Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Leaf Peep Progress

You know those Leaf Peep fauxlags? Well, here is the first bobbin (of 8).

SE - Leaf Peep - Bobbin 1

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Circuits

We found a circuit-building kit during our latest trip to the bookstore, and Mitchell has enjoyed it. Of course, we wouldn't encourage him to do engineering-related playing or anything like that...

Electronics

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Grandfather's Clocks

My dad's father used to have a very extensive wood shop at home, and he made all kinds of projects and sold them at craft fairs. In 1979, he retired to Florida and sold his house and all his woodworking equipment. He gave my dad two unfinished clocks, partially assembled. The parts were still in my dad's house when he moved last November, and he gave the pieces to me. I purchased new paper clock faces and asked my father-in-law to finish the wood of the clocks, since he has a lot of experience re-finishing furniture. He was gracious enough to take care of the project for me. I gave one of the clocks to my brother and will keep one for myself. It is quite a keepsake. My grandfather passed away on All Hallows Eve in 1995.

clocks

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fauxlag Spinning

I finished the fauxlag spinning of the brown and blue mixed batts. Here is my yarn, almost 1500 yards (before washing).

SCF SAL 2 - Plied and washed

And a close-up...

SCF SAL 2 - Plied and washed closeup2

I'm thinking of making the Harvest Moon sweater by Heidi Kirrmaier. There is a handspun example that is how I'm envisioning it...

I've also started another fauxlag spinning project. This one is not from batts, though. I made the fauxlags stright from the roving. It is Spunky Eclectic "Corriepaca" in the colorway "Leaf Peep." The Corriepaca is 80% Corriedale and 20% Alapaca. It is soft yet crunchy. Wonderful! Here's the Leaf Peep as it came:

SE - Corriepaca - Leaf Peap

And here is the two pounds of fauxlags, ready to spin:

SE - Corriepaca - Leaf Peap - fauxlags

I really like the way the colors transition. I'm sure it will make a beautiful sweater. Another Raveler is making a sweater with handspun Leaf Peep and white alternating rows, here. That's what had me ordering some Leaf Peep of my own... You can order Leaf Peep and many other colorways on a variety of fiber bases at the Spunky Eclectic site.

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Sunday, February 19, 2012

More Indulgence...

Woolen Spinning from Rolags... I am working on the second set of batts I prepped for the SCF and Friends spin along, the blue/brown set.

I carded the blue and brown batts together and prepped them into rolags (well, fauxlags... more on this, later).

SCF SAL 2 - rolags


I wanted to spin with a very "woolen" process, to get a lofty, airy yarn. I worked on my English long draw technique, a process of pulling out a long width of the rolag and letting the "spin" into the drafted fiber while pulling out the yarn to the desired thinness. This is quite different to all the "worsted" spinning I've done, where fibers are drafted straight to the desired thickness and only then allowed to spin.

A video would be better, but here are some shots showing the basic process. Note that my hand placement isn't correct in the photos because I'm stopping to take pictures with my right hand...

1. After attaching a new rolag to the spinning, pull out and let a big wad of fiber into the drafting zone:
SCF SAL 2 - spinning from rolag 1

2. Keep pulling with the right hand, allowing the fiber to draft and spin AT THE SAME TIME.
SCF SAL 2 - spinning from rolag 2

3. The fiber will draft more from the thick places than it does from thin places, in a sort of magical looking way.
SCF SAL 2 - spinning from rolag 3

4. When it evens out to the desired thinness, allow it to wrap onto the bobbin.
SCF SAL 2 - single 1

I'm almost done with my fourth of four bobbins, and I should be ready to ply later today.
SCF SAL 2 - single 2

Here's a video of spinning rolags with long draw... not my video, though! This video calls them "fauxlags" because they aren't *really* a traditional rolag. A rolag is made with hand-cards. It is a more involved process than just making the tubes (fauxlags), but the fauxlags work well!

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

A New Indulgence...

Loose Leaf Tea... I was making a cup of herbal tea (from a tea bag) at work on Friday morning, when a co-worker happened upon me and began to extol the virtues of loose leaf tea. Soon, I was in his office receiving a tutorial in brewing loose leaf tea in a "Perfect Tea Maker," and getting a sample smell of a fruity loose tea blend. Roy had been pulled into the vortex of tea at Teavana, and he was smitten. After receiving such a grand endorsement, I had to visit a Teavana shop myself. The shop offers samples and entices with sights and smalls as well as flavors. The display of cast iron teapots in the window beckons the browser into the world of tea options. I am working through my sampler set...

tea-vana

Mitchell has enjoyed some of the fruity, un-caffeinated versions. He said not to waste it, I was trying so many. I told him it is only a waste if I don't enjoy it, and that there is more tea in the world.

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentine Prep

Mitchell wrote out envelopes for his class valentines...

Writing Valentines 2

Writing Valentines 1

He was very proud of himself!

Writing Valentines 5

Writing Valentines 4

Writing Valentines 3

Happy Knitting!
Lisa Kay

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sugared Beets

The Fat Cat Knits December spin along color was "Sugared Beets." I spun Mixed Blue-Faced Leicester, which means the base fiber had different shades of brown and cream, lending a rich color variation to the dyed fiber.
Fat Cat Knits - Mixed BFL - Sugared Beets

Fat Cat Knits - Mixed BFL - Sugared Beets - Plied

I ended up with about 220 yards of worsted weight. BFL is "known" for not giving a lot of yardage... It wasn't quite enough to make a pair of socks, and so I used some other leftovers for the toes and heels, and the top of the rib on one sock. I used up every inch of the handspun.

Sugared Beets Socks

Sugared Beets Socks2

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay