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.