Friday, February 08, 2008

Its been a spinning winter here in Idaho

I have lived in the Boise area for about 22 years now and this winter is one for the records. We have had more snow that I can ever remember. Of course I grew up in southern Oregon were snow was a rarity. One year, as a matter of fact I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, it was 20 below for a week or so, but we still didn't have the snow like this year. Sense Oct 1 we have gotten about 30 inches our normal is about 14. So its been awesome spinning weather. There is nothing better then sitting in a warm home spinning and watching the snow fall. Needless to say I have been doing a lot of spinning.

**** Comercial Alert***********
This first skein of yarn is a great Romney batt that was processed by Pat Anderson, She sells a 1 ounce batt for just $3.00. I'm not sure what all she carries but I can tell you I have some Lincoln in waiting. I don't usually like to spin from a batt but I have to tell you that its the cleanest I have ever seen. There was no VM in it. This Skein is a three ply that I spun from three different batts I think I have close to 200 yarnds. If you would like to give a batt or two a try you can email Pat at I really like to support small home grown businesses. By the way she is in the San Diego area of CA where lots and lots of small farmers have lost so much this past year with fires and now heavy rains.

This skein of yarn is three colors of Gotland. If you have never felt this fiber then you are in for a real treat. I purchased this roving from ebay to just try it out. This was before the latest issue of Spin Off came out. (there is a really informative article about the Gotland sheep and its history). Because I had three differnt colors of grey,Gotland only comes in shades of grays, I decided to spin something a bit different. What I did was to divide each of the rovings in half and then spin the light, then the medium and finally the dark. I did this on two bobbins. I then plyed them together so that for the most part the dark stayed with the dark, the medium with the medium and the light with the light. I spun this in a light weight. My thought is to knit a scarf that starts our light and moves to the dark. I haven't looked for a pattern yet so I'm not sure if it will turn out or not.

Now this was I spun just because. With all the snow and the gloom of this winter I wanted to spin something cheery. I have no idea what the fiber content is. I do know that there is some wool, and glitter and maybe some mohair too. Its kind of hard to see but there is one strand of lavender with glitter and one strand of blue/green with glitter.

Two weekends ago I took a class on wool combing. I have never tried to use wool combs and I found them to be much easier then I thought they would be. As a matter of fact I am thinking of buying a set. One of the neat things about the class was I got to try out all kinds of different combs. So when I do decided to buy a set I have a better idea of what I want. Durning the class the teacher also showed us a couple of different ways to wash fleece.( which I will demonstrate in a later blog)So I had to give both methods a try. Instead of washing a hand full of fleece we washed them by the locks. Well when the class was over there was quite a bit of washed lock waiting for a good home. Which of course I had to make sure they got one. The fiber is Polworth ( love it) I wish I had some of the fleece before it was washed. It was really yellow from the lanolin. Polworth is known for its bright whiteness. The lenght of the fiber is around 3 1/2 to 4 inches. So when I got home I don't have any combs so what I did with each lock was to use one of my cotton cards and flick card it. I would nomally use a really good dog comb that I have but it was not were to be found, so the cotton card worked great. I wanted to spin this into a lace weight yarn so that I could knit a pair of lacey fingerless gloves. I plan to use a pattern out of the New Once skein Designer book. I need to have about 225 yards to for the gloves. Well I ended up with about 300 yards.

Lastly, Its angora month. As I have talked about one of my goals for the year is to spin a different fiber each month. I chose angora for the month of February. Yes I know this skein is really small, well spinning angora was a bit harder then I remembered it. I did finish it like Judith Mackenzie McCuin talks about in her book Teach yourself Visiually Hand Spinning. Its where you lightly felt the yarn to even it all out and set the twist. It did work out well but I do have to say my spinning does need to improve. So my question to you is... What is your best way to spin angora? I plan to do a bit of reading and rethinking the angora and giving it a try either later this winter or next fall when the temps cool down. I don't really want to spin angora when its really hot outside.

So you might be asking your self does she ever sleep? Or what is she going to do next? Yes I do sleep, and I am planning to spin some burgundy roving that I picked up last summer in Salt Lake to make a pair of Cookie A socks. I'm not sure wich pattern I will knit, I'm going to wait and see how many yards I spin up first. I would like to knit some knee highs so I will defently need more than the usual amount for socks.

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