It’s here!

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My new computer arrived yesterday and it is sure taking awhile to get settled in. All my data ported over from my cloud drives and I am almost done installing my programs and getting everything how I want it.

I love it! I haven’t had time to try out the Bluray player yet but everything else is working great. I am really liking Windows 10 too. I did opt out of lots of snoopy MS settings and I disabled Cortana. I don’t use OK Google on my Android devices either. It kind of creeps me out to talk to my electronics. Oddly I have no problem whatsoever with holding conversations with myself, but that is where it ends. Open-mouthed smile

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Before the computer arrived I managed to get out in the studio and get the color mixes worked out for the custom dye work I need to get done this week. I had to tweak two of them and now I just have to get off this computer and mix the dyes. I will probably get the fiber done by Saturday if not before.

Alpaca Fiber Dye Day

Well I thought I might divide up the job into two days but I got an early start yesterday, at 8:00 a.m., therefore, I ended up pushing on through all 32 pounds of it in one day. I am sure sore today though, LOL!

Here are the final results taken at the end of the day. The light was fading a bit when I took them since it was around 6:00 p.m., so the colors are slightly off.

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This picture is everything except the last batch, the Deep Teal, because it was still in the pot at the time. I wanted to get a picture while there was still halfway decent light.

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The picture does not do these colors justice. The lime green and robin’s egg blue on the Suri/Silk is gorgeous in person. I am especially happy with these two.

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This is the olive drab Suri/Silk and the Suri/Tencel in emerald. It is darker and richer in person.

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These are the two Suri/Merino blends. Lovely!

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Suri/Bamboo blends here in light pink and saffron.

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These four colors (above and below) are all darker and richer and the shot at the bottom is closer to the true colors.

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See you in a couple days with a knitting update on the ladies Sorrel. I am almost halfway on the yoke so it should start moving faster when I start the decreasing.

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Fiber Dyeing Day 1

I picked up a large order of fiber to dye for New Era Fiber Mill on Tuesday. It amounts in all a little over 32# and I plan to get it finished by Saturday so that I can deliver it on Tuesday before I have to leave for Chicago.

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It is mostly Suri Alpaca to be blended with either silk, bamboo, tencel, or merino at 80/20 ratios with the larger numbers being the alpaca. There are two batches of Huacaya Alpaca and they are not to be blended. They are the two darkest bags you see.

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I usually start these custom orders by doing samples to make sure my dye mixture and saturation are right to match the desired colors. Here is the 10g jars soaking before I add the dye mixtures.

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I made the samples match the percentage that will be in the final blend so that I will know how the dye will take overall. The alpaca will absorb and bond differently than the other fibers they will have added to them. You will see what I mean in the picture further down of the samples after they come out.

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Here is a slightly blurry (sorry) shot of the jars with the dye added before they go into the pot for heat setting.

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I was pleased with the results and only need to tweak a couple a bit. These are the Huacaya, and that little brown bit in the front is the color before I dyed them. The red is more burgundy and the other a forest green. My camera didn’t capture them very well.

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The left sample below is Suri/Bamboo and is a perfect match to the card. The right sample is Suri/Merino and while it was intended to be a few shades darker I over compensated on this one so have adjusted some to lighten it.

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These three samples are all Suri/Silk and I am pleased with these as they are. The intended colors were olive drab, lime green, and Robin’s egg blue.

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The top left sample is Suri/Merino to be dyed eggplant. Once blended it will be closer to the card. Next to that is a Suri/Bamboo to be dyed a cinnamon color. On the bottom left is a Suri/Bamboo also to be dyed emerald, and I am adjusting the color deeper on that one. The dark teal and the saffron on the bottom right are both Suri/Tencel blends and came out perfect too. 

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So, the rest of today I will be mixing up the dyes and starting the silk soaking. Silk needs to soak at least 24 hours to open up the fiber and make it more receptive to the dye. I will begin the dyeing tomorrow and finish up on Saturday. Look for more pictures soon plus a knitting update.

