Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Alpaca Fibers for me

I just got this in the mail  8 ounces of each cream alpaca fiber  that you see below and the Rose Grey  which this photo shows nicely.  I am hoping to spin it all to make yarn for the Great North American Afghan from XRX  in different shades of alpaca yarn, some of which I am making myself. I just wanted to do that because I think it will be very meaningful to me.
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The picture below is the one Alpaca fiber that is rare to find, and I was lucky to find it on EBay. I am a bit quiet because I am designing for a company that wants to carry some of my hat patterns under their name, and Crafty Andy is very busy making hats , testing hats and creating hats.  I had a Writer's Block for about 3 months and  few days ago while I was  chanting I go the answer I was in search of. Thank You Universe for allowing me to remove the obstacles. So to a happy end in May 2011, they World did not end, but even if it did , I would have been busy doing something.  I am not the type of going crazy if the world is going to end, some day it will, but not  because of what people think.  Sometimes I wonder if they are talking about the God from the Bible or a God from one of those TV or Movies I have seen. Those vengeful Gods that only get happy when you sacrifice virgins on an altar. I will leave it at that. Thanks for stopping by!
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Friday, May 27, 2011

Homespun Alpaca Yarn

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This was a fun project to do on the wheel. My Kromski Sonata still making yarn after the fix with the Gorilla Glue.  I am always afraid it will com apart, but now I have options to repair that I did not have before.  I will have to say that I am looking at Lendrums a lot and will be probably sit down on one some day and see wat it feels like. I have seen a lot of great reviews on Lendrums. I was also looking at the Side Kick from Schacht  it looks very intriguing again I will have to sit down and give it a spin sometime. I guess I was not satisfied with the "New Voyager" note that it only happened to another person, they changed the manufacturing, and on and on I really felt left out in the cold. I will leave it at that for now.
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I tell you how much the Kromski incident has affected my purchasing anything Kromski, is really not going to happen for a long time if it happens at all. As a matter of fact I am not going to buy my next loom from them that is for sure. I think that I rather spend more money on s Flip  25" loom and stand than get something cheaper that may not work as promised. Very dissappointed KROMSKI, every time I get on my wheel I am watching it for signs of Failure!!!! ANyway hope you liked the yarn and I am hoping to make more yarn in the next few days along with some other great Hand Dyes, some with natural things and some with almost natural things like Kool Aid, and some with Jacquard Dyes.  I am hoping to have some nice videos to post as well.Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

iDye my Yarns please

Here is the great Trio that I played with during this weekend. It was a fun experiment in dyeing.
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I went to dye yarn and used a fisherman's from Lion Brand and some Rit Dye, iDye and the fun began.  The iDye black  or any black dye are tricky dyes and it wanted to give me a gray color, Sometimes  Black dyes are a deep Navy blue or a deep eggplant purple, but is not black like the rit black or the food coloring black.  When I first dissolved the iDye it looked like the purple black from the eggplant, I knew it was not going to work.  Rit did a great job and so did the black food coloring from  Mc Cormick. Below you see how clearly black the Rit addition made it, still has some bleeding, but nothing to write home about.  Since it has to be hand washed anyway, I believe is acceptable.
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I then decided to use more food coloring and enhanced the purple with neon purple.  I used vinegar to help  the binding of the color to the wool and some grape flavored kool aid, because I could not resist.  I like kool aid for yarn dyeing a lot.  So while the world was going to end, I decided to go chemical and dye yarn, the result of the chemical  experiment is below, the black was definitely adding Rit to the mixture, the middle skein is more or less the color of the iDye with Fisherman's wool, I guess it would have been a lot darker, but I did not chance it.  The purplish was a fun yarn to dye, with the colors I chose, there was no Rit black involved at all, just the iDye , kool aid, and neon purple. This was such fun and the world did not end, the GODS were pleased with my yarn and so was I.
This was the color I started with, with a soaking of the yarn in warm water and vinegar. Lion Brand yarns is one of my favorites to dye and over dye.  Thanks for stopping by there is more to come!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Zinio and Knitter's Magazine

