Free Range Knitting

Posted by Tropical Twister under Articles , Hand Spun Yarn , Knitting , Knitting Projects , Projects , Techniques 
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Free Range Knitting

I’ve been following Jane Thornton’s blog and have been inspired to engage in some “free range knitting”. I’ve a combination of space dyed cotton, blue mohair, blue-green tape and handspun blue purple wool. More as this project developes.

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top down hand knit llama & silk shawl

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olive llamaits snowing just north of us in Tampa … its going to be a wild Florida winter. My current project is a simple olive silk and llama blend shawl. I’m headed to the local county fair this morning to drop off offerings for the craft show and then headed to the office to do taxes. Yes, I have a full day planned LOL.

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Hand Spun & Knit Top Down Beaded Shawl

Posted by Tropical Twister under Chiengora , Hand Spun Yarn , Handspun Knitted Shawl , Knitting , Knitting Projects , Projects , spindles , Spinning , Spinning with Beads , Techniques 
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For close up views, click one time on image in blog and then click one time on next image. To return to blog, back arrow two times.

shawl close upbeaded shawl

Used hand spun beaded yarn to create top down beaded shawl. The yarn is wool and alpaca. The spinning process was described HERE and HERE in the blog. The beads are silver lined glass beads and antique Chec beads from an old lamp. I’d gotten an ounce of Momi fiber (wool, silk and glitter the color of sunset) from the Ashville fiber festival which I spun on the Trindle I’d purchased at the festival. Too little yarn for a project but worked great to provide an accent of colored lace.

I used the same pattern as the pink top down shawl

Lacy2And, an interesting aside. Lacy, my mostly border collie … just learned she has no discernable border collie DNA. Had her DNA run through Wisdom DNA thinking I’d learn border collie and what. (No blood is taken, cheek swab.) Learned she has only two breeds discernable: Austrailian Shepard (that fits) and Cocker Spaniel (didn’t see that one coming). It was great fun and splendid painful anticipation while waiting for the DNA results.

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Top Down Knit Lace Triangle Shawl

Posted by Tropical Twister under Articles , Dying , Hand Spun Yarn , Handspun Knitted Shawl , Knitting , Knitting Projects , Spinning , Techniques 
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For close up views, click one time on image in blog and then click one time on next image. To return to blog, back arrow two times.

yarn

Completed the hand dyed, hand spun, hand knit lace shawl. The pinks blended nicely but to pick it up a bit I knit lace panels. The lace was knit from a bit of yarn previously spun. The yarn was a caliopi of colors but not enough for any project…but, a great accent. See the finished shawl below.

backfront

Happy “Black Friday”

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Simple Top Down Knit Triangle Shawl

Posted by Tropical Twister under Articles , Knitting , Knitting Projects , Projects , Spinning , Techniques 
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For close up views, click one time on image in blog and then click one time on next image. To return to blog, back arrow two times.

1 pink triangle shawl

spindle

When I purchased the Norge Mongold Spindle, the seller packed it in space dyed roving. The roving was felted and wasn’t useable in its shipped state. I carded the felted dyed roving and then blended in tencil to create a soft, icy roving. I split the roving in half lengethways and then spun each half. I then carefully plied the resulting singles so that the resulting yarn slowly transitions from very subtle pink to vivid hot pink. I skeined the yarn, washed it and hung it to dry with weight. I then used a ball winder to create center pull yarn balls, being careful through out that skeins and balls were wound in sequence. I put a paper label in the center of each final ball with the sequence number so that as I knit, the yarn transitioned properly.

I wanted a pattern that would emphasize the changing yarn colors, a simple pattern that would compliment the texture of home-spun. I used the same pattern I had used for the Cheingora shawl

Cheingora shawl

This is a lovely top down pattern that starts with 3 cast-on stitches and creates a chevron pattern for interest. (Instead of size 11, because this was finer yarn, I used size 9 needles.)

While searching the “net” this morning, after I had started the shawl I discovered a similar pattern by Janice Farrell Pea (CLICK HERE TO GO TO PATTERN)
I guess as they say, there is nothing new on the planet.

