Spinning at the Farm

  What a pleasure it was to meet my friends to do nothing but spin and talk about fibers for the whole day. We met at Windrush Farm on Wednesday morning and set our spinning wheels near the swimming pool. It was a great way to enjoy one of the lasts day of summer. The day was warm and beautiful, so we made sure that we had plenty of drinks near by.

This looked very promising…

Mimi has yarn hanging just about anywhere you look… Not that is unfamiliar to me.

Yes… Spinners also have to eat like the rest of the world…

My friend Mimi…

Oh, yes… we got to spin some yarn…

And feed the animals…

This fellow seemed a bit mischievous to me.

Getting ready for dinner.

I was able to spin a couple skeins of Suri Alpaca.

And got to see how Mimi and Charmaine prepare an Indigo vat.

Looking forward to our next meeting…

Fall is here…

And the rainy season is just starting. It is time to start thinking about what to plant for the year to come. A couple of years ago, while visiting Guatemala, I noticed that the weavers use a plant to dye cotton called Pericon (Tagetes lucida) that yields a yellow color.  I was able to find the seeds at Seed Savers Exchange. I learned that here,  in the US, the herb is called Sweet Mace, Mexican Tarragon or Texas Tarragon. After doing some research online I found out that it is a medicinal plant too, great for treating stomach aches. The funny thing is that my interest in knowing more about this plant started actually with my need to mitigate a stomach ache I had a couple of weeks ago.  I recalled getting a tea blend (for digestion) from a Tz’utujil women’s cooperative in San Juan La Laguna, located near the Lake Atitlan. I want to mention that this town was one of the cleanest places I’ve seen in Guatemala.

And so, I decided to give the tea a try, with happy results. Fortunately, the tea came with a label with all the ingredients written on it. Peppermint, Sweet Mace, Lemon Verbena and Lemon Grass. I will be able to recreate my own blend from now on, (because it tastes yummy too) since the ingredients are easily accessible. And as soon as I get the plants going, I’ll use it for dyeing wool too.

And talking about plants, earlier this year I planted some indigo, but they did very poorly. I’m guessing that the reason was the lack of warm weather in my area. I have decided to let them seed this year and see what happens next year. I’m enjoying watching the finches eat the seeds, and hoping that they will leave some for my next crop. I can’t wait to start experimenting with my indigo plants. I didn’t suspect that it was going to take a couple of years to do it.

Meanwhile, I’ve been busy spinning, and washing my fleeces that I got at the Dixon Wool Fair a month ago. I got two beautiful Romney fleeces from Wyammy Ranch located near Occidental. I also got an alpaca fleece from Valhalla Farms that I can’t wait to wash.

 

I think I will have plenty to do this winter;  fiber-wise. And now, some pictures of my latest handspun:

This batt is very special, because I got it from Lorah, that visited during the Fiber Fest at Windrush Farm. It was very generous of her to give me a couple of them. It was very pleasant to spin it. I wish I had better pictures of the batt, because it has gorgeous gold sparkles. I enjoyed talking to her about Peru, and the wonderful weaving and spinning tradition that this country has. She is one of the lucky people who has gone to the Gathering of Weavers organized by Nilda Callanaupa Alvarez, author of Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands.

 

I also ha a lot of fun spinning this hand pulled roving…

And for some reason, it reminds me of a bird’s nest…

And today’s project…

Super Yummy Soft Merino that I dyed in blues and pinks… And now, back to my spinning wheel…

Hand spun yarn

I haven’t post for a while, Is not that I don’t have anything to share, is just that I’ve been busy getting things ready for our collective. I even started a blog for it. I just hope I will be able to find time to update both of them. But I still managed to spin some yarn from my own hand dyed roving. Bamboo merino yarn

Bamboo merino handspun yarnMerino bamboo handspun yarnI spun this yarn thick and tin.  I really enjoy spinning it, and I’m crazy about how soft it is. I’m debating between keeping it or putting in the store for sale. MMMMMHH!

Wendsleydale wool

This is Wensleydale wool, and it was really interesting to spin with it. I’m looking forward to spinning more with it. I really like how this wool takes up on the dye.

Merino bamboo

merino bamboo wool

I was not sure to leave this yarn as a single, but I decided to ply it with some silk thread that I had previously dyed with eucalyptus leaves. I think I’m in love with it. Really soft…

Alpaca, silk, merino yarn

And this yarn is a blend of Alpaca, silk and superfine merino. I have some of this roving on my Etsy store. The colorway is called Coquette.

Yarn for a cause

I got two of my roving spun into beautiful yarn by LIttleCreekYarn. This is so exciting because now I can see what other spinners and crafters are doing with my hand dyed roving. Half of her sales goes to Partners in Health, an organization who helps communities to combat disease and poverty.

This pretty skein is made up of 120 yards of soft merino/silk blend, spun to a bulky weight and plied with a clear nylon thread on which are strung upwards of sixty silver-edged enamel flowers in various colors.

Let's Skip the Showers and go Directly to Flowers...

Let's Skip the Showers and go Directly to Flowers...

This skein was spun from my “Lupine Fields” roving which is 50% merino and 50% silk. I love the sheen.

Hope Spring's Eternal...

Hope Spring's Eternal...

…because winter sure is lasting forever! This luxurious 50/50 merino/silk yarn has colors some of us can barely remember at this point — sky blue, new-grass green, violet purple. 190+ yards, 3 5/8 ozs, spun thick and thin averaging around 16 wpi. It will help banish the grey in your days. –Littlecreekyarn.