Welcome to Azariah's Adventures N Fibre! Come see what is happening in the studio! Knitting, crocheting, spinning and dying. Come on in!

Monday, June 18, 2012


I went to the alpaca show in May.  I didn't get much fleece.  There was very little of that for sale.  I got my fleece from Fort Collins though.
When I went, Carl and I had decided not to have an alpaca farm.  I talked to so many ranch owners there and was able to interact with the animals and loved it.  I came home wanting to have the farm again.
So we went to the bank on May 7th to find out what, if anything we qualified for.  That weekend we went to the alpaca fair in Elizabeth.  It was great and Carl got to talk with ranch owners and see the animals.  Now we are both hooked.  We loved Elizabeth.  On the 15th the Lord prompted me to look on the internet for property in Elizabeth.  At this point we still haven't heard from the bank.  I did and found 40 acres for $140,000!  Wow!  So I called the bank and found out we qualify for $160,000.  Awesome!  Now I call the realtor and get things going.  The lender informed us that this property qualifies for USDA financing.  That is 100% financing with no down payment!  They want people on farms and ranches.  That's us!
Our realtor's wife got sick.  So he gave us over to an expert in acrage.  Isn't God good?  We went to look at it on the 18th, but it had a cash offer on it so she found something else, in Deer Trail.  Where's that?  I've been here all my life and never heard of it.  It is 15 miles North East of Kiowa.  Which is about 10 miles East of Elizabeth.  Okay, let's go look.  After being lost for 2 hours, we finally get to the first house.  Cute, but not practical.  The 2nd house...  PREFECT!  God given.  5.5 acres, 4,100 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms.  2 car garage, full unfinished basement.  So excited.  How much is this one?  I ask.  109.  What?!?  Okay.  So I drag Carl out that afternoon.  He loves it too.
On the way out of the drive way, we have a flat.  Bummer.  The day before when looking for boxes, the radiator hose busted.  Really?  But the Lord is good.  We fixed both with in about 30 minutes of it happening and were back on the road.
Now we don't know what to do.  Do we put in an offer?  It is 50 miles outside of Aurora.  Hmmm.  So we printed the pix and went to talk to my mom.  The Lord uses her greatly in our lives.  She said nothing hit her as no.  So prayed some more and then put in an offer.
Now we are 9 days from closing!  The Lord has done many things with this house.
We are getting a new septic system.  A friend at Carl's work sold us a dishwasher for cheap.  Another friend had her water heater go out and called Carl to replace it.  It was also while he was on vacation.  That will pay for the truck.  Carl wanted some wood to redo some trim and a friend we hadn't heard from in months called with a truck load her was getting rid of.  The exact wood.  Beetle kill!
The Lord has provided in so many ways.
We will have alpacas and run a mill in the basement.  Our specialty is Suri alpacas and fleece.  They make up only 17% of the alpaca population in the U.S.
We have even chosen a name.  Suriville Alpacas and Mill LLC.
We are so excited and can't wait.
Each of the kids will have their own room and Carl has his shop.  The Lord is great.
Reminds me of Psalm 37:3-6

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.

Here are a few pictures.  Oh I forgot to mention that it is a walk out basement.  Lots of trees too.

Be watching for a new blog, just for the farm.
Stay cool!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Well so much for updating every Friday.  I have not yet finished the SugarPlumFairy.  The rounds are getting really long.
I am still working hard on my wedding shawl.
I rented a drum carder from the Recycled Lamb for 2 weeks.  Overall it was a great experience.  I completed a lot of carding.  I have been spinning the India that I carded.  She is a black alpaca in Byers, Colorado.  It is turning out wonderful.  I have spun it into a cobweb single.  I will be knitting a Shetland mourning shawl from it.  I was amazed at how black the yarn is, with no dye.  I did a small test knit this morning and got so excited I had to put it away before I started something else.
I was supposed to go to an 8 hour spinning class tomorrow at the Alpaca show, but I was the only one who signed up.  It is an exotic fibers class.  The instructor emailed me and asked if we could do it at her house on a different day so she could help with her booth.  I gladly said yes.  She is also en expert at washing and carding.  I am going to learn so much!
I am still going to the Alpaca show on Saturday.  I am getting fleece from Fort Collins and hoping for some Suri and some gray.
I will post pix of everything I get.
Happy weekend!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ravelry Store!

