Sunday, November 30, 2014

Busy Weekend!

Holiday baking and decorating consumed our weekend. Do. Feel it now! 

Outside lights are up

Tree is up

Kitties are enjoying the tree!

Baking is done!


Peanut butter

Chocolate Chip




Sugar Cookies

English Toffee

Fruit Cake


Still to do..finish decorating and Christmas knitting.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

11/22/14 Spinning class at The Spinnery

Each time I go to The Spinnery in Frenchtown, NJ, I am amazaed at Betty's knowlege of spinning and fiber. Denise was the other student. She was in the 4 part spinning class in August. Betty helped each of us with individual questions and problems. She started me with help in plying. My plying was loose and she helped be optain an even and balanced ply.

We then played with drafting and art yarn techniques. She showed us how to long draft. The left hand holds the fiber close to the orifis to have something to draft against. Then with the right hand you draft the fiber as far back as you can go. The first finger and thumb draft the fiber. Then you wait for the twist to move up and let the yarn wind on to the bobbin. This creates a softer yarn.

I asked her about the striped fiber/yarn and does it require navajo plying. She said no. It requires navajo plying if you take the full braid (unbraided) and draft the fiber across the edge all the way through the fiber. This creats long sections of color. Then navajo plying is required to ply the colors to be self striping. The way she taught us to draft the fiber is to take a strip of the fiber along the braid (unbraided) and pull (draft) the fiber. Then spinning the fiber down the strip and repeating. When finishing bobbins, they should end at the same section of the striped fiber. Also, they should begin with the same (top) section of the braid. That way when doing 2 plys, the colors will match up for a striping effect.

We then explored art yarns. She showed us that as you are spining, you can touch the yarn with other fibers and they attach. This creates a multitude of affects depending on how much and what fiber is used. The important thing is to have the fiber you are adding on your lap. The yarn can easily be over spun if not set up properly to do this technique.

Another technique was to take to yarns and start to ply them. Then take one yarn and while plying, move it up and down the the other yarn. This creates a cool nubby effect. The section can be small or longer. It is really cool with a wool yarn and a bumby yarn. The colors chosen can create cool effects.

Also, while plying, you can stop and push one of the yarns up the length of the other yarn. This creates a boucle effect. Again, it is really cool if one of the yarns used is bumby.

For the last two techniques, you can use commercial yarn in your stash to create the artyarn. There are many artyarn techniques that can incorporate leftover yarn and ribbon. It can be added to fiber and using the carders blended for spinning.

Old sweaters that are natural fibers (not acrylic) can be carded into fiber for spinning. Strips of fabric (old clothes) can be used in spinning.

So many ideas...not enough time!

Spin, create, be happy!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Forr Danielle's Baby

On November 15, 2014 my family had a baby shower for my cousin Danielle. Unfortunately I was unable to attend. My husband, friends of ours and I went to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra in Hershey that day. It was a fantastic show, as always.

I sent my gift with my Mother. I made her a baby blanket. The pattern was on the back of the yarn label. It is called a Round Blanket to Crochet. It was more of an Octagon done in a Granny Square Motif. The blanket was very easy to do and took less than a week.

I really love how it came out! The yarn was Bernat Baby Sport in Baby Baby. I was nice to work with. I used 2 large skeins (1786 yards). There is enough left over for a small project. I have not been fond of this color choice for baby projects, but I really like how it turned out. However, I craved those pastel color buttermints the entire time I worked on the blanket!

Happy crocheting!