New toys!

From Spinning

A glorious Rose supported spindle in birdseye maple, and a Phang in tulipwood, by Lisa of Gripping Yarn.

Check the chatoyance on the maple…

From Spinning

I had hoped to use these as airplane spindles (the supported style would be ideal for using with those little tray tables) but the Phang looked wayyy too much like a wooden stake. No way I was letting that beautiful piece of wood be confiscated.

Plum-age

From Spinning

A prized braid of Bee Mice Elf merino-bamboo-nylon in colorway Plum-age, spun at the 2nd Annual North Dakota Handspinner’s Conference in Jamestown. This was a commission for a Christmas present. Bee Mice Elf is practically impossible to get now.

From Spinning

Look at the beautiful marling.

From Spinning

So shiny…

Brock Samson Art Yarn

Gah! No posts since April 2011? Ouch!

Well then! Also done in April 2011, spun at the Harvey get-together: Brock Samson.

From Spinning

The Palette, Before the Spin: red corriedale top, white merino top, red sari silk threads, red and gold mohair locks, stripped denim, stripped white cotton t-shirts, flax, carbonized bamboo, tussah silk cocoons, feather monarch butterflies on wire, #10 crochet cotton as a binder.

From Spinning

This section would be lovely reproduced as a holiday yarn, in and of itself. Red corriedale, wild-harvested tussah cocoons, gold mohair locks.

From Spinning
From Spinning

I believe I took 2nd place in Novelty Yarns at both the 2011 Shepherd’s Harvest Festival and North Country Fiber Fair.

From Spinning

I ended up popping the butterflies off their wire backing, spinning in the wire with 1/4″ hanging unwrapped, then reattaching the butterflies on the other side of the orifice before winding on to the bobbin. My Clemes and Clemes Modern has a pretty narrow orifice. I am seriously thinking about upgrading to the bulky flyer – I have some 1/2″ skull beads calling to me.

I got to play with a drumcarder!

It seems I enjoy bright colors.

I had been collecting solid color fiber to blend into a “Pink Lemonade” color scheme almost since I began to spin. After a lovely day in Harvey at a newborn fiber festival, learning how to use fiber preparation tools (I finally figured out the combs I got for Christmas!), the very canny Shayne lent me the Ashford Wild drumcarder she’s thinking about selling. I got it adjusted well enough that I only got fiber building up on the licker-in after about ounce 14 – which is much better than my first try at the fiber festival – and had tons of fun last weekend carding up 10+ oz of yellow batts and 6+ oz of pink. I’m thinking I will mostly ply yellow with yellow and pink with pink for a stripy final project, but I might make a bit of mixed ply for accent.

Before

Yellow: cottonwood-dyed wool from SD Natural Colored Wools; yellow Ashford bulk merino; mohair locks from Goat Goat Sheep; my own naturally dyed coopworth in “Bindweed’s Revenge”; yellow and red angelina and a highlight of Spunky Eclectic superwash merino in neon pink “Peony” to tie it together thematically with the other batts. I completely forgot some goldenrod-dyed wool that got hidden underneath the rest of the pile.

Pink: a whole bunch of that neon pink superwash merino; cochineal- and madder-dyed wool from SD Natural Colored Wools; half of a kind-of-ugly mauve merino-and-tencel unblended batt that someone gave up on in frustration; red and yellow angelina and a highlight of yellow mohair locks to remember its partner.

From Spinning
From Spinning

Candy Apple Supercoils

From Spinning

1.5 oz finished weight, about 6 yards, unfortunately in 5 pieces. But still delicious!

From Spinning

I love the color progression, and the bulky curves… it does not love me however. Ply, slide, slide, slide, SNAP! Repeat x5. The poor #20 crochet cotton did not know what hit it. There’s a couple horrible spots in the last longest piece where the core got so roughed up that the coil would not push up and over it, so I just kinda plied up and down to cover the core and hoped for the best?

From Spinning

This section was rescued from a core-thread-break about 12 inches up the finished ply – it’s about perfect keychain length, if I find some nice autumny embellishments for the knotted end.

From Spinning

All of these are folded in half and “plyed” a la the Supercoil Colliers in Intertwined – it will only work if the coil is freshly spun, but it’s nice to have them stable and in useful format. And it disguises the painful parts quite well.

From Spinning

Tiny scarves? Really nice embellishment for a plain headband or coordinating scarf? I saved the other 2/3 of the braid for a standard two-ply to pair with it. A cowl with candy apple edges, a white middle and this couched over the white part would be pretty awesome.

From Stash

I really need to get off my butt and take pictures of my stash WITHOUT the obscuring plastic bags. This is Bee Mice Elf falkland in ‘Candy Apple’.

Sampling Octopi

I have seen cocoons and haloes and twisters before when roaming through art yarn techniques books, but I had never really liked them – well, had never really thought of a reason to put them into a yarn except “just cause” and that rarely does it for me.

Then I watched the Sit-n-Spin dvd I got for my birthday. Her cocoons and haloes were a bright warm orange.  The back of my brain combined this with the Fiber Friday theme “Octopi” and suddenly I had a reason to try these techniques! Everything is better if it’s representational!

From Spinning

I set up a sample, first, to see if everything would look good together (and to practice the techniques!) The goal was to have some wholly visible octopi, some swimming away from you (so only tentacles visible), and some swimming towards you (heads visible.) This would allow for varying tentacle numbers as I practiced my joins. I think it would be awesome to have a hat or cowl full of 3-D octopi.

From Spinning
From Spinning

Yes, so definitely I need more practice, but overall I am quite pleased with the idea and will continue.  To fix for next time:

  • more twist!
  • thinner orange sections of more consistent thickness for the twisters
  • more crisp and tight cocoons – I am amazed at how little fiber it takes to make a distinct bump. I never predraft anymore and here I am having to make strips of fiber that are barely visible.
  • thicker aqua single with perhaps a thinner plying thread. This is #10 crochet cotton as the #20 tatting cotton was more expensive…
From Spinning

 The singles.

The ocean base yarn is Targhee top in ‘Blue Raspberry’ from Hungry for Handspun. I had to try targhee because it was featured in a Connie Willis novel, but I love it – it’s substantial. It’s bouncy and squooshy but there’s something there, unlike say a superwash merino.  I think in the next attempt I’ll try to get the Targhee single thicker and the ply thread thinner so you can better appreciate the elasticity of the wool.

From Stash

The orange is a huge bag of Louet merino/silk in ‘Golden Hibiscus’, from my orange kick this spring. I am glad there is so much to practice with!

A glorious three-ply

From Spinning

Om nom nom!

From Spinning

220 yds of a dk-to-sock weight 3-ply in 50/50 merino/soy by River’s Edge Weaving Studio. My mother-in-law bought this for me at the Shepherd’s Harvest fiber festival in Minnesota in May; the dyer’s website keeps threatening to open an online store sometime soon, which will be lovely as I don’t want to wait till May to restock.

From Stash

I tried very hard to put in lots of singles twist to compensate for the soy. This is my thinnest and longest skein ever.

From Spinning

So thin!

From Spinning

I am so pleased with the way the colors blended!

From Spinning

It says “socks”, though, and I don’t think 22o yds is enough for a pair. I like at least 7″ cuffs. Hrmph. Don’t taint my joy, expectations! A nice scarfy triangle so I can see the yarn when I look down would be just lovely!