UndyedYarnpire’s Fiber Opera

April 29, 2008

Knitting in the Comics

Filed under: Uncategorized — UndyedYarnpire @ 9:21 pm

I do not like knitting for other people because I am afraid that it always looks like this:


it is from here:


April 27, 2008

yarn and fiber (week googolplex)

Filed under: dye, fiber, spin — Tags: , — UndyedYarnpire @ 2:50 pm

I finished spinning and plying the first 8-ounce pack from CMF. I started with my least favorite color out of the ones I bought and it came out amazing. I am including a photo that shows the yarn and the fiber, obviously that is from earlier. Today’s photos ranged from over-exposed to under-exposed, so I picked the one where the spinning and plying looked the best.

last week . . . . . . . . .  this week

yarn yarn

I almost went to the Color thing in Berkeley over the weekend. I had no good reason for not going. I did not believe them when they said there was free parking on campus. Nor did I believe them when they said it was walking distance from the BART station. But I could have found a solution. I even had food ideas for the area. Some of what kept me from going was the hassle of bringing my wheel anywhere, but I do not own a real drop spindle. That meant I was not going to participate in any of the classes. There were four vendors listed and I have seen two of them without being impressed with the quality::price ratio. I would have pushed myself if the Royal Hare people were going to be there.

And I have useful guidance for other people about pre-drafting. The first is that there are tools for fiber handling, but if you are starting from combed top, they do not really add anything. The second is after laboriously spreading and pulling fiber into snakes of barely defined air, do not wind them into balls. There is no way to use the ball of fiber. One might coil the fiber. Or one might accordion fold the fiber. But unlike balls of yarn used while knitting, a ball of fiber does not do anything but pull apart when the outer end is pulled. Pulling from the center of the ball gives tufts of fiber akin to pulling Kleenexes from the box.


I need a scale to estimate how much fiber this is. The pre-drafted fiber is enormous. Here is about half of the fiber. I have a second tub that looks just like this.


April 22, 2008

Caveman needs club.

Filed under: fiber, spin — Tags: , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 8:34 pm

I was wondering what other people do when the wool fiber they have purchased has become compressed during shipping or storage.

I usually divide into portions from the compressed state and “pre-draft” them. I am not entirely sure what other people mean by pre-drafting either.

Let us start with an example. I received a 4m length of fiber as a club shipment (it is the March Spunky Club, called something like ‘mud bath’ or ‘muddy waters’ or something (but I have lost the tag and I do not care) and yes I know the caption is wrong) assuming I am going to try to keep the plying matched by color, I would divide vertically into two strips. Each of these strips would be spread sideways into a 4m 6-8 inch wide ribbon. Then the ribbon would be pulled along its length adding a half-inch to every inch or so. This nets a 6-8m long, mostly round, snake of fiber which is almost all air. That is a long length to deal with effectively, but I have trouble keeping the ends in the correct order if there get to be too many pieces.

With the CMF thumb-width roving, I pulled it into quarters horizontally (the way you would normally cut something in half that is long and skinny). I attempted to spin directly from the roving but was having multiple breaks in the single. I then pre-drafted the rest in batches, though since I was not attempting to keep the color banding synched I could work with shorter lengths.

I have been thinking that it would be nice if there were tools for the pre-drafting.

April 20, 2008

roving eye dye

Filed under: dye, fiber — Tags: , — UndyedYarnpire @ 4:13 pm

My dye project from last week, which was supposed to be tri-color: gray, blue-green, blue-purple has not turned out so closely to what I envisioned. However since I like pastels and the variegation on this is pleasant and there is no felting, I am rather pleased. This is BFL from Spunky Eclectic, but if I am going to dye this amount of fiber regularly, I need a bulk source.

dyed fiber

finished yarns

Filed under: spin — Tags: — UndyedYarnpire @ 4:08 pm

I have several completed yarn pictures to share:
Royal Hare SW Merino “Napa Nutmeg” bought at Stitches West 2008 from Froggy Moon Fibers (which is why the fiber photo says that, I read it from the receipt, not the label.) 2-ply worsted
yarn yarn
Ashland Bay Merino “Pinedale” bought at Stitches West from Carolina Homespun 2-ply DK/worsted
Crown Mountain Farms BFL “Twelfth Planet” from CMF during the sale. 2-ply DK. 290 yards/4oz.
yarn yarn

April 17, 2008

dye job blown

Filed under: dye — Tags: — UndyedYarnpire @ 2:47 pm

I have half of one of the lumps of CMF BFL spun and plied. I have taken pictures, but that will likely be another post. I have several finished yarns to show off and inserting pictures is cumbersome.

However, lest you think this is yet another contentless post, I wanted to talk about my dye experiment. I am pretty sure I am not doing this right. Yesterday I bought plastic tubs for dyeing. Today I folded up some roving and nestled it into the bin. Then I added acidified water. I added dye from the dye liquid (I added near boiling water to the dye pot the previous time, as is recommended by the manufacturer.) using a plastic fork. I did this with all three colors (using clean forks) in a tri-color flag arrangement (so each color is in its own band and they do not repeat.) However, the color was not effectively taken up by the wool. The dye bath remained colored (though there was very little bleeding.) I added more wool. The colors got a little muddled when I was trying to squish in the new wool which was not pre-wetted. Finally after waiting about 10 minutes, I poured off the dye bath into a second tub and looked at the wool. The reason the dye bath was not clear is because one of the colors did not take. I added some fresh water and poured the dye bath back over it. That way if the bath was too acidic, it might get better. I put it out in the sun because sunlight helps dye uptake which seems counter-intuitive since sunlight bleaches finished things.

I will take pictures of that. Here is hoping I did not felt the roving as much this time. I am going to be happy with pastel colored roving I made but I would like for the wool to be nice to work with, unlike the previous experiment’s results.

Still. I did something new after mostly failing the first time. Next time I will try for a single color, because I can add more acid or some base if the color is not uptaking correctly, but when one is and the others are not, the choice becomes difficult.

April 12, 2008

Picture Post

Filed under: fiber — Tags: — UndyedYarnpire @ 10:00 am

Crown Mountain Farms BFL thumb-width roving (bought during the sale)

The colors, in order, “Eire” “Twelfth Planet” “Black Sun” “Stonehenge”

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