Thursday, November 24, 2011

Another Spinning Post!

I've been bitten by the spinning bug lately. Its all I want to do. Usually when these sort of whims hit me, I just go with it.

I just purchased some teeswater fiber off of etsy seller beesybee fibers Teeswater sheep are the guys that look like they have dreadlocks. The prepared top had a very long staple length and it was very interesting to spin.

I did predraft quite a bit. Just look at how fluffy it became with a little predrafting.

It was almost like I imagine spinning human hair would be like. The fibers were so long and silky. My goal was to spin this into a heavy worsted weight to make some mittens.

Once again, its a two ply and the weight is just what I aimed for. I am happy with it, but I'm not sure that the resulting mittens won't be itchy. This yarn has quite a bit of halo going on, and I'm pretty sure that the micron count for this fiber is quite a bit higher than merino. Maybe I'll knit the cuffs up in a different fiber. God knows I have plenty of it.

And, I'm going to Halifax tomorrow!! So excited! I'm going to see Amy perform in the Phoenix Rising show. I haven't seen Amy since August, so I'm really, really looking forward to spending some time with her. I'm also hoping to get to Loop Cafe! I hope they have something interesting for sale!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fractal Spinning

I've heard of fractal spinning before, but have never tried it. The concept is quite simple. You just strip down your roving in such a way that the colours in a multicoloured roving should hardly ever line up, and you end up with mostly a barber poled type of yarn.

Here is my attempt at fractal spinning, and I'm so happy with the resulting yarn.

This started out as a hand painted merino roving from etsy seller Chimera. I've purchased fiber from this seller before, and I've always been super happy with her stuff.

I ended up with about 350 yards of 2 ply fingering weight yarn. You may also notice a mini skein on the end. For some reason, I always end up with a fair bit of more singles spun on one bobbin and this time, instead of leaving it there for all of eternity, I decided to navajo ply it just to see how it compared with the fractal spun yarn. Quite different isn't it?

So what is fractal spinning? Well, my understanding of it, is this - Its all in the fiber prep done prior to spinning. I split my length of roving into half lenghtwise. One half, I set aside. The other half, I divided again lengthwise. Each of these halves, I divided again, so of this half, I had four pieces of roving about as thick as my thumb. I then predrafted each of these pieces and spun them up onto one bobbin.

The other half, I just spit in two (not four) and predrafted that down to about the size of my thumb and spun that. So, basically, this method is designed to have the colours line up in as random as possible. I'm super happy with the resulting yarn as this is how I think handspun should look. Something that cannot be replicated by bigger yarn companies. I love me some barber pole. Now what to knit with it?

Next up....I have some lovely Tesswater fiber that is just begging to spun up into a worsted weight for a pair of mitts.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Knit Lobster

All of my knitting time in the past week has been taken up by knitting this lobster costume for Colson.

It turned out pretty cute - the hat was a little small. I'd forgotten how big toddler heads really are. Lol. I improvised the whole design and overall I'm please with it. I told Heather if she wanted me to do something for next year, she would have to give me at least a months notice. Geesh....who can knit lobsters that quickly?

In other news, I've been watching the Knitgirlls podcast a lot lately. They are quite productive spinners and they've inspired me to spin more. Here is my lastest spinning project. The roving came from etsy seller Chimera Fibers I've purchased from this seller before and I'm always happy with her stuff. Its 100% merino top and I've spun it into a 2 ply worsted weight yarn. It is very lofty! I'm guessing there is about 200 yards or so of the stuff - enough for a pair of mittens for myself. At least this is what I want them to be. Stay tuned.