Friday, July 18, 2014

found it friday - Spider Moths

Spider Moth, Spider Moth, does whatever a Spider Moth does. Spin a cocoon, just his size.  Makes flame retardant underpants, for the good guys. Spider Moth, Spider Moth, look out! here come's the Spider Moth....

Anyway..... So. This one's interesting.  Apparently there is a laboratory in Michigan - the Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, to be exact- that is genetically modifying moth DNA at the egg and sperm stage so that the resultant moths will make spider silk, instead of moth silk. They've named them Monster Moths.

Now moth silk, as we know it is pretty awesome.  Light weight, cool, but warm, moisture wicking and it does have it's own level of flame retardance.  But spider silk is all that and more.  It's incredibly  more strong, for one, and really hard to harvest for another.  Stronger silk equals tougher clothing, clothing they think will have military purposes, as well as civilian purposes. Monster Moth silk ties, anyone?  To match your military issue Monster Moth silk under pants?  So, I suppose that's why these amazing scientists are making GMO moths. It's all for the money! But what isn't all for the money these day's?

Now, I'm not a really big fan of the whole GMO thing, but I found this pretty cool.

Please check out the site I originally found this on! There's more info there. And a picture. They have pinkish red little eyes and 4 wings...

~Kara

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Distracted by Dyes

As mentioned in my last post, I spent a day last week washing and dyeing wool.  These are simply the dyed fibres.

Distracted by dyes
Rainbow dyed using only red, yellow and blue.

Distracted by dyes
Deep and brilliant purple Cotswold locks

Distracted by dyes
Merino Top, using the left over dye bath front he purple, and adding the turquoise on top

Distracted by dyes
Merino top, using another portion of the left over dye bath, straight up, with no colour added.

Such pretty colours, and now I want more time to dye more!

~Kara











Friday, July 11, 2014

A week into Tour de Fleece

I can't believe we are on day 7 of Tour de Fleece already. I feel like I should be farther along then this:

Tour de fleece 2014 up to day 7.

Mind you I spent 10 hours doing this:

Tour de fleece 2014 up to day 7.

And maybe I should be farther along then I am because I took a day to wash fleeces. And I promptly got distracted with the idea of dyeing fibre while I was out there.* But I did take my support spindle out, and got some cotton spun for the Level 4 homework I've got to do as well. So I was still spinning, and it was homework.  Just not the homework I should be working on.

Tour de fleece 2014 up to day 7.

And yes.  I'm timing how long it takes me to do the sock yarn, because my goal for TdF is to get my socks for my Level 3 Master Spinner final project done. Completely done. Spun, dyed and knitted. And it needs to take at least 50 hours. Believe it or not, I've been doing the spinning for 5 hours already, and I'm not even 1/6th of the way through the fibre I need to spin.  It'll be a good solid 6 hours total once I'm done that 1/6th of the fibre.  And if that's the case, I'll need to spin for another 30 hours, and I'd like to be done all that and the dyeing by this coming up friday... 5 days to spin 30 hours. Plus 1 day for plying, which will hopefully only take 4 hours, and 1 day to dye. That's a LOT of spinning in 5 days... 6 hours a day, to be precise...  It kind of makes me nauseated thinking about it. And this is where I think maybe I should change the socks I'm spinning for. Maybe just go for a top down, straight forward plain jane sock, instead of the Little Cable knee highs I'd originally planned to make. 36 hours+10 Hours= 46 hours, and that's so close to 50, that I'm thinking, maybe, I'll be doing just that, minor change in plans. But that's alright. That's how these things go, and it's really good to know that that is how long it takes to make something. Or, I just go with it and get the socks I want, no matter the hours involved... So indecisive!  Oh well. I'm sure I'll make a decision soon, sometime while spinning for 6 hours a day...

~Kara

*I'll get you the drool worthy pictures of the dyed stuff soon. Just a matter of taking the time to take those pictures, which you know I'm in short supply of...





Monday, July 7, 2014

Happy Monday

Some fun musings from my children this morning, around homemade pancakes and delicious maple syrup:

 "Mom, you're a Yarn Monster!" - The Zoo, Age 6

 "When I'm an adult, I'm gonna take spinning classes like you Mom" - Miss J, Age 4


 It's the little things, you know, that make a happy Monday.


 ~Kara

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Knit notes - Handspun Sweater - Finally Finished!


Phew! Remember when I said I was finished all but the weaving in of the ends?  Well, I did manage to get them woven in, and I put my wonderfully itchy awful sweater in the fashion show at Fibre week.  And of course, someone is there willing to take a picture of you in your handknits without looking at you sideways and complaining when you say "Nope! that's no good, keep taking pictures!" for about 15 minutes....

So, here it is. Me in my super itchy handspun sweater.  It fits so nicely after all that ripping the bottom out and redoing it, and free-styling the arm holes.

Yarn things- July 3 2014
(p.s. ignore the little balled up paper at my feet! I didn't notice it until after it was to late to do it again)


~Kara

Thursday, July 3, 2014

3 pounds

A while back, I was commissioned to make 500 yards of bulky weigh 3 ply yarn.  Were it not for a little hiccup (where my 4 year old found a pair of scissors and went on a snipping spree, which happened to include the drive bands on my Majacraft...) I'd have been done these yarns quite a while ago.  But, given that that the time between snipping and shipping was over 2 weeks, I'm glad to be done this only slightly passed my set deadline (which happened to be rather flexible, but none the less.)

Yarn things- July 3 2014
Singles on the bobbins 1 whole pound on each!

Yarn things- July 3 2014
Plied, tied and ready for a bath!

They still need a bath in some Unicorn Fibre Wash, but that doesn't take much time.  At least not compared to the spinning!  I do love though, that throughout the 5 skeins there is an amazing amount of uniformity! Makes me super happy to be able to control my yarn that much if I want to.  Thank you Master Spinner classes!!

These skeins will be off to Sharon (of Sharon's Handknit Creations) by the early next week.  Then it's onto that pesky level 3 final project, socks!

~Kara




Monday, June 30, 2014

Fibre week - Wrap up

Wow!  Has it ever been a whirl wind since my last post! I had planned to post every day this year, but between evening functions and class work and that fancy kind of social networking where you talk to people  face to face....  Fibre Week has flown by, and was so incredibly interesting and mildly exhausting.  Tuesday was dye day, and we were using acid dyes. So many pretty colours, just from the three primaries!  Then we learned to spin flax. Yes! Flax!  My husband was shocked to learn that people spin flax... I'm kind of surprised he was surprised. And Bison, and Camel and Cashmere, ohmy!  We did a bit on designer yarns too. Overall class was fabulous. I did indeed miss the weekend classes, but that sure didn't stop me from spending a whole lot of money at the Merchant Mall!

Fibre Week 2014 became incredibly humbling for me, because there were copies of the Summer 2014 issue of PLY magazine, theme: Twist, circling about.  How does this relate?  Well, I have an article printed in there!!! (It's been so hard to keep that secret until the issue was printed!)  And I can't count the amount of congratulations I got.  It feels so crazy to have my name in a highly read and respected magazine.

Now that I'm home, it's time to get onto my homework. I've gotten the extension for Level 3, but all I've got to do is the final project.  I've changed my mind on this, and am going to spin and knit my own socks.  I'll be using this as my Tour de Fleece project. The Tour begins on the 5th of July and ends on the 27th.  It's absolutely do able. The time line is set to spin and dye by the 17th, and then knit up a pair of knee high socks by the 27th.  I can totally do it!

Happiest spinning to everyone!

~Kara