Every October the National Needle Arts Association holds an event that they call Spinzilla. This year it will be held Monday October 3rd until Sunday October 7th. The singular goal of this spinning time is to get as much yarn spun, and plied if that is your jam, within that time frame. Nothing that has been previously spun counts toward your total yardage. My personal goal is to spin a mile, or 1760 yards. Fortunately plying is counted, so if you have 3 singles that you have plied together (and all of it has to have been spun within the week of Spinzilla) then you measure the yardage of the finished 3 ply skein and multiply it by 4 (spinning each of the 3 singles as well as spinning the ply).
September is when participants in Spinzilla can begin registering for teams, and paying their registration fees. There is a minimal cost to join, 15 or 25 something like that, and the fee goes toward supporting programs that promote the needle arts among the younger generation. There are prizes donated toward the winners in particular categories. You can spin rogue, and not join a team. If you join a team then your entire team works toward the goal of spinning the most yardage you can. I believe that there are other prizes such as most creative spin, most individual yardage, etc.
This is a really fun event that promotes spinning in all different forms. My only goal is to beat my spinning from the year before. This year I believe that means that I will need to spin more than 2,240 yards. To this end I plan on spending most of September plying off my bobbins, carding the wool that I have into rolags so that they are easier to spin, and ensuring that my wheel is in the best shape it can be. I recently received information from the Schacht Spindle Company, who produced my wheel, about how to perform a minor repair which has my wheel purring.
I am getting really excited about Spinzilla, and will be posting more as I get my bobbins cleared off and spin some!
I had a ton of fun spinning for Spinzilla 2017! I managed to spin 1.27 miles of yarn, this includes the singles and then the ‘ply credit’. I am very pleased with the yarn I managed to spin, though I am disappointed that I could not get my WooleeWinder working right for spinzilla.
However the creator and owner of the company promised he would look at my WooleeWinder and see if he could figure out what is making it rattle so badly. I just have to send my device to him, lol. Haven’t gotten around to that yet.
I cannot wait until I have these skeins washed and ready to work with. One of my greatest fears has been ‘ruining’ my handspun by knitting or crocheting or weaving the ‘wrong’ pattern with them. Now after almost 2 years of spinning…I’d better do something with my handspun pretty soon, lol. I have a 3 drawer plastic storage unit full of handspun yarn, and I love all of it!
Recently I took the dive and purchased the pattern for the beekeeper’s quilt, and just love how simple the hexipuffs are to create. I made 3 out of a self striping ball of commercial sock yarn, this brought about the delusion that I want to knit socks which is another problem on the horizon, then last night I took the plunge. I knit a Hexipuff out of my handspun. I love my little hexipuff and cannot wait to make more. While I’m not sure I”ll make the 300+ it takes to create a quilt, I do think that these hexipuff’s might become my new Granny Square. My new go-to, quick to finish, project.
TIP: I use the tip of my left index finger to push my needle through the yarn when knitting. The tip of the needle is a little bit pointed, but not enough to stab me…However…repeated pushing allowed my skin, probably dry, to split along the natural whorls in my fingertip. While it never bled, it did hurt a bit. I realized that I would have to use something to prevent this from happening, and thought of a thimble. Unfortunately I cannot feel anything through the thimble so that didn’t work. Then I thought of some of those stick on thimble things I had seen…it turns out they’re a little expensive. Fortunately during my search I turned up a tip, a Bandage. Just a simple bandage, can get about 30 for $1 at a dollar store, is enough padding to keep the needle from splitting my skin. YAY I Can Knit Again!
I decided that my second big project of the year, or third depending on whether I am counting Spinzilla or not, was to make a half-granny shawl for my mother from my Spinzilla yarn. I remain completely amazed at how well my chaotic riot of colors works together. This was started while I was waiting for my mother to have a minor surgery, it was supposed to be half and hour and wound up taking two hours, thank goodness I had my crochet with me. Fortunately mom came out with flying colors. I enjoy the ruffled edge (alright it wasn’t supposed to ruffle but it’s cute anyway) seems to tie the entire piece together.
As of Sunday October 9, 2016 I had spun 3,488 yards of yarn for Spinzilla Credit. This means that for every yard of singles that I spun as well as all that I plied I received credit. Which means that for a 2 ply I spun that wound up 86 yards it would be 86+86+86=258, if I were to do a 4 ply of 86 yards it would be 86+86+86+86+86=430 Spinzilla credit yards, only 86 yards short of taking the 4 plies and spinning 2 skeins of 2 ply yet half of the plying effort. This means little in the long run, but it was great incentive to play with creating a 4 ply yarn Sunday afternoon when my desire to ply was fading quickly. When push comes to shove I managed to spin 1.98 miles of yarn in Spinzilla Credit. I am very proud of my efforts, I think I went through about 3 pounds of fiber so next year that will have to be bulked up a bit.
As ever I am looking toward my next crafting challenge, whatever that may be!
I managed the monster mile!
My first five skeins are beautiful 2-ply yarns at about 14 wpi. I managed to go well over my monster mile. Hitting my first goal out of the park. For my sixth skein I created a 4 ply yarn that I think of as my unicorn yarn, just beautiful and magical.
I’m not too sure where I am, though I know winning rogue is out of my realm, but it’s fun anyway. I have an event I will be at tomorrow, but hopefully I can continue my plying. I am surprised at how much of my fiber I have spun.
I’ll see what happens tomorrow and do a frantic rush on Sunday, posting my totals then.
The singles that I spun on Monday and part of Tuesday were waiting for me on bobbins. I decided to let them rest, as much as I could stand to, but when I woke up at 1am Wednesday morning it seemed like fate. I had to ply them and find out how much yardage I had!
So 3-4 hours later I wound off the last of my three skeins and I have to say 474 yards of 2 ply yarn is not bad for just messing around for a couple of hours before work, after work, and when I wake up in the middle of the night. Since each ply counts, and the time I spent plying counts each of the skeins counts for X3 credit. This means that 474X3=1,422 yards spun!
This is fantastic! 1,760 yards is a mile spun, also known as the Monster Mile so I am 338 yards or a 113 yard skein of 2 ply away from making this goal! If I spin up the 2 bobbins I hope to tonight, and spend some time plying it tomorrow, or spinning up more bobbins, then I should be able to make a couple of miles by Friday! Tomorrow is the first day that I can spend devoted to spinning instead of worrying about work, so I am beyond thrilled!
Monday Before work, this is what my bobbin looked like! I do not have any numbers since I will get my first yardage totals when I ply.
Monday before I went to bed, these were my bobbins. The first two were spun using double drive. Since that was driving me mad, which is why the middle bobbin is much smaller than the first, I went back to scotch tension for my third bobbin and probably the rest of Spinzilla.
I did some spinning during my break at work, on my bottom whorl drop spindle, and I hope to add those bits of spinning into my total. (Yes, during my break…no one needs to know about the time I spent standing next to the car admiring how pretty the silk looks in the sunlight as I spun. No one needs to know that I found out spinning in the drivers seat while waiting for someone to pump gas is really not very comfortable…yes, during my break.) I am having an absolute blast, it is almost torture waiting to ply those first few bobbins to find out how much I have accomplished so far!