March is already shaping up to be an interesting spinning month. Both my first and second picks for the month are new-to-me fibers. The lovely blue/grey/purple is 4oz of grey masham in “Snow Forts” colorway and the heathered green is 4oz of a 60/40 wool flax blend in “Deep Pine.” Both colorways are by the lovely Amy of Spunky Eclectic. The masham is spinning up like a dream and I am SUPER excited to try out the wool flax blend!
I have been having so much fun knitting this month that I have kind of neglected my poor spinning wheel but when I got some new fiber from NBK in the mail, I just HAD to start spinning it up right away. It is a 4oz bump of absolutely heavenly BFL/Silk in the the colorway “The Tracks.” This evening, I’m planning to put on a nice pot of tea, some good tunes, and get this yummy yarn all plyed up!
My fiber stash has been running dangerously low (think almost non existent!) as I seem to be spinning things as fast as they come in the door. So today, Judah, Willow, and I decided to make a little road trip to Pembroke Farms. We have visited once before and I came home with some amazing wool that didn’t even make it to supper time before it was spun up. Today I picked up a little bit better than 2 lbs of some seriously gorgeous undyed wool and some bright and colorful locks. This should hopefully keep me going for a while!
I’m planning to over dye and spin this for a Grettir. I have the main color yarn spun and waiting, I just have to decide what colors to do the yoke in. I love having fibery daydreams!
I had planned to do a FO Friday post on my newly finished Carson Sunrise yesterday but we had so much fun at the Not-Back-To-School picnic with the other homeschoolers that the time got completely away from us. So I’m doing my FO Friday post on Saturday
This was an interesting project for me. I had originally planned on using other yarn but changed my mind when I saw the 3 color version … I snapped one of my good knitting needles and learned a very valuable lesson (don’t leave your knitting where you might sit on it!) … and knit on it all while dealing with a hand injury (which is thankfully almost 100% better now). It might sound like quite the knitting catastrophe but the finished shawl, in my opinion, is very much worth all of the craziness. This shawl is so unbelievably soft, the colors bright and cheery, and it drapes and wraps around me like a daydream. I LOVE it!
Also, the more I work on semi-circular shawls, the more I absolutely love the shape of them. They seem to stay put really well and they are very cozy. I’m almost a little sad to finish this because now I need to find another fun semi-circular shawl to cast on.
What is your favorite semi-circular shawl pattern? I’m looking for a fun new project to cast on in handspun and would love to hear your suggestions
Between the business of July and August, and with some rather serious computer crashes, I completely forgot about posting my June and July spins. Some of the pictures aren’t the best as I lost A LOT of photos while trying to fix my computer issues, but I’ve got my laptop up and running on Linux Mint now and it seems to like it much better that the previous MicroSoft system that I was running. Yay for fixed computers! :-) Anyway, back to the fiber …
The first spin pictured is 4oz of Targee in “Vulpse Vulpse” colorway by Spunky Eclectic. This was spun up as a nice and bouncy worsted weight 2 ply and would look amazing as a hat or cowl.
This second spin was a test for a special project. This, in my opinion, was my first spinning flop. While the yarn looks very pretty, it lacks any real structure and the yarn drifted apart when I tried to knit with it. Lesson learned though … some fibers really need to be blended with wool to give them structural integrity. My take #2 of this yarn is going MUCH better. You’ll hear more about this in a later post
Next was 4oz Shetland in “At The Drive In” colorway by Northbound Knitting. Have I told you lately how much I love spinning Shetland wool? This baby is a nice squishy 2 ply DK weight yarn and would make the most amazing mittens!
And some more of NBK’s lovely Shetland to share with you. This colorway is “Namaste” and it is also spun as a 2 ply DK weight yarn. I really love the mingling of the colors in both the fiber and the yarn. Very calm, cool, and relaxing!
This spin is 4oz of my own hand dyed merino in the colorway “Tranquil”. This is another 2 ply DK weight yarn with tons of squish and bounce. The semi-solidness of the colorway would give depth to some fun cables or add a little fun to any textured knitting.
