Even though I’ve now been spinning for seven years, I have avoided spinning the simplest of yarns – the plain single. I have spun singles – coreless-corespun and thread wrapped yarns are both singles. But I’ve left the plain bulky single alone. Until this week.
One of the recent braids I dyed was very slightly felted (just slightly) and as a result I didn’t want to spin it too fine. (It was the first one I dyed in the slow cooker, while I was still getting the timings right, and may have been handled more than usual.) I wanted to spin it chunky so that I could use it as a weft for a cushion. And felted to give it the extra strength needed for such an item.
After spinning the resulting skein was incredibly twisty:
I gave it a bath in very hot soapy water, moving it around lots. I shocked it by plunging it into very cold water (and then repeated between the hot and cold a few times). I also tried thwacking the skein onto the draining board – but found that was an excellent way to make the kitchen look like it was raining inside and get me covered in water. I finished by rinsing the soap out in changes of hot and cold water.
After this treatment the skein was completely different:
Not a twist in sight.
This is what my study looks like at the moment:
On Monday I’m moving to our new house. I’m very excited – but right now I’m also very, very tired (so I’m sitting down and writing a short blog post, before I pack the computer away).
During half-term week the children were away with their dad. While they were gone (and as moving seemed a long time away!) I managed to go out every evening, catch up with friends and have a lovely week (albeit without children). Spinning with friends, spiritual circles, and dinner and a film with a friend were all on the itinerary for the week. At the end of it on my one free evening I caught a lovely sunset over fields near my house:
During my day and evening of spinning I plied two skeins of yarn. The singles were spun some time ago, and this finished the colour project from 2015 TdF (I will put a link in here, but tonight I shall just refer to it without the link *yawns*):
I’m going to be offline for a while. My new house doesn’t have a phone line, and it looks like it’ll be the end of November before one gets installed. And, each time I’ve been in the house, my mobile has no signal! So, I shall be out of touch and in another decade (the 90’s?) for a few weeks.
Right, I’m off to start packing the bedroom… I’m hoping I can do most of it sitting down on the bed! Actually, I think I’m hoping I can do it in my sleep! I shall see you in December from my new house! Good night!
I’m just back from being distracted by a beautiful sunset. I had a quick walk and tried a different location to take the pictures. Despite not wishing to linger on my own, on a quiet footpath, for too long, I managed to take 75 photos (thank goodness for digital)! I shan’t share all of them:
Also today I’ve been spinning and weaving in circles:
In other news, the house is sold (subject to contract and solicitors) and another house is bought (subject to the same), so I’m constantly thinking I should be clearing clutter and packing boxes, but not quite managing to commit to doing it. I had hoped to move during the school summer holidays, but this now appears to be desperately unlikely. So much has happened in the last few weeks, that it seems months since I was taking part in Open Studios, but in fact it was only one month ago! Perhaps in another month I’ll have moved house!
This yarn started in April as a desire to use some stunning blue Teeswater locks. Lots of playing around with different colours eventually resulted in a pile of wool, bamboo, trilobal-nylon and some seacell…
To the blending board:
Spinning the first single:
Plied and drying on the line, on what feels like the first dry day in weeks:
This yarn reminds me of piercing blue seas, with crashing waves, golden sands, seaweed and white horses; and so I’m calling it Seascape. Ideally I’d like to knit this into something to wear by the time Open Studios starts (in less than two weeks), however I have a second call on my time. The “personal news” I mentioned in my last post – I’ve put my house up for sale! Eeep!
On Friday I found myself designing and printing a short leaflet to advertise the up-coming Open Studios event I’m taking part in, ready to distribute at the village plant sale on Saturday.
It’s just 6 weeks and 2 days away! Earlier this week I made a list of all the things that need doing. I’m going to be very busy!
On Saturday I borrowed my daughter’s hoola-hoop for a little weaving. I knew I had to finished the weaving before my daughter missed her hoop. So, I got straight to work, warping up the hoop with cotton yarn, and weaving in ever- increasing circles.
I succeeded in my goal, and my daughter hasn’t noticed a thing. (She hasn’t even noticed that the hoop is somewhat cleaner than it was before the weekend!)
I then progressed another project, blending (a variety of wools, seacell, trilobal nylon and bamboo) and spinning with Teeswater locks:
I think I can squeeze a few more locks onto there before I start spinning the plying thread!
It’s been a bright sunny day and, as usual, I’ve been filling it up to the brim. I got home a short while ago, and the sun was still shining (albeit slowly setting), so I grabbed my chance to photograph the latest spinning on my wheel. (My last attempt at taking a photo outside a few days ago resulting in my wheel being snowed on!)
It’s spun Sari ribbon. It’s linen, instead of the more usual silk, which as you may know I avoid because I’m a vegetarian.