Aside from complimenting the home-spun and focusing attention on the transitioning colors, its a breeze to knit. I can sit and watch tv and not really have to think about my knitting. Because I can’t remember which side I’m on, the pattern side or the knit side, I used a safety pin on the face of the shawl to remind me which is the pattern side and to mark the center “k” pattern stitch. I put the pin through two stitches so it wouldn’t poke through on the back and confuse me. I move the pin up ever so often (5-6 inches) so it stays close to the active knitting.
2 pink triangle shawl 001
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Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair

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1 1 Southeastern-Animal-Fiber-Fair

Attended the annual Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair in Asheville NC October 23. It was amazing! Knitting, spinning, felting, chrochet … the colors and textures … made my heart “pitty-pat”. I discovered (and had to bring one home) the most amazing spindle, a Trindle. The craftsman who created the spin-forever-spindles is a Georgia science teacher who came up with a “better mouse trap”, that is spindle. I purchased mine from booth representing a yarn shop, The Whole Nine Yarns from Woodstock GA. I later visited the shop on my way back down to Florida. They have some spinning but Knitters will really love it and need to stop. They have hand crafted buttons and purse handles, the perfect finish for a special project. They also boast a warm “classroom” which begs you to sit and knit awhile you forget the busy-ness of the day and the staff are super helpful. I came away with the neatest little “repair hook”, looks like a finely crafted chrochet hook from Lantern Moon nestled in its own little sleeve.

P.S. on the show. This was only the arena; there were more displays and booths in a huge barn that accomodatd the overflow. What great fun!

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Microwave Dyed Hand Spun Hand Knit Socks

Posted by Tropical Twister under Articles , Hand Spun Yarn , Knitting , Knitting Projects , Socks , Spinning 
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We made it back from the mountains; I finished the microwave dyed hand spun hand knit socks on the way. Did have enough to finish, quite to my surprize.

microwave-socks

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Spinning Exotic Fibers

Posted by Tropical Twister under Articles , Hand Spun Yarn , Knitting Projects , Projects , Socks , Spinning , Techniques 
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Here is the product of my off-and-on spinning while on vacation. This is orange wool and grey/black alpaca.

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And for those who wondered what Possum & Wool roving looks like…the photo below.

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It is difficult to photograph. It is soft creamy wool blended with cocoa brown swirls of possum. Last year I spun and then knit seaweed socks for the County Fair. I’ve entered projects of Chiengora (dog hair) and seaweed and was looking for something else; this is perfect. I’m going to knit a pair of socks for my husband (really big) and since he hails from Tennessee this seemed the perfect choice. I think he’ll get a smile or two when he wears them and is able to tell his buddies that he’s wearing possum. LOL

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Mountain Spinning Shops

Posted by Tropical Twister under Articles , Hand Spun Yarn , Knitting Projects , Socks , Spinning , Weaving 
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Surprizingly, I discovered they’re aren’t a lot of fiber shops in the mountains despite so many weavers, knitters and fiber enthusiasts and besides…it’s really cold here.

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Yesterday, we traveled to Asheville to visit the Earth Guild . They have books, instructions and supplies for fiber and a variety of other crafts including clay. I brought home cards and a book on card weaving. I also couldn’t resist a scarf kit, “Hand-Painted Rayon Warp” in a lush blue and green with black rayon for weft. On the way back from Asheville, we traveled a piece of the Blue Ridge Parkway where we stopped at the Gallery and Craft Shop of the Southern Highland Craft Guild Folk Art Center. The gallery/museum is amazing and the crafts are first quality and absolutely gorgeous. But, my most delightful discovery was today in Gatlinburg. The Smoky Mountain Spinnery where I was “lost in fiber space”. There are sock yarns, mohair, hand spun yarn and all matter of fiber. I’ve been wanting to spin and knit socks for my husband. He’s not much for bright colors and brown or grey seemed boring BUT I discovered marbeled grey roving which was wool and Austrailan brush tailed possum, yes, possum. I figured that was perfect for a Tennessee born and bred “boy”.

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These are delightful llamas which were created for the shop. I love them!!

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Microwave Dyed Hand Spun Hand Knit Socks

Posted by Tropical Twister under Articles , Dying , Hand Spun Yarn , Knitting , Knitting Projects , Projects , Techniques 
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I feared I hadn’t enought yarn for both socks so I knit the first sock just past the completed heel and then started the second sock. I’ve knit it through to the same spot. When I get home I plan to spin a bit more yarn and then dye the additional yarn. It will be used to finish off the toes. It may not be exactly the same but the sock tops will look similar. I purposely alternated the yarns to create stripes but while each sock complements the other, they are not the same. I like variations on the same theme.

sock-3

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