Prepping For Class & Akerworks

This has been a very exciting week.  Let me start with the parts not mentioned in the title of this post:

  • My copy of “51 Yarns to Spin Before you Cast Off” By Jacey Boggs Faulkner has arrived, and I have submitted my ‘Default Yarn’ for her competition.  So far I adore this book, although I’m only about 20 pages in.  I plan on reading more today, and writing a review as soon as I can.  For my submission on Ravelry I used my current favorite skein from the Paradise Fibers Olympic Spin, and mentioned that I am more likely to crochet than spin.  Jacey Boggs Faulkner asked if I’d share what I crochet, *squee* so now I’m working like mad to crochet up a shawl using that yarn.  I’m loving how the shawl is turning out and really hope it will be done for Maryland.
  • I added a listing of my spindles owned/desired to my leather notebook I’m taking with me for MS&WF, trying to think of what else to put in there.
  • Ordered & received little presents for my Aunts who are hosting and hauling me for MS&WF.
  • Will finish ordering tickets for all three of us to get into the festival Friday.
  • My first guild meeting of the year we are going to start a lace project, it should be a ton of fun.

Okay, on to the titular subjects.

For my first dyeing class of the year I created samples.  Part of what I hope to get across to the students is that the dyeing is only the beginning of their fiber journey, it changes so very drastically from step to step that you cannot even begin to predict where your fiber will end up.  Not to mention that since it really is just wool, spinning is not the only place that your fiber can end up. wet felting, needle felting, or just using it as an applique.  They are all viable choices, but if you want to spin it, the results can be very different that your starting dyed fiber.  I know, that was almost like a mini class, lol.  I dyed up some samples and carded half of each color into rolags.  This shows how very different the carded rolag is from the original dyed fiber.  Then for one of the colorways, the pink at the top of the post, I spun one of the rolags into a mini skein of yarn.  I don’t have a photo of the mini skein yet, but it again shows how different the fiber is.  I am really looking forward to this first class!

Now the other half of my title, Akerworks Bobbin.  I received my collapsible Akerworks Woolee Winder compatible bulky bobbin for my Schacht Ladybug.  I absolutely adore it.   My minor, well for most people it would be minor but it was driving me insane, problem with the WooleeWinder bobbins was the rattle.  To be entirely fair and honest it wasn’t really a bad rattle, it didn’t shake the teeth out of your head or anything, it was just this noise while I was spinning.  Since I love the convenience of not having to stop to change hooks all the time and still wind up with a nice even bobbin, I thought I would just have to deal with the noise.  Not so!  I still use Lithium Grease on my shaft and orifice, but the rattle is just about gone.  I have a squeak that I think is due to either uneven foot height on my wheel or a loose screw at the back that I need to work on, but that tiny sound is not a problem at all.  The bobbin fills up evenly, it spins beautifully, I can see the fiber between the spokes when the bobbin is filled up more which is just pretty, they hold a ton of yarn, and there is no annoying rattling sound.  I honestly think I’m going to pick up at least 2-3 more of these bobbins once they are officially on sale.  (Probably 3 if a 3-ply is going to be my new default spin I’ll need something to ply onto).

That’s it for this past week, so much more to come next week!  Happy Crafting!

Working on Techniques

First, I am very excited that I was selected to be one of the testers for the Akerworks Schacht & Wooleewinder Bulky Bobbin’s .  I love my Ladybug, and I really love my Woolee Winder, but the Akerworks 3-d printed bobbins are so darn cute too! I am very excited to test this bobbin out and see how it works, updates pending!

Next, I am working on seeing how well Kool-Aid dyes wool without heat.  I have some liquid that I am going to put on wet wool and set overnight to see if it sets.  I also hope to freeze some and let the cubes thaw on the wool to see how that works.  My final experiment is to use some powdered sugar free Kool-Aid on wet wool and let that set for a few hours to see how well that works.  It really should be interesting and I’ll put up a Kool-Aid results post next week probably.

This mmerino unicorn toporning I created some beautiful rolags from the Unicorn Wool Top, that I forgot to get a picture of, from part of my March Box from Paradise Fibers.  In my spinning I tend toward the short forward draw, but since I had just an ounce of this fiber, and I really wanted to preserve it’s beauty, I decided to practice my long draw.  Now I remember why it’s so much fun!   The picture is from the Paradise Fibers Website, whose link is above.img_1542.jpg

Also, an update on the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival: I have my plane tickets and entry tickets for the festival itself.  I also ordered, and received, the book from the festival that contains details about vendors, what is going on each day, and so much more!  The picture to the right is my copy, the black thing sticking out of the top is my book mark.  The cover is just beautiful!  From the book so far I have discovered Taproot Magazine, I have the first issue on order to see what it is about.  I have joined the Ravelry group dedicated to the festival, from there I have discovered the Buffalo Wool Company and their wonderful promotion to support the Linus foundation.

Gearing up for Spinzilla!

Spinzilla Fiber Stash pt 2 2016Spinzilla Fiber Stash 2016

I managed to get my Kool-Aid Fiber carded into rolags and ready for spinning!  These rolags are mostly Merino with some Bombyx silk, Bamboo Silk, and sparkly add-ins (angelina and firestar).

I managed to jam all of my rolags into a 40+ quart tub with a flip top lid, and there it will stay until October 3rd when Spinzilla Starts.  I am so excited, I was looking at all of the fun sales and things going on in preparation for Spinzilla.  By checking out what stash I already have I determined that I have more than enough to keep me busy for Spinzilla and practicing leading up to the event.  I have decided that preparing and participating in Spinzilla will equal my second big project this year, I might decide to do some big projects on my weaving loom but for now I am going to keep on with my excitement over Spinzilla!

Happy Crafting.

Rolags

Ever since I got my spinning wheel I have been spinning like a madwoman.  Prior to this I had purchased a variety of fibers from various sources, many from etsy, to try out different fibers.  One of the sources that I purchased little quarter ounce bags of various colors from was The Ross Farm.  They are a farm trying to preserve rare breeds of sheep, an amazing aspiration that I am happy my purchase went toward.  I bought some of the roving from the Chevoit’s they raise.

The colors were rich and beautiful, the hand was rough with short fibers.  If you like spinning and are good at spinning cotton then this is a great fiber for you to spin, if you want to get to know how to spin cotton then start with Cheviot.  I decided to use this fiber to practice my carding, I blended it with some Corriedale I purchased during the last Spinzilla sale.  The results were these beautiful cottony clouds, mom says they look like cotton candy.  They really do, they also spin up like cotton candy.

I had created about 9 rolags or rologs, and then spun 3 rolags onto each of 3 bobbins.  The picture about is from when I took a break, the resulting singles are just beautiful.  I cannot wait to ply them.  Unfortunately wait I must, not only because I already have another project on my bobbins, but because the singles need to rest a bit before I try plying.  I still have a few pieces of this Chevoit that I cannot wait to card up to spin another day.  Now that my leg has healed from my first attempts at carding (Always wear jeans or have a tough cloth on your leg when you are carding, ouch!).

Happy Spinning!