December 22, 2009

Silk Roads...well not really

I've been spinning up the silk I dyed and I have to say it looks GORGEOUS! Yes, even if I do say so myself. Here are some photos of it as singles and plied with a strand of pure merino. The finished yarn is around 33wpi (maybe more as I havent actually done a wpi test) and in the first skein I got 323m from only 26g of yarn. Thats pretty good meterage as far as I can tell.

bobbin full of single ply

Merino/silk 2ply yarn - 'Mermaids Cove'

In the last week or so I have also been buying fibre and books and sending off Christmas pressies and, well...generally having a good time.

I met (well - Vmet)a lovely lady on Ravelry who has been such a sweetie. She breeds gorgeous Angora rabbits and sells the most delicious fibre (and yes, I HAVE joined two of her fibre clubs for the NY). She made me a custom funky bunny batt that arrived last week which I totally love. I also purchased a very cool drop spindle from her which she was kind enough to send off with some lovely fibre for me to try on it and it arrived in the mail yesterday which was very exciting.

Funky Bunny Batt comprising of;
angelina, glitz, angora bunny, angorino, silk,
milk protein fibre, sari silk, yak, alpaca,
Australian heritage mohair & optim top.

My awesome drop spindle:
budgeroo whorl, myrtle shaft

Since this awesome lady is so nice and as she's going through a tough time right now I thought I'd send her a comfort Christmas present, which she received yesterday. It included an original, one of a kind, handmade bear that I designed and sewed in 2003. The bear, which she has named Natsili (Navajo for rainbow) won a second place ribbon in her category (synthetic bears) in the 2003 Bear and Doll show at Coffs Harbour. Also in the care package was a jasmine scented bath bomb and soap, some yummy swiss chocolates and a set of Swarowski Crystal stitch markers that I designed and made especially for the recipient. Thankfully the gift package was received in the spirit in which it was intended so I can call it a huge success. YAY!

The care package
photo courtesy of IxchelBunny

'Angel Heart' - Swarowski Crystal
and glass bead stitch markers

About two weeks ago I ordered a book off Amazon that I've been itching to buy for a while. I wasnt actually expecting it to arrive till well after January but, surprisingly, it arrived yesterday and I have to say, it was WELL worth the money I spent on it. Its totally brilliant and I cant wait to knit something from it.

I also received some fibre I purchased from EGMTK yesterday. 200grams of merino/silk blend and 200g of pure merino a little baggie of the cutest angelina fibre. I have joined another fibre club with EGMTK for the NY which I'm looking forward to immensely.

200g 22micron merino - colourway: Sapphire blue

200g silk/merino blend - colourway; Damson

5g angelina fibre - colourway; butterfly blue flash

All in all I'm calling yesterday an awesome start to my Christmas week.

December 8, 2009

Fun with fibre

I have been having a great time getting organised to start my next big project. I received my mulberry silk and angelina fibre in the mail and have finished spinning up the last lot of merino that I talked about in 'spinning around'. I'm SOOO excited about the silk that I got...its been transformed since its arrival and will be hitting the bobbins some time tonight. But more on that later...

I decided to ply my super fine 'vintage' merino with some commercial 2ply kid mohair blend that I had in my stash. I ended up with just over 900metres of incredibly soft and fine 3ply yarn that will make a really lovely (albiet; huge) shawl one day. I havent decided which pattern I will knit it into yet, so it's going to spend some time marinating in my stash till I do.

Hand dyed merino top - 'vintage'
from EGMTK

Vintage singles

Plied with kid mohair blend

As I mentioned in my last post, I have
BIG plans for the silk that I bought. So far I have dyed it a lovely variegated turquoise green/sea blue/white colour to match the 'under the sea' merino that I purchased a couple of weeks back. I have also blended the silk with half of the under the sea; giving me a total of 200g of unblended under the sea merino and 200g of under the sea merino/silk/angelina blended fibre. I will be spinning the two seperately so should end up with singles in straight merino and singles in the silk/merino blend which I then intend to ply together giving me a fine yarn that is 25% silk/73% merino and 2% angelina. I'm very excited to be trying this as I have a gorgeous (enormous, circular and intricate) shawl pattern already purchased and downloaded to knit it into. I hope to get at least 2000 metres of yarn out of my fibre. That should keep me busy for quite some time huh?

200g Merino top - 'under the sea'
from EGMTK

100g Undyed Mulberry silk top
from EGMTK

Silk dyeing in oven

Dried silk

Silk/Merino/Angelina blend