Monthly Archives: April 2014

Spinning on the road

Over the last week and a half, my husband and I traveled to Georgia and the Carolinas. We landed in Atlanta, rented a car and drove north to the Appalachia mountains. I’ve always wanted to see the John C. Campbell Folk School and maybe even attend some workshops, so that was the first stop. We spent the morning there, touring around the workshops, grounds, History Centre and Craft Store. Then we drove to Asheville, North Carolina. A lovely, funky, totally accessible town/city situated in a valley in the Appalachia mountains. After a couple of days there we drove to Charleston, SC visiting the capital, Columbia NC along the way. Two days in Charleston and then we went onto (my new favourite spot) Savannah, GA. Two days there and then we made our way back to Atlanta, stopping for a day in the city of my birth, Augusta.

When you are on the road, site-seeing and touring around, you do a lot of sitting, reading and watching. While it’s always good to have a break from the regular routine, my hands got itchy do something creative. Luckily I brought along my Houndesign lace weight spindle and some fibre from the Sweet Georgia Yarn’s February Fibre Club, so every evening while hubby searched the channels for playoff hockey, I spun.

The fibre is a Merino 50%, Bamboo 25%, Silk 25% blend. The colourway is called Love Letters. From the insert: “. . . this sweet little colourway, Love Letters, reminds me of the innocent days before texting and snapchat. . . .Tiny packages of mild chocolate kisses and cinnamon hearts. Trepidatious steps into young love and new crushes.”

Here’s what the colourway looks like when you break it into the dyed sections. A grey that moves into white, onto pink and then a purple. It took me a while to figure out how I wanted to spin this up. When you are faced with a colourway that has serious light and dark spots, when making a 2-ply yarn you can easily get yarn that has two light singles and two dark singles and lots of barber-polling. I’ve made that kind of yarn before and while the skein looked nice, I didn’t like the way it knit up. Besides, I really loved the pinks and purples and wanted them throughout my yarn.

I decided to separate the pink/purple from the grey/white sections and spin them separately. Then I made pencil rovings from each of the sections and spun that up. With pencil rovings, I was making short sections of pink and sections of purple so these colours were fairly evenly distributed in the pink group. I did the same thing for the grey/white section.

When I filled the spindle with one colour group, I wound it into a tight ball and set it aside. Then I filled the spindle again with the second colour group. After that, I took the first ball and combined it with the singles on the spindle to make a two-stranded ball. Here’s a photo of my make-shift lazy kate; a paper coffee cup with the spindle stabbed through it to hold it tight and provide a place to hold the other ball while I wound the final ball for plying.

 
And here is a photo of the pink/purple singles still on the spindle. To the left of it is a two-stranded ball ready for plying. Below that is a tightly wound ball of singles, waiting for the spindle to get full so it can be wound into a two strand ball for plying.
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I have a little more to spin and then I can get down to plying. Because I filled each spindle to capacity, I need to use a large spindle for plying – that’s why I had to wait until I got home to do that stage.

Stay tuned.

Night Owl – ombre inspired yarn

I blogged about this fibre a few posts back and now it is all spun up.  I spun the yarn quite finely with a lot of twist as I chain plied it.  You can really see the separate colours in this view.

I produced a decent 235 yard/ 207 m skein, 114g.

And here it is wound into a ball sitting next to another ombre inspired yarn I made during Spinzilla in October. The silk in these yarns really comes through.

Now I’m looking for a project. Thinking about a long shawl/scarf that would show off the colour gradations. What do you think?

Finally getting to weaving

This past weekend I finally got around to doing the weaving on my first floor loom weaving project.The weft is handspun Merino 60% Bamboo 30% and Nylon 10% in a colourway called “London Town” inspired by the 2012 Summer Olympics. But as I weave it up it reminds me a great deal of the colours of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

This is three bobbins worth of spinning. I have four more available. The loom has its quirks, but I am getting used to it and am adjusting to the rhythm of it. Busy week so won’t get much more woven until the weekend. Stay tuned.