Tag Archives: spinning

Playing with plying

I finally finished spinning my pink (colorway Rose City) Shimmer merino/silk that I got from KnittedWit last summer at Sock Summit.

roving

I spun most of it last year, and then set the spindle aside. Last week I got a bee in my bonnet to finish the spinning, and then I knew I had to ply it because it was so thin. I keep accidentally making laceweight. I had two center pull balls off my Turkish spindle, so I used my Kundert top whorl spindle to ply them together. The 2 ply is the bigger skein on the left.

skeins

The singles had been sitting around a long time, so they weren’t very energized any more. This 2 ply is fairly loosely plied, but it didn’t seem to want to be more twisted than this. I like how the color changes cross each other, at least in the skein. This barber poled/marled look is sweet. The yarn is still pretty thin, though.

2ply close

The two center pull balls weren’t close to each other in length; there was a lot left in the second ball after the first was gone. I decided to try Navajo chain plying with the remaining single. It’s basically making long crochet chain with the single, and putting twist in it to hold it together. Jenna showed me how last weekend at OFFF, so why not?

navajo

I love it! The three strands in the chain plying make this a more rounded, fatter yarn. And because chain plying is so linear, the color changes keep to themselves; there’s no barber poling. I’m sure there’s a lot more finesse to this technique; I’m still playing with it and learning how it works. I think I could make the chain loops a lot bigger as I do this, but haven’t figured it out yet. But I will.

Spring fever…

This week I finished a couple projects, including the straps for the felted slip stitch tote. I felted it last night. It’s drying, so I’ll take pictures tomorrow. This project took more yarn in the heavier Brown Sheep Lanaloft than the original KnitPicks Wool of the Andes; I’ll edit the pattern notes to make reflect that.

knit

I had a fun day at Pico Accuardi Dyeworks. I taught an entrelac class in the morning. We even purled back without turning our work! This saves so much time when you’re working stockinette over a small number of stitches.

spin

I also took a drop spindle class with Deb Accuardi. We worked with wool roving and with top, and mixed in some other fiber, too. My goal was to spin a more consistent single, and I did. And then we plyed some of it, too.

dye

dye 2

Stevanie Pico taught dyeing. All in all, a fun day.

The days are getting longer and lighter, and the air is getting warmer. Weeds are springing up like crazy in the garden. The boys helped me weed the front flowerbeds, and we’re in the process of taking out all the Japanese anemone. It was only slightly invasive when we had a big birch tree to shade it, but when we had to remove the tree, the anemone got too happy in the full sun and took over the garden. Buh-bye.

With spring, I’m also feeling the urge to jettison my unfinished Heather Hoodie (bulky yarn) and cast on something breezy and new! But I’m afraid if I set it aside, I’ll never go back to it. Yikes. I think it’s all a result of spring break.

I headed up to Seattle last weekend to play guitar with a piano friend. Yes, that sounds nonsensical, but it’s true. We met in 2000 at September Sonata, a piano camp in Bennington VT. We were roomies then, and have been friends ever since. In fact, there’s a whole group of us west coast “Piano Babes” that get together at least annually. Some of us aren’t playing the piano a whole lot right now (moi, for one), but we still have a lot in common.

tak girls

Last fall, I bought a new guitar, and Sheryl did, too. They’re both Takamines with the same body style (NEX); mine is cedar and mahogany with a satin finish, and hers is spruce and maple, with a gloss finish. We’ve been trying to get together to compare them, and finally did. Hers sounds warmer/mellower from the back (playing) and more forward/pushy/rock from the front, and mine is mellower from the listener’s point of view, and brighter from the player’s perspective. I happily played them both!

all 4 2

Some of the other piano babes came over on Saturday; we played/sang Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. We also web-surfed to check out kd lang’s version (she opened the Olympics with it), Jeff Buckley’s (hailed by some as the best) version, Bon Jovi’s acoustic version (my favorite), and of course, Leonard Cohen’s version (Live in London). C played this last year in Carmel, so it seemed like good common ground.

tak 2

We had a great time! Thanks to Sheryl for hosting. There was more spring break activity, but I’ll leave that for another post.

