feeling a bit sheepish

the wooly-brained ramblings of a knitter and novice spinner... it may be 'a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing'...but it's mine ;-)

Friday, July 28, 2006

final(?) Le Tour update (part 1)

warning: this is going to be a photo-heavy, spinning-themed post...if'n this isn't your cup of tea, you may wish to move along ;-)
warning the second: i apparently have run out of space on my webpage (EEK) for photo storage so i'm using my photobucket account again...please let me know if you have any problems seeing or accessing the pictures...thanks :-)

since i completed my Le Tour de Fleece goal, minimal though it was (all i committed to was spinning at least once a day), i think i qualified to post this :-)

per usual, click to get full sized photos

finished daphne

the finished "daphne" yarn...it seems that i didn't get a decent shot of this skeined up, so you get the close up version. it turned out very 'barberpole-y' (which doesn't bother me in the least because i like that effect lol), there isn't much of it (maybe 25 yards), it's a bit uneven and over plied, but i'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

relying on the kindness of spinners:

my next spinning project was aided by Michele, who was in my beginners' spinning class, and is a pretty special person. she knows i don't get to attend fiber events, so she always shares the experiences she has with me...sometimes in very dramatic fashion.

i saw her at threadbear on the 1st, where she reminded me about Convergence 2006, a local (well sorta...it was in Grand Rapids, on the west side of the state) event that i'd totally forgotten about. after telling me a bit about it, she handed me a tissue paper-wrapped bundle and told me to look...

and inside was a lovely purpleheart spindle, made by Jim Hokett of Hokett Would Work (no link found...if anyone knows of one, please let me know?), who also made the commemorative wood pieces available at Convergence. i spun it a little (she'd put some practice wool on it for testing purposes)...nice balance, admired it (have i mentioned i love purple? not to mention purpleheart?) and handed it back to her...

or tried to...she wouldn't take it.

she said it was my 'souvenir' of Convergence

isn't it purdy?
hokett spindle above

it seemed only appropriate to me that i 'christen' it by using the 100s merino top 'souvenir' she brought me from last year's Michigan Fiber Fest (iamnotworthyiamnotworthy!)...

hokett & merino
amazingly enough (at least to me!), despite its weight (it's a bit heavier than my other spindles...i haven't weighed it yet but i'm guessing around 2 oz or more) i was spinning laceweight...not only laceweight but nearly FROGHAIR!

merino lace singles
i quit counting wraps when i hit 48 and hadn't gotten to an inch yet
would it still be laceweight if i plied it back on itself?

yup *big cheesy grin* 36 wpi (approximately) *happyhappyjoyjoy*

again, there isn't much of this (20-25 yards i think) but the potential is there to be able to replicate it...and i've still got lots of the merino left...thank you Michele!

hmm...call it a hunch...i better split up this post or blogger will have a conniption...to be continued...

Labels: ,

final(?) Le Tour update (part 2)

warning: this is going to be another photo-heavy, spinning-themed post...if'n this isn't your cup of tea, you may wish to move along ;-)

warning the second: i apparently have run out of space on my webpage (EEK) for photo storage so i'm using my photobucket account again...please let me know if you have any problems seeing or accessing the pictures...thanks :-)

per usual, click to get full sized photos

i didn't take another photo of what i'd spun on the wheel during Le Tour de Fleece, so you'll have to make do with this recycled one from january:

Handspinners Dream

yes, this had been started pre-tour, but i'm spinning for a project and since i've got the tension set perfectly for this yarn i reeeally didn't want to take the bobbin off...you'll have to trust me that it's now nearly full and i have to *gulp* wind it off...i'm terrified it'll fall apart!
the fiber is charcoal Handspinner's Dream from Alpaca With A Twist...incredibly soft, silky baby alpaca...lovvvvvve this stuff!

i decided that i wanted to practice (or at least try to) making a heavier, softer, (and less over twisted grr) yarn, so my next spindling project involved the first multi-color roving i ever purchased from the guys...a "Color Me...", a rather retina-burning ;-) fuchsia, blue and purple colorway called "Berry Happy". it took a lot of conscious effort, but i think i succeeded :-)




it's quite bulky, but very soft ("berry" smooooshy lol) and reasonably balanced...there's another skein of this (about 45 yards total), and more roving left, so i suspect i'll spin up enough for a pair of mittens...should keep some little one happy and warm :-)

[frustration note: i'm getting more and more hooked on spindling but how the heck do i get more yardage? yessssss i know, spin longer/more fiber...but i seem to run out of room on my spindle...what do you more experienced spinner types do?]