I just bought this magazine or rather e-magazine from the Zinio website.  AM I glad I did not buy a subscription at this time.  Did you know buying from Zinio is considered a Foreign Transaction by most US BANKS and thus you will get a foreign transaction fee? Use one of your credit cards that does not charge Foreign Transaction Fees and you will be fine. The payments are processed in the Netherlands.  I told one of their customer service guys that they need to tell people in their CART or E-CART that there may be a foreign transaction fee by the issuer of the credit or debit card  for the transaction.  I don't mind paying such a fee, but I want to know that it is going to be charged.  I have travelled enough and purchased enough things online to understand that.  The fact that is puzzling is that I was charged US dollars.  I guess next time I will use a different Credit Card.  Now you Know, If you buy things from the Zinio Website you may have an extra charge, not from them of course, but from your bank.  The customer service rep that answered my email was very sweet, and try to make me feel like an idiot. In the end he understood that I know what Foreign Service Transaction Fees are, I have paid them before, but I knew I was going to Pay them, is very different than when you don't know. A big whatever right?  I told him I was going to blog about it, because I don't want other people to find this as a surprise either.  Now you know!

I was totally surprised and did not expect this.  I have many times purchased things in the Internet and when there was a foreign currency , I expected the currency fee.  I paid in US Dollars.  Well my Bank knows Best.  Thanks to the Gods  I have other Credit and Debit Cards that don't charge these fees.  Be aware if you purchase from Zinio that you may be charged a Foreign Transaction Fee by your Bank.  Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Poseidon's Dream

I call this colorway arenas, Spanish for sands. It is so pretty and it is fuzzy as I thought it would be. This was such a fun project in spinning. I am very proud of myself as there were like half a yard left of a single in one of the bobbins, the rest was actually completrly spun and used without much loss. I would definitely make more Art Yarn like this one. It was a great learning experience and a lot of fibers included. It is rich in texture and it feels fantatic. Maybe it will be for sale in a store near you or online, I have not decided yet. Is about a60 grams and about 204 yards. Stay tuned there will be some Alpaca spinning soon. Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Yarn Art

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The art of making yarn.  I never thought about making yarn in the ways that I am making yarn these days.  I am kind of carving the yarn, it is like a sculpture waiting to be revealed.  Yarns that are artsy for me are hand blended or hand crafted.  So what have I done with this single is blend of  pygora, mohair and merino into the single. I am really liking the way it looks and the more I look at it the more I want to keep it.  That is when I know I am making something good.
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I am hoping to mix it with  a plain single of merino and submit it to a very hot bath so that it can bloom.  I am hoping and aiming to make about 250 yards, let's see what happens.  I hope you enjoy the pictures, the yarn single is coming along slowly, because I am taking my time crafting this yarn.  It is also the fact that I am understanding what it is that I am doing with the fibers.  Making a yarn thick or thin on purpose is not the easiest thing in the world.  You know you are getting the use of your experience in spinning when you are able to will some yarn by manipulating the fiber.  It is then that you can realize the muscle memory has taken place and that your body , in this instance your hands, is really making the yarn you want.  I think that is what I call success, because I was not able to make yarn like this before, it is due to practice, practice does make perfect, and I hope to inspire you to make some artsy yarn.  Thanks for stopping by!
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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Alpaca Carding Sunday

Just a lazy Sunday and trying to get some of the last alpaca fiber that a friend gave me into rolags. My hope is to spin some more and make a nice blanket afghan like the North American Afghan, but using alpaca colors. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bamboo with a Twist

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My work for today is done. I was able to work with this roving and after plying the bamboo, I guess I would  not mind giving it another try another day. My friend Naomi suggested to put hand lotion on my hands before spinning, so I will have to try that with some more roving in the future. I am definitely all for spinning wooboo or wool-bamboo blend, which should be easy to draft and spin.  Here is the 129 yards with 150 grams of beautiful bamboo.  Right now the twist is getting set in some very hot water. I  like the tweed look of this baby .  One thing is for sure, this yarn is very strong! Thanks for stopping by!
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Friday, May 13, 2011

