Friday, September 18, 2009

New Fibers

Wow, what a week Dragon Craft has had!
We only have one Deep Water Dragon Batt left, so here are the October Batts!

Our garden is just buzzing with bees.

Inspired by all the bees, is a roving filled with lots of merino mill ends for texture, more merino, and bamboo. Of course bees have just a little shimmer to them so we added just a little firestar in black and orange. These batts all have super-wash merino and will not felt.

If you don't like bees....

This blend is inspired by fall leaves.
I may have been a little heavy handed on the orange.
The fibers used in the fall leaves blend are merino, superwash merino, soy silk, brown merino, and orange firestar for just a little shimmer. These batts may or may not felt.
If you are purchasing a spindle from make sure and let us know what color you would prefer.

Also I wanted to thank Nadiah for her fabulous YouTube video.
Thanks so much!

Happy Spinning!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

September Fiber

The September fiber of the month is.....

A fantastic blend of Superwash Merino, Lincoln Longwool (from our little farm), corn silk (ingeo), mill ends and firestar.

All of our spindles are sent with roving please be sure to let me know if you would prefer a Dragon Egg (batt). The batts are carded on my Louette Roving Carder and measure 4 x 26 inches.

This is a sample skein of the September fiber, it is a 2 ply and measured 36 yards.

Labor Day weekend I did an educational display in Dundas, Mn. I brought my Ashford and spun from 8 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon. So I thought I would share the photos with you.
The white skein is a 2 ply merino cashmere blend ( a splurge), the first pink is merino 4-ply, the second pink is a 2 ply bamboo merino blend, the 3rd and 4th pink skeins are 2 ply merino roving that was spaced dyed. They are super loud colors, I brought this roving to spin because children really like bright colors and they are really interested in watching the colors change on the bobbin.
Until next time,
Happy Spinning!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What a week!

Our newest batch of spindles.
They just need hooks and then we will start listing them on ETSY.
My Favorite is the Spiders.

I have gone granny square crazy.
This is my latest project, however I had to order more yarn from So off it goes to await the new shipment. Right now it is 3 feet square, I am hoping it will be a good size throw when it is finished.
It is made from Loin Brand Wool Yarn and my greatest fear is that my husband will throw it in the wash and it will end up a rug.

Last weeks project has stalled.
After using up all of my scraps of handspun I selected several squares to make a tote. I have stiched them together and they are waiting to have the ends woven in and the lining sewed together. I just can not decide on a handle.

I can not belive how fast the month goes by. Next week I should have the July blend started.
With any luck I will have the Granny Square tote finished.
Happy Spinning!

Monday, June 1, 2009

June Fiber of the Month

June Fiber of the Month!

This color is sky blue. I bet you can tell I have been spending hours in the garden.

The fibers in the June blend include; Merino, SW merino, soy silk, Pygora, Firestar and Angelina

Here is a batt, hand pulled Roving and a sample skein.

This is a granny square made from the Sample skein.

It never fails, as soon as you set out a project help arrives to "help."
This is Raj, he always ends up in the middle.

For the last few months I have been looking for something to do with all the sample skeins I have spun. Most of them are around 30 yards long, but I always have little bits and pieces that I don’t have the heart to toss. I have finally come up with a solution, Granny Squares. So I purchased several pounds of a black merino bamboo blend and have been spinning up a storm. Last week I spun up several 4 ounce skeins. I now have 30 or so 4.5 inch squares. So now I have to decide what to do with them. I have been toying with the Idea of a tote bag or purse. However the traditional blanket is still creeping its way into my thoughts. To make a decent size blanket I would need 196 squares. Choices.

Happy Spinning!

Friday, May 1, 2009

May Fiber

Our May Fiber of the month is inspired by my Great Grandmother's love of roses. Lots of different shades of pink and red remind me of her.

After making a batt I like to make sure it will look good as roving and yarn before I make a whole batch.

The silk worm saga continues. I have over 400 cocoons now and still have a few stragglers that I am still feeding everyday. I should have moths emerging soon.

This week I am hoping to get a few things into the garden. My new Jersey Wolly rabbits are hoping I will plant them carrots.
Happy Spinning! Loretta

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Silkworms are Spinning!

The silkworms are finally spinning.
I would like to thank my husband for my new silkworm condos. I ran out of egg cartons and he saved the day by making me condos. What a guy!
Every flat surface in our home is currently occupied by boxes of silkworms, I am hopeful that by Monday all of the little guys will have spun beautiful little beds.

I have been trying to capture the spinning process from beginning to end. So far I have not been successful, I seem to miss a few steps. But here is my first attempt. This little guy started spinning first thing in the morning.

This picture was taken about noon.

This pic was shot around 4 pm.

Here are my first 23 cocoons of the year. I like to carefully string the cocoons together and hang them up, the first cocoons will become a living sculpture. All of my silkworms are given the opportunity to hatch and live out their lives as moths. I will post pictures as the moths start emerging from their cocoons.

Today I am mailing out the rest of the Daffodil inspired roving. I will also be carding a new color roving, I am thinking maybe purple and green. I will have to raid my stash. More soon.
Happy Spinning!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Silkworms are taking over my Life!

