#yarnlovechallenge wrap up

The #yarnlovechallenge was a photo-a-day project hosted by Mary Heather Browne and Christina B of Ravelry.

I loved seeing everyone’s choices for the prompts! I can’t keep up with these type of “challenges” every month, but it’s nice to have prompts every once in awhile to help me post more regularly.

Last Week Chez Play – Tour de Fleece 2014

UntitledI finished this year’s Tour de Fleece with 2 large skeins of 2 ply Border Leicester cross. I tried for a 3rd skein, but I didn’t quite make it. A finished yardage of 835yd for 9.6oz is pretty good considering I was starting from these locks! I should have washed AND prepped my fleece before the start of the Tour. Lesson: plan ahead!

I have ~1000yds of singles on this bobbin and another bobbin going. I’m shooting for a third, 5oz/500yd skein which should be enough for the Hitofude cardigan I have planned. If I run out of yarn, I have plenty of fleece left, probably enough for another sweater or two if I spin fine again. I’m thinking about overdyeing some; perhaps with a fair isle sweater in mind? Something thick, and coat-like, and Lopi-ish?


Last Week Chez Play

Last Week at PAL 7/14/14

Oh, hey! I haven’t blogged since February.

I joined a discussion with some online friends about blogging this morning and I admitted to being a terrible blogger.  I’m just not very wordy! I do post a lot of pictures on my Instagram account so I suggested a weekly photo recap, highlighting what I’d been doing in the studio, and out and about in the past week. That idea went over well so here you go!

My husband was on vacation last week so I took a break from dyeing. We did some work around the house, went to the beach a couple of times, and did some Geocaching. It was a very relaxing mini vacation!

Left to right, top then bottom:

1. I got some spinning WIPs off the bobbin just in time Tour de Fleece. Right is  4oz, ~150yds two ply Merino/bamboo/silk in Jewels from All for the Love of Yarn. Left is one of my gradients. I had a short 3oz braid of Redleaf on yak/merino top which I turned into ~300yds of fingering weight goodness. I love this fiber blend. This is my favorite handspun so far!

2. I was able to do a bit of thrifting and found these awesome cloth napkins

3. We went to the beach which resulted in this obligatory, dorky beach selfie.

4. I finished a huge bobbin of border leicester cross singles for the Tour! I’m working from clean fleece and flicking locks out as I go. It’s rather time consuming! I need to invest in some combs.

That 70’s Yarn Club

I vividly remember the colors and kitschy patterns of the 70’s with great fondness. Growing up, we had an avocado car and stiffened crocheted wall hangings in our dining room. I wore corduroy everything. I loved it all!

That 70’s Yarn Club celebrates avocado, orange, owls, and mushrooms. Colorways will be fun, wearable interpretations of those wonderful, cringe-worthy combinations.

Shipments will alternate between striping and gradient Maki (or fiber) and coordinating semisolids. Pair yarns together for a large, striped shawl. Or ply a long color repeat with a semisolid for a marled, self-striping yarn. This club will give you many options beyond a single skein or braid.

Club spots will open on this site on Friday, November 16, 2012 at noon. Spots will close November 30 or when the club is full. Your first shipment will go out by January 15 and will continue each month (by the 15th) through 2013. Yarn, fiber, paid-in-full, and monthly subscription options will be available for the entire year or the first 6 months. I will be listing any available spots for the second 6 months in May 2013.

Stay tuned for spoilers and other fun!

Long on Color Club – Not So Guilty #1 – Ascension to Skyland Mountain

The newest Long on Color club (Not So Guilty) has been a great way to explore different themes while offering a variety of colorways. And I get to use some of my favorite things for inspiration!

First up is The X-Files. My husband (then boyfriend) got me hooked on the show. I made the mistake of blowing through several episodes (on VHS, by the way 🙂 when I was home alone one night. And our surround sound speakers have the uncanny ability to pick up passing CB radio broadcasts. I may have jumped out of my seat a couple times that night.

I came up with this colorway while watching the “Duane Barry” and “Ascension” episodes from season 2 . I love when quirky, vulnerable characters refer to themselves in the third person (nope, can’t explain it) and Duane does so throughout both episodes. I decided, aloud, “Duane Barry needs to be a colorway.” So to Google Image Search I went.

I came upon this still which became this color palette.

And then became Ascension to Skyland Mountain.

As a special surprise, members received matching stitch markers crafted by Mary-Lyn of Lucid Sunshine.

We’re both very happy with the pairing! And I am absolutely positive that this colorway will end up in Play at Life Fiber Arts’ regular colorway list.

FO Friday – Epic Rainbow Socks

They’re finished!

My new rainbow socks started as 3.5oz of SW Merino/Bamboo Rayon/Nylon top dyed in Loud and Proud.

I spun on and off all summer of 2011 and into the fall. I felt like I was never going to finish. I lost motivation around September when I had only gotten through half the braid

I finally got the motivation to finish when I hung out with the RI Spinning Guild at the Fiber Festival of New England. Then I chain plied the singles straight from the bobbin. OY…this was the first time I’ve ever chain plied on a wheel. I probably should have done so with a bigger single, but I like to jump straight into the deep end when it comes to fibery pursuits.

I made yarn! I need to work on spinning consistently throughout a skein. I had a bunch of bumpy, slubby bits where the singles twisted up on themselves (pics below) but it was usable AND A RAINBOW!

I immediately cast on toe-up socks, two at a time, working from the inside and outside of a center-pull ball. I knit on them through December and into January.

I spun and plied this pretty hard for durability which didn’t make the knitting very enjoyable. And I knit the socks on 1.5mm needles so I wouldn’t call them soft either. But they’ll wear pretty well and they keep my feet warm but not suffocating like some 100% wool socks do. AND RAINBOW! I think I wore them three days in a row this week. I had to wash them for so I could get a close up pic of the slubby bits.

Boo! YAY!

There are some drawbacks to approaching work from a playful perspective when you’re multi-tasking. In dyeing, largely it’s the spontaneous, non-repeatable colorways that result from a sprinkle of this and a dash of that. Despite my best attempt at noting application technique, quantity, and time I often cannot duplicate colorways.

Then there are the mistakes. I once left a half pound each of superwash BFL and Merino in the crockpot overnight. Why I didn’t remember before I fell asleep, I do not know. When I woke up the next morning, I sat up and immediately remembered that I left the crock pot going. The crock pot was bubbling away and my basement studio smelled like cooking hair. Not quite burned but definitely well done. Which is what I called the fiber. As it was superwash, it had not felted so I decided to salvage it for my own personal use. A whole pound of unsellable fiber? Boo. A whole pound of fiber just for me? YAY! I’m planning on carding them together with a bit of bronze angelina.

Well Done SW BFL and SW Merino Combed Top

Which leads me to my current large spinning project. The first batch of fiber I dyed up for the October Long on Color fiber club bled. It bled and bled and bled. I must have forgotten to add acid to that dye because the subsequent batches from new dye stock were totally fine. This left me with one 4oz test braid and four 4oz braids that were fine to spin but weren’t good enough for the club. Boo. But now I have 20oz of Polwarth in this lovely colorway! YAY!

Jack's Lament - the mistake free version

One bobbin down, 2 more to go!