Spinning at the Farm

  What a pleasure it was to meet my friends to do nothing but spin and talk about fibers for the whole day. We met at Windrush Farm on Wednesday morning and set our spinning wheels near the swimming pool. It was a great way to enjoy one of the lasts day of summer. The day was warm and beautiful, so we made sure that we had plenty of drinks near by.

This looked very promising…

Mimi has yarn hanging just about anywhere you look… Not that is unfamiliar to me.

Yes… Spinners also have to eat like the rest of the world…

My friend Mimi…

Oh, yes… we got to spin some yarn…

And feed the animals…

This fellow seemed a bit mischievous to me.

Getting ready for dinner.

I was able to spin a couple skeins of Suri Alpaca.

And got to see how Mimi and Charmaine prepare an Indigo vat.

Looking forward to our next meeting…

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Blending fibers

One of my biggest pleasures of spinning is the fiber preparation that goes beforehand. Finding the right compliment that won’t overshadow each of the fibers that I have chosen to blend together can be a little tricky with some risks involved. Here is where planning, discovery, and a little bit of serendipity takes me to new appreciations where my own expectations takes a second role.

But that is exactly what makes it fun and almost addictive. And I know I’m not rediscovering the wheel here, but I still jump screaming  “Eureka” when I get something soft and pretty. I’ve been spinning a batt lately made with Icelandic lambswool, alpaca and border leicester.

I find the alpaca and the soft undercoat (thel) of the Icelandic similar in softness and it produces a yarn with a pretty halo that I suspect will be just more obvious once I soak it and  full it.

This is another good combination:

Gotland, Wensleydale and Mohair, and all three of them take the dye with so much vibrance. I have about 7 more pounds of the Gotland to go through, so I hope to post more of my progress before I find another thing to do…

Secret Santa

What a good way to connect with people. Last month I decided to participate on the Secret Santa swap with my fellow Phatties. It was a lot of fun to choose the gifts that I got to send to my secret person. We all had to fill out a questionnaire to get some hints about our secret person. This is what I got form my Secret Santa.

This is from Silver Sun Alpacas. Ricky sent me an ounce of a yummy blend of black alpaca and carbonized bamboo and 300 hundred yarns of the most beautiful alpaca yarn. I love the natural colors of the fibers and the tag that says “made with love”.

The package was so beautiful wrapped, but with the excitement and the anticipation to see what was inside, I forgot to get a picture of it. Thank you Ricky!!! I love my gifts! I will have a great fun spinning this fiber. I really can’t wait!

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.

~Hamilton Wright Mabie

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Autumn comes with the knitting bug

And I always thought that summer was my favorite season!  Maybe because I was in denial about living on the coast where is supposed be hot and sunny all the time. Mark Twain said once “The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco.” I remember a tourist from Texas coming to town and looking desperately for a store were she could buy a cheap sweatshirt because she was freezing. When I sat foot on this part of the world about 15 years ago, all I got was my “summery garments” consisting of linen pants, tops and many dresses. I don’t need to say how many dresses I have today! I always read that California winters were very mild compare to other parts of the world. My fist two winters were spent in bed due to bad cases of pneumonia. Eventually I learned to dress properly and that was when I discovered wool! Growing up in Yucatan, I always thought that wool is a fiber that people wear in places like the arctic. LOL! I have to say that now, Autumn is so beautiful, the colors here are not as intense as in other parts of the country, but I enjoy the bright colors of the environment, the food, the cool breeze… There is a beautiful calm in the air difficult to describe with words, and at the same time very festive. I have to admit that this is my favorite season! All what I want to do is knit, and for my birthday I got a hank of yarn from Imaginit, a yarn store located in San Francisco. It looks like a peruvian tweed from Henry’s Attic. The idea of knitting a sleevles top came later on, because I had no idea what to make with 400 yards. I knew I didn’t want a scarf, so I let the yarn sit for a while.

Peruvian Tweed

One morning I woke up with an image in my mind of what I wanted to knit. So I cast on 92 st. after knitting a swatch, starting from the neck down.

Cast on

We’ll see how it will evolve. Right now my idea is to make a yoke, and then work the body on garter stitch.

plan

It should go fast (she says). I started on double pointed needles, but I began missing my circular needles after knitting a few rows. Eventually i did switch to circular, because having to deal with 8 points was driving me nuts. I will post later on the progress of my project. I wish wordpress can allow me to add on my blog one of those widgets where I can keep track of my knitting projects.

Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.
~Lord Byron

Small projects and a new camera

I’ve been playing with a new camera that Keith got to photograph birds. At first it was a little overwhelming to get used to the new features. But it is actually easier to operate than my old clunky camera. I’ve been having very good results with the white balance and the colors of my fibers are more real. I love how bright and colorful the pictures are. At one point I will have to give it back to Keith and get my own. I better start saving my pennies before he ask me for his camera back…

Fruit

Merino

I started a new hat with some of my  hand spun merino and the llama that my friend Greg gave me a while ago. It took me a while to figure how to make the hat using a sample that I previously knitted flat, but once I did,  it went very easy and fast.  It didn’t take a long time to realize that this yarn wasn’t very appropriate for what I had in mind. The yarn is pretty, but there is too much going on with the colors and texture. A more smooth yarn would have been perfect for this preject. Bonbon hat

A few months ago, some of my friends and I visited an old little lady with a few Angora goats and sheep. We got lots of fleeces. I mean, LOTS. I’ve been dyeing  it, spinning it and having a heck of a good time with it, but when it comes to fibers I’m a polygamist,  I can’t stay with the same fiber for a long time. I always want to try new stuff.

Mohair-corridale

Camel-silk

This is a blend of camel and silk, and I bought it because I love the natural color of the camel fiber, but then I couldn’t resist the need of dyeing it before spinning it. I’m very glad I did it. The colors are deep and dramatic. This fiber when it drafts, it literally disappears or I better say it melts like butter between my hands! My Mach 1 did an excellent job with it. I tend to over spun my yarn, but this wheel did the right job for me.

Alpaca

This is an over dyed alpaca roving. I also spun this in my Mach one. I have about 300 yards of pure future knitting pleasure. I’m thinking about combining it with the camel and silk. We’ll see.

When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.

Rumi Quote

Etsy update

I just post some roving for sale at my Etsy shop. If you are interested on purchasing any of my roving,  you can click at the pictures to get redirected to my store.

Wensleydale

I had this colorway before with alpaca roving, and liked it so much that I decided to repeated this time with Wensleydale wool.

Serene

I really like this colorway. The greens are relly pretty. This is roving has a blend of 50% Alpaca, 30% Merino and 20% Tussah silk.

Flame

And the last one for now, is 100 % Wensleydale wool. I called this colorway flame!