Bamboo a review in fiber

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A while ago , like almost a year ago , I ordered some sample fibers to see what I wanted to spin.  What you see below is the regular bamboo spun on the fast flyer of my Sonata.  I have to disagree with people that say that bamboo behaves like silk.  I did not find that to be the case when I spun my bamboo.  It is a bit slippery and it blooms like silk in a way. I did try to wet my fingers to grab the fiber, which it helps in the spinning , but is not the best thing to do. I spun it from the fold, that seemed to be the easiest way to spin it, but I also had a long thin piece of roving and was doing a worsted spinning with this fiber. I think I would love to spin a wool-bamboo blend, or maybe a bamboo-silk blend, but bamboo by itself is not something that I care to spin from the get go.  Perhaps a chance to fall in love with bamboo is in the future, if it is the only fiber I spin, I know I can master it.  Nevertheless, Bamboo by itself as yarn is not very attractive to me, in blends I go gaga over it, well not lady Ga Ga, but you get my point.  Bamboo is something that I would definitely spin on a drop spindle, rather than a wheel, it is almost like the camel down which I rather spin on a spindle as well. I will have to see how this project ends when I research how to set the twist on bamboo.  It is a good candidate for Navajo plying or perhaps to be the third ply in a 3 ply yarn. Maybe I can make a tweed looking yarn with the other bamboo that I am showing you below.
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Here this black looking  single is a carbonized bamboo single.  I have seen yarns with this material and not all of them are black , I saw a brownish type, which I am sure can be overdyed and give you some heathery colors.  The black fiber below, behaved a bit more like wool.  It was grabby and drafted very nice.  I enjoyed spinning the carbonized bamboo a lot, and will continue to do so.  I may just finish the project and then ply these two guys together and see what comes out of it. I hope this posting helps you in getting to know bamboo fiber-roving.  There is a milk roving that will be my next in line, and that I know I can dye like wool.  Thanks for stopping by!
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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Just in Case Our World does not End!

Since I was very young I heard people talking about the end of the world.  I say respect that, because I know people have different believes and different ideas.  Just in case the world does not end, be prepared to be kind beyond the call of duty.  I am sure some people will not pay their mortgage and some will be selling or giving away their stuff.  They forget that There are many instances in the history of the World and of the Christian religion that people thought they were sure the world was going to end, like in  like in 1843 or 1844 The true Millerites prepared with their usual thoroughness. Many families bought ascension robes (sold by Miller) and waited in carefully dug family graves. Nothing happened. Unperturbed, Miller simply moved the date up to Mar. 21, 1844.  There are many accounts. There there is 2012 still to come.

I guess I just think different. Be nice because you want to be nice, not because you will go to heaven.  If the God of the Bible is all knowing He knows what is truly in your heart . People see in the Bible what they want to see and they read what they want to read.  I don't think the Bible was written with such elasticity, but maybe it was.  as a friend said one time, the Bible says is ok to have slaves from some bordering nations, why don't we do that today?  My point is that Religion is a basic human right and need.  Nobody can deny there is something beyond us that seems to make this Chaotic Universe work in some kind of chaotic order, yet an order none the less.

Whether the world ends today or ends in my lifetime or not, I choose to live life passionately and with kindness.  I won't allow bigotry of any kind . I guess to ask people to pray for the happiness of all mankind  and all living things is too much to ask, but give it a try next time you are ready to complain.  Sometimes we have to complain, it is in our nature, but what is more important is that we don't stop loving and living. People will always talk about you, and thank them for that, otherwise you are ignored or insignificant.  In the end who cares what they say about you, only you know the real truth about who you are and what you are. Only you know what it is to walk in your shoes.

