More spinning

Taxes! I can’t think of a better way of waste my time! Due to some travel and sickness at the beginning of the year we were unable to get it all together on time. But finally it is done! And the first thing I wanted to do is to get back to my spinning wheel. I’m almost done spinning all the camel/silk/merino blend.

Camel

It seems that I have more control over the twist with my Mach 1, and I’m still trying to figure out the Suzie Pro. I’m thinking about switching the whorl of the Suzie with the Alpaca whorl. Maybe that would solve the problem that I have of over twisting my yarn.

Camel

Overall I’m very happy with the thickness, about 7-8 WPI and  very please with the choice my colors. I’m very eager to start the project that I have in mind. It would be my first big project with my own hand spun yarn!

Camel

Pre drafting the roving was a bit helpful on putting those untamed loose fibers in place. The slightest breeze would make them fly!  It made a big difference with the quality of the spinning since I  could concentrate better on the spinning without having to draft while I was spinning which makes me have an uneven yarn.

Bamboo

And talking about slippery fibers, bamboo wins on this category. After I spun it I was a bit worry by the stiffness of the finished yarn, but after giving it a warm soak and set the twist, that stiffness  went away and instead, it magically got transformed into a silky, soft, and yummy yarn. I love that sort of magic that happens between the time when I have the roving ready to be spun and the final soak.

Blue Face Leicester

The Blue Face Leicester was such a treat! No frills. It is such a wonderful soft fiber and fun to spin with. I’m looking forward to spinning more with it!

Walk tall as the trees; live strong as the mountains; be gentle as the spring winds; keep the warmth of summer in your heart, and the Great Spirit will always be with you.
Anonymous Native American

Small projects and a new camera

I’ve been playing with a new camera that Keith got to photograph birds. At first it was a little overwhelming to get used to the new features. But it is actually easier to operate than my old clunky camera. I’ve been having very good results with the white balance and the colors of my fibers are more real. I love how bright and colorful the pictures are. At one point I will have to give it back to Keith and get my own. I better start saving my pennies before he ask me for his camera back…

Fruit

Merino

I started a new hat with some of my  hand spun merino and the llama that my friend Greg gave me a while ago. It took me a while to figure how to make the hat using a sample that I previously knitted flat, but once I did,  it went very easy and fast.  It didn’t take a long time to realize that this yarn wasn’t very appropriate for what I had in mind. The yarn is pretty, but there is too much going on with the colors and texture. A more smooth yarn would have been perfect for this preject. Bonbon hat

A few months ago, some of my friends and I visited an old little lady with a few Angora goats and sheep. We got lots of fleeces. I mean, LOTS. I’ve been dyeing  it, spinning it and having a heck of a good time with it, but when it comes to fibers I’m a polygamist,  I can’t stay with the same fiber for a long time. I always want to try new stuff.

Mohair-corridale

Camel-silk

This is a blend of camel and silk, and I bought it because I love the natural color of the camel fiber, but then I couldn’t resist the need of dyeing it before spinning it. I’m very glad I did it. The colors are deep and dramatic. This fiber when it drafts, it literally disappears or I better say it melts like butter between my hands! My Mach 1 did an excellent job with it. I tend to over spun my yarn, but this wheel did the right job for me.

Alpaca

This is an over dyed alpaca roving. I also spun this in my Mach one. I have about 300 yards of pure future knitting pleasure. I’m thinking about combining it with the camel and silk. We’ll see.

When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.

Rumi Quote

What’s on my wheel?

A few months ago, I wanted to spin  some Yak fiber and I purchased a pound from Peace of Yarn. I don’t know why I assumed  that it would come in a form of roving (Yes, don’t make assumptions, especially with exotic fibers). And to my surprised, the Yak has a really short staple. About a inch to be more exact!

Yak fiber

short staple

And there was not roving. I thought  to myself “There is a mistake here!” I ordered “ready to spin Yak” !!!! Well, it actually comes in soft clouds of fiber. Disappointed, I left the plastic bag in the corner for months, avoiding to even look at it. But it was there, waiting patiently for me. And from time to time I would look at the bag and then look rapidly at something else. Pretending  that it didn’t exist.

Yak fiber

I finally decided to give it a shot. Surprise, surprise! It is actually very easy to spin! I set up my spinning wheel at a high ratio, which I have never done before, and start spinning a fine single. I’m quite satisfied with it, the only thing is that is going to take a long time before I can spin the whole thing! I haven’t even made a dent to the damn bag!

Yak yarnMaybe I will try the Navajo ply with it, since is thin enough…

I’m also spinning some camel mixed with silk on my Mach 1. This fiber spins like butter! I find that it is easier to pre draft the roving, because is sooo slippery, I feel that this way I can have a bit more of control over the thickness and uniformity of the yarn.

Camel/silk

I will leave this as a single, and knit a circular shrug like this one.

Fall 2005 issue of Vogue Knitting

Fall 2005 issue of Vogue Knitting

I also got a bag of  llama from my friend Greg. It was such a generous gift from him. I don’t know how he could part with it! Lucky me!

llama

I’m having a great time spinning it. And I enjoy every single step of the process. I make small rollags with my hand carders before spinning it.

Hand carded llama

Llama rolags

I think I will ply it. I’m picturing a double ply yarn and maybe a warm fuzzy hat! I just love the color!

Llama fiber

I will leave you with a picture of a Yak in Nepal that I founded in Wikipedia

A yak in Nepal

A yak in Nepal

If you want more info about this fiber, click at the picture to go to Wikipedia.