And So It Grows

Yes, my spinning fiber stash just keeps getting bigger, in spite of my efforts to keep it under control by spinning, spinning, and spinning. I’m not ready to give up any of my fiber clubs quite yet, so I will just have to find room for all the fiber. Of course, every time I complete a spinning project, my fiber stash gets a little smaller, but my yarn stash gets bigger. And so it goes grows.

New fiber from February and March:

Into The Whirled 24 1/2th Century Falkland top

Into The Whirled Madame Vestra BFL

Spunky Eclectic Aspens Farmer’s Sheepwool (BFL)

Spunky Eclectic Black Pillar Polwarth/Mohair/Silk

Current spinning projects:

I’ve started spinning one bump of this lovely superwash Merino from Into The Whirled in the colorway Godric’s Hollow.

I split the bump in half vertically and I am spinning each half end to end onto one bobbin. I plan to chain ply the singles to make a self-striping yarn. I split the bump so that the color repeats (stripes) would be small.

These two braids are the December 2015 installment of the Sweet Georgia Yarns Fibre Club. The colorway is called Wistmas.

Wistmas is on a base of BFL, and I decided to do a fractal spin. This bobbin contains the singles spun from the braid that I split into 12 strips vertically. I spun the other braid end to end without splitting.

The plying is almost done. Because I spun two bumps, approximately 200 grams, of fiber, I filled one bobbin and had to start on a second bobbin. This is a straight-up 2-ply yarn, and the second bobbin is about 2/3s done. I love the sheen of BFL.

 

Handspun FO Friday

I don’t have any knitted finished objects to share, but I do have some handspun.

I finished the second bump of Into The Whirled Great Minds, which is a superwash Targhee wool. The fiber went from this

Aren’t these colors gorgeous together?

to this.

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I spun the fiber end to end, then chain plied it to get a worsted-weight yarn.

I had divided the first bump in half vertically (lengthwise) and spun it up into two 2-oz skeins that are destined to become fingerless mitts, so I spun the second bump end-to-end to make a skein for a matching hat.

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The skein on the left is for a hat. The two on the right are for the fingerless mitts. I think it will make a nice set, don’t you?

I also finished a Loop Bullseye Bump that I spun end to end and then chain plied. It hasn’t told me yet what it wants to be when it grows up. 🙂

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This colorway is called Pur-plexed, and it is a purple-lover’s dream.

Here are my two newest creations side by side.

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The skeins are resting on the treadles of my Ashford Traveller. My Travvy is currently being stored in my bedroom while the house renovations are ongoing. I haven’t spun on her for over two months now, and I miss her. I think I might bring her back downstairs. She’s light, so it’s easy to carry her back upstairs if I need to.

It is amazing how differently different fibers behave, even when spun and plied the same way on the same spinning wheel. The superwash Targhee became a very squishy yarn that poofed up a lot after it was washed. It has a lot of bounce to it. The Loop bump is mostly Merino wool, and it didn’t poof up as much as the Targhee. It, too, is pretty squishy, but it doesn’t have as much bounce as the Targhee.

Both skeins were wound on the same niddy noddy, but when they came off, you can see that the Loop skein was considerably longer than the ITW skein. That’s because the Targhee yarn is stretchier than Merino yarn.

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That’s all for this FO Friday. I hope you have a great friday.

We’re Having A Heat Wave

Yeah, it’s hot and humid here in the Burgh, and yesterday evening our house got noticeably hotter, even though the AC was running. Uh-oh! Now is not a good time for the AC to go on the fritz. The DH called the repair place this morning and they sent someone over right away. The outside unit, which is ancient, needed freon, and now it is working fine. I guess we’ll find out soon enough whether the unit has a slow leak or a fast one. If it’s a fast one, replacement will be necessary. If it’s a slow one, we can kick that can down the road a bit. I’d rather not replace the HVAC during the middle of the kitchen remodel.

Speaking of the kitchen remodel, things are still pretty slow, but we do have paint on the walls.

The breakfast nook is looking good.

The breakfast nook is looking good.

And so is the kitchen area.

And so is the kitchen area.

I also have some spinning to share. Remember when I showed you the first skein of yarn I spun from Spunky Eclectic Verdigris? I told you I spun and plied the second bump of yarn differently, and that I would show you the two skeins side by side so that you could see how different they look. So here goes.

Both skeins started with the same fiber.

But the final results look quite different.

But the final results look quite different.

The skein on the left was spun and chain plied using a new-to-me fractal technique. As you can see, the different colors are separate. The skein on the right is a 2-ply. I split the fiber in half lengthwise, spun each half end to end onto a separate bobbin, then plied the two singles together. This mixed the colors up a good bit, which muted them some, and it also created some barber-poling. It’s pretty amazing, isn’t it, how different a look you can get by dividing up the fiber in different ways and/or plying the singles differently. Is it any wonder that spinning fascinates me?

FO Happy Dance!

It’s been a while since I did a Finished Object Friday blog entry. Is it like riding a bike?

Let’s start with this lovely skein of chain-plied Falkland from Bee Mice Elf. The colorway is Winter 2015 from the fiber club.

Spun in double drive, chain plied in Irish tension on my Ladybug.

