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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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.

stash ethics

I’m taking the “no stash” path.

This means that I try not to buy yarn unless I’ve completed the previous project I’ve been working on, and only after I’ve decided on the next project I’m making.

Why spend money now for something you don’t need now? Something that may be sitting in your closet for a long time, maybe several years?

I prefer to wait until I’ve learned all I could learn from the current project before I choose which yarn and which project I’d like to make next. I prefer to buy just the right amount of yarn, which is hard if I don’t know what pattern it’s for.

It feels good to finish a project and be able to go and pick out new yarn for the next one, take it home, swatch, and knit with it! No stash guilt… Travel light!

Even though I really try to follow these rules, I’ve broken them several times. I’ve definitely not lived by these rules in the past in terms of fabric for sewing… Maybe that’s why I’m trying a different approach. Because I’ve seen fabric pile up and stay stashed for years, and even though I’ve given much of it away, I still have a lot left. Think of all the yarn (or nicer quality fabric) I could have bought with the money spent on the stashed old fabric…

What are your stash rules (or lack thereof)?

Are you happy with your stash situation?