Do you remember this CVM and BFL Lockspun Textured Art Yarn? Read more to see what it is now…
It has been ages since I have posted to my blog. There is a reason. I had an accident in February that crushed my head between and beneath about 40-50 pounds of wood, ice and snow. I dropped the wood box lid with all the snow and such on my head when my head was in the box. It crushed my head in between, hitting me both in the back and front of the head, broke my nose, split my face open and required stitches and an emergency visit. That has all healed up, but the head injury part did not heal as quickly. It has been a long hard six months but I am starting to feel better and starting to create again. Before this it was very hard to be on the computer, type, text, talk on the phone ect. Just too much input causing too many headaches. That is why I have been absent….along with a smart phone and internet that has refused to play nice….or smart!!
This last week, we have been building stone dyke walls outside around the flower beds. Dry stacking sand stone and doing some in round field stones. It will make it much easier to strim and mow. I have found that all my lovely plants do not always obey and stay in their beds. Some of the plants like Lily of the Valley in particular, like to wander out of their beds all over the yard.
We have had some super fab lilies this last week pop their flowers. I love my double and trumpet lilies. For a week, every time I walked past the studio the scent in the evening was almost over whelming. Their blooms are past now and I am finding I am missing their scent.
The Sunflowers have started to bloom. I planted a lovely variety of RED sunflower that I am still anxiously awaiting to open. They are sooooo close. The birds however, planted loads of Black Oil Sunflower seeds absolutely everywhere and those have been blooming ….well…everywhere!!
I have been working on my final project and should have it finished shortly. The Fiber Face piece is complete. The backing is sew together, hemmed, pressed and sewn to the front Fiber Piece. I have to add two more tabs to finish out the top and steam block it. Than it is done and photos will follow. I stitched the entire backing, tabs, and hems with my new to me 1954 Singer 99K. I adore this sewing machine and with it being a hand crank, I can go as slow as I want to. It is wonderful. I have been afraid of sewing for years and avoided it since my childhood. It is so good to be creating and making things that I want to. Isn’t this machine gorgeous?
I found two lovely hand cranks. This 1954 Singer 99K and also a 1957 Singer 15K-80. Charlie has used the 15K-80 to sew himself a felt quilt padded pouch for his new lap top that is too big for his old computer bag. We went to the Hen House on the east side of the state and met a lovely group of ladies that were quilting. One explained to Charlie how to do a “french seam” and he did it for his first piece. I didn’t pay any attention to them as I was more focused on sewing a regular seam somewhat straight and not my fingers included. I thought he could show off if he wanted to.
I did get several other sewing machines as well. Five all total. I already showed you and told you about the 1926Singer 31-15 treadle. She is an industrial sewing machine. I also got a 1941 Singer 66 treadle. I will use these two once I want to go faster than my hand cranks allow.
Last but not least, I got a 1949 Singer 15-91 electric for when I want to go really fast. All told I bought five vintage Singer machines and have plans to get my sewing, weaving, and spinning nook sorted soon. Currently they are spread out all over the place and it looks like a fiber and sewing shop exploded in the house.
Good News: we finally located my brand new never been used Juki Serger and the box of all the threads. We haven’t been able to locate it in the storage units or semi for the last two years. I was convinced that it was in a specific storage unit which was the only one of our units that was broken into last fall. I was correct and it was in that unit but was not stolen thank goodness. It was just very well buried and hidden….enough so that in about 4-5 trips both Charlie and I couldn’t find it. It is found now so more progress and learning is on my horizon.
Goat Kidding Spring Season was in May. We had five kids total born this May, with three being sold to new homes. Fall Kidding season is about upon us. I have several goats getting ready to kid at the end of August and into September. Sweet Pea had a single doe in June and it was a hard one for her. Her milk didn’t come in as good as it should have and the doe kid was very weak. I was out there when she delivered so I sat with the kid wrapped in a towel zipped inside my carhart for hours.
She was so weak she would have died had I not taken her into the house for two days. She is now fat, sassy and running around every where. A blue eyed blue pinto roan off one of my best does. Her name is Aileen, which is Gaelic for “sunbeam”. She is Sweet Pea’s last kid as we will be retiring her and finding her a pet home for her golden years.
