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Wash and thwack, hang to dry. January 5, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in spinning.
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I actually got quite a bit done over the weekend, considering I was feeling sickish and had two kids running around (which Michael wrangled much of the time, I so do not deserve that man). Here are some fiber photos of about half of what I worked on.

It’s bath time!
Yarn bath!

Yarn bath!

This, my friends, is why one must wash yarn, especially if using wool dyed by someone else:
This is why you wash yarn.

Fortunately a couple of rinses fixed that skein, thankfully.

I looked at my other skein (some Shetland from the UK) and ta-daa, a perfect dye job:
This is why you wash yarn.

After thwacking and drying, they looked a bit more presentable and less like soup.

Shetland:
Shetland wool yarn

Shetland wool yarn

Merino:
Merino wool yarn

Merino wool yarn

This is more Shetland from the same UK source.
I Navajo plied this skein and ended up with a very sturdy, dense yarn. Not sure if this technique suits it.

Shetland wool yarn

Shetland wool yarn

That is all the news that’s fit to print for now.

I’m in! July 12, 2008

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I received an email back from Katherine and I’m in the Le Tour De Fleece 2008! Very exciting! While I don’t think there are real team-teams I was thinking of forming a Ravelry Completely Pointless and Arbitrary Group group team, though at this point Joy is the only other person taking the bait. Oh well, we can be a two-person team!

My Goal: Get through the rest of this awful Louet roving I’ve had in my stash since 2004. It’s the oldest roving I own and I need to get it out, out, out! I’ve spun all of the grey and plied it with portions of the green and fuchsia, I am currently spinning all of the brown which will be plied with the remainder of the green and fuchsia. Maybe I’ll end up selling them as a set as they’ll all go together.

The colors of the roving aren’t horrible and the resulting yarn is actually quite nice and soft, I’ve just become sort of a roving snob since I bought these commercially-dyed jobbies. Commercial rovings feel dried out to me, now, compared to the rovings I’ve gotten from indie dyers and dyed myself. I’m getting kind of ooged out by the feel of them so I’m just trying to get through them as quickly as I can. So, no photo today – there really isn’t much to show other than a bobbin 3/4 full of boring forest green and another bobbin about 1/3 full of boring brown. Yawn.

The good thing is they’re giving me a great opportunity to break in the Ladybug and really learn how to futz with the Scotch tension and use different whorls. I keep telling myself, “This is a learning experience.” It’s especially hard as I just today received three indie rovings from a destasher on Ravelry and I soooo want to dig into them immediately (along with the big pile of other rovings I’ve already stashed) but no, I had to put them in the bin with the rest and pretend they don’t exist until I’m through this durned Louet.

In retrospect it’s a good thing I don’t have a ton of bobbins a I could totally see myself getting castonitis of the spinning wheel and leaving bits and bobs on them of the things I have no patience for. Sigh. With that, I ought to get back to it so I can do something else!

My secondary goal will be spinning at least one skein using Navajo ply. Aiee!

Spin spin spin! July 7, 2008

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I’ve been drowning in work – three and a half more weeks and then I’m free!

Even better news: The Ladybug is here! I was finally able to make time to pick it up from the Portland Fiber Gallery and it is awesome. Photos of it soon. I am in love with it and with its tensioned Lazy Kate (which Melodi gave to me as a baby gift, she is just the best!) Love love love this wheel!

Even with work I’ve been managing to spin…I’ve been working out the kinks and getting used to the new wheel, it’s been a learning experience. First is the last yarn I spun and plied on the Louet:

Handspun two-ply yarn

I’m not super happy with how the plies came out, again, the Louet and I had a tenuous relationship. This is a really big hank of yarn, I haven’t measured it yet but it’s about the size of a canteloupe.

Handspun two-ply yarn

Handspun two-ply yarn

Handspun two-ply yarn

These two skeins I spun up on the Ladybug. I think they’re kind of fug but I intentionally used contrasting colors so I could really see my plies. I’m trying to get a nice tight ply without it being twisty and unbalanced. I think I may be growing out of the two-ply stage and I’m thinking about giving three-ply a try, or even (gasp) Navajo plying which I haven’t been brave enough to attempt yet.

Handspun two-ply yarn

Another big hank, about the size of the orange one, maybe a little heavier.

Handspun two-ply yarn

It wasn’t until I spun this smaller hank that I’ve started feeling like I’m getting the hang of the Scotch tension and getting the right amount of twist in my plies. I still think my singles are too twisty to start with.

Handspun two-ply yarn

Handspun two-ply yarn

Overall, though, the Ladybug is a very fun wheel. It moves like lightning and I have been extremely happy with how easily it treadles. The Louet felt like a ton of work so this is nearly effortless in comparison. Since I can’t seem to spin anything heavier than sport weight the bobbins do me fine for the moment. I really want to practice spinning thicker yarn, I think I just need to slow down a lot.