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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

ETA - I caught Thelma (kitten) and Munchkin sleeping together in the sun near the wood stove. Thelma was laying down and Munchkin was draped over her. By the time I got the camera they had woken up and sat up. Wish I could have gotten a shot of them sound asleep; they were so cute! Munchkin loves Miss Thelma and he is going to be so  bummed when she has to go back to the shelter. They eat, sleep, play together and engage in lots of mutual grooming.

Monday, March 29, 2010

More Spinning and More Yarn

I participated in a Spin Along on Ravelry from Boho Knitter Chic. The theme was Alice In Wonderland. My batt was based on "The Cheshire Cat" - in purples, rosy pink and creamy white. When I got the batt I decided to ply it with an organic cotton thread I had recently purchased specifically for the purpose of using for plying yarns or to use as the core thread on core spun yarns. The thread matched the batt perfectly. I don't have pics of the batt before spinning, sorry...I was too excited to get started and get it spun up!

Here's the finished yarn, which I called "Lush Lilacs" because it reminds me of the lilacs on the bushes that I used to pass as I walked up Cheyenne Canon to my grade school.
And on the wheel now, a merino and silk roving by Rogue Adventures in her Autumn in Oregon colorway.
I am spinning this nice and thin and will Navajo ply it to retain the color definition so it will look similar to Reggae on the River.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Happy Caturday!

Little Thelma is getting more and more comfortable around here. She has discovered that Jim's office is a great place to hang out because there aren't other cats and dogs there to bother her. So, she curls up on the bed amongst the spare blankets and my bins of handspun yarns and snoozes the day away.
What do you want?!
Apparently she's dreaming of all the places she could go if she was still a "free range" outdoor kitty!

Friday, March 26, 2010

REGGAE ON THE RIVER - Handspun Yarn - Merino & Silk - 290 Yards

 Reggae on the River = SOLD! 3/27/10

I finally finished spinning up the Reggae on the River Merino/Silk roving last night. I spun this one nice and thin and then Navajo-plyed it to maintain the solid color runs better. If you recall the last Reggae on the River BFL roving that I spun two-ply, the colors got a bit "muddied" when I plyed them. Navajo plying (also called chain plying) plies the single thread of yarn back on itself and is repeated over and over and can therefore maintain the color definition better. I like the Navajo plyed version better than the standard two ply version of this colorway.

First, the roving before spinning.
After spinning into a singles (still on the spinning wheel)
Singles off the spinning wheel and into the Lazy Kate
Single has been Navajo-plyed back onto the spinning wheel
See how well the color definition stayed on the Navajo-plyed skein (above)?
Below is the standard two-ply skein of the same colorway.
And finally (below) the finished skein of Reggae on the River off the spinning wheel and steamed to set the twist. I love how this turned out!
This skein of yarn is now available in my Etsy store. I ended up with 290 yards and 4 ounces of 3-ply sport weight yarn with a wpi of 15.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Handspun Yarns

I finished spinning the Honey Bear roving and have steamed the skein to set the twist, taken photos and listed it in my Etsy store. I really like how this turned out.
First, the Honey Bear roving
And now, the Honey Bear yarn

And, on the wheel, Reggae on the River in Merino/Silk. I spun this colorway earlier and made a two-ply yarn out of it. To make a two-ply yarn you split the roving into equal halves, spin each half on a separate bobbin and then ply the two bobbins into yarn. The colors mix and match as they are plyed. I decided to reorder the colorway in a Merino/Silk blend because I can spin it thinner and then Navajo ply (sometimes called chain plying) the yarn. When you Navajo ply you spin the entire roving onto one bobbin, then make loops and ply the yarn back on itself (3-ply rather than 2). This maintains the color definition better. You end up plying red onto red, blue onto blue, etc. with a little overlapping of colors depending on how big you make your loops, but I wanted to see how it looked. I thought the first one was a bit "muddy" after plying and wanted to retain the vibrancy of the original colorway a bit better. I'll post pics of the yarn when I'm done.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fun website - MagMyPic

I stumbled across this website while blog hopping this morning. I made this cool fake magazine cover using a photo taken of Kemui Yama after he won Reserve Best in Show at the 2009 Fall Classic Llama Show.

