Well, of course, after spinning, comes knitting! This is the start of my Akimbo by Stephen West of Westknits. I'm not quite sure I'll have enough yarn to finish it, so as well as making it smaller, I might have to attempt to dye some merino to match. I'll wait until I'm SURE I don't have enough, though.
I'm using the Falkland wool for the main part of the scarf, and I'll be patterning with some Dark Brown Haunui Halfbred from my stash. Akimbo has an amazing 'Spiderman' border.
I should explain that this year I'm destashing my unspun fibre into yarn - so it will be quite a lot of spinning (especially as I can't resist swaps, which always seem to result in upstashing)
As I'm still recovering from my recent surgery, I've spent quite a lot of time at the wheel over the last few days.
I had started spinning this Carousel/ Light grey halfbred before the TdF. I had 50gr on the bobbin, so this week I finished the second 50gr and plied both bobbins, then spun up another 50gr of long repeat dyed halfbred which I had left over from a coils experiment. Amazing that the same fibre can produce fine fingering yarn and bulky coils! My plans for this yarn are going to have to change, as I WAS going to make a shawl out of both yarns, but unfortunately spun the second yarn much finer so I doubt if that will work. Maybe a knit shawl with a crochet border might still work?
And the third yarn to be finished was the rest of the boucle from the TdF. I still had the silk to spin, and the remaining mohair to prepare into batts and spin.
Previously I'd just drum carded it, but got much better results by flicking first, so this is what I did with the second batch. I still have quite a few mohair locks left over to practise lockspinning with!
So, all in all, a satisfying week on the spinning front! However, not so satisfying as far as dyeing is concerned. I'm happy to say, though, that I'm back in the shed now, with no ill effects, so I think 'work as usual' will prevail from now on.
Thanks for following along with my blog over the Tour! I hope you'll be along for TdF 2014. We've had a great time in the Heavenly Wools group.
So, yesterday was Day 16 - and time to start a new lot of fibre. I dyed this Nightfall over Dark Grey specially for this week of TdF - and I'm loving spinning it on my new wheel, Ottoline. Why the fancy name? Well, Charlie Tyler, the maker, gave each of his wheels a woman's name - and as he made over 600, the names got pretty exoticover time. Ottoline is made of Japanese Oak and is exquisitely handcrafted in the Norwegian tradition.
Here's the first spin of this fibre on Ottoline; as you can see, she's a double drive - and this is my first double drive wheel - it's a strange kind of feeling. Built for production, the wheel treadles like a dream and is very quiet for an older wheel.
The other fibre is silk in hanky form. I still have half the merino/silk combo for the boucle yarn I made last week, and this is to finish that project.
Here's the first lot of the second spin - this is the third ply. I had to stop after a while as I kept changing spin direction - this ply is an 'S' and I kept losing concentration. Probably best not to tackle this one while watching T.V.
This wheel is my sweet little Easycraft A-line. Sometimes you'll see this wheel with a different flyer - my dear Ken made it for me so I could use my many Ashford bobbins on this wheel as well as on my Ashford 'workhorse'.
It may be a few days before you see me here again - today is a rest day in TdF, and tomorrow I'm off to have a small problem I've been suffering from fixed up - which may mean a few days of total rest. I'm hoping not, but it just might - so I'll catch up with you when I'm up and about again.
Slowly but surely - yesterday evening I finished what boucle I could - turns out that 1 bobbin of mohair only covers 1/2 bobbin of the silk/merino, so I'll be having to prepare some more batts and spin some more mohair singles later, but for now I'm concentrating on finishing enough silk singles to bind the 2-ply I've done so far.
The silk hankies are surprisingly quick to spin from the corner - I'm going to get Ken to video me doing that in the weekend, and I'll post it then. I have already been doing this with my spindles, but I'd never spun from hankies from the corner with my wheel before - I'd always started pulling them out from the centre and attenuated into roving. Spinning from the corner is so much easier and goes so quickly.
So: Z-spun core of merino/silk (so old I haven't any idea what the proportions were) with lots of twist, mohair singles spun from my own batts, also high twist, plied S with medium twist; binding thread of fine silk, medium S-twist, to be plied Z with the 2-ply. We shall see!
Kate is a semi-retired photographer and craft dyer who lives in Southland, New Zealand.