All the llamas that we gave away have all come back to the ranch. We decided to get two of them back around Thanksgiving and let the other two go for good. However, those two also recently came back to the ranch. All of them we think may well be pregnant. So we are watching them as certain ones are getting rather plump and heavy.
It has been very busy here on the ranch. Trees coming down, walls going up, flowers being planted, weeds being dug up, goats coming and going, llamas coming back. So much activity.
I have started to learn how to sew with a vintage hand crank machine. I did my first quilt bit that I made to be a pad under the dog’s water dish for drips. I have been spinning. Finally I have made three scarves with the Broomstick stitch in Crochet. I had planned on doing that several years ago but moving state and injuries got me side tracked a bit. Now that stitch is super fun! I have woven for the first time with a bulky weight single ply as my warp and silk hankies shredded and used for weft. There has been so much going on I forgot to tell you all about it. I know that this is a feeble catch up for so many months of silence but I will do better as I am able to put in more computer time. Off for now…..
I have finished Module Five yarn, set the twist, photographed it and wove a circle weaving with it. This module was supposed to focus on mastery. Specifically mastering a spinning technique spun previously, showing several variations in small yardage skeins. I did not find the module enjoyable because I personally hate doing small yardages, samples and other assorted test your technique stuff that many people do. I personally find it annoying and a waste of time as I tend to want to just get on with a project and spin or weave.
Since I have been focusing a lot on Spiral techniques in this course, I decided to spin 4 variations of a spiral yarn. In order to really show off the technique, I still followed my previous outline which was using the same commercial prepared combed top preparation of 15.5 Micron Merino wool in white.
All the photos have the basic spiral, extreme spiral, beaded spiral and super coil core spun style spiral in that order from left to right.
I spun a basic spiral, a extreme spiral holding one ply with tighter tension to create more spiraling, a beaded spiral with a silk thread and freshwater pearls, and a super coil almost core spun version of a spiral.
I accidentally did the super coil core spun sort in a different module but this time wanted to do it on purpose and see if I could over come the original design problem of so much twist that the yarn was coarse feeling and darker in color. When I spun this super coil core spun sort of version this time, I did keep the softness and loftiness of the merino fiber as well as the white color and I just loved it.
I am finding that with each module I have a large amount of yarn spun up that I don’t use in the final project weaving. I think that I will be weaving some circular and square wall hangings as I have had requests for more baby room wall art, as well as some scarves and maybe shawls. You will find those on my shop on Etsy.com so keep an eye out for Alba Ranch’s shop and some new projects.
I got my Fibery Goodness Module One Yarn done quite a while ago but never managed to post it or photos up here. I used a 15.5 micron combed top of white merino. I have it for sale in the shop in 2, 4, 8 and 16 ounce lots. I included a link above directly to the 8 ounce listing. It was a pure dream to spin and I have not allowed myself to spin it until this course.
I enjoyed it so much that I decided to spin all the modules using the same combed prepared top and see how it goes doing 7 different yarns with the same fiber and prep. I am going out of my comfort zone on this particular course to spin with direction and precision and learn new techniques rather than spin my easy go to yarns.
Having said all that, the first module’s task was to spin your “go to yarn,” so I did. For me that “go to yarn” is a 2 ply that has some thick and thin qualities but is mostly balanced. I pre draft the combed top into manageable lengths and widths by separating the combed top. I spin it in a short forward draw on my Majacraft Little Gem 1. I don’t ply too heavily with my Country Spinner 2 and still managed to give it some woolen characteristics instead of it being a straight worsted yarn. The prep is worsted and supposedly short forward draw is a worsted spinning technique but my yarn always comes out semi woolen. I have no idea how I do it but there you go.
The resulting yarn is very soft, squishy and a joy to touch. I think that I will be weaving a scarf, hat and maybe shawl for myself out of these module yarns as I no longer have anything that is pure white. Everything I made from white fiber in the past has sold in the shop.