What a cutie!
I just love my little friends.
Ok, I will admit 500 silkworms are too much for me to handle at one time. To start out they are so small, just a spec really. Now they are between 1-4 inches long and they are taking over. It only takes about 30 min a day to clean and feed, but I am now making food for them to eat every day. They are also taking over every flat surface in my living room. I am so thankful my family understands and makes room for them.

This little guy and several of his friends have graduated to the spinning boxes. They are close to 4 inches long and should start spinning soon. This is the most fragile state of their little lives many will die before spinning cocoons. So I wait and worry.

Today I cooked up an experimental batch of chow for my little friends. Last summer my mother-in-law dehydrated mulberry leaves for me. I have kept them in the freezer all winter waiting for the right time to use them. Silkworms spin best when they have fresh leaves to eat, but as I am in Iowa we will not have leaves for at least another month. So today I added 5 grams of dehydrated leaves to 2.7 ounces of powdered commercial chow and 1 cup of water, then I steamed the chow for 30 minutes. I am hoping that the leaves will trigger the silkworms to spin. We shall see.

This is a group of silkworms that are 3-4 inches long, they are eating commercial food with blue cake dye added. I was hoping to replicate an experiment that was done last summer in China. So far none of the silkworms have changed color.
More soon. Happy Spinning!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Growing Silk Worms

I Love Wednesdays and Fridays. They are the days that I don't have to run around, so I can stay home and work on my projects.
Today I am going to work on finishing a ball of roving I started spinning over the weekend.
And I have spindles that want turning.
But First are my babies!

These two shots are of the silkworms on Monday. I think I have an overcrowding problem because I have several different size worms. Most are the two larger sizes but I do have a few really little ones.

This is a picture I took this morning ( Wednesday). I have to separate the silk worms again today because they have grown so much! I now have to cook chow everyday and I will soon have to make 2 batches every day. I use my rice steamer to cook the chow, it works much better than cooking it on the stove or in the Microwave.

This is a 2.5 ounce 2 ply skein I did over the weekend. Kim dyed the Soy/Merino roving for me last spring. I don't remember how she dyed it but it was really stiff. I recently re-washed the roving and it was still really stiff so I carded it. It was such a joy to work with. now what to do with it.

Ok, I am a yarnaholic my stash probably is larger than my life expectancy. I have been trying really hard not to add to my stash but I added 6 skeins in March and Teusday I added 4 skeins of this metallic eyelash. I really need to stay out of Hobby Lobby. I have enough of my handspun to keep me busy for years. I better go I hear the silkworms calling.
Happy Spinning!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

April Roving

Ahh Spring!
I am so thankful that warm weather is on the way. My roving for April is based on the daffodils that are starting to sprout up all over Iowa.

The yellow is Merino wool that my husband brought home from Amana, some Merino mill ends, Bamboo and firestar. The Green is superwash merino and soy silk. I also added some white viscose and Angelina.

This is what a striped batt looks like and how it pulls into roving.

This is the same fiber blended together. It looks a lot like sherbet.

Some of the spindles I finished March 29th. They should be up on the shop soon.

My babies!
I love to raise silk worms. They are really caterpillars as they make cocoons and hatch into Moths. These little guys are about 2 weeks old. When they hatch they are about 2mm long and they keep growing until they are between 4-5 inches. Then they spin beautiful silk cocoons. I let all of my silk making friends hatch and soon I have lots of moths. Don't worry they can't fly.
I will have silk worm updates each week. So you can see them grow with out all the messy work.

Happy Spinning!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Febuary Roving

This year I am going to try to stay one month ahead in my colors. January we did a red roving for Valentines Day and this Month I am doing a Green roving for St Patrick's Day. I have to admit I tend to Dye fibers when it is very cold outside. This year I have a pellet stove to help dry my fibers. They dry faster than outside in the summer and I don't sacrifice any fibers to the wind.

I try to remember to weigh the fiber before I start so I can measure the Dye more efficiently, however I do often forget. This is one of my dye pots on the stove. It was labeled Merino/Soy Blend however after it was rinsed, to my horror, it was all soy. Soy and wool use different dyes so after all the work the fiber was white. I like to Dye the blends with acid dye because when they dry I get white streaks (the Soy or Bamboo) through a deep color.The good news is I have a Lot of soy. I also saved the dye water (it was still very green) and took some Merino Nylon out of my stash.

Finally results! My February Blend contains Superwash merino, merino, Domestic wool, nylon, bamboo, Firestar and Green Angelina.

Super soft and sparkly, the perfect cure for the winter doldrums. Boy, I miss grass, right now I even miss mowing : )

Happy Spinning!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

January Roving

The January roving is finished! The contents are Merino, Super wash Merino, Mill ends, Soy silk, viscose and Firestar. What fun!

Some roving I spaced dyed just for fun.
And a 2 yard Niddy-Noddy my husband made for me last weekend.

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I added 2 silk scarves to the dye pot. I think I will give one to my mother for Valentines day.

Ta Ta for now!