Saturday, October 24, 2015

More from Rhinebeck

 I handed out dozens of these pins on Thursday and Friday as I checked in people. We like people to wear their pins so we know that they belong in the workshop area. 
 Remember the squirrelly singles from the singles class I showed you last week? I finished the skein and now you can see the after.
 Pretty straight and not squirrelly at all! The key is to semi-felt them. I soaked them in a wool wash like Soak or Eucalan and hot water. Then I went around the skein rubbing a section between my hands. After I did that twice, I started to see the yarn sticking to itself, so I shocked it a couple of times in cold water (hot to cold to hot to cold) and then squeezed out the water. Snapped it between my hands to straighten out the skein and hung it up to dry.
 I have too much twist in some places but it is straightening out. I do have to go around the skein and separate the strands as they are sticky. But they pull apart easily. A little more and I'd have a lovely felted necklace. The Shetland was the worst. The natural is the Shetland.
 Here you can see some over-twisted (for singles) thinner parts.
 Not too bad for a few hours worth of work. I'm hooked on how easy singles yarns are! I think I could get a cowl out of this. I have to see how many yards it is but loosely knit, it should work. And since it is semi-felted I can knit it loosely without worrying about it falling apart. 

The key to getting this is to add enough twist so that the singles does a lazy curl when you let it go slack. For a good twisted yarn, you want a nice ply-back that is even and hanging straight. For this, you want a bit of a curl, maybe a few twists and that is it. Of course it needs to hold together. The thick and thin was easy as I used the technique that Jacey taught us last year in the Thick and Thin coils class. I really need to play with this some more too. They are fun yarns to make. I think this winter I will focus on sock yarn and textured yarns.

We also spun a DK weight singles and a lace-weight singles in class but I haven't finished spinning them yet.
 This is the DK-ish weight. The fiber is Falkland. They are all Spunky Eclectic dyed colorways.
And the laceweight. This was the hardest to accept. You have to have faith that the fiber will hold together. The red is Wensleydale - no problem there. Long staple length. The purple is merino. That is a challenge. I think I will get light fingering and not laceweight out of this. All of them get finished the same way as above. 

 I live in a beautiful area. The other morning, I was walking downstairs and the colors and the light caught my eye. It was like a painting to see the fall colors in the early morning light. That is why there was a Hudson River school of painting. The light is amazing!

 Looking out over the Catskills above.
 This is angled a bit the other way because there were clouds catching the reflection of the early morning sun tinging them with pink. Remember the pictures of Uluru at sunrise and sunset. We looked at the reflection of the light in the rock. This is exactly the same thing. Isn't it beautiful!
 I was working in the garden today cleaning up the dead annuals and perennials like the peonies which are done. I'm usually pretty lazy about this but I've been working hard in the garden all year and I'd like to put it to bed properly. It gave me the chance to get some fall shots of the yard. I tend to focus on the spring and summer. That's a burning bush with a weigela in the back and an Eastern redbud that is going to make a giant mess in a day or two.
 The grass - which I will cut down in the spring so the feathery plumes remain all winter - against the dwarf weeping maple. That one will turn a lovely dark crimson in a few days. I'll try and catch it when it does.
The smoke tree, which turns a beautiful burgundy. One of my favorite trees as it is beautiful in the spring, summer and fall. 

 Now on to the Rhinebeck purchases...
 Wood Beams for my spindles and my kitchen cabinet handles which need a spruce-up.
 A 1 lb Cormo fleece from Foxfire farm. The color is just gorgeous. And look at the crimp and the length of the locks!
 The Gotland - 2nd place winner. I have a little more than 1 lb. I don't know if you can see the silvery gray in the picture. It gleams. I think I might make a singles  yarn with this. Don't know yet. It has lovely long staples and is soft. I love the curls.
 A braid of 75% organic Polwarth and 25% silk for socks from Gale's Art. I thought the extra 5% compared to the usual blend might help with durability.
 I got two spindles. A Forrester - apparently from his private collection. That red bit is leather. He is selling off his spindles and has had a stroke so no more masterpieces from him. And I lucked out on a Jenkins Egret. It is larger than the Swan but roughly the same weight - 35 gms. Maybe I can do some low-twist singles on it? I have been wanting to try that on the Swan too.

 I don't think I showed you this spindle. I bought it a while ago on a destash and haven't spun with it yet. It is a Bosworth Moosie. 
 And, I happened to be at my computer the other evening at 9 pm, which is an uncommon thing. There was a Jenkins Finch update and I snagged this little beauty. It is only 14 gms and will fit right in with my Kuchulu and Delight. I just realized that I have one of each of the Jenkins spindles except for the Lark. I need to do a major project on a couple of them. The Kuchulu, Delight and Swan have been used a lot. The Aegean not so much as I got it right before I went to China and I spun mostly on Trindles there.
 I think it is time to give the credit card a rest and focus on doing something with these babies. 

 I am setting myself a Tuesday blogging schedule so that I can catch up on all the travel. I may go backwards from now or just write about the things that occur to me. I don't know. But doing it regularly will help.

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