Thursday, August 21, 2008

Well, I didnt actually get in to the Ravelry swap, I did not send in complete info in time. Oh well. I am still going to try to blog once per week to keep the blog going. My spinning binge has continued. I am spinning my second batt of merino/silk from Ewenique Fibers but am spinning this singles a little thicker then the original batt.
I did not like the way my thin yarn was "muddy", none of the original colors really stood out. I am hoping that with a thicker yarn, the colors wont blend as much, they are really to beautiful to lose. This is a sinfully wonderful batt to spin, very soft. The batt weighed two ounces and I split it in half length-wise, spinning each on to a separate bobbin. I will finish the second bobbin tonight or tomorrow and be ready to ply them together this weekend. This is the fingering weight yarn I spun from the first batt. The colors really blended too much.

The second picture is from the second batt, and is a dk weight that I am very happy with. It is a soft, springy yarn. I keep hearing Judith MM's words in my head to underspin and overply a woolen yarn and it really works to get a great yarn.
I am accumulating quite a stash of handspun fiber and I think it is time to see if I can sell any of this. I am thinking of setting up an Etsy store. As a prelude to this (hee, hee), I am doing some marketing research that I will post more about later. I cant believe there is even a market for this but it appears to be true. I also think it may be time to destash some of my commercial yarn on Ebay or Ravelry. There is no way I can possibly use it all. So on my agenda is some photography of my stash, and some sorting to figure out what I can part with.

My other major venture is getting into the natural dying. I have been fascinated by this for a while and should have some time to experiment with this during my vacation in September. So I have ordered a stash of dyestuff and mordants to experiment with.

This last picture is the last of my four samples from my Bellweather sample club. It is from a great batt from Crosspatch Creations and is very vibrant. I just wet-finished it today.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Spinning fest

I decided to participate in a swap on Ravelry. I have been seeing examples of other swaps as I surf the blogs and decided to give it a whorl. This swap requires blogging at least once per week, I could stand to have that kind of pressure.

Here are the required questions:

Do you knit or crochet? How long have you been at your craft? I mostly knit but do crochet on occasion. I have been doing both for too many years to count (since grade school).
Do you spin? What type of spinning do you do? I have been spinning for about seven years and spin both on a wheel and spindle.
Are there any other crafts that you participate in? I also love to weave but haven't had too much time to do this.
What are your favorite yarns/fibers? I love animal fibers of any kind. Plant fibers are more difficult to spin and to knit so I don't like them as much but I do occasionally enjoy a good challenge.
What are your LEAST favorite yarns/fibers? See above
Are there any types/brands of yarn that you are dying to work with but haven’t gotten a chance? I love Green Mountain Spinnery yarns but haven't had a chance to experiment with them.
What are your favorite types of projects to knit/crochet? Really anything. I have been on a sock kick lately but love sweaters.
What are you currently working on? Anything you plan to start this autumn? You name it and I am probably working on it. I like to work on lots of different things at a time.
What is your favorite FO? (Please, post a picture if you would like.) Hum, tough to decide. Perhaps some of my older colorwork/fairisle. I don't have the time or attention to do much of this right now.
What is your oldest UFO? Wow, don't want to admit that it is probably about five or six years old. I've been trying to clean up some of my older UFOs this past year. Most of them involve colorwork and are time-consuming projects.
Are their any knitting/crochet techniques that you would like to learn? I have not done any felting. I would like to experiment with this.
Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? Love socks, but I have extra large feet. I usually use medium patterns (I have a narrow foot) and knit to fit my size 10.5 feet.
Do you have a yarn winder and/or a swift? I have both.
Where/how to you keep you needles/hooks? One box for circulars, and one box for straights.
Do you collect anything? ...yarn, fiber
What is your favorite type of music? Are you MP3 ready? I like pop, rock, jazz. Really anything but country. I have an I pod
Do you like sweets? What are your favorites? I love, love LOVE good chocolate. Next best are chewwy candies like Bitohoney and Tootsie Rolls.
What is your living situation like? Any pets? Children? Hubbie, five-year-old daughter, 88-year-old demented mother-in-law, one dog (very sheddy german shepherd) and one cat.
Are you allergic to anything? Not that I know of.
Do you have an online wish list (Amazon, Etsy, Loopy Ewe, etc.)? Please include links for your swap pal. I don't have any online wish lists.
Are you having a birthday during this swap? Nope
What is your Ravelry ID? lafall

Thanks to Tour de Fleece, I have spun quite a lot during the last few weeks. I have finished spinning all of my first sample pack from Bellweather. It is part of the Crosspatch Creations fiber club. I LOVE their batts. I first got experience with one when I picked up the SOAR special blend in 2006. Here are three out of the four samples. The first I spun as a lumpy singles from a tricolored roving. I can't recall the name. The second is a 2 ply from a batt. It is called Montana State Treasures. Definitely my favorite. The third is called Mountain Berries and is a fine singles.

I also finally finished spinning my merino multicolor that I got at Shepherd's Harvest, again in 2006. I don't know what I will do with this yet. After sampling a number of techniques for a learning exchange, I spun most of it as a fine yarn, then navajo-plied it to keep the colors in line. I am very happy with the results. The final hank weighs just over 2 ounces and is about 320 yds.

The second monkey on my back that I finished is the merino/tencel roving from Cameleon Colorworks. I spun this worsted, and then plied it as a three ply and came up with a yarn that is fingering weight. It allowed me to solidify my worsted technique. I think it came to about 600 yds for the four ounces of roving.

Knitting has been rather unfocused although I did manage to finish some mitts from my handspun merino superwash from Cameleon Colorworks. Otherwise, my WIP list on ravelry has grown, but my FOs have not. Oh well.