Roving Sampler – Reds – 4 Ounces

Roving Sampler 4 Oz Reds

Description: Hand dyed before carding.
50% Mohair, 50% Shetland Wool
Color: 1 oz each of Fuschia, Mahogany, Mulberry, Reddish Brown
Fiber Content: Mohair: DWF’s Roberto and Ingrid
Wool: Shetland, Phoenix Farm’s (WI) Snow White
Type (Processor): Roving (Spinderella, UT)
Quantity (Pounds): 0.25 (4 oz total) – 1 ounce of each color
Price: $2/ounce, $13/8 ounces (63% savings), $23/pound (67% savings) plus shipping. Savings is fiber cost + shipping versus 1 oz. fiber.
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Gene-edited chickens to help preserve rare breeds

Hens that do not produce their own chicks have been developed for use as surrogates to lay eggs from rare breeds.  The advance – using gene-editing techniques – could help to boost breeding of endangered birds, as well as improving production of commercial hens, researchers say.

DNA deletion

A team led by the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute used a genetic tool called TALEN to delete a section of chicken DNA.

They targeted part of a gene called DDX4, which is crucial for bird fertility.

Infertile

Hens with the genetic modification were unable to produce eggs but were otherwise healthy, the team found.  DDX4 plays an essential role in the generation of specialised cells – called primordial germ cells – which give rise to eggs.

Surrogate hens

Researchers say that primordial germ cells from other bird breeds could be implanted into eggs carrying the gene edited birds.  The hens would then grow up to produce eggs containing all of the genetic information from the other breeds.

These chickens are a first step in saving and protecting rare poultry breeds from loss in order to preserve future biodiversity of our poultry from both economic and climate stresses.

Dr Mike McGrew, The Roslin Institute

First in Europe

The surrogate chickens are the first gene-edited birds to be produced in Europe. Scientists from the US biotechnology company Recombinetics also worked on the project.

The study is published in the journal Development and was funded by strategic investment from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

Related links

Journal article

Source: https://www.ed.ac.uk/news/2017/gene-edited-chickens-to-help-preserve-rare-breeds

Roving Sampler – Greens – 4 Ounces

Roving Sampler 4Oz Greens

Description: Hand dyed before carding.
50% Mohair, 50% Shetland Wool
Color: 1 oz each of Country Green, Dusky Country Green, Key Lime, and Olive
Fiber Content: Mohair: DWF’s Roberto and Ingrid
Wool: Shetland, Phoenix Farm’s (WI) Cry Baby’s Sister
Type (Processor): Roving (Spinderella, UT)
Quantity (Pounds): 0.25 (4 oz total) – 1 ounce of each color
Price: $2/ounce, $13/8 ounces (63% savings), $23/pound (67% savings) plus shipping. Savings is fiber cost + shipping versus 1 oz. fiber.
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Roving Sampler – Blue Brown Purple Yellow – 4 Ounces

Roving Sampler 4Oz Blue Yellow Brown

Description: Hand dyed before carding.
50% Mohair, 50% Shetland Wool
Color: 1 oz each of Sun Yellow, Toffee, Periwinkle, Turquiose
Fiber Content: Mohair: DWF’s Roberto and Ingrid
Wool: Shetland, Phoenix Farm’s (WI) Cry Baby
Type (Processor): Roving (Spinderella, UT)
Quantity (Pounds): 0.25 (4 oz total)  – 1 ounce of each color
Price: $2/ounce, $13/8 ounces (63% savings), $23/pound (67% savings) plus shipping. Savings is fiber cost + shipping versus 1 oz. fiber.
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Sock Knitting Exploration

I’ve decided to do a project exploring fiber content and construction techniques for socks.  At the rate I knit it could be a lifetime project!

For my first project ….

Used FLK  (Fish Lip Kiss) pattern for sizing and heel. Since it’s my first time using this pattern I used plain knitting for the body of the sock.  This is only the second pair of socks I’ve ever knitted.  I want to work up to Magic Loop for both socks at one time but this pair was done on two circulars, and I did an inch on one sock then an inch on the other sock in order to avoid the dreaded SSS (single sock syndrome).  It worked!

This variation used Wooly Yarn (nylon wool blend, see Halycon yarn for example) held doubled with my yarn in the heel, and the next one will use 100% mohair for the heel.   The yarn used was Rambler’s Way Handpaint Rambouillet DK (100% American wool and spinning) which is spun with a high twist.  Loved the yarn!  It is super springy and knits soooo easily.  I had to watch out for splitting the yarn (my knitting Achilles heel) and accidentally creating yarn overs when increasing.