What is spring inspiring you to do?

Last of the last of the last minute!

Lorajean thinks she’s last of the last minute, but I’m posting after her…

I’m teaching at a fiber fun day at Pico Accuardi Dyeworks here in Portland tomorrow. There will be classes in spinning, plying, dyeing, and knitting, as well as some shopping opportunities (Lantern Moon, Knitted Wit, Pico Accuardi, of course!).

I’m teaching entrelac in the round, specifically Athena.

athena 4

And hoping to take a drop spindle class with Deb.

Deets on the day are here.

OFFF stash enhancement

So what did I get at OFFF?

A few very carefully chosen goodies!

stash

My main goal for this festival was to buy another spindle. I love my Turkish Delight, but I wanted one more spindle so I can experiment with one while the other has an ongoing spinning project. I thought I’d try a top-whorl spindle. I found out that there are a lot of spindles out there, with a wide range of prices. I bought this cherry and red cedar Kundert spindle and the book, Productive Spindling, at the Carolina Homespun booth.

kundert

Here’s the underside. The fiber is a sample from Abstract Fiber; it was in the goodie bag from WWSiPDay. (Thanks to Susan for donating, and Tami for organizing!)

kundert2

It spins for a long time, and I’ve learned to roll it off my leg so it really gets going fast. Just another hint from the Productive Spindling book by Amelia Garripoli. I have a lot to learn!

I also bought four one ounce fiber knots from Knitted Wit. I love the colors, and I could see using handspun from these for colorwork, interspersed on a background of commercial black or white yarn. At $3 a knot, it’s a completely non-threatening experiment fiber (merino, yummy).

My last purchase was a small maple niddy-noddy from Ol Lar’s Drop Spindles. Isn’t it pretty? I almost bought a bubinga top-whorl spindle from them, but it was gone when I went back. That’s probably a good thing, because I was just going to impulse buy it because it was so beautiful! I had already bought the Kundert the day before.

niddy

It comes apart and turns into this.

noddy

Pretty restrained, huh? Now to go spin all that fluff! And Lorajean gave me a braid of merino/silk in her Rose City colorway to thank me for helping her set up. It’s gorgeous. Thanks, LJ!

rosecity

Turkish Delight goes viral

You may remember that I fell for Leila’s Turkish delight spindle back at Sock Summit. Leila’s quite the enabler. She was trying to get me to try out her spinning wheel at OFFF, but I’m not falling for that. Yet.

Last week at the WWSiPD event, Rachel fell for my Turkish spindle. She bought one at OFFF.

rachel

I think Rachel is stalking me. First, the February Lady Sweater. Then the Turkish Delight. Next, she says she’ll be making some Leyburn socks…

Anyway, when Tammy saw my spindle last week and Rachel’s spindle this week, she had to have one, too.

tammy

Leila enabled another spinner, my friend S (seen here). Who then enabled L. (Names are hidden to protect the innocent.)

leila

And so it goes. Pretty soon, you get this:

viral

All Turkish. Except Duffy. We let her spin with us, anyway, because she’s nice. She and I broke out into song: One of these things is not like the other. Shades of Sesame Street!

By the way, my new Maya Floral bag from Lantern Moon is perfect for holding a little bit of roving and my Turkish Delight. I love it!

maya floral

Worldwide Spin in Public Day

or WWSiPD, for short.

