Summer Spinning

Summer spinnin' gonna have me a blast. Summer spinnin' bobbins fillin' so fast. Met a wheel crazy for me. Met a fiber soft as can be. Summer spinnin' drafting away to, oh, oh those summer yarns. Tell me more, tell me more how much did you spin? Tell me more, tell me more, what weight was it in?

Thursday, June 29, 2006

1 Week Check In

I failed, miserably. I maybe spun about 3 yards of the Coopworth. Maybe. It was hot, and the fiber was felting in my hand. PLus then life took hold, and knitting projects, and well I failed. Miserably. Oh wait I already said that. I did get a lot of my knitting things done, started a few little things that have been looming over my head. And this weekend, since I have 4 days, I hope to get myself more organized. When I'm more organized I can sit and spin more purposefully and hopefully actually accomplish something.

So this week my mini-goal is to get myself organized, including my fiber room and spinning area, and then hopefully it'll motivate me to do some actual spinning and make some headway on my goal.

Rebekah

Intro and Week 1 in review

Hello all! I'm Pam of Diapers, Dogs, & Doublepoints. I first became interested in spinning when I was a child and came across a spindle & bag of wool at one of those historical recreation parks (Connor Prairie in Indiana). I messed with it for a while, probably couldn't quite do it as well as I would have liked, got frustrated and gave up. heh heh About 6-7 years ago I started back up with a spindle and it clicked. I then decided there was NO WAY I was going to spin enough wool to do anything with that way and bought an Ashford Traditional about 5 yrs ago. About 2 weeks ago I acquired an Ashford Traveller and needless to say I'm done buying anything else for quite some time. Which is fine because like most all of us I have enough fiber to keep me busy for a while.

My goals set in the original post were as follows:
* sort, organize, & figure out exactly what's in my stash (check that off the list!) I'm not sure how it happened but in the course of doing this I also ended up adding to the stash by buying some lovely stuff from Crown Mountain Farms. Oops!
* Spindle 15 minutes per day
* Wheel it 4 hours per week
* Spin, ply, & make something with at least ONE bag o' wool.

My first week? Well, it went much better than I expected. I have a son who is almost 1 year old so I have decided to take full advantage of his naps to get in my spinning (& knitting). I've been trying to spend the first part of each nap attending to those mundane things like housecleaning & laundry then hit the spindle or wheel until he wakes up. Sometimes it's 5 minutes, sometimes it's 30 minutes. (I've been making the rest up after he goes to bed at night) I have been able to spindle 15 minutes a day and although I have not kept track of my wheel spinning I KNOW it's been more than 4 hours... whoo hooo! This week I'm planning on plying the singles I spun the 1st week and continuing to work on the pink & beige mohair stuff I've got on the wheel.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Some Admin Stuff....

For those who have a Flickr account or wish to have a Flickr account I set up a group where everyone can post their spinning photos. You can find the group at http://www.flickr.com/groups/summerspinning/. Once we have a some more photos in the group pool I'll add a little gallery preview thing to the sidebar, but right now, it is just my two photos :-)

For those who have been commenting and asking if they can still join, we'll welcome you to the group, though since the first week is now over you will not be eligible for the prizes at the end of the challenge. If you are still interested in joining us, please follow the instructions here on how to join and post your goal to the comments here to get it officially recorded.

We've had some updates now that the first week as come to close, how are those who haven't posted doing??

THANK YOU KRIST!

Thanks so much Kristi for this group. It has made me think more intently about my spinning. I was a poor spinner (not much better yet) because I didn't work at it. I would spin for a week or so and then leave it for months. I'm hoping that through this Summer Spinning Group, I can improve my skills. Not just on the wheel, but drop spindles. I am the world's worst drop spindle spinner. I passed my goals last week. I actually spun about 2 1/2 hours. I spun on the wheel and finished some purple yarn and also spun on my drop spindle. I'm getting better, but, oh boy, it is slow going. I'm enjoying reading everyone's posts.
I will probably not post pictures here because I'm a techno-doof. If Kristi does get a Fickr thingy going, I will learn that and post there.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Introduction

Hello everyone :o)

My name is Jessica (aka JessaLu), I live in Western Mass with my SO, my teenage daughter and my dog. I just got into spinning at the Mass S&W with a Bosworth spindle (and taught to draft by none other than Sheila herself!) - I jumped from the spindle to a wheel last Thursday and right now am spinning on a rented Ashford Joy.

