Friday, June 29, 2012

Tour de Fleece 2012

I have been spinning a lot this week because I wanted to finish up the Briar Rose Polwarth. It is all done! I am plying it.
That is part of it plied on the Hansen. It is looking as pretty as I expected it to.
I had an interesting week. I went to see a minor league baseball game for the first time. It was the Montgomery Biscuits in Montgomery AL. 

This is a sumo wrestling match that you can see in the center right of the photo.

The stadium is beautiful and there is a lovely lit up building in the background in this photo.

And now that we have finished the preliminaries, on to the Tour de Fleece. It starts tomorrow. My goal is to spin from the fold on the spindle. I am going to use one of my Trindles.

This is what I am going to use. It weighs 24 gms with the arms. I also took the opportunity to take photos of all my arm sets. The arms above weigh 18 gms.

These two sets weigh 10 gms each set. The bottom ones are copper hearts and are new.

The two above weigh 4 gms each. The bottom ones are new again and are golden dragons on a clear bead.
I took a close-up hoping you could see the dragon. But you can't. It is tough to see. Last but not least, here is the fiber I will be spinning. My goal is to spin at least 10 mins a day.
It is from Into the Whirled and is a Targhee top.
Now to just wait for the starting gun.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A couple of weeks of catch-up

I took pictures last weekend but somehow forgot to post. So you are getting a double post today.

Last Sunday, I washed the Coopworth fleece that I got in May as part of the Fleece of the Quarter club. I was not very careful. I forgot to weigh it. I just put them in two mesh bags and soaked and washed them in two foil pans. I used an old spatula to move them around in the pans.
I spun them dry between washing and rinsing in my washer. Yes, it is a front loader but if you put it on a high spin cycle the fiber doesn't move. It just sticks to the outside of the drum. I wash my handknits in there too.
 There are the clean washed locks. I didn't photograph them before I washed them.
 There is still a lot of vegetal matter in the locks. I am going to pick and fluff them before I card the fiber.
 Here you can see some of the VM that I was able to pull out. A lot of hay and grass seeds.

 Some of the tips are still dirty. I have to pull them off as I pick.
 There is the clean fleece drying in my bathroom. I am afraid it is still there. I haven't touched it since. I have been busy spinning.

Here is the next and last batch. This is a Montadale/Corriedale cross and I am excited because it isn't white.

 I am working away trying to get this Briar Rose Polwarth spun before Knitting Camp on July 12th. You can see how much I have left. 4 sections left to spin. If I do 2 a week, I'll be done in time to ply and finish it before Camp. You can see the two plying balls that I have been winding as I spun. This one is all spindle spun.

 I have also been spinning on this Blue-Faced Leicester from Miss Bags. I got it at Rhinebeck last year. It is called Scarlet Ibis and I love the color!
Lastly, aren't these buttons cute? I just got them this week. I can't tell you why yet. But I love them.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A milestone spinning FO

 I finished a spindle spun project. This was roving I bought from Frelsi Farms at the NY State Sheep and Wool Festival in 2010. I had spun some of it at a spindle class I took and liked it a lot. Plus the variation in the roving made it easy to see the twist. I bought the baby icelandic as it was soft and silky. There were times when I enjoyed spinning it and times when I didn't. It was definitely boring from a color perspective. Sometimes the fibers just flowed like silk and at other times they got tangled into knots. I now realize that there is a nap to this fiber and I may have been drafting from the wrong end at times. Oh well.. the life of a beginning spinner!
 The end result is a lovely 2-ply laceweight. Yes, there are some bumpy spots but it is mostly very nice and even. As I built up cops, I wound them into balls and stored them in a ziploc bag. I bought these two pots last week. I put one ball in each pot and threaded the single through the hole and plied. I didn't ply on the spindle. I found I didn't like it so I have been plying on the Hansen.
 The biggest problem I ran into was that the balls would get stuck in the hole when they got small enough. I had wound these on bits of fiber so they started quite small. Since then, I have bought these styrofoam balls for the cores of the balls. It is easier on the hands and I am hoping that the singles will flow off them more smoothly than from the smaller fiber cores.
 And here is the Golding. She's tired after her extended project and so she is resting in her case for a few weeks while I spin on other spindles. I loved spinning on her. She is fast, smooth and spins forever!
I think this is going to be a shawl with beads. I have Indian feathers ear-marked for the yarn as I have beads to match. But I may change my mind before I start.

Monday, June 4, 2012

What I've been up to

 I started spinning this mystery silk-wool blend (I think) on the Micro Trindle last week and am making good progress. It is a lot of fun to spin.
 Can you see how fine I am spinning it? I am very proud of myself.

I also finished Annis and blocked her tonight. There she is, drying....
Lastly, I finished spindling some baby Icelandic roving on my Golding. But I haven't plied it yet so it is quite boring to show. Maybe next week....