Saturday Spins

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.

Gaillardia Fibre

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 ………

Gaillardia Fibre

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.

Spruce Dragon Fibre I haven’t measured it yet but I’m guessing it will be close to 400 yards fingering weight. Spruce Dragon Fibre

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.

Spruce Dragon Fibre

Maybe a Color Affection? Maybe a Cladonia? Maybe a Wurm Hat? Have any two-color pattern suggestions for a fingering weight yarn?

Missed

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.

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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 Sheep

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.

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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.

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I fluffed out the roving in an effort to align the fibers and make it easier to split into more manageable sections to spin.

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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.

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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.

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What say you?  Shall I name my project Indian Blanket (gaillardia)?

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Announcing a Linky Party for Spinners

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!

#fridayspinalong

Friday Spin Along

Sensational Summer Jubilee Has Arrived

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?
Summer Jubilee

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.

Tour de Fleece

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.

 

1 Skein 6 Ways Fiber Challenge

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.

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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!

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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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Fantastic Friday Fiber

I’ve missed the last two Friday Fiber events so I was excited to get back together with friends for a bit of spinning and fiber talk.
Friday Fiber 1

One of our members is opening up an eclectic bakery/cafe/art studio/class place in Guffy, a mountain town near me,  and wanted us to be her guinea pigs and we willingly complied.
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She made us some delicious scones and Danish pastries – baking is not an easy accomplishment in high elevations but she nailed it.  I neglected to take pictures so you will just have to take my word for it, they were pretty to look at as well as yummy in the tummy.
Friday Fiber

The grand opening is a week or two away.  The logs are still ‘green’ and my friend did not want to wait two years for them to be ‘seasoned’ so they are light colored now but will darken as they age.  The chinking in-between the logs will widen as much as an inch in that time.
Friday Fiber 2

Only one person was knitting today, the rest of us had brought either spinning wheels or spindles.
Friday Fiber 5
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It has been months since I have spun so it was nice to feel fiber sliding through my fingers again.  I so enjoy the beauty of all these wheels whirling around while hands gently draft fibers and mouths chatter away.

Friday Fiber 3

When it was my turn during show-and-tell I shared my newest gadget.
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This gadget is used for troubadour embroidery but I use it for placing beads in knitted shawls.  It came with three different crochet needle tips so I will be able to use it for cobweb lace, regular lace weight and fingering weight yarns.  What I especially like about it is the location of the screw which serves as a lever when I put my thumb underneath it. This helps me to pivot the tip easier when I slip the bead over the yarn.
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I also shared the Mystery Shawl …… more about that in the next post.

It was a happy day.

First Friday Fiber of 2016

The first Friday of the month is when my fiber group meets.  We were eager to get together because we didn’t meet in January and some of us had not seen each other in a couple months.  Even before it was time for show and tale, we jumped in sharing what lovelies we had created since the last time we were together.  Well, actually, it was more like we started pawing through each other’s baskets in curiosity …. that is how it goes when you love fiber.

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Karen shared her beautiful DOODLER by Steven West made with her very own Spruce Dragon Yarn.  She had enhanced the shawl with beads which I thought made it even prettier.  I really must add DOODLER to my list of things to knit in 2016.

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Of course, I couldn’t resist walking around the house of our hostess to take some photos of her beautiful weaving.
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Someday I hope to be able to weave beautiful towels like Nancy does.  She is a real pro though and has been doing it for a long time.
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Someone always brings gorgeous roving that we all drool over…..

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And someone always has some spun up that we all marvel at….

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We can count on Emma wearing one of her very unique scarves.  This one was a gift from her sister and we had to examine it for a bit and figure out how it was done.
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It was called ‘Nuno’ felting.  Silk was laid between strips of roving and then felted in a hot soapy bath by vigorous rubbing.  Karen said it was a great anger management technique. We held it up to the light for more scrutinizing…
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Cherie told us that one of her goals was to weave with her handspun fiber and this wrap was her first big project doing that……..

