Thursday, January 19, 2012

2012 Mitten Campaign

I just received an email from my friend up north in St. Lawrence County asking for help again this year. He collects mittens throughout the year to be given every October to the kids at Norwood-Norfolk Central School (where I’m from) who are mainly from low income families without sufficient warm clothes to wear.

He makes 100 hats each year on a knitting machine but relies on knitters to make the 100 mittens needed (scarves aren’t needed at this time). His 89 year old mother knits these mittens all year round but she can’t make 100 in a year so he’s asking for our help. Here’s the details:

  • Machine washable yarn only
  • Colors for boys & girls, multiple colors and bright colors are fine (they’re kids - color is fun)
  • Sizes can range from ages 4 to almost adult
  • Must be sent to me by end of September so I can ship in one big box or drop them off to him in person when I get up that way

Personally, I can’t commit to making all of the mittens needed but I can try to work in a pair here and there between now and September. Kids mittens knit up very quickly and it’s a great travel/social knitting project. If you are interested in helping out let me know (I'm MotherHenKnits on Ravelry) and I’ll PM you my address or we can meet up somewhere to save you the shipping costs.

Below is a picture of the 2011 donation to give you an idea of what was done in the past:

On Ravelry, one of my friends offered to donate 10 skeins of Encore worsted yarn to anyone knitting for this project. If you'd like to take her up on that offer let me know and I'll get you in contact with her. There may be a "NNCS mittens" knitting afternoon at the Yarn Cupboard in the future too so I'll update here when any details become available.

Also, I'm offering an incentive as well:

For every pair of mittens knit and received by the end of September, your name will go in a hat (most likely a toque) to be drawn for a skein of my handspun yarn.

If you knit 5 pairs of mitts then you get 5 chances to win. Tag your project in Ravelry with “NNCSmitts” so we can all see everyone’s progress.

Happy Knitting!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Mystery Fibers Update

I loved blogging regularly about my spinning last month! Too bad I don't have the time at work anymore to take a quick break. Way too busy now. I'll just have to setting for weekend updates for now until things calm down.

I had to look it up but the last update on the mystery fiber spinning was ages ago and I've got a ton done. Mystery Fiber #1 before and after pictures:

Pictures of the individual skeins and stats on each are on my Ravelry stash page. I love how the colors look together so I'm leaning towards a color work project like mittens for all this yarn. It would be fun to mix and match them for several pairs.

Next up was the roving that I found all in one bag: Mystery Fibers 2, 3 & 4 (black, grey and white). I finished 2 and 3 and I'm working on 4 now. The cool thing is that when I started working on the white I found a receipt for my purchase. I paid $10 for each 4 ounce bump from Angel Knoll Alpacas located in Waddington, NY. This supports my theory that these are all alpaca/wool blends along with the occasional guard hairs I found.

Here are the before and after pictures that I have for the black and grey (details on my stash pages):

That grey is lace weight, I couldn't help myself. It was lovely to spin! In both fibers there was a bunch of vm with most of it falling out on it's own as I spin. I had to stop a few times to pick out a piece of hay but really I can't complain for the cost. I'm heading up north for 4th of July again this year and I'm seriously considering an outing to the farm to buy more.

Right now I'm spinning up the white and taking my time with it. I'd like to end up with a sport or worsted yarn if possible. I'm enjoying the process and it should be done in about a week or so:

Then I'm faced with the last of the Mystery Fiber. The enigma itself: #5. We did a burn test on it over the holidays and came up with either nylon or polyester (we couldn't place the smell). I also did some digging and found the receipt showing I paid $100 for 11 ounces of it back in 2007 before I really knew much about fiber prices. I feel like I got ripped off so I'm determined to spin it up.

The fibers are super long so I'm thinking it should be spun fine. But if it's nylon should it not be spun by itself and blended with something else instead? Or if it's polyester should I try to spin it as thick and airy as possible to keep the softness? I have no idea. I'd like to bring it to my next spin night and see what everyone recommends. I have no clue what to do with this fiber but I refuse to let it sit in my stash any longer. Five years is long enough!