Spinning


I finished the first clue for Susanna IC MKAL on Saturday which was a bit of a surprise.  The Grand Final was on (but I didn’t watch it – it held no interest this year and gave a disappointing result – not a very competitive game!) which is usually good knitting time but instead I sat out by the pool while the kids swam and knitted there in the sunshine.  I had just started Clue 2 when Sam started to make noise about feeling sick and we spent the afternoon on the couch with his head in a bucket while I stroked his forehead.  Let’s get something clear here – that is a big deal as I am the sort of mother that’s short on sympathy for illness – I think it’s due to being a nurse – so for me it was a big deal.  It was kind of nice in a not nice way!  I am trying harder to be more nurturing in times of illness – especially gastroenteritis type bugs because they often get me!  Anyway, here is Clue 1 finished – Sam took the photo for me and it’s a better job than I can do:

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I chose the beads with the silver lining – they seemed to stand out just enough & I am doing the “lots of beads” version for a bit of razzle dazzle especially as it’s a gift & I want it to look…..opulent.  I am not sure the general population appreciates the effort of handspun but  know most of them like bling & will think beads in knitting is pretty special.

 

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I think I mentioned that I was trying to spin some yarn for the Susanna IC mystery knit-a-long (MKAL) and that my way of achieving this goal was to instil a habit of spinning 10 minutes a day.  I have done it…..kind of.  I have been spinning on average 10 minutes a day and I have been spinning most days so it’s working.  I had truly forgotten how much I love to spin.  I love the process of digging out a big dirty bag of fleece that smells of sheep, pulling out tufts of wool, flicking them into piles that never seem to grow in weight but do in fluff, then spinning them up.  I love to see the way you can make something so amazing from a pile of wool most people would view as disgusting, gross, stinky, why would you bother!

I like to watch the singles grow on the bobbin and then despair that I need to do it all again to be able to ply.  I love getting to the plying stage and how single minded I can get – forget making dinner I’m plying!  Then, when that amazing yarn comes off the bobbin and into it’s first bath I marvel at the amount of dirt that comes out – the water goes almost black sometimes – but even more exciting is pulling that yarn out of it’s bath and truly seeing it colour for the first time.  It always blows me away.  I thought this yarn would be more on the brown side but it’s quite silvery.  I thought about dyeing it but I may need to spin more so if I leave it in it’s natural state I won’t have to worry about trying to create a match & I want to give the end result to the farmer wife as a thank you for the fleece.

From the 60gm I had flicked I have 52gm of 2 ply yarn that went around the swift 154 times (I haven’t worked out how many yards yet) and it 19 WPI.

So, here is the journey in poor photos:

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On the bobbin

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Singles – ?WPi

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Beautiful Silver Yarn

 

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19 WPI

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Choosing beads for the KAL

I have started Clue 1 of the KAL and am nearly 3 weeks behind but it’s so much fun I can’t leave it alone so I think I’ll catch up quickly!

I got up this morning and did my 15 minutes of spinning despite a small disability due to almost cutting the tip of my index finger off yesterday (maybe a little dramatic but some glue or a stitch may have been a good idea, I’ve stuck it down with tape and it’s stopped oozing and throbbing unless I knock it).  It felt great (not the finger, the spinning, sticking to the plan etc), done by 7am, let’s see if I can keep it up.  I ended up doing more than 15 minutes though as today is Sock Sunday and I don’t like the socks I’m working on.  Despite only having 20 rounds of pattern to go, they are a trial.   I took them to the skate park but didn’t get them out, I took them to an afternoon kids party and left them in the car, now I am off the read good night stories and then, maybe then, tackle the last little bit.  As incentive I dug out the next pattern so hopefully I’ll have something to show next Sunday!

Prompted – as I often am – my Ruth’s blog post at the start of the month – I’ve been thinking a little on blogging lately & how my attention to blogging ebbs & flows.  My attention is like the water ways around here dry and still or full and raging.  Like many things in my life I am all ideas and no action so often but the thing with knitting, and spinning, is that it’s till there when you get back to it.  The thing is, things don’t knit or spin themselves, they require time & patience – things I have sparingly (but I am working on that – well the patience anyway!).

