Monday, February 27, 2006

Waving From Across Whereever

Hi, I'm still out here. I've been so busy minding the store. Yarn sales have picked up a bit. Though, still not as much I as I would like. Mostly, because I have to list more of it, more often.

Between it being hard for me to sit at the computer for any length of time and sharing it with DBF, makes it difficult to post as often as I would like. I have been working on a funny post about that case horrible case of terminal startitis I still have, WIP's and well, why I just hate to finish my projects. Hopefully, I should have it up soon. Maybe even by the weekend.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with some pictures to look at.

This is merino combed top I dyed for myself and for sale on ebay. Look how fine and even it spun up.

I'm going to Navajo ply it and either knit socks for DBF or sell it maybe. It's kind of hard to sell spindle spun yarn as it takes so long. Plus, some sock yarn for your knitting pleasure.

Well, enough blatant self promotion. Bootsie says:

"Cut that out and get back to spinning!"

Have fun needleworking.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

How I'm Learning To Spin

We're down to one computer, yet again. Since, DBF has tomorrow off, I figured I would post today, rather than wait until Saturday, when he is back at work. Even though it's his computer that is down, I'm nice and let him have first dibs when he's home.

Since it seems spinners are rather scarce in my part of the woods, plus the lack of transportation, I've been trying to teach myself how to spin. Although, I have found what seems, might possibly be, a spinning shop very close by, Fine Fibers. They are only open on Saturdays and by apointment, according to the phonebook. Looks like I'll have to ask the "Mom" for a day trip. LOL

Further investigation, I just found Cloverleaf Farms. Also, in Spencerport, the next burb to me. Found on the Genesee Valley Handspinners Guild website. Their meetings are held in Victor, and that's way on the other side of the county. Much out of the question for transportation.

So, as I said in my last post, I've never known or seen, in person, someone actually spin. I've had this on my "want to learn" list for awhile. Disabled be damned, I want to start crossing some things off my lists.

DBF and I constructed this makeshift spindle for me to start with. That's Tussah silk single on there by the way.

Why didn't you just buy a good spindle? Because, sometimes I'm just cheap ass, that's why. I do however, have this planned Golding Ring, for my 40th birthday in a few months. The solid cherry one.

The spindle waited for my pound of Merino top to come in the mail, and the day it arrived, I ripped carefully open the package. First thing I thought was it looked like a giant wool intestine. Once a nurse, always a nurse. That's always my thought when I look at packages of top. I also have since purchased 3 packages of 8 ounces of silk intestines, as well.

I had studied the videos on I Can Spin and The Joy of Handspinning for weeks. As well, I purchased The Whole Craft of Spinning, and read very many informative blogs.

This was back in October, looking back, I wish I had taken notes on my thoughts, most of it seems a blur before the "ah hah" moment when I figured out the beauty of pre-drafting. My first skein I posted yesterday was made right around the "ah hah" moment.

Here are my second and third skeins, made from the merino after I dyed it. They are three ply with the Navajo method.(Click for bigger)

Not half bad, considering I haven't even seen handspun yarn in person before. Needless to say, it even impressed DBF, which isn't always the easiest task. He bought me this and this for Christmas. I loved the wool so much, I had to go buy the other one. It really is so much brighter and nicer in person. I wanted/needed more to make something nicer than a pair of socks. Here is one of the roll of singles.

Plus, one of the skeins.

Here is the small sweater, I've started.

A closer view.

The first batt spun up and Navajo plied to a light sport to fingering weight with about 380 yards. I just have a little left of the second batt, and it seems so far I might get 400 yards. I didn't check the WPI.

The Tussah silk however is another matter, I'll save for a later post. I'm not too fond of the spindle he bought me, and I just don't have the heart to tell him. It just doesn't hold a spin all that well, and the singles keep slipping off the hook. So, I'm spinning the plain Merino on it, since Merino pratically spins itself.

Well, I need to get into the dye room, and get to work. Twenty skeins of sock yarn came in on Monday, that need to be dyed, plus I still have some size 10 and 30 thread to get after, as well as two large thread orders to send out. Hopefully, it will keep my mind off waiting for UPS to come today with a large box of seven and a half pounds of wool top and new Inox needles. Do you think? Nah, I didn't think so either.

Happy Needlecrafting!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Did You Think I Left Permanently

The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated. Mark Twain

I'm still out here, yet again. Computer problems for a bit, involving maybe a hacker and definately nasty viruses and wiped hard drive. Very busy making and selling crochet thread on ebay. Plus, I just wasn't feeling very festive over the holidays. I thought it would be best to keep to myself.

Last week, my mom helped me get a decent digital camera. It's so nice to be able to take nice pictures, like this one.

Go ahead and click for bigger. That's Bootsie and you can practically pet her plus spin the wool she's examining. That's so much better than trying to get the cat and wool to sit still on the scanner.

So, you would think that I have a ton of finished objects to show off by now, right? WRONG Actually, I started six new projects started spinning.

That's the spindle DBF made for me. We looked all over Home Depot for a rubber grommet. None was to be found. Then walking through the parking lot we saw one just laying there. It was near the car repair shop.

My daughter informed me they use them to hold the windows in place, or something like that. Anyhow, you can find them new in an auto parts store for pretty cheap. Or, you can come over here and scout the parking lot with me.

I've never had to take a class to learn any kind of needlwork. There was always someone around I knew, that knew what I wanted to learn. I don't know if it was just something pre-mid 80's, but people were just willing to freely impart needlework lessons and didn't charge for it.

It wasn't until the late 80's when my mom announced she was taking a quilting class that her friend was having. You could have knocked me over with a feather. Her best friend was now charging for knowledge that she used to share freely in the 70's. It really boggled my mind even more, that my mom was actually paying her. Since I had started quilting a couple years prior, simply by purchasing magazines and reading the articles.

I don't know anyone close by that spins. I've never seen anyone spin in person. But, I decided I would teach myself how. There's another mind boggling thought. To teach oneself. One assumes that being taught, there is a teacher, with knowledge, and a student, with none or very little knowledge.

So, I went about to gain knowledge, via the internet, of course. There's plenty of good sites out there. Plus, one cheap book, which wasn't anymore helpful than the websites. I'll save that story for another, maybe the next entry.

That's my first skein of handspun merino. I bought a pound of it from Winderwood Farm. He is just south of me in Naples. I hope this summer or fall to take a drive down there. I figured a pound would be plenty to play with and not have fits if I messed some of it up. Here's a closer picture. Click for bigger.

More on how I learned to spin in the next post. In a few days, not months this time. I promise.

By the way, I'm listing a bunch of yarn, thread, and spinning fibers on ebay. If you might be interested.

Happy needlework.