A Fun Fourth

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Okay so maybe this part wasn’t fun but I am getting to that. We finished up most of the labeling of the yarn on Friday and did the last bit Saturday morning. There were a baker’s dozen skeins that were snarled to the point of needing re-skeined so that is what I starting working on for the rest of the afternoon on Saturday before heading out to my daughter’s in-laws for a Fourth of July cookout and fireworks.

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Many fireworks were fired off and the food and company were much enjoyed by all.

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My attempts to capture they fireworks themselves fell short so I didn’t bother to post those but I did get a few of the ones who were having such fun shooting them. :-)

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I regret that I totally forgot to take a single picture from the family fun we had on Sunday.  Jerry’s mom, brother, and many nieces and nephews came to spend Sunday afternoon with us.

There is not much knitting progress to report but here is what I have on the Chance of Showers sleeve.

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Birthday Celebrating

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Here’s a glimpse at the celebration today.

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Candle blowing and then to the gift opening.

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Yay! It’s just what he wanted! :-D

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The most important piece is of course the T Rex which he figured out how to put together first thing all by himself.

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The rest will require some helpers. :-)

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We managed in spite of the party to still get a good deal of the yarn labeled today. Here’s what we got so far. That’s 560 skeins in all out of 1300 total so not a bad day’s work.

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I can’t believe it’s July already!

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Well the labels all have color name stickers on them and we are ready to start the process of attaching them to the skeins tomorrow. Believe it or not you are looking at 1300 labels there, so it will take awhile for the next part. Part of what takes so long for this step is that it is also the quality control step too. We have to inspect each skein and make sure they are tidy. Some will need to be re-skeined if they are snarled.

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I got some knitting done last night on the Chance of Showers cardigan. I am finished with the yoke and started the first sleeve. They shouldn’t take long sine they are short so my plan is to get them both knit and get to the body section. After that I may take a break from this since I “should” be knitting my cotton baby sweater sample and finishing up that up-sized Sorrel before the August shows start. That always comes sooner than you think it will when you say to yourself “Oh I have 5 weeks, that’s plenty of time”. Well yeah, but there are tons of other tasks to be done in that time as well. Sigh.

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Here’s something else that will be happening tomorrow. Elijah is turning 5 and I got his cake made this afternoon and finally located the toy he wanted. It was hard to track down since it is apparently a popular one.

He is obsessed with dinosaurs so we let him see the new Jurassic World movie which he loved. There is a series of Lego sets based n the movie and he had his heart set on the T-Rex Tracker one. It is sort of pricey but I figured what the heck. The Lego store was out of it, Toys ’R Us may have had it but their website was terrible and I gave up. Amazon was even out except for other sellers who were charging a premium and it wouldn’t have arrived in time. A Google search this morning linked me to Target and low and behold the closest location to me was actually the only store in Nashville who had it in stock for store pick up. Done!

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I will be sure to get some pictures of him opening it to show you. I was so tempted to give it to him today because I can’t wait to see his reaction, LOL!

Phase two begins

Saturday was for house cleaning and sorting Friday’s yarn. Sunday was a day of well earned rest. The weather was much more pleasant and after church and dinner I caught up on some reading time. Monday was grocery and library day.

The yarn is all stored in the shed at the moment while we get the labels ready. That is what I spent most of today doing actually.

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We have them all printed and cut apart but we have one more step before attaching them to the yarn. That step is to add the color name stickers to each label. That will take a fair amount of time with just a few of us doing it. We will probably start that tomorrow morning and hopefully be ready to start putting them on the skeins by Thursday.

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Remember the new organic cotton I told you about? I had to create the label for it today to print those out so I needed a swatch for gauge recommendation. I assumed that a 100g skein with 280 yards would knit to about 6 stitches in an inch on a US size 3 needles, so I tried that and was spot on. I am happy with the fabric at that tension and it should be perfect for the Classic Baby Cardigan too. Although I wrote the pattern at a slightly smaller gauge, I will try it as written as see if it changes the size much. It shouldn’t be too drastic but I will decide all that when I get that far. I hope to cast on for that within a week.

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