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?

Monday, July 31, 2006

Met my goal

I met my goal for last week and got a start on this weeks goal. I spun the rest of my cotton samples from the cotton class I took from Jane, and that really helped me get some peace about her sudden death.

I also spun up 2 ounces of a green and purple roving i got from a lady named Diane with a business called Firesong. I spent about 8 to 10 hours spinning this weekend. Only an hour was this past Sunday so I have some spinning time ahead of me this week. I'm excited about my spinning again though and that is a really good thing.

Thank you all for your kind words about my teacher Jane.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Practice, Practice Practice

Everyday I've set aside time to practice my spindle spinning and each day produces a better product. Spinning has become quite addictive and the process is very enjoyable. You can see my progress on my blog (and my new spindle, too) ;-)

Margene
http://zeneedle.typepad.com/

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Reporting in

I finally have something to report. I plyed and set the twist on 61 yards of Coopworth that I spun over a week ago. This weekend looks good for spinning some more. I kept the yardage low because I don't have the jumbo bobbins needed for alot of yardage. I hate when it gets all tangled because you fill the bobbin too full.
I am pleased with the result. Due to storms and power outages, I haven't figured out the picture part yet, but too be completely honest....my pictures suck. Maybe, eventually, someday I'll get a picture that actually looks like it should. Until then, keep on spinning.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Spinning Update

I haven't done much spinning in the past two weeks. I've been working on other projects, getting ready for our local county fair. Now that the entry deadline is past, I'm spinning again. I did about 5 hours yesterday at my spinning guild meeting and another hour+ tonight, so on average I'm meeting my challenge goal. I'm seeing a lot more consistency in my singles and *my hand doesn't hurt as much* from drafting. Hooray! I've relaxed my grip on the fiber and I'm spinning woolen, rather than inch-worm. It's making a big difference - I can spin longer and my hand doesn't cramp up.

I still love spinning on Bekki, the Ashford Traveler. I didn't think I'd enjoy using a single treadle but I really like the rhythm. I like Bekki so much that I broke down and bought myself an early birthday present. A Woolee Winder. With two extra bobbins. I got a Winder for my Lendrum for my last birthday and I love it.

But the funny thing? Bekki is spinning so well that I'm apprehensive about attaching the Woolee Winder. I'm afraid I'll jinx myself or something. LOL. I'll probably do it tomorrow, if it's not too hot to spin.

Spin cool!

How 'bout this?

Okay, Okay, I admit this has little to do with goals and such, but I just got back from vacation, and lookie what came home with me.......

......let the spinning begin!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Spinning update

Hi all! After really working hard on my goal the first two weeks, I haven't spun much at all for the last two. I confess I had extenuating circumstances though. The wonderful woman who taught me to spin passed away last week from a terribly swift and devastating bout with Pancreatic cancer and my reaction to it was exactly opposite what I thought it would be. I thought it would make me want to spin in her memory, but at least for the last 2 weeks I have started to spin, (I've done about 2 hours or so each week) and have been overwhelmed by sadness. I have not abandoned my goal but i might take a little while to get my "twist" back as it were.

But, to happier things... Here are the results of the first 2 weeks of the challenge!

The purple on the left is what I spun in St Louis with my friend Anne and fellow challenege member Rebekah! It is 60/40 merino Angora blend from The Woolen Rabbit who has the most amazing angora blends I have ever had the pleasure to work with! This was the other portion of my challenge, and I had been working on it for 2 years. (I had nearly 2 lbs of 2 this lucious stuff broken out into 1 ounce balls.) I'm starting to seriously contemplate what I will use this fabulous stuff for...

The brown on the right is the Australian Bond, subject of the larger plan for the challenge. It's destinied to be something textured, maybe a cabled sweater or a gansey.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Weeks 3 and 4 Not So Good...

Boy, it is a good thing my first two weeks of the challenge were all out crazy with spinning as I've hit a lull. I lost my momentum in week three when I was undecided about what to spin next so I only got in about 2 hours and 25 min. I decided to throw on the other 4 ounces of purple roving from the batch that one of the prizes is from. It's some Wild Flowers blend from Bountiful. I'm doing *very* fine singles and hope to make my first three ply yarn with it. Now, week 3 was pretty close to the goal of three hours per week so I didn't get down on myself too much.

Week four was a completely different story. I was all caught up in releasing my new sock pattern and getting packed for our whirlwind road trip to Minneapolis for the weekend that I only sat down and spun for 40 minutes on Monday night upon our return while DH was catching up with a friend on the phone. Seriously, if he hadn't been on the phone I probably wouldn't have even spun that much :-(

That said, my "average" for the four weeks is just slightly above the needed 180 minutes so I'm okay as long as I get my butt in gear this week and stay at least on task of 3 hours. Though here it is Thursday and no time has yet been logged...

