19 July 2012

Tour de Fleece: Days 16 - 20

The past few days have been quite eventful for me as far as spinning goes! First, I started plying my rambouillet yarn. It looks great!

So far, it's come out to 580 yards of fingering weight 2 ply yarn. It's smooshy and soft and I'm very much looking forward to dyeing it. I'm going to save that mini skein, which is about 25 yards, and knit a square of my sock yarn blanket before and after adding dye. That's the plan, at least.

I have been spindling up a storm, as well! I have a few pictures here and there, but I haven't been posting them. Woops!

This is the 1 oz amount I spun up on the spindle and have now wound off and started the last ounce of the braid. Woo!

It's kind of awesome, because Dax helped and held the spindle while I wound the yarn off of it. It was very sweet and and helpful of him.

Anyway, it looks like my TdF progress is going very, very well and I'm interested in seeing how this targhee turns out once it's plied. It's not as uniform and even as my wheelspun yarn, but I really haven't had too much practice with the spindle. As it is, I'm just thrilled to be on the show. :)

15 July 2012

Tour de Fleece: Day 15


I have finished working with half the fiber for both of my major projects and wound everything up into balls to be used for plying once the other half is finished! Yay!

The targhee looks good. The two amounts I spun up on the spindle are not equal, but I'm hoping I'll be able to join them up during plying since yardage is not going to be the same between the two of them, anyway. I wish I had bothered to get a picture of the cop on the spindle before taking it off to wind, but I was so excited I didn't think of it.

The rambouillet is my pride and joy. During the winding process, I realized exactly how consistent it was and was pleasantly surprised. Yes, it has nepps and it's a bit bumpy, but the overall consistency is pretty even, so yay! Also it looks like it'll ply up into a lace weight yarn... considering this is 4 oz already, I am actually rather upset about this because this is only the first half of the fiber. I have 4 oz left. No one in their right mind needs 8 oz of laceweight yarn. Anyway, I may end up plying this on itself and leaving it at that. I'm also excited about the prospect of dyeing this because it's my first time really spinning an undyed white yarn.

The little bit at the top is what I worked on with the tahkli. It got full pretty fast, but I think I was just not winding the cop on evenly enough. I will continue to mess with it here and there and report the results, but it's not a priority right now.

14 July 2012

Tour de Fleece: Day 14

Today was a decent day for spinning for me. I spent some quality time with my wheel and some Battlestar Galactica. I think the yarn is turning out great so far and I'm looking forward to finishing up the first four ounces. That was the goal for today, but alas I was distracted by the humidity. I had more than one moment of desperately wanting to lay down spread eagle on the floor under the ceiling fan. It rained this evening and the humidity in the air is just awful and it makes everything feel sticky, so working with wool was not a terribly attractive idea. I did get quite a bit spun, though, so it wasn't a total loss.

13 July 2012

Tour de Fleece: Day 13

Wow, I can't believe it's been thirteen days already! I have gotten quite a bit of spinning done today, I think. My main task was to get my fiber all portioned out and really get a good look at how much I've done as the tour is now more than halfway over. I'm about where I expected to be, halfway or so. I'm hoping to hit the halfway mark in my fiber for both of my main projects tomorrow.

I spent the entire day with my two good friends and their daughter and I had the opportunity to spindle a teensy bit while we were at an indoor playground. It was a fun place and I'm looking forward to going again sometime.

Anyway, a picture!

I love the red of this fiber. Andrea at Natural Obsessions does such a great job! I also spun a bit on the wheel, but not enough to take a picture of, really. It doesn't look too terribly different. Anyway, I'm going to have some free time tomorrow so I'm looking forward to getting quite a bit done. It's the second bit of the tour, now, I have to get a move on and push toward my goals!

12 July 2012

Tour de Fleece: Days 10 & 12

Well, I bet the first question is about Day 11. Yesterday was a day of rest and I didn't spin a damn thing. It was well-deserved and it felt nice to just sit back and take a break and knit for a bit.

Day 10 was Monday. I had a really strangely busy day and didn't get around to spinning at all until about 6:30 while I was at game night. You see a recurring theme? Anyway, I had a lot of fun drop spindling and I'm getting pretty good at walking around while spinning, which is indeed necessary when you've been sitting debating rules and strategy for a bit and you just need to get up off your butt and move around.

