I am always surprised when I realize that there is something that I have not even attempted. I consider myself a fairly tech savvy person, while I do not like how I look or sound on camera I did think that I made a conscious decision not to get involved with uploading videos to Instagram and Youtube. WRONG!
It turns out I was just a big chicken. With the help of iMovies and my photo library I have been able to upload unboxing videos and tutorial videos quite easily from my iPad. I admit that I have added no verbal commentary nor any music to my videos, since I tend to mute those anyway I choose to believe my lack of sound does not detract from my videos. My explanation of how I am spinning my fiber is in this video. I am very grateful for the Paradise Fibers challenges with this month’s Fiber of the Month Box since it required me to think outside my usual box and try something new.
On another note the first yarn for my first set of curtains has arrived. As soon as I figure out how long I want this first warp to be I will warp a loom for my first set of curtains. The yarn is a cottolin blend that I hope will turn into amazing curtains.
I have not set up my 2019 crafting goals, so that is in the works. Until then, try something new!
For the August Fiber of the Month Club we were sent some beautiful fibers and Nepps to work with. If you do not know, nepps are ususally bits of fiber that were caught in the teeth of the drum carder and became little wool balls. Sometimes these are the weak tips, or if the fleece was too fine for the kind of carder you have it will result in nepps. In this case it looks as though it were little felted wool balls dyed to go with this box. They are a really pretty rainbow of colors and I was sort of excited to get them. I sorted them out by color and used some of the little bits and some Perendale Wool I had to create little rolags to spin woolen for a fine, light, colorful yarn.
Nepps went everywhere. I had not used a large amount to begin with, but what I did have went everywhere leaving few in the yarn.
I was undaunted, okay, I was a little daunted. However I decided to persevere. I used my drum carder and some Corriedale wool I had. I put down a layer of Corriedale, then some nepps sandwiched under some Wool, and I kept going. This resulted in a very pretty batt.
I then proceeded to spin this into a thicker yarn. The resulting yarn was neat and textured, but there were still a ton of nepps everywhere. When I plied even more nepps flew off, and when I washed the resulting skein even more nepps wound up flying everywhere. I sort of like how the skein turned out, but I really want to be able to spin a finer yarn with the nepps (I will probably never do anything with the bulky yarn).
I look forward to continuing this journey and seeing where I am taken. I will keep you posted as I learn more about how to use nepps in spinning. Until then, Happy Crafting!
This is my three ply from the June fiber box. I was afraid I would not like how the fibers looked, too many colors making things muddy. Instead I found myself falling in love with the almost tweedy look to the yarn. Before washing there were 256 yards of this yarn, I think this is one of my largest spins yet. I love how it looks, I did a 15 yard test ply before committing to this entire bobbin. After I knit the test yarn up I decided to commit and ply all of the yarn I had, the results are stunning.
Really, if you were to only plan on getting one fiber box subscription I would definitely advise Paradise Fibers. Sheepspot has a neat breed study I would like to try sometime, and Camaj Fiber Arts has a Spinning Box that gives you little samples of fiber to try, so this is not the only box out there.
I love the alpaca seconds I was gifted with.
Due to the time consuming nature of cleaning these bags of alpaca I have decided to give Tour De Fleece a miss this year. This is an event that lasts as long as the Tour de France and involves challenges, rest days, and more just as the bicycling event. More than that it involves spinning everyday. While that is an overarching goal of mine, I would also like to focus on ensuring that I have this alpaca clean and ready to spin for the fall and winter. During these warm days as well as these rainy days I hope to take advantage of the weather, setting the fleece out on my brand new sweater racks while it is raining to wash them in a natural way, as well as setting them out in the sun to make sure that they are as dry as possible before I begin the next step in processing them. I am also hoping to comb or card out the fleeces before the snow comes, this will allow me to dispose of the fluff I cannot use in an eco-friendly way. Putting it out to be used as lining for animal homes or to decompose as mulch.
Flicking open the locks where I am able to and carding what does not flick is a time consuming process. For some of the coarsest seconds I attempted to turn the fur into batts, I managed to get three batts done, but I do not know if they will spin up very well. I plan on trying to spin them in a regular manner and if that does not seem to work, core spinning them. If it turns out that I hate spinning these batts, I do plan on gifting them to whomever wants them from my Guild. I hope to do this before my next batch of fleece is dry, that way I will know if this is a viable option for preparation.
That may have to wait though, I am currently spinning my June Box from Paradise Fibers, I am spinning the last third of those singles. The first two are pictured below.
