Friday, April 4, 2014

Spinning blues

I am still working on spinning that Malabrigo roving...and not enjoying it... Probably why it is taking sooo long.

I took a break to ply some Other yarn I had sitting on a bobbin. It gave me a chance to try my new ashford freedom flyer. It worked great to ply with and I loved the bigger bobbin. It was a little weird using the o ring... I think it will just take some adjustment... Otherwise smooth sailing... 2 plys are so much easier than 3 plys.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Finally finishing my shawl

I must confess I have had this shawl on my Triloom for some time... Now I am in the home from of finishing. I am trying to decide on a yarn for the border.

I saw my Triloom teacher today. She does incredible stuff with a Triloom...I would love to be as talented as she is.

 

 

Malabrigo Mess

I bought some beautiful Malabrigo roving. The color is incredible... The roving is not. It is terrible to draft. Normally I can easily spit my merino braids horizontally... Not this stuff. Eventually I did it but I had to predraft. It is like the fibers want to stick together....I have had to predraft most of this stuff and even then not the most fun to spin. I have another braid of this brand in a different color in my stash... I will report back it it is as horrible. I will not be buying this again. Here is a picture... Lovely but not fun!


 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A closer look at my hand spun

I would love to have a microscope to examine fiber at a much closer level. For now camera magnification will have to do the trick. In the photo below are three hand spun fibers. The orange is a 2 ply BFL and silk blend. The purple is a 3 ply merino. The yellow is a 2 ply polwarth.

 

 

I find it interesting that the two ply polwarth and the 3 ply merino look so similar. I wonder if it is related to the bouncy springy characteristics of polwarth. Another important thig to remember is that polwarth were developed by combining 1/4 Lincoln and 3/4 Merino.. So the similarity to merino makes a lot of sense.

 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Expensive Spinning Tools

I am going to take this moment to rant on the expense of spinning tools. Of the major spinning wheel companies there are few if any that have wheels priced below 500$. Most spinning wheels price out at near 1000$ and many are even more. This is crazy....it has turned this into a craft for the wealthy. I am happy there are companies like Blue Bonnet Spinning wheels of Texas that do have wheels below 500$. I am also happy that many weaving guilds will rent spinning wheels at really low prices...

Drop spindles are another area where prices get crazy....70-80$ And more for a wooden drop spindle. I am sure they are pretty but do they really spin better than a 20$ Schacht spindle.

Of course drum carders cost another 500$... At least. I was lucky enough to find a rescue..but not everyone has that luxury.

 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Another Good Craftsy Class

I am currently watching another good Craftsy class. It is called sweetheart shawls. The teacher is Kristin Omdahl. She is wonderful. She has a great attitude and is very encouraging. In this class Kristin goes through every step. If you are a beginner knitter you could definitely take this class. The shawl patterns are lovely too. Kristin is a fantastic designer and she encourages you to modify her designs to make them your own. I love that with some of the techniques you learn you could take one of your already knitted shawls and add to it. The pattern titled Tiered Jasmine Shawl.. The technique where you add the tiers is modular method and Kristin even suggests trying it with shawls you already have... Very cool. I highly recommend this class.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Hand spun compare 2 and 3 ply

I have a much better photo of my spinning of the merino braid of color peppers

 

It makes me even happier to be learning to spin three ply yarn. I notice it helps even things out more.

I converted my photos to black and white so I could better judge the difference the the three ply make. I did this so I would not be biased by the color. I still think the yarn on the bottom looks more even but it's not as noticeable in black and white.