With this next spin, I got to take it right from the raw locks and turn it into a fat and fuzzy woolen yarn. I had 8 oz of Border Leicester locks from SE which I tried one of Judith MacKenzie’s methods of washing on. I sorted the locks and lined them up all pretty like on a few pillow cases and gently folded so the wool wouldn’t escape in the wash water. This may take a little more time but it is definitely my preferred method of washing wool now. The locks come out brilliantly clean and in perfect, neat little rows. If I had a set of hand combs, it would have been an excellent time to try my hand at making my own combed top, but my hand cards did a wonderful job of making nice light and lofty rolags which are a ton of fun to spin. I’m looking forward to the next time I get to play with raw wool as I picked up an Ashford Flick Carder which it dying to go for a test drive
Now this spin, you have already seen. It is the wonderful semi-solid yarn that begins my Carson Sunrise shawl. It is 4oz of mixed BFL in “Dijon” colorway by SE. BFL is definitely one of my all time favorite wools to spin and this yarn turned out so dreamy! I left it as a single as I was planning to use it as a shawl and since I went with the 3 color Carson, I still have lots of this left so I feel another shawl in the future with this yummy fiber.
“Sundown” on superwash Corrie was another really fun spin. This was a progression dye so I chose to spin it tip to tail and then N-ply it to preserve the color. The resulting yarn was so much fun! I used it to knit an Ida’s Kitchen by Kirsten Kapur, the photos of which I sadly lost during my computer troubles.
And last in this quite extensive list of yarns, but certainly not least is 4oz of Shetland in “Winter Sun” colorway by Hello Yarn. This was spun up as a fractal 2 ply DK weight yarn and I love, love, LOVE the colors in this. It is such a warm and cozy colorway and would look awesomesauce as a pair of cozy mittens.
So all things aside, the summer has been an extremely productive time for Spinning … especially since I have yet to post my August spins … so much so that I am almost completely wiped out of fiber! Crazy, isn’t it!
In other news, you will be able to find these some of these spins and more at the Wine, Dine, and Blueberry Stomp this Sunday at Rossignol Estate Winery. The lovely Ruth of Sew What? and Jim of Vitamin Sea Studio will have my fibery treats available there and if all goes well, my spinning wheel and I will be there to join in the fun.
Happy crafting and creating everyone!
Tour de Fleece is off to a roaring start. The fur … er, wool … is flying in all directions all across the globe. This is one of my favorite time of year. Spinners dive into their stash and plan their spins weeks (or more) in advance. Big goals are made, some go out the window while others are quickly surpassed. Fibers are decided upon, tossed back on the pile and then picked up again. It is a time of excitement, crazy spinning, inspiring yarns and fiber-licious fun.
Pictured directly above was the goal I had set for TdF2013. I figured 20 oz was a moderate and reasonable goal for me to meet during the Tour. And then my June helping of Spunky Club Fiber arrived and I just HAD to add that in as well and that would take me up to 24oz … Throw in two days of being the “Artist at Work” at Artisans on Main in Montague and I’m over half way through my fiber picks already. How crazy is that!
Yesterday, I was lucky enough to enjoy some spin time with Linda, a talented paper maker who is also a spinner! I was such a treat to be able to kick back with our wheels, let the fiber fly, and talk spinning.
And another happy addition to our band of merry artists yesterday was John. He was such a great sport for putting up with the two of us and our spinning talk and I really enjoyed watching his painting come to life. Surrounded with beautiful art and crafty folk, we all agreed that Artisans on Main is a pretty sweet place to be!
Today’s spinning was back the norm for me … in the kitchen next to my kiddos playing legos. I got started on my 4oz bump of “Sundown” on Superwash Corriedale which I am spinning quite thin (see the picture a the top with the dime). I’m planning to N-ply this gorgeous gradient into a nice fingering weight yarn. I had to take a bit of a break from spinning as I’m getting a blister on the bottom of my big toe from all the treadling (seriously, who would have thought!) but I hope to be back in fighting form again tomorrow.
Happy Tour de Fleece everyone and I hope you all have wonderful fiber adventures!
We had the pleasure of attending the Celebration of Sheep and Wool at Pembroke Farm today. It was our first time visiting and what a wonderful spot it is! Not only do they raise sheep for both meat and fleece, they also train border collies for working with the sheep, grow organic veggies, and run The Sheep Shop.
Today we got to watch a sheep shearing demonstration where the shearer was using manual shears. She made it look so incredibly simple and easy, which I know that it is not. Judah and Willow were very impressed with the sheep for “sitting so still while getting their hair cut.” I also had the opportunity to chat with spinner who was demonstrating. It is not very often that I get a change to talk shop with other spinners so it was incredibly enjoyable for me.
The kids got the most enjoyment out of checking out all the animals … especially Callie, the horse. She allowed them to pat her nose, which was a huge thrill!
And of course, I got to oooh and ahhhh over all of the lovely fiber and creations in The Sheep Shop. The items that struck me the most were the needle felted people and MerMatrons. They were all so whimsical and I can’t even begin to imagine how much time went into crafting each of them. I did come home with some yummy spinning fiber as well. Truth be told, I’m eyeballing it sitting on my desk as I type this post … I’m just itching to get into it!
