Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Finished Object(s)

I finished the spinning and plying a couple of weeks ago, just before giving my Louet to a friend who needed it more than I did. The skeining and washing had to wait for my niddy noddy to arrive in my KnitPicks order.

On Saturday I skeined it all up and gave it a swim. More spinning will have to wait until I order my Lendrum, so this blog will be dormant for awhile. But I am quite pleased with what you see here.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Yarn happens.

Just not very often around here, seeing that the last time I posted was in July.

This is from a cheese of Fingerlakes Un-Spun given to me by my friend Rebecca. Approximately 90 yards, measured by the number of cranks my ball winder required to wind it off the bobbin. My eye tells me this would knit up as a fat fingering yarn or a light sport weight.

It took just this side of forever to fill a bobbin, roughly an hour to ply it back upon itself. I won’t know if it's a good yarn until I have washed it and set the twist, then knitted up a few swatches. I like worsted yarns better than woolen, as a rule. But it’s pretty, and very soft.

I really do need to spend more time at my wheel. I used to spin far better yarn than this, with my eyes closed and one hand behind my back, but that was twenty years ago. And I can feel in my hands and right wrist that I have been working those muscles today. I will probably still be feeling that tomorrow.

Still, an excellent way to spend my third day at home during the pre-Super-Bowl Snowpocalypse.

The website says that one strand of the (extremely fine) pencil roving contains approximately 2200 yards per pound. This ball weighs 2.1 ounces or 59g; I make that to be approximately 290 yards for the singles, or 145 yards plied. Which puts it almost exactly where I guesstimated it for weight, compared with KnitPicks’ sport and fingering weight yarns.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Another cool thing about spinning?

It gives me something to do while waiting for pictures to load on Blogger.

I posted on the main blog that in spinning once more, I feel as if I had found a piece of myself that has been dormant for too long.

A friend replied, “When I pick up a paint brush and start mixing colors ... it’s like I remember the me that knew how to do it before I came to this earth.”

Then she posted this excerpt from William Butler Yeats’ “A Woman Young and Old”:

If I make the lashes dark
And the eyes more bright
And the lips more scarlet,
Or ask if all be right
From mirror after mirror,
No vanity's displayed:
I'm looking for the face I had
Before the world was made.

One of my daughters replied, “I used to love to sit at your spinning wheel and push the treadle and watch the wheel go around and around. I also found it very peaceful to watch you spin. I’m glad you are getting back into it.”

Me too, honey. Me, too. Here is my first plied skein:

At which point I realized that I no longer have a skeinwinder, and who would have thought, but there are none for sale on eBay. My friend Tola gently reminded me about the lovely niddy-noddy. Which is a traditional, elegant and relatively inexpensive solution.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Like I need a third blog?

The muse made me do it.

I don’t expect to do a lot of posting on this one. It depends upon if, how much, and/or how quickly, spinning takes over from knitting. But on this one I can get more technical than I would want, over on the primary blog. [Just as I can go squeee! all I want on the doll blog and not creep out my two oldest.]

Last Thursday night after work, I pulled out my spinning wheel from a corner of my studio and set it up here by the computer desk in the living room. Before I went to bed, I had this.

I spun a little during the day and evening on Friday (I had taken the day off for my well-woman and mammogram and lunch out with my best friend). On Saturday, I took the wheel to my ward’s Pioneer Day breakfast, figuring that if I provided a little authenticity (albeit with a very modern wheel), I would be exempt from the games.

It worked. And I got a bunch more done, while visiting with friends old and young.

Last night I spun some more. This is what it looks like now.

And this is how much I have used up from the cheese, with an unused cheese alongside for comparison.

So, what am I spinning, you ask? I wasn't sure, other than it’s wool, and it has enough VM (vegetable matter) to qualify as Noro/Lone Star Division. My friend Rebecca gave me her leftovers a couple of years ago, and I’ve kept them in this Rubbermaid storage tub. I have three green, two natural, and one each in related purples.

While setting up that photograph, I found a slip of paper that tells me this is Fingerlakes Un-Spun. It is a finer diameter pencil roving than I worked with, twenty-five years ago when I first got into spinning. Then, I used Welsh pencil roving, some of which I knitted up, and some of which I wove on my Louet loom.

That colorful bump of wool in the lower right corner of the bucket is 4.3oz of “All Spun Up” (an Etsy shop), a gift from my friend Micki.

In finding those links, I learned that Fingerlakes also makes a 60% wool, 40% silk pencil roving. Oh dear...