Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Fiber Arts–Day 42

Thanks to all of you that have been with me for the last 6 weeks. We made it!!! The X-ray looked good, pins are out and I have graduated from a rolling half walker to crutches partial weight bearing. My doctor said, if I behave, I should be back in regular shoes in a couple of weeks. Happy dance when that happens!!

Found another unfinished project for today in one of my favorite yarns. It’s Weathered Cedar–one of our farm yarns–that was then dyed with green and purple. This was going to be a scarf but I stalled our halfway so it’s now an infinity scarf. A weird thing about the pattern (sorry, it’s been so long that I cannot find it to give the designer credit) is that it’s stockinette stitch based without a border to keep it from curling. This is mainly why I quit knitting in the middle.

To stop the curling, I found a celebratory skein of purple yarn. (Doesn’t everyone celebrate with purple? What’s your celebratory color?) On both sides of the infinity scarf, I first did slip stitches then 2 rows of single crochet. Problem solved and it looks great.

Although this challenge is over, I will be blogging more regularly. My goal is at least once per month so I would like to hear from you in the future.

Thanks again for your support. We hope to see you at the farm sometime.

Should have looked at this AFTER the pins came out. Can’t believe how long they are!!!

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Fiber Arts–Day 40

Dyed Double Stitch Cowl
Dyed Textured Lace Scarf

These scarves should look familiar. They are both from the book 50 garter stitch gifts to knit and were seen in the natural ecru and fawn earlier.

I took Kathy Kenworthy’s advice and dyed them teal. Usually have difficulty with this color not bonding completely and bleeding. Not this time!! I used 0.75 teaspoon of the dye and 1.5 teaspoons of citric acid and the dye water was clear at the end of the time in the pot. Hallelujah!!

Today was exceptionally busy because one of our fainting goats had twin girls a couple of evenings ago and is not making any milk. We’ve been working on bottle feeding and made a trip to the vet today to get them checked and some advice. A change in nipples and letting them go longer between feedings is getting us in the right direction. Fingers crossed!!

See you tomorrow.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Fiber Arts–Day 39

Went back to the 50 garter stitch gifts to knit book for this cowl. It’s the double stitch cowl. In the book, it’s shown in two different colors so I used my new 100% alpaca yarn in ecru and fawn. While the fawn part is garter stitch, the ecru is in a simple 8 row lace pattern. The lace pattern requires double yarn overs, SSK, knit 2 together, and some twisted knit stitches. Not exactly garter stitch but all of the special stitches were well explained so an adventurous beginner knitter would do just fine.

You’ll see this cowl again tomorrow along with the lace ecru scarf from several days ago. They’re going into the dye pot!

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Fiber Arts–Day 38

Today’s a first for me. Finally got up the nerve to spin 100% angora bunny fiber. I sheared 2 of my black French angora rabbits (don’t worry they’re being kept warm until they regrow enough fiber again) and then carded it. I used a short draft and learned that more time will need to be spent on fiber preparation.

The skein looks very similar to my very first skein of wool–thick and thin with different spinning angles but I’m rather pleased with the result. The lighter photo is before washing and the darker is immediately after washing. This is a small one ounce, approximately 50 yard skein so it will need to be an accent yarn in a project–maybe for the design in a Fair Isle pattern.

I have more of this raw fiber and now cannot wait to work with it some more. Several of my bunnies are ready for shearing when I get moving again so I hope to have time to get better spinning this wonderful fiber.

Immediately after plying
Washed skein (it will dry lighter)

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Fiber Arts–Day 37

Needlefelted fabric

Needlefelting is an time honored way of producing a nonwoven fabric. The FeltLoom is a modern improvement on doing it all by hand. Placing the fiber in perpendicular layers helps to strengthen the fabric. After running the base layers through the machine, adding color makes the fabric even more unique. These photos are all from the same piece of fabric.

I’ll leave it up to you to decide if this is functional or art. Do you see this as coasters, notebook covers, the front pieces of a vest or something else? If it’s destined for clothing, wet felting will be needed to solidify the fibers to decrease the chance of shedding and pilling. Better sewing skills on my part would be helpful! The brown pencil skirt that I had to make in 8th grade still haunts me. Fodder for therapy?

