Another Spinning Milestone

Another beautiful day!

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I love sunny days. It promises to be 72° on Friday, but I'll believe it when I see it.

My big spinning milestone is that I was able to successfully Navajo ply the 49 g (1.6 oz,) of yarn that was left over when I plied my Maine Coast yarn. I knew there would be leftovers, and the best thing to do with spinning leftovers is simply to Navajo ply them. But, I wondered if I could do it ...

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... and indeed, I could! It will take a lot of practice to get it right and be comfortable with it, but it is a start. I am very happy.

In other news, I'm working on the last color of my Scrap Yarn Pi shawl before making a knitted on edge:

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It's prettier than the picture. When it is finished and ~sort of~ blocked (meaning, washed and hung over the stair rail upstairs to dry), it will be pretty and wearable and cozy, and best of all, I got rid of a big ol' wad of scrap yarn to boot!

My red cardigan is gorgeous, and I have one more pattern repeat to knit on the body before doing the ribbing and binding off. That will make it about two-thirds done. There will still be two sleeves, two button bands, and a neckline to knit, and finding buttons and sewing them on. But still, two-thirds done feels pretty good! I'll get a picture when it's all done.

The more scrap yarn I use up, the more I realize that I have way too much yarn. I've cleaned it out, down to having just three bins and a big chest full, but it feels impossible to use it all up. I could make a spreadsheet of all the things I could knit out of the yarn I have, but it would scare me. And you know what? I still want to buy more!!!!

 


Beautiful

It's a beautiful spring day on the coast of Maine!

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Photo by jdgrigsby from FreeImages

I finished my blue-green Linus shawl a while ago.

Linus blue green

I also went to my WIP bin and took out an Absolutely Fabulous Throw kit by Colinette  that someone had started, given up on it, gave it to me, and I never worked on it ... but thought I would, someday. Well, someday came. The kit originally sold for around $180, contained your choice of four throw patterns, and had enough of eight beautiful Colinette colors in a variety of yarns to make the throw. The yarns are still available, but sadly the pattern is not.

AbFab Throw kit done

See? It really is Absolutely Fabulous. Pogo settled down on it as I was putting on the fringe. She gave it her seal of approval.

Pogo on throw

 

I finished spinning my Maine Coast yarn.

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Three skeins (total of 385 grams) of 2-ply fingering weight yarn. It's gonna be great!

What is on my needles now?

An Elizabeth Zimmerman Pi Shawl using fingering weight scrap yarn (I got tired of making endless Linus shawls) ...

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... and a red cardigan for me. It's sweater #4 for those who are counting.

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Keep knitting and spinning! Remember, you are beautiful!

 

 


Still Quarantining

Hi there! I'm fine, how are you? Healthy, I hope!

While others have been busily sewing masks

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Image by Christo Anestev from Pixabay

and doing other heroic things, I have been spinning and knitting and just staying home. In other words, my usual life.

On the spinning front, I finished the turquoise fiber and am halfway through spinning a braid of yarn that I hand dyed pre-stroke:

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Here are a bobbin of each side by side:

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I am going to ply them together and make a fingering weight yarn that will look like a summer day on the coast of Maine. I can almost feel the wind in my face and hear the water slooshing by! I'll knit the Crest O' the Wave stole by Wendy Johnson:

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On the knitting front, I have knit three pairs of socks:

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These socks were started pre-stroke, so over ten years ago.

The red fluffy ones on top are a mohair blend that I lost the band from, and I ran out of yarn to finish them, so I completed the foot on the second sock with bright red worsted weight wool. I neglected to photograph them when they were finished.

The pink socks are a worsted weight from a yarn called Wick (now discontinued) from Knit One, Crochet Too, a 53% soy, 47% polypropylene yarn that wicks moisture away from you.

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These socks are fingering weight from Heavenly Yarns in Belfast. (They have lots of yarn, buttons, and needles! Free shipping on orders $30 and over! You should go!) The yarn is Sox by Berroco and is so pretty!

What is on my needles?

I have a sweater, a hat, and a shawl/scarf/thing going.

