Puttering

As the holiday winds down, I’ve been puttering about, craft-wise.  Mostly with yarn and fiber.

I spun up some pink and brown BFL, and then dyed some humbug BFL to make a second ply.  For a third, I used up a bobbin of brown and black alpaca that I spun quite some time ago from a batt I carded.

I ended up with about 240 yards of worsted weight 3 ply.

The brown alpaca ran out first, so to use up the rest of the bobbins, I mixed in random left overs from other spins, first some gold/brown, and then some pink silk/wool.

Note the classy toilet paper tubes – they fit over the yarn winder and are perfect for clearing bobbins for reuse.   A bit bumpy when rolling during plying, but not too bad.

It seemed very over-plied when it first came off the wheel, but the soak evened it out.

img_7500

Since I was running out of colorful fibers, I dyed some more today in 4 oz. batches.

They’ll need a day or two to dry out, and then ready for new year spinning.

I also gave the wheel a coat of Danish oil as the wood seemed thirsty to me.  It was drying outside until the rains started up again, so it is finishing inside.  The brand I bought is low fumes and food safe, and I could tell the wheel was grateful for the attention!

img_7510

Other than that, I’ve gotten a bit of knitting done, but haven’t touched the sewing machine.  The craft room needs some clearing out so I can free up work space.

Spinning our wheels

img_7232

More snow yesterday paralyzed the city – it only takes an inch or two to do that around here as we aren’t used to it and are never prepared.  We knew it was coming thanks to the weather reports, so I ducked out from school a little early.  It took “only” two hours to get home because I abandoned the freeway early on to take side roads.  It was a white knuckle drive – at one point I slid right through an intersection when I tried to stop at a red light.

Some people spent the night in their cars, and there were students from the Portland and Beaverton school districts who didn’t get home until midnight.  My kids got home pretty much on time, but my husband’s commute lasted three hours.

img_7249

They’ve already called off tomorrow in both our districts as the slush is refreezing into ice.  So the boys and I are officially on winter vacation!

While the boys went sledding and threw snow about, I spun yarn.

I had two different fibers in complementary colorways, one a merino/soy silk and the other a polwarth.

img_7235

I loved them as singles., but when I plied them together I was just, meh.  So I stopped and switched to chain plying each one on its own.

The result is three smallish skeins of finished yarn.

img_7237

img_7242

From left to right, the chained merino/soy silk, chained polwarth, and the two ply.

They’ve since been soaked and thwacked and are now hanging to dry.

They’ll join my other spinning finish this week.  Years after I kettle dyed the red alpaca/wool fiber, it is all finally yarn as of a couple days ago.

I used the Andean plying method when I was down to the last bit on the last bobbin so I didn’t waste even an inch of the singles.

The finished yarn is a deep heathery red with touches of gray showing through.

img_7198

Time to dive back into the stash for the next spin.

Spinning again

I am finally getting back into the groove with my spinning, after two years of almost completely abandoning it.  And none too soon – I’ve 27 pounds of fiber in various locations about the house, according to the fiber spreadsheet I opened up again at long last.

Yarn is being created!

This green yarn, with two plies from Polwarth and silk, totaled around 12 oz. and 450 yards of worsted weight yarn. Not my most even, but part of my efforts to relearn spinning thicker singles.

image

I had some green left on one bobbin so I spun up two singles of a blue and dark teal mohair/Cormo blend and barber poked the three plies together for another worsted skein – 156 yards for this one.

Over the last few days I worked on a heathery blue merino top from Ashland Bay, in the colorway “Tidewater.”  I plyed it last night and it is currently hanging to dry in the showing.  8 oz, but I haven’t calculated the yardage yet.   Another of my attempt to spin less thinly, so likely around 300-350 yards.  The pictures are horrible – it is definitely blue yarn!

Today I wanted to clear some bobbins with remnants from previous spins on them.  This bobbin started out as a three ply – purple merino, the last of the navy/teal mohair/Cormo, and the last of the green Polwarth/silk.  The purple single was much finer than the other two, giving the three ply some spiral texture.  When the blue ran out, I continued on with a two ply in purple and green, and when the green ended I chain plied the very thin purple until it finally ran out too.  Chaining is another skill I need to rebuild.  The ply snapped a couple times and I didn’t do well at rejoining the ends.

I think I’m going to go luxury fiber next.  I have some merino-yak-silk that I bought this weekend that I’m really excited to get started on.

And I definitely need to post about my weekend soon.  I met my fibery friends in Tacoma, WA, for the Madrona fiber festival.  So much fiber joy!