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Fiber Arts–Day 36

Found this Mill Hill kit on my shelf of projects. I’d forgotten that it was there. That never happens to you, does it?

Another low stress project. The finishing was supposed to be a fusible interfacing but that’s downstairs in my craft room. The denim patch was up here so denim it is.

It’s a bit dreary today but the snow showers make it much prettier. Hopefully we’ll get enough to cover the mud, at least for tonight.

Hope you’re enjoying your Saturday. Thanks for visiting.

Back of the pin.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Fiber Arts–Day 35

Look at this beautiful yarn. It was hand spun by Linda Bauer of Bauer Family Farm here in Pennsylvania. She and her spinning partner, Laura, are experts at their craft and I’ve learned a lot from them. Some of it is from watching them spin at fiber festivals or retreats and some is from the classes in spinning that Linda teaches at our farm. Another way I’ve learned is by watching their yarn go through my fingers while knitting. This yarn is exceptionally fun with all of the color changes that occur. The brightly colored single is paired with a black and this gives a stained glass effect to the final yarn.

Because the yarn is so interesting, the hat is my simple go-to pattern that is in my head. Any fancy stitches or cables would be lost with all that’s going on with the yarn. I especially like the starfish like shape at the top of the hat that comes about by the decreases to form the crown.

Thanks, again for all of your support. One week from today I go to the doctor’s and hopefully will get the good news.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Fiber Arts–Day 34

Today’s fibers are paper and cotton floss with some beads for sparkle.

I love these Mill Hill kits because they are low stress (No, I’m not showing the instructions to let you see where the “individualizations” occurred) and a lot of fun. I have made several of these pictures over the past twenty years and use them with the painted frames that Mill Hill makes. By changing out the pictures between the frames, decorating for the different holidays and seasons is a snap.

Be careful if you try one of these. It becomes an addiction!! I have at least 6 more of these kits on my shelf unopened. Does that make it another stash? Oh, my!!

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Fiber Arts–Day 33

The count is up to 33 here and down to 9 days until the X-ray and hopefully being able to walk on my right foot again. Single digits!!!

Did some dyeing again this morning. Instead of using pots on the stove, it was instant (almost) gratification in the microwave. Critical to using the microwave is having the yarn completely wet so it doesn’t scorch or, worse yet, catch on fire. Microwaving the yarn is a wonderful way to heat set the dye in a very short period of time. I’m usually looking for these kind of variegated results as opposed to either space dyeing or kettle dyeing. Having all of these options expands dyeing to an almost limitless degree.

I started with the fawn 100% alpaca yarn in the middle and dyed 5 skeins total and all at the same time. These 2 dyed skeins shown in the photographs demonstrate how variable the results can be with hand dyeing. The colors can also vary in lightness/darkness in the same skein depending upon how the skein was laying in the container.

To even out differences in the colors, I will either knit from 2 skeins at the same time, alternating skeins or work from both the inside and outside of a center-pull ball. Again, I didn’t come up with these tricks but have found them very useful when I care about how the colors look in the final piece.

I dyed this yarn with a specific project in mind so you’ll be seeing it again!

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Fiber Arts–Day 32

garter lace alpaca scarf


I received my shipment of new 100% alpaca yarns from Morningstar Fiber Mill last week and they are beautiful! This is the ecru and you will see the fawn later after I overdye some of the skeins in the next few days.

This scarf is the Textured Lace Scarf designed by Linda Medina and published in 50 garter stitch gifts to knit. The pattern for the body of the scarf is 8 rows repeated 40 times. In order to keep track of this, I wrote the pattern on an envelope and made a chart of the 8 rows in 10 columns. A tic mark on each row number let me know where I was in the pattern. The only trick is stopping at the end of each row to make a mark. Inexpensive system but effective.

While this scarf is attractive, it’s telling me that it wants to go into a dyepot!! Help me pick a color.