I think for a goal I'd like to try to #1 purchase a wheel of my very own and #2 spin enough yarn to knit a pair of socks by the end of the summer.

Simple enough, right? ;o)

Review of Week 1...

Well, tonight is the end of week one of the challenge so I thought I'd assess my accomplishments and see if the my goal is doable....

  • 6/21 - 15 minutes of wheel spinning
  • 6/22 - 55 minutes of wheel spinning, 30 minutes on the drop spindle
  • 6/23 - 45 minutes of wheel spinning
  • 6/24 - 45 minutes of wheel plying
  • 6/25 - 40 minutes of wheel plying
  • 6/26 - 65 minutes of wheel spinning
That gives me a grand total of 4 hours and 25 minutes and I haven't sat down to the wheel or the drop spindle yet today. My goal was 3 hours per week, figuring it best if I could get at least 30 minutes of spinning 6 out of 7 days a week. It has been no problem this week, but I think I like Lisa's idea of averaging the weekly totals over the course of the summer since things such as vacations and the like can get in the way.

I have come out of this week learning some stuff.... Even with the heat it is bearable to spin in the mornings and in the late evenings so hot weather should be NO excuse. Spinning regularly makes for much more regular singles. Spinning outside under the shade of a tree can be a nice change of pace, and it reduces the stark whiteness of the inside forearm, LOL! The singles I produce when aiming for a sock weight yarn consistently yield me about 310-325 yds from 4 oz of fiber.

I had another three ounces of this blue superwash from Brown Sheep when I started to ply. I wasn't planning on spinning it right away, I was going to move to something else. However, I had forgotten until I had a fair bit plied that I was going to try using some wooly nylon (serger thread) as a 3rd ply and see if that increases the durability of the yarn. So, once my bobbin was full of 2-ply I split the remaining 3 ounces in half and am spinning more singles onto the leftovers on the same two bobbins and hopefully I will remember to use the wooly nylon when I start to ply this next time around. I think I got through about 3/4 of an ounce last night, but that included a double pass of pre-drafting in addition to spinning.

It has been wonderful hearing what you all are up to spinning-wise. Do any of the rest of you have Flickr accounts and if so would you be interested in having a Flikr group there so everyone's summer spinning results can be viewed in one location? It's just an idea I thought I'd bounce off of you all.

Monday, June 26, 2006

I spun.......boy did I?
True to my word in my last post - I spun and spun and spun.

I coverd a couple weeks worth of my challenge goal. I was just so relaxed and enjoying myself and the texture of the mohair silk blend so much, I couldn't stop. I have 2 bobbins of it now and will begin to ply soon.



It is hard to believe it goes from this.......




.............to this.
Isn't it? YUMMY!
~Sharon

Hi Everyone - I'm Stephanie

Hello fellow spinners. I'm Stephanie, and my blog is Unwind. I'm a fairly new spinner. I purchsed my wheel (Lendrum DT - Lennie) in March. I just finished taking Maggie Casey's beginning spinning class at Estes Park and I learned so much. I spun quite a bit last weekend, but didn't manage to spin very much during the week. I did spin a bit on my new spindle (a Magpie mid-whorl) and I'm finding that my drafting has improved tremendously. I'm actually making fairly even singles on both my spindle and my wheel. I plyed two singles together on Saturday - some corriedale top I spun last weekend and some merino top I spun during my class. The corriedale was much more even than the merino, which I guess shows that I'm getting better. Saturday morning I also spun some wool blend I got from Spunky Eclectic and I am quite pleased with how it looks. I'm going to try to spin 2 more colors (I only have 2 ounces of each from the sample pack) and try a 3-ply. I always go into the week with high hopes for my week nights, but they always seem to get away from me. If things go well, I can hopefully get 2 ounces spun this week, but if not, I'll have a 4-day weekend over the 4th to spin my little heart out. I'm pleased that I managed to spin more than 3 hours last week (by my calculations I spun almost 5 hours!) and I'm so glad to be a part of this group.

