Friday, January 28, 2011

The trip from fiber to batt (part three)

Using a lot of color is a sight for sore eyes in the midst of another Maine winter. We love Maine, but it's all so white and gray. Maybe that's one reason we like color so much.

Well, back to the creation of the batts. The next step is laying out the colors on the conveyor belt that feeds the fiber into the drum carder:

On the other side, we've got fiber in motion:
Half a pound of fiber, ready to be taken off the drum:
This is an awful lot of fun for a fiber fanatic! Here's some different colors coming out of the carder:

These long 1/2 pound batts are hard to photograph, but, here's most of one:
More photos to come - there's now batts that sparkle, pastel batts, and batts with colors layered on top each other. Yes, more fun! We'll also show you the many different ways to use the batts for hand spinning. Carded fibers are a breeze to spin, and spinning from these babies is a little too much fun for this spinner!  Hmm. . .how many times has the word "fun" been used in this post?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The trip from fleece to batt (part two)

No, the fleece isn't going into an old drawer. This is the wool picker (well, part of it). The white thing is a conveyor belt. There was a whole lot of fiber on top of it. I was so involved in pulling the fibers apart ("teasing") that I forgot to take anything but this one photo. At back of that green door are truly nasty sharp pointy things that can rip one's arm apart. One must be careful.

Here's the inside of the picker box, with a silhouette of those nasty spikes:

A close-up of the pink fiber:
Some purple . . .
 . . .green. . .
 . . .red. . .
. . .and that wasn't all. 

There was also yellow, orange, all sorts of blues, and mixed blues, violet, and purple. This was just too much fun!

So, what's next? Just wait. . .

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tuesday's dyeing

Started the day with a mysterious looking vat of brown alpaca and Shetland wool. The steam seemed perfect on a chilly morning.
Here's the second dye pot. Looks about the same, doesn't it?
After 45 minutes of simmering, neither of them had any pink hues left. A pot of dye surely is a mystery. Here are the results, sitting on the drying racks:

The next vat was mossy green. Then, a red, and a real violet-pink. Now, that one didn't look vibrant at all in the dye pot!  Sure looks vibrant here:

Last, a burnt orange and a yellow:

So, what's next for all this fiber?

Stay tuned, because it'll be a lot of fun to watch. They're going to be blended with each other, carded into stripes, mixed with silk, bamboo, and a little bit of glitter, to make big half pound batts for hand spinners. If you want to knit with it, and you're not a spinner, it might be time to learn to spin.  . .

Friday, January 7, 2011

How to do the twist

A few people have asked for more explanation of how to do "The Twist" in our pattern for fingerless mitts.

Here's the written instructions:

Knit 2 stitches together. Leave on left hand needle. Insert right hand needle into first stitch on left hand needle and knit 1 stitch. Pull all stitches off onto the right hand needle. That's it!

We hope these photos help the visual learners out there:
Knit two stitches together.
Leave on left hand needle.

Insert right hand needle into first stitch on left hand needle.

Knit one stitch. Then. . .
. ..pull all stitches off
and on to the right hand needle.

It really is simple. Just follow along, and you'll see. This faux cable stitch is great to use anywhere there's a K2P1 or K2P2 ribbing. It's decorative and doesn't stretch much. Have fun!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New year, new blog

Hey folks! Welcome to our virtual world. It's been over a year since the last blog entry and there's just so much new goings on that it'll be hard to catch up. We'll try.

Here's where you come in. We'd love to post photographs of your projects using our yarn and fiber. Please email us if you have any photos you'd like us to post.

Please feel free to leave comments. If there's anything you'd like to see on the blog, let us know. We're open to suggestions. Meanwhile, Happy New Year from all of us on the farm (and yes, that includes the animals).

The yarn above is our newest six-color, called "Oh, The Places You'll Go!" To order, click here.