more spinning, and a ball winder

I’m having so much fun spinning this fiber. I plied (2-ply) the Gotland green yarn, washed it, and now it’s hanging up to dry. Luckily, in this weather, it should dry pretty fast.

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I’m spinning the second ply of the “Brighten Up!” hand painted Targhee wool.

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Targhee fiber is so awesomely crimpy and bouncy. The fiber reminds me a bit of foam.

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Targhee feels to me relatively easy to spin, maybe a bit more difficult than the Gotland. The Gotland spun up very fuzzy, whereas the Targhee actually spun into a tidy single. They’re both beautiful and wonderful fibers to work with.

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Each ply should be about 34 grams – I find this to be a comfortable amount of fiber to have on the spindle as a single and to ply. My issue is mostly with plying on the spindle – it gets cumbersome and hard to wind on at some point. But since much more time is spent spinning as opposed to plying, that’s okay. Ending up with about 70 grams on a skein is fine for me, for now.

I wiped off my grandmother’s old yarn ball winder with some disinfectant, and saw that it was pretty clean and ready for use. It’s nostalgic to see how things used to be made: with wood and metal.

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I’m glad my mom kept it and gave it to me. My grandmother was an amazing knitter, and she also sewed and appliqued and even wrote a book about applique. I feel like she and my mom passed the love of craft to me. My dad is also very talented at making things with his hands. I’m lucky to have creativity, craft, and resourcefulness flowing through both sides of my family.

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spinning Gotland and Targhee

My boyfriend got me many gifts for my birthday, one of which arrived in the mail Thursday: a LOT of spinning fiber from Spunky Eclectic. It’s my first time spinning colorful (dyed) fiber and I’m enjoying it immensely!

I started off with this lovely Gotland wool in an alien green:

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My spindle weighs 54 grams (1.9 oz) according to my scale, so I spun until it weighed 90 grams (3.17 oz), wound off a single ball of 36 grams (1.26 oz) around a coin, then repeated. So I now have two balls of single yarn, which I will let set and then I will ply (2-ply) on my beloved drop spindle.
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I love seeing the variations in color, and there also seems to be some dark brown fibers in there as well. Spinning this wool was a joy.DSC02119

I’m going to spin the same amount of fiber from this hand dyed Targhee wool (oranges, yellows, greens). I love seeing the colors change as I spin. The Targhee is super crimpy, and it looks sort of like foam! It too is a pleasure to spin.

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felty Finn

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Out of the wash. Starting to notice the felted-together strands, attached to each other like velcro DSC02094

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Dry skein, after having pulled apart each strand: DSC02088

And in familiar rolled up skeiny form: DSC02106

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Here’s the swatch. 14-16 wpi, 3.5 mm needles. Perhaps I should move up a needle size. It’s not extremely soft, but it’ll definitely do for a warm not-next-to-skin sweater. DSC02111

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More Drop Spindle Spinning

Good morning, readers! I’m whipping up a short update post before getting ready and heading for work. I promised myself I would get better at taking photos which I put up on the blog, instagram, etc. I will make an effort! But that effort has not yet been made, so please excuse the blurriness etc. I do promise better photos soon! Here’s another look at Jessie’s girl. I wore it once to work so far and it’s a comfy and flattering tee. Nowadays, I wear tunics and tights most days, dresses other days. Which is why I lengthened the tee a bit to make it more of a tunic. I’m happy with it. DSC02060 I’ve been spinning on my drop spindle quite a bit. Here’s my re-spun (I spun it badly, then fixed the slubby parts) and two-plied Corriedale, I think it is: DSC02036 DSC02050 It’s amazing to see the transformation that happens after washing. People say the yarn “blooms” and I see what they mean! My latest spinning is approximately 3 oz of Romney undyed combed top – my first ever 3 ply. This office chair was used as a makeshift skein maker: DSC02062 and here is the 3-ply hand spun (spindle spun!) yarn: DSC02064 It’s not easy to ply such a length on a drop spindle, just because of the weight of it all. But I am proud of myself for doing it. I’ve been spinning more consistently and drafting flows much better now. This is the above 3-ply yarn, before plying – I spun it into a 3-ply ball as Abby Franquemont suggests. 17341473861_03a31f8727_k Here’s one of the singles being spun: 17141724690_d30f4aba3b_k I am contemplating getting a Hansen miniSpinner. It’s so expensive, but it seems like a great tool. Gotta run!

drop spindle: 3rd ounce of fiber

Yesterday morning I started spinning my 3rd ounce of fiber, and it was a dream! The fiber, R.H. Lindsay Domestic Wool in Grey Fawn, is rustic and not very soft, and even has small pieces of dried plants in it. I don’t care! It’s perfect! The fibers stick together and they’re hardy and strong, so I could spin relatively thin and even. Since I spun a thinner yarn, the same amount of fiber lasted longer, and I got more practice out of it.

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spinning the single (fiber: R.H. Lindsay Domestic Wool in Grey Fawn)

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forming a two-ply ball for plying (left) from a center pull ball (right)

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plying

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the plied yarn!

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I’m going to wash it and knit a swatch out of it.

Since I’ve run out of fiber for spinning, and since I realized I’d spun my previous fiber (Ashland Bay Superwash BFL) too thick, I thought I’d try re-spinning it. It’s going slowly, but well:

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Here are the fibers I’ve ordered (8 ounces of each). I hope they get here soon!

I’m reading the kindle version of “Respect the Spindle” by Abby Franquemont. It is inspiring, in-depth and fascinating so far. Highly recommended.