Handspun Camel

handspuncamel

Yesterday I went to Spitalfields Market and wandered around for a while. There were many interesting things to spend one’s money on but look what I discovered! To my surprise I found a booth selling yarn. What really caught my eye was this handspun camel. There was also a handspun cashmere in a beautiful black/white marl. I thought the camel would be a luxurious without breaking my budget too much. I’ve had the pleasure of working with pure cashmere but never with camel. Now I just have to decide what this little beauty will become.

Spending my Christmas money

This year for Christmas my husband and I exchanged gift certificates as our main present to each other. I will spend every penny I can on yarn and he will spend it on his aquarium. It only made sense to enable each other this year. I’m hoping next week I will be able to share some photos of the new members of my household the aquarium store provided but I can show you my loot from the yarn store. I waited very patiently until yesterday to spend my gift certificate. I am basking in the yarn fumes and it feels good!

christmasyarnIsn’t that a nice collection? Let me break what I got down.

Brooklyn Tweed Loft in Sap

This squishy woolly yarn will become a pair of fingerless mitts.

Jade Sapphire Lacey Lamb in Carrera Marble

I don’t know exactly what lace shawl this yarn will be knit as but it will be soft.

Lang Jawoll in Ash

I love marl yarns and I love a good sturdy sock yarn. I’m not sure if I will make this into socks or gloves yet.

The Fibre Company Meadow in Prairie

I couldn’t resist this yarn. It’s a really intriguing blend of merino, llama, silk, and linen. It was also on sale! I love a good sale.

The Uncommon Thread Tough Sock in Lust

I have been lusting after this yarn for about a year. I love the colour so intense and such a wonderful name. I’m all set for yarn now for a while. Now I get to knit it all!

 

 

Dyeing with The Knitting Swede

I recently had a blast hanging out with Tanja from The Knitting Swede. She opened up shop last year selling hand dyed yarns and has been designing knitting patterns since 2008. Recently she started dyeing fiber for spinning and she showed me how she does it and let me help out! I made sure to take copious pictures so I could share it.

rawfibre

The starting point. Raw Jacob fiber

This went to soak while we mixed up the dyes.

unmixeddyes

All ready to be properly diluted

I got to help out with the dilution. My years working on a chemistry degree finally paid off.

allreadyforsquirting

Look at all that dye ready to be squirted on to the lovely wool.

Next came the squirting, I mean precision dye application. I helped here as well. I never realized how daunting staring at bare fiber could be, but it all turned out well.

dyeapplied

All stripey

Then it got wrapped up in plastic ready to be heated.

Allwrapedup

Waiting to see what it will become

It got nice and cooked and looked like this.

Steamy

I love that purple

Now that its all dry it turned out beautifully.

 

This very top is on sale on the Knitting Swede’s website as Christine. All the proceeds from this sale will go to Cancer Research UK. Both of us have had out lives impacted by this disease and we want to do something to help other people affected by cancer.

Fun at the Pom Pom Quarterly Christmas Party

I had a wonderful time at the Pom Pom Christmas Party. I brought a camera to take photos and then only took two pictures, both of yarn stalls. There were many other things to take photos of but I got distracted and no more photos were taken. I was having that much fun!

KettleYarnCoPomPom

The Kettle Yarn Co.

Lioness Arts

Lioness Arts

The music was wonderful, the cheese to die for, and the drinks yummy. Even my other half who tolerates yarn at best had a good time. Of course I bought yarn, I budgeted for one skein so I knew I had to be picky. Recently I’ve been very attracted to grays. So I purchased this:

graycamelsilk1

Skein Queen Oasis Grande. 50% silk 50% camel fingering weight

It satisfied all my criteria: gray, fingering weight, camel/silk, and a dyer I hadn’t purchased from before. I’ve been coveting all the camel/silk yarns so it’s wonderful to finally have my very own. This skein will sit next to me for a while so I can pet it and revel in owning it. Then towards the end of the evening there were door prizes drawn. I actually won one of them!

