Well this wonderful Border Leicester yarn made it off the French support spindle onto the ball winder, and into the two strand skein phase of this project. Total weight of first spin is 0.8 ounces. Amazing….almost a full ounce spun at one time on a support spindle. I’m impressed to say the least. I initially tried to ply it on my spinning wheel….then decided to 2-ply it on my top whorl drop spindle after winding it into a ball on my ball winder. Glad I did. A total of 58 yards was obtained from the single spinning session. Not bad for a spindle considering the size of the spindle. My expectations have been exceeded. The results are pretty awesome if I must say so myself. Even with the 2-ply the yarn maintains it’s loftiness, airiness, and lightness of weight with a beautiful halo about the yarn. The spin produced a very delicate yarn, which will make a beautiful lace shawl. At least that is how I feel at the moment….”lace shawl”. It will require more spinning of fiber. This project is turning out to be quite enjoyable. Now let’s see how it makes it through the fiber dyeing phase. Guess I will spend some time this evening selecting a color scheme suitable for a lace shawl. Stay blessed people and stay tuned for the next phase, the fiber dyeing phase.
Been working a lot lately on my hand-held spindles. Some days it’s the top-whorl drop spindle and some days it is the bottom whorl support spindle. Of late my collection of spindles has grown. I am now the proud owner of a Russian, French and Tibetan spindle with each having their own characteristics about the type of yarns they create. My French support spindle has been my immediate choice to use in spinning a fine woolen long draw yarn, which I find quite delightful being that it is spun on a supported spindle. French spindles have a spiraling type of notch at the end of the shaft which holds onto the fiber as you apply twists in creating a single strand of yarn. The drafting process is ever so delicate as the spindle naturally drafts an amount of fiber that results in a very thin single, which is actually quite strong and withstands a great deal of pressure applied to the yarn, and the single still will not break once adequate twists are applied to the fiber. My fiber prep as been to card my fiber on hand carders yielding a cloud of Border Leicester which requires nothing more than placement in the palm of the hand, and a very gentle drafting technique used to form an airy yarn. For this particular spin session I am spinning Border Leicester, and I am amazed at the difference in the yarn created as I have spun the exact same fiber on a top-whorl drop-spindle and achieved a totally different textured yarn, yielding a worsted yarn, whereas the French spindle is producing a light and airy woolen weight yarn, that will perhaps need to be triple plied, it’s yield is so thin. Thinking maybe a nice lace shawl would look good with this yarn. Well anyway, I’ll keep you guys updated on the progress of my French spindle adventures.
I’ve spent the last week or so digging through my fiber stash in the upstairs spare-bedroom, and oh what glorious finds I found. I found Sari Silk Waste in seven different colors and decided to post them to my Etsy Shop. I found several fleece (…the entire fleece) all packed up in plastic bags and some in 30 gallon plastic storage containers. There was so much to dig through I had to do a little at a time. In doing so the urge to spin natural came to a rise like yeast dough raises in a warm corner of your kitchen waiting to be baked in the warmth of your oven. I sat down to spin on my Celtic Golding Ring Spindle (top whirl drop spindle) that spins like a dream. The craftsmanship of the Golding Company should really be appreciated. They make such a wonderful product with great balance and speed that smoothly spins your favorite fibers into a wonderfully stable yarn ready to knit even if simply a single spun to one’s liking the first time around. Their spindles are beautifully carved and set into a brass ring, again perfectly balanced and worthy of any Craftswoman’s stash of fiber to be spun into Golding (Gold) in every color of the rainbow.
The carving is absolutely beautiful. It spins smoothly in your hand. Oh, the delight of spinning with hand-carved Cherry wood. But still, there was a need to arise. Feeling that need for a new spindle so I went on-line and purchased a Tibetan spindle, and when I give it a test run, I’ll let you know how it all turns out. Already, I’m seated on the edge of my seat like a child waiting for some sort of surprise that surpasses all others. My expectations are to spin mouth watering beautiful lace yarn. My Heart weakens……!
