Switching rovings…

I’ve decided to save the merino-soy-bamboo roving for another day and work on my own superwash merino rovings instead…

So it’s being transformed from this…

Superwash Merino in Cassis Swirl Jam

…to this!

Cassis Swirl Jam in Superwash Merino

Not to toot my own horn but the superwash merino is ultra yummy!!!! It’s quite smooth and easy to tease apart compared to the other blends that I’ve been spinning up. The feel is very sleek, not quite slippery compared to the alpaca-silk mix and less fuzz like the merino-soy-bamboo. I think I might ply this – I figured this colourway would look really good on a pair of socks! – so I put in quite a bit of twist into the spin itself.

So far I like how the colours spin up – I’m actually amazed at how the colours spin up – from dark to bright and then light/white. Plus, due to how I have dyed my rovings, I get a mix of candy cane (barber pole, anyone?) and solids all in one which would stay as it is if I were to do a navajo ply but we’ll see how it goes…


Just to side track a little, Las Vegas strip map, anyone?

*runs off to continue spinning up this dream*

**Cross-posted on the shop’s blog**

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Sugar Pie in Laceweight

Sugar Pie Laceweight

Sugar Pie in Laceweight
Ply | Single
Yardage | Approx 408 m/50 gms
Fibre | Alpaca-Merino-Silk from Squoosh
Spindle | The Baaa Spindle [1.11 oz]

I had taken forever to finish spinning this up, having chosen to put aside my spinning in favour of dyeing up supplies for the shop. About two weeks ago, I decided to take a break from dyeing up supplies from the shop, pick up the spindle and finish off at least half of the 100 over grams of this roving.

This roving was a pleasure to spin up – the silk gives it a sheen, the merino adds some friction and the alpaca with its short hairs gave it that fuzzy look which is characteristic of fibers like mohair. Plus the ability to yield around 400 over metres of this lovely goodness at 50 grams allows me to explore the possibility of using this for a lace scarflette or scarf.

Surprisingly, the singles turned out to be delicate yet strong. I added a slight overtwist to it after reading that it would help bind the fibers together better and am waiting to see how it will perform during the knitting followed by the blocking process.

In a way, I’m glad I still have about 60 gms left. It’ll be fun to spin it up again and this time, maybe even ply it as well!

Sugar Pie Laceweight

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Nearly done.

I’ve just completed about 50gms of the Sugar Pie roving which I started in August – yes, I know…but dyeing for the shop was more important! Anyway, I picked an unfortunate time because ALL my A2 rechargeable batteries decided to die on me, leaving me pictureless. Bahhumbug.

So, back to the spinning. I’ve churned out a decent amount of single on this – over 400 metres! – which will be fabulous for a scarflette that I have in mind as a Christmas gift. With another 60 over grams of roving left, I’m sure this merino-alpaca-silk concoction will be handy for a 2-ply or another batch of laceweight singles.

While it’s drying out, I’m trying to figure out what exactly I would like to do with the merino-soy-bamboo roving I got from Ewe Give Me The Knits! The blueish-teal-gold colours are very lovely and I don’t mind spinning it up as a single but I fear that I might get bored of laceweight singles. Then again, it’s pretty hard to get bored of spinning. XD

Pics to come soon, I promise! In the meantime, I’m off to start on this very lovely batch of fibre! 8)

Oh, if you haven’t done this, I’d recommend you take up this tip – change all your light fixtures and bulbs to energy saving ones! It’ll definitely have an impact on your electricity bill!!!

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Le Tour des Alpes 08: Mereno – Brunico – Dolomites

Day 3: Mereno – Brunico – Dolomites
The highlight for this day would be the Dolomites itself. Located in the provinces of Belluno, Trento and Bolzano-Bozen in Italy, the Dolomites is renowned worldwide for skiing in the winter months and mountain climbing, daily excursions, climbing and base jumping, as well as paragliding and hang gliding in summer and late spring/early autumn – certainly the views would merit some fame as well. The rust-taupe-brown colours of the rocks is amazing when viewed from a distance and especially during sunsets. More about that later…

Again, click on the pics for a better view!

Day 3 At Passo GiovoDay 3 Enroute to the Dolomites Day 3 Enroute to the Dolomites Day 3 Enroute to the Dolomites

Our path today takes us closer to the Austrian border and as such, there are clear Austrian influences in this part of Italy. A chance visit to the Mereno market revealed dual language usage with German being more predominant than Italian (coupled with the “boom” of German tourists) – spoken and both written – and German food such as sausages and sauerkraut (sp) (pickled cabbage). Even houses here were more organized and less colourful; although the distinctive Austrian styled balcony (think plenty of flowers) is typical in this area. Even town names are dual (like in Switzerland, ,eg Lucerne/Luzern, Geneva/Genève, Neuchâtel/Nueunberg) but for the purposes of this travelogue, they have been written only in Italian.

