|Rowdy has graciously allowed me to sit on the swing with him after our hike Saturday|
It has been pretty much all about fiber this week, though I did finish getting my bee boxes and frames ready for the arrival of my package of bees. Good thing, too because I will be picking them up on Monday. Here are the boxes with some of the frames in them so you can get an idea. Of course there is also a bottom board and an inner and outer cover which are not on here. These 2 boxes and 20 frames will be fine to start the bees out, but I (by this I mean Sam) need to get a couple more boxes built before too long because the hopeful idea is that the the 10,000 bees in my 3 pound package will multiply into 4 times that many in just a few months. This hive will go up close to the existing top bar hive near our little orchard.
I have been diligently working on fibery stuff most of the week. The big news is I received 8+ pounds of lovely white 100% alpaca sport weight yarn back from the processor on Thursday.
It is sitting in a bag waiting for me to dye it. I am always kind of afraid to dye it at first because I am worried I will make it ugly. I don't know why I worry. Maybe it is because I have so much $$ invested in this yarn. It was processed at Flaggy Meadows in Kentucky because my usual processor was too busy to guarantee I would have it in time. While it is lovely yarn (I sent lovely fiber) the cost was significantly more in the end than my usual processor, so I will likely go back to the other mill I have used in the past.
So, while I have not delved into the bag of yarn to dye, I did do up my last batch of 50/50 alpaca/cormo-corridaleX roving. At first, I hated how it came out, but the more I look at it the more I like it. I have 4 pounds of this roving dyed in 4 different colorways. I still have many pounds of 100% alpaca roving I can dye as well as the yarn. The festival is a little over 5 weeks away.
I got a book from the library which is full of hat patterns and I just loved one colorwork pattern. I happened to have some leftover skeins of alpaca/silk handspun yarn that I had spun for a sweater. I had never dyed this yarn because I always spin more than I need. So I split the yarn up Saturday into 5 small skeins and did a solar dyeing experiment.
Unfortunately, it was not very warm on Saturday, though it was a brilliantly sunny day, so I ended up simmering the jars in a water bath on top of the stove later in the day. I then hung them on my swing to dry (did you notice them in the top photo?)
And later I skeined them up. I have to admit, I think the colors are wonderful and look especially vibrant in the sunshine. I have started knitting the hat, but don't have it photographed yet.
I also finished knitting a shawlette using some yarn I had in my "stash". It was a quick knit and turned out beautifully and is going to be gifted so I will tell you next week who gets it. I can't mail it out til after I go to my spinning guild meeting tomorrow night and show it off. I wish the photo showed the gorgeous colors off better. I had to take it indoors this morning and the lighting was not good. It has so many colors in it. The yarn is wool and Seacell, which is similar to silk but from seaweed. Really. It is so shiny.
Next week: Bees. Soon: Shearing.