Monday, August 8, 2016

Over-due update on fiber activities

I have been very negligent in reporting on my fiber activities. I've been very negligent in blogging and that is mostly because the travel related stuff takes a lot of time. I take many hundreds of photos on a trip and sorting through them to tell the story takes time.

Fiber stuff is easier - or so I think. :-)


If you remember, I bought part of a Gotland fleece at Rhinebeck last year. I washed it over the winter and am now combing and spinning it. There is a decent amount of waste from the combing but it looks like excellent carding fiber for future use. I am spinning this on the Jensen Tina II and falling in love with the wheel again. I had not spun on her since I left for China.
 That was the dirty fleece.
 This is the sample skein I spun

Next up fibre combed and spun into a single. I have a little left to comb and finish. It is hairy but quite soft. I am trying very hard not to add too much twist as it can get wiry if I do.  I made a 2-ply sample which I really liked. But I am thinking of plying with this beaded thread that I bought in China.

It looks like this when unwound from the bobbin.

I will sample and see if I like it. In any case I am spinning onto 2 bobbins so I can do a 2-ply like my original sample. 

I finished spinning a Lisa Souza alpaca/silk on spindles and plied it on my Hansen e-spinner. That is it on the bottom. 
I combined it with most of the yarns on the top (I removed the bright yellow and the one on the extreme left which is my 3-ply sock yarn sample) and made a shawl. I just finished it. Pictures are in the knitting section. 

I started spinning a roving from Handspun by Stefania on a larger spindle to practice long draw on the spindle.

That is on a new Snyder Spindles 3-D printed spindle. I bought 2 just to try them out. The other one is a small Turkish spindle. I finished the cop on that one and started another one on a Forrester spindle that I bought at Rhinebeck. I thought it would be good to have a couple of less expensive spindles for travel.

And last but not least, I got another Hansen e-spinner. This one is the Pro model and I haven't even had a chance to try it out yet. I've been busy with vacation and business travel and garden work along with putting away CSA produce each weekend.

Isn't that wiggle in the grain cute? 

I didn't participate in the Tour de Fleece this year. There was just too much going on so I sat out.


The aforementioned shawl. I had to knit most of it twice. This was the first attempt. I thought I would make a curve to sit on the shoulders. I made it on the wrong side. So I ripped it out and re-knit it. 

This is the second version. Much nicer but it is very long. I wore it and it wraps nicely around the neck and shoulders. I love the way the colors ended up on the final shawl.

I also started and ripped out half a sock. A friend gave me 2 skeins of Drops Delight to sample. It is too loosely spun for socks and I had a tough time with it. I started them 2 at a time and the tip on my Karbonz needle came off. That should have been an omen. But I had dpns and switched one sock to the dpn and knit it to the heel turn before I decided I really hated it and ripped it out. The yarn has become this.
It is a narrow but long cowl to wrap around the neck a couple of times. You could also call it an infinity scarf.

I have also been venturing out into jewelry making and photography. 


The jewelry making started innocently with this.

And then the following materialized

The next one was created to showcase the fabric flower that I got in a swap. It was a pin but I rarely wear pins. I found a tutorial for an Anthropology knock-off and used it for inspiration. The other two items are buttons layered on buttons.

I also played around with the chains I bought in China and made this one

And lastly made this for a friend. The other two pearl items and the peacock feather one also ended up as gifts.

We were in Prague on vacation and I had some time on the last day. I found a bead shop and bought some Czech glass beads to make a couple of necklaces and I have some more ideas in the works. But it has to wait for winter when I have more time.


I bought some photography classes from Craftsy. I haven't watched them all yet but concentrated on the mobile photography ones. My album of trial pictures - homework as well as learning to use my iPhone camera are here. I learned about a lot of apps that can help mitigate the effects of the fixed focal length lens in the phone. I also invested in a good lens system for it. I had bought a cheap macro/wide angle lens combo but hated the photos because the lens quality was not good. The new lens system is made of high-quality optical glass. I have a 2x telephoto, a super wide-angle and a macro. I mostly use the 2x telephoto but occasionally the wide-angle. The macro is seriously neglected because the built-in phone lens works well in macro mode. 

Next up I am going to work on the DSLR and learn to use it properly instead of just in automatic mode or with a manual focus. It also has a lot of features that I don't know how to use and practice is the only way to learn.

That is a quick catch-up on hobbies. I am pondering my next knit and I will probably do a post a week on my antics from now on. Next up is probably recent acquisitions. Fiber, yarn and the beads.

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