Over the holiday weekend I'm also going to try to wash my recently purchased fleece. I'd like to spin some yarn for a One Skein Wonder, but I want to dye some of my fleece for the project. Does anyone have any idea how much fleece I'll need to dye for 150 yards or so of yarn (I imagine I should try for a 3-ply)? Any advice or resources would be most appreciated. Have a great week and happy spinning.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Hello, my name is Alison and I'm addicted to fiber

I'm Alison of Alianne Knits. I learned how to spin at the 2005 Maryland Sheep and Wool on a spindle and fell in love with it. In September, I bought my first wheel, an Ashford Traveller, without having ever tried a wheel before and also ended up loving it. In May, I increased my spindle collection from just one to six. I spin mostly very fine laceweight. I currently have several spinning projects in the works and my goals are to finish some merino from the Fiber Denn (the one on the left) and to spin 200 more yards of merino/angora from The Woolen Rabbit for my Moon Dance Stole. I also want to spindle 15 minutes a day and spend at least 2 hours a week with my wheel. So far, so good.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Better late than never!

Thanks Kristi for letting me jump in late :)

I'm Lisa, I live in Colorado Springs and I've just started spinning; I took my first class in May. I was very frustrated at first, but after a visit from the spinning faerie, I've been hooked. In late May, I bought a wheel, a Kromski Mazurka. I had the fiber thing pretty much under control until I went to a sheep shearing and came away with a share in 2 merino fleeces. That, and a visit to the Estes Wool Market and Cathy's place 'bout did me in, and I now have a bit of a containment problem, though it is still manageable----hey it's all relative, right?

I've been married for going on 27 years, hubby is in the Air Force, so we've lived all over, though we both grew up in Washington State. We have two sons (23 and 20) that share an apartment in the Seattle area. We have two doggie friends and a borrowed cat.

Want to know more??? Come visit me at Black Sheep!

An Introduction to Lizzy B

I'm Lizzy B and my Blog is A Stitch In Time. I started spinning a few years ago. I learned in February of 2004, but I didn't actually start spinning egularly or faithfully until October of that year.

I realized not all that long ago that spinning is my true passion. I have 3 wheels, an Ashford Joy, a Majacraft Susie Pro and a Louet S75. I love them all for different reasons, and I use them all.

My goal for this challenge is to spin 5 hours a week. For me this means actual time on the spinning wheel. I spun for one hour last night because even though it was 88 degrees in my house I missed my wheels and I didn't want to fall off the pace in the first week!


My larger goals for this summer are to finish spinning and plying all of the Australian Bond roving I have (nearly 3 pounds) and to finish the angora/merino I got from the Woolen Rabbit a few years ago. I think I have 3 or 4 ounces left to spin of that.

I am also trying to get a few of my fleeces carded on my drum carder, and while that has to do with spinning i am not counting it in my challenge...

I'll update again soon!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

does teaching count?

Does teaching to spin count??? I haven't touched my spinning except to teach my 11 year old niece. I forgot how patient one must be to teach an 11 year old. Deep breath in……1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, ……. exhale slowly – Whooooooooooo….
Actually she did very well when you consider her age and my poor teaching abilities.

Tonight I plan to sit quietly and spin my mohair and silk blend while my husband watches TV.

I have 3 sons (ages 30, 16 and 15 -in 9days) and a wonderful husband. I've lived in California, mostly southern, all my life. I have only been spinning since New Years Eve 2005- thanks to my dear friend EP, who spent her day teaching me to spin after my hubby gave me a spinning wheel for Christmas. You wouldn't know I was a newbie by the stash I've accumulated. We are suddenly in disparate need of a room addition to the house.

I am completely in love with all fiber arts and have so many projects lined up, I can't get myself organized to accomplish a single one. When I heard about this summer challenge I knew it was perfect for me. If I set a goal I’m okay, and this made me buckle down to set my goals for the summer.

I look forward to meeting and sharing with all of you. Happy spinning all. :D
~Sharon

Hi, I'm Hannah!

