Sunday, October 3, 2010

High Fiber--Closures

These are the last days of anything like summer around here.

Our Saturday hike brought us to a land of striking shades of yellow. (I have to remember this for my dye pot!) It was a warm day. We had a really nice hike to the Fairy Tree in Toll Canyon, a wonderful hiking spot, not just because of the fall foliage, but also because of the year-round stream, which provides drinking water for the pups.

The Fairy Tree or "the shrine," as it's also called, is a drop-off spot for a variety of trinkets. People leave items, but they don't take them. It would make the fairies angry and bring bad karma! Of course, my little KP Turkish drop spindle accompanied me. I still have the aqua Corriedale on it, about halfway to finishing the second skein. I got a lot done because much of the trail is free of rocks and roots, so I could spin and walk at the same time.
We will be able to hike here off and on for a couple more months. Then it will be time for snowshoes! I will start getting colder, though.

Speaking of closure, my knitting activities had really good karma this week! The big event was the completion of DH's Fair Isle Sleeveless Cardi, just in time for winter weather! (I started this in September 2007!)

After I finished the knitting a few days ago, I basted the front closed with white crochet cotton, which would be easy to take out after blocking.

While DH put together my new Lacis Woolly Board, which I found at,

I put the sweater in a nice warm bath of Kookaburra Wool Wash.

Then we maneuvered it onto the woolly board. (The woolly board actually has a piece that fits below the top piece on each side for sleeves, but this didn't need that, so we left them off.) You have to lift one side of the top piece, slide both shoulders on, slide the body down one side and then replace the top piece. Then you pick up the other side and finish fitting before putting it back in place. The woolly board is adjustable, and we had set it to the right measurements.

It was dry and flat the next morning. I touched up the edges of the neck and armholes with a steam iron, according to the directions in the book. Then we picked out some Austrian buttons DH liked and I sewed them on using Alpaca Cloud, which makes nice sewing thread for this kind of project, and I had it in the right color. It was ready to wear!

Some of you may remember my friend Marianne from a previous post.
Remember the lovely pullover she made? (The photo is in the blog post.) She found it too warm to wear after working on it for two years. We talked about options, and she decided on a steek. She sewed a couple of rows of stitches down each side of the center front and cut. Then she picked up sts on each side and made bands, to which she sewed pewter clasps, her choice of closure. Here's her new cardigan:

This turned out so well, she's working on converting another pullover.

I have been continuing to dye my KP Superwash Merino and Nylon (Stroll) roving for another Baby Surprise Jacket using the sun tea method.

I rolled up the roving in plastic wrap after squirting on the "dye" (Koolaid and food coloring--see how much of each I used here) to try to keep the colors from completely blending. With one, I just put the package of roving and plastic wrap into the jar, added hot water and set it out in the sun. With the second one I put the package into an additional plastic bag and sealed it before putting it into the jar and adding the water. You can see that the water in the jar with the additional plastic bag is totally clear. Actually, it didn't make any difference that I could see. Both sleeves of roving turned out fine!

I have one more batch I can do, but I've kept good notes on my dye mix, so I can wait and see if I need it. A sunny day is all I need. I plan on spinning all the singles first and then plying them. Wish me luck!

I'm working on the last of the dark chocolate Corriedale, the same fiber I was spinning at Alpaca Days last weekend. I want to get it finished so I can start on the roving I just dyed (above). It would be nice to have the Baby Surprise Jacket finished in time for Christmas!

The Spin Along has provided me with some fun. I'm really enjoying learning more about spinning and getting to know other KP spinners. There are a lot of experienced spinners as well as lots of people who just started, so if you haven't checked it out yet, please do! We would love to have you join, or at the very least, read a little.

I apologize for not providing any gratuitous baby photos this week. Maybe I'll have something next week. I also don't have any quilting photos, although I've continued to work on my LeMoyne Star quilt. I'll have to try to take a photo for next week's blog!

What's on my iPod: Podcasts of Yarnspinners Tales, The Spin Doctor and The Padcast Podcast.
What's on my nightstand: The Intentional Spinner by Judith MacKenzie McCuin.
What's in my hoop: The LeMoyne Star Quilt
What's on my needles: My Tennis-ball green food coloring socks, etc., etc.
What's on my wheel: Natural dark chocolate Corriedale.
What's on my KP spindle: Aqua Corriedale.
What's on my Golding Tsunami: Ashford merino and silk in Mulberry.
Does that count as multitasking?
This blog post is dedicated to my dear sister-in-law Eileen.

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