I spun the ribbon around a core of wool – creating the core as I went (so basically I used coreless core spinning for this – with the wrapping “fibre” being the ribbon). I then plied it to get a softer texture. The last few feet didn’t fit on the bobbin, but I was still able to add the necessary twist to finish the yarn. I really want to call it a braid as it’s so chunky.
The Sari ribbon was from my friend FibreTastic who was able to source me a couple of skeins of linen, rather than the silk.
While I was in the garden I spotted that one of my auriculas was in flower. I finally potted these up this year, after many years of neglect, and I’m enjoying how they are looking this spring:
While I was sorting out my stuff for the exhibition last month I realised I’d made progress on projects but not updated them here. So last week I took some pictures while the sun was shining.
Since then I’ve spun some more, and even done some plying.
So today I took more pictures (the sun was shining again).
First up, the colour experiment from the Tour de France. I’ve finished and plied three skeins with the different coloured singles, and I’ve spun (but not plied) the fourth skein (with matching singles).
Secondly, the Tour of British Fleece rainbow is getting close to completion. All the singles are finally spun and I’m half way through the plying.
Prepared locks, ready to be tail-spun.
Here’s the basket with lots of full bobbins.
Unbelievably, in my imagination, I had this full project fitting onto the single large bobbin of my Pipy Poly wheel. In reality I just managed to squeeze from violet up to the green tail-spun locks onto the bobbin last night. I think that the remaining singles will just fit onto one bobbin, making a rainbow split into two skeins (which I’m happy about).
Here’s the first full bobbin on my skein winder. Half a rainbow!
I’m looking forward to getting this finished. I think I may spin a small amount of a soft fibre (probably BFL) in a pale blue, and use this above and below the rainbow when knitting it up. I’m still thinking a capelet would be the best use for this.
And once this is finished? My fingers are itching to do some art yarn…
On Saturday Creating Space are having a show! I’ve been thinking about how to display my creations, and it’s not easy! Difficulties to overcome include hanging stuff on walls that are solid painted brick (I’ve decided I’m not going to), and showing a process for the things I make.
I’ve been shaking out shawls and examining skeins of handspun yarn. I’ve bought some thin ribbon that I’ll use for ties on my skeins (I’ll be rewinding them so they look neat) and I need some fabric for a table cover (I’m sure I have something suitable in my stash – at least I hope so!)
Harriette will be coming out this Saturday and will be modelling one of my shawls (probably the time travelling shawl). She’s really excited to be having an outing. However, I’m not sure she’s going to approve of travelling in the boot of my car (I’ve not told her yet).
I’ve also decided to get some photos printed, these I’ll put onto 12×12 inch cards and show them in an album with short descriptions. These photos will include flower pictures, processes and creations I no longer own. Here’s a collage of the pictures I’ve chosen.
I’ll be able to pick the photos up tomorrow (I hope). I had a minor problem when I looked through the photos I’d originally sent. I realised I’d not understood the format requirements and submitted photos of a poor quality. Fortunately I was able to phone the company in the morning and they were happy to cancel the order I’d placed online and accept a new order from me. If I’m happy with the photos when I get them tomorrow, they will probably have a customer for life! I’ll have a busy evening tomorrow collating the photos! I feel like I’m recreating my blog, but in real life!
I’m having a great time taking part in the Tour of British Fleece that is happening at the same time as the Tour of Britain. Prior to the tour I gathered my supplies and thought about what I wanted to spin for, how much I needed for that project, and whether I wanted to dye the wool or keep it natural. I decided on a little colour:
After 7 days of spinning (I missed yesterday, but caught up with a long spinning session today) I have 3 full or partially full bobbins. Here you can see the middle of the rainbow:
Tomorrow I’ll spin the Romney to complete the first set of singles for this project. Over the next few weeks I’ll spin at a more gentle pace and complete the second set of singles before plying and being able to reveal the results!
I’ve been diving through my stash in preparation for the Tour of British Fleece which starts on Sunday. I’ve think I’ve got all my fibre together (with the exception of some Teeswater locks that I’d like to use but are currently in the bottom box of a five deep stack of 64 litre boxes – with other craft supplies topping off the stack). I’m considering my spinning plan and contemplating dyeing the fibre prior to spinning it. I’m also wondering what I shall make from this yarn (at the moment a caplet is my top thought).
The picture shows the supplies I’ve gathered so far, some from my stash and some I’ve purchased specifically. I won’t be using all this (I have multiple bags for Suffolk, Jacob and BFL ) I just need to decide which I’m using and how much of each. There is also a bag of dyed Leicester Longwool locks, but I’m not going to use them (please pretend they are the missing Teeswater in a different colour).
My running order at the moment is:
||Blue Faced Leicester
||Teeswater with BFL
I won’t be able to spin all the fibre for a caplet in one week – but I have a plan (sort of)!