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31  Re: Fiber Friday - March 2, 2012 in Spinning: Completed Projects by nikschaf on: March 02, 2012 09:09:14 AM
Gorgeous!!  The colors of the first one are totally drool-worthy.  Love that last green and yellow one too!

Here's mine for this week, "creme de menthe" 181 yards of alpaca singles.  I dyed the roving with Wiltons kelly green, in a low-water immersion to get some variation of color.  It's very soft!

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32  Re: Fiber Friday Feb 24th 2012 in Spinning: Completed Projects by nikschaf on: February 24, 2012 09:45:16 AM
I love your coils, Lark!  And the colors on that first one especially are so fun.  I'm sorry to hear you've been under a lot of stress, but I'm glad you're finding some solace in spinning.  Spinning is very calming for me too.

Jexx -- that yarn is really cool.  I know the texture is soft, but the colors somehow feel industrial/urban.

I am continuing to push myself to try new fibers and techniques.  I had bits and bobs of merino and corriedale in blues and purples, so for the first time ever I blended fiber on my combs. It was also the first time I successfully spun from the fold.  And, for fun, I made a few "faux rolags" and spun from them, which was a lot of fun.  I think the faux rolags are a quicker and easier way to blend fiber than the combs.  With the combs, the color combinations are more muted, and with the faux rolags more distinct.  Then I plied with a pink yarn of unknown content -- just a mystery thrift store cone.  It's "Raspberry Puff" -- 90 yards bulky 2ply.



ETA:  I first heard about faux rolags in Spin-Off (spring 2011, I think?) and since I don't have a drum carder, I thought it might be a good alternative.  Here's a good tutorial I just found online, which shows how you can add all kinds of things into your faux rolags, just like you would with an art batt:
http://rosemaryknits.blogspot.com/2011/03/because-fleegle-asked.html
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33  Re: Fiber Friday Feb. 17th 2012 in Spinning: Completed Projects by nikschaf on: February 17, 2012 09:44:56 AM
LaughingLark, those are gorgeous!  I love how the blue-green turned out.  I've been wanting to try autowrapping, but I have a delta orifice, which I know doesn't work quite as well for autowrapping.  I know Jacey Boggs mentions holding the wrap with your pinky, but then that seems like racing stripes, y'know?

Jexx, I agree, that bulky natural yarn would be really great in a rug.  Imagine bare feet on that -- yum!

Here's mine for the week.  Another new fiber for me, this time it's reclaimed silk fiber from sari weaving mills in India.  I just grabbed clumps of it and spun it like you would spin from locks.  Sorta made me think of backstage at the Muppet Show or something, because it's fuzzy and kind of crazy slubby, but very soft, light, and has the wonderful drape of silk.  In person it almost looks like feathers.  I've felt some commercial sari silk yarns that felt very rough to me, and was surprised by how soft this is:



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34  Fiber Friday February 3, 2012 in Spinning: Completed Projects by nikschaf on: February 03, 2012 08:11:32 AM
Hello Everybody!  I'll start us off this week.  My yarn is "Dixieland."  73 yards super-bulky corespun from a mixed-fiber batt from Gritty Knits.  It was my first time spinning from a mixed batt and I LOVED it!!!  I will have to occasionally splurge on buying a mixed batt because it was so much fun.  The batt contained Romney, Corriedale, Merino, cultivated silk, firestar, and carder scraps.



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35  Fiber Friday 20 January 2012 in Spinning: Completed Projects by nikschaf on: January 20, 2012 09:22:52 AM
Howdy!  Here are a couple of yarns I spun this week.

The first one is "Saltwater Taffy," a superbulky shetland 2-ply.  I dyed the orange-red with Wilton's and Kool-Aid and left the other ply natural.  It was my first time spinning shetland and it was divine!  So easy to draft.  It's so bulky that my bobbin only held 73 yards, so I have another mini-skein of 35 yards.  I stuck a quarter in there to show how bulky the yarn is.



