Posts Tagged “Dyeing”

Sorry for the unannounced hiatus from the blog everyone. I’ve been off from work since last Wednesday, don’t have to go back until tomorrow, and apparently decided somewhere along the line that my time off included time off from the blog. Whoops.

I hope those of you that celebrated had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We had a very nice day. My parents came here and spent the night so there was much cooking and fussing that first day I had off from work. Thankfully everything turned out ok including the turkey (thank you Boston Market on that one!), even if my pies looked terrible, and everyone was more than adequately fed. I do believe my parents enjoyed themselves, even if my Mom found it weird to be sitting down and relaxing on a holiday (I refuse to let her do it all any more when we are here for a holiday. It makes no sense.)! Mom’s dog Sandy even took the opportunity to show off her NJ appropriate attire.

Devil dog

How can you not love that?! ;) I was also very happy to find out that she has now decided to start wearing her sweater that I made for her earlier this year. :-D She may need another one methinks.

Besides, Thanksgiving, I’ve been getting some much needed rest and still managing to check things off the lengthy “to do” list I made for myself before the holiday. I’m starting to feel the holiday knitting crunch though. We’ll be going up to NY to celebrate my Mom’s birthday and Christmas with my folks on Dec. 13th, so my deadline approaches! The good news is that one item is finished. The bad news is that one is not and another just got started. Oye. But I guess the other good news is that I will have more blog fodder shortly when I can actually show you some FOs!

In the meantime, I can finally share another secret project that’s been going on here at Chez Zarzuela. A while back, Yvonne asked me if I’d be willing to dye a special colorway for the current round of Secret Pal! I was very excited to do so and after a bit of trial and error came up with this:

stary night skeins

The colorway is called “Stary Night”, inspired by the Van Gogh painting of the same name. And yes people, that’s yarn! Merino/tencel to be exact. But don’t worry, there’s fiber too.

stary night roving

Each bump of fiber will also be packed with 1 oz. of angelina (or firestar) to spin in with it as the spinner pleases. I’m very happy with how this all turned out. Big thanks to Yvonne for thinking of me when they were looking for a dyer!

So expect to see hand dyed yarn appearing in my etsy shop sometime in the future (probably after the first of the year). If there’s anything in particular you’d like to see me offer, let me know!

Also, for all those of you making your lists for Santa, check out the announcement for the very first Zarzuela’s Fibers Fiber Club! You’ll find a listing on etsy and a description in the Ravelry group as well. :)

So enough with the shameless self promotion! ;) More fiber content next time! And it won’t take a week. Promise! ;)

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Thanks for all the commiseration with my sock machine woes of the last post. Thanks also to those of you that pointed out the Houdini Socks. I’ve only glanced at the article/pattern so far, but it looks promising. I never would have seen it otherwise, so thank you!

I have yet to touch the sock machine again since last weekend. I know they say the older you get the faster the time goes, but I never thought it could be *this* true. I have no idea where the weekend went. We were cleaning for Thanksgiving, we went shopping, I did some dyeing (which I hope to show you soon) and then all of the sudden I was getting up for work! Huh?!? Guess it’s just going to be that kind of end of the year around these parts.

So it looks like this will be a post of many random things. I hope you’re ready because here it goes!

Random thing the first. My Dad went to Argentina recently by way of Chile. I asked him to bring me home an alpaca.

alpaca patch

He got close. ;)

Random thing the second. I finally got to wear my Annemor Gloves that I finished in the spring.

Finally got to wear them!

I’m usually far from the “matchy matchy” type but by sheer coincidence these happen to match the headband I made as my first Fair Isle project back when the first knitting olympics happened. And both these match my winter coat. HWJF tells me I’m cute. I’ll take his word for it.

Random thing the third. In between everything else I’ve got going on I’ve been working on cleaning the mohair fleece I bought at Rhinebeck.

mohair locks

I wish y’all had “Feel-o-blog” or something. It is taking quite a bit of doing to get these suckers clean but when they are? Soft and fluffy and just amazingly awesome. I can’t wait to start carding these into some sock yarn batts for the shop and myself!

Random thing the fourth. I had a local MLA chapter meeting last week and since my other knitting has too much patterning going on I decided to work a bit on my plain old stockinette socks.

I shouldn't be knitting this sock but I am.

Only the toe was done when the meeting started. I love being productive while listening to people speak, but part of me really wishes I’d been working on Christmas knitting. We will be having our Christmas with my parents early this year and I’ve only got about three weeks left to knit! EEEK!

And finally, random thing the last. I finished up another spinning order.

strawberry rhubarb yarn

Approximately 700 yards of fingering weight two ply merino yarn.

strawberry rhubarb yarn closeup

Strawberry Rhubarb Colorway. Squishy goodness. I really hope some of the folks that have been getting yarn for me will share what they’re making with it. I’m so anxious to see!