I used Turkish Cast On (my 1st time – love it!) and kept each sock separate (on it’s own set of circulars).   The Woolly Yarn used for the heels was hard to use as it kept sticking to my fingers and I split the yarn frequently – luckily I didn’t have to do any frogging!.  It took about 40 hours of knitting for the pair.

They fit fairly well initially but stretched lengthwise while wearing.  Due to the size of the yarn they don’t fit in regular shoes but are fine in boots or slippers.  I was surprised to find I did not like the feel of the purl bumps on my feet so am wearing them inside out with the knit side facing in.  So far they are holding up well.

 

 

Learnings:

High twist is needed for 100% wool yarn to wear well, particularly low micron wools such as merino, rambouillet, cormo, etc.  I use 25-50% mohair in all my own yarn blends to ensure good wear performance.  Size (weight) of yarn impacts which shoes the socks will fit into. Soft springy 100% yarn will stretch significantly so this needs to be taken into account for sizing.

Next….Same pattern, same wool, two at a time (TAAT), 100% mohair heels – thinking about a stitch pattern for foot and leg.  See Sock Knitting Exploration Version 2.

Project info

Fish Lips Kiss Heel by Sox Therapist

US 4 – 3.5 mm

: Rambler’s Way Handpainted Rambouillet DK, = 600.0 yards (548.6 meters), 10.58 ounces – I used half a skein;   : Sunglow;: Discontinued Brand Name Yarn

Construction Details:

Toe up, each sock on it’s own circular working one then the other about an inch at a time

Turkish Cast on (4 stitches = 8), wedge toe, increased (inserted a backwards yarn loop) 4 stitches/ row up to 24 stitches then increased every other row up to 40 stitches total

Foot and leg: Stockinette (on circulars so straight knitting)

Heel: Carried Wooly Yarn with Rambouillet yarn

Finish: 2 x 2 rib for an inch and standard loose bind off

Socks Version 1
Socks Version 2
Socks Version 3

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Maine in Short Rug

I was commissioned to hook a 2′ by 3′ rug for the Short Family in Maine as a Christmas gift.  I used my homespun and millspun hand dyed yarns, all of which are wool/ mohair blends  as much as possible but due to the short timeline for producing this rug I also used purchased yarns (details).  Even so I had to spin an extra 2 skeins of Starry Nights yarn for the night sky…can’t imagine how long it would have taken to dye and spin all the yarn colors needed for this size rug!  The backing is 100% cotton 13×13 epi Monk’s Cloth.

The design was created based on royalty free clipart and photos, then enlarged using Ronyasoft Poster Printer.  The Short family lives on a lake (or pond as they are called in Maine) which has loons and they often have bear, coyote and moose visitors near the house.  Additionally one of the family members worked at a state fishery for many years raising rainbow trout.  The rug was designed as a unique reflection of the Short Family.

Maine in Short Rug Back Before Finishing

Back of Rug Before Finishing

 

 

Maine in Short Rug Front Before Finishing

Front of Rug Before Finishing

Moose Side, Back of Rug Before Finishing

 

 

Center Front of Rug Before Finishing

Bear Side of Rug Before Finishing

 Learnings

Even at this large scale details such as eyes and color markings on the loon did not show as well as I would have liked but the use of finer yarns than in other parts of the rug helped.  The paw prints took a long time because of the many color changes needed and because I used finer yarn to get better detail.  For the coyote I used a tweed (white and grey) yarn to better mimic the color variations in their natural coats.

Working the lines of color around the animal outlines is an area I will work to improve on future projects.  I found it easier to get the shapes to hold true if I hooked the objects then worked the colors directly around them while holding back the yarn that formed the outside of the object from underneath.  Horizontal lines of varying color produced a nice impression of moving water.

Yarns Used

Info on the yarns used is given below.  The picture links to the full description and creation details for the yarn where available.