I've been sidetracked with project planning (yet another baby to knit for, this one I didn't know was even expected, but an annoucement arrived in the mail while we were gone) and by the call of my sewing machine... *sigh* Oh, and a *need* to learn to crochet so I can make the gorgeous crocheted yarn holder pattern in the latest Spin-Off!

You've been pretty quiet while I was gone. Alison, I hope your foot gets better fast and Elisa, I'm sorry to hear about the fiber prep issues with Grover. Also, welcome Margene! Your yarn is really showing your progress as you learn more about drop spindling! How is everyone else doing?

Learning

First goal was to make a good skein of 2 ply yarn which I have been able to do. Next up was to spin a full spindle of nice singles and then to ply it. Last night I was able to ply it (center pull ball) which is the easy part, actually. After studying the skein (I've become a spinning geek!) to see what I could learn, it looks like I maybe spinning too hard and fast for my drafting ability. Sometimes it just looks like dental floss and other parts are very nice. There were fewer slubs in this skein so little by little I learn. I do have something in mind to knit with this skein and will keep you posted and I'll practice more this weekend and show the results of my newly found knowledge.

Margene
http://zeneedle.typepad.com/

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Spinning update

Or lack thereof rather. I was doing pretty well with my spinning, not quite keeping up with my original goals, but getting a lot of spindling done here and there and just a bit of wheel spinning. Now, I can't spin at my wheel at all for a few days as I have some stitches right on the ankle, so the motion wouldn't be good for healing. You never realize how much you use your ankle until you can't use it for a few days. (It's nothing serious, by the way. Just a big, ugly mole removed in a very bad spot to have a mole removed.) I'm so used to double-treadling that I don't think I'd want to try with just one foot when it's just a few days. Anyway, spindling has been non-existent the last couple of days as well because I just haven't felt up to sitting up that much. The foot feels better propped up, so I've been knitting a bit.

So, anyway, hopefully next week, I'll feel like going back to my spindling at least. I have been enjoying seeing what everyone else has been doing fiberwise though. I love knowing that the old arts are enjoying such a revival. I really do love seeing people's faces when I'm spindling in public and they realize what I'm doing. Someday, I hope to get brave enough to bring the wheel into public.

Changing My Goal

I'm giving up on Grover for now. I'm still not happy with the fiber prep; Grover deserves better. And I signed up for the Challenge to get me to spin, not spend all my time doing fiber prep. So until I can card the wool into batts, I'm going to move on to something else.

My new challenge is going to be spinning the Brushstrokes Batt I received today. It's about 9 ounces according to my (not very accurate says the post office) postal scale. I want to spin it at a lace weight, ply it, set the twist, and be ready to start crocheting it by the end of the Challenge on September 22.

I did 3.5 hours of spinning
on the Lendrum this week for this Challenge. I also spun about 5 hours for the Tour de Fleece, using the Traveller. Setting goals for both challenges has really improved my spinning time. Details and pictures are on my blog.

Friday, July 14, 2006

You can see in my post today that I have finally had a little success in spinning. The blue roving is a mohair wool blend that is very fluffy and easy to spin as it has little substance and it floats away.
The red roving is a fine merino hand dyed by a local fiberist. It was very hard to draft my first time but now it's going well. I am enjoying the process of spinning en0ugh that I have a hard time putting it down.
This weekend I'll take some of the angora/alpaca roving that Kim of the Woolen Rabbit sent to me last year and see how I can do with it. There will be many more spindles in my future as I want to spin as many fibers as possible and on as many spindles as I can just to see how different they all are.
Thank you to my pals for the encouragement!

Margene

I wanted to update since I was so disappointed last week. I am doing much better this week. I have actually spun about 2.5 hours. My consistency is improving and I really am enjoying spinning the Coopworth I got from Copper Moose. I will most probably dye this yarn when I'm done. I saw an idea on a blog (I'm so sorry, but I can't remember where) that suggests using food coloring (my dye of choice) and glass jars and putting the skein into each jar of color. It would probably work well with roving, too. Maybe I can try that at a later date.
I received my very first fleece in the mail this week. His name is Grant and he's from Cormo Wool, a wonderful farm in California. I can recommend Sue to anyone interested in the Cormo breed. The breed is relatively new. I think it was developed in the 70's. It is a blend of Coopworth and Merino and the wool is stunning. Sue covers the fleece and mine is so white it's almost blinding. I know I sound like an ad, but I'm one very happy girl.
This weekend I plan to spin and wash fleece. I hope everyone else has a great weekend.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Bobbin Help

Anybody spin on an Ashford Traveller? Or any Ashford; I think the bobbins are interchangeable. When I was changing bobbins, the back of my bobbin fell off - the one with freshly spun singles, of course. Details and photos are on my blog. Has anyone else had this happen?