That’s about it from here. Happy Monday y’all. Think I’ll go watch me some football with the boy. :)

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It seems all my crafting these days is for someone else. Sure the holidays are coming, so it’s par for the course, but then there’s that little shop thing and well, there isn’t much time for stuff for ME! This is not a complaint, just a general longing for the day, which I know will be soon, when I can come home and settle down to work on some stuff that I’ve got floating around in my head for purely selfish purposes. I think it’s one of Murphy’s Laws that they left off.

When you must make stuff for others you will want to make stuff for yourself.

At least I don’t remember seeing that one on the list. I’m sure you can all understand me on this one.

So exactly what have I been up to? Many things that I can’t show you since they are for gifts, but some that I can because they are not, or the surprise has been ruined (we’ll get to that).

First up, after some technical assistance from HWJF I finally have gift cards for the holidays in the shop.

Holiday Gift Cards!

Available in any dollar amount. Tell your friends and family! ‘Cause who wouldn’t want the gift of fiber for the holidays?! ;) And yes, Anne, fiber club announcement coming soon! I promise! ;)

Then, do you remember the red yarn that was quite red enough? I fixed it.

wannietta handspun laceweight4

Much better. :) I got a lovely note from the customer who was quite happy with it. That always makes me feel good!

I also spun up another laceweight order. This time it was for 800 yards and I overshot it, but not by quite as much. DC Sunrise colorway (but you probably knew that).

DC sunrise lace for Linda

DC sunrise lace for linda closeup

I can’t decide if I like the black background or the white one better for these shots. Any opinions?

I’m nearly done for the next order as well. This time it’s the Strawberry Rhubarb colorway and fingering weight.

strawberry rhubarb in progress

It’s really funny. I keep feeling like I’m spinning *really* thick yarn after all that lace. At least I’ve gotten to the point that I don’t have to keep thinking about it too hard.

After this order I have one more scheduled, in DC sunrise and I’ll have filled all my current spinning orders. I certainly wouldn’t mind adding anyone to the spinning order queue, but I am looking forward to spinning for personal use again.

The next two items are kind of special. I’m sure many of you have heard about the Martha’s Vineyard Fiber Farm CSA by now. Some of the first shareholders are receiving their yarns and fibers now and they are quite lovely! Someone found my shop on Ravelry and asked me to dye their cormo/mohair blend yarn for them. Here’s the result:

Custom dyed yarn

It was lovely stuff to work with and it bloomed quite nicely as a result of the dyeing process. It’s always a little nerve wracking doing something like this just because trying to describe color in words and by e-mail could certainly lead to discrepancies. But I’m happy to report I had yet another happy customer. :) I can’t wait to see what she makes with it.

Similarly, when Deb came to me and asked me to dye some of her cormo I was equally nervous and flattered. I didn’t want to mess it up and was very happy to think that she would trust me with this precious fiber that I knew she loved so much. We had a bit of a time deciding in colors, but in the end Deb decided to draw inspiration from the farm logo. I think I got pretty darn close.

mvcolorway for deb

There are hints of pink that you can’t really see in there because of the braiding. It was a fun challenge and I’m glad it worked out so well. Can’t wait to see how it spins up Deb!!

There is more to report but let’s save it for Friday shall we? See you then!

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It’s hard to believe how much time flies around these parts lately. It seems like just about the time I catch up in one thing I’m about to be buried in a new week. I still haven’t figure out how I got this busy!

Anyway, the spin in Friday night was a ton of fun. I managed to remember I had my camera with me long enough to get a pic of the setup before we got started.

Spin in 7-11

There was definitely a wide range of equipment represented! Especially after everyone showed up.

There were some of the usual suspects and some new faces which made for a great evening. Being close to the sheep to make it all the more “real” to the passersby was nice. There was also a family with some baby bunnies which nearly melted me into a puddle of mush with their insane cuteness. Did I get a picture? Of course not! :-P

The one thing that I always love when I do public spinning is how amazed and transfixed people are by it. I always think it’s kind of funny, but then I think back to when I started spinning and *everything* about it seemed like magic. Total magic. I still find it pretty magical, just in a different way now. And I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised at the reaction. After all, we are so far removed from this process in our modern lives that many of them have never given a second thought to where their clothing comes from. And I wonder how many will actually make the connection.

I went home a bit lighter that night too. I decided to bring the rovings I had dyed for the shop with me, just to see what the reaction might be. The reaction was that I got wiped out! :) Thanks for the purchases ladies!! Here’s some of what you *won’t* be seeing in the shop in the next update (although I am going to attempt to reproduce most of these if I can):

Dyeing from 7/4

If you click over to flickr you can see close ups and the names of each of these if you’re interested.