The sweater is Kinsale by Alice Starmore (in Fishermen's Sweaters):

Kinsale

I am using two 1-lb. cones of Jagger Ragg in blue that was gifted to me by Nancy Howard in 2015 or 2016.

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The hat is Raineach by Juliet Bernard that was in The Knitter magazine, issue 148.

Raineach

I am knitting Raineach out of scraps: gray yarn from my KittyCat Socks, and a ball of pre-stroke handspun that I don't even remember spinning at all, or what I originally knit from it. Perhaps I was drunk.

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Anyway, it is really pretty. Here are the sweater and hat together:

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So pretty.

Finally, I have another Linus shawl/scarf/thing on my needles for my evening TV knitting, using scraps of blue and green:

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Here it is so far:

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I have a ways to go!

Happy knitting and spinning, stay healthy both mentally and physically, and learn something today that you didn't know yesterday. I think I will learn how to make peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.

Yum.

 

 


So Happy

I woke up to one of the warmest days in the year, and it made me smile. I love spring.

Yarn

You may remember this yarn that I spun. It made me happy too! I knit a shawlette with it: the Cider Press Shawl by Marie Greene. It's in her book Knit Shawls and Wraps in 1 Week: 30 Quick Patterns to Keep You Cozy in Style.

I love it.

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Every stitch looked different, every color plied with every color, and every weight of yarn from lace weight through chunky slid through my fingers. Yet, the magic of knitting pulled it all together to produce this wonderful shawl.

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I was giggling with happiness and fascinated at what was being created in my hands.

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Stay warm and happy!


Mystery Socks and Beautiful Yarn

I had a great week! I completed the Mystery XII Socks by Knitters Brewing Company, Let It  Snow! socks:

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Pattern: Let It Snow! socks by Wendy Gaal

Yarn: Knitters Brewing Company Sockaholic II fingering weight, 75% Superwash Merino & 25% Nylon, 460 yards per 100g: color ESB (Extra Special Blue)

It was a really fun-to-knit pattern! I might make it again. It had mosaic knitting (which I usually hate) and lace (which I love). This time, I loved the mosaic knitting. I guess I trusted Wendy Gaal, whose patterns are always well-written.

 

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One goal I had for 2020 was to spin more, which I have totally been doing, and I finished up eight ounces of lovely superwash merino from On The Round that I got about two or three years ago. I started spinning it right when I got it, but then I quit for some reason -- inertia takes the blame -- and now FINALLY it is all spun up. And I love it so much!

It's a shame that I never took a picture of the roving before it became yarn. It was all pretty colors, but when I spun it, the reds and oranges became the predominant color (and I love red and orange) and the yarn became a lovely dark red with other colors all mixed in.

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(There is a bit of the roving I spun showing at the top of the above picture)

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Now it is all ready to knit. Pogo was being really loving this morning and tried to help me so much to get the right picture. I better knit a shawl that she can curl up in!


January Spinning

On my Make Nine list of goals, I had "Spin at least an hour per week". In January  I had a goal to spin 4.5 hours; I was able to spin 14.07 hours. Wowza!

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I made a nifty little spreadsheet to put my spinning time in. It adds up all the minutes for me, so it's easy.

Spinning is my meditation. I spin mostly in the morning to get my head and my body to align and get used to the day. Although, my days are pretty stress free and I only have half a brain left, so there is that.

Spinning uses a lot of physics. I'm not talking about speed of the wheel or ratios, no, I'm talking about inertia. See, when I sit down to spin, I plan on spinning about 20 minutes ... but I find that I actually spin about 40 minutes on average. Once I start, it is hard to stop! Inertia takes over! But on the other side, once I stop, it is very hard to start. Previously, I stopped spinning, and it took me about two years to overcome the inertia. When I take one day off, that day tries to inveigle itself into three days or a week. After I took several days off for a knitting weekend recently, it was hard to make myself spin again, but I'm glad I did! It is hard to overcome inertia.

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That fiber is from On the Round that I got three or four years ago when they had some one-of-a-kind merino on sale. It may be superwash, not sure. I got eight ounces. I've already spun the bits on the side; only the big bit on the top to be spun, and then it will be plied and washed and then the knitting will begin! I can't believe this has been waiting to be spun for two years. That is just criminal.