There are Basic Universal Rights and and in my opinion they are not found in any book on this planet, but they are universal.Is my opinion and not necessarily meant to make any religious believes not true. I guess I am trying to be pragmatic and agreeing to disagree with many or some.    Like the freedom of expression, the freedom to worship, the right to clean air and water, the right to medicines and healthcare for all no matter how evil or good you are, how rich or poor. Is not socialism to give everyone the medication they need or the medical care they require, it is humanistic necessary and compassionately human.  I think that Religion is misused by people that want to control and want to have power over other people.  They are as power hungry as the politicians, don't fool yourself. So to close this note, be kind to each other, and maybe we will discover the real meaning of life or maybe not.  One thing is for sure any Religion that Claims to hold the Only truth is a Religion to be skeptical about.  Since I don't like to live in fear, I choose to live life to the fullest and be a nice person , as nice as I can muster that is, yep we all have limitations lol.  I encourage you to look for similarities and things in common with other people and to work for global justice.  Be kind to the planet there is definitely no Stargate that we know available for the Exodus of Mankind.  The Cylons are not coming to get us, and we all have to go through the cycles of birth, life, sickness and death, make your life a success live with honor. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Borg are Here

Against all odds as they say and with the help of Gorilla Glue I was able to spin and ply this baby.  Mike had a lot to do with is as he suggested the Gorilla Glue.  My Sonata is working for now and I will enjoy the wheel as long as I can enjoy it.  I asked some of my friends for their favorite wheel choices and some interesting choices came to be. I am not very happy with the Kromskis at this time, but I am almost happy with  the New Voyager People.  I am done wasting my energy with this situation and know that I am kind of on my own, which is not a bad thing to happen.  I know myself very well.  I will be very happy to continue using my Krosmki for four or five more years then get something different.  I have looked at Schacht and at Lendrums, Louet is not a bad place to look at either. Enough! Let the Borg go and take care of them, maybe assimilation will bring better craftsmanship and quality control.156ydsBorg100grams (4)
This Mission has been  accomplished the Borg yarn is finished. This is definitely Borg Green for my dearest of friends the Borg. It is done and hand dyed with the technology of Kool Aid and Food coloring, the Borg will have a bit of an upset stomach. It is a targhee/clun Forest blend. It was a project  that section 31 engaged me about.  Let the Tongo wheel spin and spin. Thanks for stopping by!
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Sunday, May 08, 2011

Kromski Sonata Screw Nut Knob No. 2

The Kromski Sonata is a great wheel, but let me tell you the screw nut that is in place on this stud that holds the Mother of All has been a Royal Pain. That piece of metal that you  see in that post below comes loose.  Why don't they glue it from the factory and that way we don't have to freak out that we broke the wheel.  It is not a cheap wheel, I just don't understand the reasoning behind not gluing it.  I can now understand the allure of the fixed height wheels. Needless to say I am not a very Happy Camper, but I will survive, I have written emails in the middle of the weekend and expect a responses later during the week. Kromski has a Five year Craftsmanship warranty, this is a craftsmanship  problem if I ever saw one.  I found some solutions through a yahoo group, in which other people are or were having the same problem.  I believe is a craftsmanship flaw that needs to be corrected, maybe an oversight, maybe it never happened before, but it is happening now. Why do I have to repair  this?  Probably because Kromski or The Dealer in  the U.S.A. does not want to deal with the issue. This is a practically brand new wheel and I expect it to last at least 5 years and one day. I was going to buy a Kromski Loom, but not with this experience, if they don't stand behind their warranty and tell me to fix it, I don't think so. This may need to be updated later, we shall see.

I had the  problem like some of you with the Screw Nut from my Sonata that holds the Mother of all. This is a shortcoming of their thinking and thus their craftsmanship suffers.  I would glue this sucker in place.  The first time it came loose I freaked out, lol, but I fixed it back into place.  My wheel is less than 1.5 years old, maybe two at max.  I use it with care and I treat it with lots of care and respect.  It has given me a lot of pleasure and entertainment.  Without being able to hold the Mother of All in place, you , I CAN NOT SPIN.  The wheel becomes an expensive piece of wood.