Hi everyone, I'm Hannah. I live in Colorado and know Kristi, our fabulous organizer, from the SnB here. I moved to CO last August and started going to SnB as a way to meet people (and knit, of course), and have met some fantastic folks that way. I have a rather busy job that keeps me traveling a fair bit, but I am hoping that things will settle down some this summer and I can finally learn to spin. I played around with a spindle last fall and made some lumpy yarn and my mom gave me a Louet wheel for Christmas. Because of my crazy schedule I didn't get the thing assembled until April (it was basically a kit) and am finally getting around to some spinning. I'm looking forward to Summer Spinning as a way to motivate myself, learn to spin, and share the process with all of you!

Introduction

Hi, my name is Rebekah. I live near St. Louis, Missouri, USA, but on the Illinois side of the great Mississippi. I have one husband, one parrot (Basil) and one black lab (Abner). My normal blog is Knit Knack. I have been spinning since January, when I took my first class. The class was quite the let down but I did discover I really enjoyed spinning, and soon ordered my wheel. Everything else I've learned has been through books, which I do well at learning that way, so it worked out in the end. I haven't really used any of my homespun yet in projects, but I'm rectifying that currently. My goal is to spin up 2 pounds of coopworth and 2 pounds of Jacob's Wool for a aran shawl I'm knitting my mother-in-law. I worked a little on it last night, but due to high heat and humidity, even with our AC running ended up with a lot of little clumps in the spinning and so didn't stick with it long. Hopefully tomorrow evening will provide me with more of an opportunity and less of an opportunity to clump.

I'm excited to be a part of this, and hope to enhance my spinning capabilities over the summer. My next spinning project is some colored roving I purchased to knit myself a Fair Isle Cardigan.

I Spun! And Intro

I think I've finally figured out how to get some spinning done. Leave home. If I stay here, there are too many distractions and need-to-do's that keep me from my want-to-do's. So today I took my favorite wheel (Florence, a Lendrum DT) to my sister-in-law's house. While she worked on her projects, I spun some gorgeous BFL (that I got here) into fairly consistent singles.
I plan to start working on the second part of my Challenge on Friday (spinning "Grover", a 7.5 pound silver-gray Lincoln/Columbia fleece into enough yarn to make me a sweater). My entire goal is here.

I'm Elisa and I live in Southern California, just north of L.A. I have 4 kids (2 girls, 27 & 21, and 2 boys, 25 & 17), 3 cats, 5 wheels, 2 looms, and 1 great husband. And my first grandchild is due in November. (Happiness! Although my daughter lives in Loveland, CO, so I won't get to see the baby as much as I'd like.) My husband and I are both retired. He is a woodworker and collects wood like I collect fiber; he understands (and enables) my need for stash.

I learned to spin last August and to spindle in November. In addition to spinning, I like to crochet, locker hook, scrapbook, read, and embroider. I thought about learning to knit this year, but there are so many great crochet books out now that I keep putting it off. Maybe next year - or I could join a learn-to-knit challenge. That might work. I definitely work better if I have a goal (and peer pressure).

I'm excited about the Summer Spinning Challenge. I look forward to 'meeting' all of you.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Happy Summer!

Today marks the beginning of summer. Though I have to say the weather around here is messed up. We've had 90's for the better part of the past three weeks, break 100 degrees last week and setting a record for the earliest day above 100. And today? At 2:30pm we're in the mid-70's! Go figure! I'm not complaining though. It means the house is very comfortable!

I warmed up a lot yesterday with about 1.5 hours of pre-drafting and spinning the same blue superwash wool from the Brown Sheep trip in March. I haven't touched the wheel yet today, but there will likely be some spinning this evening.

I have a couple bags of different fibers in ~4 oz lots that I'll draw for from those that stay with their goals until the fall equinox. If you haven't yet set your goal, please do so soon! If you need another invite sent out to be an author on this blog let me know (fiberfool AT gmail DOT com) and I'll resend.

Happy Summer Spinning!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Hi! I'm Kristi!

Okay, so a good share of you are regular readers of my blog, Fiber Fool (which has been lacking in fibery content as of late). But, there are several of you joining in from other sources whom I do not recognize. Perhaps you came via the SOAR blog?

