Posted in spinning, Sweater for JJ, Tour de Fleece by tchemgrrl on July 18, 2010

Weekend stuff:

1) I finished and passed along all the shop samples.

Wild Hare Fibers, non-breed specific wool top, Bonfire colorway:

bonfire yarns

The top yarn is the chunky singles, the middle yarn is the barberpoled 2-ply, and the bottom is a chain-plied yarn. Three ounces total.

Abstract Fibers, Targhee top, Gypsy colorway:

Gypsy yarns

Targhee top dyed by Abstract Fibers in the "Gypsy" colorway. Spun up as samples for my LYS.

The top yarn is the not-very-chunky singles. The middle yarn is the barberpoling two-ply. The bottom yarn is mostly a novelty coil yarn. Very goofy, but fun.

(At the very bottom of the picture is a stealth appearance by the Baby Swell’d Area, which is apparently big enough that I can take a picture of it without realizing until loading the picture onto Flickr.)

2) I did another yarn sample and swatch with this fiber, since I was using a different wheel and wanted to get comfortable using a faster whorl to spin a consistent yarn. I got a yarn that J and I really liked on pretty much the first try; a heavy sportweight 3-ply that’s light and smooth. I’ve just started spinning the singles but I haven’t gotten very far.

3) I finished plying and cabling the remainder of the cotton I’d spun up:

cotton pre-wash

And processed it in the way I’d seen recommended:

cooking cotton

Boiling for about a half hour in water with a little dish soap and baking soda thrown in to clean the fiber and maintain a slightly higher pH to develop the color. The green did indeed darken considerably; it’s now very obvious. (Pictures tomorrow when I get batteries for my camera.)

4) I finished plying the silk/sea silk after my plying ball adventures, and started working on the yak/merino blend I’d mentioned. That was indeed the most compelling thing in the stash for a spindle project. While looking for it, I did a good little organization of the fiber stash, and found the box considerably emptier than I’d remembered. It will be even more so once I work through that Blue Faced Leicester. Huzzah! Another tour goal achieved!

I had intended to get a little bit more done this weekend (working on the sweater yarn in particular), but for various reasons it just didn’t work out. No matter–I’m pleased with how much spinning I’ve gotten done over the last two weeks.

It seems like a good time to check in on my Tour goals to see if there’s any little things that need sorting out in the last couple of days.

-Get comfortable with the charkha again? Check.
-Spin up all the naturally colored cotton and cashmere? I’ll finish up the cotton in an evening this week, but I probably won’t get to the cashmere. On the other hand, I did a bit more with the cotton than I’d initially planned by plying most of the singles.
-A quick and good job with the shop samples? Big check. It took me a while to get the hang of spinning a chunkier yarn but the end results came out really well, plus I felt like I knocked them out quickly.
-A day where I go for spinning a mile of yarn? Argh. It just hasn’t panned out and it’s not going to by Wednesday–mostly the weather, mild pregnancy woes, and some Life Busyness have conspired against me. I’d still like to try it sometime soon, and I’ll probably do it with the sweater yarn. Perhaps next weekend.
-Less slacking more spinning? Pretty much, yeah. It’s good to see all these skeins of yarn building up.

All that, plus a fair amount of spindle spinning. Not too shabby.


2 Responses

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  1. Lynn said, on July 20, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Wow, you have been productive. I have done a little spinning of some roving that I bought at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool festival two years ago. It was an accomplishment to get on top of enough stuff to make time to spin at all. On the happy side, I will be bringing my floor loom here this weekend. 🙂 It is going into the house of the friend who is loaning me the van to haul it, but I have hope of weaving again in the foreseeable future.

    Please post pictures of the cotton after it dries. I am curious to see how the color changed.

    • tchemgrrl said, on July 28, 2010 at 2:25 pm

      Looom. Oooh. (I have been successful at constraining any weaving lust to my inkle loom so far, with the clear sense that someday I will weaken.)

      The cotton’s posted! It changed a *lot*. I’m curious now about what’s going on chemically, I’m terribly tempted to take some of the leftover fluff and mistreat it in the lab so that I can learn more.

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