It is a bit of a dreary morning. The thunder started around 1:00 in the morning and I knew it did because Brownie, the farm dog, does not like thunder. Nordoes she like me to sleep when it thunders so I just went ahead and got up to brave the storm with her. She calms down if I turn the television on so we watched Midwife until 3:30 am at which point I quietly lay my head on the couch pillow so as not to clue her in and fell asleep. This is a good day to spend in my fiber room.
I took my spinning wheel on my recent trip and finished half of the Gaillardia fibre sitting in my cousin’s art room. I have a fibre room. She has an art room. The Cheviot is a little rougher than I am used to and it is not spinning smooth to my preference but I think it will be fine. This first half of the fibre was split into narrow strips so the color repeats are faster and more blended whereas ………
The second bobbin is being spun in long color stretches as fractal spinning dictates. The first part of my morning was spent spinning the aforementioned bobbin. The second half of my time I worked on winding my recently plied silk blend onto the niddy noddy. There was quite a bit.
I haven’t measured it yet but I’m guessing it will be close to 400 yards fingering weight.
With the other matching skein I have a lot of yardage. I originally bought this beautiful blue fibre to go with it and it will be the next spinning project on my wheel when the Gaillardia fibre is finished.
Maybe a Color Affection? Maybe a Cladonia? Maybe a Wurm Hat? Have any two-color pattern suggestions for a fingering weight yarn?
Rarely does a Saturday sneak by without time spent up in my fiber room. After a decade of spending Saturday mornings with vivacious fiber friends I find myself lonely when I wake up on that day. I’ve been away from Colorado seven months and I still miss these ladies. One of them died suddenly a couple weeks ago so today was especially solemn for me as I remembered her sagacious nature. The feel of fiber running through the fingers was a soothing way to work out some nostalgic memories.
One of my Colorado friends gave me a parting gift of some Cheviot she had solar dyed. She is a clever friend always experimenting with fiber and has a superb set-up for dying yarn out in the brilliant Colorado sun. Months before, when she brought this solar dyed roving to a fiber show-and-tell, I was smitten with the exquisite colors. I don’t know if she remembered how I loved it when she gifted this to me but I was pretty jubilant to be its recipient.
Cheviot is a fiber I had not spun with until today. Cheviot sheep find their origins in the border areas between England and Scotland. My Field Guide to Fleece says they are very active sheep and need herding dogs to keep them in order. My resource also said that people who raise Border Collies will use Cheviot sheep for training them.
But before I could dive into the Cheviot I had some unfinished business to tackle.
I had to finish up plying the last bit of fiber I had on my wheel. I am glad to have accomplished this feat because this has been a long, lengthy project. The next step for this baby will be to put it on the niddy noddy, then soak it and put it into a braid. That will have to wait until next Saturday though but since I’m anxious to spin the Cheviot.
I fluffed out the roving in an effort to align the fibers and make it easier to split into more manageable sections to spin.
Fractal spinning is my go-to for most hand dyed fiber. After dividing the fiber in half, I then took each half and split it again. One I left alone and will spin it as is onto the first bobbin. The other half I split into six narrower strips. They will be spun one after the other onto the second bobbin. The two bobbins will lastly be plied together.
As I prepped the fiber the colors made me think about the gaillardia wildflowers that have been blooming on the property.
Wondering if the colors were the same, I took a little break and with pruners and a flower basket in hand walked down to a big patch of them to compare the colors. They were dazzling in the noonday sun and the colors were indeed very similar. I gathered some and headed back to start spinning.
What say you? Shall I name my project Indian Blanket (gaillardia)?
This is what happens when you love fiber – you join up with other crazy fiber artisans and spin crazy amounts of fiber over a twelve day stretch in an event called the Tour de FLEECE.
And I’m off and spinning from the Rocky Mountain’s of Colorado on Day 1….
A linky party is a post on another website , featuring a tool that allows you to post your own projects onto the hosting website, with a photo and a link back to your site. It’s a great way to highlight and share your best content and possibly get featured on bigger blogs.
If you are a blogger who spins, please come join me here on Fridays to link your spinning post. I can’t wait to see what is on your wheel or your spindle!
The sensational Summer Jubilee fiber has arrived from Three Waters Farms and it is astoundingly colorful! My original plan of spinning it six different ways has gone out the back door. I think my plan needs to be simplified because this braid of fiber needs to become something more than six little squares of fiber. Don’t you think?
I’m pretty sure the resulting yarn will become a pair of colorful hand knit socks but how shall I prepare this fiber for spinning? That, my friend, is the question I am pondering. I could use a little advice.
What do you see when I show you the color repeat that was carefully planned by the dyer? Do you see a pair of socks with bold stripes? Do you see them with more mottled with pops of color or something more blended?
And, if you are a spinner, what would YOU do with this? Fractal? Split it in half and spin from end to end? Split in slivers? So many options.
My challenge for Tour de Fleece 2016 is to spin one fiber braid six different ways. My braid is coming from Three Waters Farm in a color way specially dyed for this years TDF and it is gorgeous. There are lots of pretty colors in it which will make my spin study all the more exciting for me.
I tend to gravitate towards fractal plying when I spin so this will be a great opportunity to step outside my comfort zone some.
When my beautiful braid arrives I will split it into 6 equal(ish) parts — it probably won’t be exact — and then I will spin them differently creating six unique mini-skeins from one braid.
With the first three splits I want to preserve the color so will be Navajo plying them after they are spun — I’m not too great at this technique but it really keeps the colors separate. The second set of splits will be practicing blending colors. After all six mini skeins have been finished I will knit them into swatches so that you can see how one skein of fiber can look very different simply based on how the fiber is prepared beforehand and plied together.
I’m excited and also a little apprehensive but, you know me – I’m all about learning new things!
There is a certain little Jenkins Turkish Delight spindle that will feel very left out if I don’t let her participate in the Tour de Fleece so I went ahead and signed her up on the Jenkins Team. I’m just not sure where she is hiding right now.
About a third of my house has been packed awaiting a temporary move into a house we have in Texas that we need to get sold. Our move down has been unexpectedly postponed for a month so I’ll have to go on a spindle hunt to find little Miss Turkish Delight.
If you are a spinner and want to participate in the Tour de Fleece event you can find more information on Ravelry by clicking HERE. It will last 12 days starting July 2nd and coincides with the Tour de France.
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