I'm worried about saving my singles - if I put it on a lazy kate, will I end up with a tangled mess or will I be able to ply successfully? I checked the other bobbins and two had loose ends; DH is going to fix them before I start spinning again. Now I have even more incentive to get a Woolee Winder for this wheel. (Wonder if I can talk hubby into a early birthday present??)

Monday, July 10, 2006

I flamed this week

As I stated in my blog, I flamed badly this week on spinning. I started on Friday night on some Corriedale, but I was really tired so I stopped. I have found that if I'm too tired, spinning suffers. So I stopped. I will pick it up this week. I chided Rebekah for berating herself for not meeting her goal, so I guess I can't berate myself, either. I will make it up this week.

Hey Everybody,
I've really enjoyed reading everyone's spinning updates. I finally posted on my blog about my Summer Spinning goals and progress. You can read it here.
Carole

I think I may have underestimated my abilities...

I managed to get out of going to the Great Escape yesterday and I took advantage of the time to myself to ply. The above is 368 yards of two-ply (that is right now soaking, but I couldn't wait to post a photo). It's my first yarn that is long enough that I can actually knit something with it. I know I need to work on my plying - I think that I don't have enough twist, although the skein hung dead straight when I took it off the niddy-noddy. I don't know if I should up my goal now since I completed this so quickly? Maybe now I should try to spin a true laceweight? (so far I've only been able to do fingering weight) I've requested the very fast flyer for my birthday so I should have the means by next week...?

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Week 2 Success!

I managed to do all of my Week 2 Spin time in Missouri visting My best friend Anne! I also succeeded in finishing some roving I have been working on periodically for over 2 years! It's completely spun and plied but not yet washed. I spent a HUGE amount of time working on unfelting the roving. It was extrememly densly packed together after 2 years of sitting. I made it draft-able and spun it on my friend's Ashford Joy. I was spinning this on my oy at home and brought my bobbins and orifice with the spinning in progress already attached! It was almost as good as bringing my own wheel with me! :)

This week it will be back to the Bond roving... I'll take some photos and get my act together...

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Week 2


I don't want to jinx myself but...I'm way ahead of where I thought I'd be.

I finished the 2nd Vesper dyed hank-o-roving this afternoon and CAN'T. WAIT. to ply it, but I'm being patient and waiting 'til tomorrow.

Except...tomorrow I have to go to the Great Escape with the family so I CAN'T ply it! Curses!

I FINALLY plied some singles of alpaca I've had since the first of the year. It was some of the first stuff I ever spun, so it was uneven and very thick. I decided to ply it with a metallic binder instead of plying two thick singles together. I think it turned out pretty nice - considering I thought it might end up as trash.
I also finished spinning and plying my first dyed mohair and silk blend. I'm VERY pleased with how it turned out. I've decided to use it for Christmas stockings - since it is my first fiber prepared from goat to yarn. It seems like it needs to be used for some heirloom type project.
I think the color will be perfect for Christmas.











I also added to the crosspatch single that I have going. My collection of hand spun is increasing. It looks fantastic hanging on their pegs - I hate to use any of it.
I love just looking at it all.









I almost forgot.....I did a very little bit of spindle spinning to try to help improve my skill. I'm not very good at it - and I seem to take the "drop spindle" name very literally, as I am always dropping the darn thing.
I'm SLOWLY getting more comfortable with it.
~Sharon
:D Happy spinning all!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Week 2



Week 2 ended with quite a bit more yarn spun. In fact I finished 2 bobbins of the coopworth (which I'm guessing is about 3 ounces - I could weigh it, but then what fun would that be). Tonight I hope to do some work on the Jacob's wool, however my back is a bit out of whack, so I'm not sure how much of it I'll be able to take.


Of course this picture was taken at the beginning of the week when only one of the bobbins of coopworth was done. I'm making this a 3-ply yarn, and knitting a shawl for my mother-in-law.


So I'm making progress, and enjoying myself completely. I also bought some beautiful border leicester roving on Saturday at our local farmer's market, it's calling me to spin it. But I'm not sure what it's wanting to be knit into, so I might wait until I figure that out.

Have a great weekend!

Ready to Fly!