Day 12 was today, Wednesday. I wasn't too horribly busy and, honestly, it was quite a rainy day and I wanted to do nothing more than sit and spin while watching random episodes of anime or Battlestar Galactica, which I did until about 5:30 and then went to dinner with a friend and then bought comic books and hung out a bit. Anyway, when I got home I was greeted by a package!

A few days ago, someone on ravelry messaged me after seeing a post I had made about wanting to try my hand with the tahkli. Turns out, she had an extra and asked me if I was interested in her sending it to me. I thanked her profusely and gave her my address and it shipped miraculously fast with some surprise unknown fiber inside, which I shamelessly began spinning before I even took a picture of the spindle. Since that's how I roll.

Anyway, a tahkli spindle is a very small spindle that can be spun sort of like a top and goes at really high speeds, so it's ideal for working with short staple fibers like cotton and, apparently, cat fur?

Anyway, this video shows some of the basics of using a tahkli and even making the puni, which is another way to prepare cotton fiber rather than just roving. It's a good video to just see the mechanics, at any rate.

Anyway, the generous, amazing, wonderful, amazeballs person of amazingness who sent me this beautiful gift has an etsy shop called Unwind Yarn Company and she has some gorgeous fiber and yarn and just... yeah. So, in return for her amazing act of kindness I am giving her a piece of my soul and a shameless shout out to my tee nincey audience that may or may not actually exist. Huzzah!

 Anyway, I made some great progress today and I am looking forward to filling up my bobbin on my spinning wheel, probably tomorrow! Hopefully this is a sign of things to come and I may actually finish all 8 oz of my rambouillet roving I have!

09 July 2012

Tour de Fleece: Day 9

I had a very busy day, today. Aside from work, which was good, I had a few errands to run. I went to the pet shop and bought food for the rats, cats, and my dad's parrot because he was out. Cat food and rat food are pretty reasonably priced, in my opinion, but when I got to the parrot food I was completely shocked. $22 for 4.5 lbs. Really? I was not aware that my dad's pretentious bird had a strict dietary requirement of unicorn farts and fairy eyelashes. Sheesh! I, of course, bought it and he is probably looking in my direction with murderous intent. Ingrate.

Anyway, after all of that excitement, I went and played Pathfinder at a friend's house and spun like the wind!

I wound a ball of singles and started spinning a new cop! Woo! It was fun and I really wasn't too distracted for game, to be honest. It was a lot of fun and I have game tomorrow, so I'm looking forward to bringing my spinning up to Denny's. Oh, joy.

08 July 2012

Tour de Fleece: Day 8

Well, today has been fun and eventful. I continued working on the targhee that I have been spindling. The last I measured, I have spun approximately 0.6 oz. Oh, joy! The current plan is to get about an ounce per time I fill up the spindle, then ply to make two little skeins of whatever it will be. It's going great!

When I got home from work, I found a package waiting for me and... woo! Fiber! I got some gorgeous pima cotton from NO and, basically, raced over to my friend's house to use her charkha to spin a little of it and see how it went. The charkha experience was interesting, to say the very least. Once we figured out how to get the thing set up properly, everything went all right. I did start to pick it up, but honestly I'd prefer to use a support spindle like a takli rather than the charkha, I think, because the charkha just involves some really funny ways of moving. We will see. I'm hoping to have some time during TdF to play with the takli a little, so hopefully more on that later.

Please excuse the blurriness of that picture! 

... and my end product looked somewhat like a joint. Ha! It was a fun little experiment, though, and I think the charkha is something I could get used to, but I'm looking forward to trying various methods to see what I like best for spinning cotton roving.

07 July 2012

Tour de Fleece Days 6 & 7

Well, I have some progress from the past two days! I didn't work too much with the rambouillet I've been working on yesterday, but today I decided to take a break and spin some of the Natural Obsessions fiber I have. So, I went up to Yarnivore and bought a new drop spindle. The particular one I bought was a Schacht Hi-Low. I like it because I really don't like top whorl spindles and it's hard to find bottom whorl sometimes. Anyway, I like it. It's a good spindle.

I spun up some sample fiber I bought at the shop and... it turned out okay, I guess.

I'm really surprised it turned out so well since I really haven't been spindling recently. Anyway,  I ran home and grabbed my targhee fiber from NO and brought it back. I'm pretty pleased with the result!

I can see the benefit of spindling. It's much simpler to transport and I really find it to be very soothing. It's not that I don't love my wheel and that's not relaxing, but spindling is just different. Anyway, I think I've managed to actually overspin a bit so I'm looking forward to plying this single to see how it turns out!

