Mondye July 19, 2010

July 19, 2010

You know you’ve been looking for it, your Mondye eye candy! Here’s the week’s work:

This week’s dye lot includes some new sodas, a custom order, some Wilton dyed, and roving, worsted weight and fingering sock yarns! The left side is worsted weight Peruvian wool and superwash roving both in Big Red soda pop. The earthy one next to it is a sock yarn I’m falling for myself. The top back left is Orange Crush soda dyed onto fingering sock and the top back right is Grape Crush on worsted. This Grape Crush came out a bit more saturated in color than the last one, which was made into this awesome bag. The middle right yarns, Grapette I’ll be sending to Oregon and Cherry Crush, are both worsted. I learned that Cherry Crush and Big Red dye to exactly the same color red. Both are much more red than the pink of Mountain Dew Code Red. Finally, in the front right we have a roving I’m calling “tumultuous sea”.

Here’s a close up of “Tumultuous Sea”:

Additionally, I’ve got a close up of the Big Red roving because the fibers are so delicious and close-ups so luscious:

My last big dyeing project this week was to start making a dye binder and color cards. I figure this will help me to get color combinations I actually want for my cake dyeing and also to track which sodas look good together, how dark they dye on different kinds of yarn and fiber, etc.

I hope you love all the colors. Let me know if you see something you would like. Most of the goodies pictured in the top dye lot shot will be heading to my etsy store as soon as I get them dried and packaged up.

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I’m still looking for the perfect name for this colorway and just wanted to get an update out before I go lie down for a bit. I got the first ball plied. I didn’t Navajo ply as I normally do because I didn’t want the yarn to bulk up too much. I have a REALLY small orifice on this wheel. Navajo plying tends to get the wool stuck. The only problems I ran into here was that my bobbin was just way too small. I had to remove the drive band and hand wind the yarn on since the bobbin was so full it was getting stuck on the flyer. It took much longer. I hope something can be done about the size of my orifice and flyer/bobbins soon.

I discovered a new trick (or at least new to me) for plying. The benefit of Navajo plying is that you go from one bobbin to one bobbin. You never run the risk of running out of yarn on one side and having a ton left on the second bobbin like you would doing a traditional ply using a lazy kate and multiple bobbins. I took the single I’d spun and ran it through my wool winder to make a center pull cake. Then I spun in the reverse direction (like for all plying techniques I’m aware of). The trick is, I spun the inside pull strand of the cake to the outside strand of the cake. You do have to be careful the cake doesn’t spin in circles on the floor tumbling around and tangle itself, and the last few yards takes more concentration, but all-in-all it worked fantastically well. You work with the inside and outside pull strands of the cake just like you would use the two strands coming off the lazy kate. When you reach the end of your plying, the end just forms a loop and so far seems to hold the twist better than just plying two cut strands together. The loop on the end prevents much twist from running off the end of the finished yarn. This also produces just as great of a balanced yarn as does traditional plying. The benefit of never having to worry about having one bobbin still partially full is awesome AND you don’t have to wrestle with the awkward and slightly bulkier Navajo plying.

Get out your wool winders and put them to use in your plying! I’m interested to hear how it works for you. I know this will be a huge future time saver in my plying. I’ve just got to get a bigger bobbin and flyer to hold a full size hank. I estimate this to be about 72 yards of a varied weight yarn. It varies from a thin worsted like Cascade 220 to a thinner bulky, not anywhere close to a chunky yarn like Jiffy Thick and Quick. It has some thick and thin elements, but is a rather nice yarn. The slight barber poling really adds to the character. Some parts are entirely red, some entirely maroon, and some with the poles. I really love this yarn. It’s going to be a hard one to part with. I’d love to see it in a hat and scarf set once I spin up the other batt. Just imagine it with a charcoal pea coat and snow flakes beginning to cling to the ever so slight halo of the yarn. I’m going to wait until I have a bigger flyer to spin up the rest, hopefully tomorrow…or rather later today. It seems I forgot to sleep once again.

Spinning again!

July 3, 2010

Today I got to do one of those things that makes me feel very spoiled and exceptionally happy. Yes, people who miss having things like a home can still feel really spoiled like the world revolves around them. It’s just really rare when you can forget about all the lame stuff for long enough AND get hit with the awesome bits of the world all at once. Table Rock Llamas is one of those stores that does it for me. The only time the attacks of the lame hits me at that store is when I realize I can’t afford to take everything home with me.