Colorway: Starry Nights roving

Weight: Sport (12 wpi) 2ply Handspun

Fiber Content: 41% DWF Mohair, 59% Shetland wool

Used For: Night sky

Starry Nights Roving

Colorway: Coreopsis

Weight: Sport (12 wpi)

Fiber Content: 50% DWF Mohair – 50% Shetland wool, hand painted (dyed) after mill spinning

Used For: moon, stars, shooting star

Coreopsis Yarn

Colorway: Aquatics

Weight: Sport (12 wpi)

Fiber Content: 50% DWF Mohair 50% Shetland wool

Used For: water and forest

Colorway: Forest Dreams

Weight: Sport (12 wpi)

Fiber Content: 50% mohair 50% shetland wool

Used For: forest and ground

Forest Dreams

Colorway: Green With Envy

Weight: Sport (12 wpi)

Fiber Content: 50% DWF Mohair 50% Shetland wool

Used For: forest and ground

Green With Envy

Colorway: Sky Blue

Weight: Sport (12 wpi)

Fiber Content: 50% DWF Mohair 50% Shetland wool

Used For: water
Sky Blue Millspun Yarn

Sky Blue

Colorway: Dark Grey

Weight: DK 2Ply Millspun

Fiber Content: 68% DWF Mohair 32% Shetland, Blue Faced Leicester Wool

Used For: edging

Yarn Dark Grey DK 2Ply Millspun 68% Mohair 32% Shetland, Blue Faced Leciester Wool - By the Pound

Colorway: White

Weight: Sport (12 wpi) 2 Ply Millspun

Fiber Content: 50% DWF Mohair 50% Shetland wool

 

Used For: loon

Colorway: Tan

Weight:Worsted (9 wpi)
Fiber Contet: 50% DWF Mohair 50% Shetland wool

Used For: moose antlers, bear muzzle

Weight: Sport (12 wpi) 2 Ply Millspun

Colorway: White Grey Tweed

Fiber Content: 68% DWF Mohair 32% Shetland Wool

Used For: coyote

Yarn Tan White Tweed 2Ply Sport

Colorway: Rosado Pink

Used For: Rainbow Trout

Colorway: Aztec Turquoise

Used For: water

Colorway:205 M Grassy Knoll

Used For: forest and ground

Colorway:Forest Shadows

Used For: forest and ground

Colorway: Midnight Green

Used For: forest and ground

Colorway: Turkish olive

Used For: forest and ground

Colorway: 114 Storm

Used For: body of moose and bear

Colorway:Burnt Sienna

Used For: eyes

Saco River Dyeworks (Maine) 6ply rug yarn

Weight: Worsted (9 wpi)

Colorway: Black

Used For: Paw prints, edging around animals, loon, canoe

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Gift Idea

How about a hand made yarn bowl filled with a skein of luxury farm fresh yarn?  Take a look at these beautiful combinations for inspiration…

For those who like colors….

 

and those who like natural colors….

Skeins can be wound into center pull balls for knitting or rug hooking convenience at no charge, just ask!

Wendy Kastan’s yarn bowls can be found on her website WendyClay.com She also makes beautiful buttons.

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Chair Seats – Cats Who’ve Owned Me Series – 4

This chair seat is called “Cleaning Up” and features Sandy taking a bath.  The design is based on my photos of him.  I’m still experimenting with different colors and textures of yarn to find the best for picturing a cat. This time I used white and tan yarn and hooked the stripes explicitly.

I used my homespun and millspun hand dyed yarns, all of which are wool/ mohair blends (details).  The backing is 100% cotton Monk’s Cloth.  I used 13×13 epi cloth.

The wildflower patches are millspun yarns that were hand painted after the yarn was spun.  The background fields were done with yarns that were kettle dyed before spinning.

Back of Chair Seat

Sandy

Front of Chair Seat
Before Finishing

 Learnings

Good contrast in the colors chosen and work with scissors after hooking to arrange the lines as hooked makes the details much clearer.  Sandy’s face shows clearly on the back of the chair seat but still needs some work on the front side.  Since the colors are so close in value, it is hard to see his face details unless the lighting is bright.

I liked the look here of generic blobs of color versus trying to hook detailed flowers or grasses.

Yarns Used

Info on the yarns used is given below.  The picture links to the full description and creation details for the yarn where available.

