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April 2, 2019
Carding Out Some Rolags from Eric the Quilter


In preparation for My Talk at The Weavers Guild of Minnesota, with Sara Okern of Andas Mer, I’ve been pounding the reclaimed fiber!!! The particular rolags in the picture above are 70% Reclaimed Factory Waste Acrylic, 10% reclaimed silk, and 20% merino wool. I’ve been experimenting with blends quite a bit! I’m also getting much better at making rolags! You should have seen some of the first ones I made… not great, but they spun up just fine!

Between packing for my trip, and getting all my ducks in a row, I haven’t posted much lately ...

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March 26, 2019
Finished Gnome from Thread Head

The last clue of the mystery knit along came out today and I finished the gnome!

Surprise! It's a girl gnome - apparently all gnomes have beards, although this one is a leaf, and she has long braids. It was lots of fun to make. She is 12" to the top of the leaf on her hat. The pattern is Gnome MKAL by Sarah Schira - she is planning another mystery gnome in the fall.

I finished a skein of yarn. This one is from a very coarse section of a raw fleece. I thought it would be perfect for a ...

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March 19, 2019
A New Collar from Thread Head

The second clue for the Gnome Mystery Knit Along was released recently and now the hat is made.

The hat is finished with a cute little leaf (seems to be a theme...).

I finished spinning the sock yarn I made with some raw fleece that I had cleaned, dyed and carded.

I started a pair of toe-up socks. The pattern is Plain Sight by Lisa K. Ross - from the newest issue of Knitty (a free online knitting magazine).

Our little outdoor friend got a new collar this week-

she is trying to back out of her Elizabethan collar
Since she ...

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February 20, 2019
WordlessWed...Rolags Ready To Spin from CollectInTexas Gal

FYI...Rolag is a roll of fibre used to spin woolen yarn.  From Scottish Gaelic word for a small roll.

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February 5, 2019
Start of a Sweater from Thread Head

I finished spinning the fibre that I had drum carded a couple of weeks ago.

I ended up with about 457g, 1640m of a DK weight yarn.

I am really pleased with how this came out - it is well blended but you can still see individual colours and fibres (local wool mixed with silk and yak).

I started knitting a cardigan with the yarn. The pattern is Storm Mountain by Heidi Kirrmaier.

It is a top down, seamless cardigan (the above photo is a good representation of the colour).

I also machine quilted a little lap quilt that my Mom ...

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January 22, 2019
Carding Wool for Yarn from Thread Head

Last week I finished combing another raw fleece, from a local farmer. This one was over 700g after washing.

The sheep are a cross, but mainly Down breeds (Southdown and Dorset Down) - named for region of England they originate. The fleece exhibits the typical characteristics of the breeds - crimpy locks, lofty and resistant to felting. I have been very lucky to have had the chance to work with these fleeces, and this year I want to experiment more with them (usually I just clean, comb and spin the fleece into lovely yarn).

After a bit of reading I discovered that ...

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January 21, 2019
Processing fleece & learning along the way from The Quilt Rat

I have not been spinning all that long and so far have only used commercially prepared fibre. When you are just starting out learning a new art, I believe using the best supplies  you can afford will help set you up for success. Using good quality, well prepared fibre allowed me to quickly learn the mechanics of spinning so that I could produce fairly consistently spun yarns.
I am still spinning simply, I do not have a wheel, not even sure I will ever want one as I really enjoy using the spindles. It is amazingly meditative.

Having said all ...

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January 15, 2019
Spinning and Knitting from Thread Head

This past week I finished knitting a cowl -

The pattern is Wolkig by Martina Behm - a free pattern on Knitty. This had been my take-along knitting for the past little while. It was really simple to make, but a lot more interesting to knit than just stockinette.

I used handspun yarn (a light fingering weight),

which started as this Merino fibre that I dyed.

I also spun up some wool for a new take-along project -

a pair of toe-up socks.

This is from one of the raw fleeces that I was given,

washed and combed,


and dyed.

All the ...

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January 1, 2019
New Years Eve from Thread Head

We have had a lovely Christmas week - playing ping pong, pichenotte, card and board games, and enjoying outdoor activities (lots of snow shovelling too).

I did finished off a couple of mini skeins this week (this was a spinning project I started a couple of years ago and it is nice to have it finished).

It was pretty cold today (-30ºC with -45ºC windchill), I was warmly bundled for an early walk and was greeted with an amazing sunrise-

Three bright sun dogs!

Time to bundle up again for some fire works (we have a fire ready to go too ...

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December 31, 2018
DIY Support Spindle from The Quilt Rat

I first began spinning in July of 2017. (that post can be found here) I began with a homemade drop spindle and while I have tried a variety of fibres, I had not yet explored a different type of spindle. I was curious about the difference between spinning with a drop spindle (where the spindle is spinning suspended in the air) and spinning supported. ( a support spindle, is as its name implies, spins "supported" generally in some type of bowl)
why had I not tried one? well I did not have one. There are many gorgeous spindles available online, but ...

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December 25, 2018
Christmas Eve from Thread Head

My Christmas Eve started by snowshoeing very early-

the sodium yard light casts a nice orange glow

bundled up warm
 We had a couple days of snow - it was really nice, not storming, just light fluffy snow.