In the meantime, I took stock of my week one spinning for the Tour de Fleece:

TdF week 1

Starting top left: Merino/nylon I dyed which I (so far) hate spinning.
Top right: Some local NJ wool from a sheep named Red. Teeswater/Tunis/Dorset cross. (I actually finished a second bobbin of this yesterday)
Bottom left: BFL I dyed for sock yarn for the shop.
Bottom right: An angora/polworth blend given to me as a birthday present from Chris. (Most of that was spun Friday night)

Not bad for a week. I definitely see some serious plying in my future.

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We had a wonderful weekend around these parts, but boy was crawling out of bed tough this morning. Luckily I didn’t have to go to work (but don’t worry, I’ll be paying for that on Saturday). I hit the dyepots pretty hard on the 4th as expected.

Dyed on 7.04.08 (1)

Dyed on 7.04.08

Some of these have already been reserved, but most will be in the next shop update. Stay tuned!

We also had a little BBQ on Sunday which I believe was a great success. We had several worlds of friends coming together, which made me a little nervous at first but seemed to work out wonderfully.


There were work friends and college friends…

BBQ (1)

And spinning friends and family…

BBQ (2)

My folks finally got to meet their grandbunny for the first time (and my Dad kept asking things like “Where’s the saddle?!” and “Where’s her pocket watch?!?”)

Dad and the itty bitty bunny

Sandy pretty much looked how I felt when it was all done…

Sandy's pooped!

But it was definitely a great time and I’m glad so many people could make it. We’re hoping it will become a yearly tradition.

Today is a day of rest for me. Rest and spinning since a certain event started this weekend.


I can’t let team plurk down!!

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A very happy Holiday wish to all those in the U.S. today as we celebrate our country’s birthday!


Since HWJF has to work today (yeah. Seriously. I really hate his company sometimes) I’ll be spending my day with these


in an attempt to get next month’s inventory for the shop started. Thanks so much to those of you who have already purchased something from me! I eventually hope to have a gallery here of what you’ve made with Zarzuela’s Fibers, so do send me pics when you get around to it. :) Some of my plurk buddies have given me some interesting new dyeing ideas, so I’m planning on having a lot of fun today.

If I’m real lucky, I may even get some time to work on this:

Smooshy won

SOS’08 Sock number two is Express Lane in DIC Smooshy. :) It’s already much further along than this pic shows. It really is a fast knit.

I hope your weekend is filled with fiber, fun and maybe even a little sock knitting too. :)

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…but a little bit to start.

The SOS’08 Cafepress store is running strong! Thanks to all that have made a purchase so far. I’ve recently added several products including Plus Size T-shirts, Notecards and Jr. Raglan T-shirts and a Tank. Go check it out if you haven’t already!

There was a small typo in the pattern that Wendy wrote for us. She was kind enough to send me a corrected file which I have uploaded to replace the old one. If you think you must have the corrected copy, you can find it at the same exact link that you were e-mail with last weekend.

When I haven’t been dealing with SOS stuff I’ve been hitting the dyepots pretty hard lately.

Dyeing drying

There’s about two pounds of fiber there. It’s mostly superwash merino with some Romney and some Wensleydale. Most of that was dyed last Friday on my day off, but I have figured out how to work dyeing into my week when I’m working too, which is a good thing indeed.

Along with the dyeing there’s been a fair amount of spinning too. I finished a second bobbin of Mocha the other night:

Mocha wool bobbin 2

And a first bobbin of more Cloverleaf BFL whose colorway I can’t seem to remember:

Bfl bobbin 1

I’m very much looking forward to doing more spinning amongst fiber folk at the Hudson River Knit and Spin (.pdf) this weekend. Who else is going to be there? Me and the Ladybug will be there spinning some freshly dyed fiber if anything dries by then.

And finally, I must admit that I am addicted to Plurk. Want to join me? I can send you an invite if you like. It’s a ton of fun. I can finally blog all the crazy little things in life without boring the audience here that might not be interested.

You know. Things like seeing a guy with bewbs tatooed to his shoulder yesterday. Yeah. Seriously.

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There are apparently several random things on my mind, so how about a Random Wednesday post?

Random thing #1 – The moon must be retrograde in the customer service house or something. Between non-delivered train tickets, hotel reservations gone astray and reimbursements from large educational institutions that never showed, it’s a wonder I have any money or sanity left lately. Is it just me?

Random thing #2 – I really hate knitting the sleeves of the Boatneck bluebell.

Crafting 365.24 - Knitting with the sick

They are done flat instead of in the round and it is driving me crazy. I’m also not ever on the right row it seems although they are coming out just like the picture. Go figure. If I wasn’t so far into the first sleeve I would rip it out and do it in the round. I don’t get why the designer chose to do things this way. The only thing I can think of is that the bell sleeve needs the support of a seam. Thoughts?