I will be opening a Ravelry Store today!  I'm so excited!  It will only have one design to begin with because that is all I have completed.  Here is the link. http://www.ravelry.com/designers/sara-greer

Here it is.

It was knitted in the traditional style of a Haapsalu Shawl in Estonia.  I even blocked it in the traditonal way that they do.  It was great fun.

I'm doing good on most of my KALs.  I put the Heritage mittens away as they were driving me nuts.  My Orkeny is almost finished however.  I finished my LKA for January and have started a sweater for February.  I am on chart 4 of 6 for the Sugar Plum Fairy.

I ordered some great fiber and can't wait to get it.  Shetland, silk, paca mixed with tencel, and some blue face.

I also have more log wood and cochineal on the way and a different kind of indigo than what I used last year.

I had a small mishap Saturday night.  I was beading one of my up coming designs and had my crochet hook stuck in the side of yarn ball in my lap.  I went to pick something up and look what happened.

 This is a 0.4mm crochet hook stuck in my thumb.
 Carl, used some wire cutters to cut off the long part and then use tweezers to pull it all the way through.
 Here are the wire cutters and crochet hook side by side.
It is healing well and I can still do everything.  There was very little pain when it happened and none now.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Happy New Year!

Well, I know it's been forever.  I'm going to try to not do that.  My goal is to update every Friday with what's going on here.
I am part of 4 KALS.  The SugarPlumFairy with BadCatDesigns, Heritage Mittens on Ravelry, Lace Knitters Anonymous on Ravelry and an Orkney Lace KAL with Liz Lovick.  More information can be found on my Ravelry Project paged, linked below.  The only one not obvious is my Lace Knitters Anonymous project, it is labeled "LKA January".
I am also about to finish my first Haapsalu shawl.  It is grey, light weight 100% alpaca yarn and looks good.  It is the first design I am going to complete.
Speaking of designs, I have a new one that is a Pi shawl, on the needles right now.  It is Strawberry Supreme yarn the I dyed myself with Koolaid.  It is 100% merino.  I am using 6/0 beads in green and pink and maybe yellow, haven't decided yet.  The shawl has strawberries and flowers on it.  So far, so good.  Hoping to get that one out this year as well.
Just a quick up date from late summer.  I won the Best in Show at the Adams county fair, for my Purple Pi shawl.  For more information and pictures you can go to my project page on Ravelry here: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/Azariah
Nijah, my daughter is now knitting and crocheting also.  She has a Ravelry page under NijahG.
I am also looking into the Master Knitter Program through the Knitting Guild Association.
Hope you have a happy weekend!  GO BRONCOS!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Before a fiber is to be dyed, mordanting can be very helpful.  Not all natural dye stuffs need it, but some do, they won't stick otherwise.
I use copper, iron, alum and tin for mordanting.
The alum I use is the same kind that you get in the seasonings aisle at the grocery store.  I buy it in bulk because it is more economical that way.
Copper took me a while find.  Finally found it at Home Depot.  It is used to kill roots in your sewer lines by putting it down the toilet.
Iron I ordered a pound of it from Earth Guild. http://www.earthguild.com/level2/products.htm
Tin I ordered from Aurora Silk when I ordered my Logwood.

Here is step by step of mrodanting.  The method is the same for all four mordants.  I have also included a chart of what percentage I use and any assistants as well.

