Spinzilla arrived in the wee hours of the night on October 5th and I got off to a slow start as I was in Michigan until Tuesday night visiting this little bundle of joy.
It was hard leaving but I managed to get on my flight to come home and all went like clockwork. Early Wednesday morning found me at my wheel, coffee in hand, and ready to get started.
I had done some prep work prior to the start of Spinzilla and I decided to mix up spinning between worsted preparation and woolen preparation to give my body a much-needed change in movement. It was an honor to have been invited to join Team Storey. The entire team spun up some fantastic yarn.
There were a few things I did drastically differently and it was such an “ah-ha” moment for me. I have purchased commercially prepared top or roving in the past – and I have always spun it just as it came. It never occurred to me that I could change it until some weeks ago when Sasha shared that she carded her prepared roving. I guess I am not very innovative or creative, but seriously, this NEVER OCCURRED TO ME! I had selected two different roving to spin for Spinzilla – a Sheepspot Columbia as well as a Sheepspot Dorset Down. Each roving I carded into rolags and spinning them was insane, I tell you! Just insane! I was able to create beautiful, lofty, fluffy, light yarns from both hanks. The best part was that I could make a determination on how to spin the colors from the Dorset Down and I chose to do rearrange the colors to make a gradient yarn. OMG, I cannot tell you how much I love this yarn. I have one more hank to spin up, but my plans are to knit a squooshy cowl and hat from this amazing stuff. I also have one more hank of the Columbia roving and I will get that spun up and try my hand at using it to weave after being inspired by my Fiber Guru.
I have been watching this Craftsy class on weaving. Janet Dawson is an amazing teacher to has a very easy way of relaying volumes of information and the Craftsy platform is a convenient and efficient way of learning. I ordered a raddle and a bobbin winder this week and I made a stop at Home Depot and picked up some of the odds and ends she suggested for warping your loom. I looked about on the internet for lease sticks – but found very few or limited choices, this did not matter as it turns out. Making them was amazingly simple with some oak that I got, which I cut to the length needed for my Wolf Pup. After sanding them nice and smooth and drilling holes in the ends, they will work perfectly for a good many years.
In the flurry of all the spinning, there was not much else done until late Sunday night. It felt good to pick up the needles and knit a bit. I have started on the right front of my Triticum cardigan and as fall is fast approaching, I would like to get it done!
I had gotten some “mystery” fleece from Ross Farms from their trip out to the West Coast earlier this year. It was a gift and simply named “The Sally/Bill Special” It is a longish wool and I am assuming it is a cross between sheep. What sheep I, sadly, do not know, but I love the oatmeal color of the fiber, so I washed it up and I flick carded some locks and spun them. My goal was to control the twist in the yarn so I would have a lovely lace weight 2-ply yarn. Then I read Beth’s article in the latest Spin Off magazine and I began to ponder a different course for this wool. I did was she suggested for singles – I wound them carefully from the bobbin to a weaving bobbin and I got out my lace pattern book and cast on some stitches and began knitting from the bobbin. I have to tell you, so far so good. I should have the swatch done later today and I will wash and block it tomorrow and report on the results. I am excited to see how it turns out!
My garden is about finished for the season – we have a freeze predicted for the weekend, so soon I will pull the remainder of the tomatoes and peppers. It was truly an incredibly productive year and it will feel good to put the garden to bed. I will plant some garlic once the weather has turned for harvest next summer. However, we have a good bounty to take us through the most of the winter. I just need to get a few more winter squash from the farmer’s market and we will be all set!
How are the colors where you are? I just love autumn and the colors are close to peaking up here so I am trying to convince a certain someone that this weekend would be the perfect time to take a bit of a color tour. The question remains…will I achieve success!?!
I will leave you with a few final shots of my trip to Michigan. The colors were just turning and there were some good micro-brews as well as the Empire Hops Festival!