Random thing #3 – HWJF has the flu. Rather badly in fact. While being concerned for his well being I am also somewhat afraid for my own. I certainly don’t need to be coming down with it as I drive to Rhode Island next week. So far so good. I’m going heavy on the vitamin C and trying to get some good rest. Keep your fingers crossed for us both, will ya?

Random thing #4
– Since HWJF was coming down with this on Sunday we didn’t go out so I decided to hit the dye pot. I got my dye kitchen set up.

Dye kitchen

And went to work. I dyed some superwash merino that I plan on spinning and knitting into a sweater for my best friend’s first kid who should be arriving in early May. They just found out it’s a girl, so I wanted to do something with pinks and purples. Wouldn’t you know, I screwed up the first batch.

The one time I *don’t* want blue, what do I grab?

Crafting 365.23 - Dye mistake


Luckily I had more fiber so I fixed the mistake on the second batch. I just hope it’s enough fiber to make the sweater. Here’s how it came out:

Crafting 365.25 - Dyeing results

Clicky to biggie as always.

I drafted up a little bit of it and I think it’s going to work out pretty well. Here’s how the “mistake” came out:

Simba with the fiber

Simba decided the fiber couldn’t hog the spotlight alone. :) I actually really like how this came out, just wasn’t what I wanted for this particular project.

Random thing #5 – I started the hat the other night. It has a bit of a braid that was a serious PITA. No pics just yet.

I think that’s enough for today. Hope you are warm and doing fun fibery things wherever you are!

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Thank you so much to all of you who have left such nice and congratulatory comments on the last post! HWJF has read them all too and we both really appreciate it! We’ve both been musing on the fact that this blogging thing sort of makes it so that no matter where we go, it seems like we know *someone* and that is pretty darn cool. :) At this point, most of our life is off the walls and getting in boxes, navigating the floor nearly needs a road map, and the cat is starting to catch on that something is “not right” (which, of course, means the kitty version of acting out. She completely stole my pillow last night!). Internet access (and time) will be sketchy at best in the next few days (oh yeah, and did I mention that on top of this I’m training a brand new music cataloger at work?!?), so I thought I’d leave you all with this post with some pretty stuff to look at until I can get back to the blog. See you on the flip side!

There’s been a bit of finished spinning happening around these parts lately that I just haven’t gotten to share as yet. Since I joined NaSpiMoMo this month (check the left sidebar for the link) I’ve been extra motivated in the spinning department. Let’s catch up shall we?

I’ve finally spun up some of the first rovings I dyed. Remember this?

Study in blues and purple

Well it turned into this:

Study in blues

Study in blues closeup

Between the three skeins there’s about 450 yards total. The way the dyeing worked out there is much more blue in the first skein and much more purple in the last, but I think that’s kind of cool. This may grow up to be socks for HWJF if I don’t steal it for myself first. ;)

Next up is some cheviot. I hadn’t spun with this fiber until now and I liked it a lot. It’s pretty lofty and fairly soft. It’s almost like the tougher street version of merino. ;) It looked like this dyed up:


And here it is now:

Pastel cheviot

I went for a slightly thicker yarn this time then I’ve been spinning lately.

Pastel cheviot closeup

The way I drafted this made the colors a little less intense then they were out of the dye pot. It’s pretty cool how colors can change with drafting. I think this is about 200 yards. Not sure what I’ll do with it just yet.

Finally, we have the first finished spinning of 2008! This was the first thing on and off the wheel for NaSpiMoMo. Both wheels were empty for a couple of days and signing up for the along finally got me focused on something. I dyed this fiber too and it looked like this before:

Autumn Leaves 2

And here is the after:

Autumn Leaves

This one is definitely in HWJF colors. About 365 yards. It will probably grow up to be socks too. Here’s a closeup just because I like how it came out so much:

Autumn Leaves closeup

I could get used to this whole dye and spin your own fiber stuff. ;)

As you can see from these finished skeins, most of the yarns I’ve been spinning as of late have been on the thin side with a tight spinning and plying twist. As I looked through my stash lately I’ve found a couple of things that would lend themselves better to a thicker loftier yarn, so I’ve started to focus on that kind of spinning a bit. The first result of that is this:

Blue cormo

About 60 yards of cormo. I feel much about this as I did the green version as they were bought at the same time. I navajo plied this skein just to get it off the bobbin. It’s very much a thick and thin yarn and I doubt I’ll ever knit with it. Kind of sad really. It’s such a nice color. :)

There will be more but I think that’s enough for one blog post!

(For some reason some of the pictures in this post aren’t behaving. You’ll have to click over to Flickr to see them.)

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