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Crafting For Those Dedicated to Experimentation

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Spinning Wheel

Tour De Fleece

I am thinking about joining the Tour De Fleece Group on Ravelry this year, 2017.  http://www.ravelry.com/groups/tour-de-fleece

The Tour de Fleece happens at the same time as the famous ride Tour de France.  In this case it runs from July 1st to 23rd with two days of rest, July 10th and 17th.  In theory this means that I would spin and post my results each of these days.  Since I will be obtaining a WooleeWinder as my Birthday Present, I hope that this goal will not only be attainable but enjoyable.  The WooleeWinder that I obtained to go with my Schacht Ladybug spinning wheel is the Bulky version, in order for this to work properly I also had to obtain the Bulky Orifice.  The purpose of the WooleeWinder is so that I will be able to skip switching hooks while I am filling my bobbin.  The bobbin and flyer will work together to fill the bobbin very evenly.  This will have the added benefit of allowing me to fit more on a bobbin, partially because it will be a larger bobbin, but also because the bobbin will fill evenly eliminating the hills and valleys that are naturally created on a bobbin when using hooks.   Since I have obtained the Bulky Plyer Flyer version I will also be able to create more art-yarns that I have been capable of in the past.  I will  have to see how plarn works on this flyer, right now it gets caught in the hooks!

In case you could not tell, I am very excited about this new accessory.  Perhaps I will participate in the Tour De Fleece just so I can show it off, LOL.

Happy Crafting

Keeping the Spin Going

I have not been slacking off!  Ever since my guild meeting I feel like I have been slacking off, sure I’ve been working on weaving an eyeglass case, starting my tapestry, spinning at least 15 minutes a day, prepping for a crochet class and figuring out how I’m going to afford a weaving loom of my own, other than the one in the garage. but I still feel like I’ve been slacking.  Right up until I think about what I have been doing these past 22 days, I’ve done a lot.  I love English Leischester Longwool locks, they are such a dream to spin!  I’ve got three bobbins of ‘Art Yarn’ singles waiting to be plied with some acrylic I’ve got lying around.  I managed to ply the yarn for an experiment I will detail in a later post, I just have to knit it up and figure out the results.  I have the yarns caked, the patterns printed, and the hooks bought for the crochet class I’m teaching (fingerless gloves).

Remember to take the time and reflect on your achievements before pushing to achieve more.  It is wonderful to look toward the next project, but not when you forget to enjoy what you are doing right now.  Craft on, but don’t forget to look back and enjoy what you have created.

Equipment! Ack!

A lot of the equipment needed/desired for fiber arts is quite expensive.  Part of this is exclusivity, supply and demand, and people into the fiber arts are willing to pay for quality.  However there are a lot of plans for free/less expensive versions of equipment also.

I created my own warping board, following plans from interweave press, out of pvc.  I love it, I did have to glue each joint together so it would stop slipping, but that was my only set back.  Now I am turning my sights to Wool Combs and Hackles.  I do have a slicing tool coming in the mail, it is made out of metal so I have high hopes for it.  If that should fail, I found these plans on the internet:

How to Make a Wool Comb

I hope that this winds up being a viable solution.
Making my own spinning wheel, I love my Ladybug but would rather not spend $300+ to get a bulky/plying head.  On the other hand, if I do wind up going that way I can get a Woolee Winder for the exact same price or less, so that is a consideration.
Oh well, Happy Crafting!

Spinning the Blues, Still

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These are my bobbins full of blues.  As you can see I spun a lot of blue.  I could not separate them out by color as I had originally intended…because I spun a LOT of blue, lol.  Also I do not have enough bobbins to separate them out by color.  The truth is I think this will work out better anyway.  I look forward to finding out how the different blues pool and interact with eachother.  It will be a blast to see what size this yarn winds up being and if I like it that size or if I will cable it in the end.  Yay, I cannot wait until I start this!

Tweed-Ish

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I have some batts that I carded up with some slightly sticky wool.  I had originally thought to sell these sticky batts, but have since decided that I would wash these batts and see how they spin up.  Right now they are spinning up almost like a tweed yarn, which is what I thought they might do.  There are too many Nepps (little broken pieces of wool) in the yarn for me to get a smooth product.  I am not great at getting a consistently thicker yarn, especially with an uneven batt like this, but I think I am doing an alright job.  I will confess to enjoying the speed at which this batt spun up, and I look forward to seeing how it will look plied with something.  I think that the actual singles are brighter than this picture is giving them credit for, I might have to ply them with a white to get the effect I want, or maybe find another of these batts that this will look good plied with.  At this moment I think I will try to create a 3 ply yarn of a thicker weight that might make a nice crocheted shawl or lap afghan.  Depending on how thick the yarn is and how many yards I manage to get from it.

Happy Crafting!

 

Plying Fun

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I finished spinning my fine blue singles! Yay!  Then I plied up the wool, bamboo, silk, etc, singles I had lying around.  The singles are composed of all of the little bits of batts I had lying around.  Essentially they are my ‘destash’ yarn. It was a lot of fun to spin, even more fun to ply!  I wound up with 212 yards of plied yarn pre-washing.  I haven’t gotten around to washing this yarn yet, I am enjoying the unwashed energy too much right now.