i hadn't spun from a carded batt before, so one of the lovely blends i got from susie seemed like a good choice. it's a combination of 75% Ile de France (a sheep i hadn't heard of before), in shades of cherry and white; 24% of a black fiber which she thought was merino but i suspect is more likely llama or alpaca (it just doesn't act like sheepy fiber)[edit: i stand corrected: susie sent me a sample of the unblended black fiber--it's not alpaca or llama, but it's the oddest feeling merino...not nearly as fine or crimpy as what i've used previously...wondering if the dyeing process (not hers) has something to do with it...in any case sorry i doubted you suze ;-)] ; and 1% Angelina, a glittery reflective fiber (something else i hadn't used before)...

my first reaction when i started spinning this was ACK...i have a tendency to at least try to spin a smooth even singles...this wanted to be a bit slubby, a bit thick/thin...and definitely NOT laceweight...so i figured why fight with it, and let it spin as it wanted to...and i was very pleasantly surprised :-) i plied it back on itself and it evened out nicely, and it's fairly balanced as well (a nice surprise, given my tendency to overtwist)

black cherry soda

bcs closeup

these photos are a bit over-exposed it seems to me...the color is richer in 'real life'...it reminds me a lot of black cherry pop (or soda lol), with those little bits of glitz peeking through from the Angelina...i'm not sure if they show in the pictures but they're definitely there :-) there's still a lot of the batt left, but i want to see how it reacts on the wheel, so i'm saving what's left to use once the alpaca is done...thanks oodles susie, i really enjoyed this one :-)

[sheeeesh i'm being long-winded...can't blame you if you gave up on me long ago lol...]

last 'new technique' tried was a cabled yarn...i had something in mind that required a smallish amount of cabled yarn so why not give it a whirl? (*groan* sorry about the pun)

i had a quantity of this lovely stuff

alabama roving

from Little Barn Fibers (same place the merino laceweight above came from),and thought it might work out nicely (are you noticing a color trend here? lol)

however it seems i don't really understand how to use roving striped in this fashion :-\ the singles turned out like so:

alabama singles

losing much of the variation in color...and it didn't get any better as i went along :-( ...oh the cabling bit turned out ok (but boy does it take a lot of fiber to make a short cabled yarn), but...it's not terribly interesting, colorwise...


cable close

i like the feel of it, and i'm sure i'll try it again (though probably on the wheel lol...the spindle fills up soooooo fast with yarn this heavy)...it'll work for the project i had in mind...i just wish the color play had worked out better.

aside from one final 'kick' on the 23rd to finish filling up the alpaca bobbin, that was the end of my Tour de Fleece "ride"...i enjoyed it thoroughly, i learned some things...and i'm still spinning a little every day...so it's all good :-)

if you managed to stick it out to the end of this mess, thank you...i'll try to keep my entries a bit shorter from now on ;-)

Labels: ,

Monday, July 24, 2006

verrrrrrrry quick here...

as there's a blogger meet-up at "Mecca" ;-) today...with luck it won't take me ages to write up a 'report', but if it does there should be others who will, i'm sure, document the day :-)

i achieved my Tour de Fleece goal of spinning daily, although i haven't (obviously!) documented it here...i wasn't as prolific as SOME people *grin*, but i did well for me, and i even learned some things along the way...spinning post(s?) here as soon as i do some clean up on the photos...

oh joy...apparently it's already hotter than hell today...wunnerful :-|

*dashing...well as close to it as i manage anyway lol*

Labels: ,

Monday, July 17, 2006

just in case you've ever wondered...

just what temperature is "hotter than hell" (or "colder than hell" for that matter lol)...the crickets at 'feeling a bit sheepish' are pleased to be able to enlighten you :

Click for Hell, Michigan Forecast

if the temperature where you are is hotter (or colder) than shown on that button...you are officially "hotter (or colder) than hell" *grin*

(yes i know this is the forecast for pinckney...but that's the closest weather link i could get to hell...it's close enough for horseshoes and hand grenades ;-))


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

happy crickets :-)

or "the experiment was a success" ;-)

people came and commented (thanks so much susie for the link sending folks over from your blog!):

ye olde random number generator was fired up:

and winning numbers were generated:

michelle gets first choice of the yarns in the previous post, and the second skein goes to denise...check your e-mailboxes :-) congrats to both of you!

thank you all so much for taking the time to read and comment...you were clever and funny and sweet and definitely had me smiling all weekend...and the crickets loved the company ;-) i've added all those i could to my bloglines list and i've got loads of reading to do...and despite my tendency to lurk, i'll try to remember how nice it is to have someone comment...

