Thursday, July 28, 2011

I am in love

Or you can say I am in trouble.

Most people learn to spin by starting on a drop spindle.

I thought I had no patience for the drop spindle, so I jumped directly onto the wheel.

However, I have always wanted to get a hand on a spindle. With this Tour de Fleece, I was determined to master the spindle. I did pretty well with the Golding and even though the little ebony/lapis wobbles a bit it spins quite nicely.

But I have always wanted a Bosworth. But they say you might have to wait forever to get one. I figured I could try my luck. I placed an order Monday asking for a Midi in any wood, figuring if I was not choosey I might not have to wait too long.

An hour later I got an email back saying my Midi was on its way!

Yesterday this baby showed up on my doorstep:
She is Walnut with a birch shaft and weighs 29 grams.
And she spins.
I must say I love her even more than the Golding.

I love her so much I ordered a Mini this morning.

Yes I am in trouble.

How many spindles can one have?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tour de Fleece

More like dragging my feet...

The tour has been on more than two weeks now yet I don't have much to show at all. I got one braid spun and plied. This is a BFL/silk mix from Fat Cat Knits. Light fingering weight, two-ply. 360 yards out of 5 ounces.

There are two main reasons I am not as prolific during this year's tour. One is the crazy workload but I really should not complain since it supports my fiber habit.

More importantly is that I am bound and determined to spindle

And with a Golding, I must say I got off on the right foot.

Here is my first spindle-spun skein. I plied it on the wheel though.

Two ounces of merino/silk from Pigeonroof Studios. About 90 yards of two-ply, DK weight.

I liked it so much I bought another spindle!

This tiny beauty came from Autumn Hollow Spindles. It is ebony with lapis inlaid on the ring and weighs less than an ounce, making it perfect for lace-weight spinning.

At first I ws strugging a little bit with its light weight compared to the Golding which weighs almost twice as much. But after a while I got a hang of it and am now able to get it going.

I am spindling this 50/50 merino/silk from Spirit Trails Fiber Work:

Yes it is like watching molasses drop. But I am trudging along.

We are going to Omaha tomorrow. Guess what I am taking..

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

The ugly duckling revealed

It did turn into a swan.

I remember the first time I tried to wash a fleece several years ago when I first started spinning and wanted to do it from start to finish. I did not quite know what I was doing and what I got then was a blob of matted, felted mess.

I told myself I would never again wash raw fleece.

Well, that was until I made a commitment at my LYS, Uniquities, to wash a portion of the Romney fleece for the fleece-to-scarf-demonstration and the competition in the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival in September. I won't be able to participate due to family commitment but I promised to wash the fleece. So I brought the fleece home.

The is the Romney we got from Solitude Wool. I got just about over a pound which made it very manageable. I laid out the fleece in two big heavy duty aluminum roasting pans.

First a plain hot water soak:

Followed by a hot soapy soak. Then a hot rinse, and another rinse and another rinse.

I put the washed fleece in the washing machine to spin out the excess water.

Look at the transformation.
The ungly duckling has turned into a swan.

How pretty!

Saturday was also the start of the Tour de Fleece. And guess what?

I am not only spinning; I am spindling!