Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Lace Scarf

This lace scarf is on the needles, and uses 2 skeins of Malabrigo Baby Silkpaca in the Frank Ochre color way. It is soft and featherweight, a dream to work with. The pattern is the "Airy Lace Scarf", from the book "Scarf Style 2". Also on the needles is the Pioneer Cuff, a kit by Laura Nelkin, in Anzula Cloud, which is a silk and cashmere blend in the charcoal color way. This is a beaded knitting project. Both are small, and great for summer travel, since they pack easily and don't take up much space. 

CVM Romeldale and Cheviot-Romney Lamb Fleece!

Two fabulous finds this spring at the Connecticut Wool Growers Festival--a beautiful washed Romney-Cheviot lamb, and a CVM Romeldale fleece in a silver gray color way. Both are very soft. In addition, I found a large Border Leicester fleece, perfect for core spinning or lock spinning, with  those lustrous curls. Can't wait to start experimenting with these! The dye pots will be full this summer.....


These tweed batts and the resulting hand spun yarns were so much fun to create. I started with a tweed mixture of silk Nepal that I had dyed to a mustard gold, and some in black, others were left natural cream. I added them as a sandwich, between layers of naturally colored wool fiber, cream, gray and deep brown, on the carding machine, to create the tweed batts. Then they were spun up to a light worsted weight yarn. I discovered that the yarn was too dense for a shawl that I had envisioned, even though I prepped and spun for a woolen yarn. The fiber is too course. It would, however, be great as a a sweater, or a tote bag or some item that does not need to be next to the skin soft and light as a feather. This project requires a finer fiber, perhaps BFL, or a merino wool. A fine cheviot would work, too. It is so important to sample, sample, sample. Next steps--look through the fiber stash to find something softer! 

Weaving Samples

I had many bobbins full of yarn, and this Mountain Loom Company table loom that belonged to my mother in law years ago. She was a also a handweaver, knitter and hand spinner. I decided to put it to use making samples up from Marguerite Davison's work "A Handweavers Pattern Book", with a pattern called "Jewell". It is a Rosepath pattern, with a number of variations. I'm using up yarn leftovers in assorted colors. This is so much fun, and not a huge time or money commitment! I've been spending the winter months playing with art quilting and surface design on textiles, which requires a lot of materials, and makes a mess (in other words, you really need a big space to work in, while creating! Not a bad thing, just a lot of prep/clean up...)---I love getting back to weaving, it is simple and repetitive (great when you don't have a lot of time, and once the brainwork is done, and the loom is warped, you can pick it up and work on it here and there, as time allows in the evening or on busy weekends at home. We are currently setting up this spring to continue painting our house, and that work will continue into the summer. Since I teach, I have the summers off, so I will hopefully have a sample chosen from this pattern set, that I will use to warp up my new Schacht Baby Wolf loom for some summer weaving! That is, in between house painting sessions!