My original intention was to ply the three bobbins together, however it is possible that they will be too muddy when I am done. Because of this concerns I will probably do a test sample to knit up, once I decide if I like that or not I will either ply all of them together or spin up a white single to ply with these.
Whew, that will keep me busy for a while!
I cannot believe that it is week 7 already! I did a really neat lockspun yarn from some Mohair locks I obtained off of facebook and the faux angora that I received from the Paradise Fibers April box. I spun this on my Ladybug with a short forward draw, I did not plan on this for my faux angora but I really like how it turned out. I cannot wait to see how it knits up.
This is my first lockspun yarn, I wound up splitting the fiber while I spun the singles to add in the locks. Then I wound the yarn onto weaving bobbins to even everything out. I wound up having two weaving bobbins of the lockspun singles, part of that is simply how bulky the lockspun singles are. I then wound off the rest of the faux angora onto four other bobbins. I decided to make this into a three ply yarn, I am not sure of the yardage since my Niddy Noddy was in the cellar and I wasn’t going down there last night.
Since it is past the 15th, okay just past…boy I’ve been spinning like a dervish..I’ve started spinning my Brights Pack!
Mom likes to listen to the Chaplet of Divine Mercy or the Rosary (or both) and then Morning Mass using her EWTN App on her iPad. Since I like to keep her company and feel the need for some quiet contemplation in the morning, but if I just listen I fall back asleep, I have been spinning while she listens to the meditations. According to mom the sound of my wheel whirring away is very soothing. I’m trying to tell her the fact that my wheel is making that whirring clunking noise is not a good thing, but since I cannot find the source right now we are at a standstill. I suspect that I need to disconnect, clean, re-oil, tighten, and reassemble the footman that connects my treadles to my wheel. But since that involves the wheel being upside down and empty it isn’t going to happen until this spin is completed at least.
Because of her quiet time I have between 90-120 minutes in the morning of almost uninterrupted spinning time I have gotten quite a bit accomplished. I do not believe for a minute that I will be able to keep this pace up, especially since I’m usually running around doing other things in the morning also, but while it lasts I intend to enjoy it. If, somehow, I manage to get the last of my singles spun tomorrow morning, probably not since I’ve still got almost half of my fiber to spin, then I can put each single on a bobbin, or bobbins, and ply from there. I plan on having this be a three-ply yarn so I’ll have to see how much I can fit on my bobbins, first I think I’ll try and find my schacht travel bobbins and ply-up bobbins before worrying about putting singles on the smaller weaving bobbins.
With my extreme enjoyment of my spinning I Have not progressed very far on my knitting. What I have gotten knit up is beautiful and I cannot wait to see the end project. Thank goodness I cannot take my wheel to work, well I could but it would cause trouble, so I bring my knitting with me and get a couple of rows done while I am supposed to be on my lunch break, lol. This is probably enough of an update for today, I am going to upload pictures of my breed study sheets to another blog post that I will schedule to release tomorrow. I had a ton of fun creating them and I am already working on some variations as well as collecting some more breeds to spin!
It turns out that the Spin Along for the Olympics starts on the 15th, whoopsie. Oh well. The ravellenics knit along is going strong. I’m working on my shawl, a little haphazardly but it will get knit. I recieved my February 2018 Paradise Fibers box of the month and I really enjoyed the challenge. They decided to advise that we create a crepe yarn from the supplies they gave us. I decided to go with that choice. I did change things up a bit, while they advised that we spin from the top, first one shade of blue then the other and ply them together from there I modified things. I like carding rolags, not sure why I just get a kick out of them, so I carded the two blues together in a striped rolag formation adding sparkle along the way. I also didn’t use their silk that they provided instead I spun up some of the silk blend I had left-over from december that I tried to dye black. It wound up grey instead but I really like how the yarn turned out. I am also pleased that I have some of the silk blend left.
For the technical side. I spun the silk blend with the wheel going to the right. Then I spun all of the merino blue rolags with the wheel going to the left. Then I put the blues into a center pull ball and plied them with the wheel going to the right. This means that I had a 2 ply yarn and a silk blend singles all from a wheel going to the right. Then I plied the 2 ply with the single on the wheel going to the left. This means that some of the ply twist came undone causing the plied yarn to bubble up a bit.
The effect wasn’t as extreme as I thought it may have been, but truthfully until I work with it I cannot really judge it. I am not sure if I am going to just use this as an example for my students and swatch the heck out of it. or try and make it into a project. It might look cool as a woven purse for example. Who knows. I’ll post progress on my ravellenics and spin along later this week or next. ‘Til then, Happy Crafting!