Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Me & My Knitting

Just a quicky to say hi and share where I've been at with my fiber. 

I may have mentioned that I've come to a decision about my 
knitting 
etsy.

I'm not going to do a ton of knitting for my etsy shop for at least 
a long while.
My plant dyed 
hand spun
yarns are doing really well
and take almost, if not more time to produce
so I'm going to be putting more energy into that
and more energy into knitting for my growing family- including my growing self.

So, with that said, 
here's what I've been working on;


AAAHHHHHHH!!!!
isn't it the cutest thing ever?!?!
I just loved knitting this little romper. 
I used wool that I bought while on honeymoon in Ireland 2 years.
The town of Dingle is adorable and though it will be a few years till we can go back, 
I can't wait. 

The pattern I used is by Carina Spencer and is called Small Things Romper. It can be found on ravelry. 

I'm 24 weeks now and just finished knitting and blocking this past weekend.
It's been a really long time since I had such a connection with something I was knitting. 
I've been needing that feeling for a long time. 
I thought it was gone.

While knitting it I was able to think about the wool and where it came from-
off the backs of sheep all over Ireland, deing dyed in Donegal, it's Donegal wool- I'm not sure though, if they do their dyeing in house or in England or Germany, but in any case, it's what I thought about.
I thought about our honeymoon there and all the adventures we had- mostly sitting in pubs drinkng tea and going for walks. 

I thought about the baby boy in my belly and his increasing wiggles and what he might look like wearign this sweet romper- and how long he'd be able to wear it! 

I may knit 1 or 2 more a I have the same yarn in green and purple. 

I then got to re-working this 9 year old sweater that I made with Maine wool. 
The pattern is from the Last Minute Knitted Gifts book.
I first washed the fleece,
stuffed it in large glass containers with the Pumpkin colorway from country classics dye 
and let it do it's dye thing in the sun for 3 days.

I spun the wool and knitted this up following the pattern exactly- and not all my measurements. 
It's turned out that I don't like hiking up long bell sleeves and pulled at the waist. 

So, I frogged sleeve hems and waist hem, shortening the sleeves by 6" each and adding that rest of that yarn to the bottom. 
I'm almost finished. 

Though I don't use this dye any more, I adore this color and yarn and have been 
loving this methodical heavy knitting every evening. 

I'm noticing more and more with my pregnancy that I'm enjoying the slow process- or just making everything slower, the process of just doing things. I'm not really in a hurry as my body is slowing way down. My level of calm has been developing:)


Here's two extra tidbits;

these yarns {may} appear in the shop- 
haven't decided yet.
Just a collection of what has been sitting in my spinning basket. 
I don;t know about you, but I do love to clean house and use things up after a certain point. 
The brown is: natural Maine Icelandic.
The blue is: Navajo spun Maine mohair dyed with indigo
The magenta is: 1oz, first bath of Umbilicaria lichen fermented liquor.
The lighter pink is the 2nd bath of this lichen. 
The last two are a combo of evernia, xanthoria, and a curly green lichen I never identified, all spun together. 
All dyed in the batt form first and then I lost track of what every thing was so I spun it all up! These last three I'm not sure yet where they will end up...


Remember my last post of Operation Wool? This is another finished finished fleece, Maine Icelandic from Pondview Farm in Limington. 

It will get dyed this spring when it warms up enough. 



I cannot wait!

I go to bed at night planningout my outdoor dye space.
We'll set up the canopy,
bring out the enamal table, 
set up the pots,
etc...

This will be the first year I've worked my yarn creating into such a fine tuned mass production.
Well "mass" for me. 
Whether your a handspinner or not, you should know, it's kind of a big deal to knock out about a dozen spun fleeces in a one year. 


6 comments:

Donna said...

A dozen fleeces in a whole year??? Holy Cow!! I'm glad you are having a calm pregnancy. It makes the whole experience that much sweeter.

Rachel Bingham Kessler said...

Thanks Donna:) I just hope it contiues!

Jacquie said...

I love your colors. I do. And I am utterly fascinated by your dyeing process. I am a spinner though. I have tons of beautiful hand spun. And I was wondering if I could instead purchase dyes, dye processes, etc. from you so I can dye my own handspun. Your colors are just so beautiful and your lichen dyes... I covet. I do! Is there a possibility you think?

Rachel Bingham Kessler said...

Hi Jacquie, Thanks so much for your comment! I'm excited you want to get into natural dyeing!! It truly is a joy. I don't offer dyes for sale. I use two types of dyes, 1) powered pigments once in a while that I supply from a WONDERFUL source, Aurorasilks.com. She is based in Oregon and has wonderful information on her site with lots of tutorials and everything is ethiclly harvested- even the logwood- which is a rare thing to do. The other dyes I use are ones I harvest myself fresh. My whole educational philosphy is based from encouraging individuals getting out into there outside world and discovering for themselves and experimenting from there. It's the best way to learn on so many levels that would simply be lost if I just mailed out batches of goldenrod, for example. It would also up the supply demand which when working with fresh specimens is a slippery slope. Feel free to ask me any questions and there are a lot of fine books out there on natural dyeing that are really fun- all of them are pretty different. You really can't go wrong. Good luck and have fun!

Jacquie said...

I completely understand. Especially with a little one on the way.

I don't know what it's like in your neck of the woods, but the first warmish day here (NW Illinois) and I want to saturate everything in color. I also need to check the rules for gathering from "empty lots." I haven't been able to grow enough of anything to rely on my own plants. At least not yet.

When the April rains come, I'm going to search for lichens. The colors you've shared are just stunning.

Kerry O'Gorman said...

Oh my! That little romper is the sweetest thing...I'm sure we'll see photos of a fashion shoot or two?! Dingle was probably my favourite place in Ireland. The fishing boats, the pubs, the road there...it was all so magical. I'm not a knitter and only once made a hat (with a lot of help!) and the wool I used was a beautiful light green from Ireland. I'm a needle felter and I always think of where my roving comes from. I love finding bits of seed and grass in it...