Create Fake Magazine Covers with your own picture at

If you want to try it out go to - have fun!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pansies Hand Knit Scarf

In my last post I showed you a yarn I was knitting up into a skinny scarf. The scarf is now finished and I steam blocked it this morning and took some photos. I think I may have to take outdoor photos when it warms up a bit because these photos are a bit grainy and blurry but it will give you a good idea of how the scarf turned out. I still have to measure to get the length of it but I'm certain it is at least 5 to 6 feet long and it is about 2.75 to 3 inches in width.
Isn't this a perfect way to celebrate Spring?!

Monday, March 15, 2010

On the Needles and On the Spinning Wheel

Sorry it has been several days since my last post but I've been busy!

Here's what I have on my needles right now. It is a wool art yarn spun by Esther at JazzTurtle on Etsy - spring green, lavender and white plyed with a gold metallic thread with silk flowers attached at random places along the skein. I am making a long skinny scarf with this using large size 13 needles and a basic stitch of knit one row, purl one row and then I wrap a row every ten to twelve rows and drop that wrapped stitch in the next row to create a long stitch. I am not using a pattern, I'm just making it up as I go along. I'm still debating on fringe or no fringe - I'll see how long the scarf is when I get towards the end of the skein. If the scarf is long enough I'll do fringe. If it isn't I'll either not do fringe or use a different yarn to create the fringe. Here's the skein of yarn
And here is what's on the spinning wheel right now. This is a roving consisting of merino and tencel from CJ Kopec Creations on Etsy. This is for the March/April Spin Along on CJ's Ravelry group. It is coming out nice and thin so I will be able to Navajo ply it and still have it be a lighter weight yarn (I'm thinking sport to DK weight).  The colors are so rich and the luster of the yarn is incredible. I can't wait to finish this one up!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Foster Kittens Update

Sorry, lately I've been posting mostly fiber and yarn and I know some people don't really care to see all of that, but it has consumed my life and my time for weeks and I just had to share!

I decided I needed to update everyone on the foster kittens that we took in three weeks ago. Three days after we took them in, the smallest kitten woke up with one watery eye. The next day, both eyes were watering. The next day he was sneezing so hard he got a bloody nose. I called the shelter and ran in to pick up some antibiotics. He was to be on a seven day course of the antibiotics. The antibiotics were I believe maybe orange flavored - they mixed up orange at any rate - and he hated to take them. I felt so bad forcing him to take the stuff but I knew he had to take it to get better. The next day I thought we were going to lose the little guy because he was so stuffed up and lethargic. Jim gave him Reiki and I cleaned his little eyes, face and nose up several times a day with a warm damp wash rag. Within a few days he turned around and by day 6 of the antibiotics he was playing and eating again. Day 7 he was exhausted - in fact all the cats were laying around the house like little furry rugs and nobody was active. Every other day he was active, followed by a day of inactivity. Now, finally he is eating like a little hog, romping through the house for hours and gaining weight. He also had severe diarrhea when we got him and that has gotten better. Rather than feeding them the Science Diet kitten food that the shelter gave me, I am feeding them the all life stages grain free kibble that we feed our cats, along with scrambled egg, cottage cheese and plain vanilla yogurt to build the bacteria back up in their systems. No, I don't spoil my foster kittens! ;o)

These kittens were named Thelma and Louise but now that they're older we have Thelma and Louis because the "paint" kitten is clearly a male. And Thelma is clearly a female - a DIVA in training! She meows her displeasure at all sorts of things. She loves to snuggle on your lap, but only if it is her idea. If you pick her up and she doesn't want to be held she squirms and meows until you put her down. Several times I've run out to see who was hurting whom and it was Thelma squalling because somebody looked at her wrong. She starts fights and then meows loudly when the other kitten or cat plays too rough. Louis, on the other hand, purrs loudly when you talk to him, pet him, pick him up, etc. Male cats are always so much more affectionate - I should have known from the beginning just from attitude that one was a male and the other was a female!