I spun this using a technique I learned from Felicia Lo’s Craftsy class, Spinning Dyed Fibers. I split the braid lengthwise repeatedly into thin strips, then spun them end to end, keeping the colors in the same sequence, and then I chain plied the singles. This creates a striping yarn with shorter color repeats. As you can see from the picture, there is a little more color mixing than you normally see in chain-plied handspun. This yarn is destined to become fingerless mitts. I have another bump of this colorway, which I spun using a different technique, and which will become a matching hat, but the skein isn’t quite finished yet, so no picture yet. Sorry.

My other FO is a skein spun from Masham, dyed by Spunky Eclectic in a colorway called Verdigris.

Another chain-plied yarn spun in double drive and plied in Irish tension on my Ladybug.

I spun this using a “fractal” technique described by Benjamin Krudwig on the Schacht Spindle Blog. It’s quite different from the standard fractal spin because it keeps the colors separate but causes the color repeats to become progressively shorter. With the standard fractal spin, which is a 2-ply, the colors are blended in a way that results in a subtle striping effect.

I think of all the colorways I’ve spun since I first picked up a spindle in June of 2012, Verdigris is my very favorite. I also enjoyed spinning the Masham wool. I had never spun it before, but I will most certainly spin it again. It’s very similar to Shetland and would not be next-to-skin soft for many people. But I think to would make a great cowl or fingerless mitts or socks.

I also have another bump of Verdigris which has also been spun and plied, but quite differently from Skein #1. When it’s finished, I’ll photograph the two skeins side by side so that you can see just how different they look. You might find it hard to believe they were spun from the same colorway.

More Handspun

I’m not much of a joiner, unless it’s a fiber club. I signed up for the into the whirled fiber club, and, of course, I went whole hog and doubled it. That means that every month, I get 8 ounces of gorgeous handdyed spinning fiber delivered right to my door. Correction. Every month I get 24 ounces of gorgeous handdyed spinning fiber delivered right to my door, but only 8 ounces is from into the whirled. The rest comes from two other fiber clubs.

Hello, I’m Pinko Knitter, and I am a fiberholic.

Let’s start with some lovely English Shetland wool.

Then take one of the bumps and split it in half lengthwise.

Next, we’ll spin each length end to end onto a separate bobbin, using our beautiful Schacht Ladybug spinning wheel in double drive. (I love using the royal “we.” It makes me feel so aristocratic.)

Each bobbin of singles is then chain plied in Scotch tension (flyer lead) to make a beautiful, self-striping 3-ply yarn.

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When the yarn came off the niddy noddy, it looked to be way overplied. Yikes!

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But not to worry. A nice long soak in hot water and a little Eucalan will help the yarn relax.

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See? This is what that overplied skein looked like when it came out of its bath.

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And here’s what that same skein looks like after it dried.

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And here are the finished skeins. They are destined to become fingerless mitts.

Sweet Georgia Starry Night, Also Know As Installment Three

I know you have all been waiting with bated breath for Installment Three of my Sweet Georgia Fibre Club. And who can blame you? Installments One and Two were so incredibly fabulous, people have been lining up to see Installment Three like folks line up for the new iPhone. I exaggerate, but still. The fiber and resulting yarn are both lovely. You’ll see.

I started with this beautiful pencil roving that is 63% Superwash Merino, 20% Silk, 15% Manufactured Fibers – Nylon, and 2% Manufactured Fibers – Silver. Yes, you read that correctly. Silver. This yarn is pure bling.

The colorway of this fiber is called Starry Night, and Felicia Lo (Sweet Georgia herself) dyed it to be spun from end to end, then chain plied to create the effect of a night-time sky with clouds and stars.

Yards and yards of pencil roving in gorgeous shades of blue with white and silver, too.

Yards and yards of pencil roving in gorgeous shades of blue with white and silver, too.

I spun and then chain plied this yarn on my Lendrum folding wheel.

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It took three bobbins to hold all the plied yarn. Can you see the sparkle of the silver?

When I wound the yarn off onto the niddy noddy, I started with the last bobbin plied, then the second, then the first. This kept the colorway in the correct order.

I ended up with about 640 yards (228g) of DK weight yarn. I think it will be beautiful knitted up into something.

The finished skein

The finished skein

Sweet Georgia Bougainvillea, Also Known As Installment Two

In my previous blog entry I showed you the yarn I spun from the first of three installments of the Sweet Georgia Fibre Club I purchased late last year. Here are pictures of the second  installment, and I’ll let you decide for yourselves whether the yarn turned out as lovely as the yarn from the first installment.

 

Installment 2, Bougainvillea, BFL

Installment 2, Bougainvillea, BFL

Right: Singles spun in double drive on the Ladybug Left: Singles chain-plied on the Lendrum (in Scotch tension)

Right: Singles spun in double drive on the Ladybug
Left: Singles chain-plied on the Lendrum (in Scotch tension)

Both skeins just off the niddy noddy

Both skeins just off the niddy noddy

The finished skeins. Unfortunately, try as I might, I couldn't get a single picture that showed the color accurately.

The finished skeins. Unfortunately, try as I might, I couldn’t get a single picture that showed the color accurately.

The final tally is about 500 yards/106g of DK weight yarn. It’s BFL (Bluefaced Leicester), so it’s really, really soft and squishy. Yum!