At first my yarn was about DK weight (the part I spun two years ago) but now I spin a two-ply heavy fingering weight naturally. I think most people do, but I haven't fact checked it. If I want a thicker yarn, I'll just ply more than two plies together, for hats and mittens and the like.

I'm a weird spinner, because as soon as my spinning is done, I knit something out of it. I never have yarn spun up that I haven't knit. But, as far as I can tell, that is unusual. Most spinners never seem to use their yarn, or do so rarely. This I also haven't fact checked, it's just a  feeling I have. Do let me know if I am right or not. I'd love to see what you have made from your handspun yarn!


So Much Fun!

I have had so much fun the last couple of weeks! 

First, the things I have knitted: not much, actually. I have my stealth knitting project almost completed. In fact, it will be finished this week probably, and I can go to Freeport at the end of the week with a clear conscience. I have, in addition, sewn up my Sylvi coat/sweater, woven in most of the ends, and am now working on the hood:

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It is kind of hard to knit because of the weight of the sweater and only having one and a quarter hands, but it is going slowly onward. I hope to finish it next week, after SPA in Freeport. At least Hillary will be able to wear it for a couple weeks before Spring!

Second is the goodies that I have bought.

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I pre-ordered MAINEknits by Beatrice Perron Dahlen a few weeks ago, and promptly forgot it, and then there it was! I wanted to get it when I realized that all of the patterns in it were in my favorites in Ravelry, which was a sign that the book needs to be on my shelf.  I was pleased to find that the book has really gorgeous pictures of Maine, a foreword by Pam Allen, and well-written essays by Sarah Kilch Gaffney, Julie Letowski, Samantha Lindgren and Beck Robbins in addition to beautiful, highly-wearable and desirable-to-knit patterns by fourteen excellent designers, including Beatrice Perron Dahlgren. 

The book is divided into three sections: Sea, Farm, and Wild, which is how I think of Maine too. I'm from Aroostook county, Maine, the wilderness was all around me in Portage where I lived, my father was a farmer, and now I live by the sea! There are five or six patterns in each section, totaling seventeen patterns in the book. Most of them are sweaters and accessories for women, but a few are unisex too, and one is photographed on a man and a child; that sweater can be made in children's sizes too. There is also a cowl in child and adult sizes as well. 

I also got some little colored stitch markers from Cocoknits.com. They are so pretty, I want to string them on a chain and wear them as a necklace! 

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I succumbed to pattern lust and bought the yarn to make these socks:

They are 173-45 Sleepy Sheep from Drops.

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They are so springy and pretty! I don't really need 450g of yarn to knit socks. I'll have yarn leftover, so maybe I will design something with Mary Jane Mucklestone's books that I have been looking over.

The best thing though is the fluff that I got from On the Round! It is soooooooo gorgeous! It makes me want to spin and spin and spin! 

Fluff

This fluff is hand dyed Corriedale top in a OOAK (One Of A Kind)  color. That means it is unique!  Rachel Jones does an incredible job of dyeing. Her colors are imaginative, playful, and creative while being harmonious too. It takes real talent to do that. I will wait as long as possible to start spinning this, but I think the beauteousness of the fluff will overwhelm me. It is sitting right beside my computer and I keep looking at it and sighing happily. I need to get a couple things done, but soon ... soon!

The third and final fun thing is ahead: SPA!!! Lynne and I are going to Freeport for the weekend (February 24,25, & 26) and we will have so much fun. We are staying at the Hampton Inn. SPA is a weekend of fibery goodness that is at three hotels in Freeport, but it really kind of takes over the town. It is like a convention of 1000 (maybe more) knitters and crocheters and spinners and weavers and felters and other fibery folk who show up for the weekend. Some people go for three or four days. Lynne and I will pretty much stay in the Hampton Inn; the vendor area doesn't really interest me much (see above) but there are many vendors and people who want their wares. Also Mother of Purl is in the area and there are a few things that they offer too this weekend, including an On the Round trunk show -- Rachel will be there in person to amaze and delight you! 