Well, it has been quite some time since I have been here to blog about my addiction as a fiber artist, and today is the perfect day to catch up. The Sun is shining with a slight blow of northward bound winds, here in Bradenton, Florida. Of course, the squirrel friends have been around today for their daily dose of peanuts. And; as most of my friends know, I have been up to purchasing all kinds of fiber, and those fibers include such fleeces as Shetland, Icelandic, Targhee, Border Leicester, Merino and many more. Like most fiber artist I have a stash of fiber that is more than the average fiber artist can possibly spin in one year. Is it the smell of the fiber? Is it the color of the fiber? Is it the feel or textures of the fibers? As a practicing fiber artist I can honestly say it is all of the above that we all as fiber artist collectively crave….and the need for more fiber seems to be endless. Some may laugh when I tell them of my secret…my secret of having an entire room dedicated to bins-upon-bins of fiber stacked high enough to reach the ceiling from the level of the floor and then when space runs out, my secret stash is stuffed into space-bags de-aired and compressed to make room for more savory fibers to add to the stash. Lately, I have spent a great deal of time dyeing fibers with Jacquard fiber dyes and then spinning these beautiful fibers into glorious yarns ready to be knit with. Today I decided that I should share some of the fibers that I have been spinning with you. So, I have enclosed a short slide show for your viewing. You will be viewing two of my new yarns Diamond Head (918 yards) which is a fingering weight yarn and LakeSide (259 yards) which is a bulky weight yarn. Enjoy….as much as I do, and be certain to come back for more. And, yes I certainly promise to return soon with more to show you.
Well, ended up with 949 feet of a single ply yarn from spinning the Merino fleece. I had wanted to ply it into a 3 strand Navajo ply. The single ply was too thin and kept rolling back upon itself. Hence, I decided to go ahead with a 2 ply yarn. The end result is beautiful. I like how Merino has that spongy kind of bounce to it and when put into more than a single ply you get more bounce for your money. Now I must decide what color to dye this skein of yarn and what I will name it. I was thinking maybe a color in the red family, and then I was thinking perhaps something in the purple family, and then I thought of yellows and reds that blend into oranges. The possibilities are endless. Will come back and finish this post once I have come up with my final decision.
OK, I’m back and after setting the twists in the 2 ply yarn I have finally put dye to the Merino and come up with a name. This baby is named, “Simply Scarlet”. The Merino yarn took in all the dye as noted when removing the yarn from the bath. Bath was completely clear of dye and the coloring of the dye gave the yarn a slightly variegated look. Though, when hand-dyeing yarns how fibers will take on dye is sometimes very unpredictable. If there are kinks in the yarn, an area tied to tightly, or even a slight difference in spinning technique of the same yarn, all can effect the outcome of dye color. Now I wish I had spun more. This would make a beautiful sweater or cowl. The good thing is that I wrote everything down, and can reproduce the dye bath. Now the unveiling of “Simply Scarlet”.
The stats on “Simply Scarlet” are as follows:
Weight: 1.9 ounces
After deciding that I should spend some time spinning I closed myself off in the spare bedroom and did some carding and spinning of a beautiful silky Mohair fiber that was a gift sample to me along with an order that I had placed for Wensleydale fleece. This gift sample came from Natalie Redding of Namaste Farms out in Temecula, California and was several different colors. I decided to blend the colors by carding and see what the end result would be. Well I blended the fibers on my carder until I was pretty much satisfied with the results and took the fibers to my spinning wheel. I used several different spinning styles such as spinning from the rolag, spinning from the fold, and spinning from pieces of the batt from different areas of the batt until I obtained the blend in fibers that I was happy with. Mohair is a very soft, slick and silky long fiber. It also has a very curly loc formation that sometimes has the appearance of tight ringlets of hair that has been tightly set on sponge rollers, and requires a great deal of work to obtain the results you seek. My goal was to spin a yarn that was worsted in nature, but still maintain the softness that Mohair fleece offers. I was very pleased with the results and ended up with two skeins of fiber that are what I would like to call Almost Peach & Almost Lime. The two color combinations in my opinion are quit awesome and the process I used on the fiber retained the silky sheen that Mohair has naturally. After spinning the fibers I heat-treated the fibers to set the twist even further after letting the fibers rest on the bobbins a half day or so. Again, I am very pleased with the results, and this is what I got for my final result.
Note: This is a similar sample of fiber I received with my order from Namaste Farms owned by Natalie Redding from Temecula, California. The fiber in the plastic bag is what I started with. The picture credit goes to Namaste Farms.
Note: After processing this wonderful sample fleece this is how I spun the fleece into such a beautiful yarn. Love the resulting colors. This is a 2 ply yarn.