It is always so much fun to see how the yarn will turn out!  Happy Crafting!

WIP, Work in Progress

Whew, I am back to work at all 3 of my jobs. It is a good thing really, I still have at least 1 day off a week and there is only one day where I am out and about for work for 13 hours.  (okay so one week a month I’ll have 2 days with 13 hours but it could still be a lot worse).

Here is some of my spinning progress, I promise there is progress between the two bobbins, lol.  Spinning fine is taking a lot more patience than I thought it would.  I cannot tell you how many times I’ve wanted to switch my bobbins out for an empty one so that I can ply up some of the singles I have sitting around.  I’ve resisted!  I will prevail!  When I am done with these singles and have them wound onto bobbins then I will treat myself to some plying of other singles that have been resting for a while.

You’re probably wondering why I have to wind these singles, and to clarify both of these pictures are the same bobbin so I only have one bobbin of singles, onto other bobbins.  Well it is simple and complicated at the same time.  The bobbins that I will be winding onto are weaving bobbins, like the little ones in the bottom left of this picture:

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I have more weaving bobbins right now so it is more efficient to wind them onto these bobbins.  Why?

1. Since I tend to differ in thickness of spinning from one session to the next, no matter how hard I try, transferring my spinning onto bobbins gives me a chance to even these changes out over longer periods creating a more even yarn overall.

2. Since I am spinning long color changes transferring these singles onto smaller bobbins allows me greater control of how those color changes will occur, Will I ply 2 dark sections together? Allow them to ply as they like causing a bit of chaos?  Deliberately ply only dark with light, and similar decisions?  By separating them out I gain more control over my colors.

3. Since I only have 3 true ‘Schacht’ bobbins I have to use them sparingly and reuse them as often as I can.  Currently one is housing some silk that I have yet to finish spinning (that is my ‘treat’ spinning, I love it); another is empty; and this is the third that I am spinning the blues away on.

I hope that this post was illuminating and not confusing.

Happy Crafting!

Progress, or not

So spinning every day was a great idea.  Unfortunately it did not take into account my being sick enough that dragging myself to work was about all I could do.  Therefore my spinning has fallen off track a bit, not irreparable though.  While I will not actually get 365 days of spinning this year, my goal was to take each month as it comes and deal with it that way.  January is sort of shot, I missed about 3 days, but I will finish strong and start up with February.

Speaking of starting up, Mom is almost fully recovered from her previous illness.  She has decided to see how many crafts she can finish with the supplies we already have laid in.  Essentially she has declared this her year of Stash Busting Crafts!  So far this month she has crocheted up 2 cowls from yarn she had on hand, I will put up pictures of those in my next post.

I have decided to accompany her on this quest, though for my major tapestry project I will need to purchase more wool in periwinkle, though I will admit to a desire to see how much of that project I can get done with the supplies I had already laid in.  (Warp threads, white weft, and some singles spun in periwinkle, with an addition of gold silk I hope to use to accent a particular portion).

I must freely confess I fear I am already making excuses for not following through, since my next thought is that I wanted to purchase some white wool to test dying techniques.  I suppose the best way of doing that would be to dig out what white wool I already have (alpaca, sheep, etc) and plan on using that to dye with until I have figured out which, if any, of the natural dyes get me the colors I want.  If the natural dyes don’t work the way I want then I will have just used some of my wool-stash anyway.  My next experiment is probably going to be centered around washing the batts that I carded containing ‘sticky wool’.  I am hoping that there is some lanolin or other processing oils contained in the batts that is making them sticky.  If that is the case then a good hot soak should loosen up the oils enough for me to wind up with a fluffy batt.  If not then washing with Dawn, if they start to felt then I might try to spread it thin and experiment with felting.

I am sort of excited to let the wool speak for itself and decide what it will become.  I am still spinning thin with the blues, now that I am feeling better.  So many exciting things going on!

Happy Crafting!

Another Week of Spinning

I have been trying something new this year.  I have decided to try and spin at least 15 minutes each day and post my progress on Instagram, I really love my phone so I can snap the photo, tag, and upload in seconds.  The tag is #spin15 ; I think the official tag is much longer but this is the one I can remember so I’m using it.  Because of this I think that spinning will be one of my main focuses this year, but since my Ladybug is so very easy to use (and pull out) I think this will be an interesting goal.  Though I might have to focus a bit, for example tomorrow I’m on the go for about 13 hours and I am working for 13 hours the day after..this might not be too easy but I’ll give it a try.  At least plying won’t be too bad.

This week I am focusing on spinning fine and consistent.  I know, some variations in how the yarn is spun indicate that the product is handmade.  I am not striving for perfection, It will never happen, not to mention I haven’t even been at this a year yet, but I think I want this fiber to stretch pretty far so If I can create a fine and consistent yarn I might be able to knit fingerless gloves with it.  If it is too fine for that I have the option of cabling it or using it to experiment with shawls, something else I plan on working at.  Here is three days worth of patient progress, patience is not one of my virtues.  The fiber being spun are three of the puni’s found in the last picture.  I only have the three left, though I do have a couple of batts in the same colorway I hope to spin next.

Happy Crafting!

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