All great things must end

Last night was the last in a four week series of learning to spin on the wheel. This class has been awesome! Not only did i learn, i also understood it and within the month and gotten to really enjoy what i am producing. Sadness in parting with the wheel that i have been renting...but joy that in October i was become the proud owner of a Matchless by Schacht ... oh they're beautiful. October is forever away, but it's totally good timing as i will be traveling to Russia for two weeks in September along with the Taos Fiber Festival the first week of October. Both of these trips require planning and preparation that is not nearly as much fun as listening to War and Peace and spinning.

Yesterday before class was a dash to wash the haul from this week. I love yarn on the back railing...

Finished skeins...

I ran this one back through to give it a bit more twist. It came out wonderful and is currently the favorite.

In the final class i think i finally got Andean plying. I'm still cutting off my circulation, but not as bad, and i was even able to ply the yarn without it getting caught on itself. YEA!!! Last night there was talk of different kinds of classes to potentially be offered. All of which sound awesome. Some ideas thrown out were:
  • A Carding Class (Right of the animal/
  • A Fleece Class (I bought what do i do?)
  • A Natural Dye Class
  • A Novelty Spinning Class (Beads, sequins, ribbon, oh my!)
All of the classes sound awesome and i can't wait to for my next class with Brooke and Maia (Tactile Fiber Arts). They are both amazing teachers with awesome patience and mad skillz.

Other News:
1) Massive amount of fiber were purchased last night at the end of class (my credit card hurts). Update once pictures and inventory has been taken.
2) I still have at least 35% left to finish on my mom's socks before her birthday, which means before i leave for russia, which means in less then two weeks. Ahhh!!!

Long Draw Color

Spinning is awesome! I totally didn't know what i was missing. This weekend i focused on spinning up the 4oz's of Merino in "Kelp" i bought from Tactile. At some point on Sunday i decided it needed to be plyed with some black. So off i went. I found a super nice Alpaca/Mohair blend by Louet at Article Pract. 4oz's of that came home with me : ) Everything was spun. The two were plyed together and... I like it! The top is all Merino. The bottom skein is a a mix based on each ply. Both feel great to the touch. The bottom could have used more spin during the singles to help it ply onto each other better.

Tonight i started into some more of the fiber purchased from Lambtown. I picked this up at the booth and but it down atleast 5 times. I very walked away, outside of the building only to realise that i had to buy it. I'm not a "pink" person, but it called to me as too crazy to pass up. Long draw spinning and it's coming out pretty good. I'm getting better at the width consistency on the singles and really enjoying the crazy pink wool.

The PVC Niddy Noddy

I had plyed yarn, and nothing to get it off of the bobbin into a pretty skein. After all of about 30 seconds of google searching i came across a gazillion different sites explaining how to make a niddy noddy out of nice and cheap PVC. I looked at the different designs, not much different you can do with the PVC. I decided to make some changes to the re-occuring stats. Here is a list of my materials:

  • (4) 6" PVC threaded 1/2" thick pipe
  • (2) 7" PVC threaded 1/2" thick pipe
  • (4) Female threaded caps 1/2" thick pipe
  • (2) T-Bar threaded 1/2" thick pipe
  • (1) Connector threaded 1/2" thick pipe
Total Cost @ Osh in Berkeley = $9.33 (with tax)

Not bad! I imrpovised the niddy noddy to be able to create a 1 yard - OR - a 2 yard group of yarn by adding the connector in the middle of the center bar. I've already used it, and i put this together 6 hours ago ; )

It is SUPER travel friendly as it breaks down and fits easily into a purse or bag.

It all comes down to Plying

Week two of "Beginning Wheel Spinning" down and my new skills consist of:

New Spinning technique
Over the Fold: I find myself spinning like this all of the time on the drop sindle and it was nice to make the connection on the wheel. Still a bigger fan of the long draw when possible

Two Plying techniques

Regular Plying: This is what i had been preparing those green wool singles for and it was awesome!

Navajo Plying: This was a good trick, that i can definitely use more practice on, where you can use just the one bobbin of single and create a 3 ply type yarn. Nice...

After class i came home and plyed up the rest of the above BFL and immediately began spinning some Merino i purchased from the Tactile ladies after class. It's soooo pretty! 2oz's down...2 more to go...and then playing and pictures!!!

Today i washed the plyed yarn in the bathtub. First with a bit of soap and then a rinse.

After the rinse the yarn was rolled in a towel to squeeze out the excess water prior to being hung out to dry. Literally...hung outside to dry. End result is beautiful yarn!

Spin, Spin, Spun

The first bobbin of Green Wool has been spun! One more to spin before class on Thursday night. I think i am starting to get the Long Draw method. I was able to spin the entire ball of the green wool roving without the fibers separating AND most of the time not moving my right hand up the fiber. I feel much more comfortable on my drop spindle too! The wheel is definitely helping me build confidence in my spinning : )

Socks for Dad? ... Accomplished!

Last night was the opening ceremony's of the Olympics. Translated to dre_ah speak = lots of time for knitting. I brought the socks i've been working on for my Dad as i really thought i could get through the toes while watching. Mission completed and socks came home last night wanting only for some Kitchener Stitch love to seal the deal. Toes stitched, and they look_much_better then the first pair of socks. I'm not even two whole months late (B-day was the middle of June)! YEA!!! Now i've got pleanty of time to finish mom's socks before we leave for Russia in the beginning of many hearts...

My 1st Wheel Spinning Class

Last night was the first of four fantastic evenings i get to spend learning to spin on a wheel. I am renting a wheel, a Julia by Louet. So far it's great! Last night we started with the Long Draw method. We starting spinning with Corriedale. Super smooth! Awesome to work with, especially as a super beginner as it just wanted to be drawn out and spun through. Next we were given some BFL, good stuff! This proved to be a larger challenge. I spent about 10 minutes in class where when trying to spin the single got too thin and pulled apart from the roving in my hand at least 10 times. I did get super good at re-threading everything ;p I decided to give it another try this morning between conference calls (yea for working from home). I made myself relax, played with the tension, and just tried again and again...and then it started going. It's not amazingly even, but it looks good! I can't wait for next week. The goal is to spin up the two ounces i have of the green/black wool onto different bobbins for each ounce by next thursday to learn plying!

Wheel and Stash

First Bobbin!!! (about 2 oz's)

Ballin it up

I broke out the new swift and ball winder that i picked up at Lambtown to start working on my stash. First went the 5 skeins of beautiful A Verb for Keeping Warm yarn in shades of purple. There was a lot of yardage there! Then i started into the Christmas Blanket yarn. Only a few skeins down...but more should be able to be balled tomorrow before the big night of bowling! Goal is to have everything balled by the end of this week, to hopefully make it so everything fits in the poor small boxes above the fridge.