Thursday, December 18, 2008

Keeping Busy

Good Grief. It's been too long since I have posted here. Warning - for some reason Blogger is putting spaces inbetween paragraphs that are HUGE.








From 12-18-2008
As mentioned previously I pretty much kicked off a spinners circle with Sunshyn689 as she attempts to learn how to use my Ashford Kiwi.

While she's busy with Beaky, I spin on my MerlinTree Roadbug. Every Thursday (with exception to holidays and we seem to be managing to pick up a Friday before or aft to balance it out) we have been meeting at the local Starbucks here in Bristol and we've been spinning.

Looking to get her own wheel in April at the CT Sheep and Wool Festival, she's been getting practice using Beaky and has been bit by the spinning bug pretty hard. She likes the MerlinTree Conversion, so I expect that Dave will have another happy customer that will be sending him business along the way as she becomes a more experienced spinner.










From 12-18-2008

She's been working with some pencil roving as she gets the hang of it (OMG she picked up plying and her finished yarns are so nicely balanced,) and I've been slogging through some pink Merino that I dyed using Cushing's "Wood Rose" acid dye... it's rather pretty, and when spun up it's not quite the Pepto Pink it had been. Tonight I emptied the bobbins of it I had and winding the singles onto my ball winder I have set them aside to get stale before I ply them up. I'm really hoping Santa brings me a Jumbo flyer for my Roadbug, as it's what I've really asked for and had hoped to be able to get for myself earlier this fall.

In late November, Tessa (my four year old) and I picked up the Tunis and Southdown Roving from the mill that we'd dropped off after buying from a local shepard in late spring, and getting a tour of the farm. We'll be dying that soon enough and I will be bringing that on Thursday evenings too before ya know it.

I'm really pleased with how the fiber turned out and would definitely recommend Twist of Fate Spinnery, however with the cavaet that this MicroMill has a very long wait to get your fiber back. The stuff we dropped off in early June took until November 20 to be ready. Hopefully my order to pick up in January won't be delayed like the previous order. So if you are in CT and want to throw your money in a local direction for wool processing and have the luxury of waiting the long wait - the roving they process is beautiful. Not terribly expensive for processing either - I paid 6.50 a pound, pre-washed weight. The only difference I might do in the future is that I may do a pre-wash first so I'm not paying as much due to the lanolin, suint and dirt that gets washed out.

We have had another gal joining us for our Thursday nights on an intermittent basis - she's a rather nice gal and spins on a Kromski Sonata. Hopefully she'll be back, as it's nice having multiple wheels going and seeing the faces of the other patrons of Starbucks as they realize what we're doing.








From 12-18-2008
I finished spinning some lovely Angora Bunneh/Cormo Wool this evening, and took that off the bobbin too. This basket full of singles is just waiting to be put together to be plied - and I think that the Bunneh/Cormo blend may be plied against some lovely maroon silk I still have to spin up. I may just ply on the fly as I spin it and see how that turns out. The WoodRose will be plied against it's self as. The Bunneh/Cormo is the glaringly white ball in the top row there...

I'll have to try to get a better pic of these but all pics were taken with my camera phone this evening. The top left is my bubblegum pink silk. Yeah - the one that I am not too sure what I'm doing with.








From 12-18-2008
I also got to start spinning some rolag's I got in a fiber swap this summer. It's an interesting combination of colors and I'll just have to wait and see what the finished yarn turns out as... but the combinations are definately making me wonder what the person who carded them up was thinking, after all Neon Green and Magenta as a color combination haven't been seen together since the 1980's.












From 12-18-2008

The Creme Orange thread from the previous picture is meant to be plied against the finished yarn there at left on the bobbin. Part of the swap goodies... At present the rolag's are spinning up rather slubby (this means big lumps in the yarn on occasion), and it's not inclined to be a thin yarn, unlike the Bunneh/Cormo. I think that the name of the finished yarn from this fiber swap may just be "Laupered" or "Girls just wanna have fun." To the left is the single right now. To put it mildly it's a colorful visual experience.


The Fiber Swap also Yielded a drop spindle, but I've not been able to use it as such yet...









From 12-18-2008

I just can't figure out a spindle without a hook.


Both wheels were brought in out of the car due to the extreme cold and Winter Storm "Austin" that we're due to get. I usually end up bringing them in the next morning after spinning the night before, but I don't want to have to do that in the morning. I need to find the oil and take care of some squeaks on Beaky, and as I will be working from home tomorrow (the drive in to work is not one to make in this weather.) If I am lucky I will get some more spinning done during lunch time.

I'm looking forward to it, and glad I won't be risking being stuck in traffic for hours, as I expect that the worst of it will be in the afternoon. I have set towels down in front of the bottom of our front door and really need to get to making a door snake. One of these days I guess... ok - it's late, my daughter wants snuggles and I am getting tired, so it's time to wrap it up.

2 comments:

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

Wow! You've been busy! I love Cushings Wood Rose, it was the first color I dyed with and I fell in love with it! Where did you buy the tunis? I got some (yeah, I know, I shouldn't have to buy it lol) from Laurie's Lambs this past year and will buy it again, her's is so soft!

The WoolWytch said...

I buy it from a local shepard - "Penfield Farm" in Portland CT. The farm appears to be a "Gentlemans Farm" and not really there for the need to farm, as I'm fairly certain the family is old money.

Their fleeces are pretty grungy, but at least the shearer makes sure to shear for spinning, not just to remove a heavy coat of wool from the sheep. The shearer is also the farm manager I believe, as well as part owner of the mill I send the wool to.

I lost over half of my prewash weight to the wash, so next May/June when I get more fleeces from there I'll be washing them before taking them to the mill.

The fleeces are fairly well skirted for tags, but a +50% weight loss due to VM, Suint, and Lanolin sucks. In this economy we need to make our $ stretch as far as we can... and they have a lower rate for processing washed fiber that I will take advantage of.

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