January’s Fiber

Normally people might read ” January’s fiber” and think I had made drastic changes in my diet! But no! I’m referring to the wool that I’ve been getting ready for this summer’s craft shows.

The biggest part of my time was spent spinning some more super wash yarn. After a sale on HandmadeArtists I realized how low my inventory of super wash was so decided to get busy. I managed to finish spinning five pounds of the merino super wash top from my stash, and dug out another 5 pounds to see if I can do the same amount for February. One pound of larch green was plied with one pound of dark olive for a total of about 1200yds. The red pound is called lipstick (about 550yds). Then a pound of light blue (about 600yds). And pictured the first skein of the pound-a bulkier art yarn of maybe 250yds. The rest of it is finished but drying to set the twist. I still need to label the individual skeins before I will have an accurate yardage count.

hand spun yarn

superwash merino hand spun

Then I took a day off to play with colors. Five batches/ four colorways gave me a start on adding to my top inventory. I will have the fun of spinning some of the top that matches the yarn to knit into a hat. The rest will find homes with other spinners or felters.

hand dyed

dyed merino top and alpaca blend yarn

Then my supervisor (Sheldon the cat) was inspecting the progress of some dryer balls! I think he likes being in charge of quality control!

Dryer balls

Sheldon inspecting!

And I’ve a head start on February’s to do list, just finished the first pound of singles and ready to start plying.

Happy February all.

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Snowy Days

Snowy days and days and days, with a little freezing rain thrown in to the south of us!

snowy view

But with the snow comes lots of time to stay inside and craft so I’ve been very busy this past week.

rainbow dyed

merino top and alpaca blend yarn, hand dyed

Last Friday I dyed some wool and top and yarn. While it was drying I finished spinning some green yarn, plied it and set the twist.

dyed in the wool.

warm and cool primary colors, plus pink+blue=purple

When it was dry I spread it on the table for pictures, but first I had to play peek-a-boo with Sheldon! After the game was done he still was tempted to take a closer look at the wool, but behaved and just looked 🙂

cat peek-a-boo

my eyes are closed…you can’t see me

cat peek-a-boo

can I fit?

Sheldon the cat

hi!

Then I teased some of the purplish wool to remove more of the VM (vegetable matter) that hadn’t come out in the washing.

cat

Can’t I help?

hand processing wool

teased wool and debris

After loading my hand cards with fiber, I found that Sheldon was still watching me!

hand wool processing

Dressing the cards

hand processing wool

carding wool with help

hand processing wool

carded wool

Here are some the rolags (rolls of carded wool) ready for spinning, but I have a lot more carding to do first.

hand processing wool

rolags ready to spin

As I mentioned before we have two black cats. The following pictures will show you how we tell them apart: Sheldon has the crooked ear from the injury he came to the shelter with. Stanley has half of a white whisker (the other half must of broken off during their wrestling matches).  While Stanley can usually be found be found on my husband’s lap and occasionally on mine, Sheldon has to see (closeup) whatever I am doing and shares his lap time with me and our son, while only occasionally my husband, maybe because that lap is already taken by his brother. Both take turns trying to help me spin or knit but are learning that yarn is NOT a chew toy.

cat

Sheldon

spinning yarn

Stanley helping me spin

The yarn that Stanley was helping me spin has now been plied and has formed skeins totaling over 500yds. Time to start spinning the next color/pound of superwash merino. Made more dryer balls today, so those are drying now. I’m thankful for the speed by which things dry during the winter months thanks to the even heat of our wood furnace. So winter does have its advantages!

spun yarn

singles of superwash merino

How do you enjoy winter days?  Anyone a fiberholic too?

Yesterday I Won

Yesterday I won. No not the Lottery which I never play. Something better! I won the raffle for a pattern written by Orange Smothie.

For a picture or the lovely cowl look here.

I chose my yarn, a red hand spun which happens to be the right gauge and amount:) Need to finish a couple of other things (like this post and finding the right needles) before I can cast on. But it did move to the front of my knitting line-up!

hand spun yarn

Red merino wool yarn.

Did finish plying the singles I’ve spun for 5 more skeins of yarn. They are now drying, setting their twist. I’ve been avoiding working on the shawl I have started, need to rip back a few rows and think the cats would be too much help at this time:) It may become a project to work on in the evenings at the craft shows (when the cats will be safely at home!)

What’s on your needles?

 

 

The Temp and The Horse

The Temp and the Horse is a Mallory Southwell novel written by Valerie Hibbard and available on Amazon.

Book by Valerie Hibbard

It was a pleasant surprise when I received it in the mail on Saturday, the last day of the old year! That ended it on a high note.

Recently I haven’t spent enough time on reading for pleasure, so I’m thankful that my friend Valerie sent me an autographed copy of her newly released book.

We met several years ago on line with a mutual interest in fiber. Managing to meet in person a couple of times, we continue growing our friendship with the help of the internet.

She is a woman of widely varying interests and experiences. Some of this knowledge I recognized in parts of her book, while other facts I know she thoroughly researched.

I have enjoyed reading the anecdotes and short stories that she published in her Plain and Practical newsletter years ago and highly recommend  The Temp and the Horse.

It is adult reading so I would like to quote some from Valerie’s

“Warning to the Easily Offended”

” …There is murder, there is espionage, there is lying and sneaking. There is sex…People con others out of money, burn down houses, perform surgery without permission, practice eugenics and…”

In spite of her warnings I started reading immediately and couldn’t put it down til the end. I found her book to be realistically compelling with an intriguing story-line. Could such things actually be happening?

It starts with Mallory’s unsuccessful search for a job after graduating college with a double major. Finally she feels forced to take jobs with a Temp agency. This turns into a fast paced adventure that leads her down unexpected roads!

There are two more novels planned to follow this one. Can hardly wait for their release.

Valerie’s style may vary in genre but it is delightful and her characters engaging. She also has another style of book on Amazon that I would like to read.

I have always enjoyed mysteries and espionage as well as westerns and some historical novels. What are your favorite genres? Leave a comment, let me know what you are reading?