I started thinking with my partner of things that I would do after reading on the net.  What we did is, we  used some 100 % bamboo dk yarn and wrap it around the outside of the screw nut to give it some girth, yet not make it impossible to screw it back in the hole that it came out of.  I then used Gorilla Glue, you heard it right, Gorilla glue on the outside of the nut and after wetting the inside of the wood with a Q-tip, I spread a thin layer of the glue on the outside of the Screw nut, including the bamboo yarn,  with a Q-tip as well.  I screwed it in place and allowed it to dry for an hour.  The glue expands and is my belief , because is bamboo yarn, a kind of wood material, that it will hold there for ever.. I am going to give it a test drive and if I don't report back anything, is because it has worked. The glue expands a bit, and I am hoping that the yarn will make a good conduit and embrace the glue through it's fibers, making it impossible for this screw nut to ever come out again.

There are more options like getting a bigger screw nut and making a new Knob no 2.  There is also a drilling a new hole on the other side of the post idea and filling the old hole with a peg. I can now see the lure of the fixed height orifice wheels, I bet they have no problems there . I encourage Kromski to fix this problem, because I can tell you right now if I ever replace this wheel is not going to be with a wheel that I have to adjust the height of the Mother of All, it may not even be a Kromski for that matter. Another solution is to get a bigger Screw Nut and have to get a New Knob no.2 re made to fit the new size.  Another solution is to fill the hole with a wooden peg glued in place, re drill and re screw the screw nut. Dear  Kromski is like having a Car with a door that does not close, you can not drive with an open door, is against the law, you can not spin without the Mother of all being secured in place, lol.Here it is in place, and let's see how long it holds, I hope for ever.

I am hoping to have some feedback from the distributor.  I don't think that we as spinners have to worry about something like this happening. It is something that needs to be corrected.  I am posting this on my blog so that others that have this problem find  solutions. I tell you this much, I am not getting a Kromski again. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Cardigan Seams and Sleeves Start

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I finally got this cardigan joint at the shoulder seam.  I guess if I was making this again I would have left the stitches live and join them in some kind of grafting.  I am not super happy with it, but I can live with the results until I get it assembled completely and then do like a duplicate stitch kind of touch up at the seam on the shoulder.  Is not really crucial, I can live with it, but this is so much cable work that it would be a shame to not really make it more beautiful , ha, ha, ha.

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Today I  did the cast on  of the the two sleeves, I have a feeling that I will need to improvise in this pattern and make a gusset for the sleeves, but it is too early for me to think about that.  I have not made that many sweaters or Cardigans to say that I have the experience that tells me it will fit.  We shall see once the sleeves are done. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, May 02, 2011

May WIP Cardigan

I have picked up where I left and it is going well. I am working with Wool Ease, which is not one of my favorite yarns, yet it feels good. This is a Cardigan that I am aiming to finish this month. I am hoping to give it pockets, yes somehow I will make it possible to have pockets by cutting holes in it and knitting the pockets. I may also pick my loom and make pockets with the fabric in the loom, but it is most likely I will be knitting the pockets and I have to find a cool felted fabric to line the pockets with.  This is a gorgeous pattern and is well written. CapricanCardiWIP
I will tell you that being able to pick up a pattern after being sitting down for a while is amazing to me.  I think what is also amazing is to get motivated to continue, the pattern is exciting I can tell you that much.  So this is what I am working on today along with the Retro Caprican which is a mindless knitting.  One of the good things about having circular needles is that I will be making the two sleeves of both sweater and cardigan at the same time, making for as even as possible knitting and even as possible in length.  My commitement to de-stash is going on as scheduled.  I am hoping to have some natural dyeing for next month and have some instructional videos to share with you and my Ravelry Group. Thanks for stopping by!

Almost two years without blogging August 2020

Life can be a bowl of strawberries when cheries are not available.   It has been almost two years since I have been in this blog.  I have s...