Lioness Arts Merino Singles in Rosewater

It is a very pretty pink. I never would have picked this skein to purchase but I love the playfulness of it. I’m finding myself trying to decide what it wants to be instead of working on my knitting. Not a bad problem to have. I hope everyone had as much fun this weekend as I did.

Kettle Yarn Co.

Look what I have! It’s a skein of Kettle Yarn Co.’s Bloomsbury in a custom orange colour! The base consists of 80% 80% Superwash British Bluefaced Leicester and 20% Silk in laceweight with 800m per 100g. The silk really makes it shine. It glows even with overcast conditions today. Even though it has silk the hand is still very woolly while remaining soft. I started some lace with it and that really helped when I had to rip back and pick up stitches!  This is what it looks like knit up.

I don’t have any pictures after blocking because I’m lazy and didn’t knit a swatch. I am enjoying working with this yarn. the stitch definition is crisp and shows off the stitch pattern. I would easily use this yarn again. I wish I had the budget to get enough of her Westminister fingering (50% Camel, 50% Silk) for a cardigan. Someone please do this so I can live vicariously through you! 

I know Linda in person through our local Knit Night and through her blog, From the Purl Side. Her shop opened at the end of August on Etsy stocking a wide variety of bases from lace to aran. You can also find out more about the Kettle Yarn Co. on Ravelry with their own group.

A Case of the Mondays

This weekend was significantly too short for me. I’m tired and grumpy today because it should still be Sunday. Additionally, the weather has changed and its now not warm and rainy. So here are two things I’m using to help get myself into a better mood.

The yarn is Posh Yarns Martha Sock in the colourway I Used Yo Like You, But Now I’m Not So Sure. The base consists of 80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, and 10% nylon. Squishing this yarn definitely helps me cheer up. I think I will allow myself to start a project with it today. It’s earmarked for a hat for my dad. He loves reds and this is a nice dark manly red.

And then I watch this video:

Who can be grumpy after watching that? I think I’m going to go ball my yarn now.

My Second Week Away

This week has been the week of doing exciting things and acquiring yarn.

Last Saturday I went to Sauder Village when they were having a fiber expo and I got to try out a spinning wheel for the first time. I am purchasing a spinning wheel at the first opportunity! It was so much easier than using a drop spindle. The people who let me try their wheel were Spruce Hill Fiber Farm. The spinning wheel that I got along well with was their Echo spinning wheel. If shipping weren’t so much to take it back to the UK I’d have been extremely tempted to get it right there. When I went around  I forgot a camera so there are no pictures, but it was so much fun. Later I wondered around to some of the other venders and I found 7oz (200g) of handspun Cormo/Mohair/Alpaca yarn.

cormomohairalpaca

It’s wonderfully squishy and soft. I have to figure out what it will be but I’m sure it will be beautiful.

Then two days ago I went to the local yarn store here, Yarn Cravin’. They stock so many wonderful yarns that I don’t get to see that often in London. I had a very hard time choosing the yarn to take home with me. They stock a large selection of Brown Sheep Yarns that I hadn’t seen in person. After much debate I decided to make sure everything would fit in my luggage and went with a laceweight yarn: Classic Elite Yarns Silky Alpaca Lace.

silkyalpacalace

I purchased enough of this yarn that I can either make a top of some variety or a large shawl.

Yesterday I went fishing and had a wonderful time. My parents took and my husband and I troll fishing on Lake Erie with Captain Dave. I never realized how physical of a sport fishing could be. Between waking up before dawn, the direct sunshine, and the hard work of reeling in the walleye, or other undesired fish, I was exhausted at the end of the day.  Today my arms are complaining but I hope I will be able to enjoy eating some fish!

With everything going on my knitting progress has slowed to a standstill. I have barely touched it in the past week. I think my Inflight Entertainment will provide entertainment for both my inbound and outbound flights. I guess I didn’t need to pack extra projects to work on after all. 😛