Thursday, November 19, 2009

Socks and More Socks

I have been making socks. And Socks. And Socks. And boxes. And More Boxes. Getting ready for Holiday gifts.

10 Boxes

10 Pairs of Socks

I make my socks on a passap duo 80 double bed knitting machine. It takes about 1 hour to knit a pair of socks. There is a little sewing at the end to finish the sock and you have to make the box of course.
Instructions to make the box can be found here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fruits of my labor

So we dyed the yarn. Here it is. 3 colors, repeated. We don't have a scientific process. Just divide the yarn into 6 sections. Have 3 jars of dye and dip a section into the dye, then on to the next section and next jar of dye. Repeat for all colors and all sections.

And here is the yarn wound into a ball. Definitely a different look.

And then a sock is knit. A nice repeat of the colors. They are so soft and so warm. Now I just have to knit the other one. I use my Passap Duo 80 double bed knitting machine. It takes about 1/2 hour per sock, give or take a few minutes cause I haven't made one since April, so I was a little rusty on the instructions.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fun Dying

I had a wonderful time with my friends, Pam and Sandy on Saturday. We dyed wool and yarn. Pam had a bunch of natural yarn from KnitPicks, they have a great variety of natural yarns that are great for hand dying. She also had some sock yarn that she bought from some place over the pond. Sandy had her yarn from her own sheep and some socks that were knit from it. They are grey, so we overdyed it. Sorry I don't have a pic of that. She also had some roving that she dyed a variety of colors, that I wished I had.
I had some superwash merino. The first pic is dyed red, brown, black, blue and some orange. The red and the blue became dominante. The second pic is just a nice variety of colors that we had in some jars.

I can't wait till they dry and spin up a bit. It is always exciting to see what the colors combine into when the yarn is made. The yarn will make great mittens, hat, scarf. Merino is so soft and the superwash makes it not shrink when washed.

Pam gave us some of the sock yarn. We got to pick our favorite. Man it was hard to pick. The colors combinations all turned out so Beautiful. I know the socks will be wonderful.

The yarn on the left is fingering and will make great socks. The yarn on the right is more sport weight and may become socks or knit into some mittens.

It was so fun spending the day with these wonderful ladies. We plan more for the future. Maybe more dying, maybe some sewing, maybe some knitting, maybe some spinning, but definately great times with wonderful women.

I am also spinning some wool. I have about three pounds of it. So it is taking a while. Here it is in a basket.

Nice shade of purple with a little of blue in the mix. Here is some spun.

But here is what my basket  of yarn looks like now.

 That is Jack, and the left, black and white, and Zues, on the right, Tourtise and white. Zues loves Jack. He follows him around like a puppy. Always wants to sleep in the same space as him. It is funny.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Past Weekend Activities

Last Weekend was my guild's Fall Fleece Sale. I belong to the Spinner's Flock Guild in Michigan. I spent all Saturday going through my inventory of items, updating my inventory sheet and adding new finished items and new yarns and rovings. I spent a lot of time cranking the drum carder blending some dyed wool into batts. I didn't think that I would be able to move my arm on Sunday.

Our guild will soon be 30 years old. I have only been an active member for about 4+ years. I joined and immediately volunteered to run the learners circle. My job was to shlep the spinning wheels and other equipment that the guild owns to each meeting. I stored them in my house. I also spent a lot of time teaching people to spin. I must have been really confident because I was just a beginning spinner my self. I am a teacher/instructor of computers by profession so the teaching part was easy. I also always felt that I was a spinner in a previous life and that is why I took to it so easily.

Here is some to the yarns that I had in the sale. Yes, that is all my hand spun yarn. I sell it for $6 per ounce.

I have started to dye wool that I buy as a raw fleece. I have it cleaned and processed in to roving by a commercial business. That process is a lot of work and I am more than willing to pay someone else to do all that work. I have a drum carder that I purchased a few years ago and have started to make blends of different colors and make them into batts. Here is a sampling of the ones that I have reciently had in the sale. This is $2 per ounce.

Three different color ways. I had to do a lot of cranking to get them prepared.

I also have some natural and kool-aide dyed samples that I have in the sale. The natural on the left are a variety of breeds. Merino, Corredale, Cotswold, Cormo, Shetland.

I dyed some superwash merino made braids, the ones on the right side are some of the ones that I dyed.

The guild has a Fleece Sale twice a year. In September and Feburary. Here are some other pictures of the sale. I am always impressed with the display of everything. There is raw fleece, a boutique of finished goods, yarns, rovings, felting wool, alpaca, angora, mohair, camel, llama, books, equipment, dyes, and other stuff that I can't remember.

Roving, Etc.

Roving, etc.


Raw Fleece

Boutique items, this picute is not good on purpose. I don't want to exploit any one's work.

The economy is really bad in Michigan. I did sell some stuff. So I am happy about that. This economy will improve soon and we will sell more soon.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A New Begining

Well, here I go getting well into the new century and creating a blog. I hope to be a better writer than I currently think that I am and I don't give up on this in a week or two. I usually feel rushed and my goal in this second half of my life is to slow down and enjoy.

I see new technology and need to be part of it. I spent several years at the begining of the millennium techonology free so I missed versions of things and technology as it was developed. I was raising kids and had a different focus. So I feel in this economy I need to be knowledgeable about many things. This blog is the start.