Sunday, September 21, 2008

Zen Spinning

I love having a quiet evening at home. Tuesday I stayed in while Jeff went to karate, caught up with a few people on the phone, and talked the entire time on my bluetooth. Egads I love that thing. I spun three whole bobbins full while catching up: one with the last of the colored roving to make the berries and cream yarn, one with white to ply with it, and one of the delft yarn, which will hopefully bring me home on the Danish Tie Shawl. If it's not enough though, it should be just fine to finish with white. We'll see.

Then this weekend we had friends up and in-between gaming I spun up the gorgeous roving Heather dyed. I decided to split the roving into six pieces running lengthwise, prep and spin half for one bobbin, then prep and spin the other half for the other bobbin. The nearly 6 oz braid nearly filled two bobbins, then did fill my jumbo plying head with little effort. It's Ramboulliet, and apparently that wool in this roving prep wanted to be a heavy worsted, nearly bulky weight. I quite like it. It's very fall-colored, so being bulky will be nice for some outerwear. I have 265 yards, and I'm hoping that'll be enough for a small shawl/capelet. Something I can use with my new leaf shawl pin. I'm thinking something along this line, heavily modified to accomodate both my yarn thickness and quantity. I may need to spin more yarn, and perhaps use this just for the front panels. Since it's just a simple rectangle with holes for the arms, I could even find something cool, like a leaf pattern to add to the front. . . ahh the possibilities.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Yarny Goodness

I have decided to join up with a great website called Yarny Goodness to sell my wares on comission. It is an exciting adventure, and the owner Pam is looking forward to having my handspun and handdyed rovings in her store.

Here is the first batch of stock heading off. She asks for 10 items as an opener, so I've got 4 pairs of 2 matching skeins, 2 other skeins of handspun and one roving. The roving is interesting, it's something I haven't done yet, but I had to take advantage of the roving I'd gotten from Brown Sheep which was so thin it hardly needs anything but a fluffing before spinning. So I laid it out in such a way that I (or someone who purchased it) could spin it continuously and get gradation going right through the rainbow!

Wish me luck, and please do check out Yarny Goodness, she has a lot of great stuff! She'll have a lot more great stuff when I get off my tush and mail this package to her!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Rising Meadows

Rising Meadows Farm had an awesome farm fest today, and I went with a few of my friends.

It was a lot of fun! There were tasty lambburgers (I had tzatziki and tomatoes on mine). There were spinning demonstrations, and I got to try out a couple of very nice spinning wheels.

We got there just in time for the herding dog demonstration.

There was a farm with angora rabbits. This adorable shaved dude is a german angora. They need to be clipped to harvest their wool. I also got to see someone spinning angora. . .

Right off the bunny!

Here is a video Eliana Kenyan, owner of Avillion Farm, demonstrating!

Of course, I bough a few things I've not spun before. I didn't go too overboard (Kept it under $30 actually) and I have some fun spinning now to do. I stuck with things I've not spun before, so I have soysilk, silk hankies and some inego.

Friday, September 12, 2008


It's amazing what a little washing does.

I really like to wash and abuse my yarn as a final step to spinning, unless I think the final product might be felted. This usually gives me a little less yardage, but thefinishing gives me added protection against felting in the finished product. I've also discovered that a swatch doesn't really change that much after washing if I've pre-abused the yarn.

The yarn I'm spinning up for Saundra is probably the most dramatic example of this. I'm spinning it up as a bulky 2-ply, and since there was a little lanolin and suint left in the wool prior to carding, it needs a good solid wash and abuse to soften up and not feel sticky.

The skein on the bottom is before. The skein on the top is after. Both were skeined onto my 2-yard skeinwinder. The one on the bottom, unfurled is 1 yard long (folded in half, of course). The one on the top, unfurled is about 6 inches shorter. So that's nearly a foot gone per revolution on the skeinwinder!

Although it may seem like I'm losing a lot, I'm not. Could you imagine knitting a sweater (and let's just say someone decided to knit it without really doing a thorough gauge swatch) then washing it! hoo! that would be a disaster!

Still the yarn is extremely pretty,very soft after washing (although not against-the-skin soft) and very sproingey. This yarn will show stitch definition extremely well. I'm getting about 230 yards (prior to washing) out of 2 batts spun and plied. After washing, I'll guess it's probably just under 200 yards.

In other spinning, I've started spinning up one of the rovings I hand-dyed, then decided I liked too much to not spin myself!

And boy, I need to make a light box!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Playing around

I wanted to try something new with my spinning, and after making the roving which had the long black stripe, I figured what better than to try to spin it in about the same proportions! So I spun up the colored part as a bulky worsted and the black as a very fine almost thread.

It made a sort of boucle, I think. Or at least a nice thigk and thin.

It looks like licorice allsorts to me, thus the name, Allsorts!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Anticipation. . .

Is spinning yet to come. . .

Farmer's Market and fun

The spinning demonstration at the market went well. A lot of really good questions and only a few silly ones.

Good questions: Are you spinning? So how does that work? What kind of fiber is that? How long does it take?

Silly questions: Are you weaving/knitting/spindling? (Actually, they get half credit for the spindling question, since that's at least close to spinning) Isn't that an old person thing to do? Why not just buy yarn from a store? What kind of thread are you making? What do you do with this? (referring to the roving, which I was at that time spinning)

Okay, so maybe there were more silly questions, but more people were asking the same good questions. My favorite was the "old person" comment. My answer was, why yes sonny, it is! (complete with warbling old-lady voice and dripping sarchasm)

I did sell one skein of handspun, which was great! I think I'll plan on taking my wheel there more often, if nothing else than to have more productivity out of the time I'm there. It also seems to just attract more people. It'd be better if it attracted more people to buy, but hopefully that'll come with time.