Day 3 At Passo Falzarego Day 3 Facing the Dolomites at Passo Falzarego Day 3 Starting the hike at the Dolomites Day 3 Starting the hike at the DolomitesDay 3 At Passo Falzarego

Going back to the Dolomites, during World War I, the Dolomites was one of the sites of confrontation between the Italian and Austro-Hungarian forces. As such, there are open air war museums located at some of the Dolomite sites, specifically Cinque Torri (Five Towers) and Mount Lagazoui – both of which we visited. It is also around this time that the via ferrata first kicked off. The Dolomites has the priviledge of being one of the best place to explore this historical “sport”. The via ferrata run through paths that were first created during World War I and amazingly, the equipment is still in fantastic shape.

Day 3 Day 3 Starting the hike at the Dolomites Day 3 The views throughout the hike at the Dolomites Day 3 The views throughout the hike at the Dolomites Day 3 The views throughout the hike at the Dolomites Day 3 The views throughout the hike at the Dolomites

Be warned though – if you’re not used to walking for long distances or hiking, the rocky & sometimes narrow paths can get tiring. The views, however, make up for all the effort. Like with every hike, do bring plenty of water and some snack to replenish energy & water levels. Oh, don’t forget your camera as well!

Day 3 Snapping a typical touristy shot! Day 3 Snapping a typical touristy shot! Day 3 Snapping a typical touristy shot!

We ended off the day by camping off the beaten track somewhere along Stelva di Cadore and slept under the stars, namely the Pan constellation, with the view of the Dolomites greeting us before we hit the sack. Austria is where we’re off to next and again, a passport is not needed! 8)

To be continued…

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Spinning up Sugar Pie again

After a rough night yesterday, I thought some spinning would be therapeutic. I could knit but the yarns I plan to use are drying after a bout of overdyeing earlier last evening. In case you forgot (I don’t blame you, it has been a while), this is some alpaca/merino/silk roving I purchased way before I started my shop.

After my previous experience with plying Harvest BFL, I realized that I didn’t put enough twist in this single, at least not enough to warrant a plying process will be break it into pieces. So this will end up staying the way it is – a laceweight single. I’m hoping to get pretty decent yardage on this, enough to make a shawl and a scarflette. It ought to be perfect for the shop or as a Christmas gift.

Oh, yes, the previous pic I took of this didn’t do it justice. This is definitely a better representation of the colours!

Side-tracking a little, I ought to get proper computer desks or work tables. It would appear that my craftroom is overflowing into the computer room and such. O’well…we’ll make do with what we have for now. 🙂

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Misty or gloomy?

As December draws nearer (can you believe that it’s already the end of October?) and autumn really starts to get into gear, people have been asking me the eternal question.

Is it snowing? Is it cold?

No, ladies and gents. As much as snow is beautiful and appreciated by those in the tropics, autumn is still too warm for this gentle flakes. Yes, the weather is colder compared to the summer sun & heat which hovered around 30 C at most. These days, we wake up to gloomy, grey skies with temperatures “soaring” to a high of 12 C. The sun is rarely visible; sometimes we do get a glimpse of it but otherwise, grey skies and fog are a common occurrence even at a higher sea level (where Neuchâtel is).

Misty... ...or Gloomy

Or really, it is a matter of two things – do you prefer misty (1st pic) or gloomy (2nd pic)? Yes, that’s the view from outside my window, three weeks apart (or so I believe). It’s really not as bad as it looks; that’s if you’re a romantic and fancy walks or photos in ghostly mist or gloomy skies. The colours of the falling autumn leaves make up for the grey everywhere though. Think hues of browns, reds and yellows coupled with dark green. Yes, not every tree sheds it leaves come autumn.

Oh, and don’t forget the autumn drizzles as well. If you’re caught without an umbrella, it is hardly deadly unlike the Malaysian thunderstorm, merely annoying but still lethal enough when coupled with strong cool winds and mist. It is at times like this that people wish they were living on a higher altitude; the sun is more visible. But then there is a drawback. It gets colder the higher you go. O’well…

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to chase away those autumn fogs with some very bright knits, anacne treatment product assignment and a couple of online videos in the form of The Journey to the West.

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