Saturday, September 30, 2006

Decisions, Decisions...

I am going to my Queen Creek guild meeting this morning - well it's more like a buncha fiber nuts hanging out together than a guild - but we call it that anyway...

I am bringing my drum carder today, I have a number of projects running thru my head that I want to get started on.

I am taking both of these as I can't decide which one I want to work on.

This is some gorgeous cotswold, dyed in the lock by Laurie at Frene Creek Farms, that I need to do the prep work on. I like to card this up in 1/2 ounce batts to prepare it for blending in with something else.

This is over a pound of 1/2 ounce each prepared cotswold batts that are ready to be blended. I have decided to add in some of that white romney - about half and half.

These little batts all go together with the greens and purples - most of these batts have some of each color in them. A few batts are all one color.

I think I will have about 2 pounds of fiber in this colorway when it's done. This calls out to be spun fairly bulky and then knit into a jacket or big sweater. Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 25, 2006

another drum carding weekend

I carded this up as a request for M, but I'm not sure it's what she wants. I love the colors, but it might be two busy. Posted by Picasa

Spinning the polworth

This does not show the color or fineness of the yarn very well - I started out thinking that I might use this for the longest thread competition, but each sample I've spun is a maximum of 125 yards to 10 grams. Not nearly fine enough to even place in the top 10.

I decided that I would keep spinning this very fine. I think that I can ply it either back on itself or with a very fine silk thread.

I am torn between plying it on itself and using it as weft to weave a twill fabric with the grey polworth/silk/ alpaca/cashmere yarn I spun earlier this year, or to ply it with silk and knit a beautiful drapey shawl with it. A dark green and purple silk thread would be gorgeous with this dark charcoal yarn. Posted by Picasa

Polworth combed top

I don't know that I would actually call this top - at least it doesn't look like commercial top. Each one of these little nests is pulled from my combs after a couple of passes.

Each one weighs a little over 0.1 ounces - about 8 or 9 of them to the ounce.

As you can imagine, this is very labor intensive. I found that cutting the dry sunbrowned tips off, give a much nicer fiber to spin. It also makes the resulting yarn a much nicer dark charcoal than leaving the tips on did. Posted by Picasa

Charcoal Polworth - worth it?

Here is the dark charcoal fleece that I bought. This is one of my first attempts to wash a fine fleece. I soaked it in very hot water with Dawn dishwashing liquid for 1/2 hour then two rinses.

I can tell that I probably should have given it another washing soak, there is a lot of lanolin left in this, but not so much that it makes working with it impossible. I am going to try and spin it up soon to avoid the lanolin hardening in it.

I don't know if you can tell, but there is also quite a bit of vegetative matter (VM) in this fleece. In order to make it spinnable, I have to comb it with my Alvin Ramer Combs - hand carding is out of the question and the drum carder makes a terrible mess out of it. Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 11, 2006

Juanita's picks

My sister Juanita came over today and we went thru all my handspun yarns looking for the perfect yarn for Mom's shrug.
Of course, as we looked at each skein, Nita put aside the ones she really liked for other projects too. Here are the skeins she picked out that I was willing to let go.

From the left I will give the fiber the yarn was spun from and source:

  • merino tencel blend roving from Winderwood on ebay,
  • yellow cotswold locks from Frene Creek,
  • orange cotswold locks from Frene creek,
  • superwash merino roving dyed by Maegan and Sarah during a fun day at my house,
  • blue merino & tencel roving from The Fiber Factory here in Mesa,
  • BFL roving from Spunky Electric (this was one of the fiber of the month selections),
  • and that little bit of dark blue on the far right is the remainder of a skein that was mostly alpaca with some wool, silk, & firestar that is a combo of commercial yarn and hand spun.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 09, 2006

spinning fire - finished

Here are all 16 of the batts for this group. I am really liking the way rolling the batts up this way shows off the colors. They take up a lot of room this way - this is only one pound of fiber, but it completely fills a large plastic zip around comforter bag.

I sure hope Ellen sends me pictures of the finished yarn she makes from this.

I've started the next group - it's going to be greens and this same yellow. Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 08, 2006

Spinning fire - spoken for

My friend Ellen has called dibs on this combo. She's offered me anything but her first born child - I'd take him if she did - sweet boy that he is.

I have to finish carding this up - so that it's ready by the next guild meeting.

I'm thinking about what to do next - some more greens I think...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Spinning Fire

I like this color combo. It's yellow & red cotswold, orange wool from an ebay purchase and some of the white romney that I like so much. There's a little flash in there too.

Rolling the batts up like this takes up more room than the cinnamon bun way, but it really shows off the color more.

They are harder to store this way, more care has to be taken when moving them.

This is 6 ounces of a one pound batch that I am working on. I may put it up for trade on Friday on spindlers or take the leap and actually put it on ebay to see what the market thinks of my work. Posted by Picasa