When I did the Certificate of Spinning at the Spinner’s & Weaver’s Guild I vowed I would spin for 15 minutes every day – it lasted a while. I joined up the Yahoo Groups Monthly Dishcloth KAL and vowed to keep up – but I never seem to do so consistently (although I do knit all of the cloths each year even if it is a race to the end).  When I started playing with the drum carder I bought a heaps of beautiful silk to blend with wool  (in 2009!) to spin up the yarn for Henley Perfected – the batts are around somewhere.  I engaged the family to pack up my fleeces to send off for processing – but they are still sitting in big bales in the shed (I got cold feet – what if my wool “isn’t good enough”; what if no-one will buy any & I spend a whole heap of money getting it processed into roving?).  I started to tidy the study so I could get the the knitting corner & sort it out – but I had to go to work (it really gets in the way!).  A friend phoned me last September to say he had some coloured fleeces from his Merino X sheep on his verandah – then called me again this week to say it was still there.  It’s a pattern – a head that is easily turned; a flighty mind (maybe just super busy?).

Well, I am going to make a change – it’s good to get inspired every now & then so that things get finished!  I went past my friends house & picked up the 2 garbage bags of fleece – and, to my delight, I think my fleeces are better!  Got to love having a small flock that is so loved.  On Thursday I flicked about 60gm of the fibre & over the last few days I have been spinning – just for a little time each day but a little time is more than none!  I want to do the Susanna IC KAL on Ravelry and, while casting around for a yarn I came back to the whole “Wow – it’s going to cost me $30-$60 to get the yarn & I have all this fibre……”.  I started Googling “how much fibre do I need to spin 1000 yards lace weight” but the results were not very informative.  I cast around the internet for yarn again.  I emailed Charli at IxChel Bunny.  I sat down & flicked some fibre – 60gm took about 1/2 an episode of “Doc Martin” – done.  I figured once I have this spun up I’ll flick another 60gm & spin it for plying & that will give me plenty to start the KAL but then I thought maybe I should dye the yarn?  I’ll show you when the first skein is done & you can tell me what you think……

Anyway – I told my husband that from now on my summers where going to be about spinning & my winters were for knitting so my newest  plan is to spin for 5-15 minutes every day from now til Christmas, it will be interesting to see how much is achieved …..

A finished spinning project! I can hardly believe I have finished something.

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Fibre: IXCHEL Bunny Fibre Club July 2013

Metres: 725ft = 220.98m (not sure why I got a yarn measure thingy that measures in feet!)

WPI:~14-15

Plan: Who knows – I wan’t too impressed with the yarn on the bobbin – the colours as singles were stunningly beautiful (I think I should have navajo plyed them) but the family all like it – Pete suggested maybe a scarf, I’m thinking some gloves might be nice. The yarn is a pleasure to touch – soft & enticing. Any suggestions?

My insistent model!

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The last few months have been about getting though full-time work, sock knitting and a little spinning.

At the moment I have been working on this:

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It’s the batts I photographed a on my very first Fibre Friday and I am working on this fibre in a stashbusting effort.  I was planning on spinning this reasonably fine so I could use it for socks but my concentration laspes and my default spinning is about 16 WPI so I am not sure how it has come out.  I  found this to be a slow project but only because so little time was actually allocated for it even though I really wanted to get it spun up and off the bobbins so I could start the plum overdyed coloured fibre from a few months ago.  Also, I wanted the bobbins tidied up to ready to take the second half of the IxCHel Bunny Fibre Club instalment from the first month (last Fibre Club – not the current one!).

A Bobbin Full

 

 

I had been very occasionally working on other fibre but after reading Ruth’s post and receiving the IxChel fibre Club parcels I just had to pull out the wheel & change the bobbins!  Nothing like new fibre to get the mojo back!

I took the fibre & separated it down the middle to get roughly two halves.  I then divided the first 1/2 into 3 lengths, again separating down the length.  I am attempting to spin a 14WPI yarn as I have perused my Ravelry queue and foud that many of the patterns I have there require this gauge.  I pulled out a 14 WPI sample from my Certificate of Spinning tub and so far I have this:

 IxChel Bunny Fibre Club #1One bobbin – 1/2 the fibre.

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