On to the crafty stuff!
I haven't been to sleep yet--from last night! I was knitting a clapotis (a French scarf)--click the word clapotis for a link to the first site I found when I googled clapotis. Hmmm. Kind of interesting that this link came up. Kimberly, the author of the blog Knit Whimsies, seems to have disappeared. Last entry was May 2008. This could be a mystery...
I went to bed at 2:30am and couldn't fall asleep, so I just got up and started sorting through all of the fiber (roving and batts to be spun into yarn), and yarn stashed in the closet in the den. I seriously have a lot of yarn and fiber. My goal is to put a lot of the handspun up for sale on my etsy site: vtknitboy at etsy.com. Now, don't go searchin' for stuff now! Nothing's up yet. I'll post to this blog after I get it set up.
I've been playing around with various fibers: mostly alpaca from Maple at Northstaralpacas.com in Michigan. She has fabulous fiber available--check out the stuff she has for sale at her etsy site. You can link to her etsy site right from her blog. Other fibers I've been into lately are soy silk, bamboo, and tencel. I'm really concerned about the use of oil for man-made fibers when there are so many natural plant and animal options in the world.
I'm interested in how these fibers can be sustainable and eco-friendly. I'm pretty sure the yarn made from corn is not a good example of this, as it takes lots of energy to convert it into yarn, and also removes it from the food supply. Soy silk is made from the soy by-product/remains of making tofu. There is also milk yarn! I'm not quite sure how it's made--if anyone has info on the yarn making process for these, please leave a comment or e-mail me!
Here are some of the yarn combos I did last week.
Top pics: attenuated bamboo roving (left); spinning the bamboo (right).
Pics directly at right: checking the twist on the single (left pic); bamboo spun onto the bobbin (right).
The bamboo is very shiny, almost like silk. But way cheaper and eco-friendly! It is very nice to spin. The fiber is attenuated by splitting it up lengthwise, then pulling it out about every 4-5 inches (the length of the fiber). This helps start the drafting process by sliding the fibers along each other. This also helps if the fiber is slightly matted, stuck, sticky, or just compacted a bit. ETA: here's a link to bamboo info: bamboo.
The next set of pics is the baby camel. This is very soft! Almost as soft as cashmere, but about 1/3 the price.
In the pics at right, spinning, on the bobbin, and checking the twist. Because the fiber is so short, it requires a lot more twist to keep it together.
In the next group of pics, the one at the left is the Lazy Kate. The three bobbins, left to right are camel, merino, bamboo. The middle pic is plying, and the pic at the right is checking the twist on the two ply yarn.
The final pic is the skeins of yarn, drying on the clothes rack, after being soaked in hot soapy water (I use an eco-friendly dish soap), then soaked in clear water, then drained and rolled in a clean towel. I give it a good whack, then put it on top of the rack.
New Twitter Friend!
I have become friends with a woman in Alabama, Katy, who goes by Alpacafarmgirl on Twitter. She sent me a sample of fiber from two of her alpacas. She asked me to post about it NEXT week, as she is willing to send out samples of fiber to those interested. In the meantime, I just want to say that it's superbly fah.buh.luss! Her blog is here. She's having a
Fiber Arts Friday & Giveaway!
More on knitting in a couple of days!