 Wildflower Patches in Background: Coreopsis Yarn  Coreopsis – hand dyed (after spinning) 2 ply millspun – 50/50 mohair/wool.   This yarn is shades of yellow with sections of yellow and white designed to stripe.
Mardi Gras Millspun Yarn Mardi Gras – hand dyed (after spinning) 2 ply millspun – 50/50 mohair/wool.
Wildflower Meadow Millspun Yarn Wildflower Meadows- hand dyed (after spinning) 2 ply millspun – 50/50 mohair/wool.
Iris Millspun Yarn Iris – hand dyed (after spinning) 2 ply millspun – 50/50 mohair/wool. The same yarn was also used for the edging.
Gravel Path: Yarn Dark Grey DK 2Ply Millspun 68% Mohair 32% Shetland, Blue Faced Leciester Wool - By the Pound Natural Dark Grey  and Light Grey DK 2Ply Millspun 68% Mohair 32% Shetland, Blue Faced Leicester Wool.
Yarn Sport White Millspun 2 Ply 59% Mohair 31% Shetland Wool - Sold by the Pound I used natural DWF white mohair/ wool yarn for the rocks along the gravel path (same yarn as for Sandy’s body). Sport White Millspun 2 Ply 59% Mohair 31% Shetland Wool.
Background Fields: Pearl Green kettle hand dyed (before carding) millspun.
Forest Dreams hand dyed (before carding) millspun. Designed to look like a forest at a distance for use in weaving and rug hooking.
Aquatics hand dyed (before carding) millspun. Designed to look like pond water for use in weaving and rug hooking.
Green with Envy hand dyed (before carding) millspun.
  Sandy: Yarn Sport White Millspun 2 Ply 59% Mohair 31% Shetland Wool - Sold by the Pound I used natural DWF white mohair/ wool yarn for most of Sandy’s body. Sport White Millspun 2 Ply 59% Mohair 31% Shetland Wool.
Yarn Tan 3Ply Millspun 50% Adult Mohair 50% Shetland Wool 2.5 Oz Skeins Tan DWF mohair/ wool millspun was used for Sandy’s stripes.  3Ply Millspun 50% Adult Mohair 50% Shetland Wool 2.5 Oz Skeins
  Edging: Iris Millspun Yarn Iris – Hand Dyed (After Spinning) Millspun.  The same yarn was also used for wildflower patches in the background.
 Lettering:  A small amount of hand spun, turkey baster hand dyed roving (white with small amounts of orange and blue) was used.

A ball of roving was soaked in water for an hour, then injected with colors using a turkey baster, heated to boiling for 30 minutes to set the colors, then washed before hand spinning.

 

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Chair Seats – Cats Who’ve Owned Me Series – 3

This chair seat is called “Rori Shows Her Belly” and shows Rori on a rug in a typical “scratch my belly” pose.  The design is based on one of my photos of her.

I used my homespun and millspun hand dyed yarns, all of which are wool/ mohair blends (details).  The backing is 100% cotton 13×13 epi Monk’s Cloth.

The rug Rori is laying on is made of 4 different green millspun yarns.

Back of Chair Seat

Rori and Sandy

Front of Chair Seat
Before Finishing

 Learnings

Details came out better with the more enlarged size of the cat.  Also, contrast is key to making small details visible.  The 13×13 epi Monk’s cloth worked much better than the looser version designed for embroidery.

Yarns Used

Info on the yarns used is given below.  The picture links to the full description and creation details for the yarn where available.

Rug: Pearl Green kettle hand dyed (before carding) millspun.
Forest Dreams hand dyed (before carding) millspun. Designed to look like a forest at a distance for use in weaving and rug hooking.
Aquatics hand dyed (before carding) millspun. Designed to look like pond water for use in weaving and rug hooking.
Green with Envy hand dyed (before carding) millspun.
 Rori:   Since natural black isn’t readily available in mohair (black mohair is  dark grey at best) I bought a skein of  Brown Sheep’s Lamb’s Pride Worsted Onyx from Alpaca Direct as they had the best price when I was shopping.  It is a USA made 15% mohair/ 85% wool single ply yarn.
Yarn Sport White Millspun 2 Ply 59% Mohair 31% Shetland Wool - Sold by the Pound I also used mill spun natural DWF white mohair/ wool yarn for Rori’s tummy patches. Sport White Millspun 2 Ply 59% Mohair 31% Shetland Wool.
Coreopsis Yarn Eyes: Coreopsis hand dyed (after spinning) millspun. This yarn is shades of yellow with sections of yellow and white designed to stripe. I used a small amount from a section of yellows.
Yarn Dark Grey DK 2Ply Millspun 68% Mohair 32% Shetland, Blue Faced Leciester Wool - By the Pound A small amount of  Natural Dark Grey DK 2Ply Millspun 68% Mohair 32% Shetland, Blue Faced Leicester Wool was used to create depth around the chin line and between the toes.
  Edging: Iris Millspun Yarn Iris – Hand Dyed (After Spinning) Millspun
 Lettering:  Ooops!  Forgot it on this one so  embroidered on the back.

 

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