Thursday, April 28, 2011

Handcarding scraps

My storage spaces are overflowing with fiber. Several whole fleece are stored in plastic bags. Lumps of dyed locks are stashed away in paper bags. My dyed roving mishaps are shoved into the bottom of bins. I need to spin some of this stuff or pass it on to someone who will. I've started with a little project of blending scraps. Here I have some dyed Targhee, dyed mohair locks, and some scraps of merino roving. I carded them together to make a nice fluffy lump of spin-able fiber. Hand carding in NOT MY THING, but these fibers will not pass through the drum carder well. So it's hand carding or nothing. I'm looking forward to the Northwest Regional Spinner's conference in Salem because I'm taking a class on hand carding. I'd like some more instruction---I'd like to learn to enjoy it.

Monday, April 18, 2011


This weekend our family stayed on Whidbey Island. Many thanks to my In-laws who rented a beach house.
I got to spin outside in the sun. We all got a little pink in the cheeks by the end of the day.
Sunglasses were necessary.
The finished product: 4oz of merino, hand dyed by me, spun into a 2-ply.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lace Weight Handspun

The Rambouillet-Polypay spun up nicely into a 2-ply lace weight yarn. The prep was mentioned before in a previous post. It is so enjoyable to spin off of locks that have been opened up with the flick carder. It makes a nice smooth worsted yarn. Now I have to decide what to knit with it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Tired Hands

My hands are tired from combing and spinning. On Saturday I went to the 40th Anniversary of the Whidbey Island Weaver's Spin-in. It was in Oak Harbor. What a wonderful event! Judith MacKensie McCuin spoke to the group about spinning wheels. This was very interesting because I had never heard her speak before. I'm not sure of the head count, but there was over 200 spinners there. That day I worked on the Jacob fleece (see photo below). On Sunday I started spinning some roving that I dyed (see photo above).

Friday, April 1, 2011

Jacob Fleece

Last week while attending our local Northwest Spinner's Association Spin-in at the Ballard Library, I sat next to a very nice woman. I told her about the fleece rugs I'm trying to make, she said she had a fleece that she wanted to give me. This woman left the spin-in to run home and get it. I took one look at the Jacob fleece and told her I wouldn't want to put it in rug, I'd want to spin it! And that's exactly what I've undertaken this week...
After sorting colored sections, I began to wash the locks. I decided that I'd comb this fleece, so I carefully washed the locks between two cooling racks so they would stay aligned. This system worked well. I sandwiched the locks between the wires and then submerged them in hot soapy (Dawn) water. After they soaked for a while I submerged them in a rinse bath and Voila!--clean locks.
Here's a comb loaded with one of the "mixed" color sections.
After two passes...
The waste is on the left and the fiber, ready to spin, is on the right. I used a total of 3 passes on the combs. This is my first time working with a Jacob fleece. I can't wait to spin it!