Fiber Corner

Daily life of a knitting designer/publisher of handknitting patterns

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Stress Control Spinning

The sun came out this week and I was finally able to snap some pics of the stress control spinning accomplished over the last couple of months.

First off is this unusual skein (for me).
It's a heavy worsted, spun from a cloud preparation. The color is actually deeper and darker than it appears in these photos. The fiber blend consists of mohair/wool/alpaca/glitz.
My first spin attempt was to just grab a handful and go but found better control and results when I pulled it into a roving as June suggests. Spun woolen and squishy soft.

The next skein is one of my all time favorites! Natural brown/black alpaca spun to fingering weight. The fiber was processed at Argyle Fiber Mill in Argyle, WI and they did a terrific job with it. Plus, I happen to know these happy animals personally and their fiber is soft as can be so it's a great pleasure to be able to turn it into nice soft yarn (without a hint of wiry-ness)
A couple of years ago, alpaca spinning gave me so much trouble, but this was such a complete and utter pleasure.

Next up, Cormo--roving purchased from Riverwinds Farm in Boyd, WI. The 4 oz. of white was bought at Shepherd's Harvest last spring and the oz. puffs of blue and yellow from WI S&W last fall.
Initially, I tried to spin this worsted but found that I could achieve a much more consistent yarn when it was spun woolen with a short backward draft. The final yarn is fingering weight--destined to be a stranded pair of gloves. Hopefully, they'll have more dyed colors at Shepherd's Harvest this year. (yes, I could dye my own but I'd much rather be spinning ;)

I also tried my hand at spinning Shetland. These were some bumps purchased from a vendor out in the Shetland barn at WI S&W. Lovely soft stuff. The brown roving had more neps in it but I didn't bother picking them all out. Both colors were spun woolen and are fingering weight.
Before I left for Hawaii, I started spinning the Blue Moon Sheep 2 Shoe kit I purchased at MI Fiber Fest. It's a 3-ply and spun worsted but it's apparent that I didn't get the top divided evenly as the colors didn't match up very well. It's a true sock weight yarn so that's what it will become--eventually.
The above yarns were all spun on my Ashford Joy. Last but not least is the first skein of Perendale that was pictured on the bobbin last week.
Spun on my Lendrum Saxony, it's also a fingering weight yarn. Hey, that's what I like to knit! It's almost an exact match in twist and feel to Satakieli.

You are now up to date with spinning projects. Next week I'll try to get knitting photos.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Fiber Corner

Here it is, the real fiber corner. Still looks a little messy and disorganized but, oh so much better, than it used to look. No, that is not the extent of the stash, there are more than several big Rubbermaid bins of fiber and yarn stashed away in the back bedroom. Only the pretty stuff was left out to cheer away the dark days of winter. There's another bank of wire cubicles to the right of the computer holding mostly fiber, handspun, in progress spinding projects, knitting bags and baskets.

Speaking of computers...that's also a shot of my brand spanking new iMac! Ever since last summer when my trusty blue dalmation iMac died, I've been running on my little 12" iBook. I love the small size for it's portability but for everyday use, the screen is too, too small. At least, for these tired old eyes. So, now I have a super speedy big screen machine with a fast broadband connection. Which means you may be seeing more of me from now on.

It's been a tough road the last couple of months. The stresses of last year finally caught up with me and I needed time to find my way again. During that time, I've been knitting a little and spinning a lot.

This is a shot of my first big sheep to sweater project spun on my Lendrum Saxony. It's from the Perendale fleece purchased from Treenway last winter and combed during last summer. I'm maybe a third of the way through the spinning and this week will start my first plying.

I've been doing lots of little amounts of fiber on my Joy wheel. Cormo, Shetland, a Blue Moon Sheep to Shoe kit and a fiber blend of mohair/wool/alpaca/glitz in a cloud preparation. That last one was really fun to spin and is a very different yarn than my usual. I tried to take pics of them but the absence of any natural daylight made for some awful photos. We're in the midst of a real blizzard--started with an ice storm, on to 10+ inches of snow and 30 mph winds. When the sun shows her face again, I'll try again.

Hopefully, that won't be April. ;)