I only managed to spin for 2.5 hours this week but . . . . . I have 2 pounds of wool picked and ready to spin. I stayed up until 2 a.m. last night processing fleece so I could pass the picker on to my spinning buddy today. During week 3, I can concentrate on spinning rather than having to spend time on fiber prep. (Do you think I can spin all of this in one week? No? Me neither. But no harm in trying!)

And . . . . I actually spun some of Grover this week. Isn't it gorgeous? I love all the different shades in this Lincoln/Columbia fleece. (The fiber is a little darker than in this photo - I'll try to take the next picture during the day so I don't have to use the flash.)
It will be a while before I'm ready to ply. The Woolee Winder bobbins really pack on the fiber and I'd like to have two full bobbins before I move to the next step. But when I start plying, I should end up with a huge skein.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Successful Week 2 for Me Too

I too had a successful week 2 - I had a total of 5 1/4 hrs. of spinning. It was a bit harder to keep up this past week. I did notice something, though. With all the spinning I've been doing, I don't have that many finished skeins (I look in envy at the pictures that Kristi has posted!).

I've been spinning mostly with my wheel. However, this past week, I logged 1 1/2 hrs. of spinning with my drop spindle. I've determined that I'm a VERY slow spinner.....whether with the wheel or with the drop spindle. I should have more finished skeins to show for all the hours! But, then again, I spin for relaxation, so it's OK. So...that's my excuse for no finished skeins (plus, my Louet bobbins are quite big, so it takes a bit to fill them.....especially since I've been spinning quite thin lately.)

Week 2 Round Up!

Well, I had a pretty successful week 2 spinning-wise. I'm afraid I'm starting out week three behind, but with 5.5 and 6 hours the last two weeks I think a couple days off due to the holiday are okay. You can read more about this week's spinning adventures (and they really were an adventure) on my blog at http://blog.designedlykristi.com/?p=115

How is everyone else doing? It sure is fun seeing what everyone is spinning and such!

I'm having a hard time deciding what to spin next... Too many decisions to make, LOL!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Disappointing First Week

I met part of my goal for the first week - I spun for 4 hours. What disappoints me is that I didn't spin Grover's fleece, which is the second part of my challenge. I'm still working on the BFL I bought at Stick and Stone Fiberarts; I've started the second bobbin and should have the last of the roving spun this week. Then I can ply it, set the twist, and move on.

I finished dividing Grover's 7.5 pound fleece into 'best' and 'seconds'. All of the 'best' wool is washed and tonight I started picking with the Patrick Green Triple Picker. Susie, Sharon & I went in together to buy the picker; we got a great tool and dividing the cost three ways made it affordable.

I've only picked about 4 ounces of fleece and I already have a net laundry bag full of wool. It amazes me how much the wool fluffs up when it is picked. I'm getting really excited to start spinning. Hmmmm, I have a third Woolee Winder bobbin. Maybe I could work on the BFL and Grover at the same time . . . .


Woo-Hoo!! Reach my goal for the Challenge, but not for the week although technically I still have today to reach my personal goal for this week, which is to ply my exitsting bobbins of alpaca. They have been sitting on the bobbins for a few months now. In my own defense I haven't had the thread to ply them with quite as long. The alpaca was some of the first spinning I had done and the singels are pretty thick, so instead of plying them together I'm going to ply them with a matalic thread binder and maybe I'll actually be able to use the yarn. otherwise I have a lot of bulky weight yarn without memory. I wouldn't know what to make with it. I'm open for suggestions.......
I spent Thursday evening with 3 spinning pals and was able to start on some crosspatch. I had hoped to finish off the silk single so I could ply it with my mohair/silk blend; but I accidently left my bag of silk behind that night. Oop's. The crosspatch was a dream to spin and I think it's a great look.
Maybe next post I'll have pictures of something plyed. Keep you fingers crossed for me. Happy spinning all.
:D
~Sharon

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Update on Goal

Well I managed to complete the first step of my goals for the summer - I bought a wheel today ;o)

It's a Lendrum and there shall be a post and photos on my blog (as well as the reveal of her name) after the July 4th holiday.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Spinning Progress and Info About a New On-Line Fiber Magazine

Well, I've kept up with my goals....and even exceeded it a bit as far as spinning time. My main goal is to spin at least 5 hrs. per week....and I've done that...so far. The big challenge for me is to keep the momentum going. I also need to pare down my stash....it's way to big. I'm still thinking about how to do that and hope to work that into my goals as well.

I just found out about a new on-line magazine as well. It's got a great article about selling/marketing your handspun. This is the first issue....I really like it. You can check it out at: http://www.fiberfemmes.com

Have a great holiday everyone! (I'm planning on getting a LOT of spinning done over the next few days!!!!)