Handspun FO

Few months ago at Torrance Fiber Festival, I purchased this beautiful targheetop from Abstract Fiber, in “Tulip” colorway. It actually reminds me of a parrot than tulips!

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The colors were so bright and beautiful, but they were such primary colors that it kind of scared me. The last thing I wanted was a self-striping yarn. So, I decided to make this into a 4-ply yarn, while making sure I blend the colors as much as possible. First 2 bobbins were straight from the top, I just divided it into thin strips and drafted a little bit before spinning in 14:1 ratio.

For the other 2 bobbins, I carded the different colors.

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They looked so pretty in the box, and I really really enjoyed spinning it this way. I’m really going to try to pick more crazy color tops from now on. It’s really fun watching all the different colors getting wound onto the bobbins.

The end product is this:

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With 4-ply, the colors were blended in really well, creating yarn with more consistent colors. It’s sportweight, perfect for an accessory item. I can’t wait for it to become something.

Tour de Fleece 2013 – Dyeing more roving

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I have a 2-wk trial and lots of deadlines coming up and sometimes don’t have enough energy to spin at the end of the day. Like last weekend. I had a long (more like a full-day) meeting on Saturday so on Sunday, I spent few hours dyeing some rovings.

 

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I just wanted some soft colors that I could spin and ply together. I only dye with 4 dye colors. I mix and match and control the absorption

 

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Soft Cotton Candy? hehe Milkshake Colorway

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Both are really yummy colors right? I’m so happy how the colors turned out. There’s that piece of me that gets so satisfied when I pet the colors that totally get me.

 

Day 9 check in

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As today (7/8) is a rest day, I thought I’d do a quick report in the progress.

The red Louet corriedale is finished, plied, washed, then caked ready-to-use. I n-plied it on the same wheel that it was spun on, Ashford Traditional. Very smooth! The left skein is what I did during the first wk of Tour de Fleece. The left is what I spun on Kiwi and then n-plied around December or January this year so it’s kind of interesting to see my improved spinning and plying skills. :)

My merino is still doing well, still on the 3rd bobbin. After this I’m going to start plying.

For the YarnChefSpin Merino/Bamboo blend that I finished plying in the beginning of the TdF (to free up the bobbins) is now being knitted up in a shawl! I also spun this last year-ish so I’m seeing more thick and thin spots, especially since this is a 2-ply.

I dyed up some rovings a couple of days ago and played with some label designs yesterday.  I just did it to see if I can give to friends as gifts but it gave me enough confidence to consider selling them. Hmmm.

Well it is a rest day but I don’t think ill rest haha. Just keep this momentum going!

Tour de Fleece Week 1 recap

 

 

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Handdyed some 80% merino 20% tussah silk rovings yesterday and played with label ideas this morning. I’m planning to dye some (and spin some of them) for friends.

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So how’s everyone doing with their Tour de Fleece? I’m really making a huge progress. I finished my Louet Corriedale, all on the borrowed Traddy (aka Ashford Traditional) and then on my 3rd bobbin of Ashland Bay Gray merino.

I realized I didn’t post pictures of the borrowed Traddy. So here they are.

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It was kind of rusty from non-use, but I got rid of the rust (so they don’t get on my yarn!) and oiled, oiled, and oiled. Do you see the OLD Ashford logo? And the conrod is LEATHER. This thing is so pretty. And unlike my initial judgment, this is SINGLE drive, making it really easy for me to get used to since my Kiwi is a single-drive wheel too.

I’m hoping to do some plying next week!

 

Back from TNNA

I think I can still say that I’m “back from” TNNA although it was just 30 minutes away from my home in Irvine.

Nevertheless, I’m back from TNNA and I had so much fun, I don’t even know where to begin.

I was only at the show on Saturday and Sunday, and just few hours at a time. The fact that I brought my camera AND my smartphone and still didn’t get any pictures of TNNA just shows how overwhelmed and excited I was the entire time.

I met with Anne (aka CraftyDiversions) outside and she showed me around briefly. I hung out with her and her friends, met Pam (aka PamPowers).. And then started walking around the floor.. Met and spoke with Erika Knight, saw Norah Gaughan, met with local AND domestic/international dyers and yarn manufacturers, retailers.. My brain was about to explode with excitement when I saw gorgeous silk rovings and yarn at Vijay Fibers’ booth. I was super excited about meeting and dining with Bonne Marie Burns from Chic Knits.  I made her Basic Pulli before and my version is actually shown on her pattern page!

On Sunday, I finally met Felicia Lo from SweetGeorgia–I took her Craftsy.com class and fell in love with spinning. She didn’t have any rovings at the booth but I did see her new colors…

Another bonus was that spinning wheel companies were there too–Louet, Ashford, and Schacht. And I’m so glad I got to see the wheels in person because I’ve been getting enticed with this idea that I wanted a smaller wheel for traveling so I was considering Louet Victoria and Ashford Joy and Schacht Sidekick. They looked SUPER tiny! Especially Victoria. Now that I have a better idea of what they look like in person, I might wait a bit more and actually try some of the wheels before making the decision. Perhaps I should call up that spinning/weaving shop and see if I could rent these for a month or so.  In the meantime, I started a savings account towards a Matchless. =P

Now that I’m back to work and to the normal routine again, I am super inspired. I might need to put out another call for test/sample knitters soon…

 

Belated SPAKAL (knitmoregirls) challenge

SPAKAL, stands for Spin & Knit-a-long.

So with my newfound obsession with spinning on my Ashford Kiwi, I decided that it’s time to do a small challenge for myself. In the beginning of this year, knitmoregirls, my favorite podcasters, did a SPAKAL challenge. Basically they invited the listeners to spin enough fiber for a sweater and knit one. It’s been a while since their announcement, so I’m assuming that the “deadline” is over, although the knitmoregirls challenges are rarely strict with the dates…  Well, it’s still December and I might be able to knit something by the end of this month. Since this will be my first spinning challenge, I’ll maybe do socks.

Brown Sheep Mill Ends

Brown Sheep Mill Ends

 

I’m thinking about using this Brown Sheep Mill Ends I got from my LYS. Can you believe, now this LYS is the only place I can get spinning fiber from in Orange County? Sad, very sad. Another LYS that had spinning fiber is going out of business. I’m lucky this LYS is only 15 minute drive away.

I think this will make an excellent pair of socks. Very classic colors–a blend of black, brown, and white.

Or, I could do this purple/dark blue superwash merino top I got from Purlescence Yarns during my holiday stay in nor cal.

I’m excited! I’ll do a 3-ply fingering weight. Now, I probably want to knit something from my Ravelry queue

 

So I spun my pink yarn

Few months ago, I got my first spinning wheel, Ashford Kiwi.

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I bought it “unfinished” so when I got it, I stained it with dark wood color and then spray painted the wheel black. :)

And here’s a merino/silk blend roving I bought 3 years ago, thinking I’d try my hands at drop spindling. It failed horribly and I have some pigtail looking pink yarn in my stash somewhere. I used up about an oz of it and didn’t touch it since.

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Finally, it’s spun, skeined, washed, and voila!

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My first 100gram

I think I’m going to knit a shawlette with it. It’s still quite uneven, but I want to use it as single ply so something with simple garter or stockinette stitch body with lace edging…. :)