Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fiberworks - Grey Shetland and Cotswold Edition

The Grey Shetland is progressing albeit slowly. I decided to trim off the sunbleached tips. Here is what it looks like with and without the tips. ...hint - the trimmed raw locks are on the left. There isn't a lot of weight in the tips, so I'm feeling pretty good about deciding to trim it, especially after seeing the washed result!

The first batch of washed, trimmed locks! There is a little sunbleaching evident, just enough that the finished yarn will have a warm cast to it, and be somewhat heathery looking. The different shades of grey will add to that heathery look, too.

I also weighed the washed Cotswold - 22 ounces. Now, what to make...? A vest would be nice, and 22 oz. is probably enough. Though I like to knit as much as possible in one piece, in this case, I need to make skeins that preserve the light to dark aspect of the design. My Majacraft Rose with the Wooley Winder can ply 4, 5 and sometimes 6 oz skeins. That means the singles will need to be 2 to 3 oz each... safer to be 2 oz each, then 2 plied will yield a 4 oz skein. So, one skein for each front, and two skeins for the back. I start dividing the fleece, and weighing for the singles.

The nice tissue paper from my Coldwater Creek Birthday shopping excursion became the packages for the weighed locks. Below are the locks for one side. Two ounces each, each group containing light to dark locks.

Now, the back's a little trickier, since it is slightly bigger than the two fronts, especially if I make a vee neck. These are divided light for the top skein, two groups of 2 oz each, and dark for the lower back - a little larger skein for the lower back - 2.5 oz in each group. 9 oz. total for the back

As you can see, I may be retired, but am still an Engineer... Engineering... errrr... Designing fibery projects using math. :-)

For those keeping track, I used up only 17 oz of the 22 total. I figure the other 5 oz might either become sleeves - two 2.5 oz skeins, be "in reserve" for the body skeins, and/or serve as sample skeins to determine the final grist of the yarn and knitting gage. Much more to go!

As an addendum, since finishing the birthday socks for my Mom (from Socks that Rock yarn - yummy!), I have two new projects "on the needles". Several years ago, I spun some yarn from a roving exchange intending to make sideways garter stitch gloves. Last Wednesday I finally started the gage swatch for them at my neighbor's "Yarn Arts Happy Hour" - more on this later.

I also wanted something relatively easy for the concert. A couple years ago, I bought some of the Louet Euroflax linen yarns. I even made a bag out of it in basketweave stitch, which worked okay. My intention was to make sampler washcloths out of it but I hated knitting those patterns with it! A French Market bag (from Folk Bags) sounded like it would be mindless knitting, plus be useful in picking up our CSA produce. So that's what I started - modifying the pattern so I could knit it in the round. As it happened, I only got a couple rows done on the way to the concert and between sets. That counts as being on the needles!

- Franna


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I'm envying all your "fiber playtime;" I still haven't done anything with this year's fleeces. I AM fitting in some music, though, like you. No Brown Bag concert this week, but there was a concert at Linfield last night. It's good to hear more from you, now that you're retired!

Kathy L. said...

Right before my surgery, I sent all of this year's fleeces to Wooly Knob for processing into roving. I just didn't want to fuss with raw fleece this year.
At least you are keeping yourself very busy doing all sorts of things you like doing, Franna. Can you imagine someone retiring and not having anything to do? I can't but we do have two friends who were just like that - not a thing to do but order each other around! I can't even imagine not having anything neat to "play" with!

Today, my DH separated the ram lambs from their mums. I'm impressed! Maybe he'll make a shepherd one day, eh? ;)

And thanks again, dear Friend! You're a gem and a peach! :)

shepherdchik said...

Wow! You are so scientific with the weighing and measuring. How cool. I just spin and knit 'by the seat of my pants'. But your method looks more productive.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

First you spoil us with a flurry of posts, then hang us out to dry! Tsk, tsk....

I just read your article on the Shepherds' Extravaganza in the NASSA News. Great job of reporting! I'm sure there will be many who don't agree with Ingrid's comments, but I liked her judging very much (even if I didn't win :-).

Franna said...

heh... scientific. Once in a while, yes. Most of my spinning is by the seat of my pants, too. Then again it's fun to play with color sometimes.

Michelle, you're so good at posting regularly in your blog. I'll just send my photos your way, and you can post for me. ;-)
- Franna