Monday, October 28, 2013

Additional keepsakes....

I've been busy creating keepsakes other than handspun yarns.... It started with a quilted bad and quilt for a new baby....
The quilted tote has 4 outside pockets (front, back and sides) with a clip for a key chain.  The inside features a large back pocket, 2 medium front pockets and 4 slim side pockets. This bag was planned as a gift for a new baby but I kept it for my knitting projects.  I made the ragged quilt in bold batiks for the new baby boy.

This Amish Rug

is made from the scraps of many of my sewing projects.  Another use for my scraps
is this a scented cold/hot bag.  It can be kept in the freezer for a cold pack or heated in the microwave for 1 minute for a heating pad.

I continued to use scrap and make more with the following sewing projects.

These little iphone bags gave me an opportunity to try different techniques on my new sewing machine and do a little beading.  One has a cross body strap and the other features a wrist handle.  

Another baby is expected ... so another ragged quilt was made.

And a few requests.... a couple of quilted wall hangings for the chicken fancier
Quilted Wall Hangings
 additional quilted bags for sale
an opportunity to machine quilt and hand bead

 This shoulder bag is fully lined and  features a front and back pocket,

 and gifts for family and friends....
I am accepting requests to make any of these items for your gifting pleasure.  Please contact me for prices.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Keepsake Fiber on Facebook

Keepsake Fiber now has a Facebook page.    I figure it is just another way for me to share what I have been up to and encourage interest in my Etsy shop.

I've joined several fiber related groups on Facebook. There is a wealth of information out there and new contacts to be made. 

One of the groups I've joined is Spin-A-Pound-Get-A-Pound. This is a group that connects spinners with growers. I connected with an alpaca grower who sent me 2nds from both Suri and Huacaya . 2nds are the wool from around the neck and legs. It is perfectly good fiber and was clean.  

I am to keep half of the fiber and spin half of it for the grower in whatever way I choose.

 Here is what I spun.

This is a variety of yarns, from a 4ply cable featuring 3 different colors,
a 3ply with the same three colors, and various 2ply yarns of individual colors.

I learned that I really don't want more 2nds in my stash. This yarn is not as soft as prime alpaca fiber.  I think it would make great felted items.... something not worn next to your skin.  I'd like to make felted slippers with what I now have in my stash and perhaps a felted bag too!

For my next SAPGAP, I am looking for prepared fibers. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Off and on the wheel

Off the wheel in the past few months is Chiengora...

I wonder what beautiful creations the owners of these dogs will make.  A treasured keepsake for sure. 
On the very own Chai and Latte
Chai and Latte at 7 weeks
My how they have grown...

Chai and Latte at 3 months, 3 weeks

Both bunnies are a hybrid of German, French and English angoras.  Chai is a Chestnut Agouti and Latte is a Tort.  Look at the wonderful color variation...


 I'm spinning Chai into a very fine single that I will Navajo ply. 
Chai singles
I will do the same with Latte's wool.  I plan to weave or knit a scarf using the two yarns.  Stay tuned....

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Suri Alpaca is on the wheel

My fiber fascination continues with spinning Suri Alpaca.  This isn't your typical alpaca. There are two varieties of alpaca, the huacaya (wooly type) and the suri (with long sleek locks).  90 to 93 percent of alpacas are huacaya and only 7 to 10 percent are suri.
Alpacas of America provides a nice description of these wonderful fiber animals.

Suri Alpaca
I purchased a blanket of suri fleece at a Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival many years ago.

I lightly carded the locks prior to spinning.  It is spinning like a dream.  The carding loosens up any VM and it falls aways.

Alpaca is heavier than wool and does not have the elasticity. It is also slipperier than wool.  I am spinning it with a bit more twist than wool and am plying it loosely to keep it soft and encourage drape.  I plan to knit  a shawl with this black alpaca and  use my handspun English Angora for an accent design.
unwashed skein

  I will wash the yarn with dish washing liquid in warm water to clean it and to set the twist. My hands turned black from the spinning of the unwashed fiber.  The rinse will also be in warm water and I may follow this up with a wash in Eucalan.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Spinning out of the zone...

comfort zone
I have a comfort zone for spinning.  I like to make a 2-ply yarn.  Most of my fibers are happy becoming this type of yarn.   And, most of my projects use this type of yarn.   

However, I like to develop new skills so

 I continue to experiment with other techniques and designs, like the corespinning and now this...

I wanted to create something completely different that will work with the other yarns in my collection.
This is what I came up with...

I spun my fave 2 ply yarn and inserted the dyed locks while plying.  The challenge being in preserving the locks and making them secure.  

I've been tugging at the locks in the knitted swatch to ensure the yarn's integrity.  It is stable, and getting a little fluffier.  This art yarn will work well in a project with the 2ply purple and with the overdyed fushisa yarn.  
overdyed yarn 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A new beginning - overdye

With Easter and Spring come thoughts of New Beginnings.... I had this sweater that I didn't much like...the fit, the color but I loved the yarn.  I knit it from my handspun angora and wool.  It's been sitting in Area 51 for some time now waiting for me to do something with it. 
In an attempt to give it new life, I frogged it.  I spun up the rest of the angora/wool fiber matching the yarn I had spun for the cabled sweater I frogged. 
 And, into the dye pot it went....
I put three skeins in with blue acid wash dye. Not all the dye was exhausted so I added the rest of the skeins until the dye bath was clear.    This produced three blue skeins and several peach with a little blue.  I mixed up some fuchsia dye and added it to the existing dye pot.  Then added the two tone skeins until the dye bath was clear.  

This is what I ended up with. 

I like the colors better than the peach.  The yarn is so soft with a little halo.... Not sure what I'll make of it.  I'm thinking of weaving with it.   

I'll call it progress... moving a UFO and roving from Fiber Stash to Yarn Stash.  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Save that blowing coat...the dog hair brushings

Its that time of year when our loving canines (and other pets) blow their coat... Why not turn it into a keepsake?  

Start by saving the brushings....
Chow Chow brushings
Pyrenees brushings

 Meet a few of the loving animals that  I've spun the fur of
Jersey Woolie

Chow Chow

English Angora

  See the yarns produced....
Jersey Woolie
English Angora

 And a few of the treasured keepsakes that have been made....

Chow Chow afghan

Chow Chow scarf

Chow Chow throw

Malamute mittens
  If you have any questions, please contact me or visit my shop for the custom spinning listing.

For Frequently Asked Questions about Chiengora (dog hair yarn) see this blog entry.