A quick intro to me. I'm a Minnesota native living in Colorado for 7 years now, married for four of those years come the fall. I live with my husband who is a computer geek, musician, cheesemaker, writer and more. We both have rather broad sets of hobbies and interests.

I learned to spindle spin ever so slightly in October of 2004 and then didn't touch the expensive spindle I bought until last July. I spun for a few hours on a couple different wheels of a couple fellow SnB gals last spring and I came home from last year's Estes Park Wool Market with my wheel - a Majacraft Suzie Pro. I discovered while taking the level II spinning class in Boulder in August that my axel was bent. I have a new axel but I've been too chicken to replace it and then lost the directions to do so in a hard drive crash in March. It doesn't bother really unless I fold and unfold it frequently. But one of these days I will change out that axel!

I spun a ton back in the late summer and fall last year, then once the holiday rush hit it gathered dust and I got out of the habit and hadn't really touched it at all except to dust it until early April and then it sat again until late May. It has been getting semi-regular exercise more recently, but I'd like to get a bit more regular at it. I also felt I needed some output to justfy buying anything at the wool market this weekend :-) That said I don't think I'll be bringing home much in the way of fiber this year. But we'll see.

Stephanie - if you want some guidance on the fleece prep on a weekend sometime I could likely be pursuaded to share the knowledge Lizzy B gave me during her visit back in March. Just holler!

I'm enjoying reading everyone's goals. There are at least a couple of us wondering how to go about tracking our time at the wheel. How are you planning to do so? Are you going to include fiber prep in your time or is your time just strictly spinning time?

I'm also going to see if I can rustle up some prizes for those who complete the challenge so there is a bit more incentive!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Invites and Sidebar Up to Date!

I just sent out all the invites to join the blog as an author as well as updated the sidebar with the few new members we added over the weekend. Welcome!

While I'd still like to keep the goals all in one place in the comments of the goal post I'd like to encourage you to write a bit of an introduction - tell use about your wheel(s), how long you've been spinning etc. and do feel free to reiterate your goal there as well!

I'd also like to invite others to submit buttons - just e-mail them to fiberfool@gmail. I chose to use a spindle even though I suspect most of us will be doing wheel spinning because I spin on a rather unique non-generic looking wheel so I figured that wouldn't be as universally liked. Plus, the fiber I had on that spindle is soo summery! :-)

I'm sooo excited to see all the yarns we all spin and learn about new fiber sources and just have the excitement of doing things as a group!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Goals

When setting your goal for the summer spinning challenge it might be helpful to remember these tips about goal setting...
  • Keep your goal worded positively.
  • Be specific in your goal wording so your progress can be measured.
  • Be realistic. Remember this is summer which is often stuffed with other activities so keep that in mind when choosing your goal.
  • Start with a plan. You can more often reach your goal if you have a plan of attack for meeting it. It might be knowing where in your day/week you will fit in spinning in addition to knowing what fiber you are going to spin etc.
Whenever you have decided on your goal please comment to this post so everyone's goals can be found in one location. We'd love to hear you plan of attack too, it might give others an idea on how better to reach their own goals!

Welcome!

This is the home of the 2006 Summer Spinning Challenge. What exactly is that?

Each participant needs to choose their own peronsal goal. It could be a certain number hours you want to be sure to spin each day/week/month or it could be a certain weight of fiber you want to get through or a certain yardage you want to spin during the challenge. You need to set your goal by June 20th and post it in the comments section of the post on goal setting.

Once it begins we'd all like to see and hear what you are spinning and how you are doing on meeting your goal. The idea is that by seeing other's spinning and sharing our ups and downs of trying to meet our goals we'll find support to keep us spinning through the heat of summer and by the end hopefully some of us will see a marked improvement in our spinning skills too!

If this sounds like something you would like to do, please send an e-mail to fiberfool at gmail dot com with the name you'd like listed in the sidebar as well as your blog address. You do not need a blog to participate. Though I would ask that if you have a blog that you post a teaser here and direct us to your blog for more info. Sign-ups will close on June 15th.

Let's get spinning this summer!