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On to brighter things….

So I finished spinning the springtime roving from two weeks ago. I ended up with a 49 gram ball and one itty, bitty ball.

I ended up with a little ball because it was leftover after I doubled plied the yarn.

I wasted no time jumping into the roving I dyed last week. I started with yellow roving and added red and blue to the roving. It turned out somewhat bright and just plain odd!

The roving on the blending board…

The rolags….

On the drop spindle…

I still am amazed at the difference between the dyed roving and the spun yarn. The color transformation is astounding!   I hope the results will be about the same–approximately 50 grams.

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Springtime Dyeing continued

Last week I wrote about dyeing a piece of roving that reminded me of an Easter egg.

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I was impatiently waiting for it to dry when I last left you. Since then it has dried and I have begun to spin it.

If you have been following my blog, you will recall that I got a new spinning wheel a couple of weeks ago. However, I am not using a spinning wheel to spin this yarn. I am using a drop spindle to spin this yarn by hand. And so the adventure begins…

I took the dried roving to the blending board to comb it and make rolags.  When the board gets full, I use a pair of Mom’s knitting needles to make the rolags.  I simply roll the fiber from the board into the needles, slightly pulling the fibers as I roll.

Here are some of my rolags…

Then I started spinning the rolags with the drop spindle…

It is a slow, tedious process, but totally addictive and relaxing. I think it is amazing that my vividly bright roving is turning out very pastel-ish.  It doesn’t look very much like an Easter egg anymore, but it is still looks like springtime.  It is a pale bluish-green.

As of the writing of this post, I am about halfway through spinning the approximately 60 grams of roving.

In the meantime, I have already dyed my next roving and it is drying. I also hit the sales aisles for discounted Easter egg dye.

Stay tuned…next week I will attempt to have my Easter egg roving completely spun!

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Spinning Yarn

Last week, my new spinning wheel arrived. It was a much anticipated event. I have been looking forward to it for awhile. No, it does not have any sharp points that I can prick my finger on…no Sleeping Beauty Part II here…lol.

I had to put it together myself, but it helped me to understand how the wheel works to help troubleshoot problems while spinning. I also had to stain it myself–which was no problem either.

I also purchased a blending board to make rolags to spin. But, a blending board, as gratifying as it is, isn’t completely necessary. Spinning can be achieved from just using the wool roving.

The blending board and roving.

A single rolag.

Lots of Rolags.

So after a week of playing with the wheel, I have 3 balls of yarn that weigh about one ounce or 25 grams.

I would like give a very special shout-out to the Etsy store where I got my Spinning wheel. The name of the shop is BlueBonnetSpinning. They were very helpful in helping me get started. The gentleman provided a DVD on each part of the process. He is also on YouTube.

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My crazy, busy life…

It has been a long couple of weeks. My work schedule was crazy last week, I have been sick most of this week. Needless to say, I haven’t gotten much accomplished.

Something I did do was to find a pattern on my mom’s iPad for some Easter ideas. She has a ton of stuff on there. I will never be bored again!

I found the pattern for these cute little bunny pins.

I thought I might make a few and stick them in my stand at the Golden Rose.

I also got my spinning wheel ordered. It should be here tomorrow.

Another thing that I have accomplished is more yarn dyeing. I used pink food coloring gel and sprinkles. I think yarn turned out pretty cool. It is still drying…

I have put all of my thus dyed yarn in my Etsy shop.

So even though it has been hectic on my little homestead in the woods, I still have gotten a few things accomplished.

See ya next week!

Crocheting, Uncategorized

Crockpot Dyeing

So, this week I am experimenting with dyeing and spinning. Spinning is not so good, but dyeing is phenomenal! I am totally in love with dyeing. I have been watching YouTube videos for about 2 weeks and reading articles on dyeing. Unfortunately, I did not take pictures of the process of the first skein, but I captured the process on the second skein. As I am typing this post, I am soaking the third skein to be dyed. The only difference is that I used food color to dye the first skein and Easter egg dye for the second. The third will be dyed with Kool-Aid.

I am using. Knit Picks white yarn; I got a ten pack from Amazon. It is 100% Peruvian Highland wool. It is a 50 grams, which is approximately 2 ounces.

To prepare the yarn, I soak the skein in eight cups of cold water and half cup of plain white vinegar. I use a crock pot to gently warm the yarn and water/vinegar solution. I am using Mom’s Pioneer Woman Crockpot. I use the warm setting.

Next, I prepared the dye. I opted to dissolve the dye than to drop the tablets in the water.

When the water got nice and warm, I started spooning the dye into the yarn.

I probably shouldn’t have used all the dye…

It looked pretty until all the dye ran together. So, mental note, less dye next time.

I left it setting all night in the crock pot. I switched off the crock pot before I went to bed. Then I let everything alone to cool.

The green just kind of overtook the whole pot. Oh well! I rinsed out the yarn with cool water and clear dish soap. Then. I laid it out to dry in the sun for about 30 minutes.

Here are the three finished skeins…

The left one is dyed with food color. The middle is the dyed with Easter egg dye. The one on the right is dyed with Kool-Aid.

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How Much Yarn Does it Take?

Some of you may be wondering just how much yarn it takes to make an afghan. I know I was surprised when I received an afghan kit in the mail. But let me back up as to why I got this afghan kit in the mail…

Every year for the past few years, my mom and I have both made an afghan and donated it to the local sheriff’s department. They raffle them off to help raise money for their “Shop with a Hero” program. This is a great event that takes place around Christmas time and allows children in the community to shop with a police officer, fire fighter, EMT/paramedic, soldier, etc. The sheriff’s department has been able to help a lot of children. In fact, my own children got to “shop with a hero” when they were little. This event always holds a very special place in my heart, and my mom’s also.

So this is a bittersweet year for me. I will have to make two afghans. One for my mom and one for me. That brings me to the afghan kit. Mom loved it when the Herrschner’s catalog would come in the mail. Since she couldn’t go to Walmart any more to shop for yarn, the mail order catalog was the next best thing. So, one day shortly before she passed, I was flipping through the newest catalog with her, and I saw it. I saw the afghan I wanted to make this year for the sheriff’s department. Mom wrinkled her nose at it. “Too much work, too many color changes,” she said. But I was undeterred–I was going to make that afghan.

I felt like this was perfect. It came with the pattern and all the yarn I would need to complete this gorgeous afghan. I didn’t get it ordered until after Mom passed away. Now, it seems to be to perfect tribute this year, so she will be “never forgotten”.

About a week after Mom passed, I got around to ordering the afghan kit. When it finally came in the mail, it was in a HUGE box. I thought to myself that maybe they just didn’t have the right size box, but nope, that box was filled to the brim with yarn.

All of that to make one afghan…phew…that is a lot of yarn!!

So now I am braving my way through it. I started it and ripped out the first row three times before I got it right. Maybe mom was right. But it is just a big graph, no fancy stitches or anything. How could something so simple be so hard?

I blame it on my poor eyesight. Those boxes on the graph are itsy bitsy. I wasn’t going to let that stop me…

I found a magnifying glass at Walmart. So then the work began…

What a mess! But it is so much fun, now that I am started.