Wool Gathering

Ahhh … I have wool. Lots and lots of wool.

I’ve had the llama a long time now. After I finally got it washed awhile back – which was way stinky – I then had the great joy (/sarcasm) of picking through three pounds of llama to get out the worst of the vegetable matter, the second cuts (bits that are too short to use), the guard hairs (long, coarse hair that is no use to me) and the generally unusuable bits, of which there were legion. Yesterday, I finally got to see some of this prep work pay off when I carded the black-bay llama with a little bit of dark red angora rabbit and spun it up. Sooooo soft and nice! I am pleased.

Then there’s the Jacob wool. It’s coarser than the last bit I had, and I have more of it, so I’m not sure what I’m going to do. Maybe a bag or something. But I’ve spun up two bobbins worth now, about 2.5 ounces maybe. We’ll see how much I end up with.

I have two little balls of yarn that I’m also saving for the Ravelympics – merino/angora that’s a nice ecru, and some mohair/llama fingering weight that is brown, apricot and blue. No idea what to do with it.

Aaaaand now for the wool tale! My husband bought 5 pounds of raw wool, with the idea that I would process it and resell it, cleaned and carded and maybe dyed. So I’ve been scouring lots of this stuff! The pound of Leicester I’m going to keep, but I have about two and a half pounds of Lincoln Longwool that is nice stuff. I’m going to dye a bunch of it, I think, since the tips are pretty stained. The black/brown longwool is still soaking. It’s a really nice fleece, I look forward to seeing how it turns out.

I dyed some pygora today. It’s such nice stuff. I dyed some a really gorgeous yellow, and attempted badly to dye some of it gray. I failed. It’s brown. I must’ve dyed that stuff four times trying to get gray, but Kool Aid just doesn’t mix out to gray. It was pink, then blue, then green, and now brown. Ah well. I still have some gray kid mohair around here somewhere.

I’ll post pictures when I have some!

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Free Crochet Pattern – Pointless Gloves

I wrote this pattern specifically for some yarn I bought at Yarn Heaven forever ago and had been hoarding. I finally convinced myself that I had to actually use it, that it was doing no one any good sitting in my stash box. But I had to do something worthy of the yarn. Soooo, this Pointless Gloves pattern was born. I think it will be good for using up leftovers in the stash box. I’ve been through the pattern pretty thoroughly, but all the same, if you find an error please let me know and I will correct it.

Pointless Gloves 1

Pointless Gloves 2

Fingering Weight Yarn
Crochet Hook Size C
special stitch trctog: yo 2, insert hook into first trc, draw up a loop, yo and draw through first 2 loops on hook. (Insert hook into next trc, yo and draw up a loop, yo and draw through 2 loops on hook) twice. (Yo and draw through next two loops) twice.

Chain 43, join with slpst to form ring
Round 1-3: ch 2, hdc in each ch, join with 1st slp st, turn
Round 4: ch 3, trc in next 2 hdc, (ch 3, skip next 3 hdc, trc in next 3 hdc) around, ch 3, join, turn
Round 5: ch 6, (trc in next 3 trc, ch 3, skip next 3 ch) around, trc in next 2 trc, join with ch in 3rd st, turn
Round 6: ch 3, trc in next 2 trc, ch 11 for thumb hole, (trc in next 3 trc, ch 3, skip next 3 ch) around, join, turn
Round 7: ch 6, (trc in next 3 trc, ch 3, skip next 3 ch) 5 times, tr in next three trc, ch 3, skip next 4 ch, trc in next 3 ch, ch 3, skip the next 4 ch, trc in next 2 trc, join with ch in 3rd st, turn
Round 8: ch 3, trc in next 2 trc, ch 2, skip next 3 ch, trc in next 3 trc, ch 2, skip next 3 ch, trc in next 3 trc, (ch 3, skip next 3 trc, trc in next 3 trc) around, ch 3, join, turn
Round 9: ch 6, (trc in next 3 trc, ch 3, skip next 3 ch) 5 times, trc in next 3 trc, ch 2, skip next 2 ch, trctog (see special instructions) over next 3 trc, ch 2, skip next 2 ch, trc in next two trc, join in ch in 3rd st, turn
Round 10: ch 3, trc in next 2 trc, ch 3, skip next 5 stitches, (trc in next 3 trc, ch 3) around, join, turn
Round 11: ch 6, (trc in next 3 trc, ch 2, skip next 3 ch, trc in next 3 trc, ch 3, skip next 3 ch) 3 times, trc in next 2 trc, join with ch in 3rd st, turn
Round 12: ch 3, trc in next 2 trc, (ch2, skip next 2 or 3 ch, trc in next 3 trc) around, ch 2, join, turn
Round 13 – 15: hdc in each trc around, join, turn

Thumb: Join yarn anywhere along thumb hole. Round 1-3: Ch 2, work hdc around for a total of about 20 stitches, turn.