After plying the "Saltwater Taffy" I had some of the dyed singles left on the bobbin.  Decided to try supercoils for the first time.  So the 2nd yarn is called "Coral Supercoils."  Jacie Boggs jokes on her Sit and Spin DVD that when you're done spinning supercoils you'll have made about 4 yards of really cool yarn.  That's about right -- this skein is only 8.3 yards, but it was a fun experiment to spin it.



A closer view to show the coils better:


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36  Speckled Hen Earflap Hat in Crochet: Completed Projects by nikschaf on: January 09, 2012 09:16:17 AM
Here's an earflap hat I made with my homespun yarn.  I named the yarn "speckled hen."


From my Speckled Hen Yarn:


I had about 10 yards less yarn than the pattern called for, so I had to leave off the single crochet edging the pattern calls for.  I used every last inch of my yarn!  I left the tails of my yarn on the tassles sort of uneven and wild-looking.  I feel like either an elf or Ghenghis Khan when I wear it.  

Here's another less flattering angle that shows the shape a little better:


And this is the pattern I used:
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/earflap-hat-20178---crochet
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37  Re: Spun to finished photos in Spinning: Completed Projects by nikschaf on: January 09, 2012 09:12:33 AM
Here's my Speckled Hen Earflap Hat.

From my Speckled Hen Yarn:


To this Earflap Hat:


I had about 10 yards less yarn than the pattern called for, so I had to leave off the single crochet edging the pattern calls for.  I used every last inch of my yarn!  I left the tails of my yarn on the tassles sort of uneven and wild-looking.  I feel like either an elf or Ghenghis Khan when I wear it.  

Here's another less flattering angle that shows the shape a little better:


And this is the pattern I used:
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/earflap-hat-20178---crochet
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38  Re: Fiber Friday January 6th 2012 in Spinning: Completed Projects by nikschaf on: January 06, 2012 09:28:19 AM
Beautiful!  Those colors are gorgeous and it looks so cozy.  Great work!

I hadn't done any spinning for a long time -- I was doing embroidery and other stuff instead.  But I FINALLY spun a new yarn this week, I call it "Rust On Your Laurels."  It's a greenish multicolor merino top called "Laurel" from Ashland Bay, and a rust-colored bit of corriedale from a felting sample pack.  It's plied with sewing thread.  It's so squishy and soft!  Not sure what I'll do with it, it's only 96 yards.



A better representation of the color:
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39  Vintage Chickens Napkins in Needlework: Completed Projects by nikschaf on: January 05, 2012 09:21:30 AM
Found these designs in the Hoop Love group on Flickr and couldn't resist stitching them.   There are more, but here are the first two.  They are both done with two strands.  I did the hen in backstitch and the rooster in stem stitch.  I really enjoy doing monochromatic pieces, but playing around with the stitches I use to give some texture to the piece.





This one of them dancing was the first one I stitched.  I am not happy with the rooster's eye or the music notes, but not unhappy enough with them to rip them out and re-do them.  I have decided that from now on I will stitch eyes separately with their own thread, so that if I decide to rip them out it'll be easy to do.  These napkins are just for household use and not a gift, so I decided to live with the imperfections.
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40  Peanuts Gang Springerle Cookies in Dessert by nikschaf on: December 27, 2011 09:20:01 AM
I had a craving for Springerle cookies this year, after not having them for about 15 years.  Trouble is, I don't have any Springerle molds.  I found some old Peanuts Gang plastic cookie cutters my husband's mom used to use when he was little.  I thought they'd be perfect, since Springerles hold their shape so well, and those kinds of cookie cutters often give disappointing results with sugar cookie dough since the design doesn't stay very well-defined after baking.  I've determined that whoever designed these cookie cutters was a bit of a sadist, because there are so many narrow little bits (like Snoopy's neck) that like to come apart when you're handling the dough.  Don't know if I'll ever want to use them again, but I loved having these cookies this year.

So, here's Snoopy and the gang!

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