A Week of UFOs

Sorry Roswellians, it’s not the type of UFOs you’re fond of.  I’m talking about Un-Finished-Objects.  A common phenomenon in the crafting world.  I got tired of having several projects in various states of completion and put my nose to the grindstone and worked on finishing each one.  Here’s what I accomplished this week.

I knitted up two sample wine bottle bags in colors of two rival Virginia teams; orange, blue and white for the University of Virginia and orange, white and maroon for Virginia Tech.  I even managed to list them on Etsy.  I’m hoping to sell them as a custom made item in colors of the buyer’s choice.  https://www.etsy.com/listing/163398214/custom-colors-hand-knit-wine-bottle-bag?ref=shop_home_active

Rival wine bottle bags

I managed to pull the seeds out the cotton I had picked so far.  I’m not waiting until I harvest all of it to pick out the seeds.

Cotton fibers with the seed removed
Cotton fibers with the seed removed

I started spinning about 16 ounces of beautiful periwinkle blue fiber around the beginning of August.  I finished about a third of it but just couldn’t get back to spinning.  Well, I got tired of looking at the strands of roving hanging on my closet door day after day so I made a point of spinning at least one strand a day.  Just setting a goal for the day was enough to spur me on to a spinning marathon.  Not only did I get the fiber spun and plyed, I also finished the processing and now have several skeins of a lovely 3-ply yarn.

A finished skein of yarn

When I noticed that the time for the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival was only two weeks away, I realized I needed to pick up the pace and get the fleeces I bought at the festival last year carded and ready to spin.  I didn’t want to have any unprocessed fleeces hanging around on the oft chance that I buy another fleece at the festival (almost a certainty).  I’m happy to report that I have three mesh bags of luscious brown alpaca and two bags of creamy white alpaca all ready to spin.

Lucious brown alpaca

About two weeks ago, a dear friend called me to catch up and ask what I was up to.  I told her about my spinning, weaving, knitting adventures.  She was very interested in the weaving. We made a lunch date to catch up and she asked me if I could bring my loom to show her the process.  Luckily my rigid heddle loom is portable but I didn’t have any weaving on it at the moment.  No worries, I just warped the loom with yarn I had waiting for the next project.  After lunch, I showed her (and her curious little pup) how to weave.  When I came home, I put the loom on the dining room table and there it sat for two weeks untouched.   Here’s the finished scarf and a link to it on Etsy.  https://www.etsy.com/listing/163395858/wine-in-winter-scarf-gray-scarf-grey?ref=listing-shop-header-3

The Wine in Winter Scarf
The Wine in Winter Scarf

My last conquest this week was to knit up some swatches from small balls of leftover wool yarn and felt the swatches.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them but I’m thinking about some mini purses.  It all depends on the finished size of the swatch after the felting.  Now felting was not as easy this time as in the past.  I had to get a new washing machine last spring after the old one started making some terrible, grinding noises.  The new washer is a high efficiency model.  Though not a front loader, it still mixes a little cool water with the hot when on the hot setting.  Since I didn’t know if it would felt properly, I decided to try hand felting.  I filled a basin with hot water, and I do mean hot!  It comes straight from our boiler and is about 140 degrees.  I had to put on some heavy rubber gloves to work with the knitted fabric.  Felting occurs when wool is subjected to heat and abrasion.  I had plenty of heat but had to use my elbow grease for the abrasion part.  This involved standing over a pan of boiling water and rubbing, rolling, and squeezing each swatch until it started to felt.  All I could think about is the poor washer-women of ye old days, bent over their wash boards or beating their clothes on a rock!  No wonder they were all stooped over.  The felting went better than I thought, though not as tight as I’ve achieved using the old washer.  Since this was an experiment, I decided I’m going to run them through the washer anyway and see what happens.  I might be pleasantly surprised.

The hand felted swatches
The hand felted swatches

It’s been a busy week but very productive.  Maybe I’ve inspired you to tidy up your own UFOs.


One thought on “A Week of UFOs

  1. For those who like to give other hard beverages as gifts a 1/2 of Gal. will fit in the wine holders also.

    I am waiting to see how the spinning of the cotton will turn out from what was planted to being spun is going to be something else.

    The alpaca and the other stuff Pam has spun are so soft and when I go with her to pick out different fabrics I love to feel how soft the fabric is.

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