Ravelympics

So the events list for the 2010 Ravelympics is out! I’m so there. It’s gonna be awesome. I’m using this post to make a rough list of what I’d like to try to do to enter certain events.

Bag Jump – sure, maybe. Use up something from Teh Stash.
Downhill Dyeing – once I get my dyes I’ll figure it out. Maybe something like that “Spring at Rivendell” I saw on Etsy. Which is here: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=29687926
Felting Freestyle – I’ll give it a go. Maybe Easter eggs.
Fleece to FO Long-Track – oh hell yeah. Not sure which fleece I’ll use; I’ll decide when I get more.
Flying Camel Spin – Llama, maybe? Heaven knows I have enough.
Hat Halfpipe – my ecru and brown Amelia Earhart hat
Skelegurumi – maybe tailspin some yarn then make an amigurumi creamsicle griffin out of it?
Stash Compulsory Dance – oh I know I can do something with that. Maybe a hat for Curtiss out of that green and brown stuff.

Spinning and Crafting and Blogging and Learning

A ton of projects in the works. I’m going to do a bullet point instead of trying to make a coherent paragraph out of this.

– I recently carded and finally spun up a nice sized bunch of merino and angora into some off-white yarn. I’m not sure what I’ll make of it, but perhaps a very soft hat.

– Carding lots of mini-batts. I want that damn scale to arrive so I can weigh them and know how much fiber is in them. I have to sell some of this fiber so I can buy other fiber.

– Crocheted an original pattern, which I will post on here when I feel it is ready for the world, with fingering weight black and red yarn I bought forever ago at Yarn Heaven. At the time I found it strange to spend $14 on yarn. Ahhh, what an innocent I was. The project itself is a pair of cobweb-y gloves that are absolutely pointless.

– Went to a tincture class last night. While the information was helpful, I got a greater kick out of talking with the people

– Finally gave E her sewing machine. I hope she will enjoy it and it will not be a burden, since it is a not entirely functional, kind of delicate machine from about 1873. She made a jazz hands kind of movement when we gave it to her, so perhaps it was a success.

– Might teach a henna class this spring, once I know anything about henna.

– Will definitely teach a drop spindle class next month.

– Have a brand new rescued bunny that appears to be a cross between a lionhead and an angora. Her name is Lavender, and she is beautiful and I love her.

– Have laminate floors and am much pleased by them.

– Am frustrated with a story called “Herd Instinct” because it wants to be a novella and I have less than 2 weeks to finish it. Must revise into short story.

– Am obsessed with “Sons of Anarchy.”

– Am obsessed with Richard Armitage.

– One of the two above things is new.

– I am so very pleased with the news that Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman are getting married. I don’t know why I am so pleased, except that it demonstrates that somewhere in the world, two creative people are being happily creative together, sharing love and ideas and enjoying the creativity of the other person as much as their own. And that makes me happy too.

Spin On It

A couple of weeks ago, I bought an antique spinning wheel. It had been a display piece for some time, and I approached with some trepidation the task of putting it back to work. I got the whorl off the flyer, took off the bobbin and cleaned out all the gunk under it. A wooden peg had half-rotted out of the treadle, so I jury-rigged that until I can carve a proper wooden replacement. I oiled the metal moving parts, put beeswax on the drive bands, adjusted and readjusted the tension, aaaaand …

IT’S ALIVE!

So I now have a proper, working spinning wheel that also happens to be over a hundred years old. I don’t know a thing about its history, but I’m working on it. It was made by a craftsman, not a company, which makes dating the thing harder but also makes it more interesting. Here, a picture for you …

spinning wheel

In other news, I’ve been working like mad on a number of projects – a short story series about shapeshifters for Circlet, a story to enter in the current On The Premises contest, a steampunk story that won’t go away, and a Bex and Bobby story with Brandy that almost certainly won’t be done by the deadline we’d intended. I began talking last night with my good friend Jen of the Mightnight DBAs about offering audio downloads and short story PDFs / Kindle downloads. I got very excited about it, and I hope to have something like that up in the next couple of months. Now if the kids will just get off of me …