When I went today, I took some of my profit from my etsy store and reinvested it in building the best fibery store ever, my own! I got some fiber to spin art yarns since I’m itching to add them to my store and a batt that was in the oops pile. I’ve never spun from a batt before, only rovings. I really want to buy a drum carder and start a batt of the month club for spinners with the same funky tastes as myself. Basically, spinners who want alien batts, Dr. Who themed batts, hippie batts, and periodically just beautiful flowery batts. Naturally, it doesn’t make any sense to buy a drum carder before you’re sure you can spin from a batt!

I hunted through the rack of batts and didn’t see any in colors that struck me. Then as I was having my various art yarn fibers weighed out and priced, I saw a pile of some of the most beautiful batts I’ve ever seen in the store. None were priced, and I fell in love with an interesting red one. When I asked, I learned that this pile is the “oops” and “I wonder what happens when I…” pile. Naturally, those would be the ones that appeal to my taste! Plus, it was priced like raw wool, aka cheaper than normal batts!

All I know is it’s a short staple length, red and darker red, dyed with acid dyes, and was meant to be brown. I’m busy spinning it tonight and trying to decide on a colorway name before it hits my etsy store. At first I was thinking “The Red Carpet” and including a star stitch marker or something. Now that I’ve begun spinning, I’m not quite sure anymore. If you have any ideas on a great colorway name, leave it in a comment and you could see yarn with your name up on etsy!

Bagel Being

January 30, 2010

A friend of mine ordered a custom bagel being. It’s a life-size crocheted bagel with a face and feet. I stitched him up in such a way as to even create little toes. He could even stand up on those big feet of his. He is made of Red Heart Brand worsted weight yarn and stuffed with a premium fiberfill. I’ve made bagel and donut shapes in the past, but this is the first time I’ve ever made feet. I’m quite pleased with how they came out and will likely make feet following the same technique in the future.

Crocheted bagel being

I love custom orders, so message me and we’ll get something going for you!

 

I get so excited about Halloween that I firmly believe it starts at the beginning of September and lasts until we’ve all recoved from Dia de los Muertos. It’s by far my favorite holiday and any projects that can be considered Halloweenish will be covering my floor for the next month or so until I get started on Christmas gifts.

I’m still not sleeping which is very lame. For a while I was just watching tons of movies and felt miserable. I started in on crafting during my late night Netflix adventures and began feeling better…even though I still can’t sleep. Last year I thought of a great crochet project while in my anatomy and physiology class. Unfortunately, my shoulder hadn’t healed enough to be able to crochet that much. I’m only able to work on it a few hours a night for only a couple nights a week still because of my shoulder, but the project has begun. Near as I can tell from hours of hunting online, no one else has ever done this before either! I’m crocheting an anatomically correct, fully jointed, life-size human skeleton. That’s right–all 200 bones. I’ll be leaving out the little ear bones as they won’t be visible in the temporal bones anyhow. For the past week I’ve been working here and there on the phalanges and have started on a couple metacarpals so I can begin to stitch fingers together.

very detailed and fully jointed!

The detail is incredible and I spend about as much time crocheting as I do reading and studying photos and drawings of bones. I just finished the right thumb. For an example of the level of detail, pinch your left thumb with your right thumb on the knuckle and your index finger on the palmar side of the joint. Dig in pretty hard and bend your left thumb forward. You’ll feel two little bumps on each side with a canal or dent between them. My crocheted first metacarpal has enough detail to have those bumps with the space between them! I can’t wait to start working up the arms. I’m getting a bit sick of fingers. I started with the fingers since it’s a fairly easy tube shape. I’m not quite sure how I’ll do a sphenoid, sacrum, scapula, or the vertibrae yet. I’m not worried though. I can crochet anything. I’ve just finally gotten bored with crocheting food and decided it was time to move on to some new shapes. I whipped out a few crocheted red blood cells the other night for my friend’s son, and decided if I could master that shape, a skeleton couldn’t be too hard. Red blood cells are a bit funky. it’s basically a doughnut shape with a thin bit of fabric across the ‘hole.’


Ultimately, I decided crocheted red blood cells just weren’t quite the look and feel I wanted for these toys. I ended up stitching up a huge batch of them and will likely make a few sets with white blood cells and platelets as playsets for my store on  etsy.com later.

 

Plus, I love bones and definitely need a life-size skeleton to play with. I’ll take him out to the park with me and of course buckle him in on road trips, likely leaving him trapped in a hot car with a copy of “War and Peace” in his hands like he died reading it. I guess clawing at the window trying to get out would be ok too.

So far he’s a little bit larger than me as I just can’t crochet the fingers any smaller with the size hook I’m using. He’ll just be a big boy. I’m doubling the measurements of Quincy, my half-size skeleton that I got to study for class last year. As for me tonight, I’m off to finish some biology homework and work on Halloween costumes. There are some exciting pictures coming!