Saturday, September 19. Tami organized the Hillsboro spin-in at the Hillsboro Farmers’ Market, and it was great. Lots of spinners, under the canopies on a slightly drippy morning. There were even goodie bags! Here’s the loot:

goodies

I forgot my camera, so these are from the camera phone. Sorry.

tami melissa 2

That’s Tami on the left. She’s such an enabler. She got me started with my little Turkish drop spindle last month. Melissa is next to her.

rachel sarah

Rachel is wearing her February Lady Sweater, and winding on a niddy-noddy. (I just say these words. I’m not sure what everything is, being the new girl and all.) There were lots of wheels out, but there were also spindles.

spinners

Dana is on the right with a Turkish drop spindle. I asked her how she controls the fiber while it’s waiting to be spun. So far I’ve been throwing it over my shoulder and letting it drag on the floor, so I needed a better way to control my fiber in public. She showed me a little i-cord distaff that she made with some handspun, and then she gave me one! This will keep my fiber off the floor. Thanks, Dana! Seated are ? (didn’t catch her name, although we did have a conversation) with a top whorl spindle, Melinda, and Jessica.

cd spindle

This is a CD spindle; that works, too. I tried a top-whorl spindle that looks like the bottom whorl spindle at right. It was harder for me to get the spin going smoothly; I’m used to twirling the Turkish Delight from the top like, well, a top! But it does work. That’s Bobbie behind the spindle; she’s also an enabler, and she knows it. She was teaching kids to spin. In public!

jessica

This is Jessica with a larger Turkish spindle. She has her fiber coiled around her wrist. That works, too.

Do you spin? Did you spin in public today? Where? Enquirin’ minds wanna know!

Dizzy, my head is spinning

Are you old enough to remember this song? Apparently I am! But it was an oldie when it first came across my radar. Honest.

Here’s my first yarn! The fiber is Shimmer, 80% merino, 20% tussah silk, from Knitted Wit. The colorway is Hydrangea.

plied

I did the shoebox lazy kate, but my center pull ball didn’t want to pull smoothly from the center. It kept tangling around the knitting needle because the outside yarn was wrapping around the needle in the opposite direction. I ended up putting the knitting needle up through the box and using it like a flagpole so it could unwind over the end of the needle. Whatever.

flagpole

Plying seemed to be pretty straightforward, and the resulting yarn isn’t wackily twisty at all. I don’t know if it’s true, but it seemed like the twist of the single was untwisting itself into the twist of the plying. Is that what makes the whole thing balance? I just let them twist together, and if it didn’t go twisting back on itself in one direction or the other when I took the weight of the spindle off it, I considered it to be ready to wind off before plying the next bit.

close

I haven’t washed it or thwacked (!) it yet, but I will soon. I have some blocking to do for a friend, so I’ll use a packet of soak for all of it.

plied skein

And apparently I’m a spinning fool. Because look what I’m doing now. Dizzy…

rose city

This is more Shimmer from Knitted Wit. The color is Rose City, and I love it!

rose city 2

Down the slippery slope…

I’m having a hard time getting started on a post-Sock Summit project. I have several ideas in my head, but haven’t found the right combination of yarn and idea. The Jojoland Melody turned out to be not the right yarn for what I’m planning, so I went back to Twisted and came home with this.

Noro

Noro Kureyon Sock. Still not soft, but such gorgeous colors. I like purples. I like gray. I like black.

Noro2

And I love purple with green! Noro skeins are always a surprise inside. I like this combo a lot. And while it seems like I’m sliding down the slippery slope for a self-avowed non-stasher, it’s not quite as bad as it seems. I exchanged the Jojoland Melody for the Noro.

On the other hand, I also said that I didn’t want to learn to spin, but then I bought a Turkish Delight drop spindle from Jenkins Woodworking at Sock Summit. Today I met up with the local spinners’ group, Portland Spinnerati. They meet monthly at the Central Library. Tami and Leila got me started on some beautiful merino and silk roving that I got from Knitted Wit.

first spin

I spun some yarn! And liked it. After I spin some more, I’ll have to learn how to ply…a slippery slope indeed. Oh, later today I brushed the cat. I found myself drafting out the hair from her brush, wondering if it could be spun. Help.