Sunday, December 29, 2013

Camel silk

It. is. finished.

The 2 oz of camel-silk blend fibre I have been spinning for-ever (since last February, according to my own blog) is finally plied. 3 delightful plies and still this is a lace weight yarn. Yes, it was fine spinning. The 2oz yielded 342m of 3-ply yarn plus several more meters of chain-plied yarn using the remaining singles - but I found this resultant yarn to be of a lesser quality and certainly does not blend the colours as the 3-ply does.
In the photos above the yarn is skeined but not yet washed. (Looks pretty balanced pre-wash if I do say so my self.) Currently it is washed, dried, and I'm pretty sure it will be knit up as a Lapidarius scarf.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Happy Yule to Me

Oh happy day. My much anticipated package of fibre arrived today from Ranching Tradition Fibre. Combined with my order from Waterloo Wools that also arrived recently, I'm a very happy person.

BFL locks in burgundy and sage from the ranch.

Targhee Rambouillet roving in blues.  These are delightfully fluffy. Compare above how much larger these 4oz look from the other (BFL) roving in the group photo. Note Waterloo Wool's fibre is the density I am used to buying. Don't want you to think hers is more compacted.

More of the TR roving to match the burgundy locks. I'll be playing with spinning these together.

From Waterloo Wools, some oceany BFL and pumpkin spice BFL roving. Nom!

My favourite vintage (colourway) Kirkland lace for my own Carménerè shawl (which I had also test knit/ made the sample for Waterloo Wools).

 And some more of my favourite lace - Montague. This purple will be a new sample of my Battle-Weary Dragon shawl for Waterloo Wools.
Another picture - this one with sunlight - of my new handspun.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Dramatic Dénouments

This month I participated in the Ravelry Spindlers monthly challenge, which was to spin in the theme of "Teaching and Learning".  Normally I don't participate because I've tried a few times and failed to complete anything in the allotted month.  However, I more recently realized that many participants don't actually spin a full 4 or more ounces of fibre.  Apparently, enough people were spinning very small amounts that the group made a 1oz minimum rule. I decided I could manage an ounce and I had three lofty 1 oz batts to spin up.
I had picked up the batts this fall at the First Annual (or so the organizers hope) Manitoba Fibre Fest. They are hand-dyed batts of brilliant BFL (74%), silk (25%) and angelina (1%). Of course my camera fails to capture the beauty of the red and the sparkle.

 Batts by The Dyeing Arts

 Following my students' final exam, I started spinning and took a few class room photos - my first "teaching" element in the challenge.

 A little started...
 Spinning in progress at the university.

Such a delightful batt to spin.  I spun from the fold of chunks pulled off the batt.

Having spun the first ounce (one of 3 batts) I could ply it. One thing I love about my Turkish spindles is that I can ply straight from the 'turtle'.  In this case, I plied from both ends. In addition to being delightfully simpler (than rewinding), it guarantees no leftovers!

Making it look festive.

 It's not koolaid in the water...

To give some context to the name of the project - Dramatic Dénouments - I photographed the (damp) skein with some relevant books from my course.  The one that stands alone on the far right was the required textbook. The term refers to what can happen, in rare cases, when new religions enter into a downward spiral that results is some kind of dramatic ending (like murders, siege, or suicide).

Yes, the drying skein is currently adorning my tree - which is conveniently near a vent.

Here's my video attempt to show the sparkle of the angelina: It looked much better before uploading...

To continue with the teaching and learning theme of the challenge, this is only part 1. I won't finish (or start) any more ounces this month, but my intention is to spin the other two batts using different tools and see how that works out.  For one I'll use my top whorl and for the other I'll decide between my rakestraw and my supported spindle. Or maybe a new spindle...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Not Waste

Husband had the silly audacity to call this tangled mass of singles (that slipped off the stick and seriously hampered plying) garbage.
I still call is camel-silk fibre and it looks feltable to me! Actually, I was thinking of either stretching it lengthwise for a felted bracelet or balling it up for a bead.
The plying ball is coming along nicely as I did manage to salvage most of the tangled mess - very slowly and carefully.