The Partridges had to dig deep for seeds (the one on the right is barely visible).

We were clearing the pond early this morning too (a perk of living with no neighbours is being able to run the quad at 7:30 in the morning) - ready for lots of family skating time over the Christmas holidays!

I finished a few projects this past ...

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December 15, 2018
Dyeing Fibre from The Quilt Rat

Over the years I have experimented quite a bit with dyeing and painting fabrics and threads as well as a variety of surface design techniques but up until now I had not tried to dye wool fibre. Since I have become interested in spinning yarn, it naturally follows that I might want to dye the fibre I spin.

To get started, I took a couple of excellent classes offered on BluPrint, and watched a great many You Tube tutorials. Wool ( a protein fibre ) needs both acid and heat to activate and set (exhaust) the dye.  I began gathering the supplies ...

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November 27, 2018
Finished a Sew Along and Started a Knit Along from Thread Head

I am so thrilled that we did make a Burgoyne Surround quilt for the mystery Secret Santa Sew Along from the Temecula Quilt Company!

Here it is as a flimsy,

and all quilted. It is about 45"x57".

The perfect size for the back of the couch. It would be a great baby quilt too. I would recommend copying the pattern if you think you might ever want to make one of these quilts because the free sew along patterns don't usually stay too long on the Temecula Quilt Company blog - here is a link for all the Secret ...

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November 20, 2018
Little Blocks into Big Blocks from Thread Head

All the little blocks for the Secret Santa Sew Along from the Temecula Quilt Company blog are getting sewn together -

Four blocks so far, and eight left to sew. There is still one clue left, so I hope I don't spoil anything, but it is starting to look a lot like a Burgoyne Surrounded quilt - one of my favourites!!

I spun a skein of yarn this week. This is wool from a raw fleece that I was given.

The fleece was so fine, but full of plant bits, so I only managed to comb a small amount. There is ...

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November 17, 2018
Knitting and Math from The Quilt Rat

I recently ordered a sweater kit from Craftsy, I have in the past, purchased several classes and was curious about the physical products they offer. There was a promotion that gave 50% off some of the kits so it was an excellent time to give it a try.

Part of that promotion provided a 1 month free trial of Bluprint..... now I must admit that having the month long access to all classes with Bluprint I am taking advantage by checking out classes I may have not done otherwise.

In one of the classes, Wear What You Knit, Perfect Sweater ...

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November 13, 2018
Lots of Little Blocks from Thread Head

It is nice to be keeping up with a quilt along! This one is Secret Santa Sew Along from the Temecula Quilt Company blog.

These are Step Three blocks. 48 - 1+1/2"x3+3/4" units.

And these are Step Four blocks. 48 - 1+1/2" Four Patches.

These have been really enjoyable blocks to make - lots of cutting but the sewing is so quick because the blocks are so small. It is also time saving not having to decide which fabrics to use for a block, just cut strips and sew them together.
I am really looking forward ...

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October 20, 2018
10 years from The Quilt Rat

Yes, it was 10 years ago today that I began this blog. I had no idea what I would be posting when I started, what I did know was that at the time I was finding that there were many generous people who were happily sharing ideas and inspiring others through blogs and I wanted to become a part of that.
For a great many of those years I posted on a regular basis ( usually at least once a week) but lately I seem to have drifted away from here and have not posted with much frequency. Perhaps I will ...

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October 14, 2018
stash report October 14, 2018 from Making A Lather

At our guild quilt show, we had a garage sale area. I purchased several scrap bags, and these fat quarters, and a home made jelly roll.

These 2 1/2 in strips will make a great donation quilt for the vet's home.

stash report

Fabric Used this Week 1/2 yards
Fabric Used or gone from house year to Date: 773 1/4 yards  * 400 donated

Fabric Added this Week: 5  yards
Fabric Added Year to Date: 212 3/4 yards

Net Fabric for 2018: 560 1/2 yards used more than purchased. 

Most of my handwork is at ...

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September 18, 2018
Opposing Ply Yarn and Bags from Thread Head

A couple of weeks ago I dyed some fibre to spin for socks.

This is my favourite 80/20 Merino/Nylon sock blend. I decided to spin opposing ply yarn for the first time, since it is supposed to make hard wearing socks.
Normally singles (the individual ply) are all spun with the twist in one direction and then plied in the opposite direction. With opposing ply yarn one of the singles is spun in the same direction as the final plying direction. This tightens up that one single during plying (more twist creates a tougher yarn). I spun a ...

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September 10, 2018
Autum Blending, Spinning and Looming from CollectInTexas Gal

Autumn is quickly becoming one of my favorite seasons!  Summer used to be!  I'm over Summer...whew, it's been such a long hot one!  During the last week of August I began sorting through fabric strip bins, yarn bins and roving bins pulling out Fall colors.  So, now I am definitely in the OverDoSue Fall Mode. 

I'm hoping for orders on the Autumn Boreal Rolags.  I spun and plied them as an example of how beautiful they work up into yarn.  I think the Spinners who are going to be my 'Guest Artists' for October's First ...

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