So, here are some photos I took a few days ago while Thelma and Louis were watching a fly on the ceiling. They are too cute! I have to call the shelter this week and see when they need to go back. Both kittens are at least 2 pounds 5 ounces now - Louis has gained a full pound since we got them and he has surpassed his sister in weight now. Doesn't it look like he's smiling in this photo?!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

ICE PRINCESS - Handspun 2-Ply Yarn - Merino, Tussah Silk and Bamboo - 260 yards

I found this gorgeous roving in my fiber stash this past week. It was the January 2010 Roving of the Month from a fiber club I joined from Cloudlover69 on Etsy so I don't have a photo of the roving before spinning. I started spinning this one very thin, thinking I was going to navajo-ply it (which is basically where you chain ply almost like crochet and ply the yarn back onto itself, making a three ply yarn) but decided that it would be easier if I just split the roving in half, stripped each half into thinner strips for spinning and then two plyed it. I love how this turned out. At first I thought there was too much white in the roving for my liking and thought I would end up with too many long white runs in the yarn, but after stripping the roving into much thinner strips the white just blended in with the blue, aqua and turquoise and made pastel colors. I had some yarn left over on one of the bobbins after I got done plying (since I started spinning it much thinner on the first bobbin) so I navajo plyed that bobbin and ended up with another 21 yards of 3-ply yarn for a bonus skein.

I photographed this yarn yesterday morning (after steaming it Thursday night) and listed it in my Etsy store and then posted it on my Split Rock Ranch Facebook page. It sold within minutes of listing!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Spinning up a Storm!

I have been spinning up a storm this week! I just listed two new skeins of handspun yarn today in my Etsy store.

First up is the Reggae on the River BFL roving that I showed you yesterday.
First the roving
And the finished two-ply yarn

I may buy another one of these rovings in merino/silk or merino/bamboo so I can spin it even thinner and then Navajo 3-ply it which keeps the color runs cleaner. I think the colors were somewhat muted by doing a two-ply yarn and mixing the colors. Any thoughts on that?

And next a boucle yarn made from a fiber blend batt of BFL wool, silk, bamboo, glitz and angelina in greens, purples, turquoise/aqua and white plyed with purple and turquoise cotton thread. I love how this one turned out! It is so soft and poofy and fluffy.

Monday, March 1, 2010

What's on the Spinning Wheel

Now that my hand is no longer cramping and hurting when I spin I'm spending longer and longer periods at the spinning wheel. I love watching a roving or batt of fiber turn into a beautiful skein of yarn!

I recently finished this skein of two-ply yarn spun from a roving of 60% Merino and 40% Bamboo dyed by FreckleFaceFibers on Etsy in her Sweet Nectar colorway - burgundy, vermillion and deep orange. This fiber is so soft and has incredible luster (shine) and drape! Sweet Nectar is available in my Etsy store. It weighs 3.8 ounces and has 324 yards; it is a light sport/heavy fingering weight.
And here is the roving this yarn was made from:

On the wheel now is a BFL (Blue Faced Leicester) roving dyed by Rogue Adventures on Etsy in her "Reggae on the River" colorway. I am going to two-ply spin this yarn by spinning half the roving on one bobbin and the other half of the roving on another bobbin and then ply them together letting the colors fall where they may (it has a barber pole or tweedy effect) so this will be a very bright and fun yarn - I think it would be perfect for making a hat and mittens for the kids!
Here is the Reggae on the River roving

I will post photos of the yarn when I have it finished.