1. Wet out the fiber.

2. Boil water for dissolving your mordant and assist.
3. Weigh your mordant and assist.

4. Dissolve your mordant in the boiling water.

5. Pour the dissolved mordant into the pot with the wet out fiber.
6. Heat the fiber slowly, over the course of an hour or more to 185F.  I use a thermometer that is designed to do meat in the oven.  I set if for chicken and set the alarm.  This way I don't forget that I was mordanting.

The pot is ready to go.

7. After is has reached 185F, turn the heat down just a little and let it simmer for 1 hour.  Then turn the heat off and leave until cool.  Some people rinse the yarn and others don't.  I do not have enough experience to say one way or another.  I did rise my yarn for the logwood, cochineal and rhubarb in previous posts.

Here is the pot of copper after it has cooled.

Here are copper and alum hanging out to dry.  These were not rinsed after mordanting.  They are for future use.

The percentages used are based on the yarn weight.  So if for example you have 100g of fiber to mordant, you would use 25g of alum and 8g cream of tartar.

mordant                assist

alum 25%             cream of tartar 8%
copper 4%           vinegar 5%
tin 1%                  cream of tartar 2%
iron 2%

Cochineal, Logwood and Rhubarb update

Sorry this has taken so long.
First the rhubarb leaves.  The ones that were drying ended up rotting and stinking so they went in the trash.  I still have the frozen ones, the extras in the trash bag went in the trash as well.  When I use the frozen ones I will update again about how well that works.

Here are the results of the logwood.
This is what the pot looked like the next day.

Here are some hanks just pulled from the pot.

Here they are after rinsing.  You can see how the color lightens.  I thought they were all going to be black.

You need to rinse you logwood really well if they dye bath wasn't strained really well.

Here they are on the line to dry.

Here is a close up of the copper mordanted fiber.  Nice color.

Here is my cochineal on the line, curing.  There are some experiments on the end that turned out nicely.

The cochineal took some extra effort to wet out before modifying.  As you can see the water just sits on the surface of the wool.  So the water had to be squeezed into the fiber.

So as I mentioned, the next step is modification.  This is where the color is changed by placing the yarn into a solution of either acid, such as vinegar or using citric acid, base, such as washing soda or ammonia, or other modifiers like copper or iron.  In this picture I have a hank from each mordant from the rhubarb, logwood and cochineal in a ammonia solution.  I used about 1 cup in the 2 gallon roasting pan.

Below are pictures of each yarn after all modifiers have been applied.

First 5 are mordanted with alum.  The first one is not modified.  The second is modified using copper, third, iron, fourth, ammonia, fifth, citric acid.
Next 5 are mordanted with copper.  Modified as above.
Next 5 are mordanted with iron.  Modified as above.
Last 5 are mordanted with tin.  Modified as above.

Rhubarb is like the logwood, but hit or miss.  Remember this one was all experimental.

Cochineal is the same as the logwood.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Rhubarb and Logwood

Well while the cochineal is curing, lets do something else.  Rhubarb leaves and Logwood.

Yesterday my friend brought these rhubarb leaves to me for use with dying.  These are drying.  I froze some others, used 3 for this session and still have some left over.

I boiled them in a covered pot for 30 minutes.  When I removed the leaves, I put them in a ziplock bag and the threw them away.  My dye book says the are poisonous and not to breathe the vapors either.  So I also wore a mask.

Take the water from the pot for wetting out the yarn and add it to the rhubarb juice.  Then add the yarn.  This cools the boiled water down to a point where the yarn won't object to the temperature change.

Replaced the lid and turned the heat back on.  Simmered for one hour and left over night with the lid on.

Also over night I soaked my logwood in a jar of water and wet out the yarn for it.

The logwood was measured, in grams, on a scale.  I didn't use my entire packet.

This morning I rinsed that rhubarb yarn and hung it on the line.

Then I boiled the logwood for 20 minutes, strained, added more water and boiled again.

I put the 2 batches of water in the pot and added the water from wetting out and then the yarn.  I put the lid on, turned the heat on simmered for 45 minutes.  I have now shut the heat off, leaving the lid on and will find out tomorrow what happened.