in other news...
Le Tour de Fleece update, day 2 & 3:
i finished spinning the second half of the roving sunday while watching Gone With The Wind (much easier during than saturday's movie lol)...no pictures since i figured it looked pretty much identical to the previous half (big surprise lol) i plied it monday, but wanted to wait til i washed it before getting a picture. i'm pretty well pleased with it, though i haven't done much plying on spindles. i'm also pleased that i have actually managed to get at least a little spinning done each day so far...and that it's getting easier to work that time in...now if i can just transfer that to the wheel i may start making a dent in my fiber stash ;-)

hope everyone had a safe enjoyable holiday weekend...happy canada day (late) to those of you 'across the river' (would have loved to have been at the freedom festival), and happy fourth to those here in the states...if you'd like to make a few fireworks of your own, here are a couple fun sites.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

quick Le Tour update

rushing because it's movie night at the shop, and Blogger has been jerking me around with html "errors" *hmmph*


this is half of the pouf in the earlier post, spun just a little heavier than i have been doing lately. i'm going to have to have a chat with the woman who dyed this up--the roving is in incredible condition! i'm betting she combed it out after the dye job...it was very easy to spin.

did this earlier while watching North By Northwest, perhaps not the wisest genre to watch during what's supposed to be a relaxing activity lol but at least i'd finished before the final 'dangling moments' ;-) i'll get to the other half tonight or tomorrow, then 2-ply them...it may barber-pole a bit but it'll still be pretty imho...unfortunately the purple (the dark band near the whorl) refuses to show up nicely in this pic...hopefully it will once the yarn is plied. i know reds are notoriously difficult to photograph but i'm having problems with blue/purples lately

thank you all for your comments! i'm getting a kick out of reading them :-) chirp on!

Labels: ,

an experiment in bribery...

[edit: to add and replace photos...i think the colors of the yarns are better in these]

i've noticed (as many have) that having a contest or some sort of giveaway tends to draw readers (at least temporarily)...so i'm going to try and see what happens if i do

we have for your appraisal 2 skeins of (imho) very nice yarn--colors in photos are as accurate as i could manage (methinks it may be time to start considering a new camera grrf)

exhibit a:
Mountain Goat
Mountain Colors "Mountain Goat" in the colorway 'Glacier Teal'.
230 yards of soft slightly fuzzy yarn...55% mohair, 45% wool
enough yarn for any number of Mountain Colors patterns (and theoretically for a pair of Fuzzyfeet though i haven't tried it yet...that was the original intention for this skein)

exhibit b:
Cherry Tree Hill "Supersock", Potluck 'Blues/Purples' (color is still not quite right, the purples refuse to show up nicely...but this is a little better)
420 yards of 100% superwash merino, an ideal way to pamper anyone's feet
patterns galore out there for this type of yarn, not only for socks but also for baby garments and so on.

your mission, should you choose to accept it:

simply leave me a comment...doesn't have to be anything special, just say hello (the crickets around here are getting deafening ;-))

i'll make a list of the names (after i come online sunday, whatever time that might be), assign numbers then head over to ye olde random number generator...first number/name gets their choice of yarn, a second will get the other.

sound doable? we'll find out :-)

Le Tour de Fleece update, day 1:
i've been wanting to get myself into the habit of spinning for at least a little while every day, so this event is the ideal opportunity to get started. i'll be starting out fairly simply with these:

a Kundert spindle, and some Brown Sheep roving, hand-dyed by one of the gals in our monthly spinning group...she said she was 'using up all her blue dyes' and came up with these little poufs of gorgeousness, one of which she just handed to me, saying she'd never get it all spun :-)

i don't plan to stick to one particular type of wool/fiber or spinning device (i'll be using my wheel as well) during the 'race'...i just want to spin for the fun of it, and varying what i spin should add to it!

and finally...

well...it's already been a year since i started blogging :-| i haven't done the best job at keeping up with it, and i'm not sure it's entirely what i set out to do or if there's reason to keep on...but for the time being at least, i'm still here...me and the crickets ;-)

i wrote the following last year in my first blog post...another year gone and i still miss her :-(
i took this picture years ago of a rosebush in our backyard. it was called 'pristine'...it's long since gone to the dump compost heap, and cannot be replaced as apparently Jackson & Perkins doesn't cultivate it anymore, which is a pity. it was lovely and figured in some of mom's artwork...the pic reminds me a lot of her.

happy birthday mom...i miss you