cheeriness of the yellow should wake me up!

One problem I have identified is that my wheel needs a good tune up.  Its a Mazurka and has splayed legs that look a bit like an old fashioned milking stool.  Over time the 2 legs that support the treadle have loosened and the whole thing has a faint *wobble* that is troublesome.  I am a complete newbie in these matters but I know that can’t be a good thing.  My plan is to glue the loose leg in and somehow brace it in position so that it is supported…but I’m not sure of the best way to do that just yet.  Elastic band  maybe?  No matter, I’m going to finish this color first (wobble and all) and then fix it.  Non cellcam pictures soon!

UPDATE!!!!  The pink/purple mix yarn is done and, aside from a few lumpsdesign features, ahem…it looks okay for my first attempt.  It has had its soak and is drying  rather unceremoniously by hanging off the shower head in the bathroom.  For sure pictures later!!  I am excited-this is my first “regular” try at yarn and it doesnt totally suck!

You spin me right round baby…part deux
6 March, 2008, 3:56 pm
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Spinning is a strange activity for me.  For years, (please read my first post if you never have) decades actually-I have wanted to learn to spin and always it would elude me.  I tried to learn on my own (failed) took a spinning class (umm…failed again), got excited anyway and bought a wheel to mess with (failed…yes…again) anyway you see the pattern here.  My hands and brain could not get in sync to do this activity. No. Matter. How. Hard. I. Tried.  Hence the name of the blog…kind of riffing on the old “hair of the dog that bit you”-Sort of like…my own idea of getting right back in there and trying and also referring to the kind of addiction (obsession? compulsion?) I have with fiber fun in general.

Then, last year when I started this blog, I had a revelation.  I borrowed a video from the library and watched it over and over again and finally my hands and brain sort of had a clue about how to do this.  I started with spindle spinning and moved on to establishing a new relationship with my wheel.  My first attempt at spinning can be seen in my header (thats PRE video watching lol) and lets just say I’ve improved a teeny bit since then.  Like I said, spinning for me is a strange thing…the other day I just got the motivation to try it again.  I had a 16 oz bag of lovely blue faced leister roving that was languishing in my stash closet so I dug it out and warmed up the wheel.  It went ok, but I was bored with making vanilla colored yarn.  Solution?  I dyed up a few batches and let them dry while I was at work (this also had the effect of giving me something to look forward to and get me through my work day..”woohoo I have wool at home! Yay!  Uh huh I’m just that lame).  Today I woke up and my sole activity was spinning with the ultimate goal of making some usable sock yarn.

Funny thing is, I think I am getting the hang of this and actually have make a decent (mostly), consistant, fairly evenly spun fine single that I am going to ply up as soon as I get the rest done.  I made 3 colorways: a yellow/green/white/touch of blue one, a red/orange/yellow/green one and a mostly solid pink/lavendar/pale purple one.   I was inspired by a pretty flower arrangement we had on our desk at work that had some yellow roses, white tulips, deep green leaves and a few hyacinths. It just looked so perfectly springy I couldnt get it out of my head.  I can’t say that my colors achieved my vision but I am happy with them for now.  Keep in mind my dyeing is in no way scientific at all…I used food colors and white vinegar in the microwave.  Super simple and very free form.   It isnt perfect but, hey, I’m a beginner and you’ve got to start somewhere, right?


PS. Congratulations to the winner and thanks to all of you that voted for Godzilla’s Sweater for “Teeny Project Runway”!