Thursday, November 4, 2010

On a Lighter Note

Well, yesterdays entry was depressing. Let's talk about something more fun.
Fiber. Not the eating kind. The other kind. I  blogged about injecting fun things
as part of the therapy. So today I'll share about that. Since when you first get
diagnosed, you are so sick that napping is your largest hobbie. All other
hobbies after that have to have low energy requirements. I began with
spinning. Spinning is some thing you can do with a simple drop spindle or a more complicated spinning wheel. My first drop spindle from college was still hanging around some where and I trotted it out. We used to raise sheep for lamb, and I happen to have a few fleeces hanging around. Now these are not "fiber fleeces."  Fleeces grown specifically for luxurious hand spinning. They were only 2.5 inches. Of course, we had been raising Suffolks. A meat breed. My husband agreed to get some more sheep. He wanted more suffolks.  I bought some Montedales. Bright white, fine, 4-6".  In the mean time, I chose a yearling fleece, less course, and began experimenting. We'll just skip over the cleaning, it was long and drawn out. I had to do it in short spurts, which required a lot of soaking. I also had to find a fragrance free degreaser. I did discover, lots of soaking is good.  My first yarn was bulky, but I was hooked. I eventually got a spinning wheel and fleeces from my new sheep. That's one above.

 I spun up this lovely 2 ply and we dyed it blue. Our favorite color! Then I spun this grey from a suffolks x mont lamb. (below) I also have llama's, I spun that. I ordered a sample box and spun all kinds of cool fibers, long wool, merino, bunny, camel, goat, bamboo, silk, synthetics, kapok, flax.

I joined the guild and began practicing so I can take the certificate of mastery. It's been a lot of fun and is very relaxing. The sheering of the sheep is hard work, but it occurs in the spring. Before the spray season begins, so I can do them one or two at a time. I'm currently working out how to spin straw into gold...

You're probably wondering what I am doing with all this fiber? I knit, I crochet.  I'm also   learning to weave, so I need to spin enough to make a warp and a weft! That will be cool.
Here's some pictures....                                                                                          Here on the right, you'll see a
pair of "$300.00 hunting socks."
I made them as a Christmas 
present for my father in law, by request. 
- - - - Just don't dry them in the dryer!                                                                                                   
           
This photo is of my first handspun, hand knit vest (suffolks) and my all time favorite montedale sweater.  You can see I love cables. The extra challenge helps my brain to heal.     

Yes, I did the afgan as well. It was long ago, before hand spinning.  

Another thing I like to knit are hats, because they are small projects, quickly finished and intricate enough to be challenging. The deer stalker hat on the left is made from handspun/ dyed mont. and lined with my handspun llama. The pill box on the right is commercial silk, mohair.   I get a lot of requests for hats. I must admit I really love the wild ones.                                                                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                              
I made this kabuki hat for this young man. He loves crazy hats as much as I do. He wears it in public, too! LOL 
I've been forced, out of necessity to do some other interesting knitting projects, as well. I can't wear synthetics. Like elastic and spandex. They make my skin slough off and me reek. This is a problem.  
So I knitted up a few bras... Here's the prototype.  I used organic ready made for this project. I haven't spun cotton yet. I wanted cotton, not wool. eeeeh! itchy bra? No way!    This is a pattern I made up out of my head. I discovered that if you break things done into itsy bitsy pieces,  you can figure most stuff out.

Hope that was fun for you.                         


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