Pogo's Sweater

I haven't the heart to tell Pogo that the sweater isn't for her.


My Spinning

All the orange fluff is done! (It's actually corriedale.)

Orange done spinning

This was fantastic to spin. I would have gotten done sooner, but NaNoWriMo got in the way a bit. 

I  started plying it up last night.

Plying

I am so very pleased with this yarn. It's just wonderful. I'm going to make socks with it, because who doesn't need some hunting socks for safety? hehe. It's actually a pleasing shade of orange, not the blinding sort of orange that makes yelp in surprise. It is going to be fun to knit!

 


My Spinning

I felt bad about not spinning last week, so I vowed to spin at least one day this week, and that's what I did. I spun one day.

To prove it, I took pictures. 

Here is some predrafted roving:

Predrafting

Here is what I spun in an hour:

Spun

Looks about the same, no? Sigh. 

Here is the itty bitty amount of fiber that I have left to spin:

Left

I'd say NaNoWriMo is the reason, but it's not, really. That only takes me a couple hours to do. I think I'm just a slow spinner (I can hear Sharon in the background saying, "Ha!").

I will try to spin the rest of the orange before the end of 2013. Really, I will.


My Spinning

Still spinning the orange:

Spun

Here's what I have left:

Fluff

Still loving it! I should be ready to ply it Thursday or Friday. This is going to come out pretty truly a sock weight. I haven't put any nylon or silk in it, but I think I'll knit a pair of socks with it ... they may wear out, but gee, I'll just have to spin some more yarn and knit them again!


My Spinning

When I was at Sharon's, I wanted her to critique my spinning and help me in any way she could. She thought spinning from the fold would be good for me, but I just couldn't get the hang of it, so I was going to keep spinning my lumpy, bumpy yarn.

It was when she had me try some combed Corriedale top that everything clicked. What a difference! It was like the difference between mashed potatoes and luscious chocolate pudding with whipped cream topping (not that there's anything wrong with mashed potatoes, but honestly, which would you rather eat??). I am in spinning heaven now. 

Of course we started out with orange, because who doesn't need more orange yarn?

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I could feel the difference as soon as I started.

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I'm a happy spinner now!

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My yarn is about the same as it was before I had my stroke, and it makes me happy:

Orange

I got four more colors of Corriedale combed top, 8 ounces each:

Corriedale

Some Blue Faced Leicester (8 ounces):

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And last but not least, I got some of Sharon's beautiful alpaca, from when she had her farm. This is from an alpaca named Rudolph Valentino, known for his bedroom eyes; I spun a little Rudy once before, and feel lucky to be able to have the chance to spin more of his caramel-colored  fleece:

Rudy
There's nothing quite like spinning fiber from an animal you have petted!


My Spinning

I've been getting ahead on my spinning. I got the second bobbin filled:

Spinning

Then I plied and I plied and I plied, and made this yarn:

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It's pretty fine yarn, but still lumpy bumpy, which may be the roving and it may be me. The roving is pretty hard to draft evenly, because it's so sticky and because I don't think it was combed; there's little noils of wool in it, and I have to be more patient and draft it more evenly and spin more slowly. It is not merino or alpaca, it is regular old wool.

This yarn is better than the purple yarn, which anded up worsted to light worsted in weight. This yarn is a fingering to DK in weight, but I haven't set the twist yet, and it swells or puffs up some when  I do that, so it'll probably be a heavy fingering to light worsted weight when it is done.

I still have a ball of roving left to spin. I like the yarn quite a bit, though I have no idea what I'll do with it when I'm done. What would you do with it?

Lynne and I are going up to Nova Scotia today, where I'll see Sharon and Richard, my good friends who used to own alpacas before they moved to Canada. Sharon is still into spinning big time, and I'm sure I will find something to spin while I'm there! I'm taking my spinning wheel just in case :)


Slow Spinning

I spun yesterday, so I only spun two out of seven days this week. Still, that's better than zero out of seven. I'm about two-thirds done my second bobbin:

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The good news is, I've found the card that says where Tracy bought the roving! It's from Jehovah Jireh Farm, in Paw-Paw, Michigan. (I always wanted to make a connection with Paw-Paw, because I love the name.) The farm is owned by Amy and Greg Francisco. This black and dark brown (it's probably supposed to be black) roving is pretty, but I like a few other colors they have, too. This color would be fun to spin in the winter:

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It's called "Smile". Great name!

