Tuesday, June 24, 2008

2 FY's and Spinning Wheel Savings

Peacock Blue
This light worsted (12 wpi) 3-ply is made of the singles I spun from the peacock blue wool top I purchased from Pollywogs. The total yardage between these two is 208 and I have perhaps another 250 or 300 yards worth to ply.
This skein is a 2 ply of the rose and magenta Merino/wool blend that I carded and a thin and thick merino single. The average wpi is 16 and the yardage is 126. I still have one bobbin of the blended single and a bit of the Merino single so I may ply some more of this or I may try andean plying the blend and using the rose Merino for something else.

I also test spun and 2-plied some of my coffee Alpaca and started swatching for a lace shawl I want to make for myself but I haven't found the right lace yet. Also on my hook, I'm swatching for my "Ravenclaw" scarf. I'll try to remember to get pictures up this week.

In other news, I have officially started saving for a spinning wheel. I have narrowed down the choices to an Ashford Traveller Single Drive.

While I still want to try one out in person I have tentatively selected this wheel based on affordability, versatility, expandability, portability, durability and availability of accessories/parts. It will be awhile before I save enough for it, but as of now all my weekly tips are being set aside in a spinning wheel savings jar.

My local fiber shop has hourly spinning lessons that I'm going to be attending soon, and they sell Ashfords, but I don't think they have the Traveller. I'm planning on attending the Knox Farm Fiber Festival in September, and I'm hoping a vendor or someone in one of the spinning bees will have one I can check out in person.

If anyone owns or has used the Traveller and has any advice or insight I'd be happy to hear it!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Finished Yarn (FY) and New Singles

Here's what I've been up to:
This is an 18 wpi 162 yrd. 2 ply spun from my rose colored Merino and coffee Alpaca. I'm really pleased with how this came out (I think it might have to be something special for me) and it's super soft! It's my first time working with either of these fibers and this is made from the thinest singles I've been able to spin so far. I'm also working on developing my long draw when working with the Merino.

A closeup:

This is the first fiber I have blended myself (I'm using dog brushes right now but hope to upgrade to real carders eventually). This is a blend of the rose Merino and magenta wool blend. I have two bobbins of singles in this now and I'll be plying it (maybe with itself, maybe with a thicker rose Merino single) as soon as I finish my current plying project. Speaking of current plying projects, I'll try to upload pictures of my first 3-ply tomorrow if the 2 skeins that are hanging right now are dry by then. I'm finally plying up all the bobbins of peacock blue singles I've had lying around. So far I have 208 yrds. and I'm expecting at least double that when I'm done. I haven't measured the WPI yet but it looks like worsted weight to me. I'm very pleased with them and I hope the person I'm gifting them to will be just as thrilled!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Flickr Mosiac Meme

The Concept:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

The Questions:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

Monday, June 9, 2008

At Long Last!! ***Image Heavy*** Part 2 of 2

Before I move on to the new fiber I'm working with here's one more finished yarn. This yarn is a natural Swaledale 2-ply. Yardage for each skein from left to right is 108 , 62, and 34. The weight is 8oz and the WPI is approximately 7. I got this fiber from Strings and Things.

I used this yarn for one of my sculptures this semester. This piece is made from copper sheeting (yay for studio fees and an awesome professor which let me use expensive materials like copper without paying the insane prices!!) which I cut and hammered on the anvil and then brazed with an oxy-acetylene rig. I then applied a Liver of Sulphate patina using cold process and sealed it with wax. The yarn is cut into yard-ish long pieces and tied together in bundles and then placed inside.

I have two other pieces from this semester which relate to crochet but I'll post those another time.

Moving on...I just took another trip to Strings and Things this past week and came back with all kinds of goodies!!

13.8 oz. of Alpaca (SQUEE!!!):

8oz. of Merino in a rose color (ignore the price, I know it's tacky but I wanted to show the label and was too lazy to PhotoShop it out):

And 2 wool blends each weighing 2oz. in a navy which has a lighter streak of blue running through it and a lovely magenta:

I'm planning on mixing a matching a few of these when it comes to plying and I've already got about a half spindle full of an alpaca single:

Now I'm on the lookout for a lightweight spindle, but alas I have not found one to my liking and to the liking of my budget yet.

At Long Last!! ***Image Heavy*** Part 1 of 2

With the semester over I can finally catch up on all the blogging I've slacked on. So what have I been up to? Spinning! Spinning! Spinning!

Waaaaayyy Back in February my spinning bug had just bitten...now the infection is full blown and here to stay!! I got this lovely pound of Peacock Blue wool top from Pollywogs in February.
So this:

...became this:

This is my homemade Lazy Kate (bobbins are PVC pipe with caps which rest on wooden dowels set into a 1"x4" which clamps to my spinning table) filled with the Peacock Blue singles and singles from 2oz. of a green wool blend procured from Strings and Things. This green is a weird shade and it looks DRAMATICALLY different in different light and against other colors...and so when plied...

...all I could think of was the Ravenclaw house colors from the HP books (yes I'm a dork)!!! This green becomes a bronzy green when plied with the blue and my Ravenclaw heart could see nothing else except a lovely house scarf crocheted from this yarn (nevermind that I was thinking of gifting it before...MINE!!!). Now all but the last bobbin of this is plied and so far I have one 66 yrd. skein and the 150 yrd. skein pictured above. I'm expecting another 150ish out of the last bobbin. This 2-ply has an approximate WPI of 12.

Here's a picture of my spinning corner. You can see my PVC Niddy Noddy, my Lazy Kate again, my spindle, what WAS left of the blue roving (it's all singles now) and also in the bowl is my first handspun and my 66yrd. "Ravenclaw" skein.

Here's a closeup of my yarn bowl:

I'll still have 6 full bobbins of the Peacock Blue after I'm done plying the last "Ravenclaw" skein and I'm going to make it into a solid color 2-ply I think. I'm really anxious to get my bobbins cleared because I've got some really exciting new fiber on my spindle and in my stash right now, but that'll have to wait until the next post!