Oh no ewe didn’t

This is a dramatization of actual events in my household today, starting with a typical exchange in which I ask my husband if any mail arrived.

“Did we get any good mail today?”
“No, just the usual.”

*** hours pass; hubs comes to me with a package ***

“This came for you.”
“You told me nothing good came.”
“I forgot.”

Of course, this has me wondering whether there’s a stash of forgotten packages somewhere in this house.

Anyway… the package contained prezzies from a faraway land, from my friend Ewenique.

Gifts from Ewe

We have a very pretty Christmas card, some chocolates, a tea strainer (because this American barbarian didn’t own one), sticky notes, wee note cards, crane scissors (just like my grandmother’s, you have no idea how special this is!), beautiful cotton yarn, and a pair of gorgeous handmade bags. I love bags. Thank you so much, Ewenique!

I have to do these pictorials whenever Ewenique sends me something, because they’re so thoughtfully put together and really fun to touch and look at. I am truly fortunate to have a friend like her. :)

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Thing-a-Week #40

I said I was trying to use up my stash yarns, and I wasn’t lying. Behold, another woven scarf!

Thing a Week #40: Another Woven Scarf

I went with a sport-weight yarn this time for the warp: Three Irish Girls Kells Sport Merino, colorway “Sedona.” The purples in this yarn just begged for another deep purple for the weft, so I used Valley Yarns 8/2 Tencel in “Amethyst.”

Thing a Week #40: Another Woven Scarf

This time I practiced my weft spacing, shooting for 12 epi, which I think turned out well. However, the merino was super-duper stretchy, making it difficult to control warp tension and resulting in a slight waviness. Almost looks intentional, though, so I’m not going to complain.

In other news, I picked up a new Rasmussen 4-shaft table loom last night. I still love my rigid heddle, but this loom will give me a chance to practice some interesting patterns.

Rasmussen table loom

Beauty, eh?

Thing-a-Week #39

Switching gears, I hopped back on my loom and wove me a new scarf.

Thing a Week #39: Woven Scarf

The warp is Arucania Ranco Multy, a wool/nylon blend, hand-dyed in rich browns. The weft is Valley Yarns 8/2 Tencel in “Spice,” a nice deep red. The scarf measures 7 in. wide by around 6 ft. long. I also decided to twist the fringe (including strands of the tencel with the warp yarn), which I’m rather pleased with.

Thing a Week #39: Woven Scarf

If I had to do it over again, I’d not pack my weft in as much. I’m not thrilled at how much the red overpowers the brown, and the weft is a little uneven. Still, it turned out pretty well.

I’m off for a couple of weeks, so I hope to use up some of my stash yarns just practicing my weaving. Wish me luck!

Thing-a-Week #38

Continuing on from last week, I spun up the fiber I prepared for last week’s Thing. I wanted to do a comparison of woolen vs. worsted spinning, hence the separate prep of batt and sliver. Woolen is on the left and worsted is on the right:

Thing a Week #38: Handspun

What you’re seeing here is a true woolen yarn and a true worsted yarn. The woolen was spun from a carded batt using the long-draw technique, which results in an airy, warm yarn. The worsted was spun from combed sliver using an “inch-worm” techique, which results in a smoother, stronger yarn. The difference is hard to see, however: the CVM fiber I’m using is really probably more suited to the woolen technique and never got really smooth. Still, you can see in the following closeup that the right sample (worsted) is slightly smoother than the left (woolen):

Thing a Week #38: Handspun

Both samples are really springy and softer than I expected. It was an interesting experiment. And I still have several pounds of the CVM left!

Thing-a-Week #37

Back in September I bought 3 CVM fleeces from a farm up north: one white and two variegated. I did actually manage to wash two of them within weeks of getting them (which, come to think of it, could’ve each been a Thing, had I been doing Things at the time), and this week I started working with one of them. Here’s it is, a varigated CVM from an animal named Buster Ram:

CVM fleece - "Buster Ram"

I decided to do both carded and combed samples, to see how the wool behaves when spun. Here is some of the wool loaded on my English combs. To the left is my drum carder, which I had just used to make a batt. In the bin are the locks I was working with.

Combing CVM fleece

Hand carding and combing can actually be quite time-consuming. By the end of this excercise I had only two ounces of fiber to play with, one in a carded batt and one in several combed slivers. The fiber is a bit neppy, on account of me starting with some of the back and neck fleece, which tends to be somewhat tender and short. We’ll just call it rustic. The staples themselves went from dove gray at the cut end through white to cream at the tips, resulting in a light tan color overall when blended. It’s really very nice.

Thing a Week #37: Fiber

I had hoped to finish this week’s Thing by spinning these, going woolen with the batt and worsted with the sliver (two methods of spinning that result in different finished yarns), but I ran out of time. That just leaves me more to do next week!