 


Spinning

Yesterday I spun a little. I got one bobbin full:

One bobbin

I started another one:

Other bobbin

I'll get that one about half full, and that will be all for the first half of my red and brown fluff; then I'll spin the other half, ply them together, and dance a merry dance.

I could finish it in a week, if I spin a little every day. Then again, it might be three years, the way I'm going, hehe. 


My Spinning

My spinning mojo is seriously lacking. This is what I got done all of last week:

Spinning

Sigh. 

Sorry about the darkness of the photo ... it was dark when I took it. It gets dark so early now, ya know? 

I spin about 2 yards of roving per day, and I don't know how many yards of yarn that equals. Then there are the days when I don't spin at all. Even when I am not spinning, I still beat my old record of not spinning all year and then spinning all day, one day per year.

I was getting better before my stroke though, I was drop-spindling religiously about 45 minutes to an hour each day, and I was getting quite fast at it, too. I could spindle spin the wool for a pair of socks and ply it, in about 16 hours. If that were my work, I could spin it and ply in two work days, faster if I used a wheel. Ah well, those days are behind me. 

I've got the rolags left over from my Knitting Olympics of 2010, right before my stroke; I should spin them to see how close I get to spinning fine enough and consistent enough for sock-weight yarn.


My Spinning

When the weather was a bit warmer I took advantage of the time to spin outside on the porch. It was really beautiful! Since I finished my purple batts (finally), I was ready to tackle the red and brown roving that I think Tracy gave me when she sold the half of the black fleece to me. I kinda put it away with the black fleece; I'm going to have a fun time with all that black!

Drafted roving

It's wool, and it sticks to itself something fierce, it's very grabby. It drafts easily, if you are not particular getting it perfectly spun, which I am not. Actually, I hope to spin this keeping the thick-and-thinness of it, because I think it looks old-fashioned; that's the only thing I can think of to describe it, "old fashioned." It looks like an old-fashioned hunting hat, or probably two or three hunting hats.

Singles
(The blue bit is my leader poking through.)

It was a very enjoyable day, and Nicky came and relaxed on the bench with me:

Nicky

I have to wonder what he imagines I'm doing. 

I was sad to hear of Marianne DelConte's passing. Her charming smile always cheered me! I miss you, Marianne. When I spin, or knit anything with cables, or work with anything yellow, I'll always think of you.


My Spinning

All my purple batt is spun; here it is, before setting the twist:

Spinning
It's better, but it still needs work. It is well balanced, so that's good. I did try to ply it a little more, and it looks better.

Now I'm going to tackle 2 balls of red/dark brown wool (I think it's Romney?):

Wool

It's roving, and drafts pretty easy. I think it'll be kinda marled when it's done. We'll see. It might be really pretty.


My Spinning

I take it all back.

Today I set out with a heavy heart to ply my yarn. I was sure it was uneven, would be underplied, would break constantly, would look absolutely horrible. I hadn't been really happy with it all along, and I thought plying the yarn would be awful.

But that wasn't the case after all! It was inconsistent, parts were laceweight when plied and parts were a strong worsted weight, but there were few breaks, it was spun nicely if a little inconsistently, and when I was done plying it I found I had made some darn nice yarn, and that makes me happy!

On the swift      Bobbin

Bobbin and swift      Close up

The fat kitty was close by with expert advice:

Fat kitty

She's my good luck charm :)

 


My Spinning

So yesterday was Monday (funny how it keeps popping up like that every week, no?) and I still had not done any spinning, and today's blog post was making rumbling noises that sounded very ominous indeed, so I decided to just spin all day out on the porch.

It was a beautiful, sunny day to spin. Lynne showed up  to join me, and she stuffed envelopes and later knit. Somehow spinning goes by much more pleasantly with someone to laugh with! 

