Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dog Hair Yarn

About two weeks ago, my friend Janna from Vancouver Yarn put me in contact with a woman who had collected her dog, Raka's fur over a few years and wanted it spun into yarn. The dog was a German Shepard/Wolf cross, who unfortunately passed away not too long ago.

When we finally coordinated a time to meet up, I was give two small buckets of fur. Who would have known those small buckets would have turned into this:

2.48 lbs of dog fur

2ply Yarn (left 50/50 Dog fur/Shetland sheep, right 100% dog fur)

Knitted samples of both the 50/50 blend and 100% dog fur

The yarn that is 100% dog fur is spun on my drop spindle. Dog fur is a very short staple and is hard to spin. That's why I have also done samples with the fur blended with sheep's wool. The blend helps hold the dog fur in to a yarn. Spinning on a drop spindle is a lot more time consuming, compared to a spinning wheel, but using this method I got a more consistent yarn thickness and I could also use 100% of Raka's fur.

The patron for this yarn is still in decision mode, so I am working on another commission which uses cut off thread from sewing as the base for yarn. This will be my third time spinning thrum yarn.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Trying to fall in love with knitting...

I love yarn. I love how it looks, I love how it feels, I love to spin my own yarn. For some reason the love stops there. I know how to knit, crochet, weave and even how to do naalbinding. I love how all those things look as finished items, but for some reason I fall out of love with them so easily. I think it's because I don't get the instant gratification like I do with spinning my own yarn, well it most cases. With this love for yarn, you can imagine that my stash would not be a few skeins here and there. In fact, it's growing slightly out of control.

The bottom half of this storage unit is FULL of spinning "fluff". Everything from wool to viscose to possum. And that's not including what's in the living room. So in an attempt to de-stash a bit I have tried to fall in love with knitting again.

"February Lace Scarf"
Debbie Bliss "Pure Silk" yarn

This scarf feels absolutely wonderful so far. The robins egg blue is beautiful and I can't wait until it's finished. The pattern is a 4 row lace repeat which makes it easy to knit, as well.

I've never knitted with silk before, and wow, is it slippery. I could never imagine how people knit with silk on metal needles and not drop a stitches on every row. I find the bamboo needles definitely hold on to the yarn a little more than the metal knitting needles. Now that I have a few inches of scarf knitted up, I find the slippery factor has decreased some what so that's kind of a relief.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fiber Friday - May 14, 2010

Wow! I can't believe it's been a week already! I'm still on the hunt for a job, but in the mean time I've been spinning lots of yarn. This week I have 3! It would have been 4, but I forgot to get a picture of the finished skein before I lent it to a friend for an art show.

"Summer Marshlands"
Romney/Mohair (from a swap on Craftster)
76 yards

(Untitled, so far)
Crossbreed sheep (I got the fleece for free at a spinning demo I participated in)
43 yards

(Untitled, still thinking of a name)
Romney (hand dyed red and a grey/blue)
68 yards

I hope you enjoy the yarns this week.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fiber Friday!

Good Morning Bloggers! (and readers!)

I just wanted to start out this beautiful sunny day with a few skeins of yarn!
From Left to Right:
"Coco-chineal" 86 yards, merino, hand dyed with cochineal

(untitled) 32 yards, perendale, local sheep (from Ontario) and merino (?), hand dyed and commercially dyed. This was my attempt at patchwork yarn. I'm still working out the kinks, there were a lot of spots that were just one color.

30 yards, local sheep (from Ontario), drop spindled and then plied on my spinning wheel

I have fallen in love with drop spindling! I've been spinning on my wheel(s) for about 2 years (they are both country wheels) and I've been having a hard time achieving very thin, lace weight yarns. I did a bit of research and found a lot of people saying that it's hard to get thinner yarns on my type of wheel. I was a bit sad, but still determined and I remembered that someone from a craft swap built me a beautiful drop spindle. So, I grabbed some fleece and started spinning. I fell in love!!! I spun the above skein on the right in a day and I'm now working on some natural "black"/dark brown fleece I received from a demo I did a few summers ago at a sheep shearing event. Pictures will be posted soon.


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