Scrumbling – Or How I Feel Down the Freeform Crochet Rabbit-hole

Scrumble in Red Heart yarn. My very first attempt at freefrom crochet.

Sorry I haven’t posted in ages. There was enough family drama to fuel several soap operas, and I felt it was too much trouble to post positive stuff when my entire world fell apart.

The good news is that it has all worked out, for the best. So I’m ready to start sharing my adventures in crochet freeform.

I’m not the kind of person who likes having huge stashes of materials. Fiber or yarn, I want to use it up and get it out into the world in some form or another. For quite some time, I’ve been looking for good stash-busting projects.

I think I’ve found one!

In my adventures of 2014 – I cleared out a great deal of furniture and framed art. So my bedroom walls are quite bare. This little scrumble may end up as part of a very large wall hanging.

Stay tuned, I’m going to share my sources and have some fun.


Cottage Industry – Fiber Anyone?

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I’ve been browsing and, looking at fiber offerings.

This is quite a cottage industry – isn’t it? I’ve seen hundreds of offers from dozens of vendors. That’s a whole lot more than I thought I’d find.

The prices are pretty high, which is good for the vendors. I don’t know all the places to look for fiber/fleece/wool, but I’m learning a lot from just bouncing around the interwebz. I’m very, very glad that I was able to get Tonka and Sabre – because I’m really into alpaca fiber.

I bought a Kitten carding machine from Fancy Kitty of Missouri. They have a terrific sale going on, 5% off orders that ship in the next few days. Mine shipped today, I should see it next week. Not in time to get all the Christmas gifts out, but I’ll have it for the other bags of fiber.

I’m going to NEED it for all that fiber. There are still 5 bags I haven’t touched, and half a crate each of black, appalousa and chocolate, plus a bag of washed Jacob. That’s a heck of a lot of fiber to card by hand.

The appalousa, even after a good washing, is still dirty. I’m puzzled, because I’m not sure how much this affects my ability to spin it. If I don’t put a LOT of twist in this fiber, it falls apart.

The black needs even more twist!

It’s a challenge, a challenge to my short spinning experience.

Got the Photos


These are a couple of skeins I spun last week. I think I did three the week before to get the infinity scarf done for the Llama Rescue people.

I had an ounce of appalousa llama carded by hand. I spun that up, it’s the little hank only 30 yards. I’m waiting for my order of firestar to come in before I spin any more appalousa. Those three fluffy batts are calling my name! But adding just a touch of sparkle will make them beyond fablous!

Un-Swirly Hats

These are the hats I made with the ‘Swirly Hat’ pattern. As you can see, the swirls didn’t happen. However I LOVE the look of these hats! I put a little bit of decoration on them with a band and two buttons. Just charming!

I’ll take another look at the photos to see if there are any more pictures I can post.

‘Tis the Season!

What to Do?

Yes, the crate is full to the brim. (Eek!)

Yes, the crate is full to the brim. (Eek!)

Isn’t it lovely?

An entire crate of llama fiber, washed and waiting to be carded, then spun. The color didn’t come out in the original photo so I goosed the color saturation a bit.

I’ve got to pick out the guard hairs as I card it, otherwise it is pure fluff. This is just one of the bags given to me.

I’ve already spun 5 ounces. It hardly made a dent in the crate. Maybe hubby and I will need to go back to Shoppes to run this fiber through the picker and the carding machine.

I’ve already got half an infinity scarf – I’m wondering what else I should make with it.

And I wonder how much I can get done by Christmas?

Llama Fiber Mega Stash

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As you can see, I’ve been busy processing the llama fiber I was given. The large brown crate on the floor is full to the brim with washed fiber that needs picked and carded. The white bags are full of unwashed fiber. The tilted crate is half full of Appalousa llama fiber, which appears to be free of guard hair. It’s all pure fluff. There are still two bags of fiber in the car. (gulp)

You can see I’ve got a huge task ahead of me. If I wasn’t itching for something to do, I’d be freaking out. It’s fairly easy to wash the fiber, though it’s full of dirt and bits of vegetation. Once it’s washed and rinsed, it dries into mats. I use conditioner to make it easier to pick, otherwise it developes a wicked case of static cling.

The mats can be broken up by hand, or with a picking machine. A picking machine is an ugly bed of nails that rips the fiber mats open. It will also give an unwary woman a masectomy, so it has to be used with caution. Once the mats are turned into fluff, the fiber can be carded either by hand or with a machine.

This week, I have washed one bag of fiber, the chestnut. The crate contains the bulk of it. I have carded 4 oz. I’ve spun all 4 ounces into 2 skeins. One skein is already half of an infinity scarf. The other skein is drying on the rack. Once it is dry, I’ll crochet the rest of the scarf.

Thus far, the appalousa llama is the most intreging fiber. It’s also very dirty. I thought one wash and rinse was enough, but I was wrong. This guy liked to wallow in clay dust. (shrug) No big deal, really.

I’m toying with the idea of dying some of the white. (BTW – appalousa is white with tan spots.) I’ve got lavender and turquois dyes that should really look good with the mottled fiber. Not sure about that yet, it might be entirely too time consuming for Christmas presents.

I’m also looking into Dragon speach to text software. I suspect I won’t have my hands free until summer. LOL

Quick Note

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I have spun and plied a new skein of Rose and Gray. It is 100 yards AND 2 ounces.

The reason I’m tickled with this?

I’ve never actually tried to spin a measured amount of fiber in to a measured amount of yarn.

Until now, I’ve just spun whatever I could get my hands on, to whatever length I put on the bobbin. Now, I’m measuring out the fiber in ounces, with the goal of getting a uniform length from it. I would like to be able to spin ‘production’ amounts of yarn.

You know, enough for a hat or a scarf as per the directions.