Happy Saturday all! I’m off to spin!
Its that time again … time to share the previous month’s handspun booty I can’t believe how quickly the time is flying already! And of course, I enjoyed this months spinning immensely. I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I am completely and hopelessly in love with wool. Each month is always my “new favorite” or a newly found and much loved new-to-me technique.
April was my first time ever spinning for a cabled yarn and can you guess how much I liked it? I loved it! I picked out 4oz of South African Fine in “Day Lily” colorway by Spunky Eclectic and paired it with 4oz of Merino/Mohair/Alpaca in “Good Morning Sunflower” colorway by Belfast Mini Mills. The end result is a wonderfully round and brightly colored yarn that just screams “CABLED COWL!” to me.
My next spin is another of my absolute favorite fibers – Romney. This was the March club shipment from Spunky Eclectic and, during 20 Questions, when it was revealed to be Romney, I did a little happy dance. Long wools are so much fun to spin and they make amazing shawls. I decided that this 4oz bump should be fingering weight singles for exactly that reason … to make a shawl.
My last spin for April was another favorite for me and many other spinners as well. The April club shipment from SE was oatmeal colored BFL overdyed in a rainbow of gorgeous hues. Amy’s inspiration for this colorway was seashells, hence, the name. I chose to spin this fiber as a fingering weight single as well because it NEEDS to be a shawl too.
So, my spinning total for April is 16oz bringing my 2013 total up to 5.5lbs of fiber spun. Trucking right along towards my spinning goal!
And this last picture is just a fun shot from the yarn photo shoot. Apparently, I need a supervisor to oversee all things here and Bugsy was diligently keeping watch as I snapped some pics. He takes his job very seriously!
Hope you all have a fantastic weekend and Happy Fiber Friday!
Its that time again … time to share last month’s spinning … and I had an adventurous month!
I chose to start off 4oz of buttery soft alpaca that my dear fiber friend Tina gifted to me. This was spun up as a fingering weight single which I think will be absolutely perfect for a shawl. Probably a nice West Knits design
Next up was 4oz of some amazing Wensleydale from Rosa’s herd. This was my first time spinning Wensleydale in carded form and I just loved it! This was spun up as a fingering weight single as well because I though that it would pair up perfectly with the alpaca from Tina. I can’t thank both of you enough for the wonderful fibers!
This bump was another first for me … my first time spinning Cotswold sliver. The feel of the fiber reminds me a bit of Shetland and the colors in this are AMAZING! This was the January offering from Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club and is called “Eye of the Peacock” which I chose to spin as, surprise, surprise, a fingering weight single. This handspun is going to make perfect socks!
And I tried another new fiber this month … Norwegian. I fell completely in love with this fiber. I find it similar to Falkland to spin up and it makes the most delightful singles! This 4oz bump is from Northbound Knitting in the colorway is “Firewoman.” This yarn has been telling me that it wants to be either a cowl or shawl. I guess only time will tell but I how can it not be awesome in these great colors?
Do you guys ever get sick of me telling you how much I love each and every fiber that I spin? I guess that I just really enjoy wool and this fiber was no exception. “Aurora Borealis” was the December club color way on Falkland from Spunky Eclectic. It sat for a whole month in my stash because it was one of those “special” bumps of fiber that I would take out and admire and then gently tuck back to save for another time. I love the blues, green, and purples that blend throughout this colorway and I think that it will make gorgeous fingerless gloves, a cowl, or shawl.
And nope, I never get sick of Falkland. I love how it spins up, especially in the “Reese’s” colorway by Northbound Knitting. This fiber practically BEGGED to be spun up nice and fine and then navajo plied. This, I have secret knitting plans for!
And last, but certainly not least, is 4oz of “Peacock” in mixed BFL by Northbound Knitting. This was another fiber that wanted desperately to be navajo plied. It also told me that it wanted to be pre-drated too. I generally don’t pre-draft my fiber anymore, and almost never with BFL because it drafts so well, but the effect that it makes on the color is hard to pass up sometimes. I like how it stretches out the color changes and gives even more subtle transitions through the colorway. Combine that with navajo plying and I think the effect is quite striking. These two skeins are already designated to the “special” yarn section because they are almost too pretty to knit. Notice that I did say “almost.”
So February really was a productive and adventurous month, with trying new fibers, and fibers in new preparations. My total amount spun was 28oz bringing my 2013 total up to 44oz … just shy of 3 lbs. Not too shabby!
So how are your 2013 crafting goals going? Are you trucking right along or have you revised your goals? I’d love to hear!