Summer Wrap-Up

Or, A Very Big Post

Now that summer is officially over, let’s get back to the monthly wrap-up posts, shall we? This summer was a bit of a bust as far as knitting goes. I got lots of other non-fibery projects done though, and enjoyed a lovely summer with family and friends, so I count it as a success all the way around! Here’s the summary:

I did no knitting at all on the True Blood Faery sweater. The current status is that I have the main body done and blocked, and I’ve started on a sleeve.

I knit about an inch on the current sock in progress. It just seemed to want to stay in hibernation.

I am nearly done with that Electric Blue High School Graduation Baby Mystery Project. I’m on the edging, about 6 rows to go, but those rows currently are at 592 stitches, and getting bigger every time around.

I spun up several skeins of yarn.

I started doing natural dyeing. Here’s the latest:

These were dyed with chopped dried madder root. The top yarn is handspun Romney, from a sheep named Rainbow, that was a gift from Dorothy* last year. I spun it up into a two ply right after she gave it to me, and it went into the stash. I was looking for something else to toss into the dye pot and found this, it was spun undyed. The roving is BFL, about 4 ounces. The color is pretty accurate, at least on my monitor.

After I pulled those out of the dye pot, I decided that there might be some color left, so tossed in the skein of rhubarb-mordanted Perendale wool that was in the August CSA box, along with 4 ounces of a BFL-Silk blend. Here’s how it came out.

That’s also pretty accurate, it’s a pale peach color. I haven’t quite decided if I like it or not, but I can always over-dye it next time I have the right color dye pot going.

Project Details:

Fiber: Two skeins of Romney wool, handspun by yours truly, 4 ounces of BFL roving, one skein of local California wool, and 4 ounces of BFL-silk roving

Mordant: The peach wool was mordanted by Birdsong from the CSA with rhubarb. I did the rest with an alum/cream of tartar mordant. I used about a 10% alum mordant solution

Dye: Chopped madder root. There was about 230 grams of the madder, I would definitely use more if you wanted to dye this much fiber and have it all come out red.

What I Learned: As the dye pot exhausts, the color changes. Duh. Madder is treated a little differently than the fennel. For one thing, it doesn’t stink like the fennel, I did this in the house without any problems. From what I read, if you cook the madder too hot or too rapidly, it will turn more orangey than red.

Here’s another summer thing. I bought a new spindle! This is sort of an early birthday present for myself. I’ve been looking at Golding spindles for a long time, and finally saw one that had my name stamped all over it.

Do you want a close up of the top? Of course you do!

Pretty, eh? The Scottish thistle is in honor of our next big adventure. We leave for Scotland** next week for a couple of weeks. I can’t wait! When I saw this up for sale on the Golding website, I knew it had to be for me.

OK, a quick list of September fiber goals and I’m out of here, or I’ll be late for church. I’m not getting very ambitious since I’ll be gone much of the time.

Finish the baby thing.

Finish those red socks.

Read books.

Enjoy the vacation.

That’s it. I’ll try to do one more post before we go, since we had a very special visitor last week that I’d like to tell you about!

*The wool was the gift, not the sheep.

**As usual, for you stalkers thinking you can steal my yarn while we’re gone, we have a house-sitter. She brings her llamas to guard the wool, so don’t even think about it.


Summer Wrap-Up — 7 Comments

  1. LOVE the red yarn, and the spindle is awesome!

    Wow, a couple of weeks in Scotland – now that’s a vacation. Have a wonderful time – I can’t wait to hear about it!

    Happy Labor Day.

  2. OH, I’m so happy to hear you’re headed to Scotland – and a bit envious, too, of course. πŸ™‚ Everything is looking wonderful – what a great colour you got with the madder root.

  3. I am IN LOVE with your new spindle πŸ™‚ Going to Scotland sounds like a grand idea, I hope you have a fabulous time.

    I love the beautiful red you got from your dye pot πŸ™‚