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She then told us about her trip to Iceland last month and showed us some unspun Icelandic wool, something Iceland is notorious for to fiber lovers.  Apparently, there are great tourism deals if you go to Iceland in December!  And then, she talked about us forming a weaving group on this side of the mountain so we wouldn’t have to trek so far. I’m in! She has already picked out a project we can each weave.

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A couple of us are just learning how to weave. Last month Cherie taught some how to weave these cool washcloths with “scrubby’ loops. Carol brought the strip she had woven and got advice on how to cut them apart, fold them under and finish each washcloth off.

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Shari usually has something unique to share and this time she showed her ‘foot’ spindle she had used Christmas money to get.

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Her foot was pretty busy kicking the wheel to keep her spindle spinning. It may be a little bit too much work for my taste but she is having a blast with it.

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Marilyn had designated the month of January as ‘for the dogs’ and I somehow neglected to take pictures of the dog coats and food placemats she had crocheted.

I always leave this group inspired and with some new tidbit of knowledge. Today I learned that instead of using yarn for a header when weaving, you can use plastic bag strips like Nancy did in this picture. Karen uses the last bits of toilet paper when you come to the end of a roll. Imagine that!

Our hostess showed us what she does in her basement…….

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See the plastic bag header?

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What a fabulous day!  I’m already anticipating next month’s gathering.  I believe we will be crossing the mountain and heading north.

Friday Fiber on a Yak Ranch

Today was the first Friday of the month so I headed out with my fiber friends to one of our member’s yak ranch.  She lives on 388 acres of gorgeous mountain property overlooking a valley with the Collegiate Peaks in the far distance.  We climbed for several miles to about 9,088 ft. elevation.  In a few weeks the aspen in this photo will be flaming yellow and with a clear blue September sky it will look awesome.  It was overcast today.

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Everyone enjoys going to this member’s property so there were fifteen of us, all but one had their spinning wheels with them.

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The chatter was plentiful and, as usual, I sat with ears tuned to learn something new.  I stand in awe of these very talented bunch of women – they are my fiber heroines.

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I  have been spinning for a couple years and knitting for a decade but some of these ladies have had fiber in their lives for as long as they can remember.  Most of them are weavers, too……something I aspire to do someday! 

Emma showed me her stunning silk scarf a friend had made her.  Some of it had been hand-dyed.  It looked simple enough to make and has given me a future project idea.

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She had also brought her Bosworth Journey Wheel, a wheel I had only read about but never seen before.  It unfolds from a wooden box and everything is contained in the box so you can travel with it.  This one has been on many ‘journeys.’

My hostess had written an article about yak in Wild Fibers Magazine.  The picture used in the magazine of her yak in the snow was framed on her wall and one of the hides hung from her loft.  She spun and wove some of yak fiber in a gorgeous black/gray pattern and then made a vest for her husband.

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Yvonne was busy chatting and finishing off the fringe of a baby blanket she had woven.  If only I had had this little gadget when finishing those two Pueblo Shawls I knit last year!  I may have to purchase one of these.

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I spotted the weaving in the cabin almost immediately.  Several of these ladies are in a weaving club and every year swap a project.  If I understood correctly, they spin some fiber and then swap it with another person in the group.  Then they use that fiber as the warp or weft (or whatever it is called) and make a towel for their pal.  They do something different every year.  Doesn’t that sound like fun?

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Lunch

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Lunch was on the deck and I wish I had brought a light jacket — autumn is on its way!

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Emma showed us her Abracadabra yarn that turned purple in the sunlight.  It is white when it is not in sun.  Her sister had bought her shoe laces that turned colors in the sunlight so she thought it would be fun to knit her a little something in return that would change colors.

Our hostess shooed us inside for dessert and then showed us her show-and-tale.  We thought we were going to see her weaving studio as is often the case on these Friday adventures so we were surprised to see this beauty – complete with a rumble seat!


As usual it was another great Friday Fiber day!  Next month it will be held at my house so I probably won’t be sharing a post since I will be busy hostessing!