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Barbara's Blog - Buying More Goodies Again

Just when you think you have more than enough of everything, you see something else you would like. My first purchase was carded Sari Silk which I had been trying to find for ages. It arrived in a huge carded sheet of glorious colours. I couldn't resist having a little spin straight away, and it was incredibly easy to spin really finely. I haven't got any plans for it yet. It would probably look just as good and go further, plied with a plain coloured wool. I'm not even sure what to make with it yet.

The next item was some acrylic space printed tops in Cerise and Peacock. This also spins up very easily. I think it would be  particularly good for socks, although as I have 200gms, it might stretch to a lacy shawl.

The 3rd item was the most exciting as it was fibre made from recycled white plastic milk bottles. It was incredibly cheap too at just over £1 for 100 gms. Some was lovely and soft and fluffy and other parts were 1" wide concertina'd scoops that needed a bit of teasing out into the fluffy stuff. I carded this up on hand carders and it spins up fine and lovely and soft. I think this is what they make fleece jumpers and things out of so should be really warm. I think this would blend very well with other fibres. It would be wonderful for baby clothes or people with delicate skin, although I am not sure whether it would be absorbent, which might be an issue. I can't wait to spin up enough to make something with it.

I was reading one of the other members' Blogs earlier in the week and she was creating some tops from her cardings by pulling her fibre through a hole in a button. I came up with what I hope might be another useful idea, for an alternative to a Diz (which I don't possess), and used my needle guage. Now this is something most of us have in our kit, and you can choose which size hole you want to use. I tried it on the sheet of carded sari silk and I now have several balls of tops which is much neater and manageable. I think you would get a really good neater result with carded wool.

I've been busy with the weaving as well.Some of the items will have to wait till next blog as I forgot to photograph them.

Needless to say I am enjoying trying out new and more difficult things with the PickStick on my Rigid Heddle Loom.

This scarf seems to be everyone's favourite because of the choice of colours.  It was another plaid using inexpensive acrylic from the local Post Office. This pic is of work in progress. Must take another of finished item.

 I have been stuck for a knitting project since finishing the shrug type lacy cardigan I was making. Photo next time? It has just been too cold to try it on. I'm such a cold mortal.

I also finished the red scarf made from cobweb thickness red yarn with silver threads running through it. I've tried to find the pattern again to let you know what it was called, but of course I can't find it now, despite going through all the knitting mags. It has a random pleated texture created by picking up stitches from previously knitted rows on the wrong side. I then sewed on pearls at random. I did find that it was a problem trying to stop the hem that runs down the length from curling under all the time.

I am currently working on the Ruff Shawl from the December 2010 Yarnforward. It is supposed to be in white, but I didn't have a large amount of white 1 ply, so have used black instead. Having done quite a bit of it now I think that I may run out of black, in which case I will have to make the cabled lace edge in the white and do a couple of rows of black to finish it off. It will be unusual I suppose.

I got the upright spinning wheel out yesterday - the first time for several months, and was amazed at how much easier it is to treadle than the Ashford. It's much noisier though. Maisie showed a tiny bit of interest in it and then went back to sleep, so the noise obviously doesn't upset her.

I will finish this now and then go and have a look at some more of your blogs. Barbara





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Comment by Peggy Stuart on February 17, 2011 at 6:49am
I have to practice spinning!
Comment by cherylbwaters on February 16, 2011 at 5:31pm
Peggy, I was thinking more along the lines of any excuse to spin!
Comment by Peggy Stuart on February 16, 2011 at 4:33pm
Cheryl, you found me out! Any excuse to practice!
Comment by Debra Phifer on February 16, 2011 at 9:48am
Oh such pretty fiber. Your weaving is very pretty. It's color is vibrant and joyful. My great niece would love it all pink and purple.
Comment by cherylbwaters on February 15, 2011 at 10:21am

Barbara, I would love to have the names of the sites, but I'm not in any hurry.

Peggy, even if your yarn was "perfect" you would still say you need practice just so you would have an excuse to spin. As if being relaxing isn't enough of an excuse.

Comment by Peggy Stuart on February 15, 2011 at 6:14am
What a fun blog, and how beautiful your spinning is! Mine is getting better all the time, but I still need lots of practice!
Comment by Barbara Longley on February 15, 2011 at 2:56am
If interested, I will give you names of sites where I bought my unusual stuff from. They are well worth a browse to see what is available now. They even do a yarn from crab's shell!! Also milk, soya, bamboo, banana, nettles and many more. Most of my suppliers do a wide range of synthetics and blends. I think they would sell to outside the UK. The recycled milk bottles might still be a good purchase if you bought a fairly substantial amount, being as it is so cheap in the first place. If I could find my missing Teach Yourself Visually Hand Dying book I would see what it says about dyeing acrylics.  Barbara
Comment by cherylbwaters on February 14, 2011 at 1:29pm
Barbara, I absolutely love your suri silk. It is beautiful. I had no idea that acrylic was available for spinning. I understand it is impossible to dye yourself. The colorway you got is beautiful. And plastic milk cartons! How interesting. What a wonderful idea to use your needle gauge as a diz. Your weaving and knitting is beautiful as always. I look forward to seeing you in the cardigan. Hope you are staying warm and that the weather is beginning to give you a break!

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