I have made some progress on my major spin for Tour De Fleece. More importantly from my perspective, I have decided to take my time and enjoy the step I am working on. My personality is such that I am usually looking toward the next thing. The next project, the next skill, the next thing to learn, etc. This means that I do not really spend much time, if any, enjoying the step that I am on. Recently I have been reading where several spinners talk about the hours of enjoyment they have gotten from a piece of fleece/fiber. I have, for me, a large project that I am spinning toward.
Paradise Fibers sent me 8 oz of their Merino Blend in Bloom. I split that in half to perform a Monet Spin, if you’ve been following me you know this already. At present I am spinning about 4oz of the top in a straight short forward worsted spin on my ladybug. This is resulting in the finest and most consistent spin I have ever accomplished. However, instead of relaxing and enjoying this spin I am eager to get to the next step, spinning up the carded fibers. I am also eager to see what the final plied yarn will look like, I have done two ply back samples and I believe I will have either a lace weight 2 ply or a DK weight 4 ply. (it’s pretty fine)
Right now, I have spend almost three hours spinning up this first part of my fiber. I am only capable of spinning about an hour or so at a time, the fineness of this spin means that should my concentration waver too much I will lose my consistency. In those three hours, I have barely made a dent in my top. This being said, I have made a conscious decision to do my best to enjoy this time creating this yarn. Haste makes waste is very apt in this case. I am spinning a fine consistent yarn, taking my time, concentrating on how I am spinning and the results that I am obtaining will be key to enjoying this spin. At my current rate of spinning I should get another 21 hours of enjoyment from this fiber. Let’s see how it goes!
I had an absolute blast dying some Merino that I picked up earlier this year. I am trying to gear up for Spinzilla this October, in preparation I decided I wanted to spin my own Colorways. To spin my own colors then I need to generate them, starting with dying the fiber. To dye these fibers I soaked the batches of fiber in water for at least 5 minutes, usually longer. Once they were saturated I wrung them out. While they were soaking I mixed up some kool-aid in the color I was looking for. In the case of Yellow I added in some food coloring left over from Easter. I will admit that I added in a glug or two of white vinegar to each of the baths in an effort to maximize the dye absorption.
It was so much fun to set up a few batches on my bathroom sink then go to work or to bed and come back to find the fiber a beautiful color and the water clear or almost clear. Every single time it looked a bit like a miracle.
I had no problems with felting so I plan to spin up the multi-hued batt I created straight from the combed top. The rest of the hues will be blended with different fibers, some silk, some other materials, to create rolags or mini batts to be spun up for Spinzilla!
By my calculations I have about a month to get this fiber carded and prepped for spinning!
I am having such a good time playing with the merino I got from Paradise Fibers. In addition to spinning just merino and plying with other merino singles, as is illustrated in the skeins on the left and the white ball, I really enjoy how the white merino singles cause other colors to pop out. The three ply ball on the bottom right in addition to the corriedale and merino skein on the top right really show off how the white makes the other colors pop.
I still do not really know what I am going to do with these yarns, though making a sampler with my ashford sample-it rigid heddle loom is looking better and better.
Happy 4th of July!
My fiber from Paradise Fibers arrived Today! 1 lb. of Ashland Bay Corriedale Cross Wool, and 4 oz. of 64 Count Undyed Merino Top. I am so very excited, the Merino is just beautiful, I’m almost afraid of it right now. I managed to hold out for a whole ten minutes before I got my hands in the Corriedale, while it seems a bit coarse I have been working with silk for a couple of weeks so anything that doesn’t catch on my hands is probably going to seem a bit rough. It spins beautifully. I could barely put it down to post this and if I didn’t have to get to bed so I can go to work in the morning I probably would not have put it down at all! I am still working with a drop spindle so it isn’t really ‘production’ speed, but that also means that this fiber might last me a good long while!