It’s been a busy week with the commencement of a new job but fibre is my peace.  I spent a bit of time last week dyeing up some Hornfels Ridge Corriedale which was partially an experiment and partially a desperate attempt to get me processing more fibre.

These were my dyeing attempts, both used the same undyed grey/brown fleece – scoured in Morning Fresh:

Hand Dyed Coloured Corriedale

Landscape Dyes = “Daintree”

 Hand Dyed Coloured CorriedaleExhaust dyeing = Landscape Dyes A Mixture of Reds/Pinks/Blues

I even managed to make up some batts on the drum carder, the photos are over exposed as they are the same colour as the fibre above:

Drum carded Corriedale

Approx. 180gms Dyed Coloured Corriedale Batts

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Here is the latest gift knitting that I began a few days agoETTA again!  This one needs to be posted by next Friday which is not a guarantee considering my other SIL’s gift has been knitted for over a month and I have forgotten to post it to make it by her birthday (I do have a very good excuse but still….).  I guess the thing with January birthday knitting in Australia is that it doesn’t really matter if it arrives late as most people as extremely unlikely to be able to use the gift for several months.

Anyway, the next one is off the needles:

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I have now knitted up four gifts for the year.  Poor Kinder Teachers will be waiting a bit longer for their scarves – I have not been doing any work on them or any spinning…

 

I have cast on for another birthday gift – there are 5 potential knitted gifts in my circle for January with one near the beginning, one in middle and three towards the end.  The middle gift has been completed and now I have finished the first and second ones.

My BIL is going to Japan during 2012 for a skiing trip and has flattered me by asking for a new beanie – he was given one a few years ago and surprised me by wearing it almost constantly during the colder months over the past few years.  I was going to use the caramel alpaca but, after his comments about ETTA and the black alpaca I decided to use it up in a beanie for him. I knitted the pattern Beanie No.212 which you can find here. Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo and the gift has been sent so I am hoping he will send me one or two for the blog record.

For this fourth gift I searched Ravelry for another slouchy type beanie as my SIL made lots of noise about ETTA over Christmas.  I couldn’t really find anything else that I really liked so I am knitting another ETTA in handspun, hand dyed yarn.  Again this yarn is about 10 WPI so in between a DK and Worsted.  Here’s hoping it comes out well, if it does I might knit up another one in this yarn for Pete’s niece but if anyone has any other slouchy hat suggestions I’d be keen to look at them!

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This is Finn/Corriedale cross that I spun up quite a while ago and had sitting in the stash.  The fibre came from Fairfield Finns and I will be sure to buy some more when I get my own stash down!  I have dyed it with Landscape Dyes – Apollo Bay & Sturt Desert Pea at a 1:2 ratio – I initially wanted a deep red but had nothing of the sort in the dyes so purple/plum it is.

There has been so much going on around here – so much to blog about but no time to blog – but today we I have taken a day out.  Last week Sam went to hospital via ambulance due to his first ever asthma attack and, following the wisdom of the paediatrician, we spent the night in hospital.  It’s all fine now and we’ve had our asthma education so we are all proficient at using the spacer, inhaler and mask.  Sam recovered well over the next few days and I headed off to Melbourne for the 3rd Certificate of Spinning day.

Sam got sick with gastro – poor Pete did so well with him –  and had the symptoms for 4 days so this week is  stay at home week to make sure we don’t spread it around.  No Playgroup, no Storytime.  What could be more entertaining for 2 little ones than wool processing!

We started with kettle dyeing and came out with these:

kettle dyed roving

kettle dyed roving

They are 250g each so I am going to keep some for me and put the rest in my shop.  I love the orangy gold that the sandstone colourway produced and I am a sucker for blues…

Then, while Kung fu Panda was on (their new favourite but I fast forward to scary bits) I put some of the Alpaca and Silk through the drum carder for Henley Perfected – yes, this is an epic but I am still determined to spin the yarn for it, then dye the yarn, then knit the garment… I think I am looking at about year 2015 for completion :).

50:50 alpaca silk

50:50 alpaca silk

These batts always make me think of Santa’s beard…

Then, as a result of Certificate of Spinning motivation, we pulled out 3 of the gifted fleeces from Pete’s other cousin and started off the scouring process:

Buckets of Joy!

Buckets of Joy!

5 buckets on the go – Sophie had fun dumping in the fleeces but I had to keep asking her not to put it in lock by lock, the water was so hot but she was so careful – I think she may be a natural :).  The fleeces have been heavily skirted as they were pretty daggy and had/have a lot of grass seeds so they were fairly small.  Here is the last fleece from that bag:

Biggest fleece

Biggest fleece

This fleece is larger than the rest of this bag full so it will soak tonight when then others are put out to dry…  Next step is to hide them somewhere in the house until I have them all combed and ready to spin… under the bed is full of Mum’s yarn and there are not many other places…I’ll work out something :).

One bag down, 7 to go!

Lastly today, I have combed out a heap of fibre to knit another beanie and Erin’s second fingerless mitt.  The man who leaves fleeces for me came by the other day and asked if I’d like some Alpaca.  He explained that there are quite a few around that get shorn and the fleeces get thrown out so if I’d like them they are all mine… What could I say?  Yes, Yes, Yes!

cross breed fibre

I have decided on my end of year project for the Certificate of Spinning and have started to gather supplies.  More later.

I’m off to bottle some extra tomatoes for whole tomatoes during winter!