05 July 2012

Tour de Fleece Day 5

Well, due to my plans for Independence Day today, I did not get much time to spin. I also spent quite a bit of time napping between work and my plans, so there goes an hour and a half or so down the drain. Lovely. I spun a bit after I got home, though, and there is progress. I'm feeling reasonably encouraged that I can finish up this bobbin tomorrow and start on the second half of this fiber.

It's not a huge improvement, but there is more there. I am having a lot of trouble with nepps in this fiber, but I have chosen to leave them in because spending the time to remove them would take forever and the sheer amount would probably be more than I'm interested in. I'm also a bit afraid this is more overspun than I usually do, but if I recall correctly it seems I worry about that every time and my yarn always comes out pretty balanced with minimal wash and thwack necessary. We will see.

I'm considering doing a 3-ply with this just to get some good practice with Navajo ply, but I haven't quite decided. The funny thing is I just came off spinning ridiculously fine and this is a much thicker single. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a 2-ply sportweight. I'll have to check the NPI when I am finished spinning. It isn't horribly even, but that's mostly due to nepps. Blah. I still like Rambouillet, though. It drafts like butter.

04 July 2012

Tour de Fleece - Days 3 and 4

Well, I have been spinning like a madwoman of late! I have pictures of my progress from yesterday, July 2nd:

It's not too terribly much, as I did not have too terribly much time to spin with everything going on. Today, I had a lot more time. I spent quite some time spinning at our weekly knitting meetup at Panera. The managers are really nice and there's a back corner that's perfect for setting up the wheel and getting to work. I also went ahead and turned up the tension on the wheel, which has helped so, so much. I am now spinning much faster and I'm pleased with the drastic amount of progress, as a result.

It's really not too bad, considering I spent much of the night indulging in some excellent wine!

I... drank the entire bottle. Well, I'm actually in progress with the last glass. Anyway, it's good wine and it's the last I'll be having for quite a while as I was prescribed a medication this morning that does not do well with alcohol, so boo!

I'm looking forward to finishing up that bobbin hopefully tomorrow, though there will be some crazy festivities with the 4th of July. Perhaps there will be action shots involving BBQ!

02 July 2012

D-Man Birthday Socks Completed!

Well, I finished the socks for Dax's ninth birthday. As I have said before, his birthday is in September, but with the Ravellenics coming up and Tour de Fleece right now and the smattering of baby stuff that's about to happen, I wanted to get a head start.

They are seriously fraternal twins and I'm really glad I had an awesome model for them!

Anyway, I'm glad the heat here is so bad that he didn't want to keep them on. It makes it a lot easier to sneak them into the present bag in my closet to wrap up in two months for his birthday. Here's to hoping his feet don't grow to enormous sizes before then!

(Also, good news, BSGFPB extended the deadline so this project actually qualified for points! Yay!)

01 July 2012

Tour de Fleece Day 2

I have sadly not had too terribly much time to spin, today. I had work and came straight home to spin for a bit before having to go in for another shift. Oh, joy. I only got about an hour and change to spin at all, but that proved to be about enough to get something done.

This fiber has a ridiculous amount of nepps in it. I don't exactly dislike it enough to sit around trying to remove them as I go, but I've noticed that I'm not spinning as fine as I have been recently. It's still not too awful and I like it, so there is that. :)

Also! Surprise, my cousin came by. He's in town visiting with his son. He's a Marine so I don't see him except maybe once a year or so, so it was nice that he popped by today. Yay!

Spinner Study June 2012: Rambouillet -- Tour de Fleece Day 1

One of the beasts for the Spinner Study this month was Rambouillet. I know I'm kind of sneaking in under the line, but I wanted to work on this fiber first and foremost because it's something I am very excited to be working with. I purchased 8 oz of roving from Frisky Lam Farms. It is absolutely gorgeous and just drafts like butter. I've already gotten the spinning sort of down, though I haven't spun a whole bunch today. Sorry, I had to go get my car battery replaced. The heat really zapped the old one and it died! Anyway, I didn't spin oodles and gobs but I think it looks great so far!

Well, today was the beginning of the Tour de Fleece. So, this is my Day 1. I ended it pretty late and am actually going to head to bed here, soon. I doubt I will have more than 15 minutes to spin tomorrow, too, but I will keep you updated.