What do I have to show for it? Well, I spun one bobbin full:

Full bobbin
(Dust is for photogenic effect.)

Actually, I thought I had filled the bobbin, but later discovered that I had some fluff left in the living room that needs to go on the bobbin. Lesson learned: never trust a husband to gather up all the fluff that goes with the spinning wheel.

Here is how far I got on the second bobbin:

Partly full bobbin

That's nearly a third of it. It is going much more quickly now that I have quit fighting with it, finishing what should be a sport weight ply for a worsted weight yarn, and not trying so hard to spin it very, very, fine to make a two-ply sock yarn. The yarn and I are much happier that way, believe me.

I am happy to report that it looks like the rest of the week it will be sunny and warm (we have perfect weather here in Maine, and there are no mosquitoes here in Rockport), so maybe I should be able to finish it all up. Between finishing October Frost and finishing that purple batt, it's been a great August!


Back To My Spinning

It's time to get back to my spinning. I kinda fell off the spinning wagon back during the Tour de Fleece, and during the Ravellenic Games I was all about knitting October Frost, but during the last few days I've been thinking about spinning again.

The problem is, I don't like this batt. It's a beautiful shade of purple, and I absolutely love the color, but the batt is hard to spin, it's coarse, the resulting yarn (judging from what I spun with the other batt) will be warm -- but coarse, although it's very pretty. It's hard to spin the batt -- any batt, I think; I could be wrong -- with only one hand. I end up with a lot of fiber in my mouth.

The other thing is, I really wanted to spin this much finer, which is why I am having a hard time with it. This batt wants to be a worsted weight two-ply. So, I'm letting it be what it wants to be, I'm not fighting with it anymore. I'll just have a lot of fine singles to ply with something else when it's all gone.

Here's where it is so far:

Spinning

Here's what's left of the first batt:

Batts

Then I have a whole other batt to spin, and then there's the plying. Ever notice how when you don't want to spin something, it seems like a huge amount of fiber you've got ahead of you? I have to spin this so I can go on to spin something else. Seems like it will take forever. I'd better get started.


Non-Spinning

I haven't been spinning enough to make any dent, so I'm not going to show you. 

I read a piece on plying that Jillian posted on the Knitty blog, and I'm under plying my yarn. When I finish this bunch and ply it, I hope I remember that.

I looked at my pre-stroke yarn to see if it was under plied too, and some of it is, and some of it isn't.  Who knew a person had to think so much about plying!

PreStroke spinning
Spun before my stroke

PostStroke Spinning

Spun after my stroke


My Spinning

Ugh, what a week. My spinning is going very slowly. It was really hot for a while, and then this batt is not as easy to spin as the last one, so I don't like it as much. I was disappointed to have my last batt come out so coarse-feeling, and that's another reason why this batt is going slowly; it's because I know it will be coarse, not soft. Thank goodness it's pretty!

Here's my little bit of spinning for the week:

Spinning

Tour de Fleece is a wash for me this year, as I took three days off from spinning entirely when it was so hot. Next year! Next year I'll have something really easy and soft and nice that I love to spin, I hope!


My Spinning

I plied the batts from last week:

Spinning     Spinning 2   Close up

It's hard to get the color to show up right in these pictures. The yarn is much prettier than it looks in these photographs. I need one of those things like the car mirrors have, "Yarn Is Much Prettier Than It Appears", hehehe.

Then I set the twist (washed it without the nasty dye job that inconveniently dyed the last batch pink):

Spinning3     Spinning1

Three days later, it's still drying, still sort of damp. I  hung it out on the porch today, and it's still drying. This wool sure sucked up a lot of water! 

The last half of this batt -- the first half that I spun -- is still a little wonky. However, I love this yarn, love the look of it. It's still not perfect, far from it, but I am getting better. Spinning a batt is harder than spinning roving, it gives me a yarn that's more thick and thin, but that's ok. 

Tour  de Fleece started three days ago, and I started spinning my purple Indigo Moon batts:

Spinning6

That's how far I got in three days, about a total of 2.5 hours of spinning. I'm slowing down a bit. I think I should have done some roving instead of another batt; I'm getting tired of it already. Still, that's what it's all about; this spinning event will push me to complete the purple batt! 

These Indigo Moon batts are all wool I think; they are a little coarse. Lovely, but I wouldn't make socks or a scarf out of them, though I may make a hat or mittens, or boot socks perhaps. I thought they might soften up after washing, but they didn't. They are still really pretty, though.


Tour de Fleece

Spinners have taken the famous Tour de France bicycle race and made it their own: Tour de Fleece. I wonder how long before the Société du Tour de France makes them change their name? :::shrug:::

There is a group for Tour De Fleece on Ravelry, and I spin, so I joined. What you do is, spin every day the Tour rides, June 30 through July 22. Days of rest are July 10 and July 17, just like the real tour. Spin something challenging on the challenge day (to be announced). They have a button to show spinning solidarity on your blog, which I have added to mine. And finally, we all wear yellow on July 22 to celebrate our success! There are tons of prizes they are giving away too!

I already spin every day, so this will be easy for me. I might try spinning a little more, maybe an hour in the mornings a few days a week, as well as my usual hour per night. We'll see. I'm going to be spinning my purple batts from Indigo moon; I'll probably finish them before the end, so I'll start spinning my 4 pounds of black fleece. I'd love to get that all spun up, and this will be a good beginning.

This should be fun!!

TourDeFleece




Weird Fibers

I've been thinking about the fiber that I've got left for spinning, and it really isn't much, but I'm going to just go ahead and spin it. I've got four or five packages of roving, probably +/- 4 ounces each, I've got a a little more roving that is red and black, and I've got a whole fleece processed at Starcroft Fiber Mill -- it's a black fleece (Romney? I forget) that Tracy and I split, but in the end she let me buy her half back again, and that's four pounds. I think I can spin it all in about a year, maybe half a year if I keep on the way I have been. But then ... I won't have anything left to spin! Yikes!

That got me thinking about buying some cool fiber, and THAT got me looking on the internet, and I ultimately found that spinners are seriously whacked. Seriously. Whacked. They will spin anything that is even slightly animal, and any animal, wild animals included, just to try out the fiber. 

I knew that spinners will spin wool, any member of the camelid family (like llamas and alpacas and vicunas and, well, camels), bunnies, dogs, cats, buffalo, musk ox ... and several kinds of plant fibers, like cotton, linen, hemp, bamboo, and other stuff, like silk. But here are some of the more outrageous types of spinning fibers that people have actually tried:

  1. Grizzly bear -- Fleegle has posted about this on her blog. 
  2. Lion hair
  3. Dust Bunnies (they're spinnable, but make truly yucky yarn)
  4. Dandelion Fluff and Milkweed down and Cattails
  5. Green nettle fiber and cedar fiber
  6. Paper (including comic  books) and shredded soda bottles
  7. Cotton balls, dryer lint, and kapok
  8. Arctic Fox and red deer and timberwolf and elk
  9. Highland cattle and pony fur
  10. Owl pellets
  11. Human hair

All in all, this stuff sounds like it's more trouble than it's worth, so I'm sticking to what I can find easily, preferably roving, preferably hand-dyed by someone else. What luxury!

 


My Spinning

It's been a week already, time flies so quickly now. I had a little re-direction in the spinning I was doing. Last time we talked about my spinning, I said I was going to ply this finished bobbin with a bobbin of the blue-purple batt:

Spun

But before I spun the blue-purple batt, I snuck a peak at the other batt, which I thought was the same thing as what I had just spun. It isn't. It has a little turquoise, a little pink, a little more purple, but it has a lot of black and green in it, and it's much darker:

Spinning

So I decided to ply the two of them together, and I can ply the two blue-purple ones together. They'll both be beautiful when they are done.

My spinning has really improved. Yesterday when I was spinning, I thought how much my plies are smooth and even ... just like they were before my stroke. My pre-drafting is easier too. I guess I really just had to practice every day to solve my spinning problems (in the background I'm hearing Sharon saying,"Told ya so!').

I think the batts are really easy to pre-draft, once I got the hang of it. The fiber holds together well, so I can pre-draft it quite fine, which makes my spinning finer too. I like it!