Sunday, December 5, 2010

Knitting and Spinning update

In looking back at what I have been blogging about, there has been a lot of time passing without any fiber news.  I have been knitting and spinning a lot.  I have many projects on the needles too.
So lets begin with the spinning.
CMF Merino Inspiration 02
Here is some Merino from Crown Mountain Farms  that I spun up. It is 2 ply and DK weight yarn. This merino is from Australia. I gifted this skein to my sister of  Design Diva Susan . She is working on a project for it now.
Info from CMF:
Merino Top

Australia where the real merino boom started.
What a fine fiber - staple length of 3-4 inches with a micron count between 19-24.Not to forget the crossbreeds with merino - the finest fiber from sheep. A delight to every spinner and knitter.
merino from Australia
Above is what the Merino sheep look like.
Below is my fiber from the Norwegian sheep.

Norwegian-Mandala 011
Here is fiber also from Crown Mountain Farms. I love the dyeing that Haas does. He is an artist.  This is Norwegian fiber (wool) from the fiber club. The color is called Mandala
Here is the description from CMF website.
Norwegian Top

The old norwegian sheep - also called Villsau - was widespread all over Scandinavia, the Faeroes and Iceland.
A special sheep breed to the famous vikings who made their sails out of wool to conquer the world in their ships.
Staple length of up to 4 inches and a micron count of 32 makes this fiber very interesting to all hand spinners.
Or better said to all spinners in the northern hemisphere who have to deal with cold winters and snow -
we here in the Pacific Northwest of the USA have sometimes no idea what a real winter is and therefor do not
understand the real value of some fibers - we just want it soft and softer - like our brothers and sisters in the South.

Above is the Norwegian sheep. He is from Norway.
Below is the norwegian fiber spun up. I navajo plied it.
Norwegian Top-Mandal-010a
Spun to a heavy Worsted weight.   I wish I had spun it thinner because it was hard to find a pattern to show off this beautiful fiber.
Mitts & Sketch 01
Knit into mitts.  I was surprised how the colorway turned darker on me.  I tried to mix up the dark and light as I spun but I guess I need more practice.
Also in this photo is the beginning of my watercolor/sketchbook.  It is a Moleskeine.
Handspun Norwegian 01
With the left over yarn I knit this granny square. I love how the colors look like a watercolor painting.  I only had enough yarn to crochet this one square.
Welsh Top-Avalon 02
Here is some Welsh Top.  It is also from CMF.  LOOK at the moss growing in my yard. I didn't plant it.  I really love it.  I love this fiber. It's coarse but rustic looking.
Info from CMF:
Welsh Top
From the mountains and hills in Wales comes this small, hardy sheep.They can withstand extreme weather conditions like high rainfall and freezing winter conditions. Their fleece is course with a staple lengthof 3 inches and a micron count of 36.You will find the fiber mainly in carpets and rugs.Hand spinners may create nice outer garments with the Welsh Top.Good for felting projects as well. 
These are Welsh sheep.  I really am loving spinning this fiber.
Welsh Top CMF 008
This is Welsh Top. It spins like a dream.  It is a little scratchy. I might use it to knit a purse or some French Press slippers.  Or perhaps more granny squares. 
Corriedale Top-Chinon 001
This is Corriedale Top.  I will spin this after I finish with the Welsh Top.
Don't you love it?  It is also from CMF.  The colorway is Chinon.
Info from CMF:

Corriedale Top

The legend has it that Innanas (Ishtar) husband Dumuzi was the God who took care of the livestock in ancient Sumer - thousand of years before there was even a mentioning of the bible. But be it as it may - from Mesopotamia (Irak) one of the finest sheep breeds conquered the rest of the world. The phoenicians brought the merino sheep to North Africa and the Arab Moors brought it into Spain - which gave Spain  an advantage for many centuries over their rivals in the midevil worlds.
Of course the royal houses were interconnected so at some point in time the merino sheep from Spain made its way to France (Rambouilett) and Germany (Saxony Merino) and then to the colonies like Australia where the real merino boom started.
What a fine fiber - staple length of 3-4 inches with a micron count between 19-24.
Not to forget the crossbreeds with merino - the finest fiber from sheep. A delight to every spinner and knitter.
Here we have a perfect fiber for the spinner and felter - even the dyer. A staple length of over 3 inches and a micron count of 28.
Somewhere in 1860's on the South Island of NZ a new breed was created by crossing Merino dams with an english lincoln longwool sire.
A fabulous result for future generations. In 1902 the name Corriedale was given as the development started on the Corriedale Estate of Otaga.
In 1916 the first Corriedale Society was founded in Laramie, WY - USA.
Since then this breed spread throughout the world and adapted mostly in the Southern Hemisphere. From there we get our great fiber quality today.
This is a Corriedale sheep from New Zealand. 
I'm still knitting.
Sybaritic Socks & Bugga yarn
This is a sock knit in Bugga yarn. I have turned the heel and I am decreasing the gusset.  I have one more sock to go before Christmas.
Mitts Dusitn 07
I knit these mitts for my son in Idaho.  I finished these in October for his birthday.
They are of 2 colors of Bugga yarn. They are my own pattern and very soft.
Mitts Dustin Wow 05
Farrow Rib scarf 03
Still working on the Farrow scarf.  It is of Malabrigo merino/silk DK. I only knit on it when I am in the car. Slow going.  Kinda boring.
Bugga Sweater 02
Still working on my Sprossling Sweater by Anne Hanson.  I am using Bugga yarn. I love the colorway and the feel of the sweater.  When I work on this sweater exclusely then I really make progress.  I just get so distracted by my metal crafting and stuff like Christmas.  Good stuff.
The Sprossling sweater has finished:
1. Back 100%
2. Left front 95%
3. Right front 0%
4. Two sleeves 0%
5. Button bands 0%
6. Seaming 0%
7. Washing and Blocking 0%

Why do I feel like I am almost done?  I guess because the back is the largest piece of knitting and I am almost down with the left front.
I am going to knit the sleeves at the same time so that my tension is equal on both.  My last sweater has a tight sleeve and a loose sleeve because I let my tension loosen on the 2nd sleeve.  By knitting 2 at a time I will have the same tension. If I get loose then I will be loose on both sleeves.
I will wind up 2 cakes of yarn and knit the sleeves on my #5 - 3.75 mm needles. I'm not sure if I will use the straights or the circulars.  Both will give me enough room for all the stitches.  I'll use whatever floats my boat at the time.  I am leaning towards the circulars.

So that is all in my fiber world.  I am itching to cast on for the blankie that Christine is knitting.  It looks so fun.  I have a lot of left over yarn too.
I think I need to catch up on my projects before I begin something like this.

So now I will go and I will leave you with some photos of my Roses in Winter from my yard here in So. Calif.
Belle Story 002
This is BELLE STORY, a David Austin rose.
The Prince DA rose 001
Here is THE PRINCE, a David Austin rose.  The fragrance is so mmmm yummy
Rose Perfect Moment 03
And here is PERFECT MOMENT, a hybrid tea rose.  She is the whore with red panties in my yard.  Very gaudy but she does grab your eye in the yard.

Happy knitting
hugs Carol

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