Thursday, May 15, 2008

That's what 1 kg Cotswold looks like!

No, not them, for the Cotswold you'll have to scroll down.
Yesterday it was rainy and - not warm (I would not say cold, it was perfect for me). Today we have a wonderful sunny day (it's not over yet). We drove to a garden center, which is a bit out of the way, but I don't want to buy my flowers at the grocery store, or Home Depot, or Canadian Tire or some such. We've been to this garden center several times over the past years. They have a nice place there, adding each year to make it more wonderful. It's like a park, and today I spyed these blue sheep! Who would NOT see them? Aren't they gorgeous out in the green? While there, it's always hard to pick plants for my flower beds, because they have so many, and even when the cart is full, it looks measly compared to what they have. When we sort it into the van, I'm astonished that it's full, and not a single plant more would fit. Then, after arriving home, it hits me, because now I have to plant them all, as soon as possible. And so I did. Now I'm deliciously tired, and feel good about it. It's not worth taking pictures yet, but once they have grown some, I might. I don't use garden gloves, and my hands are rough, and in need of some hand cream, or I might not be able to spin, or knit tonight. But I have to feel the dirt, it's grounding, it's calming.

I started spinning 1kg (or 35 ounces) of Cotswold back in March. I spun it in it's natural state, and dyed the finished skeins, as they came available, except for the last one, which I left naturally. I've got the fiber from Wild Geese Enterprise (link on the side bar, too tired to link-a-tink). It was well prepared, not a lot of vegetable matter in it at all. It was a pleasure to spin, from start to finish. What took me so long to finish it all was, that I had to wait for a Lazy Kate for my Kromski bobbins, which are larger than the Ashford ones, and did not fit the Lazy Kate I have for those.
The natural color is creme/grey, and I like the lighter, and darker parts in the same skeins. It made dyeing them interesting too. I like all of them except the purple one. I dyed this one with Easter egg color, but the people who put this together had a different idea of purple than I do. It was more red than anything. I kept it for a while, not happy at all. Then I decided to overdye it with blue, and it is purple now, but it did not take the color evenly, so the red shows through in some places.
But I love the dark blue, and the cornflower blue, and both greens, which are different, and even the rich red, I love them all.
Since I don't know what the heck I'm going to do with it, I left the last skein natural just in case I'll need to dye it in a color I already have, but not enough off.
The finished yarn is a little overtwisted, which is not my fault, but the Lazy Kate was too tight, and I think the way I did navajo ply it, got too much twist in it too. I've since spun, and plied another fiber, and have changed my way of navajo plying a little, and it turned out perfect.
The skeins are all different yardage. But altogether they are about 1730 yds. The yarn feels a little like kitchen string, not soft at all, but it has a nice sheen to it. It feels heavy in the hand, and I don't have any idea what to do with it yet. I don't have to use them all together. This project was more to experience spinning with natural fiber, than anything else. I've included the picture of all the skeins, made with flash, because it shows the sheen really well.
After I've filled all 11 bobbins I have, there was already one finished skein. It was fun seeing them all get filled up. Plying was not so much fun, rather boring.
My creation
I adore cornflower blue! And I love the picture with the green and the blue skein on the natural fiber. :o) To see them bigger, click on the mosaic, and click on the individual pictures.
This morning, everything was still wet from last nights rain, but the sun was out, and we had fun just being outside. We brushed the dogs every day for the last three days, and we've got three shopping bags full of white hair, and they still have some left on them! :o)

Biko's up to no good, and Sam's just happy to be reunited with his Jolly ball, simple pleasure!


Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

I also love to visit a garden center. That and the farmers markets have become my "malls" and were I love to shop. The spinning and dying is stunning. I'll be curious what you make - maybe a checked throw? The colors are so good together. I'm sure the yarn will soften when washed.

lookinout said...

Lovely looking colours! You're always on the go and into something, &n I always watch for your posts.

Anonymous said...

It looks like you had a lot of fun with the dyes. I do like the purple one. Of course the blue and the green together look very rich. Sam looks like he really loves that jolly ball!

Angelika said...

That's a lot of spinning going on. It looks really nice in the natural color. I could imagine something in colorwork, since they are all the same fiber.

Kelley said...

Wow! You've been busy! I'm sure you'll put that yarn to good use. It's very pretty. I also really like the picture of the green and blue on the natural fiber.

I spoke with one of the owners of a local garden center. He was very bitter toward the big stores, because their prices put him out of business. I hate to see things like that happen!

Kris said...

Those are some nice looking blue sheep:).

Wow, 1730 yards, that's amazing!

I love the colors you got from dyeing. I think the blue and green are my favorites to, but that's not surprising I'm usually a blue green person.

Have fun watching your garden grow.

Frieda said...

You have been busy ! No grass growing beneath your feet (sorry couldn't resist ) . Love all your spun yarn , but I'm really partial to the red skein . Nice work !

The Kelly Green Rogue said...

the colors are so rich! beautiful!

Viktoria said...

Your yarn looks beautiful! I need to get back in front of my spinning wheel!

Jill said...

Such striking colors! I love it!

Sharon said...

Gorgeous - absolute eye candy. Weave with it!

hakucho said...

Lots of beautiful yarn! Happy Knitting :)

sgeddes said...

I was starting to miss seeing the crew. They look like they are enjoying the nice weather and getting ahold of the jolly ball.

Those colors look great. I'm looking forward to trying dying sometime.

Life's a Stitch said...

Looks like you spun that yarn right from those sheep.

shannon said...

you know, we started brushing josie every single day and her skin has gotten much better.

the sheep are brilliant!!!

hope you have a lovely day...always

Hannahknits said...

Wow, I love the colors of the yarn you made. Beautiful.

I hope to see a picture of your garden soon.

T-Mom said...

You're so lucky--the garden scene is dire here in Forgottonia. *sigh*

I stopped at the farm store to see if they had any good plants (they didn't), but I did get Timber a new jolly ball. His old one was not just flat, it actually had holes where pieces had fallen out. Taenzer kept trying to snitch it, since it's new, but he wasn't having any of that!

Gloria Patre said...

I'm SO impressed!! That's a LOT of yardage!! Looks like I wasn't the only one on a plying marathon!! I think the purple one with red bits will knit up fabulous! Just wait and see! You've done a beautiful job!! Congratulations!!

2paw said...

The colours of the wool are so beautiful but I especially love the green!!
Lucky Sam!! Harki found an old ball on a rope today and there have been tugs of war!! I am sure Biko is always up to good!!!

Violiknit said...

Such beautiful yarns! Love those blue sheep too; happy gardening!