Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Big Toe Blemish

I fell over the corner of the flower bed right before Memorial Day weekend. I was rushing around trying to load the spinning wheel and go visit and spin at the yarn shop. Some how I ripped my big left toe. I have no idea what it ripped on, but I had to have 12 stitches on the back of the toe. The toe is still healing and the stitches are out. The stitches were done with blue thread! The most pain was the needle between the toes to deaden the nerves!!!!!!!!!!! I have used all of my sympathy up, so I can't complain and wine any longer.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I have been adding many items onto my website. It has taken me 6 months longer than I wanted, but it is a new web host and I had to learn all over how to walk and talk. I still have many items not listed and I will add them as fast as I can do so. Have you checked out my website lately? Let me know what you think. http://www.custercottage.com
Recent Project:
I died a roving of Merino wool with pink. I knotted the roving up which allowed some the wool to receive a stronger dye solution than other parts of the roving. I blended up various shades of this pink wool with a little hot pink cotton. When I spun the yarn, the hot pink lumped a little, which is what I intended. Even though this was beautiful in one ply, or another ply the same, I had to do something different. I used a thick bubblegum pink nylon thread as the ply. This added a lot of shine to the yarn and unified the varied pinks.
Even though the pinks went well together, putting a solid color as a ply helps the yarn seem more together and less diverse. I have included a couple of pictures of my yarn. What do you think of it???

Monday, June 1, 2009

Fabric and Wool Combination

When I first learned to spin, I wanted to incorporate fabric into the wool which would allow me to make matching garments. If I made a yellow cardigan sweater with a yellow fabric print, I could make a fabric print shirt with the same material and it would match. I tried spinning with fabric and wool, the fabric swallowed the wool so all one could see was fabric. I have knitted and crocheted with wool and fabric using 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch fabric along with a strand of homespun or novelty yarn. This works very well. It took a little practice to find out what dimensions worked best for me. I also found that gluing the ends with washable glue worked very well. Tieing the ends is also fine, but the garment will not lay smoothly.

I have seen fabric spun with wool , but it is usually lumped here and there on the wool. I do not like that look. I have also seen fabric spun alone and it needs a lot of twist and it is hard to use without catching on the hooks in the spinning wheel. I finally found a method of spinning with fabric and wool that isn't too lumpy. What I found that works, is to spin a 1/2" piece of fabric for about 10-12 inches, using a lot of twist. Then add some wool and it catches onto the fabric. If you can keep this momentum going, you will have fabric and wool spun at the same time. The end product does not go into my orifice very well, so I was hand winding it onto the bobbin. I also had to set the twist with water and a water bottle weight. Pictures of the yarn are in this post. What do you think?

Comparison pictures:

The knitting with the fabric and yarn together looks more uniform. In the other sample, the spinning